Saturday, May 31, 2008

Prince Caspian in New Zealand!

I couldn't help but smile as the kids reentered Narnia in the new Prince Caspian movie! They were standing and playing on Cathedral's Cove in New Zealand where Dan and i have gone and hung out!

The children see glimpses through the train...

Then they are walking through the cove
Movie Shot

Dan's Shot

Movie Shot

Dan's Shot

Wait wait... was i there in the cove reading the day they were filming?!? ah just kidding, but i mine as well have been. You got to love photoshop.

Movie Shot

Dan E's Shot

Kinda makes you want to go to New Zealand!
Movie Shot
It also makes you want to congratulate Dan for having such a good eye to see all the right shots that a movie producer would see!

Plus there were two songs in the movie that i loved!
one was "The Call" by Regina Spektor Click Here to Listen

the second was "This is Home" by Switchfoot Click Here to Listen

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things i just gained an appreciation for: my Mach 3 & Febreze

I went to Matt's wedding a two weeks ago and i didn't take my electric razor i normally use. I also had left my Mach 3 at a friends house and have only used cheap blades to shave for the last couple of months.
But the Mach 3 shaved SO close. A good shave just felt absolutely amazing. I salute the inventor of the Mach 3.

Secondly, i got this musty smell in my car 2 months ago that i have not been able to get out. I know friends that smoke use febreze to kill the smell, but have personally never used it... until now! I used it on my car and it killed the smell in a day what i have tried to cover up for weeks with air freshener. God's hand was on the man that invented the Febreze.

Thank goodness for a good shave with a Mach 3 and a fresh smiling life with Febreze

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Queen's Birthday

This is a main holiday in other countries of the world a part of the commonwealth.

It is a big weekend for a couple of reasons.

1. It is a national holiday
In New Zealand, the holiday is the first Monday in June, and owing to the climate being colder than Australia's, usually serves as the opening weekend to the country's ski season.

Queen's Official Birthday (sometimes known as "the Queen's Birthday") is celebrated as a public holiday in several Commonwealth countries—usually Commonwealth Realms, although it is also celebrated in Fiji, now a republic. The word "Queen" in the name of the celebration is replaced by "King" when appropriate. The exact date of the celebration varies from country to country, and it does not usually mark the real birthday of the sovereign (the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was born on 21 April 1926)

2. It is the weekend of the Wesleyan Family Camp in Taupo, New Zealand

This the main worship gathering where the church plants come together and celebrate. So good.
This year i am especially excited because a missions team from Indiana Wesleyan University gets to be a part of it this year! It is a really blurry picture, but the team is cool!
I also added an email update from Cession Community that was just sent out, to give you a feel of the quality material and teaching that the church puts out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Make it fun!

A picture of fox glacier in New Zealand popped up on the background of my computer today. I was remembering not expecting to have fun as Dan and i visited the glacier. I love nature and I love to be amazed and was initially excited but when we hiked and saw the first glacier from a look out point far away, it just looked like it was a big block of ice. Yep, yep, I am pretty sure it is just a big block of ice!
But Dan and I were determined to see everything so after stopping and looking at the first glacier fairly quickly, we moved on to the second. I was expecting the same. But then Dan through me for a loop… before we got to the glacier, he saw a waterfall off to the side and looked at me excitedly and said, “let’s climb it.”
At this point I had already had half-decided in my mind that there was no fun here to offer us and that we would move on to other places where there was more action to be excited about. I was proved wrong. Dan and I left the tour group we were eaves dropping in on and started climbing up this tall waterfall, blazing our own trail and jumping rocks. All of the sudden we were racing, climbing, and having a blast. We got to the highest spot that we could climb to without a high of death or injury and stopped. One of my favorite pictures is of Dan sitting up there on the rock.
I feel like it is the perfect shot of Dan the photographer taking everything in!
By that point my mood had changed. What i thought was a 15 minute stop had turned into an hour discovery climb and my creative juices were flowing. Even though we had decided to pay for the tour to climb through the glaciers, I still wanted to get closer, so Dan and I did. Our next task was to get to the glacier while this freezing cold river coming from the glacier was the only thing standing in our way. We looked up and down it and it didn’t seem that we were getting across without getting wet.. but somehow by rock hopping we did. We got our pictures close to the glacier and it was a great day!
So, this last weekend their was a high school dance party at the gym i work at. From what i could observe, I knew the turnout and dancing was going to be okay at best, but I decided to go and liven things up as a chaperone if needed. It turned out that there were only around 6 teens for the majority of the last hour but i jumped in and decided to make myself look like an idiot so everyone could loosen up and we all had a blast simply because we got over ourselves and remembered why we were there… just to have a good time. totally clean and innocent, no pressure, just people enjoying people.
I am convinced that if we came into a lot of our activities with this attitude, life will just be that much better. The next time you are going somewhere you are no to thrilled to be going, determine yourself, that you don’t care about looking good or proving a point, but that you are just there to have a good time and enjoy the company, I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Making it fun!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Simple Man

The more i listen to the words of this song, i like it.
it was originally performed by lynard skynyrd

but the video below is by Shinedown
I don't really care for the video but i put it on their so you could hear the song.

The Lyrics
Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time... dont live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and youll find love,
And dont forget son,
There is someone up above.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Wont you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich mans gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.


Boy, dont you worry... youll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Matt and Anna's Wedding in Pennsylvania

A weekend ago i went to Matt's wedding.  Matt was one of the guys who i lived on the same floor with for three years in Hodson and he was the floor chaplain one hear while i was the RA.
It was one of the easiest weddings i have been to.  Nothing seemed rushed or tensed but everything just seemed enjoyed including the family time.  so good
This little guys here is 3 and he amazed me!  Not only does he play nintendo but during the wedding reception he was walking around with a cell phone scrolling through the pictures!
There was a lot of down time with the family and old friends.  This is the late night crew sitting around talking at way too late an hour. Dave hopewell(far right) is one of my favorite people to hang out with and Bekah Johns (second from the left) is one of the people who just makes me laugh because we are both pk's and awkward at times.

it was a good weekend

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Game Time!!!

I am leaving for New Zealand this Summer.

It just hit me this week that is SOON! It is game time! Fourth Quarter... time to finish strong while i am here in the states.
What does that mean? That means i have a lot of prayer, paperwork, organization, support raising, and focus to make this time in life come into focus and fruition!
I have some more to write, but tonight is not the time. I will have more thoughts and pictures soon.

Friday, May 09, 2008


When I write something like this post below, it is not to state a fact. It is to be honest with the reality of where I and other young adults are in order to understand each other and provoke discussion. Only then can we discover whether we are right or else find out what needs be done in this situation to correct our thoughts or actions accordingly.

Also, this is general observation... not a personal problem. :)
It often appears that...
Parents feel like they have arrived. (to their place of responsibility)

And the next generation is looks at them thinking, “That is not quite where we want to arrive to.”

As children we respect their hard work, we appreciate their concern for our future, we appreciate who they are as a people, we see what we have enjoy because of their sacrifice, we love their marriage, we value and don’t want to undermine their love and sacrifice for us, but we aren't necessarily sold on their advice because where they have or have appeared to end up is not exactly where we want to be...


Settled? Pt 2. Solution?

This is not conclusive but I see a few reasons for the differences.

1. First,
I am acknowledging that I am single and not responsible for a family and that this must be taken into account because even though I can observe, I admittedly can’t tell you exactly from experience what happens in marriage and family. BUT I can state confidently that your perspective on life changes.

2. Second,
The postmodern(younger) generation does not seem to value possessions as much as our parents, and although we show little restraint in what we buy, a distinction must be made that many inwardly despise the idea of working just to have. We want the same freedoms our parents have gained because of their hard work and persistence, without the possibility of "getting stuck" doing work we don't love.
This could be just another example of wanting the rewards without the work, but I think it is bigger than that. I don’t know how, but I think it is.

3. Third,
Progressive is the name of the game. Complacency, settled, obligation just does not sound appealing.
At the same time, the more I learn about the depth of God’s love, the more I admire the family structure and wonder if we undervalue it. It seems like to the progressive youth, family seems like a possible burden, a possible distraction from what we enjoy… what we want...

But what is it that we are looking to enjoy?
Freedom from commitment?
Being at the Top?
Having a moment in the spotlight?

Because the moment these becomes the end result, I start to long more and more for a home and family that I love and know loves me so deeply that I do not long and attempt for the world to fill this emptiness or loneliness. The automatic response to this in my head says, “Exclusive! You begin looking inward and only caring for yourself and your family.” Quite the contrary.

I KNOW there are well established, secure, and healthy homes that are settled in knowing where they find their love and support without it diminishing their love and desire to help others. I would contest that actually the opposite occurs. Your love for other outside of your family should, in fact, grow and deepen.

5. I was just uncovering the underlying lie of this pursuit in my head. Here it is:

“If you find true love, you are going to settle. So instead, deprive yourself of commitment and finding full contentment in God and family. Otherwise, you will lose your drive, need, and craving to fulfill this in a variety of other things. Then you will become less driven and lose your edge.”

This is IT!!!

But what we see as a protection of what we desire
Is actually Deprivation of what we truly desire and need!

Let me say this again!!!

What we see as a plan of protection of what we desire besides God
is actually a deprivation of the love we truly need and desire from God!!!

Satan has a pretty ingenious scheme going.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


A few months ago i started a word document on my desktop titled "Thoughts"
Probably one of the smartest things i have ever done!

I got into the habit of writing my thoughts down but this idea has collected them all into one place that i can go back to unfinished thoughts, revise them, post them as a blog, file them away as journal, or just delete them.

So often, though, we let AMAZING thoughts slip by us
or too often they get filed away or written on some scrap paper never to be explored again except by chance.
This thought has allowed me to continually process the learnings and concerns on my mind

Below is an example
"I’m tired of being watched. Feeling watched."

Finished for a blog:

I’m tired of being watched. Feeling watched.
As a Preacher's kid it just comes with the territory.

The last two days i have been camping out in my parent's house in Indiana while my parents are out in Arizona for grandmommy's (my dad's mom) funeral.

At first i couldn't figure out why i was so content being alone and then it made sense. I have been around people nonstop for the last three weeks and this has been the first time i have had my own undisturbed "fort" per say.

Don't get me wrong, the majority of time i thrive off of people, i am definitely always watched, and it is definitely not an insecurity, but it is definitely draining when you have this constant usually true assumption that people are watching and measuring you up.

Once again, this is different than finding your self worth in others opinions.

Hard to explain
But pk's always seem to understand this
and all this to say, i have enjoyed my own place to be messy, rest, work at my own pace, pray leisurely, etc.

Friends know that i love you, but know that i also sure love my God and me time!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Top 5 Biggest Transitions Moving From California to Indiana

  1. The People: You Miss Friends
  2. The Sun Year Round: It is cloudy for 3 winter months straight
  3. The Driving: When 5 lanes turn to 1 and you are the only one still driving fast it's not good
  4. The Food & Culture: I miss Mexican Food especially
  5. Allergies: I never had allergies in CA but with the change in seasons i have an annual month of solid congestion (which is right now)
Surfing, the beach, etc. doesn't rank on a transition ratings... that was a devastation! :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Two Great Things Happened Today...

I cleared my emails!
I have had the most trouble trying to get my emails to work with the mac program's mail and entourage. I just recently in this last week put everything through gmail and for the first time in a LONG time i am caught up and on top of my communication in this area!!!

I Found People Who Loved Dancing at Work
I like dancing.
I find it as a release and way to enjoy life while not caring about what other people think.
I found there are two kinds of dancing:
1. To Prove Something (often clubbing)
2. To Just Enjoy and Not Care (often weddings)
Watch these videos and Tell me they don't just make your day!

Well this is how i felt after enjoying music and goofing off with my friends tonight after work.

You just got to smile inside

Friday, May 02, 2008

Great Stories in CA

For stories on the support raising in San Diego check out my missions blog:

If you can't tell that is me raising my hands on the big screen at the Padres game and my friend Tiffany Tomlin taking the picture. you can click on the picture to make it bigger.

So it was the end of the ninth and i told Tiffany, "I will get on the big screen before this game is over!" She retorted, "yeah right" in disbelief and rightfully so, but my efforts began.

We were in the top section so it wouldn't be easy to pull off but most people on the screen just seemed to have a hand raised in the air so i tried an inning waving and nothing happened, except the game went into extra innings!

Progressively over the next 2 innings i went from waving an ice cream cone in the air while sitting down to dancing to jumping up and down, telling tiffany that, "all they needed to do was get me on the big screen and the game would end."

Then it happened, top of the thirteenth (look at the picture) while a promo video played on the screen, a camera locked in directly on us and we got a thumbs up from the camera man. Sure enough, the video ended and we had about 15 seconds of big screen dancing and cheer time!

and guess what, the Padres hit a walk off home run that inning! could've ended a lot sooner! :)

LEAVING MY MEMORIES BEHINDThis was the view from the airport as i was leaving. As i sat there looking out the window i realized that the grass and palm trees in the back ground was MCRD! That is where my high school football team had our summer training for the year and it was tough!!!

It was good memories there. Football was a time of hard work and commitment to God for me. i remember one night when we had played football all day that i had not had time to read at all. Luckily when the lights went out, i had a spot by the end door where the outside light was shining through a small glass rectangle window.

So i got out my bible and fed it through the light to read it line by line. i thought everyone else was asleep and i definitely wasn't looking for recognition, but my coach was making rounds and made some kind of passing comment about "only Dongell" and "you should probably get some sleep." It wasn't a moment i wanted to be recognized, but i thanked God for the encouragement and we had a chuckle about the shock value from the coach.

Good closing memories to my trip in CA.

Last Thursday i was in the water the day of the shark attack. Still kinda crazy but not earth shattering. The second day we were out we saw some dolphins and had a seal pop up in between us surfing, so we are used to creatures startling you in the water.

But there definitely an added sense of watching out for yourself although i don't think it will stop many dedicated surfers. For more on my initial reactions you can go to my original post

Catching Up With Friends

I was able to spend the last week and a half in San Diego catching up with friends and talking about my coming return to New Zealand. For more on that outcome check out my missions blog:
Jerry and Dianne Cantwell were good friends with the family, especially my parents.

I was able to catch up with old friends from Grace Point Church in Del Mar including Katie and April
I was able to surf with friends.. mainly corey(left) and Trace (right)

I was able to speak at four El Cajon Wesleyan meetings including youth group on Wednesday night. The picture above was from Shaving cream hairdos
Courtney Johnston and Tommy were friends from churchThis is Gabe Cesena, Jennifer Stump, and Vanessa Cesena, friends from school and church. It is always a pleasure catching up with familiar faces and shared memories.
The teens still go to yogurt mill for frozen yogurt and hangout after youth group
Katie is my nursing friend from Minnesota who has lived in San Diego for about 2 years now. Her roommate Debbie (in the middle) likes mustard and parmesan mixed together as a comfort food.
its kind of a clumpy paste
as you can tell i wasn't overly impressed, but it was addicting in small bites!
I stayed with Michael and Jerrell Lieberknecht in their house. I slept mainly on the couch on the top left where Michael is sitting and his brother Jerrell is waving. Travis Hobbs on the top right is their cousin who i me and Michael lived in the same dorm with at IWU. Two of their friends from work played Disney scene it with us and i was a disgrace to my childhood when it came to this game!