Name: Lisa Ishihara.
Title: Director of Chapel Programs.
Education: MA Business (Marketing), CSU Fullerton; M.Div., Talbot School of Theology.
At Biola since: 2005.
StrengthsFinder top five? Achiever, Learner, Restorative, Responsibility, Input.
1. What do you do in your job (briefly)? As the Director of Chapel Programs I oversee morning chapels (except Tuesday Talbot), our AfterDark and Singspiration chapels and our Annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference. I also focus on the spiritual and student development of our chapel staffs, worship teams and interns.
2. The five (or so) most influential books you've read:
- Bible: My favorite books are Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, Philippians & 1 John
- Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
- Plain and Simple by Sue Bender
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
- How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp
3. Why are you at Biola? God has equipped me and given me the opportunity to serve Him, worship Him and use the skills and giftedness He has given to me here at Biola.
4. Your testimony in 200 words or less? I started going to Sunday School in kindergarten. My parents weren’t Christian, but my dad really wanted us to go to some church so that we could be raised with good morals and values. So, my mom decided to take us to a Christian church, since she was raised in one. Sometime that year, my family took our regular family-friend outing. As we were playing at a park, I remember stopping to watch this drama scene of a man hanging on a cross. I remember this woman, who started talking to me about what Jesus had done for me and how He had to die on the cross for my sins. I remember feeling so sad inside and sorry that my sins put Jesus on the cross. I remember praying with her and specifically asking Jesus to be Lord of my life. That moment changed my life forever. From that point on, I remember wanting to live and do everything for Jesus. I praise the Lord for this gift! When I go back and read my journals from elementary school, my words are filled with a great love and passion for the Lord that I am very thankful for.
5. What are five things you are most thankful for in your life right now?
- Physical and Spiritual Life;
- The gift and grace of HOPE and FAITH;
- Knowing that I’m loved by God;
- The presence of my family and friends;
- Good food and Good company.
6. What job do you fantasize about having? Working at a local coffeehouse in New Zealand and traveling the beautiful terrain in my spare time …or teaching in some form, somewhere...
7. Last book you read? Jeremiah…the Lord convicted me and reminded me that my value and worth is in Him, the One who knew me before I was born and who is working in and through me to bring about His will.
8. Which fictional character do you most resemble? Ummm…Mulan… so I’ve been told. She’s a warrior, she is focused, determined and perseveres, she is strong, she defends her family, she sacrifices for the greater call and of course, she is an Asian woman and so am I.
9. What’s your ringtone? The standard “Droiiid” ringtone ☺ …it always catches people off guard.
10. Favorite electronic device? My DVD player. I enjoy watching movies and hanging out with good friends.
11. What do your friends say is your best quality? My friends have said that my best quality is that I value being a good friend and that I’m intentional about being present with them, valuing them and being empathetic.
12. What natural talent do you wish you had? I wish I was a pianist prodigy. I love music, it’s the language of my soul. I wish that I could write and express myself through playing and composing.
13. What is your life theme song? Teach Me Your Ways by Fernando Ortega
14. Do you believe in love at first sight? With puppies, YES!!! With God, sometimes, I guess it depends on how one defines sight…with people, sometimes it’s naturally easy to love them and other times, not so much …hmmm, maybe love at first sight happens for some people, but I tend to grow to love people through getting to know them and seeing their heart.
15. Do you think it is possible to live with no regrets? Yes, if one can accept that we live in a broken and fallen world yet seek to love God and others, and embrace whatever is set before us on this journey with Him. I think that when we walk in communion with God, through the good and difficult we can try to live as honorably as possible, with integrity, stepping out and taking risks and encountering one’s fears, accepting whatever blessings and consequences that come with one’s choices. I believe that God is sovereign over all things and that there are times that we know the leading of the Lord and can follow after Him and there are also times that we step out in faith trusting that God is in control and will take care of us regardless of our shortcomings or adequacies.
16. What is your definition of success? Do you consider yourself to be successful? Success: Knowing that God is present and that He is for you and loves you… and in response choosing to trust Him and be present with Him and others in all circumstances, delighting in Him with joy… I’m growing and learning a new definition of success.
17. How much is your self-worth and identity determined by your job and your success at it? Unfortunately, way too much! I thought I was pretty grounded in my identity in Christ, but when the rubber hits the road, I have found that I work very hard trying to prove myself and my value. I am growing in trusting that my identity and worth is in Christ alone, that God is sovereign - He has ordained what He has and does not have for me, He will provide, He loves me and is working for my good.
18. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? Someone truly coming to faith in Jesus Christ…I am filled with tears of joy and awe at the life saving work of our Lord…it is really when good true communion with God and others is reflected in a life changing way.
19. In what areas of your life is it most difficult to trust God? Sometimes it is difficult to trust that the Lord knows the desires of my heart, has my good in mind and will provide. There are times when I know what His Word says, I cognitively understand it and agree… but sometimes there is a disconnect between my head and my heart… I want to live out my faith every day. But, when His felt presence is distant and I don’t feel the love and companionship of the community, IT IS HARD AND PAINFUL and I need the Holy Spirit that dwells in me to uphold me, sustain me, teach me and “love on me” as I wait and seek to abide in Him. There is a lyric to a song that becomes my prayer when it is difficult to trust God, it says, “when the feelings go away, if it costs me everything, I’ll obey”… even whey my feelings don’t match my prayer, I still desire to abide, remain and tabernacle with the living God.
20. What are the most important things you look for when choosing a church? Authority of Scripture and solid Biblical teaching; Community (not just hanging out, but depth of relationships and presence); Corporate worship experience; Multi-generational fellowship/community and family ministry; Outward focus in mission and service to the community and the world; Teachability/Openness/Humility.