Cupcakes in the Void

I teach youth on Sunday mornings. Great kids, but some can be a little bit like raptors at times. Allow me to explain.

There is a great scene in Jurassic Park where John Hammond reveals that the raptors routinely test the fences to see if there are any flaws in it, weaknesses through which they can escape and reek havoc.

We’re all a bit like that times. We habitually test the waters, seeing what we can get away with and for how long. We’ll keep tossing cupcakes into the void just to find out what sticks.

With that in mind, there comes a time where we as instructors need to put our foot down and say, “woah.” Otherwise, a student may walk right over us – or others. When that happens, not only will the lesson go by the wayside, but other students’ experience of it may be lessened as well.

We must keep our hearts and eyes open, allowing detours when needed and providing guidance when required. We, as instructors, are always learning ourselves. That’s how everyone grows.

Aaron’s 1st Musical: CDs Now Available!


I am incredibly ecstatic to announce that the first shipment of “Into the Word” CDs are now in! This has been a two year process, off-and-on.

Definitely took me on one of the most exciting adventures I’ve been on, spanning two states, involving lots of new friends, and learning tons from seasoned professionals.

Check out for more information.

Bless you all!

My Faith Story


Hey friends,

Many people over the years have asked for my testimony or personal faith story. Truth is, there are so many different stories I could tell. Recently, I have opened a new chapter in my life. I think it’s worth telling that story because it shows have great and loving and forgiving and strong God really is, and how small I am in comparison.

In 2013, I was pretty high on life. I had a good job, a good group of friends, and had a lot of fun on the side with filmmaking and competitive eating and other random stuff. Plus, I had the respect of my peers and parents as well as a clean slate financially after years and years of student loans.

On the eve of 2014, I was presented with the opportunity to (A) lead a film crew in a new short film series, and (B) lead a group of young adults in a new church outreach initiative. For years, I have wanted to pursue ministry and the arts in a professional capacity. People say I have a knack for these things. So, it was my dream to make the most of it. Even when both the film series and ministry showed signs of storm clouds ahead, I decided to push onward, because this was my dream and no one could take it away from me.

The answer was “no, someone could take it away.” God could, and He did. He allowed me to have a go at it for a while, but then things started to fall apart. The film crew, as great as it was, was sideswiped by unexpected drama, and expenses started piling up much more rapidly than I was bringing money in. Plus, numbers in the church group dwindled and yet the higher ups in the initiative continued to push for results. As both situations took a dive, I tried coping as best I could. Not running to God, but away from God. Not reaching our to others, but into myself. Soon this formerly peaceful, kindhearted dude found himself full of lust, pride, and drunkenness. My finances were shot. My nerves were raw. My relationship with my wife was in the toilet. Finally, I got to the point where I turned to Katie and I was like, “I gotta get out, or this thing I’ve created is gonna kill me” (this being barely an exaggeration).

We finished the films and made a less than graceful departure from the initiative, then moved to North Carolina (from California) in 2015. I didn’t know what waited next. My first few month were rocky. I couldn’t find a job. But I did find a church. One day, the youth pastor at that time asked me to write him a drama for an upcoming event. I wrote him a musical. I’d never written one before. The first draft (the final being not far from) was done in two weeks. God was up to something. Then, the youth pastor felt called away from his position and offered me the job. What ensued were four months of intensive growth and healing, followed by a full-scale production of said musical.

It was amazing! Within a matter of two years, God had taken everything away from me only to give it back again. True, the old demons still vie for my heart and mind. I’m still in debt. But my wife and I are good again; I’ve been writing a lot; the church I’m at is great (the new youth pastor is amazing!); and the musical will soon be ready for full-scale distribution any day now.

From all this I’ve learned that God is good, and He uses all things, even those things that are hurtful to Him and His name, for His glory. Thank you Jesus for being the God of Four-Hundred and Ninety Chances!!!

Also let me take this moment to assure you, if you feel like you are down and out, especially out, God loves you, God wants you back. Run to Him. He is ready and eager to bring you back to glory. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by an Awesome & Mighty Creator! 

Blessings and love,

Aaron D. Ybarra


A boy wakes up, goes to school, learns things;

he gets homework assigned, he goes home

eats dinner and speaks a few words to his parents

before hitting the books.

Later, red-eyed from staring at pages of overwrought words

he hits the hay,

he dreams-

dreams of asking out that one special girl at school,

dreams of making his friends laugh and think he’s cool


dreams of winning his parent’s respect.

He’s always been in his brother’s shadow, you see,

and he’d like to get out.

The next day, he wakes up and goes back to school-

Yes, it’s back to same old routine.

Sometimes, he forgets his homework at home;

sometimes, he does well;

but for the most part he rides a solid B-/C+ grade,

just above average-

and he never talks to the girl,

and he never becomes the popular kid,

and his relationship with his parents remains strained.

Still, every night, he hits the hay and dreams

and dreams

and dreams.

Soon enough, the boy grows up.

He graduates from high school and moves out

to go to college.

He gets drunk and has sex.

He has some fun.

His grades drop.

Soon, a young woman tells him that she is pregnant with his child.

He drops out of college and

takes a job at a gas station.

There is a shotgun wedding,

weeks before the baby is born.


The boy turns into a man,

he works hard,

both he and his wife-

it takes him a while to get used to that word-

spend a lot of sleepless nights together,

raising up the fruit of their loins.


They spend a lot of time doubting themselves,

their ability as parents,

but they smile widely anyone stops to

say how handsome their little boy is.

The man gets fat and old,

his wife is still beautiful.

He knows much more than her name now.

He sees the multiverses in her eyes and in her smile.

He holds her hand.

He tries to let go as seldom as possible.


Their kid grows up.

He goes to school.

He catches on quick and gets good grades.

The teachers say, “what a fine boy he is!”

The man says, “you can thank his mother for that.”

It’s tongue-in-cheek, but really he’s eating up every word.



The kid grows up and moves out.

The man goes to bed one last time.

He can hear his wife sleeping beside him.

He knows his time is near, still he doesn’t want to disturb her.

So, he simply leans over, kisses her on the forehead,

closes his eyes, and dreams.