Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The cat chewed through my phone charger!

That's not some cryptic title to another blog; Leah did actually chew through the cable for my phone charger today. I had my phone plugged in, and when I would pick up my phone to text, the cable would flop around. Leah thought it great fun to start chewing, and I eventually noticed my phone sliding a little... By then, the damage was done, so my wall charger works no longer. Fortunately, my phone charges via mini-usb, so I can charge it from any computer, and if I could find my ipod wall adapter, I could even plug usb into that. I could also search for my never-used bluetooth, since it has a mini-usb charger, too.

God has been blessing me immensely with more hours and extra shifts at work this week. Today, I spent about eight hours helping prep for 4th of July. It's kind of like Super Games' version of "black Friday". We moved around tons of stuff, loaded trailers, cleaned the warehouse a little... It was all very hard work, but totally worth it. I love my job. I'm covering an actual event shift tomorrow from roughly 2pm-midnight, so that'll be cool (I can finally sleep in!!). Also, I think it's like two hours away. That means a long, paid drive to just read and chill, both ways! :)

I was really in the mood to cook tonight, so I pulled a bunch of stuff from the fridge: chicken, salsa, onions, garlic, cream cheese, spinach, tortillas, some herbs and stuff. I basically threw it all in a pan (only with much more grace that "threw" would imply). It tasted really good, and there are even two pictures! I'm just really proud of myself is all.

The whole dinner, salad and the chicken concoction.

Close-up of the chicken concoction.

I spent some time talking to a couple friends, and even managed a slight hint of productivity (not including work today and unloading/reloading the dishwasher, cleaning up after cooking, making more tea, etc).

I love sweet tea so much.

My parents made a deal to help me pay them what I owe them for phone and insurance and stuff. That's cool. I can handle the busy if it means less debt to people.

I read this quote recently, from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I've been struggling so much with relational fear recently, just struggling when I think about several friendships and where they are going (for better or worse). This quote is pretty moving, even with respect to relational/people matters.

I really need to start memorizing more things: scripture, quotes, poetry, etc. They all have their usefulness at some point or another.

p.s. I miss my school friends so much it hurts sometimes. Sunday was really bad. Tonight was tough, too. Sam is visiting on Friday! :D :D :D

Currently Listening:
Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun
(I wasn't originally into this at all, but it's so relaxing, and something about it seems really profound.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Funny, the way it is, if you think about it.

The reason I've been blogging so infrequently and so insubstantially is due to the fact that I've been reading infrequently and insubstantially. That was basically the first thing to go when I started getting busy.

I worked a lot the last two days, and that's been awesome. I completely love my job. Us employees get treated spectacularly, everyone that works there is pretty great, we all kinda push each other to work harder (it almost feels like a competition to work the hardest)... I dunno, I could probably go on and on, but I'm pretty tired right now and don't want to think too hard about anything, even about why my job is so amazing.

I did start reading Into the Wild today. I guess I made a sizeable dent, probably at least 40 pages. It's really intriguing so far, reading about the start of the fellow's journeys. He was really striking out to pursue the longing that lies in most guys and leave every hinderance behind. I'm not as reckless as that fellow, but almost constantly I find myself longing for similar travels. I mean, one of my biggest dreams ever is to get a VW van, the really old one, and just travel around the country in it for months, or even a year or two. I just want to "get out there" and "live".

Today, I was really, really struggling. I miss my Cedarville friends so much, because, for whatever reason, there's a certain level of communication and community I feel with them that goes otherwise unmatched. I've been so busy the last two weeks, so finding time, or energy really, to initiate such things has been challenging. There's also been a couple phones calls (or really the same one, twice) that have been cancelled last-minute, and it was rather saddening to miss the conversation (no doubt spanning basically anything and everything there is to talk about).
I'll be honest: I lose heart very quickly; I get discouraged very easily. I hate the idea of inconveniencing somebody or bothering them with anything (no matter how serious or trite). I generally tend to speak only if spoken to, unless I feel overwhelmingly comfortable around a person.
When that phone call was cancelled (and without any mention of "another time"), I lost the feeling of being welcome; I no longer felt comfortable to "enter in" or initiate anything. Like I said, I hate feeling like I'm a bother, and I felt like a pretty big bother, so I decided to quit trying.
I don't want to put my dirty laundry on my blog, or spend all this space complaining about what happened. Just... I'm still upset. I've been typing and erasing and typing and erasing for the last fifteen minutes, and it doesn't feel right to put any of that stuff on here. I'm still upset, and I can't stop overthinking everything I might've done to influence it being cancelled. I can't just get over it, because I feel like I did something wrong.
Anyway, I quit trying. It felt like an internal problem, so I quit trying with a lot of outward communication. The physical distance between friends is already a challenge. After that, conversation with any friend seemed pretty insignificant. Or, rather, I felt pretty insignificant. Thus, I returned to the norm of speaking when spoken to. You can't be forgotten or set aside if you were never in the light to begin with.

All that emotional vomit aside (I like to pretend somebody out there can sympathize), I've just really been hurting for and craving genuine conversation with friends. Today was especially hard, for one or two particular reasons. I wanted somebody to affirm I truly was loveable and desirable, and that I had significance. Yeah, yeah, "look to God and not to people," blah, blah, blah. The thing is, GOD USES PEOPLE TO SHOW HIS LOVE. I've been looking to God, waiting patiently and expectantly, though feeling rather downcast.
Today, he answered my prayer twice. A gal at work struck up a conversation on break, just the "getting to know you" sort of stuff. As little as that ten-minute conversation was, it made me feel like a million bucks. Then tonight, God answered my prayer again in a huge way using Felicia. I was driving around, fast, listening to the new Dave Matthews (rocks so hard!), just unwinding after an awesome 13-hour shift, and she called me. We talked about work and friends and life and burdens and God and Psalms, and that was the sort of body-of-Christ fellowship I was so desperately craving.

I need desperately to sleep now. I'm exceptionally tired (which loosens my tongue for things like the emotional mess above, which I'm not going to erase). Also, I found out minutes ago that I've picked up some hours tomorrow morning! Another prayer has been answered!

God is faithful and blesses his children, answering prayers and giving us the desires of our heart.

Currently Listening:
E.S. Posthumus - Cartographer (feat. Luna Sans, and also the Piri Reis Remixes)
(one of my top favorite musics ever.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I won't be the phase you go through.

Well, the last two days have been full of adventure.

Thursday morning, I went to the dentist and left my lights on, resulting in a dead battery when I was going to leave. Fortunately, a fellow came along shortly after who very kindly gave me a jump. Then, I came home long enough to pack everything up for a significant exploit to be detailed soon. I stopped by the church to do a little work relating to the weekend services, borrowed the Pro Tools rig, and left.
I drove down to Scioto Hills Christian Camp, which was a two-and-a-half hour drive (longer than I expected, but totally worth it!!! Thank you GPS phone for getting me there!!!). Zac Dixon and the rest of East To West was in the middle of their second week doing music for this camp, and they asked me if I'd be interested in running sound for them for the night. Well, of course I was!!! I couldn't get the Pro Tools rig running correctly, so I didn't get to record them in the manner I wished, but we still got a stereo track straight from the board of the house mix. (Note to self... check that out soon.) I also took a few pics.
East To West ROCKS, by the way! Just, sooo cool. Everything wrapped up around midnight, I snapped some more pics, bid farewell, and began the drive home. It stormed like CRAZY, and I tried to get some pictures of lighting halfway home. The whole drive felt really surreal.

A lot of today felt pretty surreal too. I got out of bed around noon (didn't get home until nearly 4am, I think) and ate and showered. I cleaned up my room a bit, too, because once that was done, my sister and I went to pick up my new kitty, Leah! My mom wanted another kitty real bad, so she used me as the scapegoat to excuse getting her. I'm fine with that, because she is actually going to be my cat. :) When we got home, I took a quick nap and played with Leah for a bit.
Around 6:30pm, my sister and I went downtown for Comfest (Community Festival)! We saw a few friends, listened to Happy Chichester play and walked around all of the tents and people selling stuff. Comfest is a blast, just because of the huge variety of people there and the general attitude of carefree coolness and total chill. I'm sure all the weed and beer help fuel that for most people. Too, there's lots of crazy folks, like guys in skirts, really unattractive topless womentypically painted as well, drum circles with people dancing absurdly, etc. I love going every year, though.

It was back home after we had our "fill" of the whole Comfest atmosphere, then I played around with those photos from yesterday and wrote about these last two days. Leah's running around my room playing with her toys. I'm going to bed.

Currently Listening:
Frost* - Experiments in Mass Appeal

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I hate all your show and pretense.

Yesterday (being Sunday in my mind) was AMAZING. I arrived at church on time and ran video for the services. Afterwards, it was home for lunch with the family in celbration of Father's Day. We had shrimp, filet mignon, potatoes, and something else. Also, iced tea.

Okay, let me interrupt here. I could live on iced tea. I LOVE good iced tea. I could probably drink at least a half gallon a day and never get sick of it. In our house, we tend to make a gallon every other day or so through the summer/warm months. Iced tea is sooo good.

After lunch, I left for some jamming with a few friends. Brian Skeel had invited me to play some music with Savannah, himself and their recently-found drummer, Bill. I got to here their music (minus Bill) about a year ago, and I was totally blown away. Then, we played together (still minus Bill) for an acoustic night thing back in August. Yet again, I was totally blown away and then some. They've been trying to assemble a band to play some gigs around town, and Brian asked me to play. It finally worked out, and I got to jam with them. I wound up on bass, and for the most part, I felt comfortable picking up the music.
You KNOW there's something special when you're getting chills playing the music. Seriously, their music is like nothing else. It's really, really... really, really, really awesome. I can't believe how cool it is I get to be involved with something so spectacular, even if it's only for a couple months, or even weeks or days. Just getting to witness some thing so great is moving.


Back to earth now... When I got home from that, we did Father's Day gifts and walked to Graeter's. Then, I left for a bonfire with a few friends; Anna, Alyssa and Eric. We left almost immediately and saw The Proposal, which was hilarious!

This morning (being Monday), I slept in a lot. I went back to sleep after waking once around 8:45am, and finally got up about 12:30pm. It was sooo nice to sleep in. I sat around lazily playing with software on my computer, then went to the church around 4:23pm. John and I packed up all the gear from the live recording and took it back to his house. I ate with his family, then we set his studio back up. I came home after that, played with more software and finally re-established my itunes library. I had also gotten some new music earlier today, so I've been listening to that intermittently.
I'm gonna be at the church most of tomorrow, but I finally made a list of the productive things I oughta do. So, along with stuff at church, I'm going to try to be productive.
Still no word on the next round of photos. I'll get there eventually.

I don't have anything tremendously profound for today either. The thing is, I just haven't been reading, and therefore I haven't had thoughts provoked. Soon...

Currently Listening:
Dave Matthews Band - Big Whisky & the GrooGrux King
(totally digging it. just finishing up the album along with this post.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I knit sweaters, yo.

I woke up this morning to my back-up alarm and made it to the Super Games warehouse just in time. We loaded up and departed for our job northeast of Cleveland, which was three hours away. On the way there, a tire blew on one of the trailers, and the door came open twice, but we made it okay. It was pouring rain the whole way, but it cleared enough when we arrived to set some stuff up. In short, it was an amazing day for work.
We packed everything up in about half an hour, which was awesome, and then headed home. Another tire blew on the same side of the same trailer, so they just replaced both at the same time. Then, the truck hauling it was out of gas and wouldn't start again. Everything got worked out well, though, and I don't really care to go into details about how it all worked out. It just did.

I got home, and had to take a bath (and leave the water in the tub) because apparently our basement flooded and the sump pump was acting up. Then I spent a brief time playing some poker with friends, and got home before midnight. I really wanted to play guitar, since this time is really my only time I can even do that, but my parents were in bed and they twice told me not to play. :( Instead, I've been talking to friends online and catching up with little things on facebook (like photo comments).

I finished reading Jesus Wants To Save Christians by Rob Bell today. It was really, really awesome. I'm getting too tired to properly reflect, and it's taken me weeks to get through it, but I highly recommend it. It really, really opened my eyes to some awesome insight on Jesus and the Exodus and some connections in the Bible I never realized.

Currently Listening:
an amazing mix of last year's top 25 songs

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sing me something soft,

or loud and out of key. Sing me anything.

It's been such an overwhelming week or so. Seriously, just crazy. I'll try to sum things up for your curiousity. Last Friday was my sister's grad party. I stayed up really late after that working with my laptop, tweaking the heck out of it since I put the new screen in. It needs more RAM, but it's running awesome anyway, and I can see the whole screen! (I also have a 1TB external drive now with all my music, videos and photos, which means my internal drives are more free for a healthier computer.)

Saturday, I slept in, spent some more time working with my computer, then left for my first job at Super Games. It's such an awesome job. The work part is really hard work, and the chill times are really chill, so it balances nicely. We were in the warehouse for a birthday, and it was pretty toasty, but a great night anyway.
Sunday, I did the multimedia for church; ProPresenter and all that jazz. Afterwards, a bunch of folks all went down to the Thurman Café. Now, this is one of my favorite places to eat, ever, but it's been almost a year and a half since I had last gone. Anyway, I decided to tackle the Thurmanator this time around, since I had successfully eaten the standard Thurman Burger every time before. Here's a couple pics, and there's a couple more on my facebook. They were taken with my phone in dim lighting, so the quality isn't amazing:

Me with the Thurmanator.

The plate after everything was consumed.

Also, I drank eight glasses of coke and had a 24oz malt soon after. Then, I ate nothing more for 27 hours. It was totally worth it. I hung around CT (the high school youth group) doing sound and such that evening.

Monday, I spent close to eight hours sorting through my 1400 pictures from Europe and editing some of them. I also spent a a couple hours on that today. I'm down to a little less than 800 left, now. I put half of my Paris pictures up, but there's still a majority of the trip left. It'll be days before I can resume work on that, though. Monday evening, I had some plans get cancelled unexpectedly, so I decided to watch A Clockwork Orange. It was incredibly fascinating, but I don't feel inclined to go into detail about it here. It makes for some good conversation, though, so just ask me about it.

Tuesday, I picked up my new glasses. Then I spent the entire day at the church, doing all sorts of preperatory work for the live recording (which happened tonight). After around eight hours of such things, I came home briefly. The T-Mobile bill came... I used my phone more than I thought and paying my portion will be fairly hefty... No worries, though. I left soon thereafter for a rather impromptu evening with my very dear friend, Sam. We had an excellent evening filled with conversation, catching up, music, some white merlot, more conversation, a little Lego Star Wars and Scrubs, then some tea and other musical things in the morning.

Being on Wednesday at this point, I'll begin a new paragraph. I left relatively early, though, because I was unexpectedly in for an entire day of more recording prep. I met John at his house, we loaded up most of his Pro Tools HD rig, then went to the Vineyard to borrow even more equipment. We took everything to the church and began setting it all up. The drums were particularly fun: at least $6,000 in mics for a $5,200 kit:
An AKG D112 on the kick
Two SM57's on the snare (top, bottom, reverse phase on the bottom)
An SM81 on the hi-hat
Four AKG 414's, one per tom (those are $1,200 mics)
Two Studio Projects C1's for overheads

All-in-all, we had 38 channels being recorded. It was so crazy! We didn't finish up on Wednesday, that is, the band wasn't done rehearsing until just after midnight. I spent a lot of time organizing things backstage and in nearby closest containing various cables and gear.

Thursday, I woke up around 8:45am, got ready, and left for my second job with Super Games. It was some sort of huge outdoor even near the airport with hundreds or maybe even thousands of people. I spent around seven hours outside and got totally roasted. I also have some pretty serious lines on my wrists from the bands I wore to hide my tattoo (one band per wrist, for the sake of symmetry). It was a blast, though, and we were all packed up just before 4pm. I came home long enough to shower and change, then spent the next seven hours at church doing more organization while the band rehearsed. I also got to glean some pretty awesome recording knowledge from John. I was so tanked Thursday night, though, so I felt like a zombie the whole time. For some reason, I still stayed up until around 5am, mostly just talking to friends online (since that late time is nearly my only chance for social interaction with friends this week).

Today, I slept in a little (around 10:45am), then ate a little and watched something on the history channel about 70's technology. I took around an hour long nap, and woke again about 12:45pm. Then I decided to work on some more photos. I managed to get through around half of Paris, and I even put those up on Facebook. It'll be a few more days to get to anymore, though. I got over to the church, played with the lights a little, ate some dinner, and ran one of the cameras for the whole live recording event. Caleb, who is pretty great with all things video and lighting (and his dad owns a company that does stuff along those lines, so it reasons), brought in some extra gear to do a better job recording video than we can do with just our own stuff. I got to run a camera entirely by remote, and it was pretty neat. After it was over, I pretty much just split. Talked briefly to a few people, but I needed to get home, do this and get to bed. Tomorrow, I'm working my third Super Games job, from 6:30am to 8:30pm. It's an event up in the Cleveland area, I think, and travel is included in that, so it won't be awful at all. That means time to read (yes! finally!) or even sleep?

The greatest tragedy of being so busy is that my favorite things, reading and blogging, are the first to go. It takes a significant effort to spend time in reflection and to quietly read. When I'm totally exhausted, from being so busy, I prefer to spend any "extra" time being completely mindless, or at least just catching up with friends, even if it means staying up super late to chat online. Anyway, I haven't really got anything deep or highly introspective to write this evening. Too, I really oughta get to bed. Check out my photos in the meantime.

Currently Listening:
Miley Cyrus - The Climb
("There should be no guilt in pleasure." -John Mayer)

Thursday, June 18, 2009


The last several days have been so ridiculously nonstop, and as will the next several, that everything feels all blurred together. I have no sense of time or what day it is.

Lots of things have happened, I just don't want to write about it all right now. I caught up on the standard online stuff, but I haven't even had time to work on my pictures anymore, nor do some recording that I need to get working on.

I'll get some sleep, then jump back into the whirlwind.

Currently Listening:
Punk Goes Pop: Volume 2

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oh, yeah.

I'll promise I'll get back into this soon. My life just hasn't felt very interesting, and I've been rather busy and exhausted by evening-time.


Currently Listening:
Will Ferrell's voice, from some videos on youtube

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's too late to ablogalize, It's too late.

See? Just look at the title. It's clearly too late for this. I'll do something more detailed later...

10am Woke up,
read Psalms 19-20 and some of John.
Cleaned my room a little more.

12pm Determined I need to donate a lot of junk and sell some more to make more progress.
Listened to some records.

2pm Discovered another fraud charge, bringing totals fraud charges up to $200ish.
Made several phone calls, and *should* receive full refunds within ten days. (praise)
Caught up with some wall-posting on facebook.
Stumbled across an old blog of mine.

4pm Showered.
Emailed a little.

5pm Church for seven hours, setting up a ProTools rig.
Discovered I'll be back on as a paid intern. :)
Had some encouraging and also just fun conversation.

12:15pm Came home.
More email, twitter, facebook.

Currently Listening:
Hamilton Hardin - some random jam sessions from local gigs on youtube
(this dude is sick at every instrument.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Someone understands me.

This morning, I was awoken at quarter til 9am. Somehow last evening, as soon as I hit the sheets, I was out. I didn't get any music playing, nor did I read any, nor did I set my alarm... I climbed into bed, only to find myself waking the next morning. I quickly got ready and also got a phone number for Lifeway (they double-charged me for Hillsong United's newest, by accident). Then it was over to the church to help my dad for a bit with hanging up some new curtains in the sanctuary. I left pretty quick, though, because I'm still trying to figure out the $120 in charges that I didn't make... The bank said to come back once they officially post, so I can file an affidavit and get my money back, which would still take 10-30 days, on top of the two days I have to wait for those charges to officially post.

I came home after that (with a brief stop by the post office), and worked on a couple job applications for golf courses around here. It'd be neat to get some work as a caddy or grounds maintenance person. I also started in on some recording. A friend of my dad's, well his daughter is putting together a CD or a demo or something, and I'm putting down some ideas for piano, synth and organ parts. It's a cool experience for sure, but something about this whole gig isn't sitting with me. Maybe it's just because it's yet another time-sucker when I really need to be working so I can pay off debt.
I ate some rice for dinner and read some of John, then my sister and I left for Fruit of the Vine (the homeless ministry I started last week). At several of our stops today, we actually walked and saw their camps. I can't really describe the feelings from seeing how they live: tents and plywood shacks set up deep into woods. I suppose speechless is the best description of how it left me. There was sadness over how little they have, amazement at their resolve to survive and thrive with what they have... It was just really... I still can't quite describe what seeing their "homes" did...
Altogether, it was a really great night, though. We had just enough food, also gave out toilet paper, socks, batteries and some clothes. I brought a ton of belts that I had amassed over the years but never wore. I'm gonna bring a bunch more clothes next week that I don't need, because these people do.
Erin and I got home around 10:15pm, and I talked to my parents for almost an hour. Then I went straight to bed. Or I blogged. But I'm probably just sleeping right now, as I have been for the last hour. You've only just imagined this post.

Currently Listening:
Iver - Citadel of Stars
(so beautiful)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What a wonderful day.

This morning, I woke up with time enough to shower and dress and eat before my first obligation. Let's step back and remember that I didn't get to sleep until after 5am, and my first obligation was at 10:45, and my phone (aka alarm) was dead. Anyway, I woke up at 9:45, showered, dressed and ate, then left for my eye appointment. After the very exhausting walk of 30 seconds, I arrived at our new optometrist. I picked out some new frames, and rather enjoyed the check-up as a whole. They dilated my pupils, which meant high light sensitivity and an inability to focus on anything within three feet for the next several hours, but it wasn't awful. It was a decent experience, I suppose.
I came home, made macaroni and cheese for lunch, then left for a dentist appointment at 1pm. We have a new dentist, too, and it was great. It's also closer, but I actually had to drive to this one. I accidentally left my wallet there, so I returned around 5pm to get it. Between my appointment and picking up my wallet, I spent a couple hours at church. I talked to my mom for a few minutes, and chatted with a few other folks. I talked to Terry about the college and young adult plans for the summer, because I'm really looking for some sort of community in which I can be encouraged and involved. He told me of the plans for various groups of that nature, and I was quite joyful to hear of the opportunities to connect in a more community-based way this summer. I also helped my dad with a project hanging curtains in the main sanctinasium, and we'll finish that tomorrow morning.
I came home briefly, after picking up my forgotten wallet, and decided to check out my account balance just for the heck of it. I discovered $120 in charges that I didn't authorize... I called the numbers attached to the charges- one number is out of service, and the other I was at least able to "cancel my account" with them. I'm supposed to call back tomorrow about a refund, but I'm also going into my bank. Seriously, though, I'm flat broke, and this is just frustrating as heck. I need every penny I have to keep up with paying off debt, and I don't want to waste time messing around with junk like this.
I couldn't really dwell on this, though, because I had made plans for the evening. I took a friend out for dinner tonight. I really wanted to catch up with her and see how she's been, because it's been a really rough couple months for her. We ate at California Pizza Kitchen (and made it out of there reasonably since we split a pizza), and walked around Polaris Mall for awhile. I drove her home, then we stood outside talking for almost another hour about some things. I was honestly nervous about it, because we've never really had a history of lengthy conversation (despite knowing her for the last eight years), but it was no problem at all. There was so much for us to talk about, and I was glad to catch up.
I got home and watched a little TV with my family; something like 18 and Counting on TLC, then Little Couple. Now, as I'm sure you've inferred, I'm here typing.

It's a very hard decision to make;
I know what's right.
I know what I should do.
But I feel like it would be a severe act of betrayal to do so. I don't know how to reconcile this all in my head. There's some very, very serious ramifications riding on a few brief words. I would never speak them with the goal of betrayal or hurting friendships, but it's inevitable such things would be felt. God, grant me peace about the choice I'm going to make. Help them understand it's not out of spite. There are no bitter feelings, only a great grief.

Currently Listening:
Celldweller - Last Firstborn
(I forgot how amazing this guy is.)

I was going to blog last night...

Okay, actually that's altogether a lie. I briefly considered getting on to say "I don't feel like blogging tonight. See you tomorrow." But I decided that wasn't even worth it. Now I have two days to do in one post. But first:
It's a very fascinating article from The New York Times, speculating as to why 95% of all blogs "fail" or otherwise cease activity in a rather short period of time.

Sunday started off well. I went to bed pretty early the night before, so when my alarm went off at 7:25, I felt pretty good. I still hit snooze, but I was able to get ready and get to church by 8. For the first service, I just sat around, but during the second service I got to run video stuff. Church was great this weekend. Rich Johnson led worship, and the band was a three-piece: Bill on drums, Dave on bass and Hamilton rockin' the B3/keys/synth. The music had an awesome gospel flair to it, and it rocked. There was also a very moving dance. We're still working through Revelation, which is pretty insightful and neat.
I ate leftover Chinese food after getting home from church. I talked with my parents for a bit, then sat around reading and lightly dozing for several hours. Around 4:30pm, it was back to the church to run sound for CT. It kinda turned into mini-worship with tons of games after, since a lot of kids were at graduation parties. Mostly, I sat around soaking in everything I could from artofmanliness.com. It's my new favorite website, and I really contemplated keeping it a secret. But it's tight. Check it out.
I returned home around 10pm, and decided to take an early evening (knowing it would mean forsaking the blog). I read for a bried while, but fell asleep rather quickly.

This morning, I had set my alarm early, knowing the early evening would still give me enough sleep. Still, I postponed waking an hour after my alarm rang, yet I was mostly awake during that extra hour. I spent most of it in prayer, though, so it was worthwhile. I read Psalms thirteen and fourteen this morning, then packed up the gear I had sold on ebay. I also spent a considerable amount of time grooming myself and cleaning this morning. Sometimes, it's relaxing to be slow. I polished a pair of shoes that had looked rather scuffed, and now they look quite nice. I made a simple sandwich for lunch, and took the boxes to UPS for shipping. I returned home for a short while and decided to read some from the book I had started last evening.

Something that has been tremendously reoccuring in my thoughts has been our need as Christians to represent Christ. In this book, Jesus Wants To Save Christians by Rob Bell, one of the things that captured me the strongest was this:
"God always hears the cry of the oppressed; God cares about human suffering and the conditions that cause it. God is searching for a body, a community of people to care for the things God cares about. God gives power and blessing so that justice and righteousness will be upheld for those who are denied them. This is what God is like. This is what God is about. This is who God is."
First thing I see- God is searching for a body. I am supposed to show people how much God loves them by being his body! I am supposed to represent him in every way (and he made me in his image, so I have no excuses).
Second, maybe more important- God ALWAYS hears the cry of the oppressed! God cares about injustice! He cares about PEOPLE. He LOVES people, and when people are wronged, God gets upset! He hears their cries, your cries, our cries, my cries! And he blesses us (you and me) so that we can go out and bless others and lift others out of oppression! My God cares about everybody, especially the hurting and downcast!
This is just so convicting! I am supposed to, and enabled to, called to represent Christ to the world. I am to be his holy priest. I am supposed to stand up for the unnoticed, the downtrodden. Does injustice anger me? It's starting to. My attitudes are changing...

Around 12:30pm, my sister and I left the house. We met up with some terrific new friends with whom we'll be spending most Wednesday evenings this summer, ministering to the homeless of Columbus. We played a round of putt-putt today, in the rain, and my sister even won a free t-shirt by nailing a hole-in-one on the 18th. Then, the six of us (Brittany, her sister Casey, Bethany, Matt, my sister and myself) went to Java Central in Uptown. (Turns out they have an open mic night every Friday, so I'll begin showing up for that in the future...) We sat around and talked about a large variety of things, but nothing too deep. It was really just a pleasant time of fellowship. We eventually walked around Uptown, stopping in a couple shops. I got this sweet bow-tie in an antique shop, but I had no luck in finding a good-quality straight-razor or safety-razor. (It's strange to know so little of the quaint area in which I live. I'm remedying that problem this week.)
We eventually parted ways, and my sister and I stopped by the library so I could pick up thirteen books. I reserved around thirty that I'll probably never get through, but they're books I ought to read, so it won't hurt to try. I sat around the house for a little over an hour, then left for some recording/mixing with John Wirtz at Music Café Studios. (On the way, I picked up Hillsong United's newest. Brooke Fraser is now Brook Ligertwood. I'll write more about the CD after I've listened more.)
Anyway, John is working on an original project with Jewelee, an awesome gal from our church. They had done some recording earlier that day, and we sat in the studio for four hours total (9pm-1am) mixing and blending the lead vocal part for the song from four earlier takes and any additional attempts during our four hour session. We made it through the first half of her song, which certainly required patience, especially since my inexperienced ear wasn't picking out most of the stuff they were hearing. (I'm getting better already, though!) John showed me some basic stuff he does with these sort of projects, and just getting to observe was awesome. It's going to sound phenomenal when they're finished, by the way.
When we called it a night, I left, stopped for a quick bite to eat, and arrived home. I spent a little time chatting with some folks on facebook, and now I'm writing this. On a side note, my laptop should return to me in a few days, as well as a new screen I've purchased ($100 as opposed to the $450ish they wanted to charge). I can then fix the screen and begin editing Europe photos!!!

The time in the studio this evening really reaffirmed that it's not exactly a job I wish to be doing for a career. Recording and studio stuff is really cool, but give me a live band and loud speakers any day! I love the variety, energy and excitement of mixing live sound. I really, more than anything, figure I'd love to be a sound designer for some huge Broadway show. I mean, it combines my love of live sound stuff, theater, music; the arts in general. I really want to make my own degree: the B.A. in Media Arts, encompassing audio, video, theater, music and graphic design. Maybe a little business in there would help, too? This could also go to very practical use in the church setting, because I'm quite interested and fascinated by the use of multimedia in church.
Anyway, that's my aspirations for now.
If anything I've said at any point stirs your thoughts, feel free to comment.

Currently Listening:
Hillsong United - a_CROSS // the_EARTH : Tear Down the Walls
(so far, another solid worship album from Hillsong United)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Someday, what you need and what you want will become the same thing.

Here's to another day of blogging, more or less, on time.

Today was actually similar to the previous in its beginning. Since I was up so late blogging, I decided to crash on the couch. The dogs always wake and bark and such when they hear anything, and I didn't want to disturb my parents at 3am. (The three dogs all share a bed with my parents.) I woke up at 8am again, and decided to go to my bed for a little more sleep. This led to another three and a half hours, which is at least better than the four hours of the day before. My bed is so comfortable, though, so it does make sense.

I spent awhile talking to my dad after I got up, and then we went out for lunch. All in all, we hung out for around three hours, which was pretty cool. I left for the church about 3pm, got a few things cleaned up from last night, then changed out the wires on the snare. I'm gonna put the old one in my cajon some time, which should be tight! Then I sat around for a little while, and watched as the Mac/ProPresenter acted up for a new volunteer. Anyway, we got it all sorted out in time, and I even made some super last minutes changes for Pastor Jim on his slides (which really isn't a quick thing to fix).
Right before the 5pm service, I split so my dad and I could head to my sister's graduation! I can't believe she's done with high school! Yet, somehow, it really suits her. My sister is awesome, and I think she's been "too old" for high school for awhile now. I was having some serious gear envy, 'cause my camera with the kit lens was basically worthless. Mostly, I just sat there wishing I had better lenses during the two hour ceremony. It was fine, though. We all came home afterwards, and all four of us (parents, Erin and I) sat in the backyard. Erin made some cookies, and we just just sat around talking. We spent a decent amount of time talking about what our church is (or, rather, isn't) doing to take advantage of social networking and other "Web 2.0"ish things, as well as all of the opportunities technology holds.
Tied into that idea, I want to create a small position at my church that's basically a "Social Networking Coordinator and Media Arts Assistant." That's a title I'm making up, and basically the responsibilities would be to maintain a facebook page, twitter account, vimeo account, etc, with information about our church, upcoming events, sermon videos, and so on; also, helping out with any type of media throughout the week and on the weekend, such as sound, video, tech-whatever...
See, children's ministry and student (through college/young adult) ministry are the top-ranked priorities for our church. Especially students, and students-to-be (a.k.a. children) are drawn into social networking and all variety of media. The church's best opportunity to reach the students is where they spend most of their time (or so I would believe). Therefore, having a facebook page that regularly updates, a twitter account for the same thing, a vimeo account where sermons are actually posted for reference/resource... These are all tremendous opportunites to appeal to the younger generations (myself included). I feel like some of these things are on the verge of blowing up in popularity, and I'm maybe riding the tip of that wave. I just don't want to see these opportunities go to waste and a generation poorly reached because the church doesn't see the need to stay current with USEFUL pop culture trends (emphasis on USEFUL).

My dad and jammed a little bit of bluesy stuff on guitar just a little bit ago, and now I'm finishing up this blog post.

Currently listening:
Andy McKee - Rylynn
(it's sooo soothing)

Bullet Proof... I Wish I Was...

Well, I'll just combine the last two days into one post and say I'm all caught up. After all, Thursday was pretty tame, and so was today.

Thursday, I woke up and watched another disc and some of How I Met Your Mother. Seriously, that show is spectacularly hilarious. Eventually (see also: 1pm), I came home with the intention to clean my room and unpack some more, but who really knows what I did. I mean, there was some cleaning here and there, and I showered at one point, but mostly I was just spinning my wheels.
Around 5pm, I left home and headed to the church. Every Thursday night, the worship team for the weekend rehearses, so I was prepping things and hanging out during their practice. Every weekend, we record video of each service to a DVR. Eventually, we run out of room and have to burn DVD archive copies to clear off the hard drive. Typically, this all happens at the last minute, so we had three months of services plus some extra things filling the hard drive. (With four services per weekend, that's a whole lot to be archived.) Anyway, I decided to just clean out the hard drive entirely. Actually, I started doing this during a seperate rehearsal on Tuesday. So I picked up where I left off with the archiving process. I also read quite a bit.
When that was over, I came home and fell asleep to Tye Tribbett (and G.A.)'s Stand Out DVD, which Hamilton had been borrowing for the last six months. I hadn't even seen it once through when I lent it to him, but I have it back, so that's the important thing.

I woke up around 8am this morning, still on the couch, and decided I should sleep more. I went to my bed this time, and didn't wake again until noon. Now, that's very, very late for me, but I had just put the memory foam pad back on my bed two days before (and hadn't slept on it yet, having stayed at the batcave and then our own couch the previous two nights). So, I suppose it was the immense comfort of my own bed that led to such a late sleep. I made some waffles, ate them (and I'll probably poop them out soon, if I haven't already). Then I basically spun my wheels for another few hours. I did finally catch up on everybody else's Europe photos, though, looking through them, liking and commenting when I remembered I was capable of such actions. (Sometimes I do get into a zone-out thing where I lock into looking and forget I can actually move and respond and stuff.)
I think my room actually got messier today, that's how little I did. Actually, yesterday, I spent a little time hanging up pics and other artsy things in my room; which really was silly since it's still such a tremendous mess. Back to today, though... At some point, I discovered I made the Forensics Team at school, which is cool, so I'm praying about doing that. I also got a call about my laptop. They said it would cost $470 to fix the screen. I said "screw you." Okay, not really. I asked them about the CD drive, so they're testing that for me. Then I'm going to ask that they don't fix anything and send it straight back. I can fix the screen myself for around $100. Maybe less.
After enough wheel-spinning, I left for the church again. There was another rehearsal tonight, with the guys prepping for a live-recording worship night happening in a couple weeks. I was flying solo in the booth, which was tight, by the way. I was crankin' 100 DBs from the booth, so it was absolutely blastin' in there. Plus, it was the ideal situation IMO, with a drum set, bass, electric, acoustic, organ and synth, and a lead vocalist. These guys are sick musicians as it is, and I had it rockin' hard in there. I was also staying busy archiving more services from past months, and I managed to get the DVR completely cleaned out tonight! :D I could probably post some mp3's from tonight eventually; I did a rough recording direct from the board that sounds pretty great. (It's not bragging when it's true. :p)

So, this idea has been consuming my thoughts for the last several days, and I mentioned it on Wednesday (Thursday morning? haha), but I want to elaborate on it and add my own expansions. I started this as an individual message to a friend, and then I kept sharing it with more people, and now I want to blog it just to share it with anyone who stumbles across here:

This friend had to paint a chair. He figured the job would probably take him ten or fifteen minutes, and the chair would be drying and all finished up. However, he wanted to include his son on the job. He figured it would be a great way for them to spend time together, and it might teach his son something useful, too. It took hours to paint the chair and they got paint everywhere; on the floor, walls, even themselves.
The thing about being a child of God, see every day is like Bring-Your-Kid-to-Work Day. God doesn't need us to complete his work. The fact is, he could do the job in an instant, and really, a lot of times, we can slow him down and make big, sloppy messes. But God loves us so much he wants to include us in his work! God, the God who made the entire, immeasurable universe and the tiniest, invisible quarks, wants US to be a part of HIS WORK!! I mean, that's easily the most exciting thing I've ever heard!

Something else I've realized, in pondering this idea, when we work with God like this, we get to know him better! I mean, we can read about God, we can see the things he's created, we can talk to him, and we can talk about him with other people who know him (and people who don't)... But when we work WITH God to advance his kingdom, we're getting to know him and his ways so much better! To paraphrase an idea from C.S. Lewis, you can spend years looking at a map, but you don't really KNOW a place until you've been there. In a similar fashion, you won't truly know a person until you've done things with him to see how he works, no matter what gets thrown his way. A person's character shines brightest in the face of adversity. (That's a T. Scott original, if you want to quote me. :p)
God invites us daily to participate in his work and to get to know him more personally. We are his children - you are his child, I am his child - and every day is Bring-Your-Kid-to-Work Day. Are you watching to see what God does? :)

Well, that's all for now. As always, please comment if something I've written stirs you.

Currently listening:
Muse - New Born
this band rocks, always.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Perhaps we will meet again, in another decade.

And just like that, I'm a day behind again. haha

I let myself sleep in yesterday, since I had no significant reason to get up. Around 9am, I woke up and began my day. I started reading John and got a decent way through it. I've been reading the gospels in the Message, and it's been really refreshing. I was thinking about when I'd get to John 3:16, since it's the most quoted Bible verse of all time. I mean, it's an important message for sure, but it just feels cliche. I was nervous that I'd get to it and not be stirred. When I actually got into John, I was into chapter three without even realizing it. Then this verse hits me in the face, and I realize it's John 3:17. "God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again."

Jesus came to help! He came to put the world right with God! He didn't come to point fingers at people or accuse people of messing up! And he never did that, either! He just loved, and forgave people! I mean, how amazing is Jesus that he didn't hold grudges against people, no matter how many times he got wronged or hurt! That's the guy I want to be like!

After I read a few more chapters, I began cleaning my room again. This is going to be something of a multi-week project, because I'm also unpacking everything from school and selling stuff and generally really easily distracted. I had already done a little bit in the past week, but I wanted to make some serious progress. I wound up taking a box of books to Half Price Books and getting $10, and I also took some shirts to Plato's Closet and had them totally rejected (which I found out much later, actually). I stopped by the library to pick up some books I reserved, and wound up staying there for two hours. I realized I can sort my contacts in Google rather easily and have it all sync up with my phone, so I did that. There were a bunch of duplicate contacts to be merged, and I also deleted some folks I didn't know or may have only dealt with once through craigslist. When I finished that, I grabbed the four books I reserved and went home. I did a little more work in my room while listening to some jammin' vinyl: Yes, The Police, Maynard Ferguson, Styx, Rick Wakeman, etc.
At 5:30pm I left to check out Fruit of the Vine. It's Vineyard's homeless ministry downtown. I was very nervous since I knew nobody down there and was really pushing my timeliness, too. (It's actually a summer goal to become quite punctual, so this was very frustrating.) I still managed to arrive on time, but didn't have a clue who to talk to. Fairly soon, though, I struck up a conversation with a fellow named Matt Clements. He was there for his first time as well, but at the beginning of a summer-long involvement through a ministry called Reach. He had spent the last 9 months or so in Israel doing some work, and he'll be living in Columbus with about six other folks in this ministry. Turns out Brittany Mitchell, a gal I know from choir in high school, was there as well. Her and her friend Bethany have been doing this ministry on Wednesday nights for years now.
I started to meet a few more people, and we eventually circled up to go over the "rules" for being around the homeless folks (no money, no last names, etc), say names (to each other was okay) and pray together. One of the head guys, Brian, shared this analogy about us and God.
With God, every day is like bring your kid to work day. God doesn't need us to feed people, clothe them, love them, talk to them, but he wants to use us! We are his children, and he delights in spending time with us! The most rewarding thing for God is to see his work be completed and know he got to finish his work with his children helping! Sometimes we make a huge mess of things and stretch out the job hours, days, years longer than it would have taken God by himself. But he loves us anyway, and wouldn't trade us for anything! I am God's child, and he wants me to help him at work! God wants me to help him show people just how much he cares about them! Isn't that the coolest thing ever?
What we did last night was really awesome. We'd pull up to these "camps", basically just some homeless people waiting expectantly. We'd all get out of the van, hand out bags with hot chili, fritos, cookies, coke and water, and just talk to people for awhile! When we could, we'd give them socks or belts or other clothes we brought from the ministry. After a little time, we'd circle up, pray, and leave to another camp. It was super cool seeing Brittany and Bethany, who have done this for awhile, converse with familiar faces. They really know some of those people well, and the fact that they care shows on the faces of those people. We made about six stops altogether, and headed back to the F.O.T.V. building on 5th Street. I'm positive I'll have some terrific stories to come. My sister wants to start coming, too, so that'll be terrific to have her along as well. I had a brief scare leaving last night, because I couldn't find my wallet (it had in fact been missing since before our very first stop). I finally, after ten worrisome minutes, remembered I left it in a compartment of my car (which I didn't check the several times I searched through my car). I'm forgetful...

I came to the batcave afterwards to hang with the guys. Mike Radigan and I picked up three pizzas from Little Ceasars (and all I had to do was drive, which is good, since I'm broke). We got back, and sat around eating pizza with Steve and Eric while watching How I Met Your Mother for the next couple hours. It's easily one of the funniest shows I've ever seen, and I think I have a slight crush on Alyson Hannigan... But she's married, so it would never work out.
I crashed around 2am, and woke up around 9am again. After watching just over an entire disc and consuming some more pizza, I decided to write this blog on Eric's laptop. I'll consider updating tonight with my adventures from today. After all, I still aim to keep this thing regular.

Before you go about with the rest of your day, could you please say a prayer? It's for friend-of-a-friend Jamie, whose boyfriend Dan died two nights ago. Please pray for Dan's family and all of his friends.

Currently WATCHING:
How I Met Your Mother
(I just can't get enough.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It won't be long, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I'm finally aiming to be "caught up" with blogging!  (It's crazy, really, how I got behind within days of starting.)

   I shipped my laptop off for repairs yesterday, so I'm hoping to have it back in less than two weeks.  I'd like to add more RAM and install a bigger slave hard drive, but having a screen I can see will be a decent start.  It'll be nice to have my own computer again, with no restraints on the time I can use it.  Too, I can finally get around to editing my Europe pictures.
   Something else cool that happened yesterday, my dad and I went and got thirty gallons of gas for free at Giant Eagle.  That was sweet.  My dad does general contractor work; home repair and the sort.  He buys a lot of stuff at Home Depot.  If you buy enough stuff at Giant Eagle, they give you free gas, so he stocks up on Home Depot gift cards to use for work.  Then we take a car with an empty tank and several plastic containers to max out the thirty gallon limit.  It's awesome.

   This morning, I allowed myself to sleep in.  It's the first time I've been able to in awhile, so when I woke up around 6:30am, I just went back to sleep.  Then I finally got up around 9:45am to start my day.  I decided to finish reading Luke in my bed, even though my mornings of breakfast and quiet time in the backyard are delightful.  I'll try to resume that soon.  I really like reading through the gospels, seeing better how Jesus lived and related to people and served them.  I think I'm just going to keep rereading them, constantly.  I'm also planning on starting up the Psalms soon.  I'd like to get through those this summer.
   One of the most overwhelming thoughts for the past month has been how overwhelmingly Jesus loved sinners.  And when sinners found out how much Jesus loved them, they loved him in return.  They loved him to such a degree, they were transformed and wanted to give their sin up entirely!  When Zaccheus sensed the grace and love of Jesus, he "just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, 'Master, I'll give away half my income to the poor—and if I'm caught cheating, I'll pay four times the damages.'"  The only time Jesus ever pissed people off was when those people were using God for their own gain (the money changers in the temple), abusing God's name to defend their snobbery and tradition (the Pharisees) , etc.  When people were using God's name to defend a law calling for stoning as a punishment to sin, Jesus steps in and forgives the sinner!  She feels so loved that she turns from her sins when Jesus asks.  Then he turns on the crowd and leaves them feeling embarrassed for being such hypocrites.
   "In war you shoot the enemy, not the hostage."  Can we, as Christians, stop blaming homosexuals and abortionists and murderers and Muslims and PEOPLE for the condition this world is in?  Nobody is to blame except Satan!  And when we start fighting with each other, Satan's got us fighting for him and against the message of love that God showed so plainly with Jesus!
   I hope my face is plastered on wanted posters all over Hell; this is one dude Satan isn't going to get.

   Once I finished Luke, I started to clean my room.  As is my flimsy nature of focus, I spent some time going back and forth between the computer and cleaning.  Granted, I did update the blog for yesterday in that time.  I also got my record player hooked back up, so I was jammin' to some awesome vinyl all day.  Around 3pm, I ground to a halt, showered, and left for church at 4pm.  I hung out with a John Wirtz and Hamilton Hardin (the Media Arts Director and Music Director) for a bit, then reset the stage for a rehearsal.  There was a quick break where John and I set up some equipment for a Lacrosse Banquet happening in another room, then I got back to business.  About 6pm, the guys all arrived to rehearse.  Our church is doing a live worship recording in a couple weeks, so they were practicing for that.  After they got going, I read some, internetted some and did a few odd jobs relating to gear organization and video archiving.  They finished practicing about 9pm, and once everything was packed up and shut down, I came home.  Now, here I sit, finishing another post and finally on track again.
   As always, if anything I've said sparks your mind, please feel free to comment.

Currently listening:
Spring Awakening soundtrack

I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind...

That I put down in words: I'm another day behind on posting...

Yesterday, I woke up about 8am. I had an interview at 10am, you see, and still needed to fill out the short little application. I wound up on the computer, checking email, twitter, facebook and ebay while listening to music. I was actually using the job info from my facebook profile to fill in the job app. My sister was in the bathroom most of this time, so I couldn't really do much in the way of showering or getting ready, and I took my time finishing up the application. I got all dressed up and ready to go, finally, and headed out the door. My car was totally empty of gas, so I opted for borrowing the parents' van. I was actually rushing at this point, and made it to the interview barely in time.
In fact, I had to wait a few minutes on my interviewer, but it was totally fine. He told me about the job, expectations and some basic rules and such. We talked a little about my availability, and I was leaving before I knew it. My first day of work will be on Friday! The job is with Super Games; the folks who handle the giant inflatable games and obstacle courses at big parties, field days, etc. It's a terrific job opportunity, so I'm really excited. I'm still looking for odd jobs with folks to supplement this, though, like yardwork or basic home-repair-ish things. Anyway, God has provided!!! Jehovah Jireh, as I proudly display on my arm, is always faithful to provide!
I came home for a quick lunch, and left again to meet with Aaron Zink, a good friend and man whom I respect greatly. We talked for nearly an hour about mentorship, discipleship and growing in faith. The conversation was really encouraging and helped my ideas of those topics follow through to a better understanding of each. I'm really excited for the opportunities I'll have this summer to work alongside of guys who can challenge me and speak into my life, prompting change and transformation.

Cleaning my room was next on the agenda, but I was quickly distracted. Instead, I decided to catch up on facebook photos. I didn't look through everybody's pics, especially considering Shaun uploaded four big albums as I was wrapping up, but I made it through a lot. It's fun to go back and see the pictures, especially since most of them are of people I wasn't around very often (at least during our sight-seeing excursions). I also put another thing on ebay in the midst of that, and sorted out a minor issue with my phone's microSD card.
At 9:30, I had the joy of calling a friend from school to catch up on the last month. It really was a terrific conversation, incorporating all things serious and silly, thoughtful and trite, meaningful and mundane. Two hours and forty minutes later, we called it quits for the night. It was quite a surprise to realize the conversation had lasted so long, but we both were getting rather tired. As the last of our conversation had turned to faith, growth, the pursuit of Christ and God's love, we prayed and said goodbye. I was probably asleep within 45 seconds of hanging up, which explains why I didn't blog about yesterday until now. Perhaps I'll get caught up tonight.

I'm not sure I have any deep thoughts from the day, especially considering I hardly read at all. It was incredibly encouraging, however, to realize how similar in our journeys of faith this friend and I seem to be. It spurs me to growth knowing I have friends right alongside me who have faced the same challenges I have and will too face the same things to come. Jesus is more than a "good idea"; he's real to us now, and how great an opportunity to be able to encourage one another in the great times and the struggles as we pursue to live like him!

Currently listening:
Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII, on vinyl!!!!! :D

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's time that you've won.

By the time I arrived home last evening, I was far too exhausted to be able to blog. Actually, that's not true. I read for a couple hours in the backyard, and THEN I was too tired. Anyway, here's a recap of yesterday:

I woke up in time to get dressed and grab some food, then split for church, arriving at 7:45am. I kinda got stuff ready to go for rehearsal and whatnot, then settled in reading more of Marriable. I also brought my thermos and filled it with steaming hot water, grabbing tea bags and such along the way. I had a pretty constant flow of tea the whole morning, thanks to my adept planning abilities. I sort of ran camera(s) and the video feed during the first service. I say "sort of" because I was reading all the while and not paying much attention.
Between services, I got fairly caught up with Jeremy Shelley (the HS director) on life for me for the last several months. The secoond service started up, and I hopped back into the booth. However, somebody else arrived to handle camera(s) and the live feed. That gave me even less to do, so I read fairly exclusively. Partway through second service, I finished Marriable.
Overall, I didn't really like the book, but it did have some positive points. I think I covered everything in Saturday's post, though. I mean, they just seemed to encourage playing games so much!! 'Girls, don't keep guys on the phone too long; you'll appear mysterious and they'll want you more!' I mean, technically there's some truth there- if I like a girl, and she limits phone calls to a short time, then I'll constantly feel like I just can't get enough of her. But I don't want her playing coy games to try to get me to like her or anything. I like to think I'm a big boy and can handle a long phone call, yet still know when it's wise to end the conversation for a night.

After church I headed home for a quick lunch and to collect some things. Originally, Steve, Eric, Josh Gulvas and I were gonna go cliff jumping (35ft). Arriving at the Batcave, Gulvas was nowhere to be found and apparently not returning until 3pm. Steve, Eric and I watched many episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" instead. That's definitely one of my new favorites/one of the funniest shows I've seen. I left at 4:30 (we had been watching since around 1, haha) and went back to the church because...
I got to play acoustic at CT (the high school youth group)! Michael Vawter asked me to play, since he was leading from electric. We did four songs, and it was quite enjoyable. I dropped the tuning a whole step and just used my cut capo the whole time. It was great for Come Thou Fount (in the key of D) and Facedown (in the key of G). I hardly know anybody in the youth group these days, though.
After CT was over, I went home and sat in the backyard. Dad and Erin had a fire going, and I sat on the swing and read for awhile. Around 11:00, I came inside and nearly passed out; that's why I didn't blog last night.

At one point later in the evening, I had been texting a friend and really trying to be an encouragement. I felt really transparent, like God was showing himself through me and using me. There's probably a lot of things that Tyler could have said, but I don't think there was much of Tyler in that conversation (until it funnied out later). I was just praying, God, help me show this person how much YOU care and love. I guess that's pretty significant, you know? I've been really learning about loving people and dying to myself. Jesus was so sincere about showing God's love to everybody he met, without bias, and encouraging people regardless of how he might've felt towards them.
(I wonder if Jesus ever felt particular dislike for certain people, and had to fight those feelings away? Similarly, I wonder if Jesus ever felt particular attraction towards certain people, and had to fight those feelings away? Because those feelings of dislike or attraction could taint the message of God's love. That really challenges me to show the same care and love for people, even if they have characteristics that irritate me, and I suppose it also challenges me to refrain from showing "too much" love for people I'm particularly fond of. Is that bad, though? Can you really show "too much" love? Or is it simply when you compare to the people you're loving less that it seems "too much"?)

I made it through eight books during the month of May. If I can keep half that pace through the summer, I'll be thrilled, but my book list keeps growing despite getting through eight. I'll be starting The Shack soon, and The Ragamuffin Gospel after that. There's lots of books on my shelf, and lots on reserve at the library, too. Actually, I'm gonna read Dateable sometime this week, too. One of the freshmen (almost sophomore!), Joey Klair unexpectedly had a copy and loaned it to me. I expect it to frustrate me, yet also inform me, in the same way as Marriable, but I have to read it nonetheless, just to know...

Currently Listening:
Michael Johns - Dream On, one of the contestants from Idol just over a year ago. He rocked, just not enough.