Friday, May 30, 2008

Chasing Kites and Thoughts of Eternity

I'm sitting on the steps of the concrete front porch with the wind gently brushing me and cars ocassionally whizzing by. It's so beautiful out here. There's just something about being in the country. I considered staying in Cinci for the summer, but I prayed about it for a while and felt God say, "Go home." I'm enjoying it here. I'm so grateful to be home for the summer. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, washed my filthy feet (from being in sandals all day) and washed my hair out before I came outside. I love that refreshing feeling.

I went today and met Mel and her siblings today with my brothers to go see the Chronicles of Narnia movie Prince Caspian. I enjoyed it and I thought it was pretty good. I'd give it a 7.3 rating. It had a good message; I liked it. The only detraction is that they used some thematic and stunt elements from other movies like Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Carribean which I thought was pretty lame. I believe my favorite part of the movie was where Susan, Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Prince Caspian are on the beach kneeling before Aslan. Aslan tells the kings and queens of Narnia to rise and four of them do, but Prince Caspian remains with head bowed and knees bent. Aslan states that told the kings and queens to rise. Prince Caspian says that he doesn't feel like much of a king after all he did. Aslan then replies that when he feels as such that is when he is most useful as king. You might have to see the movie to know what I'm talking about, but I really liked it. Also, another observation was the Narnian army. I noticed all the centaurs, animals, dwarves and humans as they were running out to battle. They were all sorts of shapes and sizes but they were fighting together, rushing headlong into battle in stark contrast to the regimentally marching Telmarine army. It reminded me of the body of Christ, and how we are all different, but still fighting together in this spiritual battle.

Afterwards we bought up some pizza and headed to the park. After eating, we flew a kite which we named Flo. We decided against naming it Stanley because we did not want the kite to fly away and be free. Mel even lost the kite and I had to go chasing after it. What fun. It was the second time in my life that I have flown a kite. The first time was when my dad showed me how to fly one when I was a kid. There is nothing like that feeling of the kite tugging on the line and watching it fly and dance around in the sky.

Now it's quiet out here. I'm left to the darkness and my thoughts. I've been thinking about how life is a vapor. I got into a serious discussion with a friend of mine on the phone earlier. Too often there's no clarity and I tend to lose my focus on life. Various things do this to me, it may just be movies, or music, or my friends. Not that those things in and of themselves are wrong, but I need to keep eternity in view. Furthermore, what am I doing that's making an ever after difference? Life is so short. I described it as being in a rocket ship. Our lives are like the journey in space and as we get older and older we see the earth slowly getting smaller and smaller. We forget that right outside our window, time is flying by at 18,000 miles per hour.

Yes, the country is so peaceful. I'm home and being driven to deep thoughts. I suppose college and the city swept that away with the busyness and noise. Lightning flashes in the distance. I'm going to bed now, still thinking.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Almost As If It Were Summer

Dark puffy clouds dot the sky against a lighter blue-gray canvas. It's a dark and cloudy sky with hope at the horizon. Flaming color is once again exploding in the west. Red, pink, and purple - that fades into the darkness of dusk. The birds sweetly sing, getting in their last songs of the evening. The dark figures of bugs fly randomly through the air, as if they're rushing off to work, or beginning their nightly dance. Cars pass in the distance behind me, their shushing fading in and out, like a mother tucking her children into bed. It's so peaceful.

Ah, my home. I love the country. It offers something that the city does not hold: peace. I went outside last evening and took a blanket and pillow to the backyard and sat, writing the above paragraph. What beautiful days, these last few in May. I thank God for how lovely it's been.

Yesterday I went to my grandparents for memorial day. We threw the football around and I started the grill up. I have that fine habit of adding about 3 times too much lighter fluid to the charcoal. It's wonderful, seeing those 2 feet flames jump out of the grill. Ah, yes! The weather has not exactly been sunny, but fairly warm and just beautiful. I ended up assuming the responsibility of grilling all the burgers and hot dogs, which is something I enjoy doing. Anyway, today I went and filled out a couple applications in search of a summer job. I also have been attacking the mountain in my room, unpacking. It's quite a job since many things I don't need at home over the summer, such as my water pitcher w/filter, my ironing board, or winter clothes. Further, on my to do list is reading and study material. Bible bowl questions and several fall semester books.

Postscript: And that Le, is me returning the favor. And Kaylin, I check my blog frequently so if you want me to post, just comment.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lack of Social Interaction

Was fitted today for a tux for my sisters wedding. I think I just realized that my sister is getting married next month. It scares me. I feel old.

I was also quite amused by a sign that I saw in town today. A local elementary school had posted this on their outdoor sign. In large black letters: 5th Grade Recognition. I thought, How appropriate. How dare they call it a graduation! What are they graduating from? By definition (and I looked it up) graduation involves receiving a degree or diploma. I doubt 5th graders are doing that! Well, I am glad that finally that have gotten it right. Despite our politically-correct aware society I believe they got this one right this time: recognition. Yes, I suppose I'm fine with recognizing what 5th graders have accomplished, but no, I don't think I'm willing to call it their graduation ceremony.

Mel texted me today. "Mr. Grinch, I think you need a little social interaction..."

I'd hafta agree. Despite my previous rejections at a waste of money on theatrical goings I believe I might spare the cash for some, as Mr. Grinch would call it, sochial interacktion. (We plan on seeing Prince Caspian accompanied by our Narnian endeared siblings.) Boy, it's so different around here, with no one around. No one as in, I'm not on a bustling college campus anymore. Breanna agreed to this very thing when I called her tonight to ask her when she was leaving. It's a running joke between us. She asked me about 6-8 times on Monday, "Are you leaving?"

Tomorrow night I'm going to Alana's grad party, (which happens to make me feel very old because mine was last year and I remember it quite well) and Saturday I'm going to Cleveland on a witnessing experience with Denver and other Christian soldiers from our area. Job hunting, or rather the job searching process begins soon here too.

And that, ladies and gentleman is what I call an update.

So long

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Making Exits From Regret

Woke up today to a beautiful sunset. I awoke from a 16 hour slumber. I can hardly believe it myself. I suppose it's a long needed catch up on sleep. College will drain you. I know. I walked out on my back deck this evening after I woke up, ate, showered, and I whispered, "I'm home." Home: it's so refreshing. I read a quote recently that I really believe is true, "It's not the home I love, but the life that's lived there." Leaving "home" in Cincinnati was bittersweet. As much as I love school and enjoy living in Cincinnati at GBS with all my friends, there is nothing like home. It was in the upper 50's as I stood there admiring the sunset and breathing in the air, listening to the birds sing. I doubt it's anything new at home, but I thank God for it. It's just good to be home.

So before all this I spent yesterday packing my life up and packing my car with (almost) all my earthly belongings. I proclaim myself to be an expert packer. I spent a year and a half before coming to college delivering cabinets from a semi-truck & trailer. We also had to repack the boxes before moving to our next stop, so I've learned how to make things fit. I ended up not being able to see out my back window, but all the doors successfully shut and everything fit. In addition to all of my stuff I had to fit two suitcases and three bags of Christy's in the mix. It was so exciting, packing up to go home. After a room check, approval, and signatures from staff, I made exits from regret

and left the dorm amid the falling rain. In fact I packed most of my stuff in the rain. Christy described it in one melancholic word, spoken melodramatically, "sorrow!" It's an interesting feeling, giving farewell words and embraces to all my friends. The best thing is, this is not the end.

I began the trip home by stopping by the Barr's for a party and enjoyed some time there. I want to say that I wasn't eager to don t-shirt and sandals as soon as I left campus, rather it is what I chose to put on after my shirt got wet and my socks and shoes were soaked from packing in the rain. Nevertheless I finally departed from Cinci at 930 last night after more goodbyes. As a note to every one of my friends, I wanted to say that you have been awesome this past year at college. You have made me smile and laugh so much. I am really grateful for you and I know God has blessed me through you. The conversations we've had and the times we've shared are etched in my mind and they will always bring me happy memories. Basically, you guys are awesome!

We were at lunch yesterday and I wrote a to-do list on my hand. So in good nature my friends added to this list. Here is what was written: 1) Pack. 1a) Buy Mel food 2) Go home today. 3) Have fun. 4) Get lost. 5) Get a tatoo. I crossed off packing and having fun. Then for the more difficult things, I technically did not go home yesterday because I arrived at home at about 2:22 AM (which is today). Also, I bought food, but it wasn't technically for Mel. And I kind of got lost in thought when I was really tired and talking with Christy to stay awake. Can I count the to-do list on my arm as the tattoo? Hehe.

It was a long trip h-o-m-e. Christy and I discussed the weather, food, summer plans, personality, God, and dreams. I stopped half way home for some cheaper car fuel and some human fuel as well. Christy pegged it when she said, "Coffee is happy." Depsite the length of the trip it was a good ride home. I enjoy driving in the night, it's different from what most people do. Driving down that back country road though was a bit nerving. I encountered green eyes glowing of all different kinds. I saw 1 possum, 2 rabbits, 2 cats, 2 raccoons, and 2 deer. I almost hit one of the cats, and the oppossum AND one of the coons. The animals were everywhere! I blasted really loud music after dropping Christy off to stay awake til I got home. As aforementioned I arrived home really early and unloaded all of my stuff out of the car, during which my mom woke up and came out to see me. I greeted her and expressed that it was good to be home. I also told her that I would love to talk but that I was too tired and was going to bed. And then I did.

One more thing before I leave. I was thinking why it's so good to be home. So here's a short list:

Reasons Why It's Good To Be Home
1. Water. It's always hot. The pressure is always strong.
We even have a massaging shower head that I turned on.
2. Food. It's always good. I enjoyed the two tasty steaks I had for supper tonight
3. Bathroom. It's pretty much always clean.
4. Bed. Need I say more about my bed at home?
5. The Country. It's beautiful out here, really. And I plan on camping out soon.
6. Freedom. I can do almost whatever.
7. My Mom. She's just awesome.

Well I believe that's a round trip.
Writing later,

Friday, May 16, 2008

After the Rain

So for all of you who are excited about it, Prince Caspian comes out today in theaters. Actually, I'm not sure that any of you are because within the context of most who read my blog, that is not an option. However, summer is sweeping in and hopefully I'll get a chance to see it. Then again I'll be waiting til it comes out on DVD anyway and...oh well. I suppose I will simply be patient. Posh, the book was way better!

Sitting here in the shack, I'm working night shift on security for camp meeting assignment. Since I brought that up I thought I would just mention how easily my shadow scares me as it jumps out on the south lawn, when I least expect it, walking up on the sidewalk by the admin building. Or when I check the locked chapel door and see movement in the window from the tree dancing in the wind behind me. Perhaps I just don't like the pitch black archives section in the basement of the library. Perhaps the bust of a famous composer illuminated by the light coming through the glass door startles me. I'm a little kid again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Over...It's Over

Well I'm back and breathing a big sigh of relief. It is what my roommate described as a bittersweet feeling. Finals are over and it feels really weird to have nothing to do.

Saturday, I had a blast at King's Island. We went and rode 6 rides: Delirium, Son of Beast, Drop Tower, Vortex, Backlot Stunt Coaster, and Firehawk (respectively). Firehawk probably had to be the best. You climbed the opening hill laying down, then as it crested the hill you flipped upside down and went careening down the track with just the shoulder harness and locking mechanism between you and the ground. It felt exactly like I was skydiving - very thrilling! Son of Beast was also a great ride with a great opening drop, straight down. It was all very fun - made my heart race and my lips break out into a smile. I enjoyed just being able to have fun with friends - talking and hanging out with Vita, Chris, Cheryl and Leanna.

Sunday was my day of rest and I pretty much slept all day with the exclusion of church and meals. I remember it raining all day long. Again and again I have felt and found that college has really changed things. Mother's day was very different without being home to be with my mom. I gave her a card and called her and she told me that the card made her cry. I was touched. My preference for special occasions is to let people know how much they have touched my life. I use the combination of my writing skills and my love language of words of affirmation.

Monday, I stayed up all morning finishing my reading for a final and then completed that with ease. It's been no problem for me to be awake til 2, 3 or 5 AM during finals week. I study late (with a little help)

and go to class in the morning then find a time to crash in the afternoon. As Matthew Theisson so well transcribes it. "This week the trend was to not wake up til 3 PM and pick a few conscious hours that I chose to spend, and slept away the rest of them."

Today I woke up (which I generally recommend for all those interested in living life) and made a chilled coffee before my Principles exam. I missed two questions that threw me off. As I was handing in my test Dr. Phil commented, "Too easy, wasn't it?" I forced a nervous smile and I think commented, "Yea" before turning to walk out. I mean it was easy, but I can't describe any Brown Test as "too easy." Wow. *shakes head incredulously with a smile*

At lunch we had an interesting topic for our conversation: why praising God comes so unnaturally. Scripture commands us to bless the Lord at ALL TIMES, and for His praise to continually be in our mouth. However, the phrase at GBS has become a euphemism! "Argh, argh, I will bless the Lord at all times (annoyingly emphasized and muttered) argh, argh!" This is obviously not the way things should be. It is very humorous to me at the way we use Scripture, but it also saddens me that real praise does not come naturally. We are fallen creatures who live on complaining and muttering disgust when things don't go our way. We were made to praise and worship our Creator. Our mouths as Christians should be filled with praise for God. Why aren't they? As Jon Foreman puts it, "We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?...We want more than this world's got to offer." I want to be someone that learns how to give praise to God in good and bad times. When things go wrong, so often we cry out to God, declare our trust in Him and claim Him as our deliverer. But do you remember the last time you thanked God for the fun you had with your friends? I think we need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, by simply thanking God at the end of the day for the good we have experienced and the fun we had with friends. I am so blessed, so why not take time to thank God for it? Have you ever thought of writing God a thank you note?

Well it's early in the morning and we have planned our annual, end of the semester doughnut run tomorrow morning and I must slip slowly into madness before I suffer the consequences. I fear it is already too late. Tiredness has set in. My eyes are losing their focus. I shall depart.

All that fancy nonsense and stuff,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Still Kicking

It was a beautiful day today. In that damp, gloomy sort of sense. A tad chilly, slight mist in the air, 61 degrees. Spent my friday night by packing and doing homework, probably my first ever friday night not going out or doing something. I am leaving in...11 days. It's hard to grasp.

Just got my paper back this morning. I checked my mail on the way up from late night. Paper 3 arrived! I achieved the same score as my essay, which I was very happy about. It made me feel really good to hear Mr. Profitt tell me that he was running out of things to say about my paper. That is something that is hard to come by in writing. He really complimented me and I'm very happy about it. He even says that I'm a great contribution to the campus culture, which makes me smile. I thank God for gifting me with the talent of writing. I'm using it all for Him.

On to more personal things: I find it frustrating how I often I talk frivolously. I could blame the end of the semester, but I've done it before. Oft times I wish I would simply bite my tongue. I enjoy conversing with friends. I truly thank God for my friends and the fun I have with them. However, when my discipline lacks I disappoint myself. I frequently find myself wanting to remain silent at the table, "Just listen!" I tell myself. Now I could certainly play this to extremes, on one hand always kicking myself for stupid things I say, or the other extreme of excusing myself by saying that God would want me to have fun. Oh, for more discernment and discipline! I know I can't be the only one that struggles with this. I'm tired of failing. I will find my hope in my Father and Savior Jesus Christ. He'll help me.

Find it amusing how I avoid using the pronoun 'I' especially at the beginning of sentences. My blogging style, which is quite informal interests me. But anyway...

Vita invited me to go to King's Island with a group of friends later on today. (It's early morning now.) I am excited about the feeling my stomach will experience as that metal cart drops over the zenith of steel framework and swiftly plunges downward as gravity takes over. Ahh, nothing like it!


Thursday, May 8, 2008


Woe Is Me Syndrome.

They acted like there was a physical pain associated with taking the final exam. As if somehow this 6 page, 185 question test was menacingly torturing them. I thought differently.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Get Over It

Did not get enough sleep last night. When will it ever end? Tomorrow begins the the beginning of the end: finals. However, the end is only the beginning. I'm not really sure how I do it. I scrape sleep together. I will do homework and various things until the wee hours of the morning, roll into bed for a couple of hours, get up and go to class, perhaps eat breakfast, go back to bed for an hour, go to another class, maybe eat lunch, then go back to bed for another nap. Through all of this I scrape an hour here and an hour there of sleep trying to gather enough that will get me through the day without a breakdown or collapse. I am learning not to trust at all on my own though. Daily reading God's letter and thinking about what He has said, accompanied with talking to Him has been my strength this far.

As far as finals go, I am still looking at the store for prescription strength Motivation. I never dreamed it'd be like this in college, *laughs* but I guess it's the end of the semester. As soon as this all ends I'm going home!

Last night was Teen Power at which Sarah spoke, giving her testimony and she did a good job. I'm glad that no matter where you come from, Christ's blood still has the power to set anyone free. I also last night picked Tanisha and Theresa up from hellhole apartments over in Walnut Hills. When I got there I had to park at the end of the street due to a firetruck and ambulance blocking the road. I saw a lady and her child sitting in the back of the ambulance but I didn't really know what happened. A guy passed me drinking a bottle of alcohol. Trash was strewn everywhere. I didn't really want to inhale too deeply. As we were leaving, Tanisha said, "People get drunk over here all the time, it was probably someone that passed out." I only thought of how desperately Cincinnati needs Jesus. How blessed I am with what I have.

Today, in celebration of our last chapel, President Avery conducted a thank you service for all the staff and faculty. He encouraged us to bring noisemakers and to come prepared to have fun. Gumby organized a Crazy Day among the guys in the dorm and a large group of us participated. I wore a black suit with a plaid shirt, christmas tie with mismatching socks and a tiny pink hippo pinned to my lapel, complete with Eddie my rat sticking out of my pocket. It just makes me cringe inside. BUT It was uproariously fun. Pinky wore his shirt and tie backwards. Many wore mismatching and wild combinations of shirts and ties. Plaid, stripes and solids. Combinations so crazy it made me smile. I had fun blowing my kazoo, yelling, and clapping. Several of us even ran out of our seats yelling and screaming in recognition of Mr. Avery. The mood was one of fun as we had Gumby playing a rooster call on his cellphone over the loud speakers, Girls were playing the "Charge" anthem on their recorders. Many people had air horns and some people had party noisemakers. It was great cheering for faculty. All in all it was an excuse to be crazy and have fun at the (trying) end of the semester!

With that said, its trying to rain outside and I have a final exam tomorrow. I'll go now.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Missing the Puddles Kind of Night

Playing scum here at Starbucks: Skunky. Kaylin. Duddie. Samurai. All battling it out.

Must say that it's incredible fun playing this game. Scheming. Planning. Life is great when you're the president. It stinks when you're scum.

Skunky, Kaylin, Duddie, and Samurai respectively have all been enjoying a fine friday evening. We went to the been-there-done-that store and played a fun round of a scavenger game. [Which I happened to quick check on my computer dictionary. Funny thing is the original meaning of the word scavenge, (apart from the modern scavenger hunt, fun and games type word) connects to searching for discarded waste and animals eating carrion.] When the evening started I sighed with the prospect of going to old places, places that I've been to so many times and playing a game that I've already played, but it turned out to be a fun night.