Dec 28, 2003


Tomorrow's the big day!! Andrew's coming into Jax in the afternoon, and then we'll all meet up at the train station around midnight for our 1:00am train ride. Hopefully we'll all be able to sleep some on the train because that is going to be a LONG ride! Anyway, we'll get into Philly later in the day on Tuesday and Erica will meet us at the station. We'll head back to her house in Atlantic City for the night. Then Wednesday is the big day... NEW YEARS EVE!!!! We'll get up early in the morning and take the bus into New York City, drop our stuff at Erica's cousin's apartment, be tourists for a little bit, then park our butts out in Times Square for the looooooooong wait for the big event. WE'RE GOING TO FREEZE!!!! Toni was in New York last December and she said it's the coldest she's ever been in her life! Layers, layers, layers.... that's all I have to say. After we get out of Times Square, we'll spend the night at the apartment, and I guess the next day will be our official day of tourist stuff. After that, however, our plans are a little foggy. I'm not sure exactly where we're staying or what we're doing!!! But we'll figure it all out, and it'll be a blast no matter what, so I'm not concerned.

Can't wait till tomorrow!!!

Dec 25, 2003


I hope everyone had a terrific Christmas today. Mine was great. Mom cooked some wonderful food, and the brothers and respective families came over for a while. Grandaddy's still recovering in the hospital, so obviously he and Granny didn't come over today like they usually do. As for his condition, he's making progress, but they still won't know for a while how he's going to be. He's still pretty out of it from medication, but the more he wakes up the more he fights to get out of the bed. He's never liked doctors, hospitals, medicine, or anything else, so the more aware he is of where he is, the more he gets agitated. I guess that's good in a way, because it shows that he is responsive and aware, but I'm sure it makes him a little hard to deal with at times for the nurses. My personal, un-scientific and non-medical opinion is that he is going to recover quite well. I'm not sure why I'm so confident of this, but I'm frequently right about other things, so maybe I'll be right about this, as well. As for other things, I have two days of work, a day of church, and a day of hanging out before we get on the train for Philly! At the beginning of my 18 day countdown, I thought it would never get here. Now it seems so close!!! I'm unbelievably excited! I'm going to go get a few things done before bed time. Later.

4 days...

Dec 23, 2003

6 days, 5 1/2 hours...

Then I'll be on the train headed to Philly. When we get to Philly, we'll take a bus to Atlantic City. We'll chill out for the night, and then we'll take a bus to New York City. I'M SOOOOO EXCITED!!!! I pulled out my suitcase yesterday so I could just casually start chunking articles of clothing into it throughout the week, and I quickly realized how much space sweaters take up! I'm used to traveling during the spring and summer... in Florida. Tank tops and shorts are a lot more compact! I even proudly went to Europe for eight days in the spring time with only one small suitcase and a carry-on bag. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have twice that for this trip! Or at least the luggage size may increase. Hopefully I'll be able to find a way to keep it reasonable.

Please pray for my grandad (Mom's dad) and my family. He was put in the hospital yesterday with symptoms similar to a stroke. When they did the MRI they found that he had a tumor on his brain. They took him in for surgery to remove the tumor about an hour ago. No one is sure how long he'll make it after the surgery or even if he'll make it through at all. He's quite old. Along with that, we got a call yesterday saying that my dad's uncle passed away. That one was a little more expected, but with the two things put together, it'll make for a less than cheery Christmas around here. I guess I'm feeling the least impact because I wasn't particularly close to either of them, but it's still a lot for the family to deal with during the week of Christmas. Just keep us in your prayers if you would.

On a lighter note, I had a pretty good day at work today, which says a lot since I was there at 7AM again and I worked for 8 hours when I had the slight possibility of working only 4. I got a break from the register today, which normally would NOT be a good thing because I hate working the floor, but today I did markdowns. Markdowns are fun for me because I get to work basically alone with my own little project (not really so little) and I'm pretty much in the same spot for a while rather than running around the store like everybody else. The only annoying part is that customers don't seem to notice when you're busy on a project; they want you to drop what you're doing in the men's department to come help them find something in the kids department even though there are 5 other employees standing in the kids department already! Ugh! It's not so bad, though. When the store is as busy as it has been lately, it should be expected that you'll get interruped more than you'd like. And it beats the heck out of dealing with the impatient customers who are checking out!

Anyway, that's about all for tonight. I'm gonna go get some stuff done and hopefully get to bed at a decent hour. But then again, I get to sleep in in the morning (YAY!) so getting to bed is not as much of a priority today. We'll see what happens...

(6 days, 5 hours!)

Dec 22, 2003

8 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 21, 2003

forgot about this...

I had forgotten all about this until I was talking to Krissy. I'm too tired to re-type it, so I'll copy and paste our conversation.

K: telllllllll me a story
m: just a sec....
m: hmmm....
m: a story...
m: oh here's one...
K: hehe
m: i was at work today, and there were like 5 million people in our store... so i'm ringing up a customer as quickly as possible b/c there's like 25 people in line behind her... and the phone rings...
m: i usually give it two or three rings to see if someone else picks up b/c i hate answering the phone while i'm ringing someone up...
m: but no one else could answer, so i picked up...
K: uh huh
m: the lady on the phone was like "what is the name of the dog in the truck?"... and I paused for a second to think about what she said and to figure out if I heard her right... and I said "Magic"... and she was like "pardon me?"... and I said "Magic".... and she said "Magic?".... and I said "yes ma'am"..... and she was like "M-A-G-I-C?".... and i was like "yes ma'am".....
m: and she said thank you and hung up...
m: i was like, i cannot believe she had the nerve to call on the busiest day of the year to ask the name of the Old Navy dog

Dec 20, 2003


Erin and Phillip's wedding was this afternoon. It was beautiful. Beautiful and perfect. Erin was radient. And Phillip was by far the sweetest groom ever! During the last song, which was called "The Prayer," he and Erin stood at the alter facing each other, and he whispered a prayer in her ear. If it wasn't for Ashlee (the flower girl) goofing off in the background, it would have been a really emotional moment for all of us! Anyway, it was very sweet. The reception afterward was very fun, also. It's cool that most of us who were there are friends, so we all had a great time hanging out and partying. Anyway, that's about all the news for today. Work was LONG, being the last Saturday before Christmas and all. I'm sure next week will be out of control! But then after it's over, it's off to New York we go!!!! I am SO excited!

9 days...

The morning road air was like a new dress. That made her feel the apron tied around her waist. She untied it and flung it on a low bush beside the road and walked on, picking flowers and making a bouquet. After that she came to where Joe Starks was waiting for her with a hired rig. He was very solemn and helped her to the seat beside him. With him on it, it sat like some high, ruling chair. From now on until death she was going to have flower dust and springtime sprinkled over everything. A bee for her bloom. Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.

"Green Cove Springs," he told the driver. So they were married there before sundown, just like Joe had said. With new clothes of silk and wool.

They sat on the boarding house porch and saw the sun plunge into the same crack in the earth from which the night emerged.

-Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Dec 19, 2003

another quote or two...

There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.
-Zora Neale Hurston

We always believe our first love is our last, and our last love our first.
-curtesy of Amber Jolly's profile
a great quote...

It was a spring afternoon in West Florida. Janie had spent most of the day under a blossoming pear tree in the back-yard. She had been spending every minute that she could steal from her chores under that tree for the last three days. That was to say, ever since the first tiny bloom had opened. It had called her to come and gaze on a mystery. From barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom. It stirred her tremendously. How? Why? It was like a flute song forgotten in another existence and remembered again. What? How? Why? This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep. It connected itself with other vaguely felt matters that had struck her outside observation and buried themselves in her flesh. Now they emerged and quested about her consciousness.

She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid.

After a while she got up from where she was and went over the little garden field entire. She was seeking confirmation of the voice and vision, and everywhere she found and ackknowledged answers. A personal answer for all other creations except herself. She felt an answer seeking her, but where? When? How? She found herself at the kitchen door and stumbled inside. In the air of the room where flies tumbling and singing, marrying and giving in marriage. When she reached the narrow hallway she was reminded that her grandmother was home with a sick headache. She was lying across the bed asleep so Janie tipped on out of the front door. Oh to be a pear tree--
any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the begining of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her. Where were the singing bees for her? Nothing on the place nor in her grandma's house answered her. She searched as much of the world as she could from the top of the front steps and then went on down to the front gate and leaned over to gaze up and down the road. Looking, waiting, breathing short with impatience. Waiting for the world to be made.

Through pollinated air she saw a glorious being coming up the road. In her former blindness she had known him as shiftless Johnny Taylor, tall and lean. That was before the golden dust of pollen had beglamored his rags and her eyes.

In the last stages of Nanny's sleep, she dreamed of voices. Voices far-off but persistent, and gradually coming nearer. Janie's voice. Janie talking in whispery snatches with a male voice she couldn't quite place. That brought her wide awake. She bolted upright and peered out of the window and saw Johnny Taylor lacerating her Janie with a kiss.

excerpt from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
on Catholicism...


Regarding salvation: "Catholics claim that salvation is secured by faith in Christ plus good works." John 3:16 teaches that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved. It doesn't say anyone who believes in Jesus AND does all the right things. Salvation is a free gift to us. To say that we must do good works -- or works of any kind -- to secure our salvation is to say that we must earn it, and therefore it is not a free gift. Furthermore, the concept that I could ever earn the right to be saved is beyond my comprehension. I am incapable of being worthy of anything in the presence of a perfectly holy God. I will never, ever deserve anything from Him: not salvation, not heaven, not even for good things to happen in my life. In comparison to God's perfect standard, I am completely and totally unworthy. The Bible describes our good works as filthy rags. That's how much value they have in comparison to God's perfection. Many times I have heard "filthy rags" described in more accurate detail. The phrase literally describes the rags that leapers used to clean their sores. After use, the rags were thrown into the fire to be burned so as not to spread disease. Gee, sounds like our good works are really worth something, doesn't it! Aside from the fact that our good works really are worthless, to say that they are required for salvation is to say that Christ's sacrifice was not enough. Not enough?! The God of heaven put on dirty flesh and lived in a sinful world for over 30 years, was brutally beaten and killed by His creation, and still chose to ressurrect so that we could have salvation and a relationship with Him. To call this anything less than enough seems like a huge slap in the face of God to me.

"Catholics blend justification and sanctification into one process as the believer must work to merit eternal life; Protestants believe God justifies the believer by declaring him or her righteous, and that sanctification is a lifelong process of becoming holy as God works within." At the moment we believe in Christ's sacrifice as the means of our salvation, God declares us righteous. He no longer sees us for the sinful people we really are; He now sees Jesus Christ in us, and therefore views us as righteous. That is justification. Justification is often described as "just as if I never sinned." God erases our sins and His memory of them. Sanctification, on the other hand, is basically this: when God enters your life you begin to desire the things of God. From the point of salvation onward, the Christian begins to grow in Christ which is to grow more like Christ. By no means will we ever be perfect as Christ is, but we do begin to take on His characteristics.

Not only do Catholics believe that good works are a necessary element of salvation, they also "believe they cannot pay for all their sins in this life, and at death they go to purgatory for an undetermined time to be made totally fit for heaven." During the life of a Catholic, penances are done as payment for sins. When they die, they go to purgatory for the sins they did not get a chance to do penance for. So basically, not only is Christ's sacrifice not enough, His sacrifice plus their good works is also not enough. While in purgatory, it is believed that individuals cannot help themselves any more. They either complete their entire "sentence" or are helped by other Catholics on earth. The Catholics on earth can gain indulgences for those in purgatory. "When we speak of indulgences we are speaking of God 'indulging' (being kind to) a believer by giving to the believer from an inexhaustible supply of spiritual merits that have accumulated in the Church's treasury through the work of Christ and the prayers and good works of the Virgin Mary and the saints." So the way I see it, this says a person's salvation depends on the work of Christ, Mary, the saints, the individual, and the other Catholics left on earth after the individual's death. This method of salvation seems to depend on an aweful lot.

An additional note: This didn't fit into my two-point outline, so I'll just throw it in here. I'm not comfortable with the high level of focus and attention given to Mary in the Catholic church. Many beliefs about Mary grew from the traditions of the church, but as stated before, the Catholic church holds those traditions to be equally as important as the Scriptures themselves. First, tradition taught "that Mary's virginity continued after the birth of Jesus and that she never had any more children." To begin with, this is very false because the Bible mentions the literal brothers and sisters of Jesus. [Furthermore, some would argue the point that for Mary to remain a virgin after her marriage to Joseph would have been wrong or "sinful" based on the scripture that says a man and woman become one flesh in marriage. I'll save this argument for someone else though!] Regardless, I do believe Mary and Joseph went on to have a "normal" marriage and that they had other children. The Catholic tradition also teaches the Immaculate Conception, which says that Mary "was conceived without sin and lived a sinless life." This would basically put her on an equal level with Christ Himself. Based on the teachings of the Bible, I am convinced that Jesus was the only person ever to live a sinless life. Catholic tradition also teaches the Assumption, meaning that Mary did not die but "was taken up body and soul directly to heaven." While this is possible, the Bible does not mention it. I cannot say that it did not happen; I am just curious where the Catholic church found this information or evidence for it. Here comes the big problem I have with the focus on Mary. The Catholic church views her as a "co-mediator with Christ between God and man." The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ alone is our High Priest through whom we have access to God. It teaches that no man can approach the Father except through the Son. The Catholic church added the phrase "no man goeth to Christ but by His mother." This is never taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches that we have access to God by Jesus, not by Mary first, then Jesus.

In conclusion: I'm not really sure how to wrap this all up, but I think I'll just restate what I believe is my key point. I believe the message of the Bible is simple: faith in Christ alone brings salvation. The Catholic church tries to add things to this message to make it more feasable and comprehensible for us humans. The idea that people who do good works will be the ones who are saved makes sense to us; we like it. But God doesn't work that way. He says anyone who wants salvation can have it; it is equally free to all, regardless of behavior. The receiving of salvation should compell us to be better people for the sake of Christ's name, but our salvation is not contingent upon us actually becoming better people. Nor is it contingent upon any act or deed or accumulation of such that we or any other human (saint or otherwise) could ever do or have ever done. My point in all this research, and in these three lenghty posts, was to help myself determine my thoughts on Catholicism and its doctrine. I believe what I have discovered boils down to this: I am fine with any church that teaches that salvation is through faith in Christ alone and nothing else. I understand that individual churches vary from one another in many cases, therefore this is the standard. I also understand that even in churches that teach a works-based salvation there may be individuals who disagree with the teachings, and chose to believe in salvation through faith alone. I can't understand why these individuals would chose to go to these churches, but that's not my problem. As for those who believe in Christ plus works for salvation, I am in no position to say what their true spiritual standing is. While I do believe they have some things wrong with their faith, to God those things may be no bigger than the things I have wrong with my faith... because I obviously don't believe that I have everything exactly right all the time. All I know is that faith in God is a condition of the heart which other people are not capable of judging. This faith is usually displayed through a person's life, and is therefore often obvious to others, but a person's true standing with God is between the individual and God and no one else. These are my thoughts. Do with them what you like.

Dec 18, 2003

so tired...

I just got home about 15 minutes ago. I've been gone since 8:30 this morning. That's a long day for me. I worked 9-6 and then I met the girls at Olive Garden for Erin's "girls' night out." I had all intentions of going straight home from there, but they convinced me to come over to Toni's house to learn "the dance" for the reception on Saturday. So I went, and it was fun, but I had to leave pretty early since I'll be at work at 7:00AM tomorrow. Anyway, my posts haven't been showing up on my site lately, so maybe when I post this one the rest will show up. I can always hope. I'll try to finish up my series of posts tomorrow. G'night.

11 days...

Dec 17, 2003

on Catholicism...


The statements to follow are strictly my opinion on things. I apologize for any toes that are stepped on. As I form and explain my opinion on the things to follow, I will do my absolute best to base those opinions on Scripture and to avoid allowing my Protestant upbringing to give me a predisposed negative outlook on Catholicism. As always, I attempt to form and justify opinions on my own rather than simply believing what I'm told. As a further note, there are also things within the Protestant church with which I disagree. Future rants will surely be posted on such topics!

Regarding authority: As stated in the previous post, Catholics believe Scripture and "Sacred Tradition" hold equal authority. I have no problem with traditions in and of themselves, but I do not feel comfortable saying that they have a position of authority in the Christian life. To say this would be exactly like the Pharisees and Sadducees that Christ so often reprimanded. Christ scolded them for holding their traditions and teachings on the same level as the commands of God. In the book of Matthew, Jesus quotes Isaiah saying "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:8,9). ["Me" refers to God.] I will say, however, that oftentimes in Protestant churches the same thing happens. We begin to value our traditions as though they were "God-ordained." We would never say that this is the case, but indeed it is at times. At least in the Catholic church, in this case their words and actions match up!

Secondly, Catholicism teaches that the church "has been entrusted to interpret the Bible for Catholics, who are not to interpret it for themselves." The book sums up pretty well what I believe: "Protestants say that individual Christians can trust the Holy Spirit for guidance as they read and interpret the Bible for themselves." This is not to say that each person will have a different "interpretation" of what the Bible says; it just means that as individuals read a passage of Scripture, the Holy Spirit may use that passage in different ways for different people. Verses and passages can have various areas of application, especially dependant upon what situations an individual is going through. These various applications are not something the church is able to tell you or teach you; they are simply things that the Holy Spirit must speak to the hearts of the individuals as they read the Scriptures.

"Catholicism teaches that Peter was the first pope...." So far, I have no problem with that. Pope, priest, head pastor, head minister, whatever you want to call it... I believe it is biblical for a body of believers to have some type of human leader. Whether or not there should be one worldwide head leader or not may be up for debate, but I'll skip that part of the discussion for now. The problem I have with the concept of the pope is what the book mentions: "Catholics teach that the pope is infallible...; Protestants reply that no human being is infallible...." All humans are fallible. We all sin. We all make mistakes. We all mess up sometimes. To say that a particular person (other than Christ, who is God in the flesh), even for a particular time, is infallible is completely contrary to the teachings of the Bible.

to be continued...
on Catholicism...


To begin with, I'm going to quote straight from one of the books I have been reading, which touches on some of the key issues.


Regarding authority: Catholics claim that Scripture and "Sacred Tradition" are equal in authority. Protestants say the Bible is the sole guide for faith and practice (see 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 1 John 5:13). Rome says the magisterium (teaching authority of the Roman Church) has been entrusted to interpret the Bible for Catholics, who are not to interpret it for themselves. Protestants say that individual Christians can trust the Holy Spirit for guidance as they read and interpret the Bible for themselves (see John 5:39; 14:26). Catholicism teaches that Peter was the first pope, and that through apostolic succession other popes have succeeded him, each serving as "vicar of Christ"; Protestants insist the apostles had equal authority and there was no "pope"... (see Matt. 18:18; John 20:23). Catholics teach that the pope is infallible when he speaks "ex cathedra" (lit. "from the chair" or with authority) on matters of faith and morals; Protestants reply that no human being is infallible, and only Christ is head of the Church (see Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:18).

Regarding salvation: Catholics claim that salvation is secured by faith in Christ plus good works and grace conferred through the seven sacraments of the Church; Protestants reply that salvation is secured through
sola fide (faith alone) in Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross (see Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8,9). Catholics blend justification and sanctification into one process as the believer must work to merit eternal life; Protestants believe God justifies the believer by declaring him or her righteous, and that sanctification is a lifelong process of becoming holy as God works within (see John 17:15-19; Phil. 2:12,13). Catholics believe they cannot pay for all their sins in this life, and at death they go to purgatory for an undetermined time to be made totally fit for heaven; Protestants, believing they are justified by faith in Christ and nothing else, trust that they will go straight to heaven where sanctification is completed in Christ's presence (see 2 Cor. 5:6-10; 1 John 2:28-3:2).

This was the summary at the end of a chapter in the book So What's the Difference? by Fritz Ridenour. [If anyone who is Catholic reads this and disagrees with the information it provides about Catholicism, please leave a comment.]
Katie-Gail has a blog! I'm excited! Give it a look sometime. She's a way-cool girl, so I'm sure she'll have some good stuff to say at times.

Dec 16, 2003

been doing my research...

I was reading up on Scott's posts the other day cause I've been lagging behind a little lately. One in particular got my attention. It mentioned a few things about the Catholic church and some different points of view concerning it. As I read the post, I was reminded that I am not totally sure how I feel about Catholicism. Today I decided to do something about that. After my devotions this evening, I pulled out the two books I have about various denominations and started "doing my research." It has been very informative and thought-provoking for me. I don't want to get started on it tonight for fear that I may stay up far too late writing, so I will share the details of my search tomorrow. Until then, sweet dreams.
sitting down...

Today was my first day back at work. It was good, but seven and a half hours of standing on your feet takes some getting used to. All went well, though. I remembered all my necessary cashieer skills! I'm glad I'm off tomorrow because that ensures that I can go to church tomorrow night to hear Danny speak. Thursday night the girls are supposed to be taking Erin out for her "bachelorette" night. Then the wedding's on Saturday. I'm really excited about that. I know it's going to be beautiful, and the reception should be a blast! That's about all the new news for now.

THIS is what I will be seeing in a little over two weeks! I can't wait!

13 days...

Dec 15, 2003

"Come away with me" by Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can't tempt us
With their lies

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows
knee high
So won't you try to come

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountain top
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

14 days...

Dec 13, 2003

i'm getting bored...

I've been home a little more than 48 hours and I'm bored! I know that's about to change though, because church is tomorrow and then I start work. I don't work on Monday, but I've got to go in and fill out paperwork. Since I'll be at the mall anyway, I might do a little shopping. Work officially starts for me on Tuesday. I actually shouldn't be as bored as I am; I hung out at Allison's on Thursday night, and she and I went to the Nutcracker on Friday night with Eric and Andy. Between those two events, I did some running around with Mom, which included a trip to Target where I got a way-cool sweater and a pair of track pants. Today I went to Wal-Mart with Mom, which is nice, cause I just throw stuff in the cart that I want to get and she winds up paying for it! That's always nice. I got this awesome 8-hour lipstick... it's INCREDIBLE!! Seriously, I put it on in the car on the way home from the store, which was at like 1:00, and it still looks fresh at 10:00! I'm so excited! Smudge-proof lipstick... possibly the best purchase of my life! Andrew, you should be happy, too! (Whoa... that comment was a little out of line for me! LOL!) Anyway, the Christmas program is going on at church this weekend. I'm sad that I'm not able to be in it this year, but it just was not possible for me to learn all the music ahead of time and then make it to the last rehearsal before the performance. But I am really anxious to see it tomorrow night. I'm sure it'll be awesome. That's about all the exciting news in my life for now. Updates to come.

16 days till NY trip!!

Dec 11, 2003


I've been at home for less than four hours and I already miss everybody. It's not the four hours, it's the month that lies ahead. But luckily (if that's what you want to call it) I'll be working for most of the break, and being that I work in retail and this is the holiday season, I'm sure I'll be staying busy. That, at least, should make the time pass a little quicker. And on the bright side, it's 18 days till our trip to New York!! YAY!! I am so incredibly excited! Anyway, I'm going in to meet with my manager tomorrow, and I should be starting work on Monday. And once again, work will be the story of my life for a while.

To all a good night!

PS I forgot to mention that I just got done watching the saddest movie ever made: "Riding in Cars with Boys." It's honestly heart-wrenching. If you've never seen it, watch it and then vow not to let yourself ever become like the characters in it.

Dec 8, 2003

a week has elapsed...

Yeah, the semester's flying by (or should I say flew by) and posting has not been top on the list lately. So for those who care, I'll start with the latest updates. Hmmm... where to begin... Well, for starters, life is crazy at times. There has been immeasurable amounts of drama at points here on campus and elsewhere. Most of it hasn't directly involved me, but I definitely heard about ALL of it. On a better note, Laci and Greg are dating, and Andrew and I are dating. We all went out for a double date on Friday and had a really good time. The weather's finally decided to turn cool here. I'm enjoying that so far. Oh, and the best news EVER... I get to go to New York City for New Year's Eve!!! I'm soooo excited! Krissy, Christina, Andrew, and I are taking a TRAIN up there and meeting Erica (cause she lives in Jersey) and we're staying at her house. I can't wait! Other than that, finals are this week and then I'm going home on Thursday. I'll work most of the break, other than the week of our trip. That's about all my news for now. If I think of anything else to write about I'll try to get a chance to post this week. Bye for now.

Nov 30, 2003

random quotes...

A mistake is evidence that someone has tried to do something.

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.

Better to let 'em wonder why you didn't talk than why you did.

Tact is the ability to close your mouth before someone else wants to.

I didn't intend for there to be a common theme among these quotes... they were just all from the same section of a book!

Nov 26, 2003

good times...

It has turned out to be a good week! Mostly everything has been wonderful. Today I only have one class, and after lunch I'm headed home for Thanksgiving break. That should be nice. Anyway, not much else to say today, except that I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Later.

Nov 23, 2003

Torment. Excitement. A mixture. Anticipation. Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of messing up. Excitement about the possibilities. Nervous about whether or not it's "right." Nervous about whether or not it's real. What if it's not real? What if it's an illusion? What if it is real? What then? What if I'm not making it up, not imagining? Then we have the real issue. Then I have to come face to face with a million other things. Maybe not a million. Maybe two or three. But they're huge. Huge like a million. Huge "other things." Are they worth the fear? I'm not sure. But until I have to face them or until they go away, the fear will remain. Patience. My advice to anyone else would be "have patience." I wish they would tell me that. "What are you going to do?" they ask. Do? I'm not going to do anything. I'm going to be me. I'm going to let life happen. I'm going to let things happen as long as I'm comfortable with them happening. When I become uncomfortable with things that are happening, I will take the necessary steps to alter the situation. It's not my place to "do" anything right now. It's my place to have patience. Patience to wait. So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to wait. I'm going to be me and I'm going to wait and I'm going to do what I think is right at the right times.

And waiting is far harder than anything I could ever "do."

Nov 20, 2003


I'm having a particularly good day and just thought I'd share that. I usually have one class on Thursdays, but it was cancelled for today, so I got to sleep late. I got up, took a shower and stuff, and went to lunch. I hung out in the room for a little bit, and then went outside to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather and read my Bible a little. Brenna called me to find out where I was, and then she came and kidnapped me and we got smoothies and sat by the fort. It was wonderful... I haven't gotten to have a real conversation with her in FOREVER. I'm about to go lift weights with Krissy and Christina which I'm really excited about. Then, it's off to the Intramural soccer game to watch Andrew and his buddies. I like soccer games. I used to go during high school and shiver in the cold... good times. I've only been to one of the "real" soccer games here... it was pretty good. Tonight will be "just like old times" though because the weather's nice and cool. Okay, gotta go now. Later.

Nov 18, 2003

other quotes...

Let us realize that what happens round us is largely outside our control, but that the way we choose to react to it is inside our control.

The really happy man is the one who can enjoy the scenery when he has to take a detour.

Blessed is the man who digs a well from which another may draw faith.

Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

All sunshine makes a desert.
quotes on love...

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
-James Baldwin

Restraint without love is barbarity.
Love without restraint commits suicide.

It is as absurd to pretend that one cannot love the same woman [person] always as to pretend that a good artist needs several violins to play a piece of music.

We like someone because. We love someone although.

Love is the passionate and abiding desire on the part of two or more people to produce together conditions under which each can be, and spontaneously express, his real self; to produce together an intellectual soil and an emotional climate in which each can flourish, far superior to what either could achieve alone.

Nov 16, 2003

second random post of the night...

I was just thinking about how in college you wind up becoming friends with the most random people. Not that the people in particular are random, it's just that you have no specific "reason" that you became friends with them. In high school, you are friends with the people who have the same interests/activities as you, but in college you meet people who live on your hall or eat lunch at the same time as you. It's rare that you actually are involved or interested in the same things, yet you become friends anyway. And it's a blast! How does that work? I'm not sure. But I'm glad it happens.

Nov 15, 2003

a little random and not thought out...

Okay, so I was thinking at the concert the other night about what non-Christians think of Christians. The typical stereotype is that we have no fun at all and we're quiet and reserved all the time. YEAH RIGHT!! And if asked to make an analogy of the Christian life, most non-Christians would liken it to something similar to a monastery. Honestly, however, I think my Christian life is a lot more like a rock concert! "Rock Concert Christianity".... that's what I'm gonna call it from now on! Seriously, though... if you think about it, true Christians who honestly believe what they say they believe are going to be excited/passionate about their faith. That doesn't mean we're going to bash people over the head with it; it just means it's the central aspect of who we are and we're going to be excited and passionate about it and enjoy it. Just like somebody's favorite rock band. If your favorite band is coming to town in a month, you basically count down the days till the concert and get more and more excited about it as it gets closer. Then, when you're actually at the concert, you're the most obnoxious you've ever been in your whole life 'cause being there is the most exciting thing you could possibly think of. You're passionate and excited about your favorite band because you (obviously) believe they are THE BEST in the world. And when you hear that someone else doesn't like them, you can't comprehend why not! Okay, I'm not going to try to connect every point of this to my analogy, but the basic point might be summed up in the last two sentences of it: you're passionate and excited about it because you believe it's the best and you can't understand why someone else wouldn't be. Furthermore, you want to expose them to it in hopes that they might gain the same level of excitement as you have.

I don't know if this made any sense to anyone, but it was in my head, so I wrote about it. As usual, it may only make sense to me, but I'm okay with that! Later.

Nov 13, 2003


Guess what today is........ THE DAVID CROWDER CONCERT!!!!! It's the Passion concert with David Crowder and Chris Tomlin. I'm soooo excited!!! It's going to be incredible! It'll be a little different because I'll be with St. Augustine people and Jacksonville people at the same time, which doesn't usually happen too much. It'll be cool though. I'M SOOOO EXCITED!!! Did I say that already?!

Anyway, the first part of my week was a little hectic. My big case study paper was due on Monday and my huge classroom management plan was due on Tuesday. I was up till 2:30am Monday night. But the rest of the week has been particularly good. Wednesday most classes were cancelled for registration. I still had ASL at 4:00, but it was even a short class because we got to leave after our test. Speaking of registration, I got all my classes perfectly organized for the rest of my time here at Flagler. I just hope I actually get all the ones I signed up for because if I don't, that'll throw everything off. AND (this will mean absolutely nothing to most of you) Grammar Theory will count for a Social Science! That's exciting news! Fusion was awesome last night. Jill spoke. She's so good. Very powerful message. I hope she speaks again this semester. Today was a good day because I got to wear Krissy's cool pin-striped pants to my classroom observation. Then, when I came back I actually found a parking spot! A decent one! At Flagler, that is cause for excitement. For those who don't know, we get very creative with our parking here. A common statement is that if you don't feel like a contortionist when you get out of your car, get back in and try the parking again... you've got to get closer. Literally, you are only allowed to use 75% of a parking space here. If there are not 4 cars to every 3 spaces, something is wrong! Anyway, enough about Flagler's parking problems. I'm back to thinking about the concert tonight and how awesome it's going to be!!! And then, tomorrow Krissy, Erica, and Andrew are coming to my house! Yay! It'll be a fun weekend. That's about all for now. Tune in later!

Nov 6, 2003

Two songs...

"DELIVER ME" by David Crowder Band (words and music by John & Helena Marsh)

Deliver me out of the sadness
Deliver me from all of the madness
Deliver me courage to guide me
Deliver me Your strength inside me

All of my life
I've been in hiding
Wishing there was someone just like You
Now that You're here
Now that I've found You
I know that You're the One to pull me through

Deliver me loving and caring
Deliver me giving and sharing
Deliver me this cross that I'm bearing


Oh, deliver me

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You
How I've proved You o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Deliver me

"NO ONE LIKE YOU" by David Crowder Band

You are more beautiful
Than anyone ever
Everyday You're the same
You never change, no never

And how could I ever deny
The love of my Savior
You are to me everything
All I need forever

How could You be so good?

There is no one like You
There has never ever been anyone like You

Everywhere You are there
Earth or air surrounding
I'm not alone, the heavens sing along
My God You're so astounding
How could You be so good to me
Eternally I believe

Nov 4, 2003

A funny story...

Allie e-mailed me the other day telling me about her week and this was the concluding story. I laughed very, very hard. (Hope ya don't mind me sharing it, Al!)

the weekend was good. friday night i ended up going to the fall festival and helping out with the college "booth" which mind you, it turned out to be this 20 ft. blow up slide which ran by a generator. well i was at the top yelling "go" for the kids to go one at a time and jamie was at the bottom of the slide helping the kids off. all of a sudden - i look over and the blown up stairwell that all the kids are climbing up starts deflating ! megan, it felt like a Titanic experience... we started sinking ! the sides the of the slide starting folding over the kids so i was literally picking the kids up and throwing them down the slide that was not yet deflating. the next thing i know. the only thing between me and jamie and the parking lot is the deflated slide. megan- it was SO scary- hahaha but now that i look back it was hilarious ! the generator had went out and WABAM - there we all went.

Thanks for the laugh Allie! I hope the rest of you enjoyed the story as well.

Nov 2, 2003

Wow! It's been a whole week since I posted last! Where does the time go? This week has been VERY busy and long. Stuff that happened on Wednesday seems like forever ago. I'm playing in the orchestra for the theater production that's going on currently here at Flagler. It's been fun but time-consuming. It occupied EVERY night of the past week for me... practices Monday through Wednesday and shows Thursday through Saturday with a matinee show this afternoon. Actually, I skipped out on rehearsal on Wednesday so I could go to Fusion. And I'm glad I did 'cause we had game night and it was way fun! Thursday was a rough day for me, but Thursday night after the show it was all better and I went to the Halloween "Midnight Breakfast" which was pretty good. There were three or four movies on the lawn this week that I missed out on, which I'm a little sad about, but that's okay. Friday night (Halloween) Krissy, Erica, Christina, and I went to All-Stars for a little bit: Erica & I as cowgirls and Krissy & Christina as... well, that's not really important! (haha!) All-Stars was a little to hectic for me though... Halloween's probably a bad night to go anyway, especially at midnight. So we left there and went to Steak-n-Shake, where there was a group of obnoxiously drunk people. But the food was good, so we were happy. Saturday was wonderful because I got to catch up on my sleep! Then Krissy and I took a trip to Wal-Mart and then to the Lincolnville Festival where we were told we looked like sisters...?... and we bought cool beaded bracelets. Then I colored her hair. Then we went back to the festival to get some yummy food. Of course I had to leave earlier than everybody else to go to the show. Church today was really great. I enjoy it there so much. So that's a recap of my week.

In an effort to say something that might be somewhat worth reading, I'll try to sum up some of the things that have been on my mind lately. It is vitally important to be REAL with people. Nobody needs a fake. No one profits anything from us being fake with them. And as far as Christian/non-Christian friendships, if we want the non-Christians to come to understand the importance of the things we say we believe, we HAVE TO live out our faith. In fact, I would almost go so far as to say that it's NOT faith UNTIL you live it out. "Faith without works is dead." To say you believe one thing and live something different from that is not true faith or even true belief. Non-Christians are often searching for something to fill "the void" in their lives -- whether or not they will admit that -- but preaching your faith to your lost friends often will not cause them to come to accept it; it must be lived out on your part. They honestly just need somebody to love them with a real love... real, unmotivated, Christ-like love... and somebody who will accept them just as they are. I mean, that's what Christ does for us, so we should be willing to do that to others. Just a thought.

Oct 26, 2003


I was thinking about the words to the song I posted yesterday (stars) and I really like the message it has. We are like the moon. (Allie, I'm sure that excites you!) The second verse of the song talks about how the moon reflects the sunlight. Later in the song it says And how could such a King shine His light on me... And I want to shine, I want to be light... 'Cause I've got nothing of my own to give to you but this light that shines on me shines on you. All we are are reflectors of God's glorious light. It's funny how God makes everything work together because this morning at church Pastor Ron preached on being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. One of his main points was that we are reflections of God's light and not our own light. When people look at us they will see the light of God rather than seeing our light (for like the moon, we have no light of our own, even if we think we do). That's exactly what this song is talking about. So that's all I wanted to say tonight. We're moons! Go out and reflect God this week.

Oct 25, 2003

"Stars" by David Crowder Band (from "Illuminate")

You should see the stars tonight
How they shimmer shine so bright
Against the black they look so white
Coming down from such a height
To reach me now
You reach me now

You should see the moon in flight
Cutting 'cross the misty night
Softly dancing in sunshine
Reflections of its light
Reach me now
You reach me now

And how could such a thing
Shine its light on me and make everything
Beautiful again

And you should feel the sun in spring
Coming out after a rain
Suddenly all is green
Sunshine on everything
I can feel it now
I feel You now

And you should hear the angels sing
All gathered 'round their King
More beautiful than you could dream
I've been quietly listening
You can hear 'em now
I hear them now

And how could such a King
Shine His light on me
And make everything

And I want to shine
I want to be light
I want to tell you
It'll be alright
Yeah, I want to shine
And I want to fly
Just to tell you now
It'll be alright
It'll be alright, yeah
It'll be alright

'Cause I've got nothing of my own
To give to you
But this light that shines on me
Shines on you
And makes everything
Beautiful, again

It'll be alright
It'll be alright

I went camping last night at Anastasia campground with a bunch of people from church. It was so fun. More than just fun, it was incredible to sit back and take in God's creation more than I usually do. We sat around the campfire and sang as many worship songs as we could come up with, accompanied by Jill on the guitar. In the middle of that, we shared times when we've seen something awesome about God's creation and what that has meant to us. We sat around singing till very late into the night. Afterwards, most everybody headed to bed. Erica, Chris, Forrest, and I chose to go out to the beach to see the stars. It was amazing. We laid out on the sand in the pitch black and stared up into the vast expanse, naming constellations and pointing out interesting stars (and flickering green asteroids that were surely headed for our destruction!). God is amazing. Just to think that He made all of creation for us to enjoy blows me away. We headed back to camp around 2:00 am. This morning Erica, Phyllis, Billy, and I woke up early and went back out to the beach to watch the sunrise and pray together. Talk about incredible! It was completely amazing to watch the transformation of the sky as the sun crept up over the horizon. The gray rain clouds that were off in the distance changed from gray to purple to red to orange, with ever changing shadows and reflections. The waves and ripples in the water relfected the sky from every direction, making part of a wave dark and part of it red and part of it white. It was a sea of colors. I guess I haven't watched the sun actually rise in a long time because it amazed me how fast the sun moves once it breaks over the horizon a little. I'd say it took from 30 to 45 seconds to go from not seeing the sun at all to seeing it in its entirety. It was awesome. The rest of our time at the campground today went well, also. It was fun just to have a day/night to get away from the "daily grind" of school and everything else. God is completely amazing and I'm so glad I got a chance to admire His creation a little this weekend.

Take time to look around.

Oct 22, 2003

Sorry for the lack of posting. Having a dry spell currently, as far as writing goes. Hope to have something to say soon! Later.

Oct 17, 2003

A shining light, a beacon of hope...

Yes, yes, I know my posts have been few and far between lately. I'm sorry. But life gets a little crazy at times! Today I think I may have quite a lot to say, though, so be prepared!

I just had a meeting with Paul Carpino, the career counselor here at Flagler. As I told Erica earlier, I didn't really know what to expect, but I did expect and fear that he would sit down, look at me, and say, "so what do you want to do with your life?" And essentially, he did just that. Anybody who's been keeping up with me in the past few weeks knows that this is the exact question that I have been struggling to answer for myself, so I sure as heck didn't want somebody else to ask me! But he asked. And I told him what I've come up with so far. I hesitantly began by informing him that I'm not totally sure that I even want to teach. [*gasp!* are education majors allowed to say that???] I proceeded to explain that the reason I am unsure of what I want to do is that I have so many interests in so many different areas (art, language, music, etc.) that I'm having trouble focusing on one thing that I "want to do." I expected him to give me the typical "hmmm.... I see" like a doctor after receiving the list of symptoms from the patient and then to spout off a cliche solution to my "problem," but that wasn't what he did at all. In fact, he seemed almost pleased with my answer. He mentioned that we all have to have a job that "pays the rent" but we should also continue to pursue what we love even if it doesn't make the money, and sometimes what we love will start making money and we can dump the other job. He began by telling me that he had corresponded with Jim Davis, the writer of Garfield, over the summer. (I thought to myself "Does this really have to do with me, or is it just a story he likes to tell?") The story actually had quite a good point. Long story short, Jim Davis never had any idea that people would even like Garfield, let alone that it would explode into the multi-million dollar thing that it is today. The reason Jim got to where he is today is because of his philosophy on life. He says, "Do what makes you happy, whether it is gardening, selling, or writing.... If you do something constructive that makes you happy, you'll work harder. The harder you work, the better you get. The better you get, the better you'll do. Success is bound to accompany the happiness." Mr. Carpino told me that it's all about having a vision or a plan. He said that when he was in graduate school he sat down and wrote out a plan of all the things he wanted to do. He got a little crazy on the details, even down to what kind of office he would have and what the view from his window would be! I don't think I'll take it that far, but the idea is really good. He said that writing out a plan makes it a lot easier to accomplish what you want. He said that years later he looked back at what he had written and like 95% of it was accurate to what actually happened. "So I would advise you to make a plan" he said. I told him that I've been messing around with some ideas lately, and he asked what they were. So I told him about Rex and Marti and their furniture shop, and how Marti and I have talked about me possibly working for them over the summer. I told him that I could totally see myself in that kind of job because I would absolutely love it. I could see myself having a job like that (maybe not that exact job, but a similar one) full time because I would enjoy it and it would make the necessary money, and then I could do other things on the side like photography and sing in a choir or work with a kids choir and maybe even teach a class here and there. Most teachers and professors, I think, would find my ideas a little random and lacking focus, but he seemed to think I was right on track. He called me an "aligned" person, which to him is a great thing to be. He said it's a great quality to have and there aren't many people who are truly aligned. That definitely boosted my confidence a little! So I'm starting to sort through things a little better now, and I'm really glad I didn't come away feeling like I'm wasting my time being here or being in Education. In not so many words, Mr. Carpino implied that it was fine if I never "used" my major. That makes me happy. He told me "Don't let the nay-sayers discourage you from doing what you want to do." I was like, "yeah, they're the ones who hate their jobs anyway!" So I am greatly encouraged today. I am convinced that I will have a wonderful life with a job that I enjoy, or at least a job that makes money and hobbies I enjoy! It's a good day.

Oct 14, 2003

At long last...

I'm just now getting a chance to post. And I don't even really have time to say much. I will say that Sonburst was great once again. Here are the words to one of the songs we did that I really liked.

We lift our hands in the sanctuary
We lift our hands to give You the glory
We lift our hands to give You the praise
And we will praise You for the rest of our days
We will praise You for the rest of our days

Jesus, we give You the praise
Emanuel, we lift up Your name
Risen Savior, coming Messiah
We will praise You for the rest of our days
We will praise You for the rest of our days

[We clap our hands]

[We sing our songs]

Yes, Lord, for the rest of our days

Oct 9, 2003

Last post of the week...

Yeah, I won't get a chance to post again because I'm going on a retreat with InterVarsity called Sonburst. I went last year and it was like the best thing I've ever done. We're leaving tomorrow after classes. I'm SOOO excited! It will be great to have a weekend with no homework and total focus on things of God. I'm sure there will be some good stuff to post about when I get back. So that's all for now. Later.

Oct 8, 2003

"this is a [post] about the two loves of my life..."

In order of affection: Tazo Chai Tea Latte and Tazo Chai Tea Cream Frappachino. Yumm! Monday night was our much-anticipated first trip of the semester to Barnes and Noble. It was then that I discovered the latte. Today I had a craving for another one, so on my way to my elementary school I stopped in again. I decided to try the frappachino. It was different but quite good.

Monday was a weird day. One of those where everything feels as though it's going wrong, yet God spoke in very clear ways in the midst of it all. I was struggling with thoughts of my future... where I'm going, what I'm doing, etc. At InterVarsity we sang "No Sacrifice," the words of which I have posted here on more than one occasion. I needed that song so badly. Here go the lyrics once more...
to You I give my life
not just the parts I want to.
to You I sacrifice
these dreams that I hold on to.

Your thoughts are higher than mine,
Your words are deeper than mine,
Your love is stronger than mine.
This is no sacrifice, here's my life.

to You I give the gifts
Your love has given me.
how can I hoard the treasure
that You designed for free? (chorus)

to You I give my future
as long as it may last.
to You I give my present.
to You I give my past.

The speaker on Monday said something to the effect of "if you're comfortable, you're missing out on something." I thought to myself, "well, I must not be missing out cause I'm really uncomfortable right now!" Honestly, Monday was a really rough day. But I really needed to hear what the speaker had to say. He talked about having faith to take a risk and just trust God. He mentioned how we sing the words to the song I just posted, yet we just want to sit in the boat instead of stepping out on the water.

Good things have happened in the last 24 hours. God is starting to show me the answers to the prayers I prayed on Monday. I've been able to get a lot of my thoughts together. I know He's in control. I know something incredible is going to take place in my life in the next few years. I'm excited.

Oct 7, 2003

"Time is the writer's biggest enemy."

Oct 4, 2003


"...their fingers catching, their hearts lacing,
her brown hair curling 'round pink and yellow wildflowers."

--the last two lines of "Pink and Yellow Wildflowers" by Terri L. Gamble, a fellow Flagler student (I'll post the whole poem another time)

Oct 3, 2003

Boy, what an exciting day... just kidding. So I woke up for class this morning (and I actually went to breakfast today) and in my psychology class there was this professor dude who wasn't our usual teacher. He was like, "Dr. Noboloff is unable to be here today, so I'm supposed to put in this video for you and you're supposed to stay till it's over." So we had to watch a 20 minute ANIMATED video about the effects of drugs on the human brain. It was honestly the worst thing I've ever had to sit through. I was really shocked that only one person left class since there was no professor and we didn't take roll. My second (and last) class of the day was fine. After that, I went to the 95 Cordova cafe and sat out on the patio balcony thingy and read some Plato. Lost focus after a while and started sketching random things on my paper. Got a phone call from Brenna. Read a little more. Walked down St. George Street a bit. Walked back to school. Read some more out in the gazebo, where some of the philosophy majors were sitting around with one of those Aborigonal Austrailian instrument thingies... you know, those long wood tube things that really only have one pitch, therefore I find them very boring... yeah, that was a little weird. Couldn't take Plato any more, so I finally came inside. Did a few random things for a while in the room. Took a much needed nap and slept through dinner. Krissy and I had Tang and pickles later! Yumm! Watched Krissy get ready for her date. Cooked some Romen and watched "Maid in Manhattan." That was my day.

Oct 2, 2003


I wonder how many times we misinterpret people's actions to mean something other than what they truely mean. I know I do it a lot. There's innumerable situations right now even where I wonder if a friend or I have misinterpreted things completely. Maybe we see a conversation taking place between other people and we try to make up what was being said and we somehow convince ourselves that that indeed was the actual conversation. Or maybe we hear a comment and make the false assumption that it was about ourselves. Or we simply misread people's reactions. Maybe they're just tired, but we assume something is wrong because they don't seem to be themselves. The list goes on and on. I guess I'm being taught that you shouldn't make assumptions about people's actions. You should gather the facts before forming your opinion. Know what's going on instead of just thinking you know. As Socrates would say, the wise man is not the one who says he knows, but the one who says he does not know.
One of my many favorite songs...

I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, Maker of heaven, Creator of the earth.

Oh how I need You, Lord, You are my only hope, You are my only friend
So I will wait for You to come and rescue me, come and give me life... give me life.

Oct 1, 2003


Neon signs. Big, flashing neon signs. That's what we should have. They should be above every person's head, telling us things we need to know about them. Like "Sincere" or "Jerk" or "Fake" or "Honest." So often we're left to wonder and figure these things out on our own. So often this becomes a very difficult task. It would be so much simpler if we just knew. If it were just told to us. Then we could skip the figuring out stage and get right into getting to know the people we want to get to know. In a perfect world, we would just know. But alas, ours is not a world of perfection, so we are left to figure it all out.

Sep 30, 2003

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9/NIV

Sep 29, 2003


Why am I so stubborn? Why don't I get it? God has told me -- has promised me -- that if I seek Him, everything else will just fall into place. Yet I seek my own desires instead of His, and nothing really works out! Tonight He reminded me that if I would just leave things up to Him, the things I want will fall into my lap before I even notice. "Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day" (Rainer Maria Rilke).

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."
Reach down, please touch my soul... I've given away pieces and it needs to be made whole... purge me in your healing flood... wash away the emptiness, fill me with your love... I want to taste of your mercy... I want to drink in your life... I want rest in your fullness... I want to run in your light... oh breathe in me... oh breathe in me... breath of life

-- "Breath of Life" by Among Thorns

Sep 28, 2003

"Painting Pictures of Egypt" by Sara Groves

I don't want to leave here;
I don't want to stay.
It feels like pinching to me either way.
And the places I long for the most
Are the places where I've been.
They are calling out to me like a long lost friend.

It's not about losing faith;
It's not about trust.
It's all about comfortable
When you move so much.
And the place I was wasn't perfect
But I had found a way to live.
And it wasn't milk or honey
But then neither is this.

I've been painting pictures of Egypt,
Leaving out what it lacked.
The future feels so hard
And I want to go back.
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned.
And those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned.

The past is so tangible;
I know it by heart.
Familiar things are never easy to discard.
I was dying for some freedom,
But now I hesitate to go,
I am caught between the promise
And the things I know. (chorus)

If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it.
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it.
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
For Krissy...

Don't you hate it when the last few bites of cereal will never get into your spoon and just keep floating around the bowl? I do.

Sep 27, 2003

Where is he?

Searching. Wondering. Waiting. Where is he? Is he here already and I just don't see him? Or is he somewhere else still? Who knows. I sure don't; I have no idea. I wish I knew. But am I supposed to know? Obviously not, because I don't. Can he see me? I don't really think so. I think we'll see each other at the same time. But what if he can? What if he can see me and I just can't see him? Is that possible? Hmmm. At any rate, the waiting sure is getting hard. Or boring. Hard and boring, I think. Is he waiting like I am? I mean, is it hard and boring for him, too? Or is he so preoccupied with everything else that he doesn't even realize the wait? Like the doctor's office. All it takes is a really intriguing magazine article and the wait is insignificant. But what to do when there's no magazines? A hard, boring wait. You become consumed with the fact that you're waiting. I'm consumed. I shouldn't be. I have plenty of magazines. But I guess it's like waiting to find out if you've got cancer. The magazines are of no help then. I'm not waiting for bad news, though. I have no reason to be anxious. Yet at times the anticipation is excruciating. Why is the smell of brownies baking so tormenting? Yeah, that's how it is. Like brownies. I know -- I know for sure -- they're going to taste incredible, but the wait is so hard. And I can't focus on how interesting the magazine is because the smell is there distracting me. So I am consumed with the fact that I am waiting. Searching. Wondering. Waiting.

Sep 26, 2003

Another quote from Martens. This one's for you, Laci.

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. (Rainer Maria Rilke -- "Letters to a Young Poet")

The following was a post from L.Martens at Wander, Worshipper, Lover of Leaving. I really like it.

Cutting the Strings

"Let us return once more to the image of the puppet theatre that our argument conjured up before. We see the puppets dancing on their miniature stage, moving up and down as the strings pull them around, following the prescribed course of their various little parts. We learn to understand the logic of this theatre and we find ourselves in its motions. We locate ourselves in society and thus recognize our own position as we hang from its subtle strings. For a moment we see ourselves as puppets indeed. But then we grasp a decisive difference between the puppet theatre and our own drama. Unlike the puppets, we have the possibility of stopping in our movements, looking up and perceiving the machinery by which we have been moved. In this act lies the first step towards freedom." (Peter L Berger)

Sep 25, 2003

I must be going crazy...

...because I just sat down and read all of Book 1 (which means chapter 1) of Plato's Republic in one sitting, AND I ENJOYED IT! Socrates is incredible! PRAISE GOD I'm done with the Pre-Socratic book that we had to read because it was as dry as could be. I have nothing to talk about today, so I'll stop rather than ramble. Later.

Sep 22, 2003

Everything happens for a reason...

...which is what I truly believe. I'm several days behind on my Bible reading, according to the schedule I'm trying to follow. This afternoon, however, it seemed that God had a reason for me to be "behind." Today I sat down to read Habakkuk, which I "should" have read on Friday. The following is the intro to the book from The Message, which I thought really applied to Laura's comment on the previous post. But maybe that's just me. Who knows. Hopefully this will mean something to somebody though!

Living by faith is a bewildering venture. We rarely know what's coming next, and not many things turn out the way we anticipate. It is natural to assume that since I am God's chosen and beloved, I will get favorable treatment from the God who favors me so extravagantly. It is not unreasonable to expect that from the time that I become his follower, I will be exempt from dead ends, muddy detours, and cruel treatment from the travelers I meet daily who are walking the other direction. That God-followers don't get preferential treatment in life always comes as a surprise. But it's also a surprise to find that there are a few men and women within the Bible who show up alongside us at such moments.
The prophet Habakkuk is one of them, and a most welcome companion he is. Most prophets, most of the time, speak God's Word
to us. They are preachers calling us to listen to God's words of judgment and salvation, confrontation and comfort. They face us with God as he is, not as we imagine him to be. Most prophets are in-your-face assertive, not given to tact, not diplomatic, as they insist that we pay attention to God. But Habakkuk speaks our word to God. He gives voice to our bewilderment, articulates our puzzled attempts to make sense of things, faces God with our disappointment with God. He insists that God pay attention to us, and he insists with a prophet's characteristic no-nonsense bluntness.
The circumstance that aroused Habakkuk took place in the seventh century B.C. The prophet realized that God was going to use the godless military machine of Babylon to bring God's judgment on God's own people--using a godless nation to punish a godly nation! It didn't make sense, and Habakkuk was quick and bold to say so. He dared to voice his feelings that God didn't know his own God business. Not a day has passed since then that one of us hasn't picked up and repeated Habakkuk's bafflement: "God, you don't seem to make sense!"
But this prophet companion who stands at our side does something even more important: He waits and he listens. It is in his waiting and listening--which then turns into praying--that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God's sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life, the only real life. Habakkuk started out exactly where we start out with our puzzled complaints and God-accusations, but he didn't stay there. He ended up in a world, along with us, where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Two short passages--maybe three--from Habakkuk:
(without verse numbers, because they aren't marked in The Message)

God has perfect timing (from chapter 2): "If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time."

A godly life is the one worth living (from chapter 2): "But the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive."

(end of chapter 3): "Though the cherry trees don't blossom and the strawberries don't ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I'm singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God's rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I'm king of the mountain!"

Sep 21, 2003

He hath made me glad...

I'm so glad for Christian friends. Friends who care about the same kind of stuff I do. Friends who love God. Friends who realize there's more to life than just doing what feels good. I'm glad for a super-cool room mate Laci; I'm glad for way-cool suitemates, Krissy and Erica; I'm glad for a lifelong best friend Allie. I'm glad for friends here at school, at Anastasia, at Westside. I'm glad for long-term friendships, short-term friendships, reconciled friendships, developing friendships. God's so cool. He made us with a need for companions and friends, but He doesn't leave us in need... He provides for us and fills that need. How incredible! You ever get to a point in your life where things are so good that you think "it must be all down-hill from here" and you're just waiting for something to go wrong, something to fall apart? Just you wait... God's got something great in store that you could have never anticipated. Yeah, we might go through some valleys in between the great times, but if you look around, God's always blessing in some way. Why wouldn't He? When He blesses you, He gets glory. It's very logical. But ultimately, I believe God desires to make us happy. He loves to see us smile. He loves even more when we acknowledge that the blessings that have made us smile are from Him.

Thank You, God, for the friends You have put into my life.
Krissy keeps complaining because I haven't written in almost a week, so at last, I have given in and I'm writing a new entry! This morning at church, the verse the sermon was from was Colossians 3:16. It says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." The sermon had three main points: 1) Worship is led by the Holy Spirit, 2) Worship is a vertical experience, 3) Worship is a horizontal experience. The first two I had heard many times before, but the third one I had never really thought about. As the verse says, we are to teach and admonish each other, in this case specifically through music. Since music is a part of worship, it is logical to say that the teaching and admonishing is also a part of worship. The pastor explained that loving, forgiving, helping, teaching are all a part of worship. It makes perfect sense: when we do things for others, we are ultimately glorifying God, which is the heart of worship. Good things to think about.

Sep 16, 2003

It makes me sad...

[I hate that I'm writing about this on my birthday, but I was thinking about it the other day and I was just reminded, so I'll write while it's on my mind.] It makes me sad that people have such potential and just completely waste it. They have the opportunity to turn out to be completely awesome people and do great and wonderful things, yet they throw that all away for "the easy road" and whatever seems most enjoyable and acceptable according to our culture. Something more specific: it makes me sad that people think they have to drink to be happy and accepted. And no matter what you believe about drinking (for Christians), it is totally and completely wrong for an underaged person who claims to be a Christian to drink. Not only is it completely illegal and therefore wrong in the first place, it also puts a really bad name on Christians. This 18 year old person I know has been drinking (and getting drunk) lately, and it makes me really disappointed. Why do people think that's what it's all about? There's so much more to life. So many things are way more fulfilling... and don't make ya throw up.

Please take note of the change in the left sidebar. No more 19... it's 20 now! And we had so much fun making smores at Cafe 11! That's definitely the coolest place I've ever been. Just don't order the Kava-Kava!! Allie, Quinn, and Eric can tell ya all about that! Fun times, fun times. I'm off to get some beauty sleep for my big B-day!

Sep 15, 2003

Going out in style...

Tonight, my friends and I are going out for my "last day as a teenager" party! I've decided we should go to Cafe 11 and make smores! We've always said we would do that, but we never have, so tonight's the night.

Sep 14, 2003

True thankfulness...

Tonight at our Fusion leadership meeting we were sharing with each other about specific things that we have seen God do lately or specific prayer requests that He has answered. After we shared something, we would pray for whatever we mentioned thanking God for working in that area. Holly's prayer really spoke to me because she thanked God for all the trials and hard times her family has been through lately. How incredible! That's something I know I fail miserably at doing: thanking God for the hard times because they make us stronger. True thankfulness is when we can thank God for the good stuff as well as the bad.
Listen to Leon...

Laci already mentioned this on her blog, but Leon (a guy here at Flagler, who I met at lunch today) has a radio show on Wednesdays from 9am to 11am on 88.5, Flagler radio. He asked us to spread the word, so if you're in the St. Augustine area, be sure to tune in!

I totally love my church here in St. Augustine (Anastasia) and I'm reminded of that every time I go there. Worship this morning was so fun as well as awesome! The worship band opened up the service with "The Happy Song," which Bobby plays the into of on his harmonica! He's incredible! ("The Happy Song" is the one that goes "I could sing unending songs of how You saved my soul; I could dance a thousand miles because of Your great love.") I know style is not important in worship -- it's just a matter of preference -- but I do think it's important to enjoy worship, and when you enjoy the style it usually helps. The worship band at Anastasia is so fun. If you aren't smiling when you go into church, you will be by the first song!

I'm joining the leadership team for Fusion, so I'm about to go to a leadership meeting in a few minutes. I'm way excited about that ministry. Last Wednesday was our official kick-off. There were so many people there! And not just the "church people"... there were a bunch of new faces, for which I was really excited. I love that it's so "open," by which I mean that people from all different churches from around the city come to it without feeling like they have to be members of Anastasia to come. So far it's been really good. I'm looking forward to what's to come. Later.

Sep 11, 2003

[In reference to my time spent at the fort earlier today...]

God, You amaze me in every way! The waves, the wind, the sun, the sky, birds, water, sea-shells -- ALL amazing. Today I got a little glimpse of what it's like not to worry about what I eat or drink or what clothes I put on. I sat on the wall near the fort and I didn't have a care in the world. I just enjoyed You. It didn't matter that I was in a sloppy T-shirt; it didn't matter that my hair was wind-blown and a mess, or that I was missing dinner. What mattered was the rising tide, the constant wind, the warmth of the sun, the organization of the flock of birds flying nearby, even the way the clam shells stick together and form barnacle thingies! What matters is that it's a beautiful day and You want me to enjoy it. Philosophy is so much more bearable when read by the ocean! And uncomfortable seating is more bearable with an incredible view. It's funny how when I faced the ocean I felt completely and wonderfully secluded from the world, even though "the world" was only 50 yards behind me on the street. I love the noisy silence of the waves and the wind. I love that they block out sounds of modernization. I love the interplay of consistency and constant change in creation. It amazes me! Thanks for today, God. It is Yours and I will praise You for it.

Sep 10, 2003

*DISCLAIMER: this post will contain comments of harsh reality. It is not directed toward anyone, rather toward the human race as a whole as I see it. Please do not take offense!

Hypocritical, two-faced liars. That's what people are. (For the record, I'm not venting my anger today or anything. It's just a subject that I've really been doing some thinking about.) For the most part, all the people I've ever met -- including my closest of friends -- talk and talk and talk about what they believe, no matter the subject, but often demonstrate something completely opposite in their actual lives. When it's somebody I'm close to, I hate to think to myself, "man, he/she is a hypocrite," but often that's the exact phrase that enters my mind under certain circumstances. (It's way easier to label your enemies hypocrites, isn't it!) And I totally admit that I also can be included in this catagory, although it is harder for us to see our own faults than the faults of others. But seriously, somedays I just sit back and look at what I'm doing/thinking/saying and I think to myself, "man, I am such a hypocrite!" Why is it that it is so easy for us to verbally assert our belief in something, yet when it actually comes down to putting it into practice, we fail miserably? Why can't we claim the promises of Christ and live a victorious life? "Just human nature"? What a cop-out. Brain-washed by society? Possibly. But society isn't responsible for what we do; we are responsible for what we do. We like to take the easy way out, even when the results of the "hard way" would be better. We like to go with the flow, even when we've vowed not to. We like to do what makes us feel best, regardless of how it makes other people feel. It's so refreshing when I meet a "real" person -- one who you can tell is really living what they believe. Sadly, those seem few and far between. There are those who live this way for the most part but then have spurts of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde syndrome, but occasionally you will have the opportunity of meeting someone who is real all the time. Those are the awesome ones who deserve the utmost respect. They don't fall prey to cultural lies. They aren't flippant in what they believe. They know what they believe and they make every effort possible to live it out to the fullest. That's awesome. That's who I hope to be one day. I'm not there yet.

Sep 9, 2003

"Na na" by Superchick

You're building a case against me / prosecutor, judge, and jury / we had this conversation in your head / cause I wasn't there you made up what I said / or what I would have said / you know me so well / you've heard how I am and how I'm going to heaven knows / we've never had this conversation / or should I call it a condemnation / cause you're not listening to me...

So Na na na na na / that's all I'm gonna say / cause na na na na na / you've made up your mind anyway / na na na na na / there's nothing I can do / na na na na na / couldn't we be friends if not for you

You're like a teacher from Charlie Brown / all you hear is that wah-wah-wah sound / maybe I'm a Pokemon, Peekachu / cause that's what comes out when I'm talkin' to you / [....] You made your own fact / your super-hero name is Mr. Right / Instead of trying to understand / you tell all your friends how wrong I am / and you're not listening to me...

So Na na na na na / that's all I'm gonna say / cause na na na na na / you've made up your mind anyway / na na na na na / there's nothing I can do / na na na na na / couldn't we be friends if not for you

Can't we be friends? / why does it end / before a word is even heard? / I look at you for attitude / why can't you see that it's not me?

Something in the end I see / the person I'm talking about is me / assuming you're the enemy / in the cross-hairs of my verbal easy / no matter who wins, we both lose / no matter who starts, we both choose / to keep it going on, and on, and on / but let's start listening and see

La la la la la / la la la la la / sorry that it got this way / la la la la la / next time I won't let it screw / la la la la la / couldn't we start over, me and you?

I'm in a Cross Cultural Communications class this semester (lots of Cs), which I will refer to as ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). It's a pretty interesting subject area. For that class, I am doing a practicum where I go to an elementary school and work basically one-on-one with an ESL (English as a Second Language) student. I went to set up my times today with the elementary teacher. I wound up staying and doing my first day, which I wasn't really expecting, but it turned out really good. I'm working with a 4th grader named Remo who is German. He's adorable! He's a pretty cool kid, too. He's really quite smart, too. Like today he was writing a paragraph (as was the rest of the class), and I could tell he was "sounding out" the words, although they were spelled incorrectly, because when I had him read the paragraph to me I realized he was spelling the words like he says them. His German accent is slight, but it still influences his pronunciation, and therefore his spelling, of words. He's way cool, and I'm really looking forward to the time I get to work with him. I don't know that you would care to know all that, but now you do anyway.

Along the same lines, I was reading for my ESOL class just a little while ago, and something really stood out to me. People of so-called "minority groups" in our nation are now called "people of color." I really have some severe problems with that term. I understand that they can no longer be called "minority groups" since their numbers are on a quick rise, but I do not care at all for the new term that has been chosen. First of all, I can't help but think of the pictures I've seen of segregated America, where one water fountain was labeled "white" and the other "colored." While we don't appear to be reverting to segregation, the terms are awefully similar. Secondly, I have a problem with the term "people of color" because it gives the impression that my skin tone is NOT a color. Furthermore, I have Hispanic and Filipino friends with skin colors nearly identical to mine, yet they are "people of color" and I am appearantly a "person without color." If that were true, would I not be clear instead of white? Third, I am not so pleased with the fact that our society has been divided into two portions, "white people" and "people of color," even though "people of color" is comprised of many various and distinct ethnic groups. (I'm wondering which catagory my German friends fall into. They all "look white"!) For some reason or another, I have done a lot of thinking about "race" lately -- another term that I do not particularly care for. In my "perfect world," there would be no such thing as race. Everybody would freely intermarry until races were eliminated. I'm not sure why this seems so important to me. I suppose it is because there is so much discrimination based on such an irrelevent issue. Hearts, minds, and souls are all made the same way, regardless of what your outside looks like or who your parents are. We all like to portray ourselves as free from racism (including myself), but the truth is that we all have some degree of it within us. Or at least everyone that I've ever met has had some degree of it. I think it's easy to be non-racist concerning individuals that we are friends with that are of another race, but on the grand scale, it's much harder. I guess it's the way we've been conditioned to think in our society. Being brainwashed stinks.
St. John's County School District
Ten Rules for Making Every Day A Great Day

1. Think that good things will happen.

2. Express gratitude to a loved one.

3. Put your gripes away in a box.

4. Be patient with an annoying person.

5. Do something special for yourself.

6. Reach out to someone who needs comfort.

7. Focus deeply on each moment.

8. Learn from a mistake.

9. Look closely at a flower or tree you haven't noticed before.

10. Smile.
(Not just for girls...)

No matter what may change throughout your life--no matter who leaves, who lets you down, who changes for the worse or better, no matter what unexpected things you find or lose--God is ever-constant and will never, ever change. He doesn't leave, change, go back on His word, or even sleep. He is always aware of what is taking place in your life, and He is in total control of it all-- total control. Never fear because He is on your side if you are His child. You are His little princess, and He loves you more than you could ever know. He never wishes any harm to come to His little girl. He is your daddy, and you can always come to Him and crawl up into His lap and let Him wrap His arms around you and love on you. When you follow God's plan, only the best will come to you. Sometimes, however, we may not understand the means that He uses to bring the best to us. You must simply trust Him with everything and then all things will work together for good. God loves you so much.

--from around March 2002, a time when I really needed to be reminded of this. But it's good to hear all the time.

Sep 7, 2003

Okay, I did finally finish that paper. Now for the details of last night that I promised.

The Edge was awesome. Quite honestly, when it was first getting started last night, I was a little nervous that it was going to be kind of weird. They passed out this sheet titled "uncommon senses" and it had something about each of the five senses and how we can worship God with them. They then said that there would be five "stations" where we would be able to put those forms of worship into practice. I was like, "okay, this is different," but once we got into it, it was really cool. We listened to music to praise Him with; we pressed huge nails on our skin to feel and remember the sacrifice He made for our sins; we ate bread to symbolize tasting God's will and being satisfied by it; we smelled incense, reminding us that we should have the odor of Christ; and we looked at the flame of a candle, representing the light of Christ in the world, which should be shining through our lives. Two cool analogies were made that I wouldn't have thought of on my own: First, Bobby mentioned the incense. He said in his generation, incense was associated with one thing... covering up the smell of pot. But just like that, Christ's "smell" covers our sins when we accept Him. The second analogy was made by Mason. He mentioned the smell in another way: he said we should have the sweat-smell of Christ, in that His "scent" should come out of every pore in our body. It's amazing how God has given us all our senses for practical reasons, yet we are fully able to worship Him with them, as well. The ongoing praise and worship portion of the service was awesome, as usual. I'm so glad to be a part of a body of believers that frequently comes together for some powerful times of worship. There are so many groups of well-intentioned Christians that just plain miss out on how real God is. I wish I had a way of showing them! I just want to scream at them sometimes: "Don't you get it? God is so huge! AND you have complete freedom in Him!" Experience the true freedom you have in Christ. Don't be held back by what we've been told for years we're "supposed" to do. Do what Christ alone tells you to do, and you will never go wrong.

I'm trying to write this paper for one of my classes and I just feel like one big, continuous brain-fart! It's really quite a simple assignment, yet I keep drawing complete blanks. I'll type the first half of a sentence and just stop because the word I want to use will not come to me. That would be fine if it only happened once, but it's like every other sentence! I'm going crazy!!! I took a break from writing, and I'm... writing....? There's no rules to this kind of writing, though. Except that your fingers have to cooperate, which they're not doing so well right now. (Couldn't tell you how many times I hit 'backspace' in that last sentence! Rediculous.) Anyway, I'm going to take a real break for a minute, and then it's back to work. Later.