Jul 11, 2003


1. Do you remember your first best friend? Who was it?

Yes. Allison. Known each other since... well... since before either of us would be able to remember!

2. Are you still in touch with this person?

Yes, still very good friends.

3. Do you have a current close friend?

Well, sort of. I'm still really "close" with Allison, even though I'm away 9 months out of the year. And I think I'm becoming quite close to Laci.

4. How did you become friends with this person?

Allison: already mentioned. Laci: "met" in middle / high school; found out we would be going to the same college; signed up to be roomies, hoping for the best, since we didn't really "know" each other, and have been having a blast ever since.

5. Is there a friend from your past that you wish you were still in contact with? Why?

There are a lot of people that I've known that I wish I still got to see. Specifically, I guess I can think of two. Adam and Jessie. Adam, I was only good friends with for about a year (or less); he is older than me and moved for college. He's seriously one of the most "real" people I know, and he was always kind and encouraging, even if that included picking on me. Jessie and I were close for a bunch of years, and then it just kind of faded. I miss all the good times we had. You can't force something that's not there anymore, though. I'm glad for change, but sometimes it would be nice to revisit the past, or at least the people of the past.
If You Lead Me
words & music by Jason Gay * November 1998

I’m not really looking for a heavenly sign
no burning bush or the turning of water into wine
I’m just looking for a sense of clear direction,
I’m listening for your tone and the slightest of inflections

If you lead me, I will follow
every morning, each new morrow
I would beg, steal, and I would borrow
just to have you lead me that I may follow

I pray to you who touched the blind man’s eyes
Can you reach into my darkness and give light to mine?
I call to you who can make the deaf man hear
Can you quell the deafening silence that is ringing in my ears?

If you lead me, I will follow
every morning, each new morrow
I would beg, steal, and I would borrow
just to have you lead me that I may follow

Could it be that the harvest of your perfect will in me
All begins with the planting of a restless seed
I hold my breath as I lay trembling in the dark
Waiting for the slightest little movement in my heart

If you lead me, I will follow
every morning, each new morrow
I would beg, steal, and I would borrow
just to have you lead me that I may follow…
A Place Called Hope
Words & Music by Jason Gay & Tim Helmen * March 2000

I’m not proud to confess
I know the back streets of Shame too well
Or that I’ve spent more than a couple nights in Disgrace
On the floor of a cheap motel
Spent three years laid out,
Laid out on the streets of Revelry
Just stopped in for a few drinks when I got lost
In a place the locals call Misery
Lord don’t you know I mean it, yes I mean it this time
When I say a new address would be suiting me fine

In a place called Hope
A place called Hope
Don’t you bother to come looking for me
In the places where I used to be
I am bound for a place called Hope

I quit town and drove all night
And even made it as far as Regret
By sunrise I was well past Good Intentions
But I found that I wasn’t there yet
Too proud to ask for some direction
So sure I would find it on my own
I just kept pressing on til I ended up
In the middle of Nowhere, all alone
Broken upon the place where all make-believe dies
I finally gave up, and that’s when it took me by surprise

This place called Hope
A place called Hope
Don’t you bother to come looking for me
In the places where I used to be
I’ve been found by a place called Hope

Now don’t get me wrong
The sun still goes down around here
And it’s cold in the dark
But that’s when the stars appear
Can’t you see them shining down

On a place called Hope
A place called Hope
It don’t matter where you’ve been before
There’s always room here for one more
Come on home to a place
Where you never have to be afraid to show your face, child
I’m talking about a place called Hope...

Dude over at truthbecomeslies posted this, and I thought it was beautiful.

"What, then, is my God? What, I ask, unless the Lord God? Who is Lord but the Lord? Or who is God but our God?

Most high, most good, most mighty, most almighty; most merciful and most just; most hidden and most present; most beautiful and most strong; stable and incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, and never old, yet renewing all things; leading proud men into senility, although they know it not; ever active, and ever at rest; gathering in, yet needing nothing; supporting, fulfilling, and protecting things; creating, nourishing, and perfecting them; searching them out although nothing is lacking in you.

You love, but are not inflamed with passion; you are jealous, yet free from care; you repent, but do not sorrow; you grow angry, but remain tranquil. You change your works, but do not change your plan; you take back what you find, although you never lost it. You are never in want, but you rejoice in gain; you are never covetous, yet you exact usury. Excessive payments are made to you, so that you may be our debtor - yet who has anything that is not yours? You pay debts, although you owe no man anything; you cancel debts, and lose nothing. What have we said, my God, my life, my holy delight? Or what does any man say when he speaks of you? Yet woe to those who keep silent concering you, since even those who speak much are dumb."
-St. Augustine, The Confessions
Several days ago, I read where Susan responded to The Daily Biscuit from gooddogbaddog. The topic was describe your faith as a garment. I've decided to write about this as well because I like the topic, but I'm not sure what I'm going to write, so this may get continued at another time. Here goes....

okay, this is what came to my mind just now, so if the analogy isn't perfect, it's because it hasn't been thouroughly thought out yet.

My faith is like flip-flops in Florida. (nice alliteration, huh?!) Not a single pair, but a whole assortment of flip-flops. Here in Florida, flops take you anywhere. You've got your going-to-the-beach flops, your half-worn-out/not-afraid-to-get-dirty-in flops, your going-out-with-friends/casual-yet-nice flops, and finally your "dress" flops. [Yes, as a matter of fact, in Florida, there is such thing as "dress flip-flops"!] Flops take you from the streets, to the beach, to the shopping mall, to the restaurant, and have even been known to take some to the prom! While flops seem more appropriate in some situations than others, there's still no law saying you can't wear flops anywhere (except possibly those silly fire-codes in schools). The key benefits of flops: they protect the soles of your feet while still giving your feet room to "breathe."

So, how does this relate to faith, you ask? And remember this is my faith, so if it's not a great analogy for yours, then come up with your own analogy. Faith takes me anywhere. By that, I mean faith isn't limited to certain places, such as church, and then left out of everything else. Flops in Florida are not limited to the beach; they go everywhere. My faith is a part of me in all aspects of my life: work, school, home, church, social stuff, whatever. Some people think faith is only appropriate for church--mostly the people who don't go to church--and they think you should leave it out of other stuff. But like my flops, I don't like people delegating when they are or are not appropriate. An important fact is the part about the law: there's no law saying we must leave our faith out of any part of our life. In fact, America's constitution protects our faith. People try to tell us there's a seperation between church and state, but the truth is, that's not a law, just somebody's idea. However, like the fire-code, there are places where faith is "prohibited." In other countries, people may be told that they are not allowed to "practice" their faith, but that does not mean that their faith does not go with them; it just means it can't be obvious, like a kid wearing flops to school and trying to hide them under his long, baggy jeans. It's sad, though, that some people are forced to hide their faith like that. But what's good to know is that their faith is still a part of them. Finally, some key benifits of my faith: it is my security and protection, yet it is not limited and confined. There are the basics, which are necessary, yet the walls are left open to make room for expansion. God gives me room to express my faith in the way I choose, and He certainly doesn't give us a stopping point for growth. He wants us to grow as much as possible.

That's it for my flip-flop faith...from Florida. Hope you liked it. Tell me what your faith would be. Leave a comment, or blog about it. Later.

Jul 10, 2003

Yesterday (Tuesday) was slightly less eventful than Monday! After work, however, I got to hang out with Laci, which was great since we haven't even seen each other in like two months. (We decided that was pitiful, since it's a whopping 10 minutes between our houses.) We sipped Honey Dew Green Tea I.C.s at Panera, which are the best drinks at the best place ever, while discussing the events of the past two months. We had QUITE a lot to say. From there, we went to her house and watched Minority Report, which is an incredible movie! If it had ended any other way, it would have been horrible. The ending is awesome! And you seriously don't exactly know what's going to happen up untill the last second. Anyway, it was a good day. Oh, and once I came home from her house I had one of those really cool times with God where I just felt like I was able to be really honest about a lot of things and lay them in His hands. I'm glad He's in control and not me!

Today (Wednesday) was pretty good. Work was normal--praise God! Then I went to church, where the message was so-so, but I thought the worship time was pretty great. I miss the worship services that I'm involved in while I'm at school. Over the summer I'm missing out on a BUNCH of worship time, which I really miss. (That was redundant.) Anyway, tonight was Zero Uno at Danny and Tina's (yes, that is practically the only place I go).

I have some other stuff I want to post; I just have to find some time... not in the early AM hours. Maybe tomorrow, since I don't go into work early. Well, it's definitely time for bed. G'night.

Jul 8, 2003

In connection with what Katie and Susan and I have been conversing about, I thought this would be an appropriate comment. Darren said "We are always in God's presence, but in prayer we place ourselves in God’s presence in an especially attentive way." It's from an older post of his, so I thought it was cool that it applied so well currently.

Jul 7, 2003

We all know people like this...

"Wonder (if she'll get it)" by Superchick

(phone conversation) I got the news, plus I found the one! And would you be the maid of honor? What's his name? Um... I'm not sure yet.
Dear diary, I saw this guy at the show. He was singing to me, at least I think so. All the world around me stopped when he said "hi, what's up, babe?" He's the perfect guy! His hair, his eyes, oh I love his smile. When he opened the door, knew he was worth while. He looked so good standing right next to me. So beautiful I know our children will be.
This time I know it's true love.
He is the one that I've been waiting for. I promise to love him forever more. I have waited my whole life for the day I am his. I just know he's the one -der what his name is...
Dear diary, today I found a new guy. With the movie star face and the perfect lines. Knight in shining armor hero to rescue me. It'll be so romantic, just like in the movies. He'll play the role of a boyfriend for me, like in Here On Earth with Lele Sobieski. There's just one problem, something I might have missed-- he's a movie star, he doesn't know I exist.
This time I know it's true love.
He is the one that I've been waiting for. I promise to love him forever more. I have waited my whole life for the day I am his. I just know he's the one -der what his name is...
Dear diary, I thought my dreams had come true. Last week I found the one to give my heart to. Told all my friends about him, even tried his last name. Didn't see that to him it was all just a game. He seemed so nice, I'd known him for a whole week, but my friends didn't like him; didn't know him like me. No more crushes or rushes. Learn to be satisfied with being single again.... Wait, who's that guy? You are cute!
This time I know it's true love.
He is the one that I've been waiting for. I promise to love him forever more. I have waited my whole life for the day I am his. I just know he's the one -der what his name is...
Wonder what his name is?
Wonder what his name is?
He is the one that I've been waiting for. I promise to love him forever more. I have waited my whole life for the day I am his. I just know he's the one -der what his name is...
Wonder what his name is?
Wonder what his name is?
What's up? My name is Matt. I lost my phone number, can I have yours?

HOLY COW! What a day we had at work! For the most part, it was completely uneventful. Aside from moving a bunch of new merchandise around, it was kinda slow in the store for most of the day. THEN sometime after lunch I was working cash register and I had this customer.......... She came through my line with a baby in a stroller, which I assume was her grandchild since she seemed a little old to have a newborn. FIRST of all, she had on a pair of shorts from the store that she had not yet purchased, so she pulled off the tag and gave it to me so I could scan it. She also had three or four tee shirts with her. [ You always start to suspect that a person is slightly strange when they seem to have no concept of what size they wear.] She had with her a boys size 8 tee shirt, which she wanted to know did I think would fit her. She informed me that she usually wears a boys 10. (Why does she wear boys tee shirts in the first place? I have no idea.) I told her I thought it would be a little tight on her, so she decided not to purchase that shirt. One of the other shirts was a boys XXL, and she had me call one of the other employees on my headset to see if they could find an XL or L. (Why didn't she have the right size to begin with? I have no idea.) While I was waiting for a response from my coworker, however, the UNTHINKABLE happened. The woman decided to try on the shirt.... WHILE STANDING IN MY LINE!!! She removed the shirt she was wearing [I prayed "dear Lord, PLEASE let her have on her undergarments!"] and tried on the XXL tee shirt, and told me that she thought it fit fine, so she would get that one. Mind you, there are two or three customers in line behind her! She pulled the tag from the shirt she was now wearing for me to scan, I quickly completed her transaction, and then the next exciting circumstance developed. The shorts... remember the shorts?... the shorts still had the security sensor on them, which has to be removed before you leave the store. In normal situations, this is no problem. However, since the woman had the shorts on, this was to be a rather difficult situation. The security sensor is on the inseam of shorts, and since the inseam of the shorts is only 3 and a half inches long, it was practically in the woman's crotch! The sensor releaser is mounted on the side of my register counter (on the inside where I, the cashieer, stand) so the woman came around the counter and attempted to remove the sensor from the shorts while wearing them. Removing the sensors under normal circumstances can be difficult, especially if you've never done it before, so this situation was completely unsuccessful. The woman -- who had by now removed her old clothes, placed them on my counter, and asked me to THROW THEM AWAY -- decided to go back to the fitting room, remove the shorts, give them to an employee, have the employee take them back to the front to remove the sensor, and return the shorts to her in the fitting room. While in the fitting room, she decided she wanted a different pair of shorts INSTEAD of the ones she had on, so she gave the first pair of shorts, the new pair of shorts, her credit card, and her receipt to an employee to have her go to the front, do a return for her, and return the second pair of shorts back to the fitting room. As if she had not caused us to go to enough extra effort already, she had the nerve to ask the fitting room attendent to call the employee who was doing the return and ask how much longer it would be! All the while, the woman was standing in the middle of the fitting room in plain view WITHOUT any pants on! [Oh, and here's some information that I wasn't sure where to throw in: the woman's reason for buying and wearing these clothes was that she had gotten dirty in the garden. Now, if I had gotten dirty in the garden, presumably at my house or a relative's house, I don't believe my first instinct would be to load up the baby stroller, drive to the mall, and buy new clothes to put on. I think I could have found some clean clothes at the house!] This concluded our eventful circumstance of the day. Pam, one of my managers, scooped up the old clothes that were still on my counter into a plastic bag, taking care not to touch them, and whisked them away into the back room to be disposed of. For the next several minutes all the employees and many of the customers just kept giving each other looks, as if to say, "What just happened here???" Frankly, I'm not quite sure.

Jul 6, 2003

P.S. I love paper lanterns! I added one to my collection tonight! They're so cool!
I had a pretty good weekend. Friday, the 4th of July, I had to work for a while, which was fine with me because I got holiday pay, and then I went to Tina and Danny's. From there we all headed downtown for the fireworks, which I enjoyed because I had never gone. When I was little there were always fireworks at the mall, so my family always went there. Anyway, Friday was nice, even though it rained, because we got to sit on the edge of the river right near where the barge was that shot off the fireworks (that's what it's called, right? a barge? just sounds really funny now). Afterwards, of course, we headed back to Danny and Tina's. Some people headed home earlier than usual, but some of us hung around. The guys played their typical game of Zero Uno while the girls were entertained by Leslea's dance moves! She's a riot!

Saturday... now here's a story. I had been hoping since Friday a week ago that I wouldn't be called in to work on Saturday because I desperately wanted to go to St. Augustine for The Edge. So I had mentioned to my manager during the week that I really didn't want my on-call to be used Saturday and that I was trying to find someone to take it for me. No one was available to take it, so I just kept hoping that I wouldn't be needed. Saturday rolled around, and I wound up only having to work from 3 till 6 instead of till 11. I was extatic! So after work I went home, changed, and headed for St. Augustine around 7:00. When I got to Anastasia I realized they were not having the service that I had made such an effort to get to! "You've got to be kidding me!" I thought to myself. Mind you, I had been logical and checked the websight beforehand to make sure they were having the service, since it was a holiday weekend. The websight said they were, but in fact they did not. "What to do now?" I thought. I was already in St. Augustine, so I had to take advantage of it somehow. So I picked up a frosty from Wendy's and finally decided to head for the Outlet Mall to the Gap Outlet because I have my employee discount card (Old Navy is owned by Gap). I told myself I would not buy anything unless I absolutely needed it or unless it was an incredible deal. I did pretty good. I got a black T-shirt to replace my old black Gap tee because the old one is getting faded, and I do believe Gap has the best T-shirts I've ever worn. And I got a pair of jeans, which technically I could have lived without, but they were marked down to $19.99 with an additional 20% off and then I get 30% off with my employee discount, so they were just over $11! Good deal for a really comfortable pair of Gap jeans. I got to talk to the really cute cashieer guy and found out that he used to work at my store, and I got the impression he might go to my school, but I didn't ask. (I might have to make another trip to the Gap outlet!) Anyway, the Outlets were closing as I was checking out, so I got in my car and headed home. The trip wasn't completely waisted. I got some good deals, and I also got to see a really beautiful view of the sky when I was crossing the 312 bridge. It was one of those moments that I decided was worth an hour drive just to see something so wonderful. I wish I could put into words how it looked. God is amazing!

Today was a good day. Started off a little weird, though. We had "general assembly" this morning in place of Sunday School. That was interesting. (I'll be polite and leave it at that.) The morning service went well, as usual. Bro. Keith preached from Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." It was kinda funny because I had some little notes written in my Bible about that verse, and they were basically the exact points that he made this morning. This evening's service went well also. The choir and orchestra had a break tonight, which was nice for once. Bro. Keith is doing a series of messages on "classic revival texts" right now. Tonight was from Habakkuk 3:2. Aside from delving into the points of the verse itself, Bro. Keith also noted that we often leave out half of the characteristics of God. We are prone to see God from one of two extremes: either we focus on His love and mercy and grace, or we focus on His judgement and wrath. He pointed out that we must keep our view of God in proper balance. Very true. During the sermon I was reminded of this song: "Revive us again- fill each heart with Thy love; May each soul be rekindled with fire from above. Hallelujah, Thine the glory; Hallelujah, amen! Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Revive us again!" I wrote down the words, and not long after, Bro. Keith proceeded to quote those exact words! Pretty cool. I remembered tonight that there are things I need to do in my life that I seem to always neglect. I need to lift up our leaders in prayer; I need to pray for revival as Habakkuk did; I need to seek God diligently in my personal life. As I wrote down these things tonight I wrote that seeking God diligently needs to be top priority. It's not that our purpose in life is to shut out the world and learn about God, but we must seek God in order for everything else to fall into place. I know I severely lack in the evangelism aspect of my Christian life, but I also know that the more I seek God above all else, the more this will begin to fall into place.

Random note of the night: my brother David is getting married on the 19th. Finally! Actually, I'm glad he's waited this long to get married because Michael rushed into it and that didn't work out too well. Selfishly, I hope I'm not almost 34 by the time I get married. But then again, if that's what it takes for me to find the right person, then I guess that's best. The weird thing is my parents were my age when they got married! I couldn't imagine being married now! I want a happy medium, I guess. For my brother, it took this long for him to grow up enough! Not to say that he's actually grown up now; just enough to handle the responsibility. He still acts 19. In a "perfect" world, I would say that I want to be married around 22. But in the real world, that's in like 2 years and I don't know anybody that fits the job description! I guess things'll just happen when God wants them to. G'night.