I would just like to wish all of my friends across the globe a merry Christmas...may the day be bright and joyful for you all.
Dé Sathairn, Nollaig 24, 2005
I would just like to wish all of my friends across the globe a merry Christmas...may the day be bright and joyful for you all.
Dé Céadaoin, Nollaig 21, 2005
I’ve been at a loss lately as to what to write here. I thought long and hard about writing about the things that really tee me off this time of year, but being that it is Advent, and I really would rather be happy about all of this I’ll refrain. It would have been a hilarious post, and maybe once we’re into the New Year I’ll come back to it. I’ve been busy lately as well. Christmas is a very buys season in the church, and so I’ve been running around making sure everything gets done like it should. I’ve glad I got into the city last week and have no really reason to go back in this week, seeing that the transit workers are on strike. I’d say something about that, but instead I’ll say Happy holidays and I’m glad it’s not me. Ok, one thing that really bother’s me right now and then I’ll move on. There are several retail store being boycotted, or suited right now. Why, you might ask? Because, well meaning Evangelicals have thought it necessary to do so that’s why. I guess we don’t have enough to keep ourselves busy with at the moment, it being Christmas and all, that we need to boycott SECULAR establishments about not putting the word “Christmas” into their add. I know it says in Revelation that every knee will bow and every tongue confess, but I don't think it was talking about Walmart and their not putting the Christmas into the add campaign. I think we've gotten off the path here and ventured into idiocy. Now if a church did somthing like that I'd be upset, but the last I checked Walmart doesn't sell morals with the mac and cheese, and target did put Jesus on any of there Fall fashions. Come on guys, give it a rest. Lets remember who we are, we're not militant we're penitent, or at least we should be. There I said it.
The real reason I'm writing this because I've decided to create a reading list for myself for the next year, or at least the next 6 months. I've been book shoping along with my christmas shoping and have a few titles already but could use some tips on what to look for. So...Those of you who read, and I know who you are, give me somethings to look for. I'm up for anything, fiction and non-fiction, Classics, contemporary, Philosophy, Religion, Music, really almost anything. So speak up, tell me what your favorite book is, and I'll if I can add it to my list. Give me your top ten, anything you want. Thanks everybody.
Dé hAoine, Nollaig 02, 2005
I was listening to NPR the other day, at least I think that's what it was. The women was interviewing several authors about books that I'm assuming have published recently. In the last interview that I listened to seemed to be based around a statement that the author made that basically went like this..."I love my family but the holidays are like an episode of survivor." What this particular person was saying was that the family was basically waiting for someone to mess with tradition. The first person to do that was then ostrasized. Personally it sounded like any number of made for T.V. Christmas movies that you might see this time of year. From there the conversation became about traditions and there place in the family and holidays. They talked about the importance of the traditions and why it seemed to many a mortal sin to break with tradition and do something totally to the contrary. They blatently asked the question, "Why are the traditions so important in the first place?" They really couldn't answer it that satisfactorally. They tried to say the normal thing that it wasn't the traditions that made the holidays, but once they did it left the Holidays very open and formless. The problem is that once you strip away your traditions for the holiday, your left with nothing socially. That's the problem with Social holidays, which is what they were avocating here. Seriously, think about it. Memorial Day for instance, what do you do on Memorial day? There's a parade, a family picinic, a baseball/softball game (if your into that), there's a patriotic service or speach at the local Cemetery, but to be honest that all there really is. If you take all of that away what do you have? Thanksgiving is the same way, it's the things that you do on the last thursday of November that make it thanksgiving. It's the Macy's Parade, it the family laughing loudly around the turkey. We atempt to sanctify the day by asking each other what we are thankful for this year and we smile sweetly at the child who spouts out "Jesus." It's the tradition that makes a Social holiday what it is. Can the same be said about Christmas? This was the particular holiday that these two women where talking about. There are so many traditions surrounding christmas, both old and new.
I "talked" my family in to getting a Christmas tree the day after thanksgiving this year. I only had to tell my Mom and Dad that I was working Christmas day and that I wouldn't be back before then, so it was difficult at all. But this was a break from tradition for us. We always go out as a family to pick our tree. Mom gives it the hug test to make sure it's big enough and yet not too big, Dad scouts around looking for trees that are tall enough and don't have holes in them, and Matt and I cut it down and drag it out. This year mom had to work and so did matt, so Dad and I went out and found our tree. We all still beamed at this because we all got to decorate it. But it was this that makes christmas for us. A lot of Christmas traditions will be broken this year in the Combs house hold, and while we don't like it, we don't have much of a choice either. Both Mom and myself are working, and I'll have to drive for about 4 hours before I get there. No presents Christmas morning, no family Christmas eve service. So are they right? Will my family break apart because of this? Will I be ostrasized for not showing up until 4 or 5 in the afternoon?
You know...Dr. Suss was right. If you remember, this great mogul of American Lit. once wrote a story by the name of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." If you've not read it...get up right now, go find it, and take five minutes out of your day and read it. Don't go get the Jim Carey movie, read it. If you really want to watch it, there is a cartoon version that is on T.V. ever year, watch that one. Anyway, for those of us who are normal, and know this story like we know our own names, you'll remember that at the end of the story the Grinch has all the Christmas trees, all the Who toys, the rare Who-roast-beast, and even the last can of Who-hash! But there perched of the pinnacle of Mount Crumpit, the Grinch heard somthing he had not expected to hear.
"Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!"
The Grinch of course has a change of heart, the Who's welcome him, and even let him carve the roast beast. (small sniffel) Even though Dr. Suss never meantions what more there could possibly be to Christmas than the traditions we set up around it, he does acknowledge that there is more. Nothing can change the fact that Christmas is a true "holy day." While they give it their best shot, no tradition can replace the true reason for Christmas. That a Child was born, that Angles sang, that time was split, and our lives forever changed. God's Reconciliation come to earth. So...I sit here and listen to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra wail out there version of christmas music. I'm thinking about how different this christmas will be, but I remember that the message is the same everywhere you go. In Connecticut, Christ came. In Pennsylvania, Christ came. In Tennesee, Christ came. In Japan, Christ came. In Indiana, Christ came. In California, Christ came. In Canada, Christ came. In Europe, Christ came. In Baghdad, Christ came. "Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth, and mercy mild. God and sinners reconciled!" Joyful, all ye nation, rise. Join the triumph of the skies; With the angelic host proclaim "Christ is born in Behtlehem!" Hark! The herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"
Dé Céadaoin, Samhain 30, 2005
I have somthing in my pocket. I bought it to remind me that no matter where I am or what I am doing I am always the same. I bought it to remind me that I am a man, a tool of God, shaped with purpose. Useful both in the earthy work of everyday mundain labor and the intricate motion of art. Hard and fast, pounded out in the heat, shaped and reshaped, broken and forged anew. I feel its weight and know my burden, to live.
Thoreau says in his Book Walden, "I went to the woods becasue I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." I've always loved thoreau. Many think of his time at Walden pond as an escape from humanity, to better understand nature, to be the original hippy, but Thoreau went into the woolds and found himself, moreso he found what he needed. I went into the woods in search of a prize, a four legged one to be exact. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find somthing I had lost. You see hunting is in my family, the woods are in my blood. Think what you may of hunting, because I really don't care. Be you a animal rights activist or the President of the NRA. I go hunting because I enjoy nature, because I like seeing the animals more than I like shoting at them, because it's the only thing that my Dad and I truly and exclusively share. I go into the woods because that is where my Father has lead me there.
So I went into the woods before the thought about being up on monday morning. As the day streached on, I found myself regaining somthing lost. I found in again in me a sense of hushed excitement. My heart raced as I loaded my rifle, not at the thought of shooting it, but that it might go off. I thought of the power I held in my hands, cold forged steel, rough wood. I felt it's weight. In my hands was a marvel of human ingenuity, each peice thought over, scretinized and finally put together. But as it came light the thought came across my mind, "you aren't seriously thinking about killing somthing today?" I struggled with that question as dawn broke, I wondered if I could aim and pull the trigger. I wondered if I could do what was necessary. What kind of Christian would I be if I killed one of God's creatures? The boy screamed at me not wanting to feel that guilt. That moment never came, sitting under my tree I never saw anything.
Later that evening, before I left to go back to work I got a chance to talk to my dad. We were both disapointed, neither of us saw anything that day. But in my dad's eyes I saw the same disapointment that I felt in my heart. We both felt as if we had let each other down. Dad had failed in putting me in the right spot to see the deer, and I had failed my dad by not shooting at anything. You see this is my first hunt in five years. Before that I was never lucky enough to see anything, and now five years later I'd failed agian. Dad has been waiting for that day, when he can stand proudly and snap a picture of my and my first buck. But we didn't talk about it, but we both knew. We had failed. The feelings of power were still there, but fail loomed.
It wasn't untill I was a hundred miles away, driving down I-80 in my car, that I relived any of this. I cried a little thinking about my dad, how I wasn't sure if I would ever get to hunt with him again. How he must see this, trying to pass down skills that he learned from his dad. I thought of the rite of passage that we were both waiting for me to take, yet relizing that I had already step beyond it. I thought of the voice in my head that morning that tried so desperatly to keep me from what I wanted, telling me that it wasn't christian, that it wasn't moral. And now it spoke again, as it sensed my failure. "You couldn't do it if you had the chance. Your not man enough." The boy sneered at me. So I looked him in the eyes. I remembered my Dads smile, saying that he was proud of me. I remembered the feeling of holding the gun in my hands both fully of knowing how to use it and willing. I remembered my reason for going out, to simply spend time with my dad. The boy shrank away. The boy doesn't understand the gentleness of a man. He cannot comprehend the ability to possess power in raw untamed form and yet not useing it.
I woke up tuesday morning, uncomfortable being in a warm bed. I went to work, and was disapointed at not being challenged. I drove in traffic wishing I was in the woods. I thought that yesterday wasn't real, that it was exception to the rule. No one can hold power, no one can truly be a man. So I went to walmart. I picked up a few items, shampoo, deoderant, contact solution. I walked around for a while, not wanting to end the day in defeat, knowing that there was power to hold. But it wasn't in clothing, it wasn't in video games, it wasn't in food, it wasn't in tools. I walked until I came to the knives. On the wall there hung a folding knife, a little longer than my hand. I thought about the process that made it, the time, effort, ingenuity, patience, strength, and power. I picked it up, paid for it and walked out of the store.
Power doesn't come from the things that we have. Power comes from the one who fashioned us. It comes from the one who holds us. There is nothing special about the knife I carry in my pocket. It can't open itself, it can't hurt anything, it can't be disobediant. In it I see myself. I have no power except that which was given to be by my Craftsmen. I cut myself on it last night making sure it was sharp. It's a dangerous tool, just as I am a dangerous man. Dangerous not in the way that I'm armed and ready to kill, but I'm dangerous because I'm desperate. I have nothing to lose. Power has been placed in my hands, power to infulence the world around me. I have a knife in my pocket, because I am a dangerous man.
Dé Luain, Samhain 28, 2005
Dé Máirt, Samhain 15, 2005
Life is full of ups and down. Anyone has live for more than three minutes out in the open knows this for a fact. And it starts right away, we can't get away from it. We start off warm and safe never feeling hungry, then all of a sudden we're squezed through a tiny whole we shouldn't be able to fit through and some guy we don't know holds upside down in the cold frigide air and discrase of all discrases, he smacks us on the crack. If that's not a clue to you that the rest of life may no me sunshine and roses I don't know what is.
My weekend was a veritable roller coaster. Friday was apprehensive with moving into a new house, again not a place of my own but it's not a bacement either. I really wasn't worried with all that, though. I don't like moving. I don't like packing everying up, and having to load and unload it. This is an oddity because I love to travel, I love new places and new people, yet I hate packing. You see when I start packing I start thinking of everything that I am leaving behind. Not necessarily the immediate things, but I remember my friends and family that I've left behind and won't be seeing in anytime soon. I remember all of the memories that I have, good and bad. I start feeling sentimental about the whole situation, which makes me wish I was somewhere else. It also makes me think about my future and who this is what I have to look forward to, not in a overly bad way though. I think about how I don't expect to have a home, and yesterday about how there's no one really to share that with. I like being single, but that is the one thing I've not been able to get over yet, the fact that when somthing good happens there no one at home to tell it too. After I get settled in this all goes away, of course. It just make for a rough couple of hours or how ever long I'm packing and moving.
Saturday on the other hand, was hillarious. I had decided that it had been too long since I had last been into NYC, so I made it a point to go. Kelly went with me and we had a blast. We walked around Wall st and checked out Trinity Church, which is an amazing Pre-Revalution building and Church yard. Alexander Hamilton is burried there, as well as a few other people influential to the beginnings of our country. We walked around Chinatown and had lunch/dinner at Joe's Shanghi, a great place for Dumplings. After that we walked through a lot of the shops looking for anything really. We did find a store that was selling china for cheap (tea pots, plates, bowls, really anthing you'd want), and we both vowed to come back. We went up to times square and walked to Rockefeller Center and watched people skate on the rink for a while. The tree was up, but not lit yet. We walked on almost to the park before we decided to turn around an come back to Times Square. We decided we'd head back to Connectiquet at this point, but realized we only had about 10 mins to catch our train. So, I suggested dessert. We went to Angelo's, an Italian resturant across the street from Carnegie Hall. I had the Tiramisue and kelly had cheesecake. We still had to rush back to Grand Central to catch our train, which we were just on time for. It was at this point the conductor came over the loud speaker and said that the metro-North New Haven Line was going to be delaied...about 15 mins. Even Better when we got to Stamford we were told that the train could go no further and that we could take busses to our stops. Kelly and I got shuffled onto a bus which took us to South Norwalk, which was past were we wanted to go. We had to hop a cab back to our station. I thought this was completly hillarious for some reason.
Sunday was normal, up at 6:30 and at the church by 7:30. I finally got to leave at about 1pm after cleaning up the sound equipment. I went to Sactuary, which has a Chaple feel for those from IWU (except for the fact that its good and I actually want to go). They had a dinner afterwards so I stayed for free food and got to meet some people there. I even found gas for 2.29 on the way back. I was excited. And then there was yesterday.
The day started out benignly enough, but after a while I started feeling aprehensive again. I've been checking out schools that I might want to apply to, but to this point havn't had time to make any real decisions. I noticed yesterday that many of the applications have to be in by the end of the month, or the beginning of December. I should add here that these schools arn't schools that I'm likely to get into. Eventhough I know this, and I put them up there simply to look at and use as reference, I started to freak out. I spent the rest of the day worrying about what I'm going to do next. My Low self-esteem managed to come back telling me that I'm an idiot for even thinking that I could do grad. school in the first place, let alone even be qualified for any of the jobs I was looking for. So by 4pm I felt like crap. I didn't know what I was meant to do anymore and I didn't care. I just wanted to go home to PA, curl up on my bed, and cry because I didn't have anyone to share my life with because no one would be stupid enough to take me. But I didn't...I went to McDonald's instead. I drove to Cove Island park, and sat in my car and watched the sunset as I ate. I wasn't sure of anything, but I knew that God had set somthing in motion that I could sit and watch and take my mind off of my worries. And as I sat there watching it get darker and darker the thought came across my mind that it didn't matter what I did next. My next decision wasn't going to ruin my life. I'm 24, single, willing to go almost anywhere and do almost anything. I heard the though come across my mind, "be faithful." Just be faithful. I was reminded one more time that my future isn't in my hands, and I was annoyed that I had suddenly in a fit of angst tried to snatch it back from the one who had it planed out before I gave it to him. The rest of the day was a bit more fun after that.
Life is full of ups and downs. But like I told Kelly last night on our way to Trumble and the High school choir practice, if we focus on one thing that goes wrong we start looking for the other things to go wrong. Everything in the right perspective can look like its backfired. We can CHOOSE to see the things are going right. We can CHOOSE to be positive. I've worried a lot in my past and it's not done me any good. I worried most of the day away yesterday, and I now I wish I hadn't. What did you choose to do yesterday? What did you choose to do to day? What are you worrying about right now?
Déardaoin, Samhain 10, 2005
Kelly and I were talking yesterday, and we’ve both come to the same conclusion. We didn’t come to it right away, but we really just had to admit it to each other. We miss being at school. I know that this may come as a shock to some of you, especially to anyone who talked to me at all my last two years at college. I know that I made endless statements about leaving and never coming back, about not missing the place at all, but some thing’s changed. The past couple of days I’ve been a little lonely, missing my friends and professors, and while I didn’t out rightly wish that I were somewhere else, I was coming close to it. I actually admitted yesterday that I even miss been in class. No all of my classes mind you, but defiantly some of my classes. I miss getting together with people for coffee at McConn, or complaining about not having anything do with people who were as lazy as I was (Morty), I miss talking with Alison about any of the plethora of things that we would talk about, I miss shaking my head at something that Dan would say and wonder why I hadn’t thought of that (but suddenly remembering that I wouldn’t because I’m normal), I miss Jones complaining about things in the Box Office, I miss playing volleyball with Kinky, I miss making fun of things with Bryan. I miss singing in the Chorale; I miss “doing homework” with everyone else. I miss talking to Dave about life and the Bible, I miss Philosophy with Horst, and I miss Prof. and his crazy comments about anything. I miss being called Combs; I even miss being called Timmy…If you don’t know that’s too bad. I don’t want this to sound like I’m depressed or anything like that, trust me I’m not, I’ve just been missing things that I used to have at finger tips. I don’t feel that I squandered any of these, I feel sad that I had to leave them, but it was time to move on. I love the work that I’m doing right now and am extremely happy that God placed me were He did. The experiences that I’m gathering here are beyond compare. I’ve made friends since I’ve been here, there not quite the same yet. Mike and Frank are the youth guys here, about my age, and they’re a blast to hang out with. Kelly and ElisaBeth of course, and several others that I now call my friends. But still, yesterday I found myself longing for the things that were. No more than a simple statement of truth. I just felt slightly lonely and wondering if I can finagle a chance to get back on campus in the spring semester.
Oddly enough I picked up Blue Like Jazz again last night and turn to my next chapter, which turned out to be on romance, followed quickly by one entitled Alone. Of course this had me thinking right off the bat, and the deeper I got into the chapter the more engrossed in thought I became. Of course man was not meant to be alone, God says that almost from the beginning (Gen. 2:18). This doesn’t mean of course a wedding to the prescription for this, absolutely not, but more that we just should not be alone. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I had spent to much time in a practice room without talking to anyone all day my first urge was to go and talk to someone. I know Jones can’t go anymore than three minuets or so without exploding. It’s true that each of us is different in our own right and we each need different levels of social action to make us feel like we thing we should feel. Yankey like more, Alison likes less, Jones needs a constant audience, myself I need to have at least one really good deep conversation with someone other than myself a week or I start to get stir crazy. Donald Miller relates a story about a Park Ranger that he meet while out on the trail with some friends. The Ranger walked out of the darkness, obviously tired, starred into their campfire for a while before asking for their permits. It came to the attention of Miller that this man had been the only ranger in the park for the last two months, and unable to leave he simply had not seen anyone else in that amount of time. The Man was obviously lonely but when they tried to engage him he tired of the conversation quickly and walked off without saying anything at all. Miller suggests that the man had simply forgotten what it was like to be around people.
At the end of the chapter I found myself thinking about Hell of all things. We have these images of what we might thing that hell is, from the fiery description from the Book of Revelation to the icy description of Dante’s oddly named Inferno. I happen to believe that a truer description of Hell is one of complete separation from God. Miller says that if Love can be seen as a bit of Heaven on earth, a lose of self concern, then isolation is a bit of hell, and then to a certain degree we decide in which state we would like to live. When we isolate ourselves from other people the only person to become involved with is ourselves. We dive in deep and become so immersed that after a while feeling disappears and the only thing that matters is the self, because that is all that is left. The mind will turn itself inside out to find stimulation even if it has to create the stimulant itself, this maybe where we find our imaginary friends. But in this isolation we can find Hell. Not a communal pit of fiery desperation, but lonely, cold existence, from which we know there is know escape. It was interesting sequence of thoughts. Hell is one of those things that we don’t like to talk about. It frightens us, so we ignore it because we, as Christians, don’t have to deal with it, but what of the people who do. What of the friends we enjoy so much now, that we will lose forever in the eternal separation?
Just so I’m not ending on a somber note, I’ve had to write small Christmas narrative for Christmas Eve. I guess I didn’t have to write it, but I though it would be easier than trying to go out and find something that I would like. I actually finished it before I started writing this. I wanted it to be a funny version, something from the Shepherds perspective. I think it turned out well, though I have three different versions (very different versions). It was fun to write, and just be light hearted about the whole thing. So there, a happy note to end on.
Dé Luain, Samhain 07, 2005
This past weekend, not to mention this past week has gone by in quite a rush. Friday being the bla day that it was needed some spicing up, and since I had no desire to see a chic flick of any kind what so ever I had to do this on my own. I went to see Jarheads which is a decent movie and asked questions like, why is there war, what's the purpose, what makes a man, what defines me? Not the "war movie" that it was advertized as at all, but still good in its own right. After that I walked the streets of South Norwalk, SoNo. It's a rocking place on a friday/saturday night. Lots of clubs, live music, louges, and things like that. I was rather straped for cash so I didn't stay long, though there were a few Martine lounges there that piqued my interest. In anycase the evening ended with a book. Saturday was a rush to set up for the next morning, at least from my end. But then I took the rest fo the afternoon off. I drove to a state park out side of East Hadden, about a hour and a half away, call Devil's Hopyard. It had been a gorgeous day, and I had wanted to get out and go for a hike in the autumn air. This place was wonderful, complet with 6o ft water fall, and hiking trails. I even go a chance to climb just a little, when I got a little intepide and took off straight up the hill. It was a great day just to be outside and enjoy nature.
On Sunday, I woke up late. By the time I got over to church, the choir was practicing already, and things where beginning to be set up. There was a lot of set up to be done, it's not everyday that the Newsboys come and do worship at your church. Now knowing that many of you, mostly the ones who've know me for a while, won't believe much of what comes out of my mouth, which is to your benefit, I snagged a camara and snapped off a photo for everybody:
yeah it's the Newsboys
The only lead worship for the third and final service of the day, but it was a great time. Very uplifting and a very positive time the church here in general. I got a chance to meet them all and talk to them, while they where waiting for a van to come and wisk them off to the airport. We got to talk about ministry, music, missions, even how hard it can be to work in Austalia and New Zealand. It really was a great time.
Later that day I went to Blackrock community Church in Fairfield, about a half hour east, and saw Audio Adrenaline perform. They had both been in the area for a very large Christian Concert called Rock the Sound that had been the evening before. All in all it was a great weekend with wonderful worship and fellowship. I never would have thought that the Newsboys would lead the worship in a church where I was working. Sweet as, bro, sweet as.
Dé Luain, Deireadh Fómhair 31, 2005
I don't often have a great deal to do...but when I do it comes all at once. This past weekend I wore as many hats as I probably have to ware at anyone time. I was a Museum Curator and designer, I was stage manager, techie, and rigger, I was a learned philosopher, the knowledgeble musician, as well as actor, I was first tenor and second, dock manager, music director and consultant, youth group guy, and last and definatly not least of all I was the guy that didn't know what was going on. This week marked the churches 5th annual COTA, celebration of the arts. It was a great time, we had Carol Bomer, an accomplished christian artist, come in and present some of here works as well as give a lecture on Saturday night on Faith and Art. My "weekend" actually started friday morning at 8am when I arived at church, cup of coffee in hand, to start turning the churches basement into the Noroton Museum of Modern Art. It was fun for the most part. As it turned out I knew more about art and the display of art than I must have let on. I ended up spending time on a ladder focusing lights that were not rigged at all the way they should have been, making my job of keeping the artist happy have how her art was being displayed just a bit more difficult. But as it turns out, I'm good at doing things that are hard, and all was well. At which point I changed hats, and became at photographer...forgot to put that one up there. Saturday, I finish setting up some last minuet pices that showed up late friday night, but I'm always happy to help out a struggling art student...I guess. Spent the remainder of the day doing all of the things that I had failed to get done the day before, then went to dinner and then off to the lecture. Both durning and afterwards I got to ware my intellectual hats, though not by choice. I talked to several people who asked my feelings on what had been presented, being an artist of sorts myself I guess I was a good pick for conversation. I do enjoy that by the way. It truly envigorating when you get to talk about things you're devoting your life to, and since art and music have many correlations and share many of the same problems I have a decent amount to say about all of that. It was all very enlightening, and tiring. I didn't have to help set up anything for the lecture and was shoved out the door when I asked if I needed to stay, but it had been a long day for me anyway. Sunday was even longer. I was up at 6am to start getting ready, or rather that was when my alarm went off. I'm assuming that it went off becasue when I woke up at 7:55, while needing to be there at 7:30, it really didn't matter much. I was a little late, but none the worse for ware. We had the brass, and the full band, which I helped set up the afternoon before. Everything was great, I sang a song with a male quintet that was great. I got to finally talk to Carol about her art, just a little, before running off to find somthing quick to eat. I say quick becasue I had to eat and change and be back before 1pm to tear down from the morning, and prepare to set up for the evening. We had Max Mclain come in and recite dramatically the first 24 chapters of the Book of Genesis completly from memory. It was a truly wonderful experiance. But before all of that we had to set up. Gene and Jeff, we're Max's two tech guys. Gene showed up first to set up lights, and since I some experince I got some more practice. Steve, a new friend of mine, was there to help as well, but is much more acustomed to the front of the stage instead of the sides of wings, so again Aaron gets to wear more hats. It was fun to help set up, I always liked doing that sort of thing, and it was fun to talk to Gene about the rigging he was useing. I was a basic rigg, only four dimmers, two trees, and some small back lights, so it didn't take long. I finally got some rest that afternoon, though not quite able to sleep. I was back by 6pm, to finish set up, help people out as they came in. I got settled into a seat and let Max show me things that I've never realized about the book of Genesis. So many correlations and elusions to the coming of Christ even in the beginnings, things that you miss unless you've heard it read. Anyway, more on that later. There was of course the inevitable tear down after the performance. And then finally I was done...but no. I returned this morning, to help dismantle the museum that we had made in our basment, which took just as long as it did to set it up. I got there around 9am this time and we finally finished around 12:30 or so.
So that was Cota. Now I find myself prepareing for a week that will most likly be equally busy. I just got back from Trumbell, about a half hour to forty five minute drive depending on traffic, and a High School Specialty choir that Tim normaly directs, but he's probably just ariving in Germany right now on his way to Liverpool, England. So I have all of the responsiblity for the next week, culminating in a very bizarre occurance surely never to be equaled here are NPC. the Newsboys leading the worship for our third service. I'm not sure whether to be excited or cry. It's going to be a fun week, boo ya...that's right Josh Cash, boo ya.
(P.s. Happy reformation day to everyone in the Religion office.)
Dé hAoine, Deireadh Fómhair 28, 2005
Since I was asked nicely to do this, meaning my name was on a list and it looked like fun, I took the time out to fill in the blanks. I hope you enjoy this journy into the mind of Combs.
10 years ago-
I was 14, I hardly remember being that young. I know it sounds odd, but I really don’t. It would have been my 8th grade year. 8th grade was kind of fun I guess, though school never seemed to interest me all that much. I had Mr. Smath for math. We had two Mr. Smiths on the particular “team” that I was on, one taught English comp and the other taught math, and to give us something fun to separate them he told us to call him Mr. Smath. Odd? Yeah, but it was kind of funny at the time. I defiantly enjoyed English Comp more though. It allowed me to be creative and have a free reign with what and how we want to write. I actually still have some of the things that I wrote, and for an 8th grader they’re not all that bad. 8th grade was also my first encounter with foreign languages. The year was split into quarters and we took equal classes of French, German, Spanish, and Latin. I ended up taking Spanish in High School but this started that process the year before. I was in the Middle school Show Choir, I think I even had a solo, but as to what it was I couldn’t tell you. I played Soccer for the YMCA, and loved it. Outdoor in the Fall and Spring and indoor over the winter. I read a lot even at that point. When everyone else was reading Goosebumps or what ever other else they might be reading, I was reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. Which I always thought was interesting.
5 years ago-
I was 19. I was a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University. I was wondering how I slipped through the cracks. By this time I was in Choral, again wondering how I slipped through the cracks. I remember sending an email to my Choir Director from high school say I was so surprised, and very excited to be in the elite choir from my school, especially as a freshmen. Those particular feelings died quickly, however. I was never too impressed with the choir as it was. The people were fun and nice, when they weren’t being jerks. I know that’s an odd thing for a professing jerk to say, but still it does take one to know one and at least I recognize it. I don’t do anything about but I recognize it. I meet Jon and Caleb who became two of my best friends throughout college. I meet so many people that year who would influence my life, for both good and ill. I was in Music theory 2 and sinking fast. I was in World Changers, groaning like everyone else. What I remember most are the people. Dave, Marcello, Paul, Lisa, Jason G-nard, Jason Howe, Jason (I knew several Jason’s), Brian and Bryant (my roommates), Matt and Tyler (my other roommates), Rob and his brother, so many people…
1 year ago-
A year ago began my last year at IWU. 5 years as “home” and things weren’t the same. But lets face it, a College changes every year. It grows and put on a new face with every new class of freshmen. I was a great year, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I was gearing up for Two weeks in New Zealand, which turned out to be two of the most amazing weeks of my life. Not life changing, though possibly in the near future it may turn out that it was. First semester was weird getting used to things again. One thing that helped a great deal was my constant correspondence with a great friend of mine, Erica, who had left for Vietnam a month after classes started. There was Thanksgiving, there was Christmas. My classes stretched me to thinking in ways I hadn’t reached, I grew and became a different person. Spring Break in Florida with the Choral, Blasting the Numa Numa song out the windows and singing along with the guys in the van. I’d not known calm like that before, relaxed isn’t quite the word for it. I was a good year all in all.
I got into the office around 10am. I left again about an hour later to go drop Tim (my boss) off at a house so he could pick up a car that the church needed for the weekend. I then went to cash a check and almost asked the girl at the counter out for a date. I really didn’t think about it until I was almost out the door, but the thought did cross my mind. That was the second time that she’s waited on me, and she’s pretty, but I won’t do that. I have no desire to date anyone anyway. I then, after laughing at myself the whole way back to my car, proceeded to drive into Stamford, about a 15 min drive, to find Connecticut Music. We had ordered several mics and some cords, and I was there to pick them up. I signed over 1300 of the churches dollars, again I laughed a little to myself. I went to Coromendelle for lunch, and Indian place that I had just found. It was all very nice. I came back to the church and proceeded with all of the normal things that I normally have to do on a Thursday. I set up for Handbells, I made fun of Kelly, I set up a little for choir, made fun of Kelly some more, and then it was time for the Elliot Twin’s voice lessons. Not normally on a Thursday, this was another change of pace for me. Their lessons went well, there getting it, but slowly which is fine. I got there music all switched back around because some how the week before I has given them the wrong pieces. For being identical twins that have two completely different voices, One very much an Alto, the other will be a nice lyric Soprano one day if she works at it. I didn’t eat dinner, because lunch had been late. And then it was time for Bells. Average rehearsal. And Choir, again average rehearsal. I started reading when I got back, I picked up with my fantasy series that I’ve not read in 4 years, and about 10:30 my Mom called, a surprise because my parents are currently in the Dominican Republic. Every time I’ve left the country I’ve only called them once, if I’ve called them at all. Mom has called my twice since leaving. So after a brief conversation with her, called my brother which she asked me to do, and suddenly felt very alone. I started reading again and finally went to sleep around 1am, but I’ve not been able to shake the feeling. Even now.
10 Songs I know all the words to:
I’m going to have to put down some groups here because I can’t just pick ten songs. Jars of Clay songs, Third day songs, Most Chris Tomlin songs, Several Hawk Nelson songs, A couple Rachmaninov Songs, including Сонъ and Не пой, касавица!, Die Mainacht, Geheimnis, and Feldeinsamkeit all by Johannes Brahms, Recontre and Adieu by Gabriel Faure. Plus a host of Choral pieces.
5 things I'd do with a $100 Million:
- Pay off school loans, Grad School, and other debts
- Pay back my parents, and buy their house and car
- Pay off my brothers school loans
- Pay for my Grandparents medications
- Fund Mission’s endeavors (mine or someone else’s)
5 places to run away to:
- New Zealand
- Home (Pennsylvania)
- Continental Europe
5 things I should/would never wear:
- A speedo
- A bra
- A Bikini
- A thong
5 favorite TV shows (as of right now):
- Ghost Hunters, on Sci-Fi
- Family Guy
- Most things on the History Channel
- Aqua Team Hunger Force, it’s random…’nough said
- God’s Creation
- Good Choral Music
5 favorite toys:
- Lisa, my Jetta
- Samuel, my guitar
- My computer, no name
- My hiking pack, that I havn’t gotten to use much
- Xbox, its not mine but I use it like it is
5 things I cannot stand:
- People who talk about things like they know what they are talking about, even though you know they haven’t a clue.
- People who don’t ever drive the speed limit
- People yelling at me for know reason, or who some how think they are qualified to give advice on a subject that completely foreign to me.
- People who think they’re always right (no one is ever always right, unless you’re God. And you not God, even though you think you are!!!)
- People who don’t know when to be quiet. Sometimes there are times when it perfectly ok not to talk and it is perfectly ok to use those times accordingly. It’s not a skill, it’s not a talent, it’s common sense…use it, for the love of all that is good and holy use it.
People I have tagged for doing this next:
I’m not going to put any names down here. If you want fill this thing out, do it. If not…it’s your loss. It was actually kind of fun.
Dé Máirt, Deireadh Fómhair 25, 2005
One of the most interesting things that I've experienced since coming to NPC is the addition of a prayer for forgiveness at every service. There are many things that my evangelical upbringing has not prepared me for, not that I paid much to that upbringing untill a few years ago. But this is one thing that I am really coming to believe should be included in the average evangelical liturgy. I think that this is somthing we often miss in our lives, the simple act of public confession. A good Catholic goes to confession, what makes us think that we are better than them? Maybe it's not that, but we are told to confess to one another. This simply does it corporatly, out loud, in fount of everyone. No one any better saying anything different, no one acting any better than the person next to him. You can't think about the person next to you when you say it, it's about you and God in front of everyone else. I really don't have much to say on this subject, I really would just like to share a few of these prayers with you.
"Our heavenly Father, forgive us for forgetting your gracious care,
Your Careful assistance and Your wise Word,
which are always there to help us each and every day.
Your have been faithful, and we have been half-hearted.
Your have been gracious and giving, and we are so demanding.
In Your mercy, we ask you to create in us thankful, joyful, believing hearts
in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen"
"Most merciful God, You created us to reflect Your glory,
But we make choices which cause us to fall short of living a life in the likeness of
Your Son. Each day You call us to know Christ, to grow in christ, to be transformed in Christ, but we are often gripped by complacency which hinders the working of Your Spirit within us. Unveil our hearts and minds so that we might brightly reflect the true glory of the Lord. Amen."
I want to write on this later, but I wanted to share some of these prayers with you guys, so forgive my lack of writing.
Dé Céadaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 19, 2005
The Oddity of my situation has just dawned on me. I'm sitting here at starbucks listening to people around me talk, not because there conversations are interesting but becasue I'm the only one sitting outside useing an american accent. There are eight people sitting outside, including myself, and I've heard eastern European accents, Russian or Romanian possibly, possibly Scandinavian accents, and the blond haired girls sitting directly infront of me are speaking together in German, I'm disapointed that it took me so long to understand them. So at the moment I feel more like I'm traveling in Europe than interning at Chruch in Southern Connecticut. This isn't that much of a surprise really, the majority of the labor around here is foreign based. The families hire Au pairs for the kids that they havn't sent to boarding school and most of the Au pairs come from Europe. Leaving me with the impence feeling that I'm more of an American in Pairs than my situation actually supports. Of course I find it all highly amusing, so I sit here and chuckle to myself. I never thought that the language barrier would catch up to me in Darien, CT.
Disapointment struck for the second time today. I say second, because my house situation hasn't changed. I havn't talked about that before simple because it matters so little to me. I honestly am very happy living my rather bohemian life in the Yoders basement. I've a chair, and bed stand, two lamps, my own refrigerator, a clothes rack and drawers, and a bed. It's actually quite quaint and, like I said, rather bohemian. I remember wishing, not all that long ago, that I could live the life in Walden. Living with the bare minimum, simply taking care of myself. So here I am in my basement, not quite the starving artist that I imagined but probably as close as I would like to be. Anyway, I digress. My main disapointment comes from the middle school choir that kelly and I are trying to get started. We've had two "rehearsals" if you can call them that, have had a grand total of three kids show up. Two at a time I might add. Matt, Emily, and today we added Elenor to our list. Only Matt returned this week, and while Elenor said that she knows Emily very well she did know why she wouldn't have been there. So...we have know idea what to do. We've talk personally to people, handed out fliers, mailed out fliers, I called members of the old choir and people who would have moved up from the kids choir last night. I got several yeses and a few maybe's that sounded very positive, and only a few we're definat no's. We really are at a lose as to what to do. I would be happy if 5 kids showed up and wanted to sing, really that's all I'm looking for. It's just all very disapointing. Kids choir was a lot of fun anyway, especially since everything that Kelly and I worked on laid untouched. I don't say this because I'm annoyed. It really is a happy thing. Kelly and I are as of today successfully two weeks ahead of all projects, papers, etc. For the procrastinator this is a wonder that it happen, and thank goodness for it.
I'm taking on a new voice student, Jenny. She's one of the kids from the High school choir that Tim directs one day out of the week. She has an amazing soprano voice already. Tim had us up there for practice this past week so I could work with the Tenors. I needed more than five minuets to do anything more than go over the phrase that Tim wanted me to go over, but that was all I got. They need some serious work, but what high school tenor doesn't? Working with them I started remembering what it was like to be a high school tenor. Absolutly horrible is what it's like. Not only are you a guy in choir, which is an invite by itself for any gay joke you could imagine, but your a tenor. You sing high, non manly tones and have more in common with the girls than you do the basses. Anyway, over the rest of the choir I hear this voice. More than the voice I hear the vibrato. A controled, articulate, mature sounding vibrato that you almost never hear in a high school setting. She's either working on getting into All State choir, or she's already made it, which wouldn't surpise me. She's never taken voice lessons, and needs help with foriegn languages, especially Italian. She also would like two half hour lessons, which was a shock by itself especially that this came up after I told her I charge $25 per half hour (music can be lucrative if you're in the right area). So we're starting next week, and I'm very excited. I'll need different liturature for her, but I need to hear her voice before I start looking for books.
So...That's an update on life. The internet has been down at church, so that's more or less why I'm at starbucks. Things are going well. Waiting to hear back from people about New Years, don't let the basement thing fool you, I've got room for you I just need to know if you are coming. No questions to ponder...except for maybe this...What does it mean that one of the only words I've really been able to understand from the two german girls sitting across the table has been Scheisse? Does that make me a bad person or just by lingual?
Déardaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 13, 2005
If you've not read Blue Like Jazz I highly suggest you do. I'm not entirely through it yet, but it's a book that as so far challenged me in way I've not expected. As much as I love to read I don't often feel that completly connect with the author on anything more than an intellectual level, this is probably because the majority of what I've read in the past five years have been text books or supplementary reading. But this...this is different. I seem to share in the experences that Donald Miller writes about. I understand many of his frustraitions becuase I've gone through them myself, but there was somthing more last night. The two chapters that I read dealt with grace. Not what it is so much as how it's given. We in the evangelical and mainline churches talk about free grace. We quote the scripture by Paul that say that it is not by work, but by faith/grace alone that we are saved. We say it, but do we act it out? Miller writes that "I love to give charity, but I don't want to be charity. this is why I have so much trouble with grace." It's hard to free reach out your hand to take what ever is given to you and then to be satisfied with it. I think this is especially hard here in America. We call it the American Dream. People from other countries flock by the thousands to get through our boarders just at the chance of persuing that dream. Those of us who are obsesed with it see it as a big house, maybe a large family, no finacial problems, being well off, never wanting for anything at anytime, being the master of our own universe. We idolize the "self-made man." We admire the pioneers, the Davey Crockets and Daniel Boons of our history, because the did it by themselves. The succeeded in doing what no one else around them could do, they triumphed through adversity and they did it all on there own. We hear it all the time, we must go out and make something of ourselves. And so we say with ease that it is by faith alone, but we can't believe that could possibly be it.
So we listen to the prayer requests from the other people in the circle. His mom has cancer, we need to pray about that. Her grandfather is an alcoholic, we need to pray about that. He just lost my job and his rent is due at the end of the month, we need to pray about that. Aaron do you have anything you'd like to share? No, I don't have anything that needs your prayer right now, we should focus on these others prayer requests. But Miller says "Who am I to think myself above God's charity? And why would I forsake the riches of God's righteousness for the dung of my own ego?" The Charity of God...we don't like being on the recieving end of that word. In an american context it means that we've failed in the american dream. We've failed at creating a life for ourselves. But that's what God offers to us, Charity. We in our ignorance so often chose the "dung of our own ego," just so we can say that we did it ourselves. We do this becuase we want to be able to say your welcome, or thank you went someone tells us that we've done a wonderful job. If we were to accept God fully in is charitable offer of grace, we would be forced to in to an auckward corner of having to say, thankyou all the while knowing that we had nothing to do with it. I feel this way all the time when someone tells me that I've done an wonderful job with the music, "you have such a lovely voice, thank you so much, you did a wonderful job." What have I done, I didn't give myself this voice. I feel so auckward, I just don't know what to say. But all the while we play in our dung heeps, God waits patiently.
The patient love of God, it brings to mind the book of hosea. Hosea was told by God to marry a prostitue. He did so, but soon after Gomer, the wife, runs away and returns to her practices. God commands Hosea to go and find her, and Hosea, being under no legal obligation to do anything but have is wife stoned to death, goes, pays a great amount for her, and then returns with her to his home. The patient love of God is like this. He waits, watching with tears in his eyes as we wallow in our own dung, feeding our own ego, waiting for us to reach out and grab His hand before we drown in it all. This is how we can love God, not by choice but by example. Because God first loved us, we love and obey him in return. Like in The Taming of the Shrew God waits as "the groom enduring the billigerent bride with kindness, patience, and love."
And here is the promise. "In exchange for our humility and willingness to accept the charity of God, we are given a kingdom." The promise of eternal life, that we so often think is our prize for running the race, is in reality the finish line. Not what we get, but were we end up. "And a beggers kingdom is better than a proud man's delusion." We never think about it, we call it humility, but is it more often our pride?
Dé Céadaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 05, 2005
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it until now. I recently was reading the Screwtape letters, I know that I’ve mentioned that before, but there was something in particular that caught my eye. I’ll quote it here so that I get it right.
Speaking of the Fallacy of our Historical Christ…”We first make Him solely a teacher, and then conceal the very substantial agreement between His teachings and those of all other great moral teachers. For humans must not be allowed to notice that all great moralists are sent by the Enemy not to inform men but to remind them, to restate that primeval moral platitudes against our continual concealment of them. We make the Sophist: His raises up a Socrates to answer them.”
This last thought that God raised up all of what we would call moral thinkers is very intriguing to me. Evangelical Christians especially seem to be so shut of to the thought of any correct moral thinking could possibly come from anything but the Bible. I just believe that we should be open to the possibility, not that there are better ideas, but simply smarter people who can articulate something better than we could. There is a lot of correlation between the moral code in the Bible and those found in several of the major religions of the world. But that’s really all I want to say about this. Just an interesting thought that’s been coming up a lot lately.
My Birthday was this past Wednesday, the 28th. Thank you to all of you who happened to wish me a happy birthday. I know that I don’t announce it; it’s not something I’ve felt the need to announce. But this was defiantly one of the best, if not oddest birthdays ever. It started out in the morning when I discovered much to my chagrin that Darien has, of all things, a Farmers Market. Even though I’ve not seen a farm anywhere close to Darien they have a farmers market. It was quite a birthday surprise. So I perused the produce and picked up a small zucchini bread and a small bag of apples. It wasn’t Pennsylvania’s pride but it was all quite nice. So I came back to the office and Kelly and I prepared for Kids Choir that would happen later on that day. Kids Choir was great; we got to take the 1st graders off by themselves. It was a lot of fun to work with them and teach them the song that we had to work on. We had been told that if we were good, that there would be a surprise at the end of the practice, and was there ever. They sang happy birthday, and cupcakes. There was even one with my name on it, literally. This was the first time I’ve been t.p.’d normally I’m the one holding the roll.
After I got myself cleaned up Tim, Kelly, and I ran to the train station to catch the next one into town. Tim had gotten comp tickets to a concert from two performers that played with us the Sunday before. Oddly enough, it turned out that the concert was being put on by a Technologies Company and in fact was extremely private. It was an excellent concert, they played a Mozart Symphony, several of Bartok’s Romanian Dances, Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, and they ended with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. It was a great concert, and it was quite different to look down on the stage and see three people that we knew rather well, including the concertmaster Krystof. So yeah, I had a good birthday. When was the last time you got into a private concert.
On Saturday I when back into the city, visited Trinity Church on Wall Street and Broadway, then stood in line for three hours. You have to do that if you want a good ticket to the best show on Broadway right now. Spamalot, yes finally Monty Python has come to broadway, and they did it in a big way. They one best show, and the lead actress one best actress, its simply an amazing show. Irreverent like nothing else you’ll ever see but amazing. Tim Curry and David Hyde Pierce star in it, and do an absolutely wonderful job. They keep to the original script of the MP and the Holy Grail for the most part. They made a few changes to accommodate it being a musical and to update some of the humor. For instance, Lancelot is gay. Go figure.
Dé Máirt, Meán Fómhair 27, 2005
I don't do devotions everyday. The time between the varies, though it's normally not much more than a few days. I do on the other hand make it a habbit to read more than just a few verses of so. I like to read larger passages, and have time to think about them before I return to read somthing else. A few days ago I read thru the book of Malachi. It's the last book of the Old Testement (OT), and towards the end seems to become rather prophetic in nature. Normally this is enough to catch my eye, but this time around it was a passage that I've read before but never was able to link together in my mind. The first half of the book is God telling his priests and the people how unhappy he is with them. It seems that the priest especially had been offering up sacrifices that were blemished, animals that where blind or had broken legs or were diseased. Earlier in the OT God gives a command that sacrifices should be pure and spotless, and that this was the only sacrifice that He would accept. These priest, a thousand years later, are offering animals that do no come close to meeting the standard that God set. What seems worse is that they then refer to Gods table, the alter on which the sacrifice was laid, as being contemptible. The priest don't seem to recognize what they are doing as wrong, and when confonted with the problem, they out rightly ask the question, "How have we shown contempt for your name?" But I was left wondering about the sacrifice itself.
After I had read this, I immediately was reminded of Romans 12. In the first verses Paul urges us to lay our own lives down as living sacrifices, instead of the dead ones of the past. Now, knowing the break between these two passages, the sacrifices of Christ who became the world spotless lamb and subsequently the lose of reason for daily sin sacrifices, I was left with the question of what kind of sacrifice should we be? We sing in our churches "come as you are," but in Malachi we are told to bring a correct sacrifice. What does it mean to become a living sacrifice, daily laying down my life to do the will of God. Is there required a time of preparation before we lay ourselves down? I see this as a "post-cross" act. I still believe that before we come to Christ there is no way in which we can cleanse ourselves, but that God thru Christ and the Spirit makes the initial preparation for us, and stoops to our level so that we can take from his hand the free gift of life that He is offering, and we like a timid dog, unsure of the intentions behind this, slowly, ears down and back, take what we are given, but quickly retreat. What if after this, we are meant, thru the help of Christ, to work in our own cleansing before we can truly lay down our lives on God's alter. I guess I could ramble into a Calvinist/Arminian arguement, but I hate that arguement. It does do anyone any good. But I can't help think that there is something much deeper here.
While I'm not Arminian enough anymore to say that I have much of anything to do with my redemption; I'm not exactly Calvinist enough to say that free will is bunk. Should we atempt to cleanse ourselves before we lay down on the alter of God? Should we seek to be the clean sacrifices that He so richly deserves and demands? Were we clean from the first drop of Christ's blood? Maybe I'm over anaylizing again; I seem to be doing that a lot lately. But maybe, just maybe we're missing somthing. Maybe our Christian walk isn't as easy as we make it out to be. Maybe it's more a long distance trek, somthing we need to prepare for. I'm not done thinking about this. I could be coming from a completly backwards direction, and the only connection is in my rather deranged mind. Tell me what you think.
Dé Máirt, Meán Fómhair 20, 2005
I've been thinking about a lot of things since my last post. There's the Lewis that I'm reading, and the thoughts that he provokes. There are ideas that I want to write about, and I will eventually. There are so many things that I could probably write about, but last night on my drive back things where put on hold, as they often are, by a song. Music has long been my inspiration, and yesterday I came across lyrics and a melody that struck a strong chord in my heart. The spoke what I've been feeling in my soul lately and I felt the need to share them with you. So there's no philosophy, no literary comment, no life update, but more simply a cry of the heart put to music.
"I Need You"
by The Swift
My heart is restless in me
My wings are all worn out
I'm walking in the wilderness,
and I cannot get out.
I need you, oh I need you.
Blessed savior come.
I need you, oh I need you.
Fill the every longing of my soul.
Oh, how I need you Lord.
I need your perfect word.
With tearful eyes I see the sin that afford.
I need to weap and pray
for all the thousand ways
that I have failed you just today
My bed is soaked with sadness.
My sadness has no end,
a downward spiral of despair
that I keep falling in.
I need you, oh I need you.
to you my soul shall fly.
I need you, oh I need you.
Yahweh how I love you more than life.
Oh how I need you Lord
I need your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see the sin that I afford
I need to weap and pray
for all the thousand ways
that I have failed you just today
Your silence is like death to me
so won't you hear my desperate plea
Today my soul is soaring
way over mountians high
though I can see the valleys
there all just passing by
it's not that I am stronger
look at my feable wings
but I've been lifted higher
Yahweh's lifted me in His own strength
Oh how I love you Lord.
I love your perfect word
with tearful eyes to see the God, who always will endure.
Now I will celebrate
for all the thousand ways,
that you have shown me grace
And made my heart in grace to stay
make my heart in grace to stay
Lord make my heart in Grace to stay
I need you, Lord I need you...
Déardaoin, Meán Fómhair 15, 2005
Yesterday marked my baptism by first in to the music life of NPC. Kids Choir. Now I'm going to be honest here, not that I'm normally dishonest when I write here, but little kids worry me. I'm not comfortable around them at all, so putting me in the middle of of a group of about 40 of them is not exactly my ideal situation. I'm just not good with young kids, I'm not that good with older kids, but at least they won't start crying just because you looked at them. And no, I'm not making scary faces. I'm being very conscience about smiling, and not looking to serious. Maybe the facial hair throughs them off, I don't know. Yesterday went well, but it was still a rather uncomfortable hour for me. There was one little girl there, who didn't quite want to be there to begin with, but I don't think I helped the situation any. Whenever I would look over toward her and her mother, she'd bury herself even more into her mother's side. I eventually sent Kelly over to see if she could help at all, I knew that I was just aggravating the situation and a kinder looking face would probably help. I made myself as scarse as I could, and eventually the little girl, Lilly was her name, came and stood by Kelly's side untill the hour was up. So all was eventually well, no thanks to me. It was an interesting little time. I've got another little voice to teach if I want. I have three so far, but there all younger than I would like them to be. Hopefully after monday I'll have students more of an age that I like. It's hard to teach voice lessons to young kids because there voices haven't changed at all and there isn't much you can do since all of that training won't help them much after there voice has changed. But we'll see what happens with that. I'm heading back up to the Christian school on monday to work with the choir there so I should have a few students come out of that.
I found it very interesting yesterday, and a little scarry to be honest, how mature many of these kids sound. These were 1st to 5th graders, and I don't mean the cute kind of rote maturity that all little kids get after a while, but an actual maturity. Maybe maturity isn't the best word here. There was a display of expressions of mature disgust when name tags weren't found for returning kids. An attitude of impatience when answering questions that normally only comes after long hours of study or the power mindset of think you know much more than the person asking the question. This really disturbed me, most of the kids where really good don't get me wrong, but just seeing how the life style that their parents live was being instilled in them was upsetting. It was somthing I'm not used to, and while they were still kids they we're also more sullen, especially the guys, then at least I thing that they should be.
Over all things are going very well here, I just got paid so that brighten my day considerably. It rain here, something that it hasn't come close to doing since I started here over a week ago. The weather has been gorgeous, and I've been trying to enjoy as much of it as I can while it lasts. The leaves are starting to change, so the whole of Indiana can kiss my white behind. Any state that cuts down almost all of it's trees to level it off, plow it under, and grow miles and miles of corn instead has officially gone insane. I love Autumn. It's probably my favorite season, and I'm looking forward to spending my first autumn in five years one the east coast. If you've not seen it your missing out big time, and should plan to come visit. I suggest the mountains of Pennsylvania, but then I'm partial. I'm hopefully going to Yale tomorrow. There's going to be an open discussion on Faith and Justice, and I've heard that the Justice that the president has tapped might be there. I want to make it over there anyway but this would be to good of an opportunity to pass up. I'd also like to get into the city sometime this weekend. I've not been down since I got here, and it's past time I think. So...theres a lot on the plate today. I've got choir tonight, a jr. high choir to start up, and a voice lessons to plan are among the things I need to do or start today. I think it's going to be a good day, a long day ( I won't leave here until close to 10pm), but a good day. I pray that all of my friends out there are doing well, and I hope to hear from you soon. And I think, If I can work it out, I've got a proposition for you guys come Christmas time. Oh yeah, Combs is working on a plan...Booyah.
Dé Sathairn, Meán Fómhair 10, 2005
I'm hiding in a Starbucks right now. Darien, you must remember, is a commuter town for the lawyers, wall street traders, bankers, and business men of New York City. So...yeah I feel a little out of place, but that happens when you all most run into the Benz that rolls out in front of you. The people are pretty nice for the most part, at least the ones that I've meet so far. I feel out of place, but except for the difference in pay and the facts that most of the houses around here cost over half a million to start, it's really not that different. I came to starbucks to read and talk on the IM with my friends, but no one is on. I forgot that the friends that would be on are at school, and that it's saturday night. Kind of a sad thing. I went out last night with Elisebeth, her boyfriend, and Kelly. We went ot this trendy little Japanese resturant in South Norwalk, got some Cold Stone and then came back to E.B.'s and played some games. So I really didn't feel like (translation: I'm broke) going out again to night, but Starbucks seemed like a good escape. So I'm here continuing my reading. I've been fervently reading C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters." Definatly an interesting and enlightening read. Written from the perspective of a chief tempter to a juior tempter Lewis gives us a perspective of the otherside and what it looks like to the followers of Satan. There are some very interesting ideas about what it truly means to be a Christian and the tactics use by the enemy to keep us from reaching that point.
So I'm hiding in Starbucks. Reading. Feeling...I don't know how I feel right now. I'm kind of board, but not that board. I'm a little lonely, but not really. I'm just kind of in that in between state that I hate so much. I'm not enough of anything to be content with what's going on. At least if I was content I would know what the problem is, but as of right now I've got nothing. I'm really just looking for a good conversation with someone whose got the time to sit down and have one, but so far that person hasn't been found. I'm busy, everyone else is busy, so I'll be happy with reading blogs and responding. I really don't like the techological world. There's way to little human contact. But right now there's not much else I can do. I've been watching the people over my book and laptop as they come through they lines. Everyone ordering what they want. Decaf this, latte that, each absorbed in what there plans dictate for them. Some of them are my age, so high school age, some middle age. Alone, or in a group. One studying. I wonder if any of them are hiding like me.
So...I'm hiding in Starbucks. Hiding from what I'm not sure, but that's definatly what it feels like.
Dé Máirt, Meán Fómhair 06, 2005
So I'm sitting here listening to Beethoven's Romance no. 2. If you've not heard it I strongly suggest that you look for it. Hear it, but more importantly feel it. Beethoven's music is not simply to be heard, to truly understand and appreciate his genius you must feel his music in your very being. Otherwise it's pointless, and simply aesthetically pleasing. But that's not the point here. I'm sitting here, spending a few quite moments taking it all in. This is the last night that I'll be spending at this house for sometime to come. This marks the beging of a new life for me. Tomorrow I move to Connecticut to start my intership. I know what your saying, so what, for the past five years you've packed up for this same weekend and moved back to school, but it's different this time. There's a permanace to it this time that wasn't there before. That was school, that was familar and safe. This is a job, the chance of a life time, my first test as a college graduate. This is the point by which the rest of my life will be measured. Not in the sense failure or success, but rather how far I will go and the opportunities that I will have. This is my chance to set out and be the person I want to be, now is the time to change.
For five years I was a college student, unstable, imbalanced, yet solely focused on achieving my degree. Now, my focus has changed, though to exactly what I'm not sure. But as my parents reminded me earlier, as long as my focuse is truth I'll not have a problem. Right now the goal seems to be money, to a point, I've never been comfortable with that but bills need to be paid, self-improvement through whatever means are available, having some fun (it's New York for pete's sake), and of course planing the next step. The next step being grad school and the mission field, whether they come one after the other or both at the same time.
So right now the butterflies are going to make it hard to sleep, but tomorrow excitement will step in and take control. I'll say goodbye to my mom, and drive to my new home, my new job, and my new life. I've been give the chance of a life time, and I pray to my gracious Father above that I'll make the best of it. So would you lift a glass with me, as we listen to Vaughn Williams Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis, and toast my new life. May you be as rewarding as my previous life.
Dé Luain, Lúnasa 29, 2005
The howling whirl wind with hurricane force
Drives me from all that which should be mine
Once thought sacrosanct, my very thought
Has turned to memory and even now seems like
Someone else’s story, from someone else’s time
The mind cannot be trusted to know black from white
So with animal instinct the mind is discarded
Trust moving like a misfit from organ to organ
Lost it seems, if only for a moment
Confusion is king here and his mistress is the heart
A mistress cold and warm, filled with grief and love
She finds comfort in the solace of knowledge
Knowledge not of books and the minds philosophy
But in the intent of purpose, the stoicalness of freedom
What the heart knows can only be known through confusion
Confusion comes now in the form of emotion
The mind speaks in words, but the heart in action
Through anger the heart bleeds
Through love the heart rejoices
Through emotion the heart is moved to more than ideal
And sometimes the heart cries
Through pain and lament the heart is changed
And this mistress takes on the gown of the widow
Clothed in black she hides away her crumbling form
And speaks to no one, but with tears
Dé Domhnaigh, Lúnasa 21, 2005
I've gotten in to the habit of blog hopping. Some of them have been my friends and some of them are mere acquaintances. But one difference that I've noticed is a lack of social commentary on my part. This may lead to the thought that I'm not concerned with social concerns or society in general. This just isn't so. I am a student of society, an anthropologist of sorts. I like to know what make people tick, and in doing so I must also study society. While never impressed with it, I am normally intrigued by pop culture and the fads that seem to advance it, if it can be called advancement. But these aren't real social concerns are they? These are a just the movements of a pampered, infant culture that indulges itself in what it thinks is its most deserved and self-earned power, but I digress. There are of course more pressing social concerns, some would say the war in Iraq, others would say the removal of Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip. Still more would speak of racism throughout the world., or the situation of the Indian Dalit people. Needless to say there are countless causes, not including the Miss Universe answers of ending world hunger and bringing about world peace. So why pick one?
We tend to argue over which one is better, and who is right. We write out treatises in the hopes that other will be so conviced that they mobilize into some sort of action. Even worse is what happens in the, and please excuse me for useing this cliche, "Christian sector." We have a propensity to over socialize the gospel. I say over socialize here simply meaning that the mandate of Christ comes with a certian social aspect. We are to 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' Other passage blatently state that there will be rewards for those who care for the helpless, or even that heaven may not be obtainable without helping them. Matthew 25:31-46 explicitly states that there will be a seperation between those who have done and those who have not done. Those who are considered the goats, those who are unrighteous and and not helped the helpless, sent away eventhough they do not understand how they failed. They are sent away from God forever. But again, I said over socialize. I sometimes think that we can get so caught up in our need to satisfy this social gospel that we forget why we are to do it. We as a church get caught in our fights over social issues like allowing homosexuals to be clergy or even apart of our congregation. I'm not here to argue this point so I'll withhold my thoughts on the issue. We waste so much time arguing and writing about these things. Personally I'm done with it. We are to love, and be love for those around us.
I cringe at the thought of war. I weep for those in Gaza who could not live peacefully with each other. I am moved to action for the Dalit denied the basic human dignity. I choose to love the homosexual. So social concerns...we write on them to make people aware of the situation, but it really doesn't do much good. At IWU we were taught, or at least it was jamed into our heads, to be world changers. I've adapted this a little bit. I define it as my world, the people in my area, the ones I come in contact with on a daily basis. I can't change the world. I can't change anyones mind. The first is something only God can do, and if he chooses to change the small portion I'll come in contact with in my sort life I am both honoured and willing to be used. The second is harder. Only the individual can change his mind. I can make my arguements, but in the end it is not my choise as to what you believe. I may write on some social issue later on, but it's not to provoke thought, not to bring light to a particular situation, or to move you to action. I have no reason so call anyone into action but myself. Provoke yourself, do not be provoked. I deal in philosophy for a reason. I only seek to stimulate the mind, my mind normally. If you come along for the ride that's fine too. I like it when I travel with people.
Dé hAoine, Lúnasa 19, 2005
...so I've been sitting here catching up on the lives of at least some of my friends by reading their various blogs. Liz, my great Canadian missonary friend, is currently in Japan teaching English. I knew that this was happening before tonight but hadn't heard anything from her in a while. My friend Josh Morton seems to be obsessed with the so-called social norm. He mentions Starbucks, a favorite haunt of mine, and lemon flavored or an flavor of water. I know that he's just being sarcastic in his responce to another blog, but I like to play ignorant from time to time just to provoke him. Not that anything here would be overly provoking.
I ended up remembering that I've not writen in a while and that the last time I wrote I promised to write about somthing else. My sincerest apologies to Amy, I'll get back to it at some point. My thoughts on the book of Ephesians are scattered at best and I am still left with many more questions that I simply havn't had time to think about. One question in particular relates to the philosophical question of reality. I had made a statement relating my thoughts on the spiritual nature of the book. Ephesians is where you find the passage "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." This passage should be familar to the guys in my chorale. I really think that this is the crux of the entire letter, and it is important to remember that when reading the rest of the letter. The letter is full of referances to the higher powers at work in the world, and the importance on being united against them. I don't quiet remember what I said, but I'm sure I made some distinction or some reference to there being a "real" world and a "spiritual" one. To this my professor wisly reminded me that Paul may not have seen a distinction between the two. I can, and probably should, get into this topic a little more, but I'll do that a little later on. As you can imagine there are streams of questions flowing from this, and personally I've yet to formulate an adequate response. So I hope that gets you started, and hopfully I'll beable to respond to this further at a later time.
On a happy note, not that anything so far has been unhappy, I'm done with my summer traveling. That's right, no more long car rides, no more 24 hour follies, praise the Lord I'm done. This last trip was extremly fruitful, I am now gratefully employed. I'm taking the internship position in CT, and am every excited about it. That's actually where I was this past weekend. I visited, I sang, I enjoyed myself, and became ever increasingly impressed if not a bit intimidated by the area and sheer quality of the music that they do there. It was amazingly impressive, and I'm going to greatly enjoy my time there.
I've also watched two movies in the past couple of days, The Godfather and Sin City. Now the Godfather I've seen before. It's a great peice of cinema, and I was in the mood for something manly and not necessarily thought provoking. Sin City, is a great new addition to the Film Noir genre. If you've never seen anything from this genre, the quintessential film noir is dark in its cinematography with an equally dark plot, filled with antiheros and people you would love to hate if you didn't feel so sorry of them. It's understandly why I like them so much. Sin City is a great peice of work, and if you can stand a good bit of blood, bad language, a little nudity, and some scantily clad women, then you might want to pick this one up. It's not for the faint of heart and if you're looking for somthing light hearted this definatly isn't the film for you, but if your like me and you want to explore the seedy underbelly of human existance than this movie is for you. But don't take my word for it. (que reading rainbow outro)
So there you have it. I've pretty much summed everything that's not overly personal in my life right now. There is still the Ephesian question left to ponder, and life goes on, as it normally does. So I'll leave you with the immortal words of Dr. Suzano...more to come!
Dé Máirt, Lúnasa 09, 2005
I recieved something today that I've been waiting for for a long time. My copy of the pictures and dvd that steve was sending everyone from my New Zealand team. I had time, or rather I made time, to sit down and look at all of them. I laughed, I cried, I got staired at by my mom as I tried to explain some of what was going on. I was increasingly suprised to find all of the details that I remembered. I know that it wasn't that long ago but still memories fade and things get fuzzy, there's nothing odd or wrong about that it's just the way it is. But as I sat and watched those images flashing before my eyes, I could remember every detail, every impression, every emotion attached to the image on the screen. I remembered being freaked out of my mind at that first friday night meeting with the Tongan youth. We all had been caught by surprise, what do you do when you just find out that you and your group are incharge of the next hour or so, and that they are looking forward to the service that we've prepared. Prepared? Did you prepare anything? I didn't prepare anything, I mean my guitar is in the van. I didn't think that we'd need it. Oh nutz!
I remembered everything. It was a wonderful thing, just to sit and remember somthing so vividly. The pictures definatly helped. They allowed me to put faces to the names that I've been telling my family. It was just a great time for me if no one else. It put a smile on my face. I remembered again how badly I want to go back someday. I remembered the smiles on my friends faces, and I heard their laughter. Sometimes all you need is a picture to spark a memory, and sometimes all you need is a memory.
Between that and my contued research into the book of Ephesians, which is bring about as many questions as answers. I'll probably write about this later on, I need to coalesce my thoughts and formulate some actual questions before I do that. My questions right now just have a lot to do with the evidence and the idiosyncrasies that come up between the data. I love history. No matter who you'll ask, you'll never get the same answer twice. I was this close to becomeing a historian, but I like being outside to much. Anyway, I need to sleep. More on the history of Ephesus to come.
Dé Luain, Lúnasa 08, 2005
I have many friends, and while I make it my business to discern from them their emotions both towards me and towards daily life...I'm not always as discerning as I like to think that I am. It is possible then that someone I don't know very well harbors feelings for me and that I am unaware of them. Though I like to think that I would be observant enough to notice that, or that that person would make themselves known to me.
Now, before I over step my bounds and out rightly assume that you are such a person, let me set at least one thing straight. I am happy being single. My confusion that I talked about in my last blog is simply my inability to reconcile that feeling with the strong feelings that I still hold for one of my dearest friends. That's really all that it is. I write things down to get them out and into the air. It helps me understand what I'm thinking and how I feel if I write them down. So, my anonymous commenter, if you are the person you write about just keep in touch, write to me, tell me what your up to. If your not, thanks for responding. I don't mean to sound down and out, maybe just melancholic. You too should keep in touch, not everything I write about is so confusing and melancholic in nature. At least I don't intend it to be.
Dé Domhnaigh, Lúnasa 07, 2005
Slow, ever so slowly, the confusion is lifting. The past couple days have been...weird, I guess that would be the word for it. Whether it all stems from being tired, I don't know, but I has been almost impossible to gather my thoughts and put together one coherent thought. I've been doing a lot of writing on the side to help. I've written song lyrics, though I haven't looked at them yet and I'm not sure there any good. I've written a letter, or at least part of it. The letter is probably the most confusing of all my rantings and scribblings. Letters have recipients, and I'm not sure who this one is too. It's possible that it's for the person whose name I've placed at the top, but then again it's very possible that the letter is for me and will never be sent. It's something I'll only know when I've finished it, and even then if it's for the person whose name stands at the top of the page it still may not be sent. So...Some of the confusion is lifting, but much of it is still veiling my eyes.
So much of my life right now is like that though. I guess I should be getting used to it by now, but there is just something about it, call it human fear of the unknown, that prohibits me from becoming comfortable with my current situation. Again maybe this is just a divine set up, a movement in providence, an unveiling of sorts to reveal to my sight the kind of awkward, blinded existence that I'm stepping into. I don't want this to sound like I'm surprised, shocked, or even caught off guard by this. I know full well, as I believe any thinking person would, that life is full of surprises, of veiled emotion, and caution movement forward. I still plan, and hopefully even now, to live boldly. To step out when it seems hard, and I guess that this is where my problems lies. In one sense I want to step out, I want to live boldly and say the things I feel I need to say, but in another sense...I've known for a long time, though my friends will attest that I don't always act this way, that prudence is often then best course of action. Sometimes you just need to know when to keep your mouth shut, and live like nothing is bothering you at all.
So what is to be done? I know that this has been rather ambiguous, and I do apologize for that, but I just don't think that laying the full story on the line right now, especially with the way I feel is the best gambit to be played. So...Now what? I think that I'll finish that letter first and see what happens next.
Dé Céadaoin, Lúnasa 03, 2005
I've come the the conclusion that I'm no longer going insane. I think I've reached my destination at least half a year ago, and I'm finally realizing it. I managed to make it to Nate and Maria's wedding, but I was dumb enough to do it in one day. Up at four, on the road by five, Eau Claire by 1:30, wedding at 2:30, reception till 7:30, home again home again by four. It was a great day, though I don't want to do that again anytime soon. But it all had to be done, to meet up with everyone on monday, and by everyone I mean Erica in particular. I wish I wouldn't have been as tired, but I guess that's was I had to give to get there. I was great to see her again, I just wish that we would have more time to talk. I was just so tired from the day before that I couldn't think straight for most of the day, and by the time I felt better it was just about time for us to part ways again. I don't know when I'll see her again, and all I really could think about today was the next time we'd meet. So with a hug we said good bye again, to be honest I didn't want to say good bye. I didn't want to let go, and it took a lot just to walk away. I don't know...I'm tired. I'm going to bed.
Dé Máirt, Iúil 05, 2005
In the past four days I managed put another thousand miles on my odometer. I was out in Ohio for the wedding of one of the greatest friends it has been my privilage to come to know. It was a good trip, though to be completly honest I really had no desire to do any more traveling, but it was good all the same. I got to see a lot of friends that I haven't seen in years, it really was great. I even ended up in Marion, and will most likely be headed back there for a few more days in the next couple of weeks.
Needless to say I spent a lot of time by myself, in a rather confined space, moving at a rather fast pace, and we all knows that this little equation normally equals out to Aaron thinking about a lot of the things that were on his mind. All of this happened, and I had a lot of really interesting things rolling through my mind. Unfortunately, I can't really remember much of it. There was a lot of life, a lot of realizations, things that I noticed for the first time in myself (good and bad). For all my talk about being happy being single, I finally found it being second nature this past weekend. I said it, and meant it. It was almost a shock to me, somthing I never though I would do.
So I really don't have much to say right now. I'm still mulling over a lot of what I thought about. Still running some of those scenarios through the rational side of my mind, weeding out out the things that just are not right, or just way to far fetched to ever really happen. So...If you read this and are wondering what the crap is going on...Sorry, theres no point to this one. I'm just clearing the air, creating a tabula rasa of sorts. So, we'll start fresh on a new day. Just not today.
Dé Máirt, Meitheamh 28, 2005
There's no philosophy tonight, just simple amazment. This morning I recieved a call from Erica. It was nice to talk to her, nice to hear her voice. To be honest I was worried that somthing was rather wrong. She had been trying to reach me on my cell and I was in the shower, when I caught the message she said she really needed to talk to me, which in my analytical mind translated as trouble. So I was slightly worried. I say slightly because I've reached a point in my life where I know right away the things I can and cannot do somthing about, and this was obviously somthing I couldn't do much about, so worried but only slightly worried. Like I said the conversation was nice, very refreashing and unexpected. To be honest it kind of set the mood for the rest of my day. I seemed lighter on my feet today, and while I've been anything but melancholic the past few weeks, things where just different today. Not much else happened. I picked up around the house, went to Walmart, had my mom add to the list of things she thinks I should do before I what I'm not sure. I'd say before I grow up, but I'm afraid that happened along time ago and an immaturity on my part can be attributed to a simple regression of my state of mind. (Though I normally enjoy it thoroughly) I've been blindsided a good bit today. Calls from Viet Nam that were fervently trying to get a hold of me, finding somthing called "Coke Zero" (if you see this and don't like Diet Coke, just ignore it. They just renamed Diet Coke), Rereading old email and seeing things I'd not read before, or at least not in the way that I read them this time around. But there's no heavy thinking tonight, I'm tired and don't really want to think on them. So the moral of the story is this, even when life is slow it comes at you fast, and in many cases rather unexpectedly.
Déardaoin, Meitheamh 23, 2005
Ok, so...now what? It's a question that I've heard a lot over the past 5 years of school, and especially now since I've left. Every Sunday I'm at church I have at least five or six people ask me the question right after they've asked me how it feels now that I'm graduated. Personally I've asked myself that particular question every day I've been back in this country. It's at this point that my dreams kick in and I pick on and go with it. I don't think that I've given the same answer to any two people I've talked to so far. Heck, I don't even give myself the same answer. I've really been considering the possibility of packing up my gear and heading out into the woods for a few days. Maybe hike some of the Appalachian trail. I've got things that might happen in the future, things to work toward, to strive for, but nothing for right now. I've been kind of just sitting around, doing some work around the house, reading, playing video games, watching movies and tv, and waiting for my car to be fixed (which it is by the way), and trying to find a job. Since the last one on the list hasn't worked out so far, I've been doing a good bit of the other ones. Frankly, some of the stuff is really wearing thin. In anycase, I'm just going to keep going at things. If I find some work that woudl be great, if not...oh well. I'll know if I'll have that internship in a few weeks and if I don't get it I can move forward appropriatly. I'm not sure what that move would be, probably a year or so with GEM, Greater European Missions. I've been talking with them the past semmester, and they seem pretty interested in me, but I need to wait on that until I hear about the internship. So...now what? I'm back to that question. I'm starting to thing that my answer for now is just to wait and enjoy the time that I have to relax and just be where I am for the time being. I keep talking about not having a home, and moving around a lot, you know the "foxes have dens" things, but now that I have time to just be where I am I think of it more as wasting time and being stuck. If there is one thing that school taught me it was to be active, and the inactivity of the past few weeks has had me on edge more than anything, but maybe that's the point. Maybe I need to, just for a while, be somewhere and not have somthing to do or a dead line to meet. So...now what? Come what may, even if I just have to wait for a while.