Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm very much like Stephen Dedalus in "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce. I've been in the lowest of lows and depended on the very shallow sources of life to satisfy me, and then I've been to a spiritual extreme, maybe an unhealthy extreme, that blinded me from the reality of the world. But, as I have been made, I am an artist of my own life. I am an artist of words and music. So where's the balance?? I cannot deny beauty and then at the same time I cannot deny a Higher Power that is all around us. Floating freely and concentrating on the inner parts of our souls.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Episode II

So...so....not too many entries this school year on here.

Good?

Sure.

Reading more, discovering more.

For example, Candide. At first read this satirical novel appeared to only serve the purpose of a political mockery relating to the time Voltaire had written it. But...no. NO! Voltaire asks "what is the balance between realism and optimism??" It had never dawned upon me until rereading the last phrase in the book, "cultivate our garden", that I saw that thinking too deeply is just as poisonous as perhaps not thinking at all. And so here I am, peering out my window of perception that is yet to creak open more and more with each day, yet only glancing momentarily then straining my sight. Either way, the peaceful balance we can accomplish as human beings is not visible. We were meant to just BE. When we can allow ourselves to be a part of the universal theory of concentrating on love rather than self benefit, peace will be granted.

Maybe, though, I am way over my head. But I like to think that all of these thoughts have a reason, but only if practiced, only if the theory is produced through lifestyle choices.

There are so many beautiful things in life, such as the ability to feel mentally and soulfully connected to art. The feeling generated in the heart by listening to music is an anomaly compared to any common emotion, because it is inexplicable.

What's even more rad, is how certain tools can enhance your musical experience.

Thank you, Ethereal Journey.

Last year Marissa lent me her Chuck Klosterman book IV. I had only read half of it last year, but two days ago I picked it up again and am almost completely done with it. Now I totally understand her love for this guy. He takes journalism to a completely different level, not to mention he's quite witty!

Much love to all!, Jenn

Sunday, October 18, 2009

pshh

there's this thing called love.

It's the best thing in the world.

And we all want more of it.

And sometimes we don't want it at all...because we are aware of how much LOVE can tear us as much as it can bind us.

Then there's love for God that I have right now. The one thing I'm holding onto is His love by giving me music, for me to vent through.

blah blah

i'm wondering what i should do.

today at new harvest i was refreshened with the lesson of wrestling with God.

and I haven't wrestled. I've just pushed him away. Because I don't really want to talk to Him about the stuff I want to control. He is supposed to be my pilot, yet I'm treating Him like the co-pilot in all areas of my life.

And I'm fustrated with certain things...hmm...yeah quite a few. But I'm not going to post it on this blog. Cold weather always brings cold times in my life it seems. And it's freezing outside.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

laa dee dahhh!

it's so pretty outside today.

really, really pretty.

and I'm happy.

Things have been going well. It's my senior year, and so it seems that everything feels more laid back, more comfortable.

Friday, September 25, 2009

so i see that a long of things are fake.

and a lot are real.

theres less to view

and more to feel.

the end.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I have strayed away. But am not lost.

I am in a new spectrum but still in love's grip.

and all the while I wonder,
where Jesus is
waiting
for me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

War

Human beings, we as ourselves, as the walking, breathing spectacle of spiritual intelligence, have a far way to go down. As in down, I mean reduction. The elimination of our selfish desires only brings us the joy of serving others, serving the Higher Power, and sticking to the senses of nature. Why do we instantly try to dive deeper within an emotion of happiness...sadness...greed...and then thrive upon its supply of reaction, the response of our own bodies that take these feelings and create an action.

So why have we tried to stray away from the fact that we, like the wilderness, are a part of it? If it were not for the cells that combine and divide in order to produce an infant, we wouldn't be here. The trees...if they were not present in our dark soil, then we couldn't breathe. And yet our wants to continue technological advancement is really out of protection rather than convienence. The world's people are competing amongst each other, where wealth and physical strength count most. Survival of the fittest, in a sardonic tone.

But why have we, as a "christian" nation, or a country that is supposed to represent freedom, peace, another chance, not grant that presentation to foreign countries? Is it really our government's right to call the shots on who to fight, who to kill. And kill we do. Well, it's not us at home comfortable with jobs, school, whatever it may be. Then it doesn't even come down to the individual when murder is placed on our name. But rather than label myself as an American, I think the only way to change the world's state is by the individual responsibility we all have. Although I am thankful for the protection and courtesy of our American Troops, I believe our nation as a whole does not understand the effect of sacrifice. Fighting never brings a positive connotation upon any being, any group of people. "MAKE ART NOT WAR" says the popular t-shirts hanging on a rack in your local wal-mart that was produced by a child working for five cents a week in an illegal factory in asia. There's so much greed, and so much shadowing of the truth of our violent acts, so we can keep supporting a war. I don't understand how fighting the terrorist group ENDS terrorism.

And that's the sacrifice. Would YOU be willing to put down a weapon, and surrender not specifically to the country, but to your own beliefs. Murder is wrong. When is it ever right? Honestly...when is murder everrrr right? When is it just? When is it acceptable in moral terms?

Bravery is shown by those who serve for our country. But there just has to be another way to solve the long lived problem (this problem that has been around since biblical times) of war. And I think that by stating I disagree with war, that is a start.

Monday, August 10, 2009

drums

As human beings, we can do a lot.

But without God, we are without direction, right?

What are we capable of as His children?

I've been trying to figure out what His plan for me, at this moment in time, is.

I dont' really listen to Christian music anymore. It's not because I think it's bad, or stupid, or anything...it's just that I feel He wants me to search somewhere else, search somewhere deeper. Because God cannot be summed up in a song, or all the music in the world.

But...maybe He's also trying to tell me that the gift He granted, music, is something I need to expand my concentration on.

My drumset is crappy. HAHA but I'm thankful for it. I think it's made me a better player...because I have to work harder to get a better sound. Whenever I play on nice sets, it blows me away. How sensitive they are, how responsive they are to your musicality. And I realize that a new set is not what I need right now. That's so much money!!!

What I need to do, is just keep learning, learning, learning. And listening to music. MAKE music, not just run it.

the end.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's time that I try to find myself. By myself.

And not have anyone else define for me.

Or any drug.

Any substance.

Any genre of music, any hobby.

I've been sitting in a red chair for a couple of days, healing from my surgery, and it's given me more than enough time to journal and sketch my thoughts out.

And I've decided to leave them in those notebooks.

For now.

That privacy between God and I, is great.

And even though I'm calming down in an obedient sense, as in not focusing on BEING the Christ follower, maybe all God wants me to do is to learn how to love myself.

Because for a long, long...long time I haven't done that. I haven't faced myself.

Now is perfect timing. My best friend is away. School isn't going on. I'm not dependent on anyone except for God. It's fustrating to learn that you have deeper problems than you thought. And you start to break yourself down. But these are skeletons that have no heart, just bones that give my soul an outter frame, and they can whither away, or they can stay and enhance my strength.

And all the rest, I'll keep in me. Between God and I.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

time to warp the minds of thousanddzzz

so warped tours coming soon. i miss it so.

I know this has nothing to do with God, but...

warped tour's pretty schweet.

I'm not religious.

I'm not religious.

Just inspired by Christ.

Attempting to follow His footsteps, one tiny tip toe march a day.

What's the point of focusing on our wrongs?

When He has forgiven us?

When He wants us to glorify the kingdom with our strengths?

I'm not religious.

I'm not nit picky.

And sticking to the small paranoid drones of personal sin,
does not allow healing.

If we focus on Jesus,
we will be cleansed.

I'm not religious.

Just inspired by Christ.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baptism

Yesterday I was baptized.

And to be completely honest...I don't have words to truly describe the feeling of being in the water, feeling connected with God, and saying that Jesus is Lord infront of many family members and friends. My dad came which was pretty awesome.

It's....amazing. The memories of where I was in the fall, and how much HE HAS CHANGED ME INTO A HAPPIER BEING is overwhelming. When I went under water was the only time a tear came down my face, but other than that, I was attempting to keep it in.

To see my sister baptized before me. How we have followed this healthy path of recovery...and all because of Christ...ahhh gosh it's indescribable.

So many adults, grown men and women, being vulnerable for God and crying because the emotion of Jesus smiling at us is amazing. There was such a genuine nature that day. So many stories, so many lives, so many broken hearts being put back together, piece by piece, and in a restored form. Awesome awesome awesome!

My baptism is my favorite memory of life so far.

I can't forget it.

Dry, empty-
no longer am I.
Christ caught my misery,
making it into light.

And as the water,
the cool river stream
is used for Your glorification.
We bury ourselves deep,
arising with victorious declaration-

Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is Lord!

Son of earth and of heaven,
How do You make the sun bounce onto our faces,
while the river's ripples glaze over death's dust?
Amazing us.

We are illuminated by mercy,
highlighted by creation's beauty.

The Might One, God, The Lord
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun
to the place where it sets

Your love cleanses,
Your love is this stream!
Reflections of ourselves,
Your Children,
Proclaiming-

Jesus is Lord!
Jesus is Lord!

AMMMMEEEEEENNNNNNN

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Discovering the Plan


See that shadow of light between the trees, past the grey clouds? To me, that is heaven. Yet I am on the path we must all follow to reach it, to try to dedicate more of our lives to Christ. But His presence is within me, His love wrapped around our souls that cannot be destroyed by things of this earth.



I'm currently in this state of mine, questioning my faith.

This is healthy.

This is great.

It leads me to discover what Jesus has planned for me next. This spiritual quest drives me to find what He wants me to do, what He wants me to hear Him say.
And oddly enough, I believe it's not so much another phase of total submersion into a devotional, focusing all my intense worship-ness only on Sundays, or even forcing myself to read the Bible consistently. Instead, I think He wants me to see who I am through BEING who I am. The fact that we can identify ourselves as Christ followers, yet at the same time as individuals, is amazing! It wouldn't surprise me if people only classify themselves as Christians, and I don't see anything wrong with that. But I love expressing myself through writing and music, and I do this FOR GOD'S GLORY and not really for myself anymore. There's a reason why we are granted natural abilities to perform or relate to other people, and I think it's because God has a purpose for us on earth to live out these gifts. We mustn't worry so much about where it will take us, but we should take in every moment, the great and the unbearable, and rise above this world's upliftings and downfalls to enhance our connection with the Lord. Heaven...that place above where we all want to be, I am so so so just wowed thinking about how it's beyond our imagination of happiness! To be with GOD, our creator, our rock, our shelter, our provider, our EVERYTHING! Can I get an AMEN?!

For about a week now, I've sat in English class, taken aback by the intensity of words in The Grapes of Wrath. The distinct use of human nature and biblical references is astounding. Although I haven't cracked it completely (and probably won't, considering a novel is a novel...the arguments and questions sometimes never have a true answer!), I have been inspired by Chapter 14 when Steinbeck writes, "This you may say of man- when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back." Powerful. We may make some grand mistakes, but it is instinct to pick up the pieces and move on. That is our human nature, otherwise we would not survive in this society of torment and decisiveness.

And at the same time, God provides us with so many beautiful things here on earth- each other. People make the place. Not to mention the trees, the sound of a flame flickering. You can't imitate the Lord's creation one hundred percent, it's impossible. Like cloning- what the heck dude? We don't need that crapppp!!! I don't wanna see twenty of the same person. Strange...!

Jeremiah has been a favorite of mine lately. The contrast between sorrow and then praise for God is a perfect portrayal of all of us and our emotions conflicting with faith.

"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail." (Jeremiah 20:11)
"Sing to the Lord! Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked." (Jeremiah 20:13)

"'Am I Only a God nearby,' declares the Lord, 'and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the Lord. 'Do I not fill Heaven and earth?'" (Jeremiah 23:23-24)

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I call out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to His ears." (2 Samuel 22:7)

God of our life,
our heaven,
our sky,
continue to set us free from the captivity of depression,
of unhealthy obsession.

Lord,
You proved me wrong so long ago
When I tried to doubt Your existence
while my heart was overwrought
with pain tingling and screeching

You silence all the chaos,
calm the violent winds,
and seem to find me again,
during times I think I'm falling,
into the abyss of loneliness.
Thank You!


This is how much free time I have in Spanish Class by the way! HAHA




Sunday, May 24, 2009

i have a problem

Thursday, May 21, 2009

He totally watched over us tonight!

I just returned to Powhatan, Virginia after one of the most insane nights of my life.

A group of my friends, my sister, and I went to Carry Town this evening. Trouble was, no one in the car really knew how to get there. Being the taxi driver, this made me a little nervous, but I wasn't freaking out any. Either way, lost or on track, we all knew it'd be a great experience.

Turns out we ended up in Goochland, near the correction facility. We stopped the car in a cow field, Rachel running out into the grass and jumping on rocks, while the rest of us are trying to gain contact with some person who'd have some slight idea of some way to get back to some trail that leads to Carry Town.

After realizing that the phone service sucks out there, I decided we should ask the people at Java Jodi's. They were closed. So I thought, HEY! Let's go across the street to the butcher's!

And it turns out that when we asked for the butcher's help, he told us to wait ten minutes for him to pack some meat up in his car, and that we could follow him since he lived there! WOW SHA BANG how weird is that?! It was an amazing coincidence hahaha. But at the same time, I was also feeling iffy because I felt incredibly responsible for all the girls who were all younger than me. My gut told me it would be alright.

The butcher was pretty funny. He wore a bright tie dye shirt, had icey blue eyes, and that leather looking skin from smoking. At one point he asked some of my friends if they'd mind helping him with the meat and to go into the freezer, where an entire dead pig was. They screamed and were immediately freaked out! HAHAHA Although I HATED being there because I think it's horribly cruel to have a store where they chop up innocent animals! BOO!

Turns out this guy was honest, he lead us right to Carry Town. We had PLANNED to go see Coraline at the Byrd, but for obvious reasons of being lost, we missed it. Mariah, who was one of the friends in the group, told me to park in this alley way. So I see this spot on the other lane, and try to get over there...(not succesful), and in the process I happen to foil this pregnant woman's attempt to cross the street. Everyone in the car started laughing because you could clearly see her mutter every cussword in the potty mouth alphabet at me. I was kind of terrified that she'd come over and hit me she looked so pissed!

The Galaxy was awesome, as usual. Yum yum

And then at the Byrd were street musicians (as usual), but this time it was a four piece brass ensemble and they were HOT! They played jazz/swing style stuff. Rachel and I danced together, somehow causing a larger crowd of folks to appear and gather. I requested them to play salsa. AND THEY DID!! WOOHOO!!! I gave them two dollars just for that, and I'm money-less so that's good for me!!

Mariah's really bad with directions, and she's well aware of it so I"m not trash talking her. Really, though, she's bad hahaha. We spent an entire hour driving in circles in Richmond looking for the highway. Retarded, but entertaining nonetheless. Eventually we resulted to calling Sarah Brawley, who actually did know how to get out, and helped us, even after her exhausting day of just driving. So I thank God for that!

Anyways....a ton of more stupid crap happened tonight, but it was amazing. One of the best nights of my life. I will never forget all of us, under eighteen, driving late at night around Richmond, not losing our minds but making the most out of confusion, and later on praising Jesus for ensuring our safety!

When Rachel and I drove home, we listened to worship music, because we recognized how much He has done for us today. He answered our prayers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Last Monday my therapist said to me, "You have changed so much. I wish you could see our first session, where you could hardly breathe, and see yourself now, calm and content."

And this is the part of my journey where the fear that has been sticking to my heart has to peel off. That fear inside is the anxiety to try facing the world step by step without the assistance of a therapist. Within six months, they will start decreasing my amount of medicine. Yesterday when I went to hang with Sarah for an hour, I expressed the loathing of having to be taken off a pill. The psychiatrist I have told me some people do not react well to decreasing medicine, and that it's very possible for me to need to stay on medicine longer. I'm fine with taking medicine as long as I need it. I like the fact that some chemical is helping my mind balance, my emotions balance. And at the same time, it doesn't make me numb. But this fear, I have to let go of.

Then there's school. My life...which sheesh in a year I'll be out of highschool and will be one month away from being nineteen (I'm an older student). Let's just say I haven't been recieving too much encouragement from my home. A lot of assumptions really. Negative ones. BUT instead I plan to do whatever God places in my heart. What that is? Not sure. But there's this grand feeling that it has something to do with playing music. I can't live without it. If all else fails school wise, I'll still have that. Might not have a lot of money...but that's never been too important to me. Yes, money is necessary to survive in this country, but I want to be happy. Not go through college majoring in something that doesn't capture my best interest, and always dreaming about being this performer or something! I don't know. It's so great, though, that the Lord has a plan. And I know that His plan is one to cause me to prosper, not to harm. Trusting in Him, I have to push all other's pessimistic assumptions and opinions about me, and turn my eyes upon God. In the end, things always work out for us if we follow Jesus.

And at PCC this Mother's Day, my mom went! The dance at the end was so moving! GOSH! Made me really see how I hit a bad point with life, and God somehow found me through it all! YEAAAHHHH!!!! He is amazing. OH and I almost forgot! haha but I played that service! My friend Rachel thought it was so funny seeing me play with a bluegrass group, but hey it's music! I didn't care! The musicians are the most tolerant and mature guys I've ever played with! Yet...everyone else I've ever played with has been below the age of twenty! Probably explains a lot. I hope I can bring some type of glory in God's name for His people by playing. Being up on the stage, I didn't feel nervous at all! It was awesome! AHHH! I didn't care if people noticed that I was playing drums, I wanted them to hear the music and feel the spirit of the LAWD come aliveeee!!! hahaha SO RAD

Prom was this past weekend! What a great time! Never been to a school dance before. I went crazy! Our group was fun and hyperactive the entire time! At PF Changs I hit on this super cute waiter, and it turned out he was gay! UGH! Besides that though, it was a highlight of my junior year. Infact, my junior year has been more than I could ask for. Yes, I've had to deal with anxiety and crap. BUT I found Jesus, gained a new incredible best friend, learned a lot about myself through God, found a family at PCC and with the Brawleys, and I've felt happiness more than sadness. I've prayed for...a long time for this. For happiness. At night, I still experience this temporary depression. I don't know why...but it's so quiet in my house, we don't really talk to each other, my room is silent. It's strange to transition from a busy school day with dozens of talking people, to my house...where...communication lacks in some areas. But God's working on that. I mean...seriously! My mom came to church with me, that is a big step in my parents supporting my new found faith. She said that she'd come next sunday too! I'm praying she keeps this promise. And it's not that I want her to spend time with ME and ME alone, I want her to discover in this time of her life the love of Christ, and how he always offers change and love. My mom deserves this joy. My dad does too.

The book of Acts is blowing me away. Intense devotion to spreading the word of Christ? You betcha buddy! When Stephen gets stoned, and yet he prays for God to forgive the people...that's Jesus. And how Stephen "falls asleep". There's more to this than him just falling asleep. It's showing that God granted him the peaceful rest apart from the evil that surrounded him. Isn't this what we all want? Apparently...it's possible by not only demonstrating but BEING MOVED by Jesus' guidance. Forgiveness: this is the hardest thing for me. That and jealousy. I could go on about my jealousy problems. The worst part is that I bottle it up for so long and then it explodes. But jealousy shouldn't be in me in the first place. If anyone knows any bible verses based on this, please let me know!!

Gotta run to God for this.

HOPE EVERYONES HAVING A GOOD WEEK!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Childhood Memories



Opening that old chest from the early nineteen hundreds that sits in my living room, I noticed how much of the stuff in there I didn't remember. In the chest are several pieces of art work and writing that Kelsey and I had done in elementary school. Wow! I was one heck of a weird kid but I thought it was hilarious. So...apparently I was a MUCH better artist then compared to now! hahaha here are some of the things I found.


I believe this was from first grade. Obviously an enviromentalist from the start, I wrote "Do not throw trash on the road."

Fourth grade I think. YEAH THATS RIGHT TIGERS ARE AWESOME!




Fifth grade. Not sure what we were supposed be going for...but I had a spongebob building!



Tacky peace sign!!! This was meant to be a dream catcher...HAHAHA





I loved clay and all that jazz. Bear in a swimming pool.





CHECK THIS RADICAL ELEPHANT OUT!!! YEAH!!!! Look at the detail in the nostrils hahahahaha

But it wasn't only art work I discovered, it was writing too. Thought I'd like to share some of the stuff I wrote.

First off: "My Halloween Poem" (Hopefully Ms. Deep will see this, on account of she was my teacher at the time!)



I'm a black cat.

My favorite meal is stewed rat.

The name I have is cosmic creepers.

By this time you can see,

I give people the jeepers.

Hey, you wanna come over to my house?

In the fridge I have a dead mouse.

Now go ahead, eat up.

This is surely a feast.

And here have my great spider cup.

Oh, and on it it has a letter from my friend the beast.

It says "Hello black cat, I'm coming right over now.

While I'm at it I might take a chance to chow."

Oh please don't go away.

I was having a party,

for it's almost Halloween Day.

BAHAHAHAHAHA Kelsey and I died from laughter after reading that. Hmm...can't quite figure it out. Next up is a paper I wrote in third or fourth grade about my wish:

My greatest wish is to be a famous musician. Why? Because I love music! Every night I would get out all the keyboards and my guitar, turn on my TV to channel 59 (which is GAC) and start playing along with the music videos! Some people like rap, but that isn't the kind of music I want to be with. I like country because it has to do with a lot of different instruments. That's a reason why I like Dixie Chicks! No one knows how much I love music! Seriously!! When I was a little kid my dad used to put on some music like KC and the Sunshine band. I would shake my booty to the beat! True! Now let's get back to my greatest wish. I've always wondered when did music start? Why was the first instrument built? There will always be a wonder in the world about music.

Ok so the reason I put this up is because when I looked through all my papers, the majority had to do with music. And...I felt more aware of my true dream. To be a musician. Here's another poem I wrote:

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful

I wonder what will make me happiest in life

I hear chad smith's drum fill on "give it away"

I see a concert arena with screaming fans

I want to one day be a professional drum set or tenor player

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful

I pretend that I am dumb

I believe in God

I touch my drumsticks

I feel there is too much hate in the world

I worry that my parents will be ashamed with me when I grow up

I cry only when something band happens or if I am happy

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful

I understand that not everyone is the same and most things are unfair

I say that this poem is confusing

I dream of performing around the world

I hope I will one day identify my true self

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful.

Reading this, the insecurities of a preteen flashed back into my mind. And I see how far I've come. What surprised me was how I mentioned God. For what seemed like such a long time, I couldn't sense his presence. But I'm thankful the connection between the Lord and I has grown tremendously over the past year or so.

A funny one I found was this. Titled "My Funniest Moment":

"Here it comes!" said my mom. We were at King's Dominion for the weekend. At that time we were riding the log ride. The big hill was just around the corner waiting for people to get soaked. Also at the same time I wished the bathroom was around the corner waiting for me. One or three seconds left till the big splash. 2....1..."VROOM!" went the ride. Now I really had to go to the bathroom! By any chance, the hill was so steep that I couldn't wait any longer. Yes, you guessed it, and boy how soaken wet I was! At least I didn't have to wait anymore. Now that ride is my favorite ride, not because of that though. Just make sure you have to go or not becfore you ride a rollercoaster. Now that's my funniest moment.

It's a mystery to me as to why I would want to share this with the teacher (who was Kelley Deep at the time :D), or my classmates for that matter. Guess I just wanted attention! I loved making people laugh.

Among other poems from later elementary school, there was also my first personal poetry journal from first grade.

When will this all stop?

When will my dog's fat stomach pop?

When will a shock come into my head?

But the most question needs to be asked is

when am I gonna be dead?

Depressing! But when I wrote it I was just trying to rhyme.

I know about dogs

and they like to eat logs

some are as little as a frog

and some are as big as a hog

their favorite food is a hot dog



HAHAHAHAHAH. Gotta love it. Here's one called weddings.

Weddings are the settings of love,

people with emotional feelings fly like a dove.

the whole thing is an act, and I love that number one fact,

that this is a permanent show,

and you can never go back.

The wedding was a setting of love,

and I, ofcourse, flew like a dove.



Alrightyyyy I made marraige sound like a death trap!!! The last one in the book is called "God"

God made us, our head to our toe

But that, I think, you already know.

Bibles are based on stories that are tru,

and they tell you what to do.

Some people have other gods, like buddha

the religion gets to choose ya!

All of them I hear are great,

so what's yours mate?

I believe in God

I think he made me head to toe

now that's what I know.



Growing up in elementary school I was made fun of alot. One reason I happened to have excelled in reading ahead of a lot of kids in second grade was because I read the bible often because it made me feel good. Like it does now! But....it's just weird....to think I broke apart from that. That I didn't realize at the time the power of Christ. And how for a while I forgot it all. I'm glad He let me find comfort in the gospel at that age!

This was a mini report card from pre-school. FUNNY!!!



It's true, I was an aggressive kid. Always wanting to fight and beat up the boys. Which I did.


One last thing. I found the bible I would flip through and stare at when I teeny-weeny. Whenever I'd get sad, I recall flipping to this page in the back. It gave me inner peace, the image of Jesus providing strength to those who were scared of the storm around them.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

porn

Take a look out the window.

Well, it's raining.

Darn.

But it's Sunday, the best day of the week!

And PCC did a service about pornography.

WHAT!??!? PORN?!?!

Yep. PORN.

Why has our society...actually, why has the WORLD and the people in it changed the way God intended sex to be? How come most of us accept the fact that our relatives and friends have a destructive habit, which leads to unhappiness in their relationships? No satisfaction? I wonder, and I ponder on the lack of attention towards the subject. The problem isn't sex, it's what we have made it out to be. How we have taken the biological process and shaped it into a replica of imagination, and sometimes abuse. No one can undo it. Heck, no one can stop the porn business, it's too successful, it's too popular, it's desired and it's a MONEY MACHINE. As human beings we are given the choice to give in, or stay out.

Yet, we live in this world where it's a normalcy. And at my age, in high school, it's much more common than the use of drugs, alcohol, etc.

A part of me believes that people aren't immediately swayed by porn, that it's a "slow fade". You look at the screen, the pictures in the magazine, the words in an erotic novel, and a shock ignites in your mind, "This is how it's supposed to be?!". And it's pain, it's grief that comes as a consequence. Then eventually, it's numbness. The loss of innocence, or moral value. We no longer see people around us as human beings, but as items of sexual fantasy.

So many of us have been exposed at a young age, later in life, or at a time when your spouse's addiction affects your relationship. I strongly think that the imagination is much more difficult to erase than the actual action of sexual immorality. Because if your imagination is still running, that means your want for it still exists. And how do you approach God with that? How do you approach the Lord with a cry to wipe the slate clean when you cannot come to terms with your sin? We can ask for a direction to where we can break ourselves in order for us to see Jesus' true path for us, and see people as He wants us to. The most amazing, amazing, and amazing thing that the Lord offers us is a chance to gain purity again.....

Just now I stopped typing and closed my eyes and felt like Jesus was saying to me, "I promise you this opportunity to become new in my light."

I'm praying for all who are struggling with an addiction to porn. God's promise for us to be new again is what I praise Him for right now, in this moment. It's a personal topic, it runs deep within the darkest pit of depression within us, but we can always, ALWAYS be sure that Jesus knows what's going on. He knows the way out, and He has so much confidence that we can break free if we choose His guidance, rather than that of our addiction's allurement.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nightmares





In spanish class today we watched this REALLY INTERESTING IT PUT ME TO SLEEP video on South American countries and the animals there. Well, it turns out that one animal they happened to focus on was the anaconda. Now, for those who remember 1997, that beautiful and wonderful year, you might recall the film Anaconda with Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez, and some other terrific celebrities. I remember quite clearly my father making my sister, mom, and I watch that movie when it came out on VHS. The image of the evil anaconda swallowing J-Lo whole still remains in my memory (if I'm not mistaken). That was my first scary movie experience. Now, though, I see clips of it and see how stupid it is. However, it caused a chain of nightmares for about two years, the same dream over and over.


This dream that was a result of watching Anaconda consisted of my family walking through a desert, all of us frightened about the snake that could appear if you touched this big red button on a yellow notepad. Suddenly, there was a transition of location, and we were all at my house. I was looking down at my feet, pale against the dark green carpet at my old house, and entering the kitchen sensing worry. My uncle and dad were sitting at the table, talking. They showed me the notepad, and for some dumb reason I hit the red button. Their faces looked alert and astonished at my action, and they told me to hide under the table with them. Next thing I know, the anaconda appeared, and I saw my uncle and dad being choked and his face going purple, ending with eyes closing and bodies going limp.


The anaconda disappeared. Quickly I ran through the hallway into my room, where toys were lying around in random, messy order, covering the floor like fallen confetti. It was nighttime so my room was dark with only an amount of lighting equivalent to that of a burning candle. Out of fear, I picked up this keyboard I used to always play on, and just sang and sang and sang so I wouldn't think about what had just happened. But I heard the anaconda slither on the carpet, and his bright skin come into my view. His body was incredibly long, at the time it felt like his length was never ending. The anaconda did not come alone. With their necks wrapped in the tight clench of the snake's thick body was my whole family dead. Tongues sticking out sloppily and backs and legs being dragged slowly. I dropped my keyboard, and then it was me who was gasping for air and could feel my eyeballs almost popping out because the anaconda kept pulling tighter, and tighter, and tighter............


And it ended.


I was six when I had that dream. It seems so weird for such a young kid to dream something that graphic...but that nightmare would play over and over again when I slept. In that same order. That's why I haven't forgotten. My mom told me to pray about it, and ask that I have no more bad dreams. Well, it worked after a couple of weeks. Therefore, it has been many years since I've had countless nightmares in a short time span. Recently, though, I've had too many!


The first dream was about a month ago, and in it someone tried to shoot my best friend. With a black gun and a dark mask over his face, the man shot his gun at Sarah. I ran infront of it and dodged it for her. It scared me so bad I woke up.


Then another, which was by far the worst worst worst worst dream I have EVER had! But, I'd rather not post it on the internet. Don't try to use your imagination and guess, it's not worth your time.


There have been several other ones, but most of them are random. Not funny random either, just...weird and confusing. Like- how did my mind make that up?


Maybe all of these dreams associate with my fears.

GOD is pretty cool.

HMMM....let's see here!

First off: feeling called lately by the Lord to play drums. When I brought home the Core values of PCC sheet that Beth Brawley gave to me, my mom started crying. Out of happiness ofcourse, but I could tell she's proud that I'm involved in something positive that will add to my commitment to Christ, and through what I love most- music. Wow, it really blew me away thinking about it as I fell asleep, realizing how far I have come. From practically atheist beliefs to having passion for discovering God. There used to be bags under my eyes from smoking and drinking and drugs or whatever...and now if I ever have those bags under them, it's usually from getting up early to get ready for church, or having spent a whole night with my best friend watching worship videos and crying because we come to a realization that God has saved us. My heart is so thankful for the friends He's given me, I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for their encouragement. My life now is complete opposite from what it used to be. I can say that with absolute certainty and no exxageration. And I'm proud, I'm amazed. What I'm able to declare with truth is, hey, if I was able to feel the Holy Spirit move in me during a time of tremendous doubt in God's existence, then He MUST be real. You can't deny that crazy, totally awesome, and sometimes ethereal experience of God speaking to you, in which ever form or worship that produces the greatest connection.

But going back to my mom, she even told me that she had been praying a lot more lately and that it's helping her at work, which was a gift from God, since I've been praying to Him to encourage my parents to seek His face in order to deal with their everyday stress, just as I've been working on. And, so, I see in my mom this kind of hope that she will become more interested in coming to...PCC!!! Yes, that would be great. I've been asking her for a while to come to a service with me, but since she is emotional, she feels like it'd be uncomfortable. Although, haha, let's face it, PCC is the most accepting church around when it comes to being moved by Him!! Ahh....the unity we find in Christ is great isn't it?! No, really, IT IS!

And so last night at the band practice I was able to hop on the kit and play a song. I'm not going to lie, I was little nervous since none of them had ever really seen me play before. But it felt like joy beyond comprehension. And the fact that this year my mom has been disappointed with my grades (failing chem!), but I can make her proud of me by worshipping Jesus Christ through music, I can't doubt that it's a calling. It's a sign of something I'm not sure of yet. Then again, what's the fun in knowing all the future holds? That's the excitement in trusting Christ with what we don't know will happen in the future, because everything will work out.

Prayer request: Please pray for my cousin as she prepares for a trial next month. And for the people who are either suffering or not being able to go anywhere because of swine flu.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blabbing about a balloon...and life




How do you take in the world with realistic eyes, but holding onto that child-like awe that keeps the mind and heart amazed by simple sights?


For instance, releasing a balloon and watching it fly up...up...UP into the clouds, its color becoming more and more intense in the sun's spotlight. As a child, you stare with squinted lids until the balloon has finally gone out of sight. At first, its common to become very upset to lose something that caught your attention, being so light and free but its presence obvious and known to a young soul. Yet now, almost reaching the age of legal "adulthood", would I, myself, glue my attention to this balloon...or would I punch my senses to look at something else out of plain boredom?

Walking out of a Ukrop's parking lot when I was little, my mother used to encourage me to keep a firm grip on the ribbon attached to the twisted end of whatever flashing or character-printed birthday balloon she had just purchased. For one reason or another, I always found it to be the most exciting part of celebrating another year of existence. As long as I held onto it, how could the inflated figure literally leave me? The texture of the ribbon as a kid comes back to me now, how the rigid lines on its surface were supposed to aide your determination to simply hold on, even on the most windy of days. But, in reality, why DO they use ribbon? It's not the most trustworthy material!


But behind all this blabbering is a truth- we lose our fascination with the world as we grow. There are some things that I want to hold onto. Like how a field's thousand of grass blades become unified as a breeze tilts and pushes them in a new direction. How bright and vibrant a city street sounds during the day with dozens of people all having someplace to go, and if not, something to do. How music can illustrate visions inside your noggin, and pop goosebumps through your skin. And all this wonder and question? Well, I never want answers as to why these beautiful things happen, but I already know that many curiosities in our lives are the reasons why we are thankful for living.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Break 09






The holy school bell rang at 2:55 last Friday, and within my chest my heart started propelling like a boat motor, ready to head out into the open ocean of Spring Break's freedom. No more long hours in a class room, gazing at the pale whiteboard while all the letters become fuzzy as I zone off through thoughts of "Hm...I wonder if there's any peanut butter left in the pantry...or pancakes in the freezer...", or, "Just fifty-five minutes until class is out...". My butt levitated out of that cold, dark, and hard seat that lingers behind the plastic chemistry class desk once the bell rang with shouting liberation. These eyes that were slowly drooping down and flicking back up (due to boring lectures) sprang to life, searching for the door so my legs and feet could flee from the dreaded classroom environment!


And from there, I went to the beach with my sister and friend Jessie. No matter what's occurring in your life, the beach breeze drizzles over your worries. It really is paradise, laying down on warm sand grains that eventually dominate everything, crawling into the most unknown portions of your clothing and items, such as your t-shirt stitching or the Velcro on your lunch box. At Kill Devil Hills, NC, there appeared to be an atmosphere that if you're not having fun...then you really aren't in the OBX. Which I found to be true, because I don't think there's been any other beach trip of mine where there wasn't a single dispute between the people in your cottage, or where I could ride bikes and not have the danger of being run over by a rushing tourist. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the people, maybe it was our connection with God...



My friend, Jessie, lived across the street from me when I lived in Chesterfield. I've known her since she was born! Ever since then, our families have kept in contact and remained close. She's been very supportive of my recent acceptance of Christ, and all this time I didn't see it, but she has felt called by the Lord to do international mission work as an adult. One day on the beach trip, we took a long walk and discussed our views on self-love, and how all these years we've had a great lack of it. Oddly enough, our lives parallel in one case involving relationships, and the minor abuses, that have shaped our perception on how to act in a relationship. For both of us, it wasn't until our eagerness to seek Jesus that we found just how valuable we are in God's eyes. Jessie and I have separate situations, but at the same time we are discovering that Jesus' death on the cross...that is ultimate love. His love is worth more than any guy could give us, and we don't have to act a certain way in order to receive that attention, because God sees us as gorgeous and worth every minute. Because of the talk with Jessie, I feel more secure about the past, and aware of how God grants us the present time to walk forward, dig up those abuses' effects, and color the recovery as our strengths rather than our weaknesses.



As weeks have passed by, my amount of medication has bumped up. Finally, I've found the right medication. I'm so thankful I don't have to experience waiting to see what a new pill does to my mind, and making the decision as to switch to a new one or not. One thing my mother told me the other day when I came home from school depressed, was that I shouldn't see the days where I suffer as a fallback erasing my progress, but rather that those moments are a pause in progress, and the effort is not erased whatsoever. That really comforted me, seriously.




On Monday I got my prom dress. Three years ago I wouldn't even imagine me in a dress, let alone attending a school dance! All because of my lack of confidence. But thankfully God has granted me great, loving friends who encourage me to show my beauty. Yes, the nerves are are still tingling in my stomach thinking about arriving to the high school on prom night, but my reason for going is to have a fun time with my friends, not to impress anyone!


My grandfather is about to retire from his teaching job at Virginia State University. I love him so much, and he inspires me with each conversation about literature and films. If it wasn't for his influence, I probably wouldn't look into the art of writing or the creativity of film making, especially screenplays. So yesterday, he decided to take my sister and I up to his office to get any books we wanted (wow I'm such a dork)!!!!! On his bookshelves I plucked two boxes worth of books, including Ken Kesey, Robert Frost, James Joyce, Tennessee Williams, Adrienne Rich, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, John Steinbeck, etc. etc. Kelsey looked pretty bored since she doesn't like to read, but she did grab a copy of The Garden of Good and Evil. AND THE BEST THING I'LL BE GETTING is his original movie poster of Rebel Without a Cause. (James Dean= HOT!)





More importantly, I am SOOOO0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o thrilled to MAYBE play drums for PCC. AHH!! I can't wait to worship God through music!!!!!! And the Knoxville mission trip this summer...wow...it's so close! Lately I've been focusing way too much on myself, it's time for me to provide something for other people. Honestly! Another idea that I'd like to persue is to adopt a rescue dog. Those animals need a family that can care for and love them!


The new theatre in Midlo is awesome, by the way. I'm sure everyone has been, but I LOVE IT! Sarah, Kelsey, and I went to see a few movies and it was worth the DOLLAR! Twas brilliant.



More and more I'm getting to know my cousin, Sarah. Last night we watched Reality Bites, which is so great because it captures the 90's culture perfectly. Even though she's 30 years old, I feel like the age doesn't matter when it comes to relating on certain things. She's shown me that. And every night when she comes over, before I fall asleep, I thank God that He's given me all these wonderful people that can pour their hearts into me, and mine into theirs. In God, we must belong to a stronger, more invincible love, right?

Monday, March 30, 2009

poema

We know what it's like
to sit on the edge of indifference,
staring at a night sky filled with both stars and cigar smoke

The world is a cloak and fails to blind our sight,
from the blaring sound of God's communications.
Amplify, amplify, amplify,
these spurts and piling love,
so that the earth can see not East of Eden.

How does a tree swish softly in secrecy,
when its life is tremendous and wise?

And...
How does the Lord dig into hidden cracks,
attack any oblivious pain
stuffed or slapped to the back of our brains?

The heart is a progressing element,
doomed to prepare for hurt,
and trained to overcome with Christ's mercy.

Grace-
God's great weapon to put us in His planned place.

Love-
Something we don't deserve afterall,
Yet the Lord delivers us to stand tall,
so we never have to crawl into a sheltered corner of darkness,
ever again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

an awesome awesome weekend!!



God has blessed me this weekend, along with many others.

Especially at PCC this morning.

Near the end of the service, while the super talented Beth Brawley sang to the Lord, "Thank you for healing me", multiple members of our church came on stage to present their cardboard testimony. On one side of a person's board it would read something like "Abandoned", and once they would flip it over it said, "Completely and unconditionally loved by the Lord". Although I don't remember his name, a little boy who I've seen walking around with a cane went up there and said that now he is walking in His light. And he then put down his cane and proceeded towards his father's arms. What a tear jerker moment for those who went on stage this morning, myself included! The crowd was crying, it felt like everyone was praising God at that moment.


My board said "Felt unaccepted", and then I wrote on the other side, "Now accepted by Christ & PCC". The impact by PCC has really changed my view on the Lord and has helped me tremendously in allowing Christ to move my soul. When I held my board infront of the church, inside my heart I was praying to God, thanking Him and realizing that I am not the person I once was. Nor will I ever be, because God wants me to move forward onto greater things with His guidance. Like Brian said at the end, "It doesn't stop here, folks." My prayer today is that people continue to be wowed by God's amazing love and surrender their pain, fear, addictions, and unhealthy pessimism to Him. We don't know how He heals, but He does, and always will!!


On Saturday I went to Carry Town with my cousin and sister, then to Hollywood Cemetery (loved it!!). After that we went to Common Groundz to watch my best friend, Sarah, perform. This girl never fails to deliver her best, and her talent made the whole room silent, so it seemed. She did awesome!! I'm thankful that we also got to hang out last night!!! LAAA SARRRAAAHHHH!!!! hahahh


There I met one of my blogger friends, Carra! That chick is so cool! Already I feel inspired by her passion for God!!! My prayers go out to Carra as she discovers God's plan for her. As I told her earlier, it makes me so happy that God has led me to fellow Christians through writing, and to simply genuine people!


My grades have been progressing in a precipitous manner lately. I've prayed to God to give me a sign that I can improve, give me some type of encouragement. Because of my anxiety (although I really hate to use this as an excuse), I try to avoid any type of homework or studying because it makes me worry and fret pretty bad. Any ambition that was present in my school work has left me over the past few months, but I can restore that. The challenge is- how? Prayer, pushing myself. But God did speak to me, when I opened by bible to this verse.


"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness..." (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26)


"What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil- this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14)

"So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because this is his lot." (Ecclesiastes 3:22)


And so this is yet another small part of our whole life that we have to give to God, our effort in everything we do, in order for our future to be by His will.






Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A List of Today's Observations

Some things I noticed today:

1.) The Powhatan County Library smells like fried rice
2.) Mr. Noechel is a whole lot younger than I thought
3.) Cinnamon graham ers are quite delicious
4.) If you blur your eyes while looking a fire exit sign, it looks like a bright red splash of neon powers.
5.) When people are awkward by themselves, it causes everyone around them to be awkward.
6.) Frantic self defense tends to be a conflict for people to overcome.
7.) God is amazing for creating hearts rather than just minds.
8.) God's word is only for the best, and never meant to harm us.
9.) Tortilla chips can pierce through the gums between your teeth pretty hard.
10.) Having the name "Jesus" on your cake makes it even more spiritually tasty.
11.) Janis Joplin had one heck of a voice, but made a drastic choice with in the end.
12.) Friends are supposed to be there when you do something wrong, not walk away and make you feel ashamed, but help.
13.) If there are problems and addictions in your family, you can be the one to stop it all by choosing to not continue the pattern.
14.) beaches must be awkward.
15.) The times we need silence the most can be the times we want distraction more than anything.
16.) Graham is a great dude, he deserves a lot of love.
17.) I can't control the uncontrollable.
18.) The english AP test really wasn't THAT hard.
19.) Before I take the leap and give my all to help others, it can't be too selfish to try fixing myself as well.
20.) Shannon, Audrey, Sarah, Brandon, and Jessie have constantly been there for me.
21.) My sister deserves the best guy out there. Enough with immature boyfriends.

Monday, March 23, 2009

short update

AHH!!!



I haven't blogged in what seems like a while compared to my usual habit of writing every other day. Well, I'm back.



And...there's not too much to say.

This isn't a bad thing whatsoever.

Inside there's been something accumulating all my knoweledge of Lord, of the love given to me and given back, the words of another going through a mental illness, that has given me silence. A pondering without startling fear. My hands aren't shaking as much.



Maybe I'm becoming calmer.



This whole trusting in God thing-

a little tip for everyone-

kinda really works in the long run I've noticed.



With anything,

great or bad.





There's this book my friend Marissa let me borrow the other day...and I love it. Some other people who have read it and find the guy depressing. The author does have depression, but I saw his book, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", as a creative way to express his feelings. I think that for people who don't even have clinical depression can relate to many emotions he conveys. Feeling alone, longing for someone who doesn't want you, and just disliking the world, I believe, are all common feelings. Or so I hope, because without these dark moments we wouldn't be able to appreciate the brighter ones. And pain is what makes us all the same in the end, and that can make us more secure with ourselves and with each other.

So check this guy's site out. Yes, there's a bit of inappropriate stuff.

www.abeautifulrevolution.com

My cousin, Sarah, and I have been hanging out a lot lately. It's so neat. This is an answer to one of my long said prayers to God. She moved back this past January. That was the first time I had seen in her in five years!! It's been really awesome to get to know someone within my family like I'm getting to know her. Infact, she just came over.

We watched this horrible movie, called the Chumscrubber. It was hilarious and bad!! We didn't really understand it....


And we try to play really trifling songs on guitar like "photograph" by nickelback....yeah! yeehaw!!

That's all for now... :D

Saturday, March 14, 2009

He is going to fix this

There's this fear and awareness that I could be falling back into the old habits I once had. And everyday it gets closer. My control is sliding down the wide and easy path to walk on. Then I pray, I pray that God will help me not see satisfaction in the readily available sources of "happiness". And I've worried about people finding out I'm suffering from this, because I don't want them to think my faith has fallen short. But that's an unhealthy way to think! My faith is personal, only God and myself know how things are really going in my life. But I have to keep leaning on Him.

This morning I opened up my phone to call someone to vent to...or something....and instead I closed it. I shut it off for about an hour and just read the Bible and prayed. Knowing God is there is a much greater comfort than any person could provide. Although, I love my friends who have constantly been there and they do bring me a wonderful sense of hope! The love of God shown through people in my life has been amazing.

Last night was rough, and I saw that responsibility is now being put on me to look after my sister. I'm fine with it, this is not a complaint. She's my sister and I love her very much, and we're dealing with stuff together. The one thing I want to make sure of is that she doesn't make a mistake that many of my other family members have made in the past, and find herself unworthy of being cared for. My sister is worth dying for, and yes we have some wounds that need healing, but we are trying to seek God together in order to recover and move forward.

I think about people around the world who experience crucial pain, and how people who follow Christ in those situations still find a reason to smile and praise Him. And my reason to praise Him is that He exists and is saving everyone from their earthly remorse, even when we think He's left the room.

Have you ever thought about how the soul is infinitely deep? Usually I enjoy getting to know people extremely well, but in the past I've found myself stopping at a certain point. Because I see how everyone is imperfect. Why did I do this? Maybe I didn't want to deal with truth. But now I realize it's a beautiful truth, so we can all relate.

You know, everyone has those moments in life when your heart feels beat up and torn, and you cry and cry, but your heart still hasn't said everything it needs to express. And recently I've told God to take it all.

God is going to fix all of this.

And for those who read this and see me often, if my face is sad and pale, I'm fighting. The instances where these hands shake and my mind says that I'm alone is complete crap. I want that feeling to go away. This is intense for me to be this honest...but that's how it is right now. I'm not going to sugar coat the situation. I can't expect me to NOT have bad times either, and having strong faith in Christ is not worrying about the troubles that lie ahead. That, in my opinion, takes tremendous strength, but it makes perfect sense.

But Jesus hears our cries, and He's not going to leave us in our battles. He is our shield.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

the need

Today's conclusion: Virginia's weather is bipolar.

BUT I LOVE THIS HOT WEATHER!! I MISS IT! All of the windows in my house are down, and for once I didn't have to sleep with an electric blanket all the way up!!! SO EXCITING!!!

It seems that lately I am going through another phase of study. Some reading and "meditating", trying to find myself spiritually.

The struggle is still on, but everyday I strive to say out loud, "God, I'm giving this to You." My friend has been telling me since I first started talking to her that I need to give this up to Him, and depend on Him. And in a way, this has been a tough situation for me to be raw and real with God when it comes to my pain. It's getting better though, tremendously better. And when I pray honestly and admit my hurt, I feel really great afterwards!

Another thing I'm starting to see is that religion is pretty personal. I mean, it's funny, because in other parts of the world people live on their religion because they don't have anything else. They don't have the freedom we do in America, either, to practice any belief system they want.

And I'm starting to notice how many people I've known are secretly sad, worrisome, and desperate, but are deadly afraid of going to church. I'm well aware of what it feels like to not want to go to church, but it was never because of a fear towards God, it was a fear of how people there would perceive me.

What does that matter in the end? Church is for worshipping and concentrating on God. And God loves us just the way we are, but wants us to excel spiritually as well.

It's frustrating. The fact that the words "Christian" and "church" have such a bad reputation sometimes. Now when I hear Christian I think of people who recognize Christ as their savior and have faith in His sacrifice, wanting to walk by God's word and in His plan for us. Gosh...it's serious. Saying you are a Christ follower is not a joke. Galatians 2:20 says it all. I want to LIVE by the spirit. No, actually, in reality, I NEED to live by the spirit. He is in all of us, but maybe it's up to me to open my heart and let His wisdom move me in my actions and words. I don't want the selfish desire for me to be in control of everything anymore.

When I feel alone, God is there. God is everywhere, but ofcourse I have my moments where I wrestle with Him because the evil in this world is trying to make me suffer. But God destroys that emotion in the end with love. He is love.

So the struggle continues, but God hasn't left my side...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hangage, Slumdog, Sex God, and Acid Tests

I believe this weekend was probably the best I've had in a very long time.

Let's see....

For one: hanging with Mike and Sarah on Friday night was a blast!

Where would I be without these two? They're very special and geniune people, and I feel more than blessed to have them!! I love them!!!

Two: Slumdog Millionaire (need I say more?)

Speaking of that film, I felt pretty hurt to see those children treated the way they were. It kind of broke my heart. And what made me mad was that barely anyone in the theatre seemed affected. There just wasn't a tension in the room. Ok...seriously...people need to wake up and smell the horrible coffee of our world's reality!!! I feel pretty moved to help those kids someday in India, or other areas in poverty. After witnessing it on screen, my mind can only produce even more graphic and realistic images of the truth. Part of me feels that it would eat away at me if I never helped while I had the chance. SO I GOTTA DO IT ONE DAY!!!

Three: Snow.

I think many of Powhatan's residents' prayers were answered last night as snow started to fall from the sky. Snow- does it look more like powdered sugar riding the wind or lazy bits of cloud not wanting to stand so high anymore? Hm...I don't know!

Either way I feel loved, happy, and mentally exposed to great things.

Four: Books.

There are two books I started reading yesterday that I haven't been able to put down.

SEX GOD and Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Two polar opposites, I know.

SEX GOD has been great, and given me a new perspective on how spirituality and sexuality link. Really, it's shown me in an even more straight forward direction that when we try to find escape or comfort through sin, or try to completely ignore our desires, we are therefore disconnecting from God. And beneath our wants and needs, there is usually a spiritual emptiness.

Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is crazy! For my English semester project I'm doing Tom Wolfe and his grip on the subcultures in the sixties and seventies. It's been an interesting study so far! Hippies, the New York art scene, and feminism are the main cultures I've been looking into so far that Tom Wolfe wrote about. There's a lot more to be read!

As of now it's day 26 of "A Call To Die"! Not too far away from being day 40. However, my friends and I are searching for a new devotional. Any suggestions out there? I recently found this book called Godology, that looks really cool. But, besides that, nothing sticks out.

Hope everyone is enjoying the snow! To all my friends- get some rest! I know you guys are busy!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Strange, but Great




Ok, so what if this movie is a little creepy and off the wall? Coraline is an amazing film! My friend Ash and I saw it last night at the beautiful and ghetto Carmike theatre. No, I'm being serious, I love that theatre for its run down look compared to the often visited Commonwealth 20! Hey, not to mention its cheaper!


What was really really supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was that we saw Coraline in 3-d! Trippy! The opening credits of the movie is an odd scene of a metal claw making a doll of Coraline. Right then and there we thought, "Oh gosh...what did we just pay for?". But then it got even more strange- Scottish dogs cheering on two old ladies singing, a retired circus man doing flips off a banister, and not to mention a door that leads to the world Coraline wishes for. What does she wish for? Her parents to be perfect. Turns out these "other parents" on the other side of the door are EVIL and DEMENTED! Gotta be careful what you wish for!


Then when this gorgeous film came to an end everyone in there said "WOW THAT WAS AWESOME!", including myself and Ash. Yes, it was the kookiest film I've possibly ever seen, but its depth in animation and creativity blew me away! If you're a fan of Nightmare Before Christmas, I highly recommend Coraline. Did I mention the cool 3-d glasses?

When we went there were people waiting outside the door who had just seen the earlier showing. I thought, "sheesh...is it that great?", but it is! So it's official, I'm in love with this movie. Next up- Slumdog Millionaire!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Summer

Already I miss the summer air,
its embrace around my perspiring freedom.
Enough of this bitter sting, Current Breeze!
Calling on the elevated clouds to smile with white instead of gray,
my calendar tells me that winter is here to stay.

Already I'm losing memory of that sensation,
of being lifted by a thousand hands,
while hearing the anarcho punks yell into their sweat induced microphones.
Speakers blaring out any noise in my mind,
grass stains drawn onto my t-shirt as I land in green life's patch.

Already I am excited,
about the sound of crickets chirping tremendously,
the organized chaos of night.
Moon, above, is crooning peaceful booming tune,
forcing eyes to stare at its creative complexion.

Already I await trees' prime,
when children climb, and see the massive world from smaller eyes.
Trees being comforted more because shade they provide,
and keeps our skin cool in scorching light.

Already I miss summer,
the memories and dreams produced,
the people left in its realm,
the tan tone and red ground.

Already, my heart jumps about for summer.
Be gone, chilly weather.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stressed

As days pass it's becoming quite a challenge,
to face the fact I don't have the power to know how my body and mind will react to life.

Or what new things I have to take and try,
the old things I'm told to stop.

Attempting hour after hour,
to not be pessimistic.

God's been minimally testing me,
and in multiple ways I feel completely honored that He sees me strong enough to face these trials.

I'm becoming independent of material things (which I was never really into in the first place),
and starting to be dependant on His love.

We must be thankful, no matter the level of stress in our lives.
And I must say I feel decently stressed, whether or not it's under my control.
I'll come out of this, whatever this is, and be new

For right now,
I'm thankful that He's given me silence

and separation from things around me that I've relied on lately.

So I can hear what He has to say.

And silence is not being quiet.
Silence is a pausing moment when you learn the truth behind the freeze frames.

"What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)

"We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ." (1 Corinthians 4:10)

I can't afford to sit here and ignore God or try to cover up my belief, because He is getting me through. It upsets me when I find myself slipping and doubting His power, when Christ is the mightiest and highest over anything, anyone, myself, my wants, my needs, the earth, the universe.

And then God's been speaking to me through this:

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." (1 Corinthians 4:20)

God is most visible through action.

I can no longer talk more than walk, I must do the opposite. How do I feel I should act? With more generosity, respect, kindness, concern, and belief. All at once not putting myself above anyone else, but promoting my confidence in the faith of God, keeping my self confidence from overflowing.

Lord is above all, and He is asking me to not doubt Him to others or to myself.

Whenever I do find myself not feeling His power, I think of the sun.

Have you ever realized the intensity of the sun?

Well....God created it.

That humongous, bursting bulb of energy.

And without the sun, there'd be no biological life!

So think about it...
If God could make that with His hands,
then He can fix anything in our lives with not even a thumbnail!

A blunt, simple, (perhaps cheesey?) poem I wrote

Take my pain,
free my brain

it's lost tonight
but I know I'm found in Your sight

Calm my shaking arms,
grip my descending soul,
God I'm giving up my cross,
You have all control.

and when my eyelids shine with those tears filled with fears,
Your holiness cures my loneliness

even if there's no clean water in my heart's desires,
Your wall of defense halts these running addictions
from an affliction's fire

You give me everlasting peace,
because you know I'm tired.

God I might not deserve to be granted such a beautiful gift,
but You so loved the earth its in Christ's blood I live,
I might feel done but the Holy One allows love to run in me.

So You take my pain,
my hurt,
my hate.

Jesus, You free my brain,
from the chains of earthly remorse.

I'm found in Your sight,
eternal light.

Lord You sacrificed,
so I am healed forevermore.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day eve

Valentine's Day- either you hate it or you love it. I've always been inbetween. For the past two or three years my valentines have been gay guys, and let me tell you- buying gifts for them is hard! They aren't afraid to tell you when you've failed to please them. Last year I wrote a poem in spanish for my friend Matt. :) How I miss him!



However, this year, my best friend was my valentine! I told her that she's the best valentine I've ever had! Why? Her gift to me. It has a shrouded mystery, a hidden code, a metaphor.






What could this mean- "Give your potato peeler a time out."? Does this say, "give the things that cause you stress a time out, seperate yourself from them?", "it's 2 a.m., the early morning and beginning of something new, so give yourself a breather in self development and be proud of what you've already carved and chipped your soul into"?

Sarah is creative hahaha and also my best friend, a sister in Christ. I'm so thankful that God has brought her into my life!! We have decided to aid each other in finding scripture, sharing the awesome word of God. I've noticed that it makes me even more passionate! Thankyou, Lord.


So to those of you who are reading- what do YOU think "Give your potato peeler a time out" means?


Bible verse of the day:

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:16)

Shannon also gave me a really sweet valentines card!! I LOVE HER SOOOOO MUCH!!!

I'm about to go see Friday the 13th!! Wooh! hope everyone has a great valentine's day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Silence the Chaos







Silence...tediousness...then eruption!

That's my anxiety. I've noticed more and more everyday that there seems to be a pattern to my stress.


And a result of my stress? Insecurity.


The evil in this world is strong,
it's widespread like a disease and callouses our hearts,
we wither away into a claustrophobic mass of filth and disgust


.Self loathe.

Why do we try to control ourselves and our own lives,
when there are so many signs infront of us
calmly, then URGENTLY translating God's plans?

Fear.

Lack of trust.


All of us at some point are a victim of these sharp edges of discomfort brought forth by evil. Though the "word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit."

And evil makes us feel guilt for our sins!

But it's the beauty of Jesus' sacrifice that destroys a torturous guilt.

I imagine Christ in heaven, standing there with invincibility
Saying to the devil, "I am the people's witness, the people's leader who I've taught their world with love, and love for the God that can defeat any challenge you put upon them."

The anxiety I undergo everyday has swings. I'm thankful I can still laugh. My psychiatrist has questioned by ability to. But I can, I'm still a happy and free being beneath the surface of my "disorder". For those close to me, I'm sorry you have to see me down often, but I know you guys realize that the anxiety does not define my personality.

And so today I went home today due to an experimentation in amount of medicine to take. It was too much to say the least.

Under that influence I felt taunted by horrible gut feelings, my body was shaking because of angst and anger that I can't really help myself with this. I fell asleep immediately once my head hit the pillow, and instead of reciting some grand desperate prayer, I called in my heart, "Jesus". Really, I was trying to please God by letting Him know I was holding on when I felt thrown onto thorns.


You see, God found me in the thorn patches, and His righteous hand saved me from letting the worries of life blind me from Him. I shudder when I imagine where I'd be now if I didn't have God. There is anticipation of reaching a higher level of faith in Him, so that I can face any negative force.

I'm not oblivious that there are two forces in the world: hate and love. But love overrules forever.
So the Lord, in Heaven, is using His light to burn the pain inside my soul. He's holding my days' misery and optimism to sculpt my spirit into one that exists in ethereal yet real security in His eyes and kingdom.

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood...but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full of armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with our feel fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." (Ephesians 6:10-16)

This is probably the heaviest post I've written, for myself atleast. I hope it doesn't appear I'm trying to preach. I'm expressing myself, and I respect anyone's opinion towards that.

For those who are in need of assurance that God is there for You, I pray His grace scatters upon your spiritual wounds and seals them up with strength.

Mutemath's song Chaos displays that feeling of being lost, but seeking God.


"I know you stay true when my world is false
everything around’s breaking down to chaos
I always see you when my sight is lost
everything around’s breaking down to chaos"


Jesus hears our cries louder than the ears sitting next to us, than our own selves. Lord, take control of the atmosphere.








Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Revelation

This might offend some people, but I do not mean to in anyway. From reading my previous posts I hope people understand that I take scripture seriously and love it. But there's something I must say.

Revelation is trippy. If you've ever dug into it, you know what I mean.

JAM (my awesome small group) has been studying this book for a few weeks now. Tonight was great because we were very open to possibilities regarding whether or not certain images or events are metaphors. Seriously, being an english addict I am captivated by the mystery of Revelation. The certainty within the uncertainty. What it all comes down to, past all confusing messages and questions, is that as Christians we are overjoyed knowing that one day His name will be praised by everyone and every part of the world. Jesus saves! Noticed I said saves not just SAVED.

"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
purchased men for God
from every trible and language
and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve
our God,
and they will reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:9-10)

I want to make it clear that I do not mean to offend anyone's religious beliefs, and that I just wanted to express mine. And by sharing this verse I'm thankful that God sacrificed His son for ALL PEOPLE! Even the people who don't even know His name, or lack faith. Those that sin without remorse, and those that are determined to remain devoted. He is there for all humanity. It's awesome that He would do this for us. We are loved!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle! bicycle!!

I'm in love with my bike again.

Here he is....(drum roll please)...Stuart the bicycle!!!!!

Isn't he a beaut? A 97 Mongoose. Yeah, I know, vintage!


Over the summer I rode my bike for a few miles every other day. After I went to warped tour and other shows, I discovered all my energy was expressed through the thrill of live music. Coming home at three to five o'clock on almost three days of the week wears you out! Since the weather's been loopy and changing from hot to cold every other second (global warming I tell you!), my hobby of bike riding has sort of died out even more. Until this past blessed Sunday, as I had posted a few days ago, I hopped on and took off in spite of my spontaneity!

Everyday gets a little more dangerous. I love riding down hills and releasing my grip from the handlebars, putting my arms in the air praying to God I don't hit a rock! It's so cool! I've been praying also in general that I let go of the steering wheel in my life and let the Lord have His way. Jesus take the wheeeeelll!!! hahaha

Ditches, natural ramps in my gravel driveway, and the usual accompaniment of vehicles or small animals all bring thrill and excitement to my times with Stuart on the road! But it is the trail in my woods that threatens my physical health the most (um...I don't own a helmet). Zillions of trees bombarding my face, the wheels of my bike collecting torn and dry leaves as they panic in the midst of zooming on soil, the random bumps and snaps of hidden tree trunks surprising my ears, and my gleaming face as I see the end of the trail draw near, my creek's visibility increasing.


I've noticed that reading the bible down there is pretty peaceful. The only thing I can say is that...well...when it gets darker the more noises pop up. I must be quiet down there, since I sit on a towel reading God's word and all the sudden I see a deer, or hear some creepy animal calls. When I was younger I used to be really afraid and run FAST when I'd hear these sounds, but now I'm not nearly as afraid. From now on when I get the opportunity I plan on doing A Call To Die down there. My concentration and isolation from home stresses are centered at the creek, and it also makes me READ differently...if that makes any sense. I absorb it more.

Then a question arose within me- doesn't God powerfully communicate through nature?

I think He does.