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the road goes ever on and on. (unfinished)

editor’s note: before you read this post, know that i never finished this, nor will i be finishing it. 

"the road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began, and i will follow it if i can, down from the door where it began." 

studying for midterms and finals, movie nights, medal of honor on the gamecube, basketball, picnics at one mile, bible study, and general hanging out has created this endless cycle of late nights and early mornings. after a few days of staying up quite later than i ought to have been staying awake, the days begin to blend together. this post accounts for the past month, a few events that come to mind. 

chasing a thunderstorm:

yes. it happened.  one night while watching a movie with good friends, the flashes of lightening outside became too bright to ignore. after standing outside watching the bursts of light and the roar of the thunder we decided…

all on the walk home.

all on the walk home. so much in just a five minute walk to the dorms. a life changed. maybe two. maybe even 4. all on the walk home. 

after studying with joel, anna, and lauren, i decided instead of catching a ride with them, i’d brave the cold for five minutes and walk back to my room. not 2 minutes after parting ways i notice a guy walking next to me, clearly intoxicated. stumbling, almost walking into the bushes, the i-drank-waaaaaay-too-much walk. being in no rush i ask him if he wants help. he takes my arm and we continue on. he tells his name is horacio (Or-ah-see-oh). after saying im sorry at least ten times, he tells me he’s lived in chico his whole life, and says he wants to get out of this lifestyle. we stop at the bridge and he tells he how he’s sick of how he’s living and about how he wants to change. i asked him if he believed in God and he said yes. we begin to talk about how God has a plan for us, and that everything happens for a reason. he starts to cry and talk about his family and about the brokenness in it. about the broken relationship with him and his brothers. we talk again about God’s plan for us and then i ask him:

"do you want to be apart of God’s family?"

"yes."

by this time some of his friends found him and we’re all standing by the bridge. at 1:30 in the morning. then i ask him if we can pray, he says yes. so we start praying, im all over the place, not really sure how to go about this, he’s all over the place, and his friends are just standing there with no idea whats going on. but we pray and after finishing he goes to throw up. so i talk with his friends, then go over to him to say goodbye. he looks at me and tells me that he feels closer to me, than with anyone else. he tells me that he cant cry in front of his homies because he has to look strong. he tells me that we may not meet again, but he’s thankful we met tonight. then he stumbles off into the night with his friends.

will i see him again? who knows. will he even remember tonight? probably not. but did God hear us on that bridge in the middle of the nights? i know this without a doubt. in his stumbling words God heard his cry for help, and He was right there with us. right on that bridge. in the darkness of night, in the coldness of Chico, He met with us. all on the walk home.

the round table.

time: 12:11am

when one thinks of late night studying, it is almost always thought of with a negative connotation. thoughts of pulling all nighters, drinking coffee, and having a terrible day at school the next day always come up in our minds. but looking back on my high school days (not all that long ago) the all nighters i remember are nights filled with determination and laughter. 

determination: why determination? because if your pulling an all nighter its usually for something worth pulling an all nighter to accomplish. and if its worth staying up all night to complete, my guess is that you want to get a good grade on it. thus, you are determined to complete it! getting into that “zone” to pump out those last three pages, listening to, “eye of the tiger” 50 times in a row, and drinking your tenth pepsi just to stay awake. that is determination.

laughter: there are a couple all nighters that come immediately to mind. the first was when i had to create a victorian newspaper for english class. my friend anna came over and we stayed up until the sun rose the next day working on our respective newspapers while lord of the rings played in the back ground. then there’s always the distraction of facebook, and the ongoing competition with nicolette to see which of us could procrastinate more. ever since freshman year, from speeches, to art homework, to the newspaper, to the senior capstone project, the night before any big project was due our conversation would go something like,

me: how many pages have you done?

nicolette: havent started. you?

me: same. :(

and that was the way of the world. did i enjoy every night i did an all nighter? no way. did the next day always be tough? most of the time, yes. but they were also nights that i will never forget, and memories that i look back upon with a smile. my cross country coach once told me that you could be in a terrible place, doing something you dont like, but if your with friends, it can be fun. looking back upon all those times of drinking pepsi, forcing myself to stay awake, and watching the sun come up, i can agree with him. the company of good friends can make all the difference in the world. 

teachers have always told me to not wait until the last minute, to get assignments done early, to not procrastinate. to be honest, i rarely listened to that advice. the senior capstone project, the equivalent of my high school thesis paper, i wrote practically the night before. the speech i gave on that thesis, i practiced three times the morning i gave it. did i do well on them, yes. i have been blessed with the ability to “wing” speeches. but were there repercussions? yes. words cannot explain going to track practice after getting no sleep. “sheer torture” is fairly representative. but if i could go back in time and change my study habits, i say with full confidence i would not change a thing. those are moments in my life i will never forget. 

time end: 12:47am

a philosophy worth listening to.

1.always valid: modus ponens.

a.if p then q

b.p

c.therefore q

just one of the few things my philosophy teachers going over in his hour, fifteen minute class. i would describe his class like opening a gift blindfolded. you dont know what it your opening, but you know its going to be something good. as you rip off the rapping paper, and as you draw closer and closer to opening the gift, you become more and more excited with anticipation. then, as you pull the gift out, your anticipation reaches a climax, but then, you pause because since you are blindfolded, you dont know what your holding. then you pull off the blindfold and you realize its a can of soup.  in the same way, entering class, i have no clue what my teacher is going to talk about, but im still excited because i know its going to be sweet. as my teacher builds up his arguments i become more and more excited because im hoping he’ll have a big finish. but then, he reaches the focal point of his lesson and im left sitting there, wondering what it is im holding, what his big picture is.

then i realize, its a can of soup. 

just kidding. i love my philosophy class. its great. :) 

them bones.

a stuffy class. filled with the hum-drum of chairs creeking, people murmuring, and the constant click-clack of bones being articulated. an articulated foot is being pressed to my face. a femur catches the corner of my eyes. there is no teacher present, no gary. But still, there are students filling the room. students so eager to look at the bones of autonomous people, long since past away, students so eager to find the difference between a lateral epicondyle and a greater trocantor. 

but perhaps there is something more. More powerful than learning about the history of this nation, or even the history of this world. the history of mankind. The history of a people not connected by tribes or nations, no connected by race or language. a people connected by the world we live in. 

to be or not to be: a college christian. PART DOS!

editor’s note: this was originally written on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:42pm.


i actually wrote this note last night, but my internet wasnt letting me post it until today… so here it is!

wowsers. before i get on to the main points of this note i need to say what JUST happened to me. every tuesday night, after small groups bible study, we play Midnight Wiffle Ball! (its really at 10 but we call it midnight anyways.) i was feeling a bit worn out, i’d been in a weird mood the past two weeks, and after the bible study i just wanted to go back to my dorm and relax. I cant honestly tell you why i went to wiffle ball tonight, after being heckeled into the ground the previous game for my bad pitching performance i felt very apprehensive about going again, but i did. as the game is just starting i notice in the corner of my eye the sillouette of a  guy sitting on a bench, under a low hanging tree, watching us. Being the fairly odd person that i am, i yelled over, “WANNA PLAY WIFFLE BALL?” the young man was hesitant at first, but then he came over. The first thing he asked me was what group this was. i told him this is intervarsity and we started talking about it. I told him my story about how i didnt know anyone in chico before coming up and about how scared and nervous i was about moving away into an unknown place. i continued to tell him the bible verse that popped into my mind one night as i was thinking about all the ways Chico was going to be terrible and about how i wasnt going to have any friends: 

Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

and about how after that verse came to me i decided to hop onto google and type in the search bar: “christian chico.” the website at the top of the list being the intervarsity page for chico. i told him about how the people i had met though IV were so welcoming, so friendly, and just so genuine. almost awestruck, the guy smiles and tells me about how he was talking to a guy from his church just that evening and that guy had told him the exact same verse! (i was already getting pumped) he then tells me thats he’s a freshman and has been looking for a christian group to get plugged into! (yesssssss!) THEN, he tells me this was the first night where he actually asked GOD to bring a good christian fellowship group to him! (WHOAAAAAAAAAAA) that totally blew me away. he told me that this was a total answer to his prayers… wow. God is so incredible, and He works in so many crazy ways. :)

as amazing as this has been, its just been one instance where i see God working in my life. honestly, i cant even type out all the ways God’s been molding me, training me, and putting me in places to do His work. Looking back on my life (as short as its been) its so clear to me, all the ways God’s worked in my life. everything from the sports i played, to the upbringing i had as a child, to the christian group im with now, i couldnt have planned it any better. a verse we discussed a couple weeks ago at the IV fall retreat was:

Mark 4:26-29 (New International Version)

The Parable of the Growing Seed

  He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

this verse stuck to me more than any other verse we discussed during the retreat. what i find interesting is that with a parable, different meanings can be found individual to that person and what theyre going though. for me, the process at which the grain grows was mind boggling! looking back on my life, everything that i experienced was necessary for me, and put in place specifically by God FOR ME. going to a christian middle school and high school, along with how i was raised gave me a solid understanding of the bible, and a strong biblical foundation. and i think thats necessary for a good christian faith, to have a strong base of the core values. you can discuss deep theology and philosophy but if you dont have those core values of the bible, those deep topics dont mean much. just like how in the parable, the head of the grain cant grow before the stalk. coming into chico and IV, im really learning what it means to “live out your faith.” i can say that quite honestly the concept of living out my faith was lost in high school. but in coming to chico, and really making the effort to spread the kingdom has made me grow in so many ways. Its been such a radical change in my life, and the amazing thing is… IM STILL LEARNING. literally EVERY SINGLE DAY. Im learning more and more about what it really means to live a Christ-like life, and to really be a man after God’s own heart. But you see, i NEEDED that strong base i received in high school in order to be where i am now. It was all a process started by God. It was all God’s big plan. I have no doubt that God has BIG plans for me. Its a wild ride. :)

ps. just tid-bits of what ive been really chewing on in relation to living out your faith:

"in order to walk on water, you need to get out of the boat."

and the idea that it wasn’t Jesus who fed the 5000, it was the disciples. yes, it was Jesus who gave the disciples the means to feed the 5000, but it was the disciples who did the feeding… think about it. :) 

pps. hopefully this all makes sense. if not… i’d be super down to talk about any of this anytime. :)

peeeeeeeace!

to be or not to be: a college christian.

editor’s note: this was originally written on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 9:21am


Luke 15:8-10

[8] “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? [9] And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ [10] In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

during high school i was always told college is where ones faith gets tested. where professors and peers target christians relentlessly. people always talk about how college is where christians walk away from their faith. 

i guess so far, my experience is different. 

differing from most people, my middle school, jr. high, and high school experience was different. i went to a private christian middle school, a private christian jr. high, and a private christian high school. there are many perks of being in a private christian environment, but it definitely has its drawbacks. i know that being forced to go to chapel has had a negative effect on many people, including many of my friends. 

but maybe thats why my college experience is different. 

differing from most people, my college experience is different. i go to a secular school. i go to a ‘party’ school. yes, there are drawbacks to attending a school like that. when my whole dorm clears out on fridays, or when it takes a group of us to carry a guy passed out on the couch into his room. but there are also PERKS from being in a secular environment:

im tested daily. now how is this a perk? back in my private christian home, i wasnt really tested in my faith. i didnt need to try and actively spread the word. but now to choose to go out and talk to people, asking them if theyre interested in a chrisitian community… it can be hard. most people i talk to they seem so open and friendly with me, then when i ask about a christian community, IMMEDIATE BAIL. to be honest, its hard. but intervarsity keeps plugging away… i asked liz (the IV leader) about how most people say no. she proceeded to tell me about how maybe once or twice in hours of talking to people she gets a guy or girl who responds with, “ive been looking for a christian community, i just didnt know where to look!” or “i thought i was the only christian, i didnt know anyone who goes to church!” just then i was reminded of Luke 15:8-10: the parable of the 10 coins. the woman had 10 coins, but lost one. she looked everyone but didnt find it, but she kept looking! then when she finally found that one coin she rejoiced and told her friends! i realize now that this is what makes it all worth it, all the “no’s” all the “not right now’s” mean nothing when i hear a “yes”. when i find the one lost coin, all the searching, waiting and praying pays off. liz was that woman, looking for that once last coin. good work liz. :)

i choose to be a christian. to be honest, i feel like God is moving more in me this secular environment than He was in my private christian home.  yes, there was chapel every week. yes, there was prayer in classrooms. but lets be honest, there were people who didnt want to go to chapel, and they let everyone know it. the, “chapel sucks.” and the “chapel is SOO boring.” muttering is always heard. but in this secular school, its different, in a good way. i realized it during “the gathering”. the gathering is a event that happens in the beginning of the year when all the christian groups come together in the auditorium and hold a worship service and a chance for each group to set up a table and talk to interested christians. walking it, hearing everyone praise God, it was awesome. it just felt different, knowing that instead of being forced to go, everyone at the gathering WANTED to be there. they WANTED to praise God, they WANTED to be in fellowship with other christians. the atmosphere was soo sweet. i loved every minute of it. then going to bible study last night, it was the same way, there were freshmen, like me, who WANTED to be there. they wanted to learn, they WANTED to be in the spirit. somehow, in that so callled, “secular environment”, i felt more with God than ever before.    

this year will be sweeeeeeeeet.

it takes two to fly a rebel alliance snowspeeder. (unfinished)

editor’s note: before you read this post, know that i never finished this, nor will i be finishing it. 

before i begin, i hope you picked up on my star wars allusion… :)

if not: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDPiFXcYVF4.  the guy knows his snowspeeders. O.o

this note concerns the idea friendship, and what that entails. what makes up friendship? how is friendship kept? these questions that have arisen a good many times during my first semester in college, and it has been a while since ive posted a note, so here is is!

now that we’ve dispensed of the pleasantries, lets begin. (yes, another allusion to star wars…)

friendship. who has had better friends than me? not a lot of people. i can honestly say God handpicked my friends throughout my lifetime. my friends who would play basketball with me at midnight in the middle of a rainstorm. my friends who would run around the field with me pretending we were samurai on a quest for our lord. my friends who would come over on a school night just to watch movies with me. my friends who encouraged  me during those runs that seemed a billion miles long. my friends who gave me the best advice. my friends who i competed with, fought with, ate with, worshiped with, and lived life with. great people they all are, but a better friend, there are none.  

but what makes a friendship? is it common interests? is it a common goal? is it personality matchups? perhaps its all of these, but perhaps its none.  as i write this im thinking of people who i’d never thought i’d ever be friends with, and only one person comes to mind. DONOVAN.  to everyone who doesnt know, think of fire and water, or a rock and jello. thats our personalities. yet, we’ve become friends. how? i have no clue. but it happened, and im glad it did.

clearly, there is no set formula to making friends, but there are things that ive noticed that help. one is trust. without trust there is no friendship. second is honesty. without honesty there is no friendship. third, and the thing ive come to realize most, is that friendship much be two sided. its a two-way radio. its the heads and tails of a coin. friendship cannot work out of one person putting all the communication in. but then, are we to stop trying to be friends with people? my heart tells me no. but whats the use in being the only one to put into a relationship. 

first impressions.

time: 3:55.

they say the first thoughts are the most important. first impressions, its called. what are first impressions but superficial judgement calls, and intuition about the persons? i can say with confidence that in a conversation i just had, i have been blown away. ASB president, a pageant princess, even a dancer. who would have EVER thought. clearly not me. beyond the feathers there is a person who is confident, smart, self-assertive, and brilliant.  

kudos jane, i was wrong about you.

time:3:59.

it is well with my soul.

Time 1:08pm.

To be in complete silence, yet surrounded by music. To be incased in a glass sphere so fragile it seemed to crack at the very hint of a noise, but at the same time caught in the middle of an orcestral symphony reaching the creshendo of its preformance.

I call it one mile.

A simple municipal park, with seemingly nothing in it, a pool too cold to swim in, and an open field, inhabited with patches of trees. Yet I am reminded by rafiki to, “look harder.” and as if on cue, a bright canvas appears before my eyes. I look up at the bright blue sky, painted with brush strokes of white, light up the sky. As I lower my eyes, the trees, now devoid of any remaining leaves, reach out, trying so desperately to draw nearer to the sun. My eyes meet the trunk and then the roots of the tree, plunging deep into the earth. There the grass sprouts up, in defiance of the winter cold, giving an otherwise perfect winter picture, a small hope of whats to come.

Ive got to go to class.

Time: 1:25.  

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