Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Laughter of Mail and the Challenge of Mt. Everest

So today I got my mail and found my church newsletter in pieces in a plastic bag. It looked like it was ran over by the mail truck...half of it is missing. So anyway I got a good laugh at that, pictures will soon be appearing of this masterpiece. Then I got hate mail from Jack D. Jose Cuervo's cousin. See Jose Cuervo is mouse number 5 in the Rat Boy family. He died on Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m. Well it seems that Jack D. is looking for his cousin. It looks like more trouble could be in the making. So this week marks an interesting week in my life. Power surges through me, I feel like the incredible haulk right now. I have a strength to do something no man has done before. I will go where no beast has gone, no scubba diver has swam, and no fear factor will ever touch. The ministry of Rantoul Christian Church and the minister Glen Crouse. God help us everyone. The date is set for Thursday...and the place is the office and God is my shepherd and Glen is my goliath....My stone...truth. Conquor or defeat...I will go with full faith...to my Mount Everest....Rantoul Christian Church.


Mt. Everest Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Worse Hurt in the World...

When being you just isn't enough...who do you become? I don't know...but I do know that God thinks more highly of me than most people in my life. It hurts when people think bad of you..."and that's all I've got to say about that"

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Greatest Night of My Life


Franz Jackson...Former Member of Louis Armstrong's All Star Band Posted by Hello

Last night I drove to Chicago with Katie. We left at 6:30, arrived at 9:00...stood in line for an hour...but got inside and received one of the greatest nights of my life. For those of you who don't know jazz...who don't know Franz Jackson...Franz Jackson was a member of the Louis Armstrong All Star Band...that's right...I got to hear the amazing jazz technique from an 86 year old man who soaked up all the glory of jazz from Mr. Armstrong himself. It was the most amazing night of my life. I had a few drinks and a cigar and relaxed in this amazing 1930's bar that Al Capone frequented. There is one person who I will kidnap to take to this place if they refuse to go. Once in a lifetime opportunity happened last night...amazement!

While standing out in the line we met a bunch of guys who were there to soak up the beauty of jazz music, cigar smoke, and alcohol. We began talking to these guys and one of them began helping a lady who was homeless...having conversation with some street men. These people I fit with. They were eccentric...like me...happy...like I always have been...carefree...like me. I loved these guys...they repeatedly found us in the bar once inside, but it was okay...because I didn't get there names, they didn't ask for my number...they just wanted to talk to me because they liked my personality...they liked to laugh with me or at me..not sure which.

This night reminded me of who I was...and that there are good people out in this world...I'm not on my own...I can be this person...even without the angel on my lepel...for those who have seen the shit movie...Saved.

Friday, November 26, 2004

There will be further updates on the continual death of the Rat Boy family...Lynn Griffith quotes..."They are dropping dead everywhere....when will it stop?"


Obituaries


Rat Boy Jr. Posted by Hello

Rat Boy jr. died at his residence, the furnace of 1521 Hobson Dr. Rantoul, IL at 11:40 a.m. on November 26, 2004. It is suspected to be suicide. Previous, victim Lynn Griffith, claims that she did not even know there were more than Mr. and Mrs. Rat Boy. Lynn said with tears in her eyes, "the trap sounded...I was scared...the beaty eyes, the fury tail, the blood...it was horrifying...I knew that he was the victim of witnessing his parents brutal attack on me...he did what he had too." He will be remember for his love of destruction and his fear of life. May God rest his rodent heart.

Obituaries


Mrs. Rat Boy Posted by Hello

Mrs. Rat Boy died at 10:20 a.m. on November 26, 2004 at her residence, the furnace of 1521 Hobson Dr. Rantoul,IL. She was proceeded in death by her husband Rat Boy. She is the mother for many children who also succeeded her in death. She will be remembered for her beaty eyes, and her ability to chew through a bag of bird seed. She was killed by Lynn Griffith, who claims self-defense..."I woke up at two in the morning and she was on my nightstand staring at me...she wanted to die...what was I to do?" May Mrs. Rat Boy rest in peace.

Obituaries


Obituaries: Rat Boy Posted by Hello

Rat Boy, of 1521 Hobson Dr. Rantoul, IL died at his residence on November 26, 2004 at 9 a.m. Rat Boy was preceeded in death by all of his past relatives. He was known for his massive speed, and rat like tail. Rat Boy was killed by Lynn Griffith, her name has been cleared by order of protection...she states..."It was self-defense...he tried to eat me out of house and home." May Rat boy rest in peace along with the rest of his family that has succeeded him in death.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I'M NOT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....Rat Boy the Demonic Mouse is in my Apt.

I'm not alone...I have a mouse in my kitchen....it's staring at me....I thought it was gone...I've had a mouse now for like 2 months...and I have no trap... Can life get worse than this....eww...make it go away....I'm getting out of this apt....I don't know where I'm going..but I ain't stayin with no mouse...


This update is an hour after I've seen the mouse....a phone call to the dad...a trip to the store to buy traps...and two fingers caught in the traps later (many tears...that hurts)...I have 5 traps set to kill this mouse. I have a broom beside me...it's war.... i'll keep you posted...but I'm scared of this thing....I can go to haunted houses, wander around streets at night, live in the ghetto, work with teenagers...but I'm telling you...mice scare the living crap out of me... I hate them...I've never cried more in my life...I hate mice...I am so scared!

Step number two if the traps don't sound soon....freeze the mouse out of my apt...they come inside because it's warm...so if it gets freezing in here...they should leave my apt...sounds reasonable...


It's 2:20 p.m....4 hours after the initial mouse citing. I was laying cozy in my bed, my eyes were getting heavy...sleep was inevitable. Until...I heard scratching and things moving...it was the evil mouse...so I'm at my wits end...I may be getting a hotel room tonight..not joking. Maybe I was a little too thankful for a place to stay earlier...lately I seem to be counting my eggs before they hatch.

It's 5:20 p.m....7 hours after the initial mouse citing. The mouse is still alive and thriving. Rat boy is now hiding in my closet and has been heard scratching on my box and climbing in bags. Because I'm too chicken to move things...there it stays. I'm thinking about driving my car through my apt. and running over it...or perhaps some dynamite would take care of it. I hate this mouse. I definitely think that I'm suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder because of terrorist attack of Rat boy....I'm about to start a draft...this is the next world war...

It's now 8:00 p.m....10 hours after the initial mouse citing. I've now found poop in my cupboard. This mouse is going down...although I'm kinda scared it could eat me tonight. This thing is demonic...

It's 11:40 p.m....and the damn mouse at my bird seed bag and now i have bird seed everywhere and it ate my stuffed animals that i have to give to the "less fortunate" children for Christmas....this mouse is burning in hell...it's just too bad that i'm going to be crying out of fear as I try to clean up my bird seed...i hope that mouse isn't back there...i'm not sure my heart can take it.

It's 1:18 a.m.....I'm leaving my apt...I can't take it anymore..this damn mouse can have it...

I came back to my apt at 2:00 a.m. when I realized, that technically I had no where to go in Peoria...I didn't want to scare Grandma...and as I thought about the situation...I realized I was giving up. So from 2 a.m till 9 a.m. I slept with my t.v. on and lights on...no joke...i wanted to see that demon thing as it ate my feet off.

But at 9 a.m. I heard the sound of the trap...and Rat Boy was hauled out kicking in a garbage bag. All is at peace once again in my apt. Pictures will soon be appearing...oh my goodness...my trap just went off again...i've got RAT BOYS....ahhhh....help! (pep talk and phone call to dad...you can do it...get the salad tongs...you've taken them out for mom when you lived with us before..you can do this) Mouse number two was just hauled out in a garbage bag...I call it suicide...it was at loss for Rat Boy and wandered into the trap... Obituaries will appear in further entries....

I'm on mouse number 4 for today..it's Rat Men..the demonic mouse family....I think I'm also developing an ulcer...I hate them...Josh..the maintenance man is here now plugging holes in my apt that they ate threw...

Stay tuned for further updates on rat boy the demonic mouse.

Dependent on WBGL and Tylenol

For those who don't live here or for those who do and intentionally don't listen to WBGL....WBGL is a Christian radio station in the area. Well in previous times, when life got hard and I couldn't sleep at night, I'd put on WBGL or whatever lame Christian radio station existed where I was at...in KY it was KLOVE...in Peoria it was 91.5. Anyway...this for some reason would allow me to get to sleep with knowing who God was and wake up being reminded that God was still that same person. So I've been listening to WBGL for the last three days, constantly...but that's about to end...because starting tomorrow they are playing all Christmas music. For anyone who knows me...there is one thing I hate more than the church right now and that's Christmas music. Christmas music is more lame than Christian music...so anyway...I'll be listening to c.d's from here on out.

As far as Tylenol goes, I'm on my 5th extra strength for the day. I don't sleep easy now so I take lots of tylenol because it helps me sleep. You may think me to be wrong...but a person has to sleep and I like to wake up and feel somewhat rested. I hadn't been doing that...so now I take tylenol and it helps me feel rested.

These are two things that most people would think I were crazy for being dependent upon...but you know what...I am crazy. I'm a freakin nutcase...who will go to church on Sunday to be put with the elderly people. I say yeah right in a big way...either yeah right that I'll be at that church on Sunday..or yeah right...and basically concluding the thought with Glen bite me. Why do I have such a bad attitude? I haven't had this bad of an attitude in years...but I'm definitely there.

So it's thanksgiving..so what am I thankful for....
1. I'm thankful that I have a place to live...and thankful that the flood dried up.
2. I'm thankful that I had a church and ministry...and thankful that soon I'll find what it is I'm supposed to find.
3. I'm thankful I'm in grad school...it's frustrating and hard at times..because I can't concentrate..but it's something I know will be amazing for me in the end.
4. (this one's for Glen) I'm thankful that God picked me to walk through the flames of hell...because that means I'm so amazingly strong in faith.... whatever...
5. But seriously...I am thankful that God did pick me...picked me to be worthy of Him...picked me to love...picked me to worship...He picked me!
6. I'm thankful that I'm stubborn...that I don't give up easy...that I fight through life...my parents cursed that side of me when I was young...but if I wasn't that person...I don't know where I'd be right now.
7. I'm thankful for friends...Katie...it just never seems that we'll ever be too far from each other...she's my best friend. Barb and Gail and the fam....I've never had this type of a family before...and I love them...I love the fact that Barb told Ian I was told to leave the youth group and Ian yells...then I'm leaving too...and then gets further pissed and tells Barb that the devils gonna sit on a tack and then yells so watch out Glen...I love this kid...not because he says things like that...but because he loves me. Tim...he's probably one of the most frustrating people I know because he's full of up's and down's...one day he's so supportive and the next you feel like a putz at his doorstep...but I want to say why I'm thankful. I'm thankful because he shares the same passion as I do...and he just loves these kids...no matter what they do...he'll always love them. I thankful for him because that some passion in ministry and love for the kids is that same love he has for God. I'm thankful because a year down the road when he's forgotten about me and this ministry and moved on to another ministry...he'll still love God in that way and still love ministry in the same way. Some friends aren't lasting like Katie...some friends will walk out of your life easier than they came into your life...but I've learned to be thankful for God in these people. I wish all friends would be permanent...but I'm not foolish enough to believe that....LCC is living proof...there was Paul, Amos, Sara, Kari, Elaine, Josh, Heather, Matt, and Justin....all were considered friends at one time...but they had no problem walking away. The lucky ones were the ones that I cried over because I loved them so much...Paul, Sara, Kari, and Josh....they were lucky...lucky that they impacted a life...but dumb because they moved right on by. I still love them though...yes even Josh...I never want to see him again...but I love him...

So this Thanksgiving...I am thankful believe it or not. It's hard to be alone on the holidays...but I hear people above me and that makes me feel better because I'm not alone in the apt. building at least. I'm going to do homework today, so I feel like I accomplished something. It's Thursday....which means I've almost made it through one more week...I'm thankful for that too! Someday I know it will get easier...I can't wait for that day...I'm on week 4 of absolute chore life....

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Why There Are No Rainbows In My Life....But I Do Have Toilet Paper...Finally...

What is a rainbow? Beyond the basic definition...it's a replication of God's promises. Well I realized this morning as I crawled out of bed, still feeling extremely tired and wandered out to my living room...that God had indeed sent a flood. He didn't even wake me up to tell me to build an ark. My entire living room was like the swamp lands of Florida....I actually looked around to see if the crock hunter was in my living room....eehhh crockie....anyway...I sat and looked at my beautiful desk sitting in the swamplands of my apt and about blew a lung...but I didn't...instead I called the office...had a guy come over and help me move my desk back and I had to take everything off of it and put it in the dining room. You couldn't even walk through my apt. because I had stuff everywhere. They brought a carpet cleaner over and vaccumed my carpet...and then hooked fans up. Because I had fans blowing my heat was running continually, so I decided to turn my heat off...so my apt was 61 degrees and i was laying in bed with coats wrapped around me freezing all day. Anyway finally I turned my heat back on and my carpet finally just dried out.

Wanna hear more about my lack of rainbows...I know I'm depressed because I ran out of water, toilet paper, and milk and just didn't care...finally this morning because my apt was a mess I went and bought these things....along with oreo's and ice cream...my depressed food. But because of the flood, I now have toilet paper...and oreo's and ice cream and a pizza to eat tomorrow. I also bough Chicken Gumbo Soup...to find out there is no chicken in it.

So I talked to my sister, Carrie, last night...she thinks my family is nuts too. At least I'm not alone. So it's a great snow storm outside right now...I'm enjoying it...if I have to be alone on Thanksgiving then there may as well be snow. This is the first Thanksgiving I've ever spent alone...but I am positive about it...I have the parade tomorrow morning, football in the afternoon, and The Grinch tomorrow night....and I am a Grinch...oh wait..that's a bitch...but anyway...equally good.

Life gets better, because I worked at the kids club today and some teens came in and talked and told me how they broke into the concession stand and stole a bunch of stuff....hmm...so now I've got more police reports to make...yay me. So if God has anything else left for me....bring it on....I pity the foo who messes with me...

Life's a bitch...I am one too...

The Flood Posted by Hello

The Flood Posted by Hello

The Flood Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

'X' Marks the Spot

From the first moment I laid my eyes on Christopher J.H.Wrights book laying in the water, the thoughts of Rick Warren's book laying beside this book..has been pure music to my ears. But something so great should be carefully planned. I've spread the word and will possibly have multiple sessions of such an act, as other people are willing to donate their copy of The Purpose Driven Life. Today I went to the local state park and scoped out a new trail and I found the final burial grounds for Rick Warren's book. Before Rick pleads his last case he will have one last chance to impact the lives of trolls and witches on the Spooky Hollow trail. This trail runs through the woods with people carved into the trees...I'm sure that Rick will impact them. Once through this the trail winds perfectly to the bottom of a lake. In the stillness of that lake, the book will plead it's final case and my purpose will be made as the lighter touches the smooth pages of paper and as the sweet smell of crap burning sends me to the higher power of knowing I'm the new and lastest "Jesus Seminar"...only I'll call us "Incontinental Buttocks" ...i don't know but it just seemed that sometime in one of my blogs that should appear...so we take books that are lame all across the contentent and shove them up peoples butts by burning them. I think we're gonna make a difference!

In further news...how do you like your geritol? The reason I ask is that I've been drafted. I went to the church "news conference" (Glens office) and they completed the draft and am now a member of Geritol elite. I went from the youth who yell "DEER" to the people who can't see deer. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to refuse a draft...I'm pretty sure unless I retire I can't...so I'll have to see about this.

I was going to go to my sisters this weekend in St. Louis, but that bombed out...her husbands parents are getting a divorce and things are a mess there...so anyway looks like a weekend and holiday alone. Oh well... I might go to Chicago on Friday night and go jazz clubbin. See if Time Bomb Taxi is playing anywhere this weekend.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Friends...

Just when you think that maybe things are getting better...you realize it was a show, a facade, a dance that was simply done to impress. You live your life wondering if you even see the truth. I feel like I'm such a burden that I put people in over their heads. So in order to find some sort of a solution so where I don't become this person who does this, I think it's best if I do nothing at all. I've always been bad at making friends, I'm not sure why, I'm a personable person. But I'm just not good at making friends, maybe I don't pick the right people. So anyway...that's me...it's who I am.

In high school I remember that kids didn't necessarily like me all the time because I didn't wear the coolest clothes, and I didn't look the right way...but you know...I had to buy my own clothes, I had to work hard hours for them and I didn't have the money to look the way that everyone wanted me to look to make me worthy of their presense in my life. So I did without. I remember when I hit a growth spurt in high school (yes I did grow, just imagine how much shorter I was) my jeans didn't fit me anymore and some kids were making fun of me. My sister got wind of it and took me that weekend to the mall in Peoria and bought me a pair of silver tab jeans. If you know silver tab jeans you won't think me to be lying when I tell you she spent $54 dollars on them for me. That's a memory I will never forget and will always love my sister for. I wore those jeans till they got holes in them...but I felt like I wasn't a complete loser for just a little bit...those jeans made me feel special. But I would trade all the jeans in the world to have my sister back...to have her close...to have her call...to talk to her.

Since high school I've moved so much that it seems like just about the time I get close to people, I move away and long distance friendships just don't carry. Therefore I'm left feeling once again alone.

You see as much as I appreciated those jeans my sister bought me, as much as I felt like a new person...after they were gone, I was left with no sister. It was a quick fix to make me happy, but I would be happier to have my sister. I feel like people are quick to offer solutions that are quick fixes. My problem is that I never view them as quick fixes.

I remember another time in high school, where I decided to wear my hair down. It was a disaster...my hair was just crazy at that time. If you don't have natural curly hair, you'll never understand. Anyway, it got rainy and humid and my hair was going everywhere. Right in the middle of band my director started making fun of my hair. I just sat there and cried in the middle of class. I happened to have music appreciation class with the director for the next period and my sister happened to be in that class too. During that class the director continued to make fun of me and I just hid my face and cried. It wasn't till after the whole class (including my sister) made fun of me that my sister came to my locker with a rubber band and helped me get my hair pulled up. It meant a lot for the reason that I didn't have to get made fun of anymore...but it also hurt because she just took part in it. You see...somehow the act of kindness she did was lost because I knew that she really was doing these things out of pity, not love.

Sometimes people do things for you that really are nice and make you feel good...but sometimes you find out later, that you're really just the result of some good intended pity. That you take people and put them in over their head...that you are just overwhelming. You face up to this fact, it never discredited the things Emily did for me...they were important things...and they helped me...but no matter what they will never replace having my sister and I'd rather have her than those things. I'd rather have my friends than the things they can do for me. So when I become the burden that sends them over the edge, then I have no choice but to do without because I would never, ever be the person who walked all over my friends and wore and tore them down. Sometimes alone is the way of life that is chosen for us.

ICTC

So i went to ICTC this weekend. I'm not sure what happened, but I just didn't like it. Not because I'm mad at God, not because I'm mad at Christians, not because the speaker was bad. There were a lot of good things in it, but it just wasn't for me right now. It was definitely hard. I ended up walking out today crying and rode around with Katie for a few hours and just cried. Then Tim called and it was time to go...and I cried all the way back because I didn't want to go...it's empty here...and I was with someone who cared..and I needed that...I wanted that. So anyway it took me forever to get out of Katie's car and more than anything I just wanted to be with Katie...so I cried most of the way back to Champaign and Tim then asked if I wanted to go to Decatur and meet up with Katie later on that night. Knowing he was totally exhausted, knowing he had driven all weekend, knowing that I'm a pain in the butt...he still offered...that one gesture probably meant more to me than anything anyone has ever done for me. That one gesture completely stopped the tears this afternoon. But most of all...that one gesture made me step out and think...that maybe this isn't bullshit...maybe he does care...I will say I'm not 100% on this yet, but I'm much closer than I have been.

I'm debating whether or not to go to church tomorrow. Everyone says that's where I should be but I'm so scared because it's just empty and I can't get up and leave...I just don't know what else to do...I have no plans to go anywhere else...so I'm going to have to find somewhere to go or stay home and I just don't know....Wisdom is hard...and life is even harder...

So ICTC did one thing...exhausted me...more fun stories to come...

Friday, November 19, 2004

psychic fears...call for drastic measures

So last night was another bad night...I was thinking about working the good ole thumb, hitchin a ride with a trucker and just letting the wind blow. I definitely could have seen me waking up who knows where this morning...luckly I talked to Tim, who put some sense into me. But I realized a couple of things last night...A. I probably would have ended up in a truck with Jotham...B. If not I would have had to ride to Texas with a hairy woman named Bertha C. The worst of all circumstances, one of our church members or even Glen secretly drives a truck on the side, and I'd have to ride with them to who knows where. Anyway...I didn't hitch a ride last night.

On a more serious note, I'm psychic. I have honestly been concerned with me being pushed out of the ministry because I'm struggling...I haven't made up my mind one hundred percent if I was going to try to hang through this or walk away...but Susie sent me an e-mail this morning with the magic answer...I'm being suggested to step down. So I guess that's the reality I face..my fears have come true. I guess there is no room for struggling within the church. So oddly I finally have an answer...I guess I'm leaving...the church...the youth...everything. It's funny, I was scared last night about this...but now that I've got the e-mail...it's not as scary as I thought it was going to be....it's very empty feeling...but I'm not scared right now. I will say, I will not go silently...I will tell the church what I think, when I can do it respectfully...

I've never been a person that's scared of the unknown...I've always kinda walked blindly through my life and I guess I'm there again...I tried some things I thought were true and they weren't...so now I've got to find out what is true. So I'm searching once again...what I dread is once again sitting down with a group of youth and giving them a bullshit answer as to why I'm leaving...knowing if I tell them the truth..they too will leave.

A week ago I wrote a journal article titled.."church...is this it?" I've found my answer...this is it...this is the church...this is what it feels like to be abandoned by the people who aren't supposed to abandon you...but you know what...this may be the church now...but when God gets a touch of that anger He got when He flooded the earth...the church better be scared...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

"Goodbye"

It was three a.m. and I was sitting up crying and wondering when exactly does life move forward. Evanessence song "Immortal" was playing...and I wanted nothing more for God to tell me whether He existed or whether it was a pure figment of my imagination that I've fooled myself into believing for so long. As tears dried in my eyes, and it seemed like no more emotion could come...I sat still and angry and finally decided that I'm tired of this...I'm tired of being a part of the church. I'm tired of being a part of the rules and regulations, I'm tired of being a part of the gossip but not the friendships, I'm tired of the "ministry" of the pastorial seat that instead is more of an occupation. I'm tired of the offering plate being passed and people feeling like they've done their good deed for the week. I'm tired of people who are alone, poor, needy, and disadvantaged feeling this way...if the church is active in the world, don't you think these people would at least know someone cares? They don't...why...well because the church has ministers who don't really give a crap or they'd contact people, go out of their way and love people. But there are the Pastor Eddy's of this world...I've found very few of them...but the Pastor Eddy's of my life have been...number one Pastor Eddy...a man who loved people, who loved humanity and who loved trouble, almost as much as he loved God. Pastor Eddy was taken from this world when I was in fifth grade because of a car accident. His death was untimely if you ask me! I miss him! Pastor Eddy number two, Mason Booth. He is a man that cares so much about people, he's not much older than I am, but his passion for the youth in his community now is amazing. His church seems judgemental, but Mason is true to his heart and has found God in ways that I only wish I could see. I haven't seen Mason in person in like five years, because we both moved...but that doesn't matter...we talk frequently...and Mason always reminds me that I should be in a church where I'm "celebrated not tolerated." Pastor Eddy number 3...Ken Hall. Now I didn't agree with Ken Hall theologically, but Ken taught me what it means to love people, there was a dark couple months in my life about 4 years back and Ken swept me up, prayed with me, cried with me, cursed God with me...Ken loved me...when I felt no one else did. Pastor Eddy 4...Emery Emmert...He taught me one of the most valuable lessons...he was a man who did not run on a schedule...church started when he got there...which was usually late...and church ended when he decided he was tired of preaching. Sometimes people responded to him in the middle of church, he didn't care. Emery barely knew me but immediately got to know me...he asked me about school, life, stress, when I was thrown out of my dorm in undergrad, Emery was there to pick up the pieces. Pastor Eddy number 5 and 6 come together in two people...I add them to the list just now Tim Spanburg and Barb Stanberry. These two people have listened, cried, heard, and laughed with me. When Barb had so many things on her own mind, she sat at a table last night and let me cry out. When Tim could have slapped me with judgement, told me I'm dumb, and told me to just leave...instead he's fighting...not for me, not for the church but for God to somehow appear. He hasn't yet, but knowing that someone is fighting when I can't...that's what Christianity is about.

The sad thing is, there have been many more ministers that I've come in contact with...they have influenced me, but negatively...but they do help me appreciate the Pastor Eddy's of this world. So that's where I look deep into the hearts of these ministers...Pastor Eddy is where I wish I could be...gone...Mason is as frustrated with the church as I am and is thinking of teaching for awhile...Ken left the church he was at, started his own church...so he could make it what he wanted it to be...Emery...just yesterday i found out he was fired because he was always late. Barb well she's angry, hurt, and frustrated...but there is never a time where I can't experience the sanctuary of her home...and Tim...frustrated, angry at times...is trying to love God enough for two people and is trying to let me struggle without passing blame..but his heart struggles with his slot in ministry. If he chooses...a Pastor Eddy, he will be...but if he walks away...he'll still be a Pastor Eddy...these two people have taught me that pastors happen outside the church sometimes more than inside the church. So as I watch so many dear ministers say goodbye, I say goodbye with them. You see these ministers said goodbye a long time ago...they said goodbye to schedules, goodbye to careless words, goodbye to ministry as an obligation, goodbye to membership papers, goodbye to judgemental attitudes, goodbye church. These are people who love ministry, not business and they will always love ministry...but they will never buy into the business of church. Right now if Pastor Eddy was alive, I could see myself doing something crazy with him...I could see him hearing me when I said...I hate my faith...I have nothing to live for...help me....he would help me...he'd help me get in trouble. Something about getting in trouble for him, made everything just seem better. I think that when he was in trouble, God was real for him because he knew that in our humanity all we were was trouble anyway. I love these ministers but most of all I call them friends...I love what they've taught me...they've taught me to say goodbye...they've taught me to walk away from this crap we call church. So this I say...Goodbye church...i'm finished. Whether that means me ever walking back into a church or not, I refuse to let you hurt me anymore, I refuse to let you judge me anymore, I refuse to let you tear me down instead of build me up...I refuse to fall under your victimization...if I must walk alone...alone I will go...in hopes that maybe someday I can find God again...because He sure isn't sitting in the back pew of your hypocritical church! You may see me as a jackass...but who is the one beating the ass?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Onward Aimless Soldiers

Have you ever felt unable to trust. I'm wrestling with that now. It's hard for me to trust people who haven't been there. You know...it's a struggle...and I find it getting harder as more people become caught up in the easy answers of life. I'm trying to learn. To learn to give a chance to people...to learn to care and respect...but most of all...I'm trying to find God...but the anger is burning in my heart and tears come so easy. Christians are lost....they don't have it right....I know at least one person who would tell me that I'm arrogant...because that's the reason supposedly that this person believes I'm struggling...apparantly I earned this struggle because I suck...so anyway, this is my call to this person...this is my heart to this person....these are my words....I will not be silent....


Onward Aimless Soldiers

Life is a burden so heavily thrown,
Some think they've mastered it and are already grown.
With dismay and anger I succumb to their plight,
Somethings are worth battling, but they'll always be right.

Life is conquored in only one way,
Be silent and still, you have no say.
Bow down, lay down, succumb to your mistakes,
Commitment is key, live up to the stakes.

Darkness sets in, you begin to fight,
The blindfolds are placed, they give you no sight.
You move away knowing nowhere is somewhere,
You've heard one too many times, life isn't fair.

No shit life sucks, fair it's not,
Life isn't a party, it's meant to be fought.
Blinded they are to things that matter,
The poor and the broken, all have been scattered.

Ignore them they say, for they don't exist.
Their cries for help, all should resist.
I've heard enough, hate me if you will.
But your thoughtless echos sound completely shrill.

Silent your mouth, bite your tongue,
Your words are empty before they begun.
You'll pay one day for turning your head,
When some people had no food and they had no bed.

I wish you the riches that you've come to know so well,
I wish them to you, so you don't face hell.
Those who are poor, will find riches in life,
Your life will be rich with plenty of strife.

You'll fight for things that mean so little,
You'll never step down or settle in the middle.
You'll climb the ladder and make it to the top,
But you'll look around, your respect will drop.

So stop talking I say, I'm tired of your words,
There empty and hollow and come in herds.
Shut up I say, they're worthless to me,
Your opinions are as vast as the sea.

Judge now, your day soon will come,
When hell will break loose, and you'll lose sight of the sun.
Judge now, your life will soon break open,
And God will seem distant and you too will be broken!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I need alcohol...which is the very reason I don't get any...

I regret that I already wrote in my blog today...I don't like to write two entries in one day...it makes me look like I have no life. But I guess I don't, so it's probably okay. I guess I just have a lot on my mind. Susie called me today, and I sat and listened to her leave a message on my machine, completely froze and unable to pick up the phone. Thirty minutes later I called her back...as I heard her tell me that it was my fault that this was going on in my life, and I heard her say that I would make it through it, and then I heard her say that Glen cares too and knows what's going on...but doesn't know what to do. I'm done buying into this...maybe it is my fault...but I can't do anything else different now, so there's no use trying to fix it...and if Glen doesn't know how to help hurting congregation "non-members" then maybe he shouldn't be a pastor.

Life just doesn't seem worth it anymore. I got a Thanksgiving card from my parents...too bad they didn't write anything in it. Have you ever felt alone? Like you had no one? That's kinda how I feel. I remember the days when I would sit down with my friend Mary and we'd talk about anything and we'd go do stuff and laugh together...but we just don't do that anymore. I remember when my mom and I went out to eat one afternoon together...we went to a tea room...we talked...we laughed and we went shopping...I remember when dad and I went fishing...we didn't say much, but he said a lot when he bought me my own tackle box and fishing pole knowing that he'd have to teach me how to line it and take care of it. Susie tells me that having these things back won't make me happy, won't make me know God and that maybe I want to "feel" too much. I guess it will always be my fault...it's been a hard day. I have to get up tomorrow...I don't feel like being awake...

Today I checked my e-mail and I opened one...it was full of encouragement...but it's so weird...i just feel nothing...i want to feel something...if I feel it's usually saddness or anger...I want to feel God. I don't care what Susie says, I want to feel God...knowing God means feeling His Presence. I don't know how much longer I've got...I feel like I'm worn down...the end of my faith feels so close that it's scary... so I end with where I started...I need alcohol...which is why I don't get any...I refuse to depend on anything to cover how I feel or don't feel...that's dangerous...so instead I allow myself these days that eat me up from the inside out...knowing at least when I go to bed at night I'm not an alcoholic.

10 Things I Hate About Church

So last night I went into the office and talked to Donna. Well I was supposed to be driving to Greenville today because I was told it was like 2 hours away and 2 hours back...but then Donna said it's more like a 6 hour road trip total. I told her I couldn't do that because I had to be back by 1 for class. She understood...Shawn on the other hand was pissed...so what did that equal...more guilt for me...which in turn equals more depressed feelings and frustration. Everyone says to say no...but everytime I do...people get pissed at me. It just sucks. But I'm not driving to Greenville so some people will be happy. Last night I went to Dairy Queen with Kristin and just sat and talked. I told her what my weekend was like and she just sat there. She eventually said that she's going to come kidnap me and take me to church. I know that she cares and I know that she's scared...but I really hope she doesn't kidnap me. This week, I just feel numb. I have no feelings at all...not happy, sad...nothing. I've flatlined...which is dangerous because when I feel like this, is when I make decisions because I feel that my emotions are out of it. The thoughts that I've had this week, haven't been good.

I've recognized now that if I continue going to church, with my mindset the way it is, then I'm never going to find good...because there is no perfect church and the bad is going to influence me more at this point than the good. So I feel like I just need to clear my mind. That sounds real good but say I stop going and I get a clear mind...why would I want to go back. If I continue going I risk leaving the church so pissed off that I don't want to clear my mind and I will just hate it all. That's dangerous too. So I think I'm leaning more toward leaving the church right now...and just taking time away from everything...not knowing whether I'll return or not...but eventually my frustration should die out. When I make the decision, I feel like I've just got it in my head as a smaller decisions...I just won't go to church next Sunday and from there on out that will carry on from Sunday to Sunday...but it won't be as big in my head because I will just see it as one Sunday.

10 Things I Hate About Church
10. Business
9. Judgmental attitudes within it (Even an elder backed out because of that)
8. The sermons that speak to no one
7. The emptiness that lies beyond the double doors.
6. The silence...if it's not surface level..then be silient..don't talk about important things.
5. No one hears each other
4. Lack of service
3. Being used
2. Lack of care or concern about each other or anyone else or lack of friendships
1. The church is the view of God I have...and now I can't even pray....

So thank you church...thank you for damaging me....thank you for not hearing me, even though I was jumping and waving my hands and screaming that I was hurting. Thank you for acting so surprised last weekend, like you knew nothing. Thank you for thinking that my strength was enough to pull me through this...and not understanding that my strength was found in God...and God is absent. Thank you for caring, after I'm so broken. Thank you for using me for my gifts...now I never want to sing or touch my flute again...and am beginning the social work field completely burned out. Thank you for not feeding me...spiritual starvation is the source of my tears. Thank you for encouraging me to go elsewhere to get fed, in campus Bible studies...they proved worthless...but at least I got the initial approval. Thank you for going on with your life...when everything in me is stopped. Thank you for making me wish I was not in this faith. Thank you for damaging me...now...could you tell me who I am? I don't know anymore? If you could tell me...I could maybe move on.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Wherever You Will Go

There was a one hit wonder that came out a few years back and became a song that everyone in our generation heard of...sure i could relate a little to the song...but I never thought it would be the verbal words between God and I. Here are the lyrics

Wherever You Will Go - The Calling

So lately, been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone you'll need love
to light the shadows on your face
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then between the sand and stone
could you make it on your own.

CHORUS:If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low, I
'll go wherever you will go
And maybe, I'll find out
A way to make it back someday
To watch you, to guide you,
through the darkest of your days
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then I hope there's someone out there
who can bring me back to you

CHORUSIf I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low,
I'll go wherever you will go
Runaway with my heart
Runaway with my hope
Runaway with my love
I know now, just quite how
My life and love might still go on
In your heart, in your mind
I'll stay with you for all of time
CHORUSIf I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low,
I'll go wherever you will go
If I could turn back time
I'll go wherever you will go
If I could make you mine
I'll go wherever you will go


maybe someday God will make His way back to me...maybe someday I'll figure out how to make it on my own.

Christopher J.H. Wright...part 2...the sequel

Inspiration..it's a beautiful thing. This week my inspiration has been crappy churches, distant people and bucks pissing...but Christopher J.H. Wright...my ultimate inspiration. I thought about how much he inspired me to shit on the church and how much he inspired me to consider myself number one above all others...great inspiration which is why I regret the fact that I did not bring my camera to take a picture of his book laying in the river today. But the biggest inspiration is that I also realized Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life Book belongs in the river too and it so happens that Tim agrees, so soon we will be lighting this dear book on fire and sending it to it's watery grave because all his book did was make me want to take a purpose driven dive off a 300 foot tall bridge. So the next outing will end with the sweet smell of embers and the beauty of the water taking them downstream...if only I can launch it into the current.

Better news, I got to play with deer...DEER!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament by Christopher J.H. Wright

Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament is a book that I used during my undergrad. Well this morning I decided to brave out the stormy swampy waters of Christianity and go to a different church. I set my alarm for 6:45 a.m. but wake up at 7:20 a.m. to a dream that I was walking out to my car from church and someone was repeatedly running into my car with theirs. I looked at my clock and wondered...why didn't my alarm go off, now I don't have time to shower...so I get out of bed, throw on my clothes and run out the door. I arrive at church, and mosey into the building, hoping and praying and in one last cry before I touch the door handle, I silently cried out..God let this be it. I sit down in a pew and look up to the front and see a girl from my classes leading worship, thinking of the times that she's blown me off in class and thinking of the times she made fun of my comments...but I thought to myself...this isn't what church is about. She came up to me and sat down and said hello..and something in me smiled... We get through the worship songs, and they introduce the speaker as Christopher J.H. Wright, and hold up this book that sits on my shelves at home. They talk about his accomplishments and all of the sudden I feel like I'm going to hear the president speak...he takes the stand and in his irish accent starts speaking about Revelations. We get to his points in chapter 5, and the man sitting next to me drops dead...literally...dead...we get him to the floor, do CPR and eventually get a small revivement of the heart...there is a doctor present and working on him and 911 is dialed...and church continues on. Christopher J.H. Wright, continues to speak. This mans wife is standing and scared, the congregation knows what's going on, the announcement was made that he was revived and church continues. I know how this man felt, I know how this woman felt. Knowing that the business of church will never stop, it's too important to get to the end...it's too important be structured. Somehow in the pain of two elderly people, church didn't stop. At that moment I wanted nothing more than to get up and leave, but I was blocked by Medics and a Korean guy that was sitting on the other side of me. So there I sat, we reach the end of the service, the pastor gets up, holds his hand in the air with his eyes open and says, "may God be with you this week and may your hearts be filled with His presence." I walked out of church with tears rolling out of my eyes, because somehow I realized that church would always go on, even in the deepest times of hurt...church would rarely reach out, but would always go on. Business always moves on, unless the consumers stop purchasing. I'm tired of this crap...I'm tired of purchasing into this bullshit we call church. If someone would have told me that at church this morning a man that I didn't know but sat down next to would die...I would have said...even my luck isn't that bad. But this morning it wasn't about me or my luck...it was about two elderly people who were totally overlooked in a deep time of need by this Irish speaker and this minister who was deeply concerned with the sermon moving forward. These people didn't need to hear about John's view of Jesus on the throne, what they needed was to see that Jesus of the Old Testament that this man claims to understand and know. So anyway, in final thoughts, I'd like to give my respects to Dr. Christopher J.H. Wright...by taking his book to Kickapoo State Park this afternoon and throwing it down the river.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Even Bucks Piss

You've had a long week, so you decide to go and clear your mind before an even longer weekend takes place. Where do you go in the great land of east central Illinois. Kickapoo State Park. You get out of your car, take a deep breath and feel the overwhelming control of God. It's something you don't feel anywhere else in your life, except at this special place. You start to hike...you climb hills and cliffs and get to a spot and sit down overlooking the flowing water 300 feet below. You just stand in awe and suddenly realize that everything you've hated, every care you had, every tear you cry...this water will wash away. You sit in the stillness of the woods and listen to the water rushing. Then it hits you, these are your words. For a week, you've been searching for the words to describe how you feel, the answer lies in this river, in these woods. You realize how much it feels like you're in a far away land, but really you're still in central Illinois. You look around and see the beauty and find God. You realize that for you God isn't a flatlands God, that God is a God of beauty and rolling hills and water...and that you're life is based on the flatlands. You look around and realize that your life used to be this beautiful...but it's just flat right now. You realize that there is more out there then what you see now, and you want it more than anything...you want this God. You want this church...you want these friends and family. Finally it all makes sense. You don't see or feel God, because you're in the flatlands of life. The winds are blowing and the coldness is setting in and you can either remain and hope that one day the flatlands will birth hills and rivers and valleys and trees or you can get up out of bed, take one last look at everything and leave your baggage behind and find the God of the wilderness. You realize that if you stay, you may never find what God has in store, and you realize if you leave, you may never see the fruit of staying. You realize that somehow God has a way...you get up and you continue to hike. With every step you hear the wrestling of leaves....you come to an overhang and stop and watch. Still hearing the wrestling of leaves...you finally spot a buck. The buck walks slowly down to the water to drink and your reminded of the psalm.."as a deer pants for the water, my soul longs for thee." At this moment, you found God...just enough to taste Him...just enough to give you the ability to get through the next minute. The the buck turns around, pisses in the very water it drank from and walks calmly up the hill. You sit at a distant from up above and watched this. Everything makes sense. Even in the stillness and quietness of God, in the longings of our hearts, we still piss on what God shows us. You get back up and continue hiking...you find a pond and sit down at the stillness of the pond and you think and you wait and you realize that sometimes stillness is best...but in the stillness the water grows moss and it begins to smell and it becomes dirty...the flowing of a river washes away the dirt and the moss and the smell. You think of your life and the stillness and realize that you've grown moss on the edges, you've developed the stench of fear and sin and you're becoming dirty at heart. At this moment you cry out to God for purity..for strength and for your life to flow. You pray that God brings a current to the broken heart you carry. But you realize, even when you find God...the buck still pisses...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

"church....is this it!?!"

You get out of bed Sunday morning, stretch, look at the clock and realize you only have ten minutes to get ready for this activity that the world calls "church." You decide that you don't really have time to shower and dress in your best attire, so you instead get out of bed, throw on a pair of jeans and a shirt, pull your hair back and jump in the car and head down the street for "church." You arrive in time to walk into the front door and feel the cold hands and hearts of greeters...but you don't worry too much about it, because every church has to have greeters...somewhere it must be written as the "thing" to do. So you move through the people, to find that special pew that just has your name in it, for anyone else to sit in that pew would take an act of God because everyone knows it's yours. You sit down and the songs begin, but the words just don't resonate. For some reason the people are singing songs that lack theology, heart, and soul. For some reason they sing songs that make people who are struggling with conflict in their faith, feel worthless and inadequate. But in your mind you think, "church" isn't about the songs we sing. So you squirm a little more in the pew and the pastor takes the pulpit...and you think "this is it"...just as you open your bullitin to see what words will encourage you this morning, you realize that the topic is something lame like "friend day." You get frustrated in your own mind, you know that you need a word from God, but instead we're talking about friendship. And to make matters worse, you're hearing about friendship from a man that's never shown friendship to you. So you think, no big deal, church isn't about the sermon...I can do this. The sermon is over and it's time for prayer and communion and offering. These people called "Elders and Deacons" make their way to the front...you look at them and they appear to be the same as you, you wonder if they have some super power that gives them the right to tell people that if you wear shorts in the church you can't serve communion...but you erase the thought from your head and decide to pray with them. They pray but not one word registers with your heart or mind. You think, that's okay, church isn't about prayer...I can still do this. You go through communion, tasting the grape juice and stale bread and no matter how hard you try, it never becomes the blood and flesh of Jesus...but you think, that's okay, church isn't about communion...I can still do this. It's offering time, the prayer is prayed about giving to Christ. You think in your mind...how are we so self-centered to believe that the only thing that Jesus is talking about here is money, there is a principle behind the giving that's more than American dimes and nickels...but you erase the thought, open your wallet, throw in some money...why?...well it's the thing to do and the super power filled Elders and Deacons are standing there watching you...but you think...hey...this is every church...I can still do this...it's not really what church is about. The final song is sung and it's time to leave and as you weave your way around people looking for the door, people come up asking for your help in activities and you think...this could be it...but then you realize that it is just because they don't want to do it themselves, but know it should be done...the people are thankful, not that you are giving but thankful that they don't have to do the activity...emptiness once again registers in your heart...but you think...it's okay...this isn't what church is about. You leave the church building, return to an empty apartment, sit down and recognize that you sat through an entire morning of church, like you've done for months previously, and you never did see what church was about...so then you wonder...did I even go to church...or did I go to a gathering of people who superficially thought they were making a difference.

Meanwhile, some people in the church are gathered together, fellowshipping...laughing... enjoying their day. And here you sit. Throughout the week you have been thinking about the poor and the needy and abused and you want nothing more than to help these people and then on Sunday's you hear about "friend day." Nothing registers...nothing seems right...and nothing adds up to "church."

You decide that talking to people is the only way to conquer this. You sit down and tell a person your age in the church, who shares similar frustrations. You think that this will build a common bond and understanding...but soon realize that this person has no problem moving on with life during the week and you seem to be left stranded and sinking. You think...hey that's okay...because this person is just busy and there are other people. So you sit down with an older adult of the same gender...it's a mentor right...and they mumble some words about you being strong and surely you can do this...church isn't as hard as some things you've thought through. As warming of a thought, it just makes you feel weaker because they never allowed themselves to feel what you were feeling...they were only concerned about the pew that would be empty when you left and how they would have to spend hours in prayer to pray for your name to be removed from the pew and for someone elses name, blood, and scent to take captive of this pew. So you think...it's okay...I mean...they just want you to serve...but then you wonder how you can serve, when you believe service is more than actions...it takes heart. You think...hey it's okay...I can do this....these people will call through the week, check in on me...but the only phone call you get is from the person your age, wondering if you completed some tasks...this person leaves a message and everything inside you, shrivels up and dies...but you think..."surely this isn't what church is about."

Then one night, you go out with a friend because finally someone seems to want to listen. Granted it's a non-Christian...you factor in your head, that somehow you can be a witness to this person...but soon realize that you're just so lonely that you don't care who you go out with. You find yourself sitting a bar, downing your third beer and thinking..."this is church." You find yourself in the midst of great conversation, you find yourself feeling accepted and appreciated, for once you are laughing the same way you've eyed other people laughing and then after hours of conversation, you go to a local restaurant and share a meal. You've talked about everything from religion, to school, to politics, to people, to relationships...and now you sit down quietly and share from your heart in the fellowship of food. You think about the beer this friend bought you when they got up to get one for themselves...you think about the way they serve you...you think about the way they listen to you talk about your struggles...and you realize...church is taking place here...in this bar...in this fast food restaurant. You return home that night...crawl into bed and think to yourself..."is this it." You toss and turn and wake up in the morning feeling like church is something more than Sunday mornings, and the pew is the birth of your depression....what do you do?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

coffee in the shower and groceries in the closet

Have you ever woke up one morning realizing that the sun rose in the west. Realizing that it wasn't even the sun, it was the moon that was rising. You got out of bed and turned on the shower and coffee came out. You opened your closet to pick out the lastest outfit and instead found your groceries. You went out to get in your car and realized your steering wheel was in your trunk and your wheels on the top of your car. You get to school and sit in class and realize that instead of class it's a movie theater and on the big screen is a picture of you...and you're crying because everything you once knew is just different. The movie plays through and it doesn't seem to end and it plays over and over again...never reaching a resolution. People are all around you and looking around and they spot you and begin to point and mock you...and all the sudden you realize that to everyone else, the movie makes perfect sense. You stand up and leave the room and exit the building, going down the stairs you came in on, but now the stairs go upward. You climb the stairs, hoping for something familiar and instead find yourself in a new and foreign place. You ask people for directions, but all of the sudden, no one speaks your language and no one drives a car...so no one knows where your car is. You find a spot and sit down and cry but realize that in this new place, tears are actually a sign of joy...so soon you realize no one understands what you are feeling. You stumble, you fall and finally you just give up. You face the reality that everything will be backwards, nothing fowards, and that you'll call out for help, and someone will hand you a tool box because that's what the word help means in this new place...so finally you realize that your old life is gone and you will have to learn this new life...or you'll never survive.

This is how I feel...this is what I see when I wake up. No one understands this...because to everyone else...this is normal. But I'm used to waking up with the sun in the east, water in my shower and clothes in my closet. These things are normal for me...but instead life just isn't that anymore. I'm speaking figuritivly here. This is what a person feels like when they've always loved a God and served a God that just seems absent.

I hope that someone hears...I'm so very lost and alone.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"It's a choice to be a jackass"

The title of this is a quote from my church secretary. She says this often and I really like it. It makes me smile from the depths of my being. Here is why...One my church secretary is just the coolest lady I've ever met...no maybe she's not the most Godly woman or the wealthiest or the smartest or anything like that in the eyes of this world...but I think she's one of the most Godly women I have met because she understands things in life that most women don't understand...she understands what it means to love people and open her heart and home up to them. She's one of the wealthiest people I know because even though she doesn't have much, I never feel like an intrusion in her home and I eat many meals with them...they are truly like family. I also feel like she's one of the smartest women I know because she doesn't pretend to be something she's not...she knows she makes mistakes and she has the most amazing sense of humor and we spend hours laughing. I love this woman and I love her family...they are truly wonderful!!! But she says this quote...and I love this quote, almost as much as I love the family!

It is everyone's choice whether they are going to act like a jackass. You see that's putting responsibility where it is due...in the hands of the beholder. It forces one to think about their actions and take responsibility for them. I know a whole lot of Christians who have chosen to be a jackass...and I'd be lying if I said I didn't make that choice myself a few times. I've been quite a jackass at times. For example...I work in this youth ministry with these kids...they aren't the best behaved kids, but they are a lot of fun. Anyway I work with this college student...he's the youth minister. Well a lot of times I'm a jackass to him. I get frustrated and I just get pissed. But you know what...that's my choice and that's not a good choice. Sometimes I'm a jackass to my family...once again...not a good choice. But this statement is a statement of hope...it's a statement that we have the ability to not be a jackass. So I try to not be a jackass, knowing I'm inherently part donkey...but I try hard to be something other than a donkey.

If you're reading this and you're a Christian...think about yourself and your ability to choose to be a jackass. If you're reading this and going back through counting the number of times a Christian said jackass...you just might be one. Think about the things you say and do and think whether they build people up, whether they build relationships, whether they accomplish something Jesus strived for on this earth...if they don't...choose to be something else!

The Good Things In Life

So I'd just like to share some things that I believe are maybe the best things that this world has to offer. First of all, differences...I am really growing to appreciate people with different beliefs...they challenge my own and they bring me joy because they believe so strongly in their faith that it challenges me to believe that much more in mine. I really believe that coffee is just amazing...unless it's thrown all over my car, which proved to happen to me tonight. But I really just like it...it's got this amazing taste..it's completely refreshing and relaxing. I really love books. I feel like reading is getting inside an amazing mind or a not so amazing mind. I feel like it's hearing the thoughts of someone that I wouldn't have known in any other context...I feel like it's being the best possible listener. I love to read...the bounded and published pages are my favorite things...Borders and Barnes and Nobles therefore being my ultimate quick vacation spots away from reality. What else do I see as the good things in this world...ice cream. Not just any ice cream...Culvers ice cream and Ben and Jerry's ice cream...how refreshing...it makes me forget about everything for just a moment. I also like people...in fact I love people. There is nothing better than laughing and hanging out and learning and teaching. Granted people can make you miserable too...but I love people...imagine what the world would be like without people. Imagine how colorless and dry it would be. So much flavor and life people add to this world...a world without people would be like a Baskin Robbins without 31 flavors...just Vanilla...how awful. Tragedy!

I think that this is an important journal entry...why? God blesses us with so much...hidden blessings and I know that God hasn't been concocting ice cream recipes in heaven while I'm praying but even if He has...you know..I'd pardon Him for not hearing my prayers. This is an important thing!

But ultimately, these things satisfy me for such a short time...just a few seconds and then I'm back to the caios of this world. But let me tell you...these little things...I appreciate them.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Sunday jail time...

So I have a theory...I haven't researched it to see if it's true...but it's my theory non the less. As a social work major, I have been trained to have theories about everything from peanut butter to welfare to worthless professors to how much money it costed to get books for the library at the U of I. Anyway...my latest theory is that more Christian people end up in jail on Sundays than any other given day of the week. So anytime you read a theory, you want to know some things. First, when did the person come up with the theory? What was going on in their life when they developed such an idea? Is it something that they can prove or refute? So here are your answers. I came up with the theory after several Sundays of sitting in church. I've left with so much anger that I think if I met the right person I could be capable of killing. What was going on? Frustrations with the youth and adults in the church alike. I believe that if I did a census on prisioners and their status of religious beliefs upon incarciration and then looked at the day of arrest...it could very well give me the information. I just happen to lack the funding to begin such a task and I'm not sure the information would change the world anyway, it would probably just cause me to get locked up in a looney bin. Which could be a good place for me anyway.

So with all this in mind I've also thought about jail time...because sometimes I feel kinda in jail. There is this one youth that I work with, well I'd almost rather be in jail that work with him. Why you ask? Well he's a good kid, doesn't cuss me out, says thank you, doesn't do drugs, steal, or drink. You're probably wondering whose nuts in this situation? But this kid rubs me wrong...he reminds me of my sisters...so annoying and I like the kids that are rebellious..they have guts...something about the hard ones I like. This kid...not hard...just chosenly annoying. So anyway...I kinda feel like I'm in jail when I'm around him and other times I wish I was in jail because then I couldn't hurt him.

Maybe every church should invest in a jail and lock away it's members occasionally...oh wait...I'm not a member...oh shoot...I should go put my membership in right now...what the f***

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Solitary Confinement

So I've come to a conclusion. I definately need solitary confinement...at least for awhile. When I was younger, it used to be torture to be alone and just sitting, but I'm beginning to recognize the comfort in it. It's odd because yesterday I was so tired of being alone, just felt like being out with a friend or something. But today...it was amazing. I left at 8:30 a.m. and drove to Kickapoo State Park and I hiked 8 miles. It was just great. I thought about everything from school to the youth group to the clothes in my closet. I thought about my family, my friends, my jobs, and my apartment. I thought about the past and the future and what was going on right now. It was just a great day. After I got done hiking, I found some benches by a lake and sat down and just wrote down everything I learned about myself. I learned a lot...and so I'm going to record the things I learned, because maybe they will help someone else out...

I learned that I have made bad choices...I won't go into detail about them...although you're probably interested...if you pay me I may consider. But those choices aren't everyone elses fault, they are my own fault and it's time to accept responsiblity for them.

I learned that I can't change my family, but they can either be an open wound (a wound that festers) or a sacred wound (a mark of God's fulfillment). I have to remember that people make mistakes and I have hurt people too.

My mistakes don't change God; I am not that powerful.

When I fail; He still succeeds.

Sometimes God doesn't give me what I want because He wants to take me further than I can see.

My challenge is to find my open wounds and sacred wounds and change my open wounds into sacred wounds.

Your heart is only as strong as your faith. Finding solitude is where faith battles occur...noise and distractions are where faith battles fester and never get solved.

Finding God means finding time for God..."When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me."

He stands at the door and knocks...but sometimes we can't hear Him knock because the noise of busy schedules drowns Him out. He is still knocking. He never stopped. You heard because you decided to listen.

Being a Christian means being human...making mistakes, having saddness, heartbreak and trials. But being a Christian means you have a plan or a map to get you through them. Non-Christians have the same things but their plan or map involves more sex, more addictions, more tragedy...which all lead to more trials...they cycle never finding fulfillment.

Do I want this? No! ...Then get your head out of your butt and spend time with God!

Open wounds = concentrate, pray, learn and forgive
Sacred wounds = Concentrate, pray, use!

My pain matters but in the long line of things God has me where He wants me... = Contentment

Josh = Example of ignoring God because of own desires...but I wasn't even happy with him...This is why being joyful in Christ is essential to healthy relationships or you can't see clearly.

Sometimes if I listen to my heart it controls my mind and sin results. My family isn't perfect but they aren't horrible either. Find their strengths and when their weaknesses are in my heart...understand that God is still working...He can only stop when I think my weaknesses are stronger than God is and then it's I that stops seeing God work.

Maybe I'd rather have human pity than contentment...it's a dead end road.

Letting God be God means you have to be Lynn...and not the "god" of your life...THINGS DON'T GO YOUR WAY! Grow up or you'll stay down!

You can't help others if you aren't restored! Make this a habit or you'll never see the end of what God is doing in your life...You'll always bail on God and ministry!

Those are the many lessons I learned when I took a morning and learned to be still...I'm going to try to do this once a week from now on...even in the cold. If I don't go hiking...I'm going to find somewhere to just sit one day a week for 4 or 5 hours and let God restore me! I encourage you to do the same...the desert is huge and its hard...being with God is the only way to get out!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Borders...

So yesterday I went to Borders, why because I just needed to relax for awhile. And I did. So I'm sitting in the aisle reading this book. It's a book I later decided to read because it applies ever so well with my life and maybe, just maybe, inside these published pages, lies the secret to change my life. So anyway I'm sitting there reading and I begin looking up and the first thing I realize is that there is a huge section of the Christian book literature on dating, marriage, sex. Now for LCC students...this is quite a relief because that's the main focus there. But for us non-LCC students...it's depressing. I sat there thinking how as a Christian, I must be doing something wrong. Since I'm not dating and I'm not married and I'm not having sex, I began to feel this overwhelming guilt that I was not reading the sex, marriage, and dating books. I mean obviously those are what I should be reading as a single female. To be honest, I went through a stage where I read those after Casey and I dissolved...but I guess they just didn't do it for me. Nothing in these books could explain why my best friend, the person I loved, cheated on me, hurt me and walked away with so much joy. So instead...I decided to read those books that are mountaintop books. They allow you to feel like you have life all figured out and make you feel good about who you are...

So follow me through the rest of this story. These are my thoughts and a couple guys who are obviously Mexican, because they are speaking Spanish walk down to the other end of the same aisle. The odd part about this set up is that the other end are genuine sex literature. So they are sitting there laughing and reading the books and having a great time. They look down at me and start laughing as one guy yells...can we experiment on you. I don't know what happened in me that minute. I don't know why it happened and I don't know where to go with it. Maybe this isn't something that you should write in a journal. who knows... But I sat there and looked at them, looked down at my book that was titled.."Wrestling with God." I looked back at all the marriage, dating and sex books and I thought..."what in the hell am I doing with my life anyway." As I sat silently the guys just looked at me wondering why I wasn't responsive.

So I'm sitting there and thousands of thoughts are running through my mind and I said..."maybe that's the answer, the only thing I haven't tried is to just do whatever it is that the world does." They looked at me confused...can you blame them? I was confusing myself. So then they asked, "if I was up for some fun." I looked at them...and I said..."I am...but I won't." They came and sat down and asked what was going on. I told them how nothing in life seems right anymore and how I've lived this life of Christianity and don't get me wrong...it's not that it is inherently evil...it's just that I'm so lost in the midst of it. I told them that I'm searching but just keep coming up empty every morning. They then looked at me and said..."sex helps." I looked at them and said...I don't think it would help me because I've made it 23 years..what's another few years...

I then got up, took my book and left. satan in the desert...I feel like I need some time off. You know the desert is something that you go through alone. Look through the Scripture. Jesus...desert...alone.... John the Baptist...alone. I know where I'm at...I've got to make some decisions in my life. I have to find some contentment. I have to figure things out. And I realize this on the day for registration for next semester. I'm wondering, if maybe my answer lies in me stopping life right now and just going somewhere and sitting for awhile...being still...learning to be content.

So Borders...such an interesting place....so eye opening...but definitely made me question myself. You have to admit though...the whole experience has some value of humor to it also.

Lynn

This Complicated Thing Called Life

Life...from the beginning it's all so complicated. We come into the world at a time that frankly, we just didn't choose and we are born to people that we really don't know. When we're hungry we cry, when we're sad we cry, when we're mad we cry, when we poop we cry...we just cry. Then we learn how to walk and talk and learn and eat and laugh and yet...we still cry. We develope this ability to believe whatever people tell us and to go along with that ability comes this fear of embarrassment but as a child we do dumb things and then in no way can we avoid our fear. Then comes teen years, ups and down, failures and dissappointments...love and hate. It's all there and to make matter worse you have this awkward need for privacy. You want people to leave you alone but you hate to be alone.

But nothing is as complicated as now. Life. You want what you can't have, and you can't have what you want. Fear fills the body, mind and soul and somedays taking a single step feels like you're falling off a mountain. It's not a beginning, it's not an end...but you feel the fear of beginning and the saddness of the end. There's nothing you can do to change it...there's nothing you can do to alter it, and there's nothing you can do to fix it.

Running away, though scary is appetizing. Crying though depressing, provides a vacation from the idea that one should ignore their feelings. Why can't the circus be real. Why can't we all pile in this little clown car and pretend that life is built of dressing up, acting crazy, and doing things that seem impossible.

Alone. It's such a dangerous word. There are times that I yearn for this word and other times that I yearn to know that someone will be there. I've learned that life is full of hate. Hate at the people that aren't there and then hate at the ones who are. I've learned to live with the feeling of hate towards my mom but yet everyday I dream of what it would be like to have my mom call me and talk to me and really listen and maybe even meet me for a day out in Champaign. I dream of what it would be like to have a bad day and be able to call my mom and talk with her...but I hate the idea that I can't. Love and hate...it all intertwines with being alone.

Why can't I just get to the top of the roller coaster and scream that I've had enough and make it stop. But it just doesn't work like that. The roller coaster moves on...and so do I. Screaming, thrashing, and puking the rest of the way down. One day I won't be alone anymore. One day I'll learn to be content. One day, I'll find my source of strength. Everyone calls me strong. I'm not sure why, I sure feel weak right now. Where do you go when you need a shelter...where do you go when you need a friend?

Life. One day it will all be worth it...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Male Species

Men, Guys, Males, Dudes...the list moves forward. That's the topic of today's journal entry. So I've recently realized that no matter how much better I get along with guys than girls...guys are still very different from girls. Things I'm learning....Don't drop hints...just don't...waste of time! So don't! Be as specific as possible...for example. You're driving in a car and you want to stop at the drive thru and get gravy to take home for your pizza...don't just look at the guy and say, man I'm tired...maybe I won't have gravy on my pizza tonight. They will never pick up on that...and besides...if you're eating gravy on pizza you have bigger problems anyway. Number 2, they are often unreliable. Don't rearrange, change your plans, buy something huge for a guy because they just may back out. What I mean is...those things you call "hopes"...don't get them up! They will only go down. For example...a guy calls you and says, "do you want to go ride you bike up and down the escalator with me?" Don't go out and buy a bike to do such a task...plus..a word of advice..you'll die! Don't cancel the appointment you made to take your Great Aunt Louise to the pediatrist. He won't show up anyway and then you'll be stuck with a cranky old aunt and a bicycle and the only resolve for that situation is to put your Aunt on it and hope that she's still in good enough shape to get herself to the pediatrist. Number 3, romance...it's just not going to be there. For example...a guy calls you and you tell him that you just want to go do something fun and spend time and destress. He instead interprets this..."you can come over and ride on my lawnmower around town with me." You may think that this is funny...but this is actually a true story. I wanted to scream when this happen...as much fun as that sounds...that was the last phone conversation we had. Number 4, they have no schedules. Most guys don't care when they do things or how they do them as long as they get done. Hence the whole idea of directions. For example...you're on a trip and you stop at a store to buy something to drink, you pick up juice boxes. You're back in the car and the guy your with doesn't know how to open the juice box. He looks at the straw and the little foil hole but it's all foreign to him, instead of looking at the back of the box, he instead gets out his pocket knife and cuts the top off the box, spilling it's contents all over his lap. Does it matter to him, no not at all, he got the juice out!

So why hang around guys...Number 1, they are good listeners and processors. You can tell them what you feel and it may take awhile but they process it and if they have any concern or care for you at all they take time to really figure it out. Girls on the other hand..."what you don't think my attitude is good...well I think it's fine and I'll show you a bad attitude you little slut." As caring and loving as that comment is...for some reason it doesn't give me warm fuzzies. Number 2, guys will do anything or just about anything. So I'm in the mood to just go out and be crazy, I decide I want to steal a 4 wheeler from the home of a near buy camp director and put it on the dock of the lake...who do I call? Not a girl...I call a guy. Why, because they aren't scared to do something crazy and get caught and who cares about the getting caught because their mind hasn't processed that far...they are still stuck on the part that says..."this rocks!" Number 3, They like girls. I know that seems weird...girls like guys too right? Not right...they like the idea of the perfect guy, they don't like the idea of guys in general and they only like the idea of guys if the guy is willing to date them. If the guy doesn't want to date them, then the guy no longer looks so good. Manipulate is what girls like to do...and I am one..so I know. I've heard the locker room talk...guys talk about sex and alcohol in the locker room, girls talk about how they are going to get a guy to bow down to them. So sad. Most girls talk to other girls about how they hate this guy and that guy, but really they are just upset that the guy broke up with them or won't date them. Guys just love girls...it doesn't matter what they look like, who they sound like, how loud they laugh, how serious or funny they are...girls are just beautiful to guys and guys often like to be friends with them. Why? Why not? Girls make good friends to guys. They will listen to what a guys says and do things for guys, sometimes with false motives, but the guys don't pick that up...because they don't get hints! But be careful...guys watch girls...their selfish in their friendships...and girls watch guys...they won't pick up on what you want from them and then you'll be left hurt and you'll hurt them in turn. Revenge is the girls best friend...so guys watch out because it can beat the crap out of you!

Anyway...I love being friends with guys...I just hate it when things get messed up or complicated. I have a guy friend who has been in love with me for years...this isn't good. He won't get it through his head that I'm just not there. But I still love guys, the men...not because of their bodies or for sexual reasons....obviously I'm waiting till marriage for sex...so that's definitely not it...but because they are the best friends in the world...and I love being around them...no matter what...the guys i've known lately have been big jerks...but i've known enough guys who weren't to say that there is nothing better than being a guys best friend. They'll protect you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, but most of all...they will just care. So if you're lucky enough to meet a guy or girl who is not crazy...be his or her friend..because you'll never sit and wonder if anyone loves you because your best friend will! Maybe too much! :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"Depths of Despair"

I write you today from the "depths of despair." It's kinda an old family joke...Anne of Green Gables is where it comes from...she was such a drama queen. But I think I understand maybe what she was saying. Have you ever wished that life had as good of endings as movies. For being 23 years old, I think I've dealt with a lot. But I'm kinda like Timex I guess...I take a licken and keep on ticken.

So I'm stuck in this pit. If I climb out of the pit, I'll probably be pushed right back in and I'm not sure it's possible to climb out of the pit. Have you ever dropped something and broke it and there was just no way to fix it? I think that may be where I am at...but then I realize that this idea leaves no room for God to work miracles.

A miracle is that I've been to all my classes this week. Huge miracle. I haven't really felt like it. I like the fact that as I post about being in despair...the person who has hurt me writes about Twinkies. Oh how I wish that the little things in life brought that much joy to me. When will they make a Twinkie that thrills me. Probably when the person who is thrilled by the Twinkie appreciates me. You know...this makes not a whole lot of sense...but that's okay...it's not often that I do make sense.

So I went to Barb and Gails last night...I sat and watched movies and t.v. with them. It's nice to have a family and have a person to talk to. They are the most amazing people. How this Twinkie lover can love this family but have no regard for me...it leaves me perplexed. Well school is calling my name...