The bible speaks quite point blank on the issue of empty pursuit and how it became the main focal point of all humanity at the fall of man, where we exchanged the Creator for created things. It is no secret that we are in love with the things of the earth. Simply drive through the area of Suburban Atlanta and you will see the amassing of earthly treasure in the form of the biggest houses, if they can be called that, I have ever seen. As a human race we live like this is it man, "Get yours while you can cause this is as good as it gets."
Why the soapbox on earthly treasure you may ask? I got interested in it today when my mom and I began cleaning out our attic. An hour turned into a few hours and by the end of it we had taken an entire truck load of junk to the Salvation army and another load to the dump. I sat up there going through "stuff" (I mean if its in the attic, where I never get stuff down do I really need it?) and I just had to laugh. There was a box full of trophies that caught my attention and all I could hear was the scripture in my head...
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."
Matthew 6:19
These trophies were my dad's and some of my brother's from little league. They were just collecting dust in an attic. I have this line of trophies on my shelf and this other line hanging on my wall from high school athletics and academics and I remember how proud I was of getting them and how good it made me feel about myself. I had worked hard and someone had noticed. They mattered so much at the time. I realized today how futile that is. My trophies, like my father's, will one day be looked at in an old dusty attic and tossed out.
King Solomon talks about this the most when he sets out to do this experiment under the sun. Much can be learned from his toil documented in Ecclesiastes. Why do we fill our lives with useless trinkets?


My good friend David Baker got married tonight. This time last year we were in Europe together, freezing our badonkers off and teasing him because he had liked Sara forever and just started dating her the day we left. We were gone for a month. They dated for around 7 months, got engaged in August and married tonight. It never ceases to amaze me how fast things change.
I sat at a table tonight with 3 married couples, all good friends of mine from college. Most of the time I think very little about the idea of marriage and simply enjoy my independence. It is moments like tonight that make me excited about one day being married. Its about stability, having a number one, being somebody's number one...who doesn't want that in their life? We were designed for it, meant for it and because of that we crave it. One day. Who knows who it will be.


Oh Holy Night

Sometimes I become discouraged when I survey the world and all I can see seems to be the negative, the sad, the overwhelming feeling that something has gone terribly wrong and that Christianity is becoming more and more scarce. The month leading up to Christmas is a good example of this. But other times, times like tonight, Christmas Eve, when houses are lit up and driveways are filled with cars and people are laughing and catching up and giving gifts (some wanted...some that will be regiven or returned) it occurs to me the great impact that the birth of Jesus has made on the world. I know that many things about Christmas have evolved to a point where Christ isn't even a thought, but the simple fact that this holiday exists, where much of the world stops to celebrate the greatest gift humanity has ever been given, blows my mind. The coming of Jesus to earth has impacted us all more than most of us even realize. He is woven into the very fabric of the universe.
Praise God for the giving of His only Son, so that we have confidence that He has already defeated the darkness, even if the darkness is sometimes still a very real reality!


I discovered something today that would make Christmas time a little more jolly...Christmastree stands that were not impossible to use! I know that the simple solution is a fake tree and yes, we have one of those. But really, how hard can it be to make a stand that holds a tree without an hour worth of fighting, an electric saw and a pile of fallen needles.


From an airplane window at night, a city looks like a ginormous Light Bright board. Do you remember Light Brights?

I loved Light Bright


One Semester Down

There are these strong points of reflection at different times of the year that almost bid you to stop and survey all that has happened. I have finished my first semester at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas...Unbelievable. Who would ever thought I would have been in Fort Worth, Texas at Southwestern Seminary?...Some people still do not know that is where I am. I never would have dreamed that is where I would be and yet I cannot imagine myself anywhere else. It amazes me that the place I didn't want to be has become the only place I want to be (for now at least) and I was so close to being somewhere else. I could spend days writing about all the things I have learned since I have been there and all the things I am thankful for about being there. I will only list a few...
*I am thankful for the school; one of the few institutions left that believes the inerrancy of Scripture
*I am thankful for my roommate; a gift that was just handed to me and has been such a blessing
*I am thankful for my friends; a random assortment of people who really love Jesus
*I have learned so much about myself; the good, bad and ugly
*I have learned so much about life and the truth of life in Jesus
*I am thankful for my ministry; both with my middle school job and my college-intern job
*I am thankful for the life that God is waking up inside of me

For now I am glad to be home...sitting in my den in South Carolina with my dogs and my sleeping Mom.



calmer than the sky
far away so blue
land of living God
grant your peace on earth
we can feel you move
and cannot stay the same
the winds are blowing strong
God of heaven come
breathe peace
breathe your peace on us
so we might breathe you deep
breathe peace
breathe your peace on us
land of the living God
if we are in the way
move us to the side
God forgive our wrongs
rest your hands on us
all the world is yours
let us not forget
it was you who bore the cross
God of comfort breathe
(chorus) - Robbie Seay Band


The Tipping Point

I have a new must read recommendation. I'm not even kiddint. It's called The Tipping Point. It is a book by a guy named Malcolm Gladwell who has studied the idea of trends and social epedimics. This book is unbelievable! But if you read it, do not simply apply the principles to the business world, the ideas in this book reach far beyond that. Find yourself using these principles in the context of the church or a ministry. Man, such a great book!


Neat Christian boys

I was listening to another Matt Chandler sermon today and so many times he just slips in a little word about something and it will penetrate so deep. He was making a little aside that had little to do with the bulk of his sermon, but he began addressing the single ladies in the crowd about the massive influence that their future husbands would have on their children's spiritual life. And he urged us to be patient and then said this, "There are a lot of 'neat' Christian boys out there, but so few godly men." And I thought man, that is so true, but it is true for girls as well. Christian culture has its own "cool" sect that operates under the same rules as the world. There are loads of "neat, trendy, hip, attractive, Christian guys" who haven't the first thought of what it means to be a man of God. They don't pray. They don't seek. They don't study. They don't do all things or much of anything to the glory of God. They don't stand for what is right and lead with no compromise. They don't impact the world around them. They don't love unconditionally and serve those in need. They strut around with the trendy covered bible and band boy t-shirts.
Now before you think I am simply bashing the male species let me say that when I heard this truth in the sermon I immediately thought, "Lord, do not let me be simply a neat Christian girl! I want to be a godly woman!" Let what defines me be a heart consumed by the love of Jesus and a life marked by obedience to the Holy Spirit!


There is an incredible church near Ft. Worth named the Village with an incredible pastor named Matt Chandler. I cannot begin to explain the impact that his preaching has made on me. I literlly listened to 15 of his sermons (which are long, normally about 45 mintues at least) over Thanksgiving. He made this statement recently and it has stayed in the forefront of my mind...

"The distance between all that you hate and all that you are, is smaller than anyone wants to admit."

Unbelievable~ and so so true!

1 Corinthians 15

50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?" 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Its snowing!

Yesterday it was 80 degrees outside and today its snowing....yep folks that white stuff is snow! No school or work....yipee!

This is a tri-plex.....my tri-plex


Sad day to be a Tiger...

Its a sad day for Tiger fans everywhere. Oh well... I spent quality time with some of this world's greatest people and at the end of the day thats all that really matters anway. Football is (if you really think about it) a ridiculous man made thing anyway.


Happy Thanksgiving

Some things I am thankful for.
1. Life...it is hard, but its worth the breathing
2. Salvation through Jesus Christ
3. My family
4. Education- Clemson University- my favorite place on earth; SWBTS- You have been a blessing
5. Health- I realize this is out of my hands; I take this for granted often
6. God's hand of protection on my life in every way
7. Friendships- those relationships that make you feel like you're home
8. The Written Word of God leading, teacthing and rebuking me for my guidance and His glory

The list is endless...


A good family friend died yesterday. She was 28, mother of a 5 year old daughter. I went to church with her forever. She played piano and her and her husband both helped in the youth group and have both extensively battled cancer. He can barely speak because of his cancer and her's finally overtook her. It makes my heart so sad. They just never got a break and it just makes me wonder ya know? Is this life worth it? We are about to go the wake. I wonder how that family will celebrate Thanksgiving. I wonder how I will celebrate Thanksgiving this year.
Man, I am so thankful for so many things. I am thankful for life and health and my family. All these things are given to us, they are not ours, let us not deceive ourselves into thinking we have control over anything because we do not. Every minute is one to be embraced, cherished, thankful for. Lord, help me be thankful! Lord, help me live and walk in your truth and your promises and not waste a moment of this life chasing after the wrong voices. Comfort that family as only you can.



What a year. If someone had laid out my life in 2006 before me last Christmas I would have watched it all play out in disbelief. I can say with absolute certainty that this has been the year that has marked me more than all others past. I have been reflecting over this year's events and I have to convince myself that all of it did unfold in just a year's time. Many things have ended and many things are just beginning.
There are many things that mark the end of childhood, but you don't notice they've come until they've past. The realization of Santa as a myth, however seemingly menial, is still nevertheless one. An empty house is another. No more toys. No more bright colors or big messes. An empty dishwasher, refrigerator and laundry basket. Not just the ending of highschool and graduation from college, but the begining of Graduate school halfway across the country. And more than all of these the beginning of new family marks the end of childhood. My baby sister is engaged to an incredible guy and so begins a new family. I watched it happen from a back room and was overwhelmed at the distance our lives had already traveled. As that ring slipped on her finger and I waved goodbye to my baby sister I also bid farewell to a piece of myself, my childhood.
Growing up is by no means over you simply don't realize what you hold in your hand until it has changed or passed or finished. I can't explain it I just know that life is taking one of its inevitable turns.


We're getting there

I am home. Home in the house that has always been and will always be, HOME. It has changed and it continues to change as time passes, but it is still home. I was riding with my mom up to Clemson yesterday and we were talking about something random. She paused and then as if a postlude to the conversation quietly said, "We're getting there." I don't remember what it was in reference to, but I looked up and through a cloudy sky there was an endless line of large rays of sunshine breaking through hitting the ground. It was one of those moments...ya know? You could see each individual ray coming through the darkness and illuminating the ground in front and I just repeated to myself, "We're getting there."


Nuggets of gold!

Tonight I went to a chinese restuarant with my friends Whit and Brady. It was buffet style and I got my plate and started loading up. Towards the end I looked down and low and behold under a shining light with angel music playing all around was a big dish of CORN NUGGETS!!!! That's right! You read it right. Good ole' corn nuggets. It was liking being back at PAWS diner in Tiger town....accept it wasn't...it was in a chinese restuarant....in Ft. Worth....called Bamboo something. Little nuggets of gold..thats what they are! This will be appreciated most by my good friends Mark and Katie! Comin' home soon guys, real soon
! in a little over a day!


Man, I have become a slacker here on this. I should have so much to write about because so much new is happening. I am growing, more and more I am finding. I am thankful, oh so thankful that I came here. Yes, it is frustrating at times and yes it is a VERY conservative school (women shouldn't work, etc.) but foundation is what I needed. I had no idea how unstable I was, or I had become before being here. I was so independent from God. I really operated out of my own sense of ability and confidence because I felt so on top at Clemson. And then so many areas of my life fell apart...loss, sadness, death...and I needed this experience, this place, this school to keep me firm. Now, many things are a daily struggle. I get sad and I miss home, but I am thankful for this experience and I cannot believe my first semester is nearly over.
God is shaping me for something unique. He always has been. My heart breaks for those around me who will not keep the faith, both those who don't know and those who know, but turn away. Lord, don't let me end up like them, disqualified at the end. We press in and we press on. We daily choose to believe that the way of Jesus is truth and we stand firm in that faith.


As sure as the sun awakens the dawn
And the wind blows against my back
Somthing is birthing inside of me...
A seed has been planted
And a vision is coming to life

No I am not pregnant...geez people! God is real and He is preparing the Way.


lyrics that blow me away...

What can i do with my obsession
With the things i cannot see
Is there madness in my being
Is it the wind that moves the trees?
Sometimes You're further than the moon
Sometimes You're closer than my skin
And You surround me like a winter fog
You've come and burned me with a kiss

And my heart burns for You
And my heart burns...for You

And i'm so filthy with my sin
i carry pride like a disease
You know i'm stubborn, Lord, and i'm longing to be close
You burn me deeper than i know
And i feel lonely without hope
And i feel desperate without vision
You wrap around me like a winter coat
You come and free me like a bird

my love for You
my heart for You
my life for You
all i have for You


A new slue of wonders

So, I have been discussing this for days with my coworkers and thought it blog worthy. Many of you may know this and some of you may not, but I think it is fairly fascinating. They, and I am at a loss for who they is and how they get permission to do this, are choosing 7 new wonders of the world. These aren't the natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and what not, they are simply redefining the Ancient wonders. YOU can actually go online and vote for them yourself. Choose wisely though, because it could be another 2000 years before this is done again!
7 New Wonders


I have to repeat to myself over and over...
"Apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. Life was in Him and that life is the light of men!" John 1


For your dining pleasure...

I saw this sign yesterday while driving to play football:
(A picture of a shrimp would be inserted here)

Alternate readings for this sign could be:


The Man from Jordan

I flew back to Ft. Worth on Monday morning. I got placed on this small little jet 3 seats wide. My seat mate was an elderly man from Jordan. He had lived most of his life in Texas, but had retained his thick Middle Eastern accent. This encounter was God ordained. We talked for 2 out of the 3 hours about Christianity. He is not a Christian, but wants to learn about it. Every possible topic that could have come up in an evangelistic conversation (which is what it was, it wasn’t an argument, just a conversation) did come up. This man is wise and yet open. He simply doesn’t see why it has to be Jesus. He is comfortable with the fact that he is a moral man and his faith rests in Civil law, the Constitution and government. He sees Christianity as a good thing, in that it established civility in people and though he believes Christ really lived, civil law was his only purpose, lowering him to prophetic or “good man” status.
This man shared all of what he thought with me, and I with him. I am not discouraged. It was a great conversation and I pray that this man would see from the life of a child that Christ is so much more.
I was reading in Romans 3 this morning and this is what God showed me:

We are justified through faith in the death of Christ Jesus. We uphold the law through faith in the life of Christ Jesus. This man on the plane asked me, “Why does it have to be Christ?” This is the answer. The answer is found not simply in the life of a good man (like the basis of most other religions) and its not found simply in the martyrdom of one man (if this was the case Jesus would have no need to live a full life on earth, he would have just come and died). It has to be Jesus. He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. The WAY he lived out his life, revealing to us the TRUTH about the way things are and granting us LIFE through his death


My mom and beautiful sister
I have been in Texas for nearly 3 months and I went home for the first time this weekend. I spent Friday through Monday in Clemson. It is a true statement that home is where the heart is, not in a cheasy door hanger kind of way, but in a real and familiar sort of way. There is something about the familiar that breaths life into us and allows us the luxury of breathing out deeply.

I was reminded of so many things.

I spent time with or at least saw everyone I could have possibly wanted to see...
Sitting beside my Mom at the game...Much meaningful time with my beautiful sister and Trey...Icecream with my good friend Mark...Breakfast with Jenn...Quality time with Focker at non other than Mcdonalds...catching up with Justin Brock...random fun with Sherman...Pomping the float with people younger than me...tailgating with the Brothel girls in celebration of Carla's soon to be matrimony...tailgating with my girls Beth, Jenny and Focker and their families...hugging Katie Hogue...talking with Sarah, Sandy and Stephanie just like old times...standing with Jennifer now Foster wrapped around my neck and screaming in my ear...seeing one of my students from the summer....fellowshiping at my church DCF through worship and a friendly kickball match...you name it...I did it...and it surely blessed me.

I miss community, my community. It was a truly amazing weekend!


Pictures from the weekend

I have some really great friends that I have made here. We went to the Texas A&M game this weekend and I thourougly enjoyed myself...it was a small precursor to what next weekend is going to be like when I make my way back to Clemson Homecoming. Woo Hoo
This is my roommate!!
Me and Willis
Willis, me, Melanie and Brady
Me and Brady the man!


Things I have learned since coming to Ft. Worth...

1. The grass is greener on the other side.....total lie, its not green on any side.
2. Hispanics always have the right of way
3. Anything goes in a Tortilla
4. "G" is not just a letter of the alphabet. It is actually a state of being.
5. Beauty school haircuts are cheap...for a reason
6. Cowboy hats are not just "a trend"
7. Yard sales are a Hispanic profession
8. Fall is a mere figment of my imagination
9. The dinosaurs have ancestors...the Armadillo and the Hornytoad
10. The Alamo really was a big deal

And to think...I"ve only been here 2 months. Stay tuned for more!


Too long

Hmm. Its been too long. It feels like years since I have written on here. It feels as if a years worth of events have unfolded in my world and the world around me in that time. The phrase that keeps ringing in my ear comes from a David Crowder song and I know I have posted on this before, but it says, "I feel the depth of our fall and the weight of it all." Man I love life, but life is heavy. LIfe is hard. Life is not what it was intended to be. That saddens my heart when I think about, that this wasn't supposed to be like this. We must pray for each other. We just can't make it on our own.

On a lighter note, chapel today was led by the Korean student fellowship and if you didn't know Southwestern is 40% yes, 40 % Korean. Its crazy. Well the Korean praise band led the music and all I could think about the whole time was the scene in the movie "A Christmas Story" in the Chinese restuarant and the guys are singing, "Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra." And the guy goes, "No, its la la la." It made me laugh. But jokes aside, they led the best music we have had in chapel all year. Chapel music is not a Southwesten high point for me. Bring it on Koreans. I'll worship with you anytime!


Broken cisterns

Jeremiah was called out of the territory of Benjamin and given a message from the Lord to take to the people of Israel. In a nutshell God says to him, "I chose you! I set you apart! I appointed you!" Jeremiah protests on the grounds that he is not skilled enough and only a youth. But God says (again in a nutshell), "This is not about you and your skill. You will go where I SEND YOU and speak whatever I TELL YOU TO!" God says through Jeremiah, "My people have exchanged their Glory (My glory) for useless idols. Be horrified at this, heavens; be shocked and appalled. This is what the LORD says. For My people have commited a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water."
My heart breaks when I read this because I know I am exactly like the ones Jeremiah was speaking to. I am so full of holes. I am leaking out every good thing that is in me because I constantly dig for myself broken cisterns. I am never full. I am never satisfied because I know all too well the pattern of life the Israelites followed. Broken cisterns, brokeness. When will I ever get it? When will we ever get it?


in your eyes

If it is true that they eyes are the window to the soul, I feel as if other people's eyes are the window to mine. I see something in somebody else that I don't like, something that rubs me the wrong way and all too soon I realize it is not them at all, but rather my own ugliness staring back at me. C.S. Lewis says, "We frequently see things in other people we don't like about ourselves."
You can tell a lot about a person by looking in their eyes or noticing whether they look into yours. I know, somewhat, what they reveal to me. I often wonder what they reveal about me to the world.


It is a true statement that man's heart is evil before redemption of Christ. I heard a speaker a few days ago and he said, "It is never the case that something comes out of the mouth that is not in the heart." Now, I will preface this with the fact that I love my job. I love that I get to go in to a place void of the love of Jesus and bring it there, walk in it, live it out. I love my kids. They misbehave like its there job, but I love them still. The one thing that is so hard for me to watch day in and day it, the one question that weighs on my heart everyday as I leave that place is, "Why do we hate each other so much?" Why are we so mean to each for every thing. We rip each other apart in every way that is humanly possible as if our survival depended on it. Appearence, personality, weight, speech, everything is a target for ridicule. I had a real honest moment with two of my students on Friday. They are two girls who stick together ALL THE TIME! BFF's would be a good term for it. They whisper to each other and make fun of everyone. I heard them say a bunch of stuff about somebody and finally I went up to them and asked, "What do you gain from constantly tearing other people down?" They weren't phased by the question. This is the least favorite part of my job, watching this happen. It is one thing to watch someone's sin tear up their own life, yet is seems to be something different from watching one person's sin tear up another person. I often think that if I only knew then what I know now, I would have been so different.


the next step

"What if this next step, this leap of blind faith, this starting all over on your own, was the begining of the rest of your life? What if that is exactly where you find your life."

I'll admit, I may seem as if I have it together, that I am okay with move and change and shifting paradigms, but that is not always the case. This decision, this move to Texas, this massive change of all I know has been the hardest step I have ever taken. I was spending time with one of my favorite people in the world back in May (When I was headed to either Denver or Seattle for school) and I was unreservedly expressing my fear of this next step and she said those words above to me. A.J. maybe this is where the rest of your life begins! I have held on to those words tightly. I have clung to them when things have been tough. Focker, you are a very wise woman and I am so proud to call you sister!
When I first got here I found myself looking around saying, "How am I supposed to find life here? Even the grass is dead and crunchy." But slowly, God has been doing something. He has been bringing me back to life. I had no idea how dead I had gotten, how numb, how selfish. God help me if I had gone to one of those other schools. Without fail, everytime I have a bad day here, something happens to encourage me, to make me so, "Okay, I can do this. I can stay." Job offers, scholarships, opportunities, all of it is coming at me and I'm not really sure why. I don't feel like I have done anything to deserve a blessing in a really long time. I am reminded in those moments that God is leading my life. His word says, "Many are a plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." I get the feeling more and more that being here is a huge part of the rest of my life and I am learning to trust that the One who created me can carry me.


Something I read...

I read this today in a book speaking about suffering and how it forms us. I found it rather intriguing and hit me that in the middle of my own suffering God may just be working out something in me to mature me.

"It would seem that in this situation, feelings of malice, the disturbance of being opressed, aimless hate, irritability, and nervousness ought to mulitply. But you yourself do not notice how, with the impalable flow of time, slavery nurtures in you the shoots of contradictory feelings...
Formerly you never forgave anyone. You judged people without mercy. And you praised people with equal lack of moderation. And now an understanding mildness has become the basis of your uncategorical judgements. You have ocme to realize your own weakness- and you can therefore understand the weaknesses of others...your soul, which formerly was dry, now ripens from suffering."
"Suffering is preparation for ministry in a world of suffering."


i have so much to work on, so much needs to change...


gain in loss

use me, break me, waste me on You, Lord
ruin me, take me, waste me on You
for to die is to live...
to starve is to feast
and less of me is more of Jesus

there is power in the blood
there is victory in Jesus
come in power, wash me clean
overwhelm me with Your presence
there is power in the blood
there is victory in Jesus
help me glory in the cross
help me find my gain in loss

I was listening to this song this morning as I got ready for school. It was one of those mornings that just started slow and less than mediocre. The music was simply in the background and I happened to catch that last line, "help me find my gain in loss." It stopped me in my tracks. I am not there yet. I am nowhere close to being okay with all that I have lost, but that isn't what it is supposed to do. It is simply a prayer asking God to help me get to that place where I consider all loss gain, outside of Christ.


Oh Back to School

So, I have a job now. I am the newest teacher for the after school program at Morningside Middle school. Crazy. I am in the heart of the ghetto teaching everyday for 3 hours. It is a neat program really. I get to teach two classes of my choosing and develop my own curriculum. I am doing one on Creativity/Photography and the other one is a Survivor type theme. It will be about the outdoors and survival. It should be interesting. I have been working for a week here and love it so far. The kids are hard, but they are fun. I really hope that God uses me in huge ways here to impact the lives of these students. They dont' have much and they don't have Jesus.
I am sure I will have many exciting stories coming from here to post and share with you. Look foward to that!


A prayer

When we pray for each other (and we should! it is a sin to not and I am the greatest of these sinners) we should pray this passage. What is point of friendship if this is not our deep desire for those we name as such. Love is not love unless it is wanting what is best for the other person and what is best for a person is for them to want Christ more than they want anything!
Lord help me be this type of friend, help me with all your strength pour out this type of transforming love through prayer!

Prayer for Spiritual Growth

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking (A) that you may be filled with the knowledge (B) of His will (C) in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work (D) and growing in the knowledge of God. (E) 11 May you be strengthened (F) with all power, (G) according to His glorious (H) might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you [a] to share in the saints' [b] inheritance in the light. (I) 13 He has rescued (J) us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom (K) of the Son (L) He loves, (M) 14 in whom we have redemption, [c] the forgiveness of sins.


Inside Out

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out
-Hillsong United


Do you ever, in some moments more than others, just feel the depth and weight of The Fall? It is almost overwhelming at times, the sense that at some point we had something, something very significant and then all the sudden it was gone.


You might be at seminary if...

You know you're in seminary when...You sneeze and the whole class stops just to say "Bless you."

I sneezed last night in my class and a chorus of bless you's arose from around the room, all of them turning to look at me as they said it. This was a stout reminder I was no longer at a public university. However brief, it was a rather odd experience.

I am going to start making a list of these, sort of like you might be a redneck ifs. There are things everyday that happen that remind me this is no ordinary place.


You just never know...

Hokay so, my job is to see funny things and report them on here so that I can share the happiness I feel with you when I see something story worthy. Its one of those things as my good friend K Hogue would say, "You just sort a chuckle inside." I saw two such things in the same car ride tonight. NOW if I may set this up for you...
I am living in Ft. Worth, also known in some circles as "Little Mexico." There are more imigrants in just my one block than there are freckles on my arm....those of you who know me are now going "WOW, thats a lot!" So, tonight I am riding with a friend down a crowded shopping street and out of the corner of my eye I catch a moving object of Hispanic descent. It was a little Hispanic man on a scooter. Now I'm not talking a VROOM VROOM scooter or Granny's Rascal, I'm talking bend over, one foot on the ground Flintstone styling it home on a Razor scooter. Three years ago every kids gotta have one for Christmas type scooter. [Insert chuckle from the depth of the belly here]. It was awesome.
The second thing I saw was when we got on Seminary Drive (yes this is the street the seminary is on) aka: Seminary Drive By. We passed this strip of run-down ghetto stores, which is the whole of the area, and one said, "POOP DECK: dancing and drinks" [insert chuckle with inquisitive smirk here]. I don't even want to know who chose that name. I am hoping that is was just a bad translation by some Hispanic dude because if not it might be the worst named club ever.


Randomness in Ft. Worth

"Your task as a communicator is not to impress people, but to IMPACT them; not just to convince them, but to CHANGE them."

"You can impress people at a distance. But you can impact them only up close."
Dr. Howard Hendricks from Teaching to Change Lives

So, lesson number one of a seminary education..."I DON'T KNOW A DARN THING!" Yep that is right. I have been here a week and that is the thing I have learned over and over again so far. I am surrounded by people who are here because they know everything (which is funny in itself because if it were true why would we be here?) and yet in the first week you learn that you are PRIDEFUL and really dont know much of anything or either you are oblivious and totally go on believing that you do and making everyone in your classes hate you.

Anyway, I had to read this book for one of my classes, the one quoted above and it is fantastic! Everyone should read it, everyone who is going to teach, any type of teaching needs to read this book. It was so good.
Texas is still hot as not heaven, don't worry. It was about 108 and I tried to run today....IDIOT. I have only been here a week, but I feel like I have been here forever. I did meet this girl and guy randomly in the cafe the other day and they asked me to come play ultimate that night at like 9:30. It was awesome...apparently its a thursday night thing. They got nothin on the lucky ducks, but then again who does? It was a dynasty and those are hard to come by.
I still hate Texas and I miss my family and friends and Clemson, but all in all it doesn't suck too awful bad yet. Ha.

If you have gotten to the end of this I have a task for you. Find somebody random....someone you have never talked to before...maybe someone at work or whatever. Be proactive, walk up and introduce yourself...skip the small talk and ask them about thier story. Watch and be astounded at what you learn from a life, much more than you will learn in a classroom!


Who knows

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young" Lamentations 3:22-27

It has become a common theme in my life as of late to have to have no idea where I am going to be from day to day. I am certainly not where I thought I would be a month ago, a month ago I wasn't where I thought I would be 3 months before, 3 months before I wasn't where I thought I would be 4 months before that....and now that I am here, I don't know where I will be a week from now. All I know is that I am not consumed. All I know is that God is faithful and great is his faithfulness. Amen and Amen

The Inbetween

They say its all about success
The daily a means to an end
But real life is experienced down in the narrows
The moments that no one expects.
The decisions you make and the ones you let die
The moments you laugh and the moments you cry
The times you feel youself walking the line between
The deepest realities and the imaginary life.
Its no means to an end
But a moment to be lived, to be owned, to be in.
If its truth you want you need look no farther
Than the moments between and the reality they harbor.
A look in the mirror to the soul of all that we are.


The funniest thing you didn't see

Similar to the pilgrims on the Mayflower's maiden voyage to North America, I came here with nothing. I have spent many days (and many dollars) searching for furniture for my room. I did purchase a bed frame and mattress the first night I got here, but couldn't pick it up till yesterday. I guarentee I orchestrated the funniest thing that happened in all of Ft. Worth Yesterday. It is funny too because I had just blogged about tieing giant inflatable animals to your car.
Thats right. I strapped a full size mattress to the top of the good ole jeep cherokee and road accross the city of Ft. Worth. The man at the mattress store laughed in my face. I felt like Chevy Chase with a mattress and a jeep instead of a Christmas tree and a station wagon. I think my good friend Katie Hogue would appreciate this image more than anyone, right Hogue? Ahhh the joys of being a freshman all over again!


I'm a eggnoramoose

In a conversation I had earlier tonight about cell phones...

Me: I wish they had voice text messaging

Erika: Thats a great idea.....but they already do, its called Voicemail.

Some would say I'm not ready for higher education, and some might be right!



"Time brings change and change takes time."
I heard this in a song today and it jumped out at me so strongly as if it was something I so desperately needed to here and understand. I have been in Texas for a little over 24 hours now, but have been circling around these same few questions that entire time and even on the ride out here; "What am I doing? Am I out of my mind? Why am I here? Is it too late to change my mind?" For the first time in 5 years I am a freshman again, walking around with my mouth wide-open as if I couldn't will it to shut, no idea what I am doing, where am I, who I am. Maybe its the heat, I mean it was 114 degrees here yesterday.
But, time does bring change and you can't stop it. You can't stay in the same place. You have to leave, move on, go, grow, find your way and those things take time. It will take time to adjust to anything new. It is simply another great adventure, who knows what God has up his sleeve, or robe or clouds, or whatever the proper substitution for sleeve would be. I'm an idiot. Pray for me, that I find my way, that I find the way the Lord wants me to go in and walk in it unabashedly.


Another Great Adventure

I am leaving home again today to start yet another adventure. It seems I never stay home long enough to catch my breath before it is time for me to be on the road again. I came to a question last night that I seem to be coming back to a lot lately. What is the obligation/importance of family? Is it important enough that you shouldn't set out on your own or perhaps move to another part of the country? So many families raise generations in the same town or state. Is it wrong to move away from that and break the mold? I in no way intend to settle my life in Texas. I hate Texas, but hopefully it will grow on me.
Anyway, if you are a praying type of person and you're feeling in the mood you could throw one up for me about this next chapter. Its a big step to go to seminary and I dont' know if it is the right one, but time will tell.


Medula Oblingatas

The other day at Litchfield beach I saw this sign posted by the pond at the condominums:
"Do not FEED or MOLEST alligators!"

I shared this sighting with a friend and he replied, "Who would feed alligators?" Fair question, but I have two better ones; 1. Who the flip would molest them? and 2. Surely there is a better word to use than molest? (some of you may have noticed this second one wasn't a question)

Today I was driving to Columbia and I saw a tiny little car, (for visual purposes lets say an old Corolla) and tied to the top was a giant inflatable alligator like the ones you buy at the beach. Now this is the interstate and speeds are fast so the thing is folded up like an "L" and all you see is the front half straight up in the air. I almost wet myself laughing so hard. A. Why didn't they think to deflate it? B. Thats just freakin hillarious

Note to Self: Attach a giant inflatable creature to your car once a month and cruise around town, when given funny looks simply stick your hand out the window in a wave that indicates you know, they know you're the stuff.


The RESET button

I have this great friend of mine, Mr. Mark Smyers. We were talking last night on the phone and all the sudden he said, "Hey what are you doing? Who knows when I will see you next, do you want to meet me halfway?" We met at a truck stop and drove out to some dirt road, popped down the tailgate and just caught up on life. That is one of his favorite things to do; to leave, just leave and drive somewhere where its just him and the stars. It is his "reset button" as he called it. So many things in my life have just been in shambles, in code I can't read, not making any sense...but that, that two hours made so much sense. I felt myself saying, "It is okay. You can do this. You can keep going."
It was so many things. It was a great memory made by friends. It was a moment of freedom from life. It was a reset for me and an assurance that I can keep going. It was a blessing. That is what friends do...they meet each other halfway.
So if you get a chance, no I take that back...MAKE A CHANCE, grab a friend, find a dirtroad and simply be still. You won't regret it.
To you my friend, THANK YOU! Have fun in Yellowstone, you will be missed!


Eggs and other Issues

Hokay so, I was watching a classic movie the other night, one I have seen many times, and I caught a wonderful quote right in the middle of it that I had never heard before. The movie was Fried Green Tomatoes and if you've seen it you will know that a lot of it is about racicism. The two main characters open a cafe and all their other hired help are "colored folk" as they call them. The colored folk have to eat out back, but they still serve to them. This angers many of the people in the town. The sheriff, Grady, (who is good friends with them) comes in and lets them know people are angry and it might hurt their business. After he leaves their little colored cook says, "It don't make no sense. Grady won't sit next to a colored child, but he'll eat an egg shot right out of a chicken's a*$.
Okay A. that is just the funniest thing I have ever heard...I laughed so flippin hard. And 2. There is so much sense in that statement about how so many of the things we do and think don't make sense. We are so stupid. We put so much effort into arguing about and avoiding things that don't matter and yet we eat eggs. So, next time you think something is unacceptable or socially important, remind yourself that you eat eggs and then see if that issue is still a big deal. We are a funny people.


The Last M-fuge Pictures

Me and Nanner (a last week slayer)
Me and Deej
Me and Kim
Me with my last week slayers
First Aid inventory will never be the same again! Never put Tiffany and I doing any job together and not expect a lifetimes worth of fun and laughter
Staff Appreciation dinner

The funnest night of my life...Marshmallow wars in Bruin Hills. Us vs. the world
Chad Ramsey, ME and my B.F.F.
Jason soliciting a dance from a woman made of titanium...she gladly accepts


Hammocks and spray on sunscreen

Another summer of Fuge has passed. What a great privlege I have to be a part of something so much bigger than me. I am not ready to write about all I have seen and heard in the last 3 months. It has been the strangest and most life changing 3 months for so many reasons. All that has happened has yet to be thought about and all that has happened deserves much thought before it can be expressed in writing. I wil only say that I drove 11 hours yesterday to fufill the dream I am now experiencing at this very moment. I am lying in a hammock at a condo at the beach. It is quite possibly a gift straight from God himself. I think I, as well as the rest of my family who I am here with, deserve this much needed vacation and i am going to enjoy every minute of it! I did sit on the beach for awhile today and discovered that spray on sunscreen works, but only on the areas you actually spray it on. 2 hours after the beach I looked like I had leprosy. Oh well.
For all of you who read this, there is much more to come. I do realize the writing has been stagnant for awhile due to camp. I will resume my regurarly scheduled blogging as soon as I sleep off the summer. Peace of Christ to you all!


When one road comes to an end
All things seem to come to fruition
I pray that I would never get to my destination
And realize I have missed the journey
Because I wearily wandered
Focused on the end
And have to sit and ponder
What might have been


"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8

No matter how far you've been, no better how close you've come, you've never been any closer or further away from God than you are at this very moment. He is always there. He has always been there. He will always be. Nothing we do can make him love us less! Nothing!! Nothing!! If only we could grasp that. I want to be convinced of that always. I want to claim this truth over my life and walk in it.

How do I know that God loves me?...because I am convinced that I have the greatest job in the entire world! If God can do what he did through me this summer with my life in absolute turmoil like it is, then He is real! I am convinced that nothing can seperate me from the love of God and his desire to pour it out through me!



I had an amazing moment of peace last night. I saw the first sunset I have seen all summer. I drove to Knoxville on Friday after evals for a friends wedding and as I was driving back last night, down out of the moutains the sun was setting. I crossed over the Tennessee river and the sky was filled with pinks and blues and I just wanted to stay there. Those are the things I miss the most, the simple things. I miss having time to sit and be still, to watch, to listen, to read, to feel the wind on my face and know that God is there.
It was a simple, yet effective reminder that whether or not I see it, the sun still sets. It has been setting and it will continue to set. That is God. He rises and sets with me whether I see him or not. His beauty is displayed whether I see it or not.


I love my SLAYERS!!!

This is me and my director.....in funky glasses


Me and some of my slayers
Me and Andy
Tiffany had one of those big boxes of sprees like from a movie store and after agreeing that neither of us liked them we decided to see how many we could fit in our mouths....we each took half of the box...it was sick

Me and Tiffany
My slayers decorated my van affectionatly known as "Moldie Goldie", they decorated my car and they put pink flyers up all over campus...about 30 flyers to be exact.

So...we had staff Christmas week and we had a secret Santa and each day had a theme. One of those days was white elephant gift day....so of course....i made my person, D.J. a giant stuffed white elephant! It was amazing and over the top.
This is D.J. cuddling with his elephant before he knew I was his secret santa


Allison (my roomie) and Alys
ME and some of my slayers

I attempted to draw a picture of a pony and this is Marianne and I acting out what it looked like. 4 of us tried to draw it and it still turned out like a creature from mythology.


Staff Appreciation Night

We had a carnival at Easter Seals Disability camp....this is the giant jousting ring they rented!

Some more of my Slayers
Carra Jayne now Rathbun came to camp this week with her new husband. I worked with her last summer and she was "My Favorite!"
So my students this week were pretty much amazing. They made me a banner that said "You rock our socks off and they each taped socks to the bottom. How funny is that?


Happy Independence Day

Me and Tangelo....yeah for Watermelon
A.J. and D.J.
Week 4 Slayers