will i get to see Vigilantes of Love tomorrow night with Black Eyed Dog at The Brewery or be thwarted again? stay tuned...

i am going home to see my family for the first time in three months, other than the two hours i saw them after i flew in while i got my stuff to go to chapel hill. i am pretty excited about it. Plus, we are celebrating my birthday [which is wednesday]. i actually just remembered it was coming up yesterday. it's weird, you get older and your birthday just isn't as big a deal. i can post from there, so i'll let you know if anything exciting happens!


i got caught in a downpour today... it was fabulous. As the rain seeped through my clothes, matted my hair and ran between my toes [hurrah for chacos!] i was reminded of Sovereign God. He drenches me with mercy and love and grace and favor, and after a while my clothes stick to me and the chill really gets to my bones and i start to feel it deep within me. ummm-hmmm rain. and it makes me sing and dance.

O, like April Showers, on the slick cement ... i never liked the rain 'til i walked through it with you ... When it's rainin' you won't find me complainin' ... so send your love, i see it raining down from heaven, so send your love, just send down your heavenly rain


wow, after a month, my archives are finally right! read all my old posts by scrolling down to the bottom of the page :o)


i went over to Meadows last night. The dinner, ice cream and random excursion were exactly what i needed. Sometimes, the solutions to anxieties are right in front of me, but i lack the eyesight to see them. i stumble around feeling for an answer and get nada. Then i talk to someone who really knows me and isn't afraid to be honest, and they lend me their eyes to see the obvious. i was talking to Meadow and i realized that i have been so dead and frustrated and negative... i feel like all the passion has been sucked right out of me. She heard me out and let me vent and then looked me in the eye and said "Yeah, you are acting out-of-character, but you are completely worn out. You desperately need a vacation." And then i got it. i have been going and going and going since Rockbridge, in late May. i have been at home for 2 hours in 3 months. i am physically tired, emotionally tired, spiritually tired... i need to care for myself. So keep me accountable, gentle reader, to hide away next weekend. Leaving books and friends behind, to a secret destination to find myself and the peace that surpasses all understanding by just resting.


New Student Outreach for iv is going pretty well. We had a dance party last night. Suprisingly, intervarsity dance parties are fun. i am enjoying school so far. so much to do and so little time with work and class and nso. i can't believe i was in Montrose a week ago right now. small group starts tuesday. pray that God would use jon and i to help point people to him.


Student Stores. i hate student stores. They charge an arm and a leg and provide little or no service. And i have a coursepack to buy for my sr/grad seminar in Mormonism that costs $100. A HUNDRED BUCKS. for photocopies! And it's unreturnable! Krispy Kreme. i love Krispy Kreme. They give you the original glazed hot off the assembly line with a smile. And a dozen are less than $5 with tax! Yummy enough to share.


my first day of classes went well. i petitioned the dean [in person] about a requirement and had my request granted! a rare pleasure.

So, i'm in chapel hill. my roommate is great ... andy wheeler built me a quality new computer (!) ... the intervarsity picnic was swell ... i start class in the morning ... my L [morrison circle] parking tag is getting used very frequently ... i still hate wal*mart ... i miss the mountains.


All my bags were packed i was ready to go
But United cancelled my flight two weeks ago
And didn't have the decency to call

Now i'm going to have to fly all night
Man, this day's turned out to bite
i may not get to see my home at all

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that i'm going to be
in Carolina before i even know
Cause i'm leaving on a jet plane
Don't know when i'll be back again
O babe, i want to go

There's so many times i've been let down
So many times you've played around
But rarely so completely that i cry

Every time i fly i'll think of this
Montrose flights are easy to miss
But i admit, the flight boards never lie

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that i'm going to be
in Carolina before i even know
Cause i'm leaving on a jet plane
Don't know when i'll be back again
O babe, i want to go


All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

But the dawn is breaking, it's early morn'
The taxi's waiting, he's blowing his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

There's so many times I've let you down
So many times I've played around
I tell you now, they don't mean a thing

Every place I go I think of you
Every song I sing I'll sing for you
When I come back, I'll bring you some sweet tea

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time, oh let me kiss you
And close your eyes and I'll be on my way

Dream about the days to come
When I won't have to leave alone
About the times that I won't have to say

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE [words and music by John Denver with a slight modification]

instead of being repetitious, read this again for the very first time.


We watched The Tao of Steve tonight and here are the tips on how to be a "Steve" and have success with the ladies:
i stole this from another blog and am going to comment on each tip

1) Kill all desire. You show any signs of pining for her and you are dead in the water. If you are obviously smitten, you have become a bore. If i don't think you like me, you are totally off my dating radar screen. Flirtation [and yes, pining] are helpful hints to your feelings. like the old 80s song goes "i want you to want me"

2) Do something you are really good at in her presence. This will prove your worthiness as a potential partner. i like seeing guys excel at things. but i also enjoy them trying something new and being willing to be bad at it. to have fun and learn in my presence instead of trying to impress me.

3) Retreat from her. Because women enjoy the hunt, they will track you down when you withdraw. Women ought not to hunt. that is the job of men. Seriously. Be a man, pursue. Be a woman, wait patiently.

4) The label of "JUST A FRIEND" is harder to get out of than Alcatraz. well, yeah


Yesterday i got up early and went rock-climbing with one of my girls, her mom and this guy named Jeff-ro, outside Telluride at Falls Wall. If you look the the right of Bridal Veil Falls [the ones you see from the main drag in T-town], that's where it is. Climbing was absolutely amazing. The hike to the spot was relatively short and very sweet, over a mountain stream and through lovely wildflowers. i am in love with rock climbing. Having never done it before, i found it challenging but fun and managed to scramble my way to the top of a 5.8 and a 5.8+. the climbers i was with said i was a natural, instinctively edging and reaching and stuff, which is really odd for me with something physical. i am not a natural at much, just decent by years of practice. i really want to keep climbing when i go home. After we got back to town, i showered and ran to our intern closure retreat, which was pretty good. i can't believe i'm leaving.


i had a really good conversation tonight, getting in the verbal processing i've been missing. thank God for Dennys, the only non-bar open late [actually, all night!] in small towns. and for silly boys who listen.


Now that i've had caller ID for half a decade, i have come to depend on it to screen calls and get numbers and stuff. However, the dependence can be a thorn in my side. We have had an "UNKNOWN CALLER" call and hang up half a dozen times over a few days and i am getting annoyed. i just want to know who this prankster is and bring him or her to justice!


i had so much fun last night. First, Tom took Jess and i to the Red Barn, a nice Montrose restaurant. Then we went to DQ [i was too full to eat] and then Jess and i went out. It was her last night here while i am. So, we cruised for a while and went to Coffee Trader where i bumped into Jared and Aaron, my non-FPC Montrose friends, with Lando. They are hilarious. i just really enjoy talking to them, so i did for quite a while. Then Jess and i and 3 of her friends rode around in the car and took crazy photos. My favorite was when we stopped by the church to use the bathroom and Jess and i decided to climb up onto the platform above the sound booth and take pictures with the missions flags. we will never reveal how we got up to the 16 ft. plateau :o) i really love my host family. Just one [the dad, Tom] left now. And a week left for me.


if i continue to ebay, i may develop an ulcer.


Today i went to Wal-Mart. That store is absolutely the most evil retail chain in America. Things aren't in logical places. The Wal-Mart here is laid out completely differently than the one in Durham which is different than the one in Raleigh. i waited 20 minutes in line to hear that my film wasn't ready, even though the sign said it would be. GRRRRRR!

i have been a basketcase all evening. i have $400 to spend to upgrade my parents old pentium II, 233MhZ desktop to be my computer, replacing the old laptop [see december archives for an explanation]. i want to get a motherboard and processor, a new monitor, cdrw drive, speakers, ethernet card, etc. and i was trying to find it all online and price it out. And then i started thinking about finding some nice computery boy to come and rehaul the old machine with the new components. Doth one such as this exist? Will the components be bought in vain? Stress abounded.

So, i go to have a quiet time before bed. It met me right where i was, so i got online just to blog about it. Seriously. Because my quiet times have been stale, i am using The Daily Study Bible by William Barclay, old school edition. They are amazing. This reformed theologian translates a book [in my case, Hebrews, but he did the whole NT] and spends 200+ pages a book broken down into 30 lessons to explain what the scripture means, using his intense Greek knowledge. He is obviously [a] brilliant and [b] super-godly, but when reading, you never feel small. He doesn't seem pretentious at all. So, today's passage was from Hebrews 4:1-10. He begins by explaining all of the ways the author uses "rest" in the passage. Here's one: "[The Israelites] failed to enter into the rest they might have enjoyed because they had no faith in God. They did not trust God to bring them through the difficulties that lay ahead. They had no confidence, no faith, no trust in God; and therefore they never enjoyed the rest they could have had." Later, he deepens, expounding on possible translations for verse 1. "Beware lest you get the idea that you have arrived too late in history ever to enjoy the rest and peace of God... There is a continual tendency in the Church to look back; to think the great manifestatons of God are past... God is as great today as he ever was... The promises of God are not merely beautiful pieces of literature, they aren't sweet sayings that mean nothing; they are promises on which a man is meant to stake his life and by which he is meant to dominate his action."

Sometimes, the truth stings. i like it that way.


Okay, i admit. i am going to miss Phil. Hi-lo is not the same halfway around the world. He better blog a lot. Or email. Yeah, email.

to live up to my old [and most likely returning] blog title, here are some random musings from the past few days arranged alphabetically instead of chronologically.

[AnDREW PeTERSON] 1100.5.aug.01 - most of you know, i have a great appreciation for andy and gabe and jamie and the music they make. i am looking forward to Clear to Venus with great anticipation. i was having my sunday school class write letters to someone who encouraged them in their faith, thanking them and decided to put on Carried Along as mood music. One of the church sound techs and his wife are taking over sunday school in the fall and were in class with us. He stole my cd from the cd player after sunday school and played it as everyone entered second service. when i went up to the booth to say "yay Shane!" he said, "yeah, i stole your cd. Andrew Peterson, huh? i'd never heard of him. He's great!" and i was just really happy.

[ChACOS] 1500.07.aug.01 - i always thought i would live and die a birkenstock girl. i envisioned myself wearing birks nearly every spring to fall day well into my 90s. i was wrong. i have by no means given up on birks. i just added an outdoorsy, sport sandal to the summertime mix. i bought a pair of Z1 Colorado-soled Chacos [in black]. The hq and manufacturing facilities for Chaco are 50 miles down the road, in Paonia, and nearly everyone in Montrose has a pair. Okay, LOTS of people have a pair. Anyway, i tried on a pair last month and just basically couldn't get them out of my head. everywhere kept selling out of all of them, except the outdoor store here in town had ONE pair in the style, color and sole i wanted. They sold a whole bunch. They never sold THAT pair. And finally i took this as a sign and bought them. Wow. i am ever glad i did.

[CoFFEE TrADER] 24.7.whileiaminmontrose - i go to the cool coffee place in Montrose 1-3 times daily. i love it. it has the best atmosphere and staff and excellent drinks at good prices.... So one of the owners, Fong, now asks me everyday how many more days i have left and gives me a sad puppy face. i swear i am going to miss the coffee trader more than any other physical location here in town. Franchise idea! Someone sent me some $$$$$$!

[DoXOLOGY] 920.7.aug.01 - Many know of [and i am sure i have blogged before about] my tendency to sing the doxology whenever something good happens. It is a habit now, which is cool. Praise GOD from whom ALL blessings flow, right? Anyway, this morning in staff prayer one of the associate pastors mentioned that a member of the congregation had underwritten the MOPS [mothers of pre-schoolers] program some women in the church are starting this fall, freeing the steering committee to actually plan instead of worrying about funding. Knowing some of these moms and rejoicing along with them. i got this gut urge to sing the Doxology. So i turned to Amy and said [under my breath] "doxology moment" and she said "later dear" but the woman moderating the prayer requests saw us and shot me the "don't talk during prayer requests!" look. So i said, "Amy knows that i love to sing the doxology when good stuff happens and i was just telling her it was a doxology moment." and Bruce said "then let's sing it!" so the whole staff sang the doxology right then and there :o)

[TeLLURIDE] 1200.6.aug.01 - the coolest thing closest to Montrose is Telluride and i finally made it up there [about an hour from here]. it is the up and coming Colorado ski town and Tom Cruise, Oprah, Ralph Lauren, et. al. own homes in this ski-in/ski-out resort area [meaning, once you get there, you don't need a car]. My host dad actually works in "T-town" and so we went up and rode the gondola [NOT a boat like in venice] and walked around the shops, etc and then he bought us lunch at the Fat Alley BBQ. i had a Carolina Pork Shoulder BBQ sandwich which the man swore was authentic. It wasn't. It is Colorado after all. Anyway, everyone in Telluride is rich or a hippie, which is an odd combination. i want to make it back and ski sometime.


Hard to follow up that last entry.


Today has been pretty eventful. i went hiking in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park just 15 miles east of Montrose with one of the high school guys, Chris. i didn't think the hike was going to be a big deal but as we were standing in the Visitor's Center, Chris said "it's a good thing we stopped here, we need a permit for the trail we are taking." We took an inner-canyon trail and descended from the rim to the river, miles of trail to go several thousand feet vertical. It was a cool hike, chains to hold on to in a particularly steep section, but mainly just scree, dirt and vegetation and barely there trails marked with piles of stones. About 3/4 of the way down to the river i was jostling down some rocks quickly and my leg caught the corner of a boulder. I got a nasty gash, but Chris had some bandaids so i patched myself up, determined to finish since we were so close. Just a few minutes later, we saw other hikers for the first time and they hooked me up with iodine and triple antibiotic and stuff. Very nice! We finished our descent about an hour and a half after we began, eating lunch by the river and relaxing for a while. i even attempted to clean my wound out in it.

Then we started the ascent. My leg felt like jelly, my head hurt and it was hard climbing. i understand why most prefer climbing mountains than hiking canyons, at least with a mountain you do the tough stuff first and get to relax on the descent, when you are more tired. Quite the opposite in a canyon. Anyway, our ascent was slow and tedious, and we lost our trail for awhile, bajaing it through brush and rock trying to find the way back. We eventually got back on route and made it up to the visitors center, about 4 hours from when we started. When we checked back in, the ranger and staff asked how our hike went and my comment was "it was fun and i even have a scar to remember it by" and they asked to see the wound. As soon as they got a look at it, they started freaking out, looking for butterfly closure strips and stuff and saying things like "is that fatty tissue?" Then the ranger, named Iffy Khan, declared that i had a severe need for some stiches so we headed back to Montrose, still not entirely convinced i needed to go to the hospital. So, i came home and my host dad declared that indeed, i needed stiches so i went to Montrose Memorial Hospital. The care was excellent, efficient and friendly. i required four stiches and the wound required a pack of pads with some sort of cleaning solution of it, plus two large bottles of saline to clean. They even busted out a brush. Thank God for Litocane. Then, my host dad and i got chinese food at the Panda Palace. Very nice.

more tips for youth leaders:
Tonight we had a theme night -- "the lame games". Together with another local youth group, we played team foursquare [2 people per BIG square=8 total players at one time], rambo croquet and capture the spam. We even had trophies. it was quite fun, and we came in for a lesson and praise and worship and that went well too. If you lead jr high or high school praise and worship, here's a thought: if you sing "He-e-e-e's alive" with the wacky clapping, do the chorus, sing v1, chorus, v2 and then for the final chorus, only clap after the first "He-e-e-e's alive" and if anyone claps after the second accidently, you have to sing the whole song again. the kids really like that.


Well, gentle reader, i have a lot of thoughts rolling around my head. Please be patient with the stream of consciousness that follows. We are doing Ephesians in our intern bible study and tonight we studied 5:1-21. Paul calls us to be imitators of God, children of the light and outlines some things not to do, including "silly talk" and "coarse jesting" and i started thinking about sarcasm. Some of the other interns are severely sarcastic and after a summer with them, i find myself more and more sarcastic each day, even though [as Tyson reminds me] i am not very good at it. i want to speak the truth in grace and love, and yet i think that God has a good sense of humor, that he is fun. So, is sarcasm ok? And why do i imitate the bad habits of those around me?

Speaking of bad habits, my quiet times lately have really stunk. i am at the point where on a good day i randomly open up the Bible and read some. Bad excuses follow: i am studying all the time prepping for small group and intern bible study and sunday school and youth group talks... And yes, this is true to some extent. But in being a youth intern and digging up stuff for kids i rarely stop and think how it intersects my life. i am going to get a notebook and start journaling prayers and what God is teaching me and just obervations about life. Like my blog, but more intimate. Maybe if i think about it like blogging, i'll actually keep at it. i've never been patient enough to journal, even though i am always thinking journal-worthy thoughts.

Speaking of journal-worthy, i was recently introduced to a new artist--Erin Dooley, a Boston folksy indie--who really moves me. "Country Song" [available to download] has been on repeat both on the stereo and in my head for two days now. Tonight sitting in bible study, trying not to sing out loud, the reason i like it so much became evident. i first thought i envied the life of a singer/songwriter [the subject of the song]. Now i understand that when i hear the chorus: and you're driving / and i'm half asleep / and you're singing a song about / the crazy life we keep / it ain't the first one / that you wrote / but it's beautiful and the bass lines are the wheels / on the road" i long for the relationship she's singing about. To find someone who shares a vision with me, that we would be two who sacrifice for one another's passions.

What passions, you ask? At nearly twenty, they're still coming together for me, developing and emerging. Not to sound trite, but i love God. i love learning about His purposes and His character, and fitting that into a framework, which i suppose is the practice of theology. i love the attitude of undergrads. The way the think about life. The space there is to learn and grow. i love to see new things, but i equally love having a home-- a safe place to come back to. i love kids. i love music. However, i am young enough to still keep developing and changing, and i can't imagine making these passions like a laundry list--if someone doesn't share each one, equal to me, they aren't worth the time of day. But, i have never dated anyone that shared even a simple majority of my dreams and passions, which isn't healthy. Where does the balance lie? i guess God'll show me when the timing is right.


We did something really fun tonight at youth group. A parking lot themed night. First a little foursquare. Then a Chinese Fire Drill bible study. Here's how-- give all the kids a passage to read over while you tape some discussion questions and sentence starters to the steering wheels of cars [one for every 3-4 kids]. Then send the kids into the cars. The one in the drivers seat comments on the passage for a few minutes, telling the others what they thought and using the sheet for more ideas if they get stuck. Then you blow a car horn and everyone gets out and runs around the car, finding a new spot. This continues until everyone has sat in the drivers seat and can be continued by switching into new cars. We were going to do praise and worship in the parking lot to end the night, but the bugs were out and biting and the time was almost up. That's for all you youth worker types.

Here are some pictures of Sneffels. Some are from a distance and some are from climbs.