May 20, 1999 – Thursday – 9:54 p.m.

A hint of the setting sun still remains now, even around nine o’clock in the evening.  Summer is nearly here.  In one month I will begin the journey that will eventually take me to Los Angeles.  Speaking of the city that makes dreams, Episode I kinda let me down.

Much work is ahead of me this summer.  There’s all my course work, two short films, and then the drama trip shindig.  I’ll take the time almost every day to stop and realize where I am and how amazing it is to know that my same self existed in earlier times, in different places, and with different people.  Every part of me now is slightly different than who I was then.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that concept.

 

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May 18, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:36 p.m.

This day brought some good news.  Dayton, the conference youth pastor for the PH church called me and asked me to teach/direct 12 chosen teenagers from Virginia and North Carolina some drama to use for street ministry in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and…wait for it…Los Angeles!

Can you believe that?

The dates couldn’t come at a more perfect time.  I will spend three weeks with them from June until July 12th!  Thank you so much God!

I’m going to California!

Woot!  And I’m also about to go see Episode I of Star Wars at a 12:20 a.m. showing.  I’m going with Tom, another film student.

I think the whole Lees-McRae gang is in Guatemala now.  Paul and Rachel are on their honeymoon.  I’m the only one who has really left as of yet.  I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I’ll just take it one day at a time.

1999 is going so fast.

A century is coming to a close.

I’m nearly 23-years-old.

Thank you God for letting me breathe and live.  Thank you for the simple joy of experiencing your love.

May 15, 1999 – Saturday – 8:43 p.m.

It’s the middle of May.  The world seems to be covered in Star Wars merchandise.  If we only celebrated Jesus the way we celebrate Jedi.

I only have four weeks of summer classes remaining.

I believe God is dealing with me about how to graduate.  I could just take comprehensive exams, but I’ve decided I need to make a short film while I’m here.  I am going to make Eyebrows.  It may keep me here another year, but it would be a tragedy if I came out of film school without something major under my belt.

I went to the mall today and quickly grew overwhelmed.  It just seems like the world is getting worse.  How much longer than this go on?  I don’t even feel like I live in this world; I’m not in touch with popular culture.  I’m sure I’m missing out, but I’m so thankful that I’m so comfortable in my solitude.

This evening I spent 15 minutes over at Mary Jo’s.  Her new guy Rob was there and he’s okay, but wow, Mary Jo becomes a complete weirdo when she’s around him.  She even sounds different in her voice.  Super strange.

David and the youth group went to Richmond for Youth Quest, but I stayed back to watch Ed’s short film that I was in.  Our kids did really well and David said that about ten of them will go to Nationals.

I’m proud to work with those kids.

Thanks God.

May 13, 1999 – Thursday – 10:37 p.m.

My first year of graduate school is over.  Summer has arrived.  I have four truly treasured moments from the past year.  Kimberly telling me that I made her feel alive.  My aunt Patty singing the song she wrote about my grandpa.  Vince, Lindy, Tracey, and Justin talking over our random meal of chili, fish sticks, and spaghetti.  Finally, the night at the ice rink with all the teenagers.

Tonight I ate dinner with Gina and Chris at Ruby Tuesdays and then came back to watch Titanic.  I cried…again.  It’s good to know the movie still moves me after eight times.  I spent a little time with the girls over at Nicole’s place as well.  And I told Mary Jo about my weekend at Lees-McRae and how wonderful it was to see Sarah.

I find joy in writing her name.

May 11, 1999 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

My four days in Banner Elk were wonderful.  Friday, after we picked up Kerstin in Johnson City, we ate at Applebees.  There we met our waitress Celina, whom we ended up praying with before we left.  We went hiking that afternoon with Jessica and Curtis’ new girlfriend Megan.  It was so beautiful out there on the back side of Grandfather Mountain.

Megan is so delightful.  We became instant friends just like how everyone became instant friends with Kerstin!

We saw Sunny that night in Boone with Abigail, Dan, Grayson, Josh, his dad, and I think that’s about it.

Sarah had a lead in the show and did so well; she looked absolutely beautiful.  I ran up to her after the show and embraced her so tightly.  I spent time with her on graduation Sunday as well.  Our relationship has been healed.  Love has intervened.  Time has surrounded us.  We are great now!

I took Kerstin back Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see her outside of Regent.  She so beautiful and so much fun!

On Saturday I hung out with everybody I could.  That night I slept in Lindy’s room.  We just talked and talked until we drifted off to sleep.

Church seemed the same as always at Heaton.  It was great, but no longer for me.  All the kids have grown up.  It was weird being there.

And then graduation came.  What a wondrous day.  Tons of hugs.  Tons of pictures.  Tons of smiles.  I loved seeing Ashley, I forgot how much she makes me laugh.  A perfect day…and I had to drive away from it all at 4:30 p.m.

I don’t think any of us realized what truly took place on that day.  Dan, Vince, Jaime, Tracey, Lindy, Allen, and Curtis graduated.  Justin is transferring.  Abigail, Jessica, Anne-Marie, Ashley, and Josh remain.  What will become of our futures?

As I drove back seven hours toward the east coast, I found comfort in my home here.  Voicemail messages from Kimberly greeted me when I arrived.  David took me out to eat.  I was only gone four days, but I was missed.  Now summer classes have begun.  I have homework to do.

It’s already May 11th

Hmmm.

Must mean I’m having fun.

May 7, 1999 – Friday – 8:02 a.m.

I am now at Sharon’s home in Newland, NC.

Wednesday night was the opening night of the Regent University Film Festival.  The films were actually pretty good, especially The Window, which I bought a copy of.

On Tuesday I took Kerstin to the airport.  She is going to Johnson City, TN, so we decided to meet up while I’m here in the mountains.

I’m going backwards now…on Monday night the Lord really ministered to me at my home group about my relationship with my dad.  Then Wednesday night after the film festival I left for Banner Elk.  I left at one in the morning, drove through the whole night, and arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  I woke everybody up and basically just visited with everyone the whole day.  Everybody is doing great!  I came over to Sharon’s after lunch.  When little Hannah arrived home from school, we just swing danced the whole afternoon together.  Then most of the gang came over here last night and we just hung out the whole time.

It’s so great to be here.  Sharon is the best.  Hannah and Laura are the greatest girls on the planet right now.  This feels more like home than any place I know.  This is where I am from.

Vince and Curtis are on their way over here right now.  They are going with me to pick up Kerstin.  Then tonight we are going to see Sunny at Blue Ridge Community Theater.  Sarah has one of the leads in that show.

Thank you God for these few days here.  I love you.

May 3, 1999 – Monday – 12:29 p.m.

Tammie and Jose came up on Friday and led the youth service.  We all went to IHOP afterwards.  It was so nice to see them.

On Saturday I visited with Sterling and Kimberly.  We watched A Bug’s Life, and that night I went to see a show with Kerstin at the Regent Theater.  Yesterday was my day to work with the Greensprings youth group up in Williamsburg.  I had a great time.  They are so funny up there.

That night I followed them to a totally rocking’ youth service deeper into Williamsburg and God showed up.

I don’t want fame.  I don’t want money.  I only want souls for His Kingdom.

Spend me wherever you desire God.  I am yours.

What a memorable weekend!