February 15, 2001 – Thursday – 6:15 p.m.

It’s already mid-February. Can the second month of the year already be half over?

In 100 days I will marry the love of my life. The more I say that number, the more I realize it is a very short amount of time.

My heart has been burdened recently. I was asked to put together a little drama for church, but, once I finalized the script, much confusion set in. I work in a world that exists somewhere between the church and entertainment, between the sacred and the secular. I feel as if sometimes art has to prostitute itself out to the church in order for the church to make its points. It weakens both the art and the message. I feel I’m stuck in the middle, often questioning where I stand.

God, I often wonder why you called me to this field. There’s no security in this profession. I’ve seen the vicious circle of it all, the constant chasing after, the constant self-promotion, the constant selling, but I want none of that. I just want to tell the stories you’ve placed in me. Do I have to sell them God? Couldn’t I just make them for the two of us to enjoy together? Why does money have to be an issue?

There has to be a better way.

Please show it to me God.

January 11, 2000 – Tuesday – 11:53 p.m.

My one and only full-blooded brother turns 25 in six days.  My how are lives are controlled by numbers.  But I feel they are important to God.  I want them to be important to me as well.

Marie and I have started a book together.  It is a journal, a collection, a piece of ourselves made with pen and paper.  No one is meant to read it but us.  Yet I wonder if it will be discovered one day.

Perhaps the truest art is the undiscovered art.  And I will know no other true art except my own.

I’ve learned that I’ve become very bored very quickly when I write about the unimportant things in my journal.  You know, just what I do and not who I am.  When I read back in my earlier books, all I see are my immaturities.  So Lord, help these times in my journal bring me closer to you and to myself.

Help me to spell out my soul.  Guide me in the discovery of what you have created inside me.  Lord, I fear I may not know who I am.  Erase the conceit.  Recreate me.  Join me to you first.  Then to Marie.

Recreate us together.

Everything good has its time and place.

Days with Dan, Allen, Vince, and Curtis in McAllister are no more.

Days with Marie are just beginning.

Spend time with me Lord.

April 25, 1999 – Sunday – 11:05 p.m.

It feels much later into that night than it actually is.  Winter has definitely passed.  It is curious how the sun rises and sets and many do not seem to notice.  In eleven days I revisit Lees-McRae again.  It will be a blessing to lay my eyes on that land and its people again.  Thank you for this opportunity Lord.

In one week and one day my first year of graduate school will be no more.  Ice-skating was really wonderful last night.  We were there for about three hours until I took the time to soak in everything around me.  I am surrounded by treasures in these young people.  Each are so beautiful.  And it seems now as if a part of me is forever trapped in that ice rink.  God, for some reason, seems to be keeping me young.  Everyone tells me I look like a high-schooler and I hang around a bunch of high-schoolers.  Why is he doing this?  I know not.  And life should always be as such… not knowing.  What a beautiful thing.

My personal internal passion for cinema and theater and art is growing and expanding.  It feels as though I will die if I cannot do this.  I will starve.  It is how I worship, how I love, how I communicate.  It says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God will complete the work he has begun in me.  He will finish my story.  He is the author and perfecto of my faith.  Do this sweet thing Jesus.  I give you my broken soul.  You are my life.

I pray you find pleasure in me.

I love you so.

It’s hard to stop writing.  I want nothing but to talk with you forever.

October 27, 1997 – Monday – 9:15 p.m.

It is now the 27th of October.

I’ve been kinda busy.  I’m running sound for the dance concert opening on Thursday.  I enjoy the dances so much.  I am surrounded by beautiful artists.

My tech rehearsal for Masks went so smoothly.  Everyone seemed really impressed with how prepared I was.  I don’t feel overly prepared, but I do pray a lot for anything I work on.  Abigail is the star of my piece, and I told her I felt so at home when directing.

I got a call from Heather, who lives next to Kate.  She called because she could hear a very serious fight going on between Charlie and Kate through her walls.  And I was called to rescue and console, which I tried my best to do, but those two are hurting so much.

I did not attend Heaton on Sunday.  Instead, I went with the Highlanders to video them in High Point.  I sang along with Abigail and Ann-Marie to The Little Mermaid soundtrack on the way home.

It is now the 27th of October.  And the first snow of my last Lees-McRae winter has just covered my most favorite corner of the world.

April 26, 1996 – Friday – 10:30 a.m.

I learned the most amazing thing yesterday.  I videoed all of the Omega speeches yesterday.  A senior named Jason was the last one to give his speech.  He spoke on morality in the arts.  It was a wonderful speech.  But after it was over I raised my hand and said, “Hollywood seems to make stories about what it actually going on, if we look at the movies, then look at the news, there’s no difference.  So do you think America has been spiraling downward with it’s overall lack of morality in news and entertainment?

He said, “As artists we are not supposed to take the junk the world already has and give it back to them.  That’s what business men do.  Artists should not show people who they are, they should show people who they can become.”

His answer really humbled and I saw it has a huge challenge to make the world a better place.

After that, Kate and Charlie and I went to Boone.  We stopped at the Christian Book Store and I bought a nice brass key ring.  But I did not buy it for myself.  Laura and I were talking one time about how she needed a nice key ring since she now had a nice car.  So, I saw a nice one and bought it for her.

The three of us ate at Pizza Hut, goofed around, and laughed our head off.  We didn’t go to Bible study; we had too much studying to do.

My fourth semester.  My second year.  It’s just about over.

December 9, 1993 – Thursday – 11:01 p.m.

Tonight I went to Nana’s christmas concert at her school.  It was wonderful and she did a great job!

I brought my huge Les Miz painting to show her.  She loved it and said she wanted it.

But I think I’m going to keep it.

Of all my art work, I will keep that one for myself.

I gave her a ride home.

She had to talk to me about her problems she is having with her boyfriend.  She was almost in tears, and Nana hardly ever cries.

Tomorrow, I work again and then after that I’m going to Mr. Gatti’s in Sanford.  The youth group is having an after-basketball get-together since it is a home game.

Saturday will be the usual, I guess.  Sunday we have a special event in Children’s church.  And also, my high school’s Christmas concert is at 3:00 that afternoon.  Marcus is singing in it.

Christmas break starts a week from tomorrow.

1993 has flown by.  Which means 1994 will fly by too.

I wish time would slow down.  Just a little bit.

November 8, 1993 – Monday – 9:53 p.m.

I got a letter from Emily today.  She’s doing great!

In Art we are beginning a new project.  We’re supposed to write and illustrate a children’s book.  I already have my idea.  I’ll keep you informed.

Yesterday, when I was at Christi’s, the two of us went into her room to listen to Miss Saigon and Les Miserables (by the way, it’s in ten days).  Christi was going to go with her school, but she has a Sound of Music rehearsal, so she gave her ticket to Andy, her brother.  Bummer.

Well, we were just talking and then she began telling me about how in The Sound of Music she has to kiss this guy.  She said she always wanted a boyfriend so she could tell him that the stage kiss means nothing to her, but that if he (her boyfriend) was up there acting with her, then it would mean something.

I was happy.  She was telling me something that she would want to say to her boyfriend.

The subject of church came up.  I never asked her about it; she just began talking.  She said things weren’t the same.  The love of the fellowship just wasn’t there anymore.

I agreed.  The church has gone through a rough period, but it’s getting back up on its feet.

She also said its because she’s moving next year and wants to get use to the church in Rocky Mount.

I’m moving next year, too.

I think Christi is scared.

I know I am.

I learned what life was this past weekend.

Life is simply a collection of greetings and farewells, and the love you share in between.

You may not be coming to church anymore Christi, but I’m not going to say goodbye to you unless I have to.