April 30, 2001 – Monday – 3:50 p.m.

It is the last day of April. All the trees are full of green. I forgot how beautiful that was.

Tomorrow begins a month of complete and total change. Part of me will die. Part of me will be reborn.

The last half of this month contained some highs and lows. The weekend in Banner Elk with Anna was delightful. Everyone really seemed to enjoy her! On the other side, things have really turned sour at Forefront, and I am ready and eager to no longer work there. Anna and I feel spiritually dried up, for each sermon seems to focus more about being a cool and hip message on simply needing God. We just need something deeper.

I am applying for Resident Director jobs all over the country since I have some experience in that area. I pray something happens soon. I just want to run away with Anna and start over again in a brand new place.

I’ve been here for three very long years.

I was in Banner Elk for four extremely short years.

September 3, 2000 – Sunday – 3:16 p.m.

Yesterday’s wedding was very beautiful and extremely centered on Christ. It was an absolutely perfect day that cannot be summarized in words.

I did get to see Jeni though. She is seven months pregnant.

So now I sit in Dan and Abigail’s new home as I listen to the Seven Stranger’s first CD, By Duck Tape and Faith. Seven Stranger’s is the band formed by Tracey, Abigail, Paul, and a few others.

My time in Banner Elk has come and gone. I grow more thankful of that fact every time I visit. I’m glad God moved me on beyond this place. If I lingered here too long, I’d just get stuck.

This place simply isn’t for me anymore. But it does bless my soul to come back. I pray the same thing happens to Virginia Beach.

I went to Heaton Christian Church this morning. It was wonderful, but I went on my own, without any friends. Curtis and Megan have already left for Atlanta.

Sarah and I never went for our second walk. Instead all the guys built a bonfire, but we got rained on.

Now my whole life is ahead of me. I don’t think I want to get married for quite a while. I often wonder if God designed me to go it alone.

So, send me out God. Thank you for a weekend of renewal.

September 1, 2000 – Friday – 4:00 p.m.

I left after work last night and arrived here just before midnight.  So, ‘August and everything after’ actually begins here in Banner Elk.  Perfect.

Curtis and Megan and I stayed here in Dan’s new place.  I’m here now, just chillin’ and listening to Caedmon’s Call.

Mason and Marisa are back up here for school.  I went to visit Mason after Dan, Curtis, Allen and I went to Johnson City, TN to pick up our Tuxedos.  It was a fun little trip down the mountain.  I do love my friends.

While in Mason’s room I called Sarah, yes my old Sarah.  She came over and we found the time to go for a walk before she had to be in Highlanders.

The things we both said were beautiful.  She apologized.  I apologized.  We talked about rainbows.  I felt my heart beating loudly inside me.  I haven’t felt that in a very long time.  My eyes never left her as she performed during Highlanders.  Oh God, don’t let me get too weird while I’m here for this wedding.  You are changing Sarah, and I don’t want to get in the way.

The morning was spent with Dan’s family in a cottage near a place where I used to walk. I feel reborn.  I feel different.  I feel changed.  Thank you Jesus for this new beginning and may we do it again tomorrow.

Be with Sarah.  If it is your will, allow us to go for another walk again tonight.

Thank you for this weekend Jesus.  I love your forgiveness and salvation.

July 15, 2000 – Saturday – 3:40 p.m.

I’m not doing too well.  I sent Lindy an email, just explaining the sad condition of my heart, all I wanted was to be understood, but her reply was just telling me to shut up and get over it.

I feel those still in Banner Elk just don’t understand.  No one has left yet.  They are still surrounded by all their friends and they don’t know what it is to be alone in their 20s.  My best friends here are teenage girls (Sterling, Kimberly, Christin), and I have two nice colleagues at work (Dan and Jean), and I get along with my roommate Dan, but I really miss all the Regent film students.  I wish I could see them everyday like I used to, but I just don’t have class anymore.  I feel after I attend Dan and Abigail’s wedding that I should just let Banner Elk be.  It only hurts to try and hold on to it.

I don’t seem to make sense to people at work.  They make fun of me a lot, especially those who work in sales or who work in the warehouse.  Most of them are non-Christians.  Oh well.  It’s never really been any different, so I don’t know why it surprises me when someone thinks I’m odd.  It would probably more weird if someone viewed me as just an average dude.

I wish it was winter.  I wish it was Sunday so I could visit Forefront.  I haven’t been to a regular church service in so long.  I miss God’s touch.

April 10, 2000 – Monday – 7:47 a.m.

I’m back in Virginia Beach now.  The weekend and the wedding was so great.  I’m getting to know Marie’s family better and I believe they really like me.  I can see future holidays being spent in their adorable home.  I’m seeing their strengths and their weaknesses, but overall the weekend brought Marie and I closer together.  I’m thankful for that.

It snowed up there yesterday.

After the wedding we had dinner at a Bob Evans in West Chester, PA with Marie’s friends Aimee and Simon.  Simon is from England.  We really hit it off.

It was so nice to make two new friends in a brand new town in a state I’ve only passed through before.

This Saturday on the 15th, Marie and I are going to Banner Elk.  I can’t wait for her to meet my friends!  How exciting!

God is blessing me like crazy through this beautiful woman.

Thank you sweet Jesus.

October 7, 1996 – Monday – 11:30 p.m.

Okay!

On September 1st, I met Kat at Mel’s Diner.  She’s a charismatic Christian and we talked about her church, and I thought, “Boy, I miss that.”

I met Abigail.  She told me about her church back home and I thought, “Wow, I really miss that.”

I met Ann-Marie, she told me about her spirit-filled church, and again I thought, “Dude, I really, really miss that!”

They all go to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship, which is a spirit-filled church.  They told me about it and I realized how much I was starving for a place like that.  It’s been building up inside me.  I haven’t been growing.  Since Jim left Heaton, nothing has happened.  I’m so hungry for God.  I want to go to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship, but Heaton Christian Church has been my church home for two years, they have been so good to me and I’m afraid of what others would think.

So, I talked to Sharon about it.  She understood.  Then I told all of the guys, I even told Tracey and Laura.  They all understood.

Well, Vince actually seems to be having some problems with it.  But I told him that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life playing little church games, and getting a little tingle down my spine.  It’s time for me to grow and prepare myself for spiritual warfare.  I have to exist in the world, so I’m going to make a difference while I’m here.

I tried to talk to Vince about it today, but he contradicted everything I said.

I don’t think Charlie knows yet.  And Curtis doesn’t know.

I need to go to a church that feeds me spiritually.  I don’t need to sit in a pew and look pretty.

Kevin, by the way, got in an accident and totaled his car.  Times are not good for him.

January 29, 1996 – Monday – 11:40 p.m.

sugar-mountain1

An amazing day!

My classes were fun.  I have my two Dr. D. classes in the morning and she always makes me feel special.  She admires that I want to be a realistic actor; my Bearclaw rehearsals have been going great as well.

But tonight was amazing.  Murrell and Curtis were going skiing, I had a lot of homework to do but I figured it wouldn’t be winter forever, so I went with them to Sugar Mountain.

It was my first time skiing!  What an amazing thing!  I tell ya, I can fly like the wind, but when it comes to stopping, I am really bad.

Murrell is really a lot of fun.  I’m glad she is my friend.

Ross and John went with us.  They live down the hall on my floor.

It’s been a great day.

Thank you Father.

June 21, 1995 – Wednesday – 10:35 p.m.

I was about an hour late to work today, but it turned out okay.

I have mapped out the rest of my summer.  I’ll write it in here.  Let’s see if it goes as planned:

I will work the next couple of weeks every day except for Tuesdays and Sundays.  Then on July 12th, I’ll leave for Fishnet ’95.  I will return on the 16th, leaving for Deep Creek on the 17th.  We will come back on the 22nd, a Saturday, in time for church on the following day.  From the 24th of July until the 3rd of August, I’ll work every day except for Sunday.  And on the weekend of August 4th, I plan to visit Emily in Florida.  I’m not sure when I’ll return, but I spend the remainder of that time getting ready for my sophomore year at Lees-McRae College.

Fifty-four days remain until I return to my world.  I pray that this is the last summer I spend here.  The Lord is preparing my heart to return to Banner Elk.  I learned so much at church tonight.

Philippians 3:13 says, “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”

The past needs to be forgotten.

Only now and the future exist.

I went for a walk on the railroad tracks after church tonight.  There was lightening in the air, lightning bugs all around, and light in my heart.

You are changing me Lord!

June 18, 1995 – Sunday – 10:59 p.m.

Sam (Ryan and Amy’s brother) and Anne (Cheryl sister and Jason’s ex-girlfriend, Jason is also Christi’s brother and Christi and Ryan use to be best friends) bot married on the 17th of June.

Ryan and Amy were there.  Ryan was beautiful.  That evening we saw Batman Forever.  It was cool visually, but that was all.  They made that movie knowing it would make money, but it is no where as good as the first two.

In church this morning I sat between Jenna and Tenielle.  We are all great.  All three of us are here.  This afternoon I watched a movie called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness on video.  Pretty amazing.

And then tonight, Jonathan and I went to High Falls.  The youth group was fun.  Kenny was there and he brought me home so Jonathan could see Mandy.  We talked for an hour.  He is different.

Then, I went for a walk on the railroad tracks.  As before, the threes were all lit up with fireflies.  This is what I realized…

Ryan, Amy, Jonathan, Scott, Tenielle, Cheryl, Christi, Marcus, Kevin, Jenna…

They are all still here.  And they are just one step away.  Ryan and Amy and I got along so easily today.  If I needed them to be, they would be there for me in a heartbeat.  And they know that if they needed me, I would be there for them.

Everything has changed, but absolutely nothing has.

The reason they aren’t closer now, is because I don’t want them to be.  I don’t want it bad enough.  I still love them and care about them, but they aren’t on my mind as much as some other names…

Emily, Michelle, Charlie, James, Caroline, Molly, Crystal, Clifton, Sharon, Laura, Dan, Lisa, and many others.

My heart is with them.  That is where my life should be.

While at High Falls tonight, I realized that my old church was still continuing.  And then I realized that Banner Elk is still continuing.  The whole world turns and it is not noticing me.  But everyday I look up and know that the One who matters most is always watching.

June 5, 1995 – Monday – 3:30 p.m.

Yesterday’s church fellowship wasn’t much fun.  Jenna and Tenielle don’t regard me anymore.  Cheryl said hi and I said hi back, but that was it.

Marcus and Jonathan are the only friends I have these days at church, and they practically spend every waking moment at my house.  They often feel more like brothers than my own brothers.  Outside of church, I have Mike and Danny and Peter, but all of my other friends I will see again soon in Banner Elk.  I talked to Charlie a little earlier.  I called him at church.  He said that Caroline, Molly, Crystal, and Clifton say that they miss me all the time.  I wish I was there.

Today, I didn’t have to work since I had an appointment with Dr. Smith, my orthodontist.  It was very short.  So, I went to Food Lion to try and find Scott.  I found him.  It’s true, he is getting married.  He seems to be doing fine.  We laughed a little.  It was good to see him.

I went to Wal-Mart afterwards and bought a camera and some other stuff.  I spent two-hundred dollars.  I put it on my Visa card.

I work five days in a row starting tomorrow.

Please help me Lord.

I love you.