June 7, 1999 – Monday – 7:00 a.m.

Saturday night the youth group had a big bon-fire cookout thing out in Suffolk.  The stars were so bright and pretty and there were railroad tracks.  I love railroad tracks!

Sterling, Christin, and Kimberly toilet-papered my car and I made them feel terrible about it, which I later felt horrible about.

We had a meeting yesterday with the Master’s Commission team.  I met my other partner, her name is Mary.  She is very sweet and very pretty and love’s God more than anything.  We leave in less than two weeks.

Because of that, I’ve made some changes to the drama team.  Michelle is now the leader with Robin and Angie as her helpers.  I’ll mentor them when I can, but I just have too many other things going on.  I have rehearsals every night this week for school.  I even have a few during lunch time.  And I still have to finish my 15-page paper.

Time is moving so fast.

But at least I’m not bored.

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June 4, 1999 – Friday – 10:39 p.m.

Looking back, I see my little midnight drive down the Outer Banks to be the latest Eternal Instant of my life.  It was perfect; just me and the Lord.

I slept Wednesday night for a solid twelve hours.

I met with Dayton today about Master’s Commission.  It’s fifteen days away.  I give God all the glory and thanks for this opportunity.  I’m going to spend three weeks all over Virginia and Los Angeles.  So perfect!  My collection continues to grow.

This has been a difficult week.  There now remains only one week of my summer courses.  I am in four Actor Coaching scenes, I’m directing another one, plus I have a 15-page Film Noir paper due, as well as a Film Noir final exam.  But it will all get done; it always does.  God is good.

After being here for nearly a year, I’m beginning to see how much this place is becoming a part of me.  I remember how bizarre the streets were when I first arrived.  Now I know my way around here like it’s all mine.

Visions of Fire Youth Ministries is simply amazing.  It is an honor to be a part of it.  Our worship band is so anointed.  They play as good as any band on the market.  I feel bad because school keeps me from expanding the drama team.  I’m not really sure what is happening with it, but I am sure that many special, beautiful, and perfect moments occur in this land.  Between the bookstore, the classroom, the church, the youth, the film shoots, and the time I find to be alone…God is blessing me as though I were a king.  He prepared this place for me.

You are my king sweet Jesus!

Forever and ever!

May 31, 1999 – Monday – 9:00 a.m.

It is the last day of May.  I attended my first ever prom Saturday night.  It was a truly wonderful evening.  Christin and I and some of her friends ate out at Lock’s Point and the dance itself was awesome.  I really had fun, despite the fact that some of those teens dancing looked like they were trying to have sex with clothes on while standing up.  That was gross to see.  We went to the after-prom party and didn’t get to her friend Allison’s house until five in the morning.  The dad cooked everyone breakfast.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed my own prom if I went to it five years ago, but I enjoyed this one at the age of 22.

I still went to Sunday school and church, but then slept most of the afternoon.  Kimberly and Christin came over after church last night and I introduced them to Les Miserables.

Classes end in two weeks and then I’ll begin my Master’s Commission journey.

It just occurred to me that since I’ve come to Regent I may not have explained the other people I have come across.  Of course there is David, who is the youth pastor at Parkway Temple.  He’s 27 and a very good friend.  He’s my mentor and he helps keep me balanced.  His brother Chris, who just moved here from South Africa, is 22 and plays guitar.  He’s become a part of the church and we’ve hung out a couple of times.  Last Thursday we went to see Star Wars.

Kerstin is my friend from Germany.  She is my age.  She talks to me about boys in her life.  She feels that I understand her, but also makes it known that she only wants us to be friends, despite the fact that we play this flirting game with each other.

Brian is a couple of years older than me, yet many times I feel as though I am his mentor.  We used to only talk movies, but our conversations have recently moved onto other topics.

Nicole is 25.  She’s from Atlanta and will one day make the perfect Italian mother once she finds the right guy.  She says her body is screaming at her to have a baby now.  Wow! She’s so beautiful, but she feels like a big sister to me.  Her body shape is so similar to Sarah’s that I often just want to hug her, but try to resist the urge.

Then there’s the other Chris, the theater major who just turned 26.  He’s never had a girlfriend and he’s crazy about Kerstin.  He grew up with all sisters, and he says that has made me very careful around women.  He has a mind for missions and has done much work for Teen Mania.

The whole Hampton Roads area here feels like a melting pot since there’s such a military presence.  It feels like a mix of both northern and southern cultures all thrown into one big suburb.  It’s a very clean region thanks to the high state taxes.  Evidently a lot of people work here, but will live just over the North Carolina line, just to avoid the taxes.  Banner Elk was an easily definable mountain village, but Hampton Roads is a small materialistic version of America.

Nevertheless, at the moment, it is home, and memories are being made.  I’m very happy to know I will live here in the time that I will.  It’s teaching me how to love others and to raise my future children.

Goodbye May.  Hello summer of 1999.

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.

April 28, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

I decided this afternoon to spend $65.50 and spontaneously go see The Phantom of the Opera in downtown Norfolk.  I had an excellent seat, and I saw the world’s most perfect musical three and a half years after I saw it for the first time in the exact same place.

During those days, my thoughts endlessly dwelt on Laura; a beautiful girl whom I’ll see again in another week.  But I hear her love rests on a young man named David now.

Last night I spent some quality conversation with a girl named Cindy.  I also chatted a bit with Chris.  It was really nice to talk to other students.

I’m afraid I’m losing my romantic soul.  I’m afraid I’m losing my childhood dreams and wishes.  I only wish…oh…look, it’s nearly the 30th of April.

Remember the 30th of April?

Oh how life wants to live.  May my passion never grow dim.

Will a girl ever know me?

Can I ever tell her all these things I write in these books?

Someone must be looking for me.

I give all of this to you God.  Take care of her.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.

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.