January 27, 2000 – Thursday – 1:00 p.m.

The Word tells me to take no thought of my life, and no thought for my life.

Why then have I kept a journal?  Aren’t all these pages merely thoughts?

The Word however is the heart and thoughts of God, so perhaps I shouldn’t worry.

Marie and I talked of marriage last night.  Three months we’ve had this special friendship and now we are talking about marriage.

You are so beautiful God.  I am your bride.  You have washed this sinner clean.  You are worthy.  You are worthy to have your way between this little boy and this little girl way down here where we cannot see the big picture.

I feel so broken and so small.

Melt my pride and my doubt.

All I want is your love oh God.  I admit that on my knees.  If your love is through Marie, and I can love you through her, then I accept it so thankfully.  It is such a beautiful manifestation of you.

January 13, 2000 – Thursday – 6:00 p.m.

Marie and I walked the trials of Back Bay this afternoon.  There is such beauty in the flatness surrounding the water.

We are visiting parks in the northeastern areas of Virginia tomorrow.  We had decided this a while back, but I discovered through a newspaper that was accidentally placed under my door, that the new musical by the guys that wrote Les Miserables, Martin Guerre, was showing in Washington D.C. just farther north than where we planned to go. So, I got us two tickets and told her that I have a surprise for her.  She has no clue what we are doing.

We had a little Bible study and prayer time las night.  It was wonderful.  God is guiding us.

Our journal we are keeping together is the most beautiful thing in the world.  We exchange it back and forth every day.

Sweet Marie.

Oh God, your love is amazing!

December 7, 1999 – Tuesday – 11:41 p.m.

So much to say.

Marie and I have had a wonderful past few days.

On Sunday night we played Bible Trivia with each other, as well as spending many moments staring at each other silently.  She beat me in the game, but she tried so hard to at least let it be a tie.  Before I left we stood face to face and I touched her face and told her of her beauty.  We kind of held hands for a second or two.

Yesterday, Eddie from Lees-McRae came in for our Dang! rehearsal.  Marie was here when he showed up; we all hung out for a while.  I later took Eddie out to eat.

The rehearsal went great!  I also saw Marie afterward, and we talked for awhile and affirmed each other.  We spent time just touching each others’ hands and each others’ faces.  It was the most beautiful of moments.  She is so soft.  I feel horrible for ever writing the same thing about another girl.

We shared much with each other tonight.  An amazing thing is beginning.  She makes me feel beautiful.  She told me of how her mother and sister both know and approve of me.  Her world knows of me.

She played an old Twila Paris song for me about the child in me finding the child in you.  We listened to it and held hands.  We even spoke of how great it would be to sit with each other in church.

You are so good God.

Thank you.

All of this is from you.

She is yours, not mine.

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.

February 25, 1999 – Thursday – 8:27 a.m.

I know I haven’t written in a while.  I guess I’ve been sad.  Last week I saw Amy at a missions informational meeting.  We had an okay time, but we both seemed tired.  I called her a day or two later to ask her out again, but she seemed to be blowing me off, always saying she was busy.  I called again on another night, but I eventually got the message that she didn’t want to pursue us.  I told Sterling and Christin about her and they said I shouldn’t have taken her to the ocean front when I asked her out for hot chocolate.  They said taking girls to the strip means you only want to sleep with them.

What?  How was I supposed to know that?  I’m from the mountains!  I took her there because I think the waves sound nice as you are walking along the boardwalk.

Oh well.

I was an actor in a short film called TR.  It was so much fun!  It lasted two days and I had a lot of scenes with two little kids named Jessica and Frank, ages 9 and 11.  We had a great time.  Mark a fellow student who also acted along side me.  I picked him up everyday and we had nice talks as we drove back and forth to the location.  He’s from Minnesota, married, and in his 30s.

On Sunday I went on a location scout for my short film Forever.  We may be having trouble locking it down.

I had a midterm exam yesterday that went okay.  Last night I led the discipleship class and we sort of evaluated where everyone was.  I was disappointed with how some participated.  Hardly any of the kids have been working through the books.  They seem to be stuck in a rut, but I’ve been there many times.

I prayed Matthew 18:3 over all of us, “unless we become like little children, we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Little children love to learn and they love to let their fathers take care of them.

Change me oh God!

August 12, 1998 – Wednesday – 1:10 a.m.

The 11th of August was an amazing day!  I woke up, went for a prayer walk around the campus, and read and studied my Bible until I went to work at the bookstore, where I trained with David.  I went to see Saving Private Ryan, and then went to a girl named Cindy’s house and helped her move.  I came back to my apartment and had an awesome prayer time with Matt, my roommate and two other students named Jeff and Jason.  God showed up, cleansed my heart, and I felt forgiven and fantastic!

Saving Private Ryan was beyond fantastic!

“Earn this.”

Jesus died for me, but no matter what I do, I can never do enough to earn this grace he has freely given me.  It is his to give, not mine to earn.  For some odd reason, I have found favor with him.

And he just told me that I was already worth dying for.

So, he is definitely worth living for.

May 19, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:44 p.m.

I left at a little after 7:00 p.m. tonight to go to a Bible study.  It was amazing.  They prayed for me.  God said the money for my trip will come in and I will be surprised.  They anointed my feet for travel.  And through someone there, God told me to keep my head up because he was going to use my handsome features.  I asked God to speak to me tonight and he sure did.  He said I would live a long life serving him.

What a joy!  Thank you Jesus.

After the Bible study, I went to visit Christi.  She was the only one home, but all her brothers are supposed to come home this weekend.  Christi looked so beautiful.  She was so thin and tanned.  I told her about South Africa and she got so excited for me.

And then she told me she was getting married in November.  Can you believe that?  This past Sunday was the year anniversary of her accident. However, she is not marrying the guy who was her boyfriend at the time who was in the car with her.

I listened to Christi talk the whole night.  She seems to be doing really well with Jesus.  She said Cheryl is dating a great Christian guy and Jason is getting married in July.  However, she had no news of Ryan or Amy.

Andy has a graduation party Sunday, and I hope I can bring Sarah to it.

Life is amazing.  God is good to all my friends.  He is doing everything.  I just get to show up and enjoy it.

Inseparable friends.

Christi said she was talking with her dad about me today.  We also talked about the old skit group.  I’ve grown so much since those days.

I am home.  Lees-McRae was a beautiful season; a season I am deeply in love with.  Thanks to that time, I now have a collection that spans the continent.

Bless Sarah tonight Lord.  May she sleep in your perfect peace.

May 1, 1998 – Friday – 11:00 p.m.

This month has finally arrived.  Sarah and I have been doing really well these past couple of days.  I only have one final exam on Tuesday and then my Gus, the Theater Cat scene goes up on Sunday.  My beautiful Sarah is in it as well as Timothy.

This afternoon I finally heard back from Teen Mania.  They are sending me to South Africa to serve as a Team Leader for a full month!  South Africa!!  You are amazing God!

I’ve been rummaging through my boxes of stuff from Lees-McRae.  I found all the letters that Emily ever wrote to me.  What a story!  What a collection of words!

Sarah was in here the other night when I came across them, and, forgetting a lot of what Emily had written, I let Sarah read some.  She was amazed and speechless.  She did not leave my room until five in the morning.

I just got back from the spaghetti dinner tonight.  She and I went together, and just like last time, we all talked about the old ’80s TV shows we grew up on.  It was kinda weird.

Many memories have been triggered thanks to my rummaging through ancient papers of the past.  What a life I have lived here!

And in nine days, all of it will be a memory.

This room and these walls will be mine no longer.

My ending here has been a nice one so far.  At Bible Study they had me sit in the middle of the group and everyone said something nice to me.  Many just looked at me and cried. My friends said the nicest things.  Last weekend we all went up to Table Rock and experienced a perfect night together.  The city lights surrounded us in endless beauty.  I will miss this land.

I spoke at chapel on Tuesday and Allen and Abigail were in tears.  I speak at Heaton on Sunday and there I will say my goodbyes.

Sarah and I are going to have dinner at Sharon’s house on Wednesday.

I went with Jeni today to see the little cottage that her and David are moving into.  It was small and cute.

Carla will not be able to make the drive up from Atlanta to attend graduation.

In case you haven’t noticed, I really don’t know what to say except that I know I am changing.

South Africa will change me.

Regent University will change me.

But if there is one thing that is constant, it is change.  I can always count on God and I can always count on him bringing change.

God, I give you all the glory for these four years of beautiful moments.  I will follow you.  You are bigger than Lees-McRae.  You are bigger than the people I love here.  Holy Spirit, help me keep my eyes on you.

. . .

Sarah just stopped in.  She left to go to bed.  She said that I had spoiled her.  I asked in what way.  She said that I was perfect to her.

. . .

I guess I’ve been doing a pretty good job then.  She has defined my senior year.  We have had five special months together here at this beautiful campus in the mountains.  And we have decided to continue our relationship over the summer.

I’m not sure if she is perfect for me, but I sure do want her to be.

 

April 19, 1998 – Sunday – 8:30 p.m.

I have three weeks left.

Twenty-one days.

Only twenty-one days of nearly four years of time.

Today has been a good day.  I led junior worship today and gave the kids a little sermon on inner beauty.  Jimmy Heaton took Josh and I out to eat at Poppy’s Barbecue.  It was really yummy.  I came back to my room, prayed for a while, and then took an amazing nap.  I ate dinner then went to church where Charlie spoke on doubting Thomas.

He said that when Jesus appeared to him in His glorified body, he still had scars.  He went straight to Heaven with scars and His scars cause Thomas to believe.  I have scars; none that are really big, but I have them nonetheless.  The Bible doesn’t hard the scars of it’s realistic characters, so why should I?  God wants to use my scars for his glory.

Wow!

The time has come for me to move on and I am excited.  I am going to live and see what else is out there.

I just read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and here is my favorite part:

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  I rejoice in life for it’s own sake.  Life is no brief candle to me.  Its a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it off to future generations.

To stand a hold a huge torch, a massive burning flame, for Jesus Christ!

My senior thesis on Titanic is nearly complete.  I have concluded that the reason it has made more than a billion dollars worldwide is because it simply demands to be seen.  It has all the right ingredients and basically has a huge sign around it’s neck that screams, “Come look at me and see what I can do!”

And we all did.  We went and saw it three or four times.

So in my life, in this precious gift given only by God, I am going to demand in a subliminal and mesmerizing way, for this world to look at me, but not to find me, to only find Jesus.

So, I’m moving on.  I said I was going to fly at Lees-McRae, and compared to high school, it’s obvious to me that I have.

Now comes the time to fly higher, to make the world see Jesus, to not hide my scars, but to use them to help others believe.  Jesus is truly all I have, and, thankfully, he’s all I need.

April 4, 1998 – Saturday – 3:00 p.m.

This has been a very different day so far.  I have never met any of these 60 other people before, but each one, in one way or another, resembles someone I have come across before.  It makes me wonder how many others out there are very similar to me.

I am learning though.  I’m learning how to be a better leader.  If I do lead a team this summer, it’ll be a great learning experience and easily help me in other areas of life.

Life.  Crazy.  It will change so much as it continues on.  There are so many people on this planet.  We can’t all be that different.  I am just one of them.

I read something today that really opened my eyes:  Romans 14.

Who am I to pass judgement on another one of my Lord’s servants?  He has given them different duties and a very different way of handling matters than He has given me.  I must be responsible for what I know, and focus less on what others don’t know.  I simply have to do my work for Him, for no one else can do what I must do.

Sure, I am special, important, and unique, but the real truth is that everyone else around me is as well.  And I should focus my efforts making them feel that way, and less time on proclaiming myself as such.

We all want to belong, yet we also want others to see us as unique.

We are all alike.  We are all different.