September 22, 1996 – Sunday – 11:15 p.m.

It has been the greatest weekend.  Rehearsal Friday night was a lot of fun.  I said my small amount of lines and walked off, yet anyone watching just laughed their butt off.

The work call on Saturday was fun; I designed the lobby display and helped put it together. It turned out pretty good.

After lunch, Tracey, Ann-Marie, and I headed for Carowinds.  Ann-Marie is really cool, she really makes me laugh.  She’s very witty.  The trip down there was great.  They rode some rides, but I went straight to the palladium.  Sharon and Bob found me; I sat with them.  We watched Susan Ashton and Geoff Moore and The Distance perform.  Then Hannah and Laura came back.  They sat with me and together we danced and jumped around to Petra and The Newsboys.

The Newsboys was the greatest concert.  It blew me away.

Everyone met at Shoney’s afterwards.  We had the best waitress in the world and did nothing but laugh the whole time.  It was the greatest evening.

I am so much in love with Jesus.  What did I ever do to deserve to be around such beautiful and kind people?  He truly has blessed me with the greatest friends.

Charlie’s ordination service was this morning.  I cried.  It was such a blessing.  He has been the such an awesome friend and leader to myself and the others here in McAlister.

I met with my small group today.  Abigail had rehearsal, so she couldn’t come, but Jessica and Shawna and I had a great study.  I can see that this is helping all of us grow.

You’ve given me so much God.  I don’t know how to thank you.

I’m surrounded by amazing friends and together we are surrounded by you.

How can heaven be any different?

May 4, 1996 – Saturday – 11:45 p.m.

I’m sorry.  I know I’m only supposed to list two great nights or moments from the past semester, but I simply have too many.

Going in chronological order, the first was when Murrell and I went skiing.  It was different, cold, peaceful, and I flew.

Second, when I got sick at Sharon’s house and spent the night there.  Such a peaceful sleep and such a wonderful mom to take care of me.

Third, when I was down in Atlanta with Curtis and Carla and Chili, the dog.  A night of unique conversation and one crazed puppy.

Fourth, would be every day and evening I spent in Arizona.  All were unique.  A beautiful land.  A great escape.

Fifth was definitely Carowinds with Vince.  The concerts were awesome and the day was hilarious.

And finally, the drive to Boone and back with Laura.  It was special beyond my ability to describe it.

I have begun to pack.  My room is looking bare.

Both hands of my clock are reaching up to heaven.  It has become the fifth day of May.

The moon is still full.  It is gazing at me through my open window.  The wind is brushing through and tickling the hairs on my legs.

Sharon called me this morning.  We might eat lunch over there tomorrow.  They plan on coming to graduation.

I found myself thinking of Laura today.  But it was different.  I want to show her Jesus.  To me, it seems that she sees Him as the reason she goes to church and the reason she is a good little girl.  But I want to let her know how personal and intimate he can be.

It’s hard to read into her, if that is even possible.  But I long to spend more time with her this summer.  She is adorable.  She is beautiful.  She is my friend.  And I am hers.

But I long to know her, to trust her, to have her trust me.

And perhaps, in the long run, I long to hold her.

April 14, 1996 – Sunday – 4:30 p.m.

Friday night after dinner I videotaped Suzanne’s recital.  It was pretty.  When I got back to the dorm, I watched X-Files with Vince and then we got some Subway and rented Ace Ventura 2 and Spaceballs.

In the morning, at 5:30 a.m., we got up to go to Carowinds.  Vince came along.  The day was beautiful!  We did the drop zone and a few roller coasters.  At 3:00 p.m. we got in the crowd waiting to enter the Paladium where the concerts would take place.  I kept looking around for my brother, and then it immediately seemed like hundreds of others just immediately joined the crowd.  I was surrounded and it was so tight.  Then it started to rain.  We were stuck in a tight crowd of strangers, I couldn’t get out, and my brother was no where in sight.

Eventually, they opened the entrance gate and I was literally pushed forward by the swarm of people behind me.  The crowd was eventually stopped by another gate, so we were still outside in the rain.  I was surrounded and squashed by wet people.  The whole front part of my body was being pushed up against this large woman’s backside.  I was so sure she could just feel my balls against her butt cheeks.  So embarrassing.  My hand was on some girl’s leg, I couldn’t move it at all.  Someone’s hand was on my butt.

It was insanely awkward, but kind of fun at the same time.  And I was in that position for another hour.

After they finally opened the gate and let us all in, we found some decent seats.  I saw and talked with the High Falls youth group, Lisa, Kristen, Tony, etc.  They gave the greatest hugs.  My brother eventually found me and I met his friend Rudy.

I sat with Vince, Laura, and Kim during the concert, and man, for three hours we rocked the Carolina’s with Audio Adrenaline and DC Talk.  Such a blessing.  Vince was shocked at how much fun Christianity could be.

When it was over, I found all my old friends again and hugged them all.

Christians were all around us.  It was a great, great night.  I mean a truly, truly great night!

April 12, 1996 – Friday – 4:30 p.m.

No one is going to Carowinds.  And by that I mean that Charlie and his youth group nor any of the guys are going.  But, I discovered today that two girls who live in Virginia Dorm are going.  So tomorrow, I’m riding with them.  I can’t wait to see Kevin.  DC Talk is performing.

I found out today that Jeff isn’t coming back in the fall.  He’s attending a University in Virginia instead.  We will all miss him.

Today has been another beautiful day.  Perhaps spring is here to stay.

Today in Acting class we did an exercise that was exactly how the Emmanuel Players used to perform skits, and how I directed the one for church last weekend.  My group did a small skit to a song from the Braveheart soundtrack.  We blew the audience away!

It’s such a joy to know that I’m halfway decent at what I do.

Tomorrow will be a joy.

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been to Carowinds.

April 11, 1996 – Thursday – 3:05 p.m.

A warm, bright, sunny day.  Classes were fun and I registered for the next semester.  I have all of my classes planned out for my senior year as well.  I will only have six classes to take in the span of two semesters.  I will have it made.

After I registered, I got back to my room and heard a double ring on my phone.  That meant an off-campus call.  I picked up the phone and a huge smile filled my face.  It was Molly.  She just called to talk.  We talked for about 40 minutes or so.  She’s only 16, but a lot of fun.  She is my buddy, I enjoy her company and she listens to me.  Thank you Lord.

After FCA I spent three hours with Don in the theater working on lights.

I hopefully will find a way to Carowinds this weekend so I can see my brother.

 

September 22, 1995 – Friday – 10:38 a.m.

Last night I went over to Suzanne, Eliana, and Char’s house so I could help Suzanne with her lighting plot.  Vince and Allen went with me.  We were there until three in the morning.

Antigone opens this Tuesday.  I have enjoyed doing this show.  I have worked with the greatest people:  Dr. D., Megan, Eddie, G. W., Melonie, Amy, Eliana, and Christina.  I will miss it when it is over.

Tomorrow is Christian Music Day at Carowinds, but I have rehearsal and a work call.  I can’t make it!  It will be the first one in years that I have missed.

Suzanne aske me last night if I think about Jeni anymore.  I told her “no.”  Then she asked me:  “Well, who do you think about?”

And I couldn’t answer.  There is no one that I think about.  There is no girl in my life now.  Not one.

And I am okay with that.

April 30, 1995 – Sunday – 1:25 p.m.

It’s April 30, 1995.

I am in my room on the back campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina.  Earlier today I was at Heaton Christian Church, but yesterday I was at Carowinds near Charlotte, North Carolina, which is where I was a year ago this time today as well.

We arrived there about 11:30 a.m.  Traffic was packed., so Mr. Angel let us off on the interstate.  We jumped the fence, ran through a briar patch, sprinted across a field, and jogged through the parking lot to make it to the front gate.  That easily saved us an hour.  The lines through the front gate were super long, so I didn’t get inside the park until a quarter to one, but I was supposed to meet Kevin and Tenielle at noon.  Since I didn’t see them, I just hung around with Gary, Lisa, Laura, and Paul.  We went on The Hurler first.  We waited in line for an hour, but then the coaster was over just like that.  It was still a lot of fun.

We then got in line for the Carolina Cyclone.  I asked them to hold my place in line while I walked around real quick and tried to find my brother.  I walked around the park once, but I didn’t see him.  I went back to the Cyclone, but there was no line and the ride was closed.  So, Lisa and all of them were gone.  I walked around the park again, but found no one.  I decided to watch the ice show; it was great.  It ended around 3:30 p.m. and I went over to the Paladium where some small bands were playing and I sat down in an empty row.  I looked around hoping to see somebody I knew, but I didn’t.  I felt lonely.

Despite being surrounded by thousands of people, I was alone.

Then a few seconds later I heard a girl screaming and I also heard footsteps.  I turned to the left and I saw two girls wearing white and one guy in red running towards me with open arms.

I stood up.  Then I recognized Jenna’s face.  She was an inch away from me when I realized it was her.  Then my body was grabbed.  She gave me a huge hug and then let go.  The guy in the red T-shirt was my brother.  He immediately hugged me.  The other girl was named Melissa, a friend of Jenna and Tenielle’s from school.  I met her at the skating ranch once.

I was not alone any more.

I had friends.

The first thing I said to Jenna was, “I love you.”

Kevin introduced me to two of his friends from school named Rudy and Randy.  Jenna and Melissa and I went to get something to eat.  The line was short at The Hurler, so we quickly rode that one.  Jenna heard from another friend that Tenielle was at the bridge to get soaked.  We ran over there, and she was talking so much that she didn’t see us.  I walked right up to her and said, “hey.”  She screamed so loud and immediately hugged my neck.

I didn’t see Marcus until the Geoff Moore concert that night.  The concert was awesome and Marcus is doing great.

Geoff Moore and the Distance sang one song about love, and what the eyes see when they are in love.  And as I was sitting there, surrounded by the great people in the world:  Jenna, Tenielle, Kevin, Marcus, and about 15,000 other people, I began to think of only one person.

Even when Tenielle was a breath away, even when I could reach out and touch Jenna, I was thinking of Emily.

And again, I began to feel a little lonely.  I don’t understand it.  All I will ever need is around me, but the one thing I want is in Florida.

The night continued.  Carman came on and 15,000 people praised the Lord at one time.  In the midst of them was little me with his hands raised.

The night came to an end and I hugged everyone and said my goodbyes.

“I miss you,” Jenna told me.

“Really?”  I asked.

“Yes.”  She replied.

I told her I would be home in eleven days.

By the time we got to the school it was already the 30th of April.  I slept wonderfully and then got up and went to church.

Today was Youth Sunday.  The young people led the service.  Everyone did an awesome job.  I told Molly that I will be here next Sunday, but then I wouldn’t be around for three months.  She said she would miss me.  There are so many wonderful people at that church.  Thank you for them Lord.

In 10 days, I will not be as free as I am now.  I realize that my parents will place restrictions on me and I also might not have the privacy and the solitude that I have now.  But God has a purpose for me this summer.  I know that I am to prepare for the upcoming year of school.  For the ’95-’96 school year, I will be an RA, plus a drama director at church.

And so I continue.  At McDonald’s.  At Abundant Life.

I need a friend.

I need Jonathan.

I need Emily.

I need Love.

I need to go to Fishnet.

I need to go to Deep Creek.

I need to go to Crestview.

I am here Lord.  Please forgive me for all of the wrong I have done.  Make me bold please.  Make me strong please.

Heal me.  Use me.

Hug me.  Touch me.

April 28, 1995 – Friday – 6:30 p.m.

This day is slowly coming to a close.

Our scene went wonderfully this morning.  Everybody loved it.  Everybody laughed.  Everybody told me I did a wonderful job.  They say I am a good actor.

Me.

Our stagecraft class went to Boone today to see a theater with a fly system.  Most people drove themselves since they had rehearsal this evening in Boone.  So that caused myself, Sally, and Al to get stuck in Boone.  I tried to call Shannon, but couldn’t get a hold of her.  I even went by Dana’s house, but nobody was around.  After a while, we finally found Mr. Martz and he let Sally drive the van back to school.  Sally driving a large vehicle for 17 miles up a mountain is hilarious.  It was a little adventure and I enjoyed myself.

I just got off the phone with Tenielle.  She is going to be at Carowinds tomorrow; along with everybody else:  Jenna, Wayne, Sharlene, everybody.

I love Tenielle.  She is the greatest.  Some of the best times of my life have been with that girl.

On the way to Boone, Mr. Martz and I were talking.  He wanted to know how old I thought he was.  I said 44.  He said I was close.

I told him I couldn’t wait until I was 44, just to see how wise I would be.

This was his response, “I’m dumber now at 44.  I was smart at 18.  At 18 I had everything figured out!”

It made me wonder.  I’m 18.  Was there any truth in what he was saying?

Perhaps what he was saying was… the less you know, the smarter you are.

April 26, 1995 – Wednesday – 9:45 a.m.

Monday was the 24th of April.  During supper that night, Michelle got really sick and cramped.  She was throwing up in the cafeteria.  For some odd reason, I felt really bad.  I guess it had something to do with her asking me to the Spring Formal.  I got my tray, put it in the dish room, and I left.  I found Charlie and we immediately prayed for her.  I called her that night and she is taking some medicine.  She is fine.

That night at 7:30 p.m., Joey finally began rehearsals for his scene that I am in.  I play Tommy and a beautiful girl named Penny plays Jenny, a prostitute.  I’m playing a 21-year-old college student virgin.  The scene is simply us talking.  We leave together and she kisses me on the cheek.  James and Christina are also in it as a waitress and a bum.

Last night I judged a talent show for Elk Park Elementary.  Sally and Amy were also judges.  A lot of participants were from Heaton Christian Church.  Out of the six trophies given, three were given to members of our church.  I got $10 for judging; so that helps out a bit.  Thank you Lord.

I will be going home in two weeks from today, May the 10th.  April will end in four days.

On the 29th of April is Sonburst at Carowinds.  I went to it last year, it was on April 30th then.  Kevin and Marcus and hopefully Jenna and Tenielle are going to be there.  I’m going with FCA.  It would be so wonderful to see Jenna and Tenielle in the midst of a huge crowd and run up and hug them.

Please let me be able to find them Lord.

Time is going so quickly.  But it doesn’t matter…because I am a red light out in space and I can still see everything for its true beauty and meaning.  In a few months I will only be 19-years-old.  I am so young.  I know so little.  I see so little.  I have loved so little.  What is my destiny?  Where am I supposed to go?  Where will this breeze take me?

Brandon tells me he has no friends and no life in Prescott, Arizona.

Kenny is making $20,000 a year in St. Simons Island in Georgia.

Lisa got married this past weekend to someone I’ve never even met.

Will this breeze take me by those old friend again?

So much to see.

So much to learn.

So much to find.

So many to love.

I will only live once.  So why not do it all?

September 25, 1994 – Sunday – 9:24 a.m.

Yesterday has to be one of the most amazing days I have ever experienced.  Jeni and Tracey and I arrived at Carowinds at a different time than Charlie and his gang, so we weren’t really with them throughout the day.  The people in front of us had an extra ticket, so Tracey got in for free.  The traffic was so intense that we got there after eleven o’clock, so I wasn’t there to meet the High Falls youth group at the front gate.

We rode the Vortex first then went to see Paramount on Ice.  We found Rachel and her friend before the show.  Before it started there was this guy with a microphone who went around to a bunch of audience members and picked on them.  He started picking on Tracey, saying she was cute and how he wanted to kiss her and stuff.  Then he looked at me and said, “Hey, you look like a macho kind of guy.  Is this your girlfriend sitting here next to you?”

“Yes.”

Then he said, “You could probably stand up right here and say ‘KISS ME’ and all the girls would run to you and kiss you, wouldn’t they?”

So he had me stand up and shout into the microphone “KISS ME!”  And guess who kissed me?  Not Jeni, but the guy with the microphone, right on the cheek.  I was so embarrassed.

We ate lunch and that is when I saw Lisa.  She hugged me and I found out that Marcus and Kevin were there.

Kevin found me in during the White Heart concert.  He hugged me.  Kim was with him, she hugged me too.  I introduced him to Jeni.  We watched White Heart together and then Jeni and I walked around.

The whole day she kept looking at me and smiling.  I told her I loved it when she looks at me that way.  I also told her that she has pretty eyes.  She said that she simply likes looking into my eyes.

Throughout the day I found Tony, Leslie, and Kristen.  I hugged them all and the only thing I could think about was Fishnet when I saw them.

Audio Adrenaline was there and I enjoyed them the most.  It began raining as the sun went down, and Jeni and Tracey and I left after the Audio Adrenaline concert.  But on the way out I ran into Marcus.  He hollered my name when he saw me and just grabbed ahold of me and shook me.  Since we were leaving I couldn’t talk long.  He told Jeni to take care of me.

We got soaked on our way to the car and then discovered that Jeni’s battery had died.  Luckily, it only took us about 15 minutes to find a cop in the parking lot and he jumped us off.  We drove north on I-77 and got lost and ended up in Winston-Salem.  We asked for directions twice.  We finally got onto 421 and Jeni, being desperate to get back home, was going about 80 miles an hour.  Yep, we were pulled over and she got a ticket.  I felt so sorry for her.  She had never gotten a ticket before.

By the time we got to Boone it was really foggy.  She couldn’t see and said that she just wanted to go home, get out of the car, and cry.  I told her she could have my shoulder to cry on.

When we finally got back to Lees-McRae it was almost two in the morning.  I kissed her goodnight, more than once.

I have more to write about yesterday, but Jeni and Tracey and I are going to church together.  I’ve got to get ready.