July 9, 1994 – Saturday – 6:30 a.m.

Yesterday I went to The Fish Bowl again, and the same thing happened to me, except stronger.  God touched me.  Jesus touched me.  I reached out to him and he reached in.  I’ve never been so close to God than…right now.  But through all of the joy and excitement, meeting new people, getting to know them, remembering who I am in Christ; in the midst of all that, only one thing seems wrong, one thing that is not right: Jenna and Tenielle aren’t here to experience it with me.

Today is our last day here.  The time has flown by.  I could live like this forever, but Jenna and Tenielle would have to be up here with me.

Yesterday, I did some crazy stuff with Kristin, Dana, and Hannah.  I’ve known Dana a while now.  She will be a Junior at Appalachian State University in Boone while I’m a Freshman at Lees-McRae in Banner Elk, only 17 miles away.  Kristen and I get along okay and Hannah and I are good friends.  Both of them want to come to my church since I told them how awesome our Praise and Worship was.

Steve Camp performed last night.  That was great!  He’s Kenny’s favorite singer.

James Robinson preached and boy was he good.  He said something about Hollywood and how we should pray for them, but he didn’t condemn all the good movies that had been made.  He even said a new movie called Forrest Gump was a movie that all Christians should see.  Hopefully I’ll see it soon.  I walked up to him afterwards and told him thank you for such a good word.

I’ve taken some pictures up here.  I can’t wait to get them developed.

Deep Creek is right around the corner.  I wonder if I’ll have as much fun as I’m having here at Fishnet?

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January 20, 1994 – Thursday – 11:45 p.m.

School was cancelled for today because the brakes froze on the buses.  I’m sure we’ll have it tomorrow, though.

Tonight, Scott came and picked me up  and we went roller skating.  I didn’t know how, so after busting my butt all night, I finally got the hang of it (sort of).  Jenna and Tenielle invited me to go with them to the next Christian Music Night that they have at the Skate Rink.  I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself in front of them, so I got some practice in.

Cheryl, Sherry, and Sherry’s sister Megan were there.  Megan was watching Shurby’s kids.  It was a lot of fun.  We ate at Pizza Hut afterwards and laughed our heads off at every little thing.

Thank you Jesus for laughter and joy.

 

January 15, 1994 – Saturday – 10:30 p.m.

Today is January 15, 1994 and today would go under the category of “One of the Best Days of My Life.”  It wasn’t exactly what happened that made it a good day, but it was more about what I learned.

The only way to begin is with last night, which also ties in with today.

After work, I went to Mr. Gatti’s; mom dropped me off.  Jenna, Tenielle, Shar, and Sunny showed up a few minutes later.  Shar and I split a pizza.  Then Scott showed up and he had a few slices.  Later, Jenna, Tenielle, Shar, Sunny and I played a game.  It’s too difficult to describe here, but we had a blast.

While we were playing, Ryan came in with a friend.  They sat at a table across the room and then a guy sat with them.  For about 45 minutes I didn’t say a word to her, then I excused myself from the game for a moment and went over to her table and said, “I just wanted to say ‘hey’ so you couldn’t accuse me of being stuck up later.”  I smiled.  She smiled back and said, “Oh Jacob,” and I left and went back and sat with the four girls.

Four.

It hit me.  Something was different.  All the other times I went to Mr. Gatti’s it was always with Ryan, Amy, Cheryl, and Christi.

Now, I was with Jenna, Tenielle, Sunny, and Shar.  Retrospect hit me and all the girls noticed something was wrong and kept begging me to tell them what I was thinking.  Jenna and Tenielle mostly.

The five of us joked about everything.  I never did tell them though until later.  The evening was great fun, but then we had to leave.  Sunny’s parents came to pick them up and they said that they needed a ride tomorrow to the door to door ministry shindig.  I offered to pick them up.  Sunny’s mom gave me directions.

They left.  I went with Scott to his house and Kevin picked me up from there later.

We went home and soon, morning came.

We picked up Marcus, like we do every Saturday morning, (unless he’s staying the night), and we drove to Sanford.  Cheryl showed up at Band Practice.  I was supposed to leave at 10:00 a.m. to get Jenna, Tenielle, Sunny, and Shar.  I didn’t leave until 10:30 a.m. since Kevin and Marcus took the car to get something to eat.

Well, I’ve never been in that part of Lee County before and I got lost.  When I finally found their house, I discovered that they somehow conjured up another ride and had already left because they didn’t think I was coming.  Well, I drove back and when I arrived at the church, I saw Tenielle running out to explain everything.  Jenna and Shar followed.  Sunny didn’t come.

We all had a good laugh.  We then went in and prayed for a while and then head out into the city to spread the Word.

Dear God…I saw poverty today like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  And I complain when the hot water in the shower runs out.  It made me thankful.

Very thankful.

A few people got saved, one baptized in the spirit.  A wonderful, wonderful, time.  There is nothing like sharing the gospel.  I love it.

We all ate pizza back at the church and had a service.  I took the three girls back and we had a wonderful conversation.  I told them what I was thinking about in terms of Ryan and the other girls I used to spend a lot of time with.  They were thankful I was with them.  I wish I could live through that conversation again.  There was more laughter and joy in that short drive than I’m most experience in a week.

I took Shar to her house and Jenna and Tenielle to theirs.  They live in a trailer park.  The trailer itself isn’t that bad.  When we got there, Jenna gave me a letter she had written to me the night before.  And their mom gave me $3 for gas money…I accepted.

We said our goodbye’s and I left.  While I drove off, I saw Jenna come outside in the bitter cold and wave goodbye.  I waved back and drove on.  In the rearview mirror, I saw her standing there waiting until she couldn’t see my car anymore, then I’m assuming she went back inside.

I smiled.

When I got back to the church, the skit group met and we got stuff cleared away.

Then myself, Kevin, Marcus, Cheryl, and Sherry and her sister all went bowling.  I won and then the three girls left while I watched Kevin and Marcus play a game in the arcade.  While there, I saw so many people acting “worldly.”  Praise God I’m a Christian.  I can be myself and take off my mask.  Everyone always seems to be performing for everyone else; trying to get attention; simply being too loud.  It’s like I’m the only one who is aware of who I am.

We went home, and I read Jenna’s letter.  I’ll try to write in here later.

The reason today was so wonderful was because it was so simple.

Right now I’m going to call Brandon; Mom said he called earlier.

And I’m going to end this wonderful day by talking to my wonderful friend who moved across America more than a year ago.

January 3, 1994 – Monday – 9:10 p.m.

Dude!  Brandon just called me.  He got back from a ski trip and had a blast.  Miss him so much.

Last night at church, the Lord game a word to me through Shurby.  He basically said that even though every one else has given up on me, he has not.  And that he will use me in a great and huge way, but for me not to worry about anything, because I’m not the one who is doing it.  God is!  

I cried my eyes out.  God is going to take care of everything in my life.  I just show up and pray is through.  I love you Lord!

Yesterday, I told Jenna thanks for my little gift.  She laughed.  Tenielle laughed too; they’re both sweet girls.

Lord, just make us all good friends so we can help each other grow!

Ryan and Amy and her family aren’t coming to church as much as they used to.  Ryan only comes when she has children’s church and missionettes.  I haven’t seen Amy in a while.

It’s sad to see them fall away.  What has happened?

In a little over five months I will be out of high school!  The first semester will end in seven days.

Then 18 weeks of the next semester.  Although I’m in a hurry to get it over with, I realize that this will never happen in my life again.

I will take the next five months, one day at a time.

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.

September 8, 1993 – Wednesday – 4:35 p.m.

Marcus’s brother told me today that in Greensboro a seven-year-old boy went into a public bathroom while his mom waited outside.  Some men in the bathroom attacked the little boy and cut off his penis and flushed it down the toilet.  The boy bled to death and died.

Did you hear what I just said?  I don’t understand.  What is out there in the world?  My parents have shielded me from the world for so long.  Christians are there in the world, but the wicked are out there too.  One day I must leave my home and go out into the world.

What an insane idea.  Who out there will love me?

But I must go; my destiny and my fate pull me there like a magnet.  The world is dark and terribly wild.  There are people out there who would kill a little child.

I miss the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  I’m not sure why it isn’t on any more.  It always made me think about what is out there in the world.  I’ve experienced so little.  Months ago, when I stood on top of Pilot Mountain, I saw so much and I saw so far, but I still saw so little.

I used to live in Germany as a kid, but I hardly remember anything about it.  This world is so large, and I wish to see it all.  There is so much out there.

So many souls.

So many lives.

So many stories.

We must discover the world for ourself.