November 7, 1998 – Saturday – 11:59 p.m.

Today’s rehearsal was tough.  The kids aren’t listening to me.  They’re goofing off.

I bought Burlap to Cashmere’s CD after rehearsal.  God used it to bring my joy back.  It’s such a perfect CD.

I saw Regent Theater’s Mystery Plays tonight.  It was an original production and so perfect.  I was so proud of my fellow students.  Obviously, God is in this place and in these people.

After experiencing it’s top quality, I really missed the professional world of theater.  The kids at church don’t have a clue.

But God will take care of everything.

Thanksgiving is only 2 1/2 weeks away.

Time is not stopping.

Emily and I talked over the phone the other night.  Our visit should be interesting.  Our story is a mystery play in and of itself.

What a gift I’m living!

I am free!

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November 4, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:00 p.m.

Tonight was wonderful.  I talked with Jeremy and Robin on the phone last night.  They are two teenagers from the youth group who had gotten into a little word fight at school concerning the youth group and their spirituality.  I was on the phone with them for hours.  They play Adam and Eve in the play, and have to get close, so things weren’t good.  I gave a little talk before practice tonight, an hour and a half long talk, about living in harmony.

I used many illustrations, even read from my journal, and I let the others talk.  Others opened up and everyone had a cry fest about all the transitions we’ve been through recently.  God healed our body, our team.

And tonight, when I got home, Christin called me up to say thank you for tonight and that I was very special to her.

Then David called and we talked about the evening.  He said the most amazing thing.  He said that he was concerned about Tammie and Jose leaving because they were a couple and that Tammie helped nature the girls.  He said he was in his office, praying, asking God to bring him some women to help in the youth group.

“Bring me another Tammie, God,” he prayed.

And he told that when he was walking down the hall in church one day, he passed me by, and God said to him, “There’s your Tammie.”

Isn’t that amazing!?

It all makes since now.  God called me here for this season to help be a spiritual mentor to these girls.  Veronica, Jenna, Tenielle, Christi, Rya, Amy, Cheryl, Jeni, Tracey, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Lindy, Hannah, Laura, Sarah, they were all to help bring me here and prepare me for this time of ministry.  God has been teaching me.

He knew what he was doing all along.

You are so perfect God!

November 1, 1998 – Sunday – 4:20 p.m.

November began today.  I awoke in my room and Justin, Vince, and Dan were asleep on the floor beside me.  Dan called me Friday and said they were coming and come they did.  They spent the night at the beach on Friday and arrived at my apartment early Saturday morning.  It was so great to see them.  They came to drama practice with me and we spent Halloween night between Justin’s church and my church.

They came to church with me this morning and we went to the beach together this afternoon.  And just now we all prayed together before they drove off and left me here to continue my life without them by my side every day.

Every minute with them was perfect.  Nothing was different between us.  Time does not harm true friends.  I got to give them a brief taste of my life here, as well as my new friends, and it became very clear to all of us that this was my home and not theirs.

They home they have is mine no longer.

They were the same, and we were the same together, but life will take us to different corners of the earth.  But no matter how far we travel, I would give my life for them.

True perfect friends.

October 28, 1998 – Wednesday – 8:00 a.m.

I got up before the sun did this morning.  I prayed and I read.  The men’s meeting at church was such a blessing last night.  It is great being a guy.

I look forward to the Holidays and visiting the people I haven’t seen in a while.  I look forward to classes next year.

David is now the youth pastor at Parkway.  He will be quitting his bookstore job in two weeks.  More things are changing, but God is Lord of them all.

Life is good.

Time is flying by.  I will moving on in no time at all.

I can’t wait to hold Emily.  I also just want to snuggle up and read a book of my own choosing.  I wish the adventure so easily found in the mountains was closer by.

I’m glad God understands me even when I do not.

October 17, 1998 – Saturday – 3:24 p.m.

We went to Portsmouth First Pentecostal Holiness church last night.  I rode in the van next to Kimberly.  Then sun was setting as we drove over the water and the skyscrapers of downtown Norfolk were silhouetted by a perfect sky.  It was a beautiful drive, both inside the car and out.  Laughter filled the air as a Down Syndrome kid expressed his love for the Children’s church leader.

I saw Rachel, the red-head I met at Bethel Temple, at the church.

Tonight is the going-away party for Tammie and Jose.  Justin is going to go with me.  He’s in town for Fall Break.

I love my youth group.

It’s such a divine appointment for all of us to be together right now.  Like it was always meant to be.

Just like Lees-McRae, it was all always supposed to happen just like it did.

October 11, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:31 a.m.

Things are beginning to change.

Tammie and Jose made an announcement to the Discipleship class this afternoon.  They will be leaving in less than two weeks to serve as a youth minister in Fayetteville.

That probably means nothing to you because I haven’t mentioned them much in the past two months.  They are the youth pastors at Parkway Temple.  They are born leaders.  I found my refuge in them.  If not for their love, Parkway Temple would have been a church I visited once and not a church I now regularly attend.

The way they have affected these teenagers is unbelievable.  Everyone was crying during the meeting.  I couldn’t.  Goodbyes don’t make me cry.  I cry at the second hello.

They were so good to me.  But their leaving is a God thing.  I have a peace about it.  But what is frightening is how I showed up right before they were supposed to leave.

What are you doing God?

I’m in charge of about 20 teenagers on Wednesday nights for Drama and Tammie and Jose were the ones I leaned on.  Perhaps God is teaching all of us to lean on him.

I don’t know what will happen, but this is making too much sense.  I thought I was just supposed to come to Regent, but now I see that I was called to Parkway Temple for this time.

Life has a plot.  Life has an author.  Life has an audience.

October 4, 1998 – Sunday – 4:45 p.m.

A year ago I was in Washington D.C.  What a day that was.  And what a day yesterday was.  Heck, what a day Friday was!

I spoke for the youth service Friday night.  I gave a message on simplicity, basically encouraging us not to forget that we too are saved as we try to help others know the Lord.  Kimberly sat on the front row and smiled the whole time.  She is amazing.  I’ve talked with her mom and bit and it seems Kimberly has been talking a lot about me recently to her family.  How cool.  God showed up Friday night and I was humbled by his presence.

Saturday came and I went to work on a video project with Patty at her place.  Patty shared with me that she wasn’t a Christian, she instead believes some New Age stuff.  I shared my own faith with her a bit and she really seemed to listen.  She commented that my faith seemed real and alive.  She said I had given her much to think about.

I spent the rest of the day with her and some of her friends.  We went to a jazz festival last night.  Such a perfect evening.  The music was fantastic and another woman asked me about my faith.  I was the youngest of the group.  Patty herself is 35.  All of these older women were listening to me at age 22.  Weird.

This afternoon we had a discipleship class and so many members poured their hearts out.  I love my youth church so much!  They are what keeps me alive here.  They are my family.  God has given me a perfect gift in them.  They all have such beautiful stories.  Another home is forming for me on this planet.  Every moment here is precious, and I know it will not last long.

Oh, I love my God.  He is so good and I am so dependent on Him.  I am nothing.  He is everything.  I can’t do anything without Him.