December 16, 2000 – Saturday – 11:05 a.m.

Ten days have passed. What has happened in 10 days?

I live a beautiful life with my Jesus. Anna and I see each other every day. We stay up late, for it is difficult to say goodbye. If we have an hour of free time, we find a way to see each other.

Work at Forefront is going well, but I must ask for more money soon; I’m simply going broke. I have received additional editing and production work: a missions video for Laos and a evangelistic video. Both are paying decently well.

Once February arrives I’ll need to start earning $400 a week to be able to make my student-loan payment. I might have to get a second job.

In one week Anna will return to Florida for Christmas. She is so lovely. I visited her this morning just so I could watch her get ready for work.

I have an audition today as well as three videos I must complete before tomorrow.

I love you Lord. Thank you for this full life!

October 5, 2000 – Thursday – 10:08 p.m.

I’m going to see Caedmon’s Call in concert tomorrow night! That’s awesome!

Well, the days have been interesting. I have the best job in the world. Vince and I made a super funny video on Tuesday. I can’t wait for it to be shown on the big screen on Sunday.

The college-age small group I’ll be leading kicks off on October 19th. I’m so excited; that’s two weeks from tonight.

The Accuser finally shoots next weekend. This morning myself plus some other student directors were interviewed by Portfolio magazine about filmmaking. So this is where I am now. Everyday I’m writing, directing, and editing videos that find an audience every Sunday. I’m in a delightful small group, and soon I’ll be leading one. Plus, I’m directing and finishing up some short 16mm films.

I’m doing all that I’ve ever wanted to do.

September 30, 2000 – Saturday – 11:03 a.m.

We are leaving the Breaks Interstate Park that sits on the border of Virginia and Kentucky. I’m in the van with Mark, Susan from Ireland, and Lisa. Mark agreed to let me play the Legend of the Fall soundtrack since it fits in perfectly with the fall colors that have begun creeping in on the mountain sides.

The past three days have been wonderful. Some many from the church came: Ron, John, Roger, Amy, Ginger, Holly, Kevin (my small group leader), and Kristen, who was in Dang!. Kevin asked Kristen to marry him at Breaks Interstate Park two nights ago.

At the Mountain Mission School, we painted, did yard work, some landscaping, etc. It was fun and rewarding work, and the kids were so thankful we were there. The best part though was simply getting to know everyone on our team.

I performed my velociraptor impression for the kids countless times, and the little 7-year-old girl named Vanessa became my little buddy. She cried when it was time for us to leave.

The past few days were full of endless laughter, and now I have this perfect drive through the mountains with one of the greatest soundtracks ever recorded.

I just realized it was the last day of the month. Wow, I loved this month of this year. I didn’t write much, for I was living life to the fullest. What a wonderful month of friends and filmmaking! Dan and Abigail were married, but that first weekend of the month was about so much more for me. I awoke on the first day of the month in Sharon’s house and got to have breakfast with a family that truly knows how to love each other. I also was able to spend a little time with Mason and Maresa. Then, Sarah and I shared a nice walk. I hugged a pregnant Jeni goodbye very close to the place we first kissed nearly six years ago.

After that beautiful Labor Day weekend, I quit my first ever salary job and started making videos every day for Forefront. That church is a gift from God. It helped bring me to this corner of Virginia, where I was able to bless many girls from Ethiopia.

It’s great to feel tired for the sake of others. I’m worn out, but I gave all that was in me. There is no greater joy.

Okay, I’m going to stop writing now. The world outside is too beautiful, the music is too good, the company is too sweet.

I let go of September of the year 2000. You were a perfect month. Welcome October.

September 22, 2000 – Friday – 3:30 p.m.

Many days have passed since my last journal entry. Let me try to sum up what has happened.

I began working at Forefront, so I’ve been around many of the staff: Rolon, Kevin, Chris, Matt, Christi, and sometimes Vince and Joe.

While on a location scout for ‘The Accuser,’ a five-minute short film the university is paying for, I got in a car accident because the dudes in the back told me to take an immediate left, and I did, right into a fish truck that was coming up behind me. I have a nice huge dent on the left side, but no one was hurt.

I’ve been swamped with production both at Regent and for Forefront. I’ve got two 16mm films in the works now, as well as two more videos I just finished editing this morning.

That’s mainly why I haven’t written, I just been making movies. It’s been freeing to just be running around shooting a quick Forefront video, prepping a movie with an actual budget, or editing quietly on the iMac the church gave me.

Dan is completely depressed over Theresa. He was convinced God told him she was to be his future wife, but he definitely shouldn’t have told her that. He is now questioning if God exists at all.

Sarah wrote me a lovely letter, but I’ve been busy with film-making that I haven’t give it much thought. After getting my pictures from Dan and Abigail’s wedding, I discovered a perfect picture of the two of us.

I’m sure if I hadn’t been so busy I’d try to pursue her again, so I really thankful I have been busy.

This evening I’ll be selling nachos at a local air show. The band Train is performing. They have a song called ‘Meet Virginia’ that comes on the radio all time. I sing it at the top of lungs while driving around town.

On Wednesday morning I’ll be leaving for Grundy, VA. It is eight hours away.

In two months I’ll be in Mexico for the first time.

Can the year be ending so soon?

Christi, on the Forefront staff, is a beautiful, single, 24-year-old, Children’s Ministry Director. I’m trying not to dwell on that fact too much.

We had lunch together a few days ago. She’s fun, but is lacking encouragement.

I have shown the latest cut of Dang! to an experienced filmmaker in the area. He says he’s never seen a more perfect student film.

Thank you God for what you are doing.

May I continue to serve you.

I love you so.

August 24, 2000 – Thursday – 2:00 p.m.

I’m on my lunch break at the moment.  I met with Vince, one of the pastors at Forefront, on Tuesday, and we talked about how we can both help each other in the film and video world.  It was great; I really like him.

At my small group last night, everyone decided to watch Survivor instead of do a Bible study.  It was the finale, so they all said it was a big deal, but it was the first time I had ever heard of it.  It made me realize how much I don’t watch TV or am into whatever is popular at the moment.  The show was pretty interesting, but also totally pathetic.

I will be going to Grundy, Virginia in September for a little ministry work, and it looks like Theresa from the bookstore may show me around New Mexico for Thanksgiving.  Those are my only future plans.  Otherwise, I’m taking it one day at a time.

August 18, 2000 – Friday – 7:20 a.m.

Jonathan, if he is still alive, turns 24 today.  Which made yesterday my 24th birthday.  I ate lunch at Applebee’s with some of my co-workers.  It was nice of them to buy lunch for me.

Today we are having a pizza party for lunch, and tonight my Forefront small group is going out for seafood in Pungo.

Tomorrow my Regent small group is having a beach party up on the Eastern Shore.

Many great things are happening.  I’m enjoying work a bit more, for my boss is giving me more responsibility.

It will soon be September.  There is something special in the air when September arrives.  The slightest morning chill gives me so much hope that nothing will ever stay the same.  It reminds me to appreciate what I have, for it will soon fade away.

August 1, 2000 – Tuesday – 9:50 p.m.

The month of change has arrived.  I’ve been in the same apartment for two steady years, but my third roommate just moved in.

Work has become a bit boring to me now.  There hasn’t much for me to do recently, so I’ve spent my days teaching myself Photoshop.  I pray I do not get stuck in a rut.

I went to a “Meet the Staff Dessert” Sunday night to meet all the people that work at Forefront Church.  They are excited to know I’m a film guy.  I want to serve there so badly.  They meet in a movie theater, so it would be awesome to make videos for them that would be shown on the big screen.  I wish I could work there and not at Acoustic Works.

But you are guiding me God.  I’ll follow you.

July 22, 2000 – Saturday – 7:40 a.m.

This past Wednesday night I went to the small group that meet at Kristen’s boyfriend Kevin’s house.  It was a few married couples, but I had a really good time.

I just read through my older journals from 1994.  Simply amazing.  How passionate I seemed about everything.  Life, my spiritual life that is, has gotten interesting.  I see how I’ve worshipped my own relationship with God more than God himself.  I really feel like this new church will help me let go of older ways of thinking.

Thanks for that God.

Man, what a sad and wonderful thing it is to no longer be a kid.

Good thing I’m not fully there yet.

 

July 17, 2000 – Monday – 7:00 a.m.

I finally got to visit Forefront Church.  It meets in a movie theater on General Booth Blvd, closer to the beach.  It was so wonderful.  It was as though God himself was there welcoming me, for Kristen, the girl who starred in Dang! was there.  She was only there visiting for that one Sunday because she’s been doing Sight and Sound up in Lancaster, PA.  She was there to see her boyfriend Kevin, who leads a small group I hope to attend on Wednesday nights.  It was just to perfect to walk through the doors and see I face I know!  And it meets in a movie theater!

Two years ago I was in Africa.  Crazy!  Last year I had just returned from Los Angeles.  But this summer it looks like West Virginia is about as far away as I’ll go.  That’s okay, for I’m so excited about starting a new church life.

Yesterday evening, Jean from work and I randomly ended up walking around Buckroe Beach in Hampton.  She’s so cool; we have the nicest talks.  I’m thankful for her friendship.

God seems to be doing something with me, a new beginning, a letting go.  I see how he has to pull me away from Lees-McRae.  Keep me here to do your will God.  Teach this place and how to love it.

July 15, 2000 – Saturday – 3:40 p.m.

I’m not doing too well.  I sent Lindy an email, just explaining the sad condition of my heart, all I wanted was to be understood, but her reply was just telling me to shut up and get over it.

I feel those still in Banner Elk just don’t understand.  No one has left yet.  They are still surrounded by all their friends and they don’t know what it is to be alone in their 20s.  My best friends here are teenage girls (Sterling, Kimberly, Christin), and I have two nice colleagues at work (Dan and Jean), and I get along with my roommate Dan, but I really miss all the Regent film students.  I wish I could see them everyday like I used to, but I just don’t have class anymore.  I feel after I attend Dan and Abigail’s wedding that I should just let Banner Elk be.  It only hurts to try and hold on to it.

I don’t seem to make sense to people at work.  They make fun of me a lot, especially those who work in sales or who work in the warehouse.  Most of them are non-Christians.  Oh well.  It’s never really been any different, so I don’t know why it surprises me when someone thinks I’m odd.  It would probably more weird if someone viewed me as just an average dude.

I wish it was winter.  I wish it was Sunday so I could visit Forefront.  I haven’t been to a regular church service in so long.  I miss God’s touch.