April 15, 1999 – Thursday – 9:30 p.m.

Life is beautiful.

There are beautiful eternal instants happening all around me.  Moments of bike-riding with Kimberly and studying the photo albums of her youth with her under the amber light shade of her living room.

Mary Jo just left here.  We spent nearly an hour together just listening to good music, especially Caedmon’s Call’s Table for Two.  We have declared it our song.  Our conversation turned into a pillow fight.  She is so lovely to be around.

Kerstin came to visit me in the bookstore.  We seem to talk so much about relationships, despite the fact that neither of us are in one.  Oh how beautiful conversation is.

David and his brother and I are going to see The Matrix tonight.  They haven’t seen it yet. I called Vince last night, he said he saw it and he loves it.  He said he plans to spend the summer in Banner Elk, as does everyone else.

Everything looks better.  Everyone is beautiful.  Jesus has become my eyes.  To know him; that is the only reason why we are here.

Angela (from my South Africa trip) and I email each other regularly.  She is such a blessing.  She lives in Seattle.

I’m sure the air feels nice outside McAlister Hall right now, but I’d rather feel the air here.  How wild this thing is.  I don’t miss driving the hour back and forth between Siler City and Winston-Salem; I’m just glad to know I was once there.

I’m happy to know that I was a good undergraduate student and that I did it well.  Oh this life is not my own.  I’m so thankful for that; it’s easier to exist that way.  No burdens.  No fears.  I only task is to let go and love every minute freely and fully.  I job is to rest in his peace and salvation.

My beautiful Jesus.  You are perfection.  Thank you for the life you’ve breathed into me.  I love you.  I do, I do.

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April 7, 1999 – Wednesday – 7:50 a.m.

The past two days have been really rough.  Last night though, we had a leaders meeting at Robin’s house.  We were singing out on her porch, David’s brother was playing guitar, and the next door neighbor’s game out to listen.  I ran over and invited them to join us.  They did, and to make a long story very short, they both accepted Jesus as their savior last night; so awesome!

I went running this morning in the Lake James neighborhood.  I felt the desire to go there and pray for the youth in that area.

It is a beautiful morning.  A perfect day is ahead.  Jesus is the key to happiness.

March 19, 1999 – Friday – 9:14 a.m.

I cooked breakfast for everyone yesterday morning, then we all took Vince to get his hair cut.  He had grown it out super long, but now it’s super short.  From there we drove to downtown Norfolk to go to the huge new mall that opened, and we randomly ran into Justin from Lees McRae.  We hung out with him for a bit while he was on his lunch break.  He went back to work and the four of us ate out on the Waterside.  Afterwards we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to explore the Eastern Shore and ended up in a place called Oyster.

Justin met us back at my apartment and we ate a crazy mixed up dinner of all the food I could find: pasta, fish sticks, chili, etc.  It was so random and fun.

We chilled for a while and then ran out to get some Krispy Kreme Donuts; the HOT sign was on!  It was an amazing day.  I took so many pictures that can tell the story much better than I can.

Jesus is the giver of all good things.

 

March 13, 1999 – Saturday – 9:01 p.m.

Closing time for another book has come.  Nearly nine months of my life have been written down in these bound pages.  This 14th Book of Days began as Sarah and I ended.  I’ve been to Texas, New York, South Africa, Swaziland, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Virginia during the days of this book.  And now I relax on a bed in my grandparent’s house in Lenexa, VA.

My aunt Patty just left to go back to D.C.  My brother just left to return to Richmond.  Nate is on the couch, and Mom and Henry are upstairs.

And life is beautiful.

It is good to be here; to be around family.  This was the first time my immediate family has been together since my graduation.  Yet we were all in this one house tonight because of one man, my grandfather.  My aunt Patty sung a song she wrote about him today and it ended with the lyric, “I learned a lot from my daddy.  Most of all, this is what I learned: work hard to provide, live a decent life, marriage is for a lifetime, raise your young’uns well, and always say ‘I love you.'”

I am proud to call him my grandfather.

My mother talked to me tonight about my dad, and how he would call her ugly and tell her that he would think of other women from magazine covers when having sex with her.

How cruel, but I forgive him.

God is my father, and always has been.

I will learn from Him.

Although I am from a family, it seems like such a meaningless thing compared to the relationship between myself and Jesus.  The whole worth of my being depends on a bloodstained hand.  I see from where I have come, and what a beautiful story it is, but I must never stop writing.  I one day will be like my grandfather and perhaps give hope to my grandson as he begins his own journey.  Nevertheless, the work of my hand and mind, the provision that will come from that, the marriage between my future wife and I, and my relationship with my future children is nothing compared to Jesus and me.

I am 22.

Twenty-two.

I have learned many things, but only one do I hold my life to.

Only one.

And that is that Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me.

And he loves all his little children as equally as he loves me.

March 11, 1999 – Thursday – 8:31 a.m.

God…I love you.  You know what you are doing with me.  You know this heart; you created it.  You alone can please me.  You alone can make me happy.

Please forgive me for my sins.  How wonderful it is when you forget.

I don’t need to see this world God.  I want to see you.  I want to see Jesus.  Purge me oh Lord.  May you be my first desire, not what you created.

Thank you for my friends.  Thank you for our stories.  Thank you for Regent and forgive me for not liking it for a while.  This is a blessed place.

Oh, open my eyes Lord.  Replenish my memory.

I do not want to forget what you have taught me.

Even now, I am flying.

I am coming home.

March 7, 1999 – Sunday – 8:03 a.m.

Yesterday was unbelievable.

Friday night was extraordinary!

I have a friend in Jesus.  Our youth group is exploding; four people met Jesus for the first time on Friday.

And on Saturday, I directed and starred in my first ever film.  Not video…film.  16mm film.  It went really well!  There were some challenging moments, but I simply got creative and solved them.  God intervened!

Janie, the beautiful mom of 25 I met on Jorge’s film, was my leading actress.  It’s amazing how God arranges things for me.  Something as small as Jorge’s homework becomes a God-ordained moment.

Throughout the entire day, I felt I was home.

Thank you God for allow us to create and to tell stories.

January 26, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:14 p.m.

Wow, I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last entry.  Let’s see…Friday’s youth service was great; we just worshipped and prayed.  God showed up and spoke through us.  On Saturday we had a rehearsal for Masks and performed it Sunday night for the church.  It went fabulously and many were blessed by it.

Our new youth group name is “Vision of Fire.”

Saturday night I went over to Nicole’s for a dinner party.  Many other film students were there and it great to hangout with guys and girls who were over the age of 22.

I led devotions in my Research and Writing class on Monday.  I used my teddy bear as an example and even played “Absence of Fear” by Jewel.  The message was basically that our relationship with Jesus should be a romantic one.

I spoke up at our home group on Monday night and shared about a vision I had related to my glorified body.  I cried as I spoke.  It was something else.

I also was accidentally locked out of my apartment last night and ended up staying over at April’s and Mary Jo’s until two in the morning.  I watched The Mirror Has Two Faces while they went to sleep.

Today itself was an excellent day.  Sharon called me to simply update me on what has been going on with her family.  She makes me feel like I am one of them.  She shared with me the Laura has woken up.  She felt that her relationship with the Lord was only based on her mother’s faith and that she herself was not in love with Jesus.  She rededicated her life to him, even prepared her own service on Monday night, gave her testimony, and even got re-baptized.  Pastor Brent asked her to share again on Sunday morning.  She did and afterwards eight people came to know Jesus as their savior.

Wow!

You are amazing Jesus!

According to Sharon, all of Heaton is in revival right now because one little girl decided to fully love her Lord.  Oh Laura, you are still the most amazing one I’ve come across.

Jesus, you are the lover of my soul.  You are my vision, my life, my love.  You are so beautiful.

And we will live forever.