October 17, 1999 – Sunday – 8:57 a.m.

I’ve been 23 for two months already.  I’ve spent different parts of the last three days over at Zap Studios doing some directing projects.  Yesterday I spoke at the Baptist convention about Christianity and filmmaking.  I met three people who attend and work at a church that meets in a movie theater and use a lot of videos in their services.  I’m going to attend there this morning, Trey, who will play David in Dang!, is going to come with me.

I saw Three Kings and Fight Club over the weekend, two interesting films.  What weird, cynical, post modern days we live in.  Something is happening.

I’ve been reflecting back to that full moon night with Dan and Allen on the backside of Grandfather Mountain.  What was I then?  19?

I need to get away from these flat, overly-paved suburbs.

October 13, 1999 – Wednesday – 4:00 p.m.

I had my television debut yesterday.  The reenactment I did for The 700 Club aired.  Most of all my old Lees-McRae friends saw it.  It wasn’t supposed to be funny, but it was funny to us.

We are nearing the middle of October and that is insane to me.  I feel behind, but I know all the work will take care of itself.  There are basically just two months of school left.

I’m not sure what will happen in May.  Part of me feels like I’ll graduate, but the other half tells me I’ll stick around here longer to finish up Dang!.  I’d love to stick around, but I’m also eager to find out what else God has in store for me.

I spoke with Dan.  He is in Colorado and in the new year, he’ll be going on a skiing missions trip to Alaska.  God is blessing him so much.  I miss my buddy!

September 16, 1999 – Thursday – 6:49 p.m.

This has been a lonely day even though I spent some good hours with Dan, Theresa, and Amy from the bookstore.  The power went out and we got together to play a board game.

I have a bit of a headache.  My neighbors above me have really heavy footsteps.  I wish it would snow, so I could feel quiet and clean.  I wish I could ride horses against a Kentucky sunset.

David, my roommate, is as introverted as Matt.  I knocked on his door earlier and asked if I could come in and he said “no.”  His door is always closed to me.

Abigail and Jeni have recently had birthdays.  September is half over.  Then only three months left.  Some days I get so scared.  It all seems so big.  But there are other days in which being alive is the easiest thing there is.

I had a neat conversation with a Greek named Bill last night.  I was the first to get deep into his soul since he’s come to Regent.  He told me I’m the first and only person he has met who seems well rounded in all the gifts.  I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it was nice.

I also pitched “To Fly” on Monday.  Afterwards I was complemented by so many classmates telling me I was an amazing writer.  Why am I still so lonely here?  Was I this lonely at Lees-McRae?  I must like the wide spaces the mountains provided, it gave my heart room to grow.

Jesus, it is so hard to share you.  I feel like you’re all mine.  It feels like you spend all your time with me.  How can you be in my room and in David’s as well?  How can your spirit pour while I’m at church and also while I’m alone?  Can you be the leader of this dance?

I don’t know where to take you that you haven’t already been.

 

August 28, 1999 – Saturday – 7:02 a.m.

Five years ago today, I left for Lees-McRae College.

The CBN shoot was yesterday.  It was so much fun.  I got to break through a window, then fire a gun.  I threw a snake on someone!  Crazy!  I have to go back on another day to finish up.  Everyone said I did a great job.  Even the special effects guy who had worked on Waterworld.

The summer is almost over.  The fall semester begins on Monday.  I’m taking Story Structure, Redemptive Cinema, and Intro to Directing; plus a Career Management class and I’m beginning my portfolio project.

These have been some wonderful days here.  They are the best because they are now.  Five years ago I left my home, and it has been a grand time ever since.  I must continue to press forward.

God is with me.

 

August 4, 1999 – Wednesday – 8:15 a.m.

Yesterday was Lindy’s birthday.  We took her out to eat and to see Runaway Bride.  It was a fantastic time.  She’s 22.  We are only the same age together for two weeks every year.

I got to see Jeni last night.  We talked and caught up.  She is so busy with work and with marriage that she realize her relationship with the Lord feels very distant.  Again, it made me thankful that God was the only one on my heart at the moment.

In a little while I will leave from here and head north.  The Lord is my shepherd.  He is my guide.  My goal is to simply go away with him and see is creation.

Deep Creek last weekend brought bittersweet feelings.  I think I would like to go much less often and keep it a part of my childhood.  I did stand on my ledge and it was wonderful to pray there.

Talking to everyone about marriage is crazy.  Allen and Jessica really feel right for each other.  I’m excited for them.  Of course Dan and Abigail will probably get married next year as well.

God is keeping me young at this stage of life.  So, I leave my old college town now and prepare for the road ahead.  I am in your hands Father.  Protect me, guide me, love me.

 

August 2, 1999 – Monday – 11:00 a.m.

Much has happened in the past several days.  I am in Banner Elk, NC.  My last day on the film shoot was Friday, so Friday night I drove to Siler City, NC.  I spent the night with Peter at the Motor Lodge.  He was there with his girl Shivani and we stayed up until two in the morning, just talking.  I left early Saturday morning and went to Sylva and met up with my grandparents.  We all went to Deep Creek for the family reunion.  Everyone was there except for Nar, Kevin, and Patty.

I left Bryson City that night and drove up here to Banner Elk.  I went to Lees-McRae, but couldn’t find a soul.  I did finally find Jessi and learned that Sarah was in a show that night.  I only got to see her for about ten minutes.  Then I found out that Allen and Jessica had just returned from their road trip to Colorado, so I spent the night at Allen’s, as did Jessica.  They are getting married next summer.

We went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship yesterday morning and there I saw Lindy and Tracey and Ashley and tons of others.  Dan was still in town saying goodbye to Abigail, who is going to Austria.  We all just freaked out when we saw each other!  We all went out to lunch, hung out all afternoon, then went out to dinner.  Everyone is working this morning, so I’m riding with Sharon to Asheville and back later today.  Vince is away on a cruise.  I miss him.

But here I am on a flat rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I came here early this morning with Curtis and we took some amazing pictures.

Time to go meet Sharon.

. . .

It’s now 8:20 p.m. on the same day.

Sharon and Hannah and I drove to Asheville, she just had to get an Allergy shot, so I rode along so we could chat.  While down there we went to go see Runaway Bride; a perfect movie.  I don’t know if I’ve ever left a movie theater so happy before; there is such wisdom in that film.

Sharon and I had wonderful talks all day about life and love and Jesus and forgiveness.  Oh how I love and adore that woman.  I told her about Mary and she caught me up on Laura.

Runaway Bride taught me so much and I’m so thankful that I’m single right now.  After tomorrow, which is Lindy’s birthday, I’m going to get in the car and just drive.  I’m just going to keep driving and stay in weird places and be with my Jesus.  We are going on a honeymoon, if you will.

 

July 1, 1999 – Thursday – 7:50 a.m.

I’m at Seth’s house in Norfolk.  The guys stayed here last night.  What a wonderful family.  The father went to Lees-McRae; crazy!  And the brother-in-law went to Regent.  He and Seth’s sister pastor Living Word Church where we ministered last night.  Its amazing to see a family so united.  I pray I stay good friends with all these Master’s Commission kids after this is over.

Everybody, the guys and the girls, have started picking on Mary and I.  They say our crushes on each other are so obvious.  They’ve been giving us a hard time, but we just laugh along and enjoy it.

The thing that gets me most about Mary is her relationship and dedication to God.  She is so strong in her faith, and she feels to be so intimate and romantic with him, it even intimidates me.  She is a born leader with a romantic spirit towards life!

Tuesday night during the service at Bethel in Pungo, I just sat at the altar seeking God’s will about my career in theater and film.  After a while, a man whom I did not see, for my eyes were closed, laid his hands on my head and God spoke through him to me.  He told me he would take me beyond what I had envisioned for my future, to lean not on my own understanding, and to follow him.

I cried.  Then I took a walk in the parking lot under a full red moon and listened to the frogs.  The word gave me a new level of trust.  I feel called to do a work, but it may not be forever, it may just be for a season, and there is something else beyond that work.

July has begun.  Will I have finished my Master’s degree by this time next year?  The last 4th of July was spent with David and Colleen on a swing by windy riverbank in Colerain, NC.

I wonder if Mary and I are just two lonely Christians forced to spend a lot of time together, or is it something deeper and divine?

Will I ever have a wall with pictures of my children hanging on it?

What will happen to me when I step off the plane in Los Angeles?

I talked to Dan and Lindy the other morning.  They told me that Curtis and his girlfriend Megan are planning on getting married next August.  That sent me for a whirl.  And they said Allen and Jessica are talking about getting engaged over Christmas.  Lindy is looking into moving to Houston for a theater gig, Dan might go to Denver for YWAM, and Vince may go back to Guatemala.

Seth just came up.

Its time for breakfast.