June 4, 1999 – Friday – 10:39 p.m.

Looking back, I see my little midnight drive down the Outer Banks to be the latest Eternal Instant of my life.  It was perfect; just me and the Lord.

I slept Wednesday night for a solid twelve hours.

I met with Dayton today about Master’s Commission.  It’s fifteen days away.  I give God all the glory and thanks for this opportunity.  I’m going to spend three weeks all over Virginia and Los Angeles.  So perfect!  My collection continues to grow.

This has been a difficult week.  There now remains only one week of my summer courses.  I am in four Actor Coaching scenes, I’m directing another one, plus I have a 15-page Film Noir paper due, as well as a Film Noir final exam.  But it will all get done; it always does.  God is good.

After being here for nearly a year, I’m beginning to see how much this place is becoming a part of me.  I remember how bizarre the streets were when I first arrived.  Now I know my way around here like it’s all mine.

Visions of Fire Youth Ministries is simply amazing.  It is an honor to be a part of it.  Our worship band is so anointed.  They play as good as any band on the market.  I feel bad because school keeps me from expanding the drama team.  I’m not really sure what is happening with it, but I am sure that many special, beautiful, and perfect moments occur in this land.  Between the bookstore, the classroom, the church, the youth, the film shoots, and the time I find to be alone…God is blessing me as though I were a king.  He prepared this place for me.

You are my king sweet Jesus!

Forever and ever!

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May 31, 1999 – Monday – 9:00 a.m.

It is the last day of May.  I attended my first ever prom Saturday night.  It was a truly wonderful evening.  Christin and I and some of her friends ate out at Lock’s Point and the dance itself was awesome.  I really had fun, despite the fact that some of those teens dancing looked like they were trying to have sex with clothes on while standing up.  That was gross to see.  We went to the after-prom party and didn’t get to her friend Allison’s house until five in the morning.  The dad cooked everyone breakfast.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed my own prom if I went to it five years ago, but I enjoyed this one at the age of 22.

I still went to Sunday school and church, but then slept most of the afternoon.  Kimberly and Christin came over after church last night and I introduced them to Les Miserables.

Classes end in two weeks and then I’ll begin my Master’s Commission journey.

It just occurred to me that since I’ve come to Regent I may not have explained the other people I have come across.  Of course there is David, who is the youth pastor at Parkway Temple.  He’s 27 and a very good friend.  He’s my mentor and he helps keep me balanced.  His brother Chris, who just moved here from South Africa, is 22 and plays guitar.  He’s become a part of the church and we’ve hung out a couple of times.  Last Thursday we went to see Star Wars.

Kerstin is my friend from Germany.  She is my age.  She talks to me about boys in her life.  She feels that I understand her, but also makes it known that she only wants us to be friends, despite the fact that we play this flirting game with each other.

Brian is a couple of years older than me, yet many times I feel as though I am his mentor.  We used to only talk movies, but our conversations have recently moved onto other topics.

Nicole is 25.  She’s from Atlanta and will one day make the perfect Italian mother once she finds the right guy.  She says her body is screaming at her to have a baby now.  Wow! She’s so beautiful, but she feels like a big sister to me.  Her body shape is so similar to Sarah’s that I often just want to hug her, but try to resist the urge.

Then there’s the other Chris, the theater major who just turned 26.  He’s never had a girlfriend and he’s crazy about Kerstin.  He grew up with all sisters, and he says that has made me very careful around women.  He has a mind for missions and has done much work for Teen Mania.

The whole Hampton Roads area here feels like a melting pot since there’s such a military presence.  It feels like a mix of both northern and southern cultures all thrown into one big suburb.  It’s a very clean region thanks to the high state taxes.  Evidently a lot of people work here, but will live just over the North Carolina line, just to avoid the taxes.  Banner Elk was an easily definable mountain village, but Hampton Roads is a small materialistic version of America.

Nevertheless, at the moment, it is home, and memories are being made.  I’m very happy to know I will live here in the time that I will.  It’s teaching me how to love others and to raise my future children.

Goodbye May.  Hello summer of 1999.

May 20, 1999 – Thursday – 9:54 p.m.

A hint of the setting sun still remains now, even around nine o’clock in the evening.  Summer is nearly here.  In one month I will begin the journey that will eventually take me to Los Angeles.  Speaking of the city that makes dreams, Episode I kinda let me down.

Much work is ahead of me this summer.  There’s all my course work, two short films, and then the drama trip shindig.  I’ll take the time almost every day to stop and realize where I am and how amazing it is to know that my same self existed in earlier times, in different places, and with different people.  Every part of me now is slightly different than who I was then.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that concept.

 

May 18, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:36 p.m.

This day brought some good news.  Dayton, the conference youth pastor for the PH church called me and asked me to teach/direct 12 chosen teenagers from Virginia and North Carolina some drama to use for street ministry in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and…wait for it…Los Angeles!

Can you believe that?

The dates couldn’t come at a more perfect time.  I will spend three weeks with them from June until July 12th!  Thank you so much God!

I’m going to California!

Woot!  And I’m also about to go see Episode I of Star Wars at a 12:20 a.m. showing.  I’m going with Tom, another film student.

I think the whole Lees-McRae gang is in Guatemala now.  Paul and Rachel are on their honeymoon.  I’m the only one who has really left as of yet.  I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I’ll just take it one day at a time.

1999 is going so fast.

A century is coming to a close.

I’m nearly 23-years-old.

Thank you God for letting me breathe and live.  Thank you for the simple joy of experiencing your love.

May 15, 1999 – Saturday – 8:43 p.m.

It’s the middle of May.  The world seems to be covered in Star Wars merchandise.  If we only celebrated Jesus the way we celebrate Jedi.

I only have four weeks of summer classes remaining.

I believe God is dealing with me about how to graduate.  I could just take comprehensive exams, but I’ve decided I need to make a short film while I’m here.  I am going to make Eyebrows.  It may keep me here another year, but it would be a tragedy if I came out of film school without something major under my belt.

I went to the mall today and quickly grew overwhelmed.  It just seems like the world is getting worse.  How much longer than this go on?  I don’t even feel like I live in this world; I’m not in touch with popular culture.  I’m sure I’m missing out, but I’m so thankful that I’m so comfortable in my solitude.

This evening I spent 15 minutes over at Mary Jo’s.  Her new guy Rob was there and he’s okay, but wow, Mary Jo becomes a complete weirdo when she’s around him.  She even sounds different in her voice.  Super strange.

David and the youth group went to Richmond for Youth Quest, but I stayed back to watch Ed’s short film that I was in.  Our kids did really well and David said that about ten of them will go to Nationals.

I’m proud to work with those kids.

Thanks God.

May 13, 1999 – Thursday – 10:37 p.m.

My first year of graduate school is over.  Summer has arrived.  I have four truly treasured moments from the past year.  Kimberly telling me that I made her feel alive.  My aunt Patty singing the song she wrote about my grandpa.  Vince, Lindy, Tracey, and Justin talking over our random meal of chili, fish sticks, and spaghetti.  Finally, the night at the ice rink with all the teenagers.

Tonight I ate dinner with Gina and Chris at Ruby Tuesdays and then came back to watch Titanic.  I cried…again.  It’s good to know the movie still moves me after eight times.  I spent a little time with the girls over at Nicole’s place as well.  And I told Mary Jo about my weekend at Lees-McRae and how wonderful it was to see Sarah.

I find joy in writing her name.

May 7, 1999 – Friday – 8:02 a.m.

I am now at Sharon’s home in Newland, NC.

Wednesday night was the opening night of the Regent University Film Festival.  The films were actually pretty good, especially The Window, which I bought a copy of.

On Tuesday I took Kerstin to the airport.  She is going to Johnson City, TN, so we decided to meet up while I’m here in the mountains.

I’m going backwards now…on Monday night the Lord really ministered to me at my home group about my relationship with my dad.  Then Wednesday night after the film festival I left for Banner Elk.  I left at one in the morning, drove through the whole night, and arrived at 7:30 in the morning.  I woke everybody up and basically just visited with everyone the whole day.  Everybody is doing great!  I came over to Sharon’s after lunch.  When little Hannah arrived home from school, we just swing danced the whole afternoon together.  Then most of the gang came over here last night and we just hung out the whole time.

It’s so great to be here.  Sharon is the best.  Hannah and Laura are the greatest girls on the planet right now.  This feels more like home than any place I know.  This is where I am from.

Vince and Curtis are on their way over here right now.  They are going with me to pick up Kerstin.  Then tonight we are going to see Sunny at Blue Ridge Community Theater.  Sarah has one of the leads in that show.

Thank you God for these few days here.  I love you.