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dear scott l: i will come and see you earlier than october 1, i promise. and reading your xanga is one of the highlights of my week. and, at american standard, they have a point system to win prizes for safety. if you don’t cut yourself in ten years, you might get a toaster.

~*~

i decided my new literary jaunt will be ulysses by james joyce. when i bought it nigh three years ago, i bought it with the caveat that it was one of the most challenging books in modern literature to read. with zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance down (and i actually understood the quality concept) i feel like i can at least approach the throne of ulysses. i understand why people say it’s rather difficult, though (well, maybe not difficult, but thick), because it’s taken me quite a while to get through the first couple pages. to think that it was banned in the u.s. because of obscenity almost seems humorous now in the double-aughts, but like i said, still have to keep reading.

time to knock something off the list – openness/vulnerability. in keeping with the brevity rule, i’ll parse my comments down, and feel free to bring up the topic if we happen to get together over a beer, a coffee, or something else.

towards the end of training, i had an evaluation to help me see some of my strengths and things to look at based on my trainer, ben beres’s, perspective. we talked about community interactions, and he said while i do a fine job connecting with many different types of people on many different levels, but sometimes i can hide a portion of my personality to them. in other words, i can easily be the laid-back joker, but i don’t always show that there is more to me than that. i’ve given that quite a bit of thought since then because a) i’m aware i do that and b) most people (to my knowledge) don’t pick up on it.

i seek to be a people pleaser. it’s my thing; it’s what i do. i feel like a better person and that i’m doing right if people feel better because i’m there – maybe i make them laugh, maybe i do something for them… either way, it’s my thing. but in some ways, that means that my personality to the masses is, for the most part, also fairly people pleasing. i would rather keep people peaceful by sucking up my own personal opinion than expense it at another’s expense, because hey, i can suck it up and deal with it. moreover, i know i am capable of dealing with disagreements with my opinion, and i know others can attach their ego to people agreeing with them. so better most of the time to satiate than to be right for the sake of being right.

i don’t really have a solution, don’t really want one. the solutions generate themselves so long as you are perceptive enough to catch them when they come by.

anyway, off to drop ryan back in pittsburgh and eat with my grandparents, and then hopefully off to see russel and chrissy, his girlfriend (russ – i almost committed the faux pas of writing ‘christy’… yeowch…). That will be a nice time for sure.

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so here’s some things i want to write about before too long. they’re in no particular order, except they’re things i thought of whilst at new staff training and post:

1. openness/vulnerability
2. grace
3. the kingdom vision
4. my job and what i’m doing
5. friends

five is a good start, and i might add more, but chances are i won’t even write about those five. so basically this entry is a personal challenge. check back to see how i succeed.

pnl

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the picture is me in my don johnson miami vice outfit for 80s night community dinner.

you can almost see chest hair. it was hot.

i am helping my brother with his resume for his externship. what’s interesting about all of this is that he’s almost done, and it took him half the time. which was best for him… he would have never liked the four year college experience.

i think this song has one of the best relationship-y lines, and i plan on using it when i have the opportunity to do so (in fact, you deserve the whole song, it will either make you hold your love one closer or look forward to your loved one in the future):

this is the first day of my life
i swear i was born right in the doorway
i went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
they’re spreading blankets on the beach

yours is the first face that i saw
i think i was blind before i met you
now i don’t know where i am
i don’t know where i’ve been
but i know where i want to go

and so i thought i’d let you know
that these things take forever
i especially am slow
but i realize that i need you
and i wondered if i could come home

remember the time you drove all night
just to meet me in the morning
and i thought it was strange you said everything changed
you felt as if you had just woke up
and you said “this is the first day of my life
i’m glad I didn’t die before i met you
but now i don’t care i could go anywhere with you
and i’d probably be happy”

so if you want to be with me
with these things there’s no telling
we just have to wait and see
but i’d rather be working for a paycheck
than waiting to win the lottery
besides maybe this time is different
i mean i really think you like me

in the course of all the hundreds of emotions i’ve dealt with, occasionally i do get that feeling of missing having someone there to share things with. it’s fleeting, but i had opportunity to look at the next three years of my life closely, and thought that in a couple more years i’d like to think i could be married. maybe not, but it was in front of me, and 18-22 went by fast, and 22-25 will go by faster. i have friends now who are 25, 27, 30, and i’ll be there soon enough. it’s like graduation all over again.

peaceandlove

2810

i’ve been home for three days, and i feel detached. it’s not that i don’t want to reengage into home or work or whatever it is in front of me, but just that i have been drawn up in a completely different world for a while, and to come back home just seems different.

different in a good way, but still different.

i even feel different. it could be temporary, one of those things that once i get back into the swing of life proper i’ll forget what i felt like, but who knows, i really might have changed a bit in the last six weeks.

i’m sorry i’m a little abstract, but i don’t know how much you want to hear about support raising, pacing and leading discipleship and inductive bible studies.

however, many of you will find this funny – yesterday i went to two of my best friend’s going away party (mary huebert and chris hatch… friends of mine that go all the way back to kindergarten and first grade). there was this part of me in the back of my head that said “do i really have to see a bunch of people today? i think i’d rather read a book alone or something…”

…maybe i have changed

peaceandlove

2426

today is my last full day at nst, and i’ll be home tomorrow.

you.just.wait.

you will have so much fun to read, you won’t know what to do but be engaged in front of your computer for hours on end reading every nuance of what i say.

or you’ll just not read. either way, i’ll talk to you all real soon.

peaceandlove

another quick update

i apologize this hasn’t been very consistent. i have wanted to be all about sending everyone updates and being really good about it, but with all of the stuff we’re doing (which tends to get backlogged), it hasn’t been easy.

however, for any of you that are reading, let me assure you then when the chance comes, i can’t wait to tell you all about what i’m learning. we sit in our classes and i walk away every day with something new to think about, something new to apply, and a new paradigm descends. i find myself so drawn into the people and the organization that i can’t see where else i’d be (which is something that has been playing over and over again, i realize…)

anyway, peaceandlove to all, and i’ll be back soon.

a.