wk ii pt i

This week marks the beginning of support raising, and it’s funny how a year can change your perspective on something as difficult as this part of your job.  When I started, I remember making phone call after phone call, and I was so nervous about it.  I kept thinking “dang, what happens if they say no?  What happens if they aren’t interested in what I do?”, and while I was blessed in the last year with the support I needed (which is a statement that can work whether I’m at 20 or 100%), I’ve found that this year as I’m working on support, it’s becoming a much easier expierence.  Here’s a couple reasons why – and for any of you who are starting your support raising, hopefully this will be a help for you, too:

  • I’m 100% convicted that this is what I’m supposed to do.  The CCO is an amazing organization, and I can do work that is making a difference in the world.  Shelby Black said she tells folks she talks to that she’s working with the most powerful people in the world – which is completely true.
  • If someone does not want to support me, that’s okay.  This is something much more easily done on the top than on the bottom of a support raising mountian, I realize, but I want to believe that regardless of where I was, if God isn’t calling somone to support my ministry for whatever reason, that’s just fine.  Becuase ultimately I’m not in the business of changing hearts and minds, just merely providing the opportunities to do so.  When God calls, He calls.
  • God is a God of abundance, not of scarcity.  Really beliving this makes me realize that I have no reason to beg, that God will provide for all of His people, as He has for a few millenia.
  • This isn’t my money, anyway.  It’s God’s.  Thinking about that more critically makes me realize that what comes, comes; and what goes, goes.  My responsibility is to steward what I’ve been given.  This stewardship concept really ends up permeating all of life, and might be one of the larger paradigm shifts I’ve had in the last year or two.

So, contrary to what some folks say, I believe that support raising gets easier.  Or, if anything, it becomes more acceptable, becuase it’s part of what one does as he or she is working on this staff, or most parachurch organizations, anyway.

A couple other things to leave you with, as well: one is the Eller wedding was nice.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  But two is I’ve realized for some reason this relationshippy datey thing has been on my mind waaaay too much.  I think it’s a mix of feeling more okay with thinking about those things more fully than I had felt awhile ago, and probably also just that I’m feeling older.  I said something today about being 23 and not married, and KTT was like “23 and not married?!  C’mon, that’s so silly.  You’re still young!”

 …23 and young.  Sometimes I forget that.  It’s something to be remembered more often.  The same as I should remember 25 and young, 27 and young, 30 and young.

ps- I feel like these entries aren’t as good as they should be.  If you feel this way, apologies.  If you don’t feel this way, ignore this sentence.

wk i

It's almost the end of the first week of New Staff Training, and I can think of a few quotes that were pretty funny:

  • Get that corn out of my face! (well, y'know, that's Nacho Libre, but funny anyway)
  • Cause… and effect.  There's a cause, and then, it makes an effect.
  • Get a job!

And the list goes on, but let's be honest, you don't want to see my inside jokes.

I've been blessed to watch these new staff form a community with each other.  They seem happy, attentive, and desiring to be here.  As excited as I am in a couple hours to be heading off to watch Aaron and Katie get married, I'm going to miss this community.  It's a blessing to watch these folks already care about each other so much.  They're beautiful people, and to all of you CCO staff who might read my blog – come out here.  You won't be disappointed.

Another great part of this time so far has been the affirmation I've received from people, new and current staff alike, that I'm called to this work.  Often, as I've discovered, campus ministry can be a lonely job and often thankless job, where appreciating the small things is paramount.  Anyway, yesterday Shelby Black was leaving NST to head back to Kent State where she has worked in ministry for 12 years.  She has developed countless leaders, and in many ways is considered an elder stateswoman in the CCO (more for her skills and gifts, less for the sheer amount of time and experience).  I saw her getting in her car, and said that I hoped she had a nice drive back to Kent.  She said thank you, and how it was a joy to spend some time with me, saying that the staff will be blessed by my presence this summer, and that she was pleased I was working at NST.  She then said "Adam, you're doing a great job".  This might have been one of the biggest compliments I've received since starting in ministry.  Here is Shelby Black saying I was doing a good job.  It seems to be analogous to a student's capstone professor saying that he was fully impressed by what the student did.

Without a doubt, this is a time of great life-giving and renewal for me, as well as a time for me to empty out for the New Staff.  God uses me.  And I'm so humbled by that.  But it's so wonderful to be reminded of it every once in awhile.

 much peace to you all.

i heart bf

Hi all.  I'm in Beaver Falls, PA, home of Geneva College and my home for the next five weeks.  I love it here.  It is a way to retreat from the world and do some things that I love to do constantly.  I look forward to doing some blogging for you all to let you know what life is like as a new staff trainer.  Obviously, it's as much for the history (I mean, you see, almost 5 years of blogging… it's my life there!) as it is for you, but if you enjoy it, great!

We've spent the most of the last couple days getting things ready for the new staff to come to campus – lots of unpacking, arranging, food purchasing, packet creating, etc, etc.  I love the folks up here.  What I enjoy the most is that the support staff I'm working with (Kelly, Austina, Matt, KTT, Lindsey, and Beth) are all folks I've known basically since I joined staff, so I feel really comfortable.

I'm also the youngin' of the group at 23… and, if I suppose right, the youngin' by a good 2 years.  Which is great.  I'm so rarely the youngest of a group, that when it comes, I can use it a chance to grow (…and get picked on.  But, y'know, it happens).

In case I didn't tell you, one of my big goals for this summer and my spiritual life is to become more disciplined.  That is to say I desire to work in the foundations of developing a good spiritual life and making it more consistent.  The seminal book on the topic is Richard J. Foster's "Celebration of Discipline".  I got back into reading it again today, and started on "The Discipline of Prayer".  I was so intrigued by the first even few sentences:

Of all the Spirtual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father… Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us.  If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives… In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God's thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills.

As I grow older and continue to take a walk in faith, I'm constantly humbled how simple words, often repeated to me, but nuanced differently, will create a new plane of understanding of who God is and what He means to me and all of us.  This, I suppose, is the hallmark of growth – you look at the same thing deeper and differently.


the hit parade

Today I was in Pittsburgh for work in the CCO office.  I love Pittsburgh, by the way – as much as someone from Ohio can without feeling traitorous.  Anyway, it was a really nice time.  When coming from Salem, I come in through the Fort Pitt tunnels, and in Perks, Stephen Chbosky writes his characters feel "inifinite" in a scene where they go through them.  I think about that as I go through them each time.

But the odd thing was all the nostagia it brought it.  It, without a doubt, because the "Adam Anderson relationship hit parade": a large advertisement for the Mozart room at Heinz Hall; Heinz Hall itself; during a bottleneck back on the Fort Pitt Tunnels, I saw the nice Italian restaraunt overlooking downtown Pittsburgh; Ikea and the "mmmmmm-bop-bop-bop-baaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuu" came on (the Counting Crows version of "You don't know what you got until it's gone" song).  There were probably 2 or 3 other things I just kept thinking about past relationships I had.  It was never anything bad, just the bittersweet nostagia that comes with relationships past.  It's like I said before, you never get over them, you just attach them to your heart, and they're just part of you.

I prayed about it as I drove home, too, beacuse it was so smack-you-over-the-head, that I wondered if it was just what it was, or if God was trying to tell me something.  If anything, it was a good time to meditate with God.  Sometimes you have to do that.  Just say "hey, God, this is what's going on… help me understand" and just leave it at that.  It's much like Elijah in the wilderness – it's not always the earthquakes or strong winds, it's the whispers that God answers.

Also, here's my list of CDs I listened to while galavanting in the 412:

  • Nick Drake – Bryter Layter
  • Elliott Smith – Figure 8
  • Sondre Lerche – Two Way Monolouges
  • HHT's delicious mix

These are such atypical driving albums.  Usually it's The Roots, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Common.  It was so relaxing, though.  And I'd highly recommend purchasing the first three.  The last one is a one-of-a-kind, and you probably can't get it.  Sorry.

Maybe I've just become chill.  It's a possiblity.  Probably not.  I'm still a spaz.  As demonstrated by the last few sentences.

Also, I got a postcard from Tricia Dituro from LDW, and a card and picture from Bridget Eshe.  Both were welcome additions to my life.

peace to all of you.  NST starts tomorrow.  A+ Ax.

a little something more

  • Played golf today and played my best game ever at a 46 (+10).  This is only significant because of the fact that I think I'm finally starting to play golf through 9 holes, as my best shots were my last 4.  I almost birdied the 9th hole at Salem Hills (which might be may favorite hole of any I've ever played), had it not been for a bad putt from about 6 feet away.
  • The thing I want to leave you all with is a book I have.  A few weeks ago (well, the last time it was 90 degrees… I don't remember) I decided to head into the big used book store in Salem.  It, along with the Roastery, are the best things about the itty-bitty town I live near.  I decided to settle on a TS Eliot book containing his complete poetry and plays from 1909-1950.  It was originally held by a guy by the name of George L. LaNeve, who I was told was a pretty famous sports broadcaster here in Ohio, and apparently he had purchased it September 13th, 1958.  Today I decided to flip through it, and in Prufrock, there were two lines underlined:

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,

 I found this to be at the same time really intersting and sad.  Prufrock is one of my favorite poems of all time, and I think there is so much beauty in it, but for someone to underline those two particular lines paints a picture of Mr. LaNeve.  There are also a couple index cards where he wrote notes about The Waste Land and Four Quartets.  I feel like those'll be great things to read tonight.

Here's my schedule in case you wondered: tomorrow, Pittsburgh; Thursday, Beaver Falls; Next Friday and Saturday, Grove City; Until July 23d, Beaver Falls.

 I'll update soon.  Meanwhile, read some old stuff.  There's something like 400 entries waiting for you!


a couple things

  • I ran a mile today in 7:27.  This significant for two reasons: one, it's the shortest time I've ever ran a mile; two, a year ago at this time, I doubt I could even run a mile.  Thank you to all the Gannon folks who played frisbee each Sunday.  That was one of the biggest things to get me into shape.
  • I got my haircut today.  This, in and of itself is no biggie, but what did make it pretty interesting were the folks there.  Two mothers specifically – one with 4 kids, and another with 3.99, and she was due next Tuesday.  I just listened to their conversation about their first kids.  Apparently, pregnancies get easier in time – 18 hours, 9 hours, 3 hours.  The first time the water won't neccessarily break.  You begin to lose patience with your other kids as the pregnancy gets further along.  I learned more about pregancy in 25 minutes at the Famous Hair in Canfield than I have in ages.  It was great.

Much love.  This my end my streak of blog entries, as life will be upending soon.

a song, a thought, and out

I have a thing for Norwegian artists.  The two I know really well – Kings of Convenience and Sondre Lerche – I really like.  I don't know if just a particular skill of theirs, but their songs are partiularly lush and well designed.  KoC is really deconstructed, and their harmonies are perfect.  SL has a gift of good instrumentation without sounding over the top.  Each band is lyrically enjoyable.  Anyway, this is a great little song that I wanted to put here.  It reminds me of a lot of different things and people (as songs do, and no one should feel guilty for exploiting them fully):

Maybe You're Gone

You have been waiting all your life
You use your patience to stay fine
Time moves on as you prepare
to tell yourself be reasonable
Then come the times you can't foresee
you cannot leave, you can't release
to keep you far from those dreams
Ignoring the right times
Oh, waiting was my life
For now it's too late
for you may not wait
and things that I have yet to know
vanish before they're complete
I may turn around
to see if you're still there
but as for now, it's just not safe
Maybe you'll wait for me
Maybe you're gone

You've been preparing all your life
You've had some trouble getting it right
And you try to tell yourself it may work, as it should
But something good can do much harm
The good may kill for your embrace
to keep you far from those dreams
you know you cannot dream
I'm stuck for now, it seems

Anyway, my thought is about my perspective on life.  I've found that when I left GCC, I was somewhat leaning right, and now, at the end of this year, I find myself leaning quite a bit left.  For the last week, I'm trying to figure out how that's happened.  The best I can decipher so far is that through things like the CCO, and finding solid, Christian liberals, I've found that contrary to Grove City's dronings, it's completely compatible to be liberal and Christian.  It really becomes a matter of the priorities one chooses – to love God by respecting His rules, and encouraging others to do so, or loving the people first, and the rules coming second.

That's a rather oversimplified version, and for the sake of my re-established dialup connection, I just at the end, I'd leave a quote from someone (it's inapproapriately attributed to Winston Churchill):

Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.

7 more years.  And we'll see if I'm still here, whether or not I've got brains.

This all said, I'm still no democrat.  The reason being is that the prevalent view of a strong federal government is against my basic philosophy that the local government should be the in charge of taking care of its residents.  I don't ask the mayor of Youngstown to help me fix my car, I'll ask my dad ("Well, what happens if my dad is the mayor of Youngstown?"  Shut up.)… and so as a result, I feel a large and bloated federal welfare state is a poor second option to local government and churches taking care of their precincts and parishes.

Most buisnessmen will tell you a horizontal business is much more flexible and able to respond to the environment than a rigid vertical business.  Shouldn't our government do the same?

The canidate that wants to love people first, and fix government second will be the canidate for me.

Yesterday, 66 people read my blog.  Ridiculous.  Thanks, everyone.  And I'll keep trying to update when I have nothing to say.

peace to all.

the “poor, sweet baby” explanation

    A couple entries ago I said I would explain "poor, sweet baby" to you all, and so I shall.

    When I was in High School, my senior English teacher, Mrs. Molnar, had us keep a journal through the year and just write things that came up.  She'd give feedback, and I feel in many ways, she's the reason why I blog now (on a side note, I'm hoping to give her a call today so we can catch up with life and I can tell her about my job and ministry).

    One of my favorite entries was a Peanuts comic strip I found and taped it in my journal.  I searched long and hard, and found it on the internet:

I love it.  First, I've always associated a little with Charlie Brown (big head, always wanting to play sports, always getting schooled, the nice guy and romantic who just is that, etc), and I thought at the time "This is exactly it!  This is what I want!".  And so, I put it in the journal so I'd remember it.

    When Lindsay and I were dating in college, I showed it to her, and indeed, periodically when I was really down, she'd give me a big hug, kiss me on the forehead, and say "poor, sweet baby".

    I'm pretty sure, contrary to Peppermint Patty, there are more girls (or dogs) in this world that will say that to me, and Charlie Brown.  So have faith, Chuck.  It'll happen.

    …well, maybe not with you.  You apparently never grow up.  I, on the other hand, don't have much of a choice.  Not to say I'd trade you, however.


So in August I'm going to see Anathallo in Pittsburgh with some CCO folks, and they're playing with a band called The Format. I decided to download one of their albums, and as I was listening to the first song, I was like "wait, this sounds remarkably familiar!"

It is. Hannah put it on an album she made me a couple months ago. It's funny (and if you read this, Hannah, a big check+ for you) that so many of the songs on that album I've come back and rediscovered in various ways – Garden State, listening to some of the songs I had on my computer, and then getting ready for this concert. But as I was listening to The First Single, I found I really liked the lyrics. So I'm putting them up here. Enjoy!

"The First Single"

I can't stand to think about a heart so big it hurts like hell
Oh my god I gave my best but for three whole years to end like this
Well do you want to fall apart? I can't stop if you cant start
Do you want to fall apart? I could if you can try to fix what I've undone
Cause I hate what I've become

You know me, oh you think you do you just don't seem to see
I've been waiting all this time to be, something I can't define
So let's cause a scene, clap our hands and stomp our feet or something,
yeah something I've just got to get myself over me

I could stand to do without, all the people I have left behind
What's the point in going around when it's a straight line baby, a straight line down
So let's make a list of who we need and it's not much if anything
Let's make a list of who we need and we'll throw it away
'Cause we don't need anyone, no we don't need anyone


And I hate what I've become.

You know the night life is just not for me
'Cause all you really need are a few good friends
I don't want to go out and be on my own,
You know they started something I can't stand
You leave for the city,
Well count me out
'Cause all this time is wasted on everything I've done

[Chorus x2]

Over me
Over me

It isn't necessarily a reflection of how I feel about life – I'd like to think my life is better than a striaght line now, but it just reminds me of times we just feel out of sorts. It reminds me of the John Mayer song "Not Myself":

Suppose I said
I am on my best behavior
And there are times
I lose my worried mind?

Would you want me when I'm not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?

Suppose I said
Colors change for no good reason
And words will go
From poetry to prose

Would you want me when
I'm not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?

And I, in time, will come around
I always do for you

Suppose I said
You're my saving grace?

There are moments in life, for whatever reason, that we all are not the people we percieve. I think the friends that stick around you in those times are the ones that like you, but I think the ones that love you are the ones that stick by, let you have the off time, but care enough to want to bring you through it.

…and that's enough thinking for me tonight. Much love.

old entries

    I love going through old entries. In WordPress, they are really easy to navigate through – a whole month will come up on one page. One of the things I'm trying to do is find "a-ha" moments: times where I have sown major developmental seeds I'm reaping currently. I think some of them were unbeknownst to me at the time. And who knows, a couple years from now, there'll probably be things written over the last week that will strike me in 2009.

    To wit:

    About two years ago, I wrote this:

…When I drive to work in the morning, over beyond some of the hills I see the new Wal*Mart in Salem. From my house it looks as though it’s a bastion of commercial triumph… it’s all kinda disgusting. Although it will be a powder keg for Salem’s small town economy with its small shops basically filled with the same antiques as any other store, and surely it will be a shot in the arm for growth in the area, relatively stagnant, I can’t help but miss my field. I guess that’s progress for you…

    Here's my progression:

Write that –> Go for my senior year of free market economic Grove City, still feeling dissonance –> join CCO, think about the Kingdom of God as a full concept –> Start to wonder if Wal*Mart is helping ANYONE –> Start reading from the left and right –> Start thinking Wal*Mart really isn't progress –> boycott Wal*Mart as best I can.

The Wal*Mart still looks disgusting after two year, and the only major economy it created was a cigarette shop, a quick loans place, a rent-to-own appliance store, and a Subway and Quiznos.

That's overgeneralizing, but you get the point.

So here's where I am now with that thing

Boycott Wal*Mart as best I can –> Try to develop a more green ethos as part of a greater, more important emphasis of environemental, Christian stewardship –> Start thinking about my ecological footprint more (an idea I was introduced to in Environemental Science – maybe the most liberal class at Grove City) –> try to make some changes in what I'm doing –> ???

Oh, growth. You are a delight.

bob evans

    After my interview with Steve Skinner for choir at the church, I decided to go to Bob Evans for breakfast (it was 9:45 when I left the church).  I have found one of my favorite activities is going to get a meal by myself and just observe.  People talk about some of the best things when they're eating, and don't notice that someone might actually listening.  There were three things I really enjoyed.  Two of them came from a round table in front of me with a bunch of grandmothers (almost like a meeting of The Red Hat Society) and two separate comments: 

  • Two of the women got boxes for their breakfasts, and apparently one had bacon.  Obviously, she took it, because one of the women said she could make a BLT with it for lunch. "Will it last?" ask one woman.  "Oh sure, sure it will" said the one with the box. "I've found that the older I get, the less I pay attention to how long things are in my refrigerator".  I almost "LOL"'d, but I noticed as I snickered, one looked at me.  I didn't want anyone to think I was being mean, but, c'mon.
  • Later, as they are all leaving, they were talking about The Da Vinci Code, and saying it was an okay book, that some didn't like it, some did, but some thought it was too long.  "You know what I do, Carolyn," one of the ladies remarked, "I always look for the middle page.  Then, once I get there, I say 'it's all downhill from here!' and I actually feel bad finishing the book.  I don't like finishing a book if it's going down hill".  I did "LOL" at that one.  Not "ROTFL", because I would have made a spectacle of myself, and there are places better than Bob Evans for that.

    Driving home, it was gorgeous out.  Then as I walked back to my apartment, three people said hello to me, only one of which I knew.  One of the men – the second one – looked rather intimidating.  And he was probably the happiest of all three, offering me a big smile and a "Hey!  How are you doing?"  I think it was on purpose.

    Days like this, where I think to myself "I really like people" are typically the start of a few good days, and really, this has been a great last couple days.  Did you know that yesterday, 57 people visited my blog?  That's cool!  Apparently, people liked my "things I want in a girl" entry, as 13 people linked to it specifically.  Crazy!  And, I figured out two more things for it: she'd have to really like music, and I wouldn't be surprised if she frequented places like Barnes and Noble, because it seems to be a place that all my desires converge in tangible form.

    Thought sometimes imitates life.

    I need to motivate myself to do work.  This relaxing thing is nice, but not really efficent.  I took a nap today, and then downloaded Sondre Lerche's "Two Way Monologues" album.  Yeah.  Hard working. 

new entries?


I finally imported all my entries from my last two journals.  I was wrong, by the way, that entry was 439… but I skipped one or two because they weren't needed (one was a repeat, and one was a "oh, I'll update soon" in a month)

Enjoy.  You'll see me grow.  I know I do.  When I get a chance, I'd actually like to have a top 10.  Maybe that'll be #500.

#500.  500 entries about nothing.


I'll probably write something of depth today, but before I did, I want to go to PostSecret (the link is in "Get Interested")

It's a bunch of postcards people send in with their secrets, desires, and things they probably wouldn't share otherwise.  I like to consider it an internet confessional.  It's kind of like Found to me – it's a slice of American life as it is.  Not what you see in the media, not what you imagine as people walk past you, but really what people are thinking and doing and living.

I almost wanted to put the "I watch Dr. Phil drunk" postcard, but I have to think long term about this blog.

Speak of – if you add my first (awra2001.livejournal.com) and my second (awra-boringname.livejournal.com) blogs, this is my 443rd entry since July 2001.  I wish I could figure out how to import all them into wordpress.  It would be an awesome catalouge of what's happened since I graduated high school. 

i’m staying until sunday…

    So that means I can write on what I want periodically.

    Last night, I went to Molly's with some of the Student Living Staff and other folks, and was asked about the things I'm looking for in the girl I eventually want to marry. Now, I don't mean to be stereotypical, but I've noticed girls will have about 15-20 things (I think Lindsay had 20 or so) that they need in a guy, and guys will basically say "human and female".

    That being said, I really tried to come up with a decent list, and at the time, could only come up with two things:

  • Rooted in Christ: She has to love Jesus and want to pursue him more than me.
  • Intellectually Challenging: She's gotta be a girl who thinks, who learns, and who likes to do that as part of living. As Kate said, she's probably going to have to know what "NPR" stands for.

    Now I've given it a little more thought, I think I've got a couple more:

  • Cares enough about looks to think she's pretty (because I'll certainly think so)
  • Independence: I'd like someone who capable of having life beyond me as well as with me. I don't like the idea of marriage being "two halfs of a whole", but rather, I like thinking of it as two wholes being something more than they would have ever been alone.
  • Laughs at my jokes, and can probably make me laugh because she'll probably have a gift of recognizing the irony I create in my own life.

    As I'm getting older, I realize the girl I described is out there – and there's probably any amount of them… but it's a matter of the right timing.

    I feel there's 3 things that make a relationship work:

  • Personality: The two probably need to have personalities that are similar enough to agree on foundations, and different enough to be interesting
  • Chemistry: There needs to be that "X-Factor" that just makes you think "hot dang. I like this girl/guy"
  • Timing: Right situations for everyone, same stages, yadda yadda.

    These three have been evidenced in every one of my relationships, and I think I could eventually put every breakup into one of the three categories. I used to think you could control Personality and Timing (chemistry just is… it's synergy), but I've realized I can't control any of them. What I can control though, is not worrying about the things I can't control and just enjoy what's happening. I have faith if there's a girl who can fit five things, between now and when I die, I'll find her.

It could be YOU!

    Hahaha. Well, it might be, but we might have never talked.

    Or you're married.

    Or you're a guy.

    Or you're a student.

    Or you're repulsed by what I have to say.

    But maybe you are. If so, I'm glad you're reading my blog… it'll make it soooo much easier to get to know each other when you've read all my brain dumping.

    I ran today and played softball. Mercy ruled in both games. I'm going to get some dinner now. Good night.

picture 10 – nostalgia

    I realized I hadn't put a picture up in a long time, so I added one and was going to put it up, but then I realized I wanted to show another one.  This is a picture of Groundhog's Day 2005.  I went with my buddies from Grove City, and we whirlwinded there.  Here's my story I wrote when I did it (sans the pictures):

So we leave [Grove City] at 12:30. Head to Punxy (which they use up there, and is real effective when you can't spell it). We arrive at around 2:15…  Suffice to say these folks are obsessed with this rodent. So we unpack my little grill and start to get it kicking. The following conversation ensued not less that 30 seconds after we arrive:

"hey, are you some sort of nerd or something?" The voice was behind me.
"No, sir."
"What are you, some sort of jerk?"
"No, sir. Not at all"
"What are you cooking there? What are you, some sort of jerk?"
"I'm cooking brats, sir."
"Where are you from – Michigan?"
"No, sir. I'm from Pennsylvania (as a sidenote, I wasn't about to say Ohio… they hate us enough over here as it is)"

He then offered to help me light my grill with a "super lighter", but he couldn't find it.

Anyway, as if that weren't enough, there was another drunken conversation that I take from Eric's journal:

"…One tall man was holding a Miller Lite in each hand and talking jibberish. He was complaining because Anderson would not let this man's girlfriend squat and pee on the side of the van. Apparently the lines were too long in County Market (not true). This man kept calling Jeremy "long-hair". Needless to say, this guy was wasted…"

We also indulged ourselves in souviniers…

Then began the mile and and a half trek up to Gobbler's Knob. In the cold. Up a steep hill. In single digit temperatures. On a hilly field. Then we got there…

For the next 3 hours we listened to drunk karaoke (if there were such think as second-hand drinking, I would have alcohol poisoning), had an MC that really had no clue what he was doing, and viewed the people. I got a picture with these fine ladies – the spring and winter faries…

Then at 6:30 we had fireworks which were awesome. The sky was beginning to lighten up as well, so that made it that much more exciting. Then at 7:31, the man who were were looking for, SEER OF SEERS, PROGNOSTICATOR OF PROGNOSTICATORS, ALL WHO WERE DISCIPLES… PHIL CAME OUT!!!!

He predicted 6 more weeks of winter as he saw his shadow, but I saw no stinkin' shadow. I didn't even see my own shadow.

Then we left and ate a little at Eat'n'Park in Clarion. It was good food, and woke me up.

    The picture you see is my picture with the Spring and Winter faries.  I remember the MC basically dance raping the Spring fairy, which, although sounds horrible in text, was funny on stage.  And I think she consented, anyway.  I didn't go this year, and when February 2nd passed by, I couldn't help but think about being there.  It was a spur of the moment thing, and was worth the almost falling asleep at the wheel.

    By the way, Dan Adams, if you ever read this, I WANT MY TAPE BACK, WITH GROUNDHOG'S DAY ON IT! 

post extra!

    I've been listening to the Raconteurs lately with quite a bit of glee – they're a fun straight up rock band.  Anyway, their first single is entitled "Steady, As She Goes".  When I first read they lyrics I thought "Oh, this is the Grove City 'I don't like being single' song":

Find yourself a girl, and settle down
Live a simple life in a quiet town

Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes

Your friends have shown a kink in the single life
You've had too much to think, now you need a wife

Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Well here we go again, you've found yourself a friend, that knows you well
But no matter what you do, you'll always feel as though you tripped and fell

So steady as she goes

When you have completed what you thought you had to do
And your blood's depleted to the point of stable glue

Then you'll get along
Then you'll get along

Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Well here we go again, you've found yourself a friend that knows you well
But no matter what you do, it always feels as though you tripped and fell
So steady as she goes
Steady as she goes

Settle for a girl and buckle down
Send it to the crowd that's gathered round
Settle for a girl and buckle down
Send it to the crowd that's gathered round

So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)

Steady as she goes
Are you steady now?
Steady as she goes

    Nick, in his class at Spring Institute, went on a trip with a few folks to work with communication.  A question came up about how their relationships with God were after another year of ministry.  Nick commented that many of the single staff said they struggled more than they did in college because they didn't have someone there.  I think part of that could be having to redevelop a community in a place that is not always easy to have recently post-collegiate community.  It was nice to hear those words, not because I'm excited people are stuggling with their relationship with God (although it can be a great thing every once in awhile), but I was more put at ease that I wasn't the only one who felt they just lived an entire year out of their comfort zone and had very little in the way of tangible comfort, like a girlfriend, fiance, or wife saying "poor sweet baby".

    And "poor sweet baby" is another funny story I'll tell sometime.  Great day, all.

zero dualisms

Issue number 1: the concept of zero dualisms and its effect on my life. This is obviously a big task, and I'm going to try to parse it down so you, dear reader, will read it.

Basically, the idea of having no dualisms in life is to have every part of your life be a part of faith… I think the CCO does a better job explaining than I do, in explaining our first core value All Things Belong To God:

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
—Colossians 1:15-20

When we were identifying our core values, this is the one we decided needed to be listed first. Everything we do—how we live our lives, the way we minister to students, the way we raise our support—flows out of our fundamental belief that God created all things, created them good and will ultimately redeem his entire creation. We considered using the phrase "all of life redeemed" to articulate this, but instead chose "all things belong to God" because it's the more fundamental, scriptural truth which informs the way we live our lives. We also recognize that, as an organization, the CCO is about justice. We believe that God is about reconciling all of His good creation into proper relationship—with other parts of Creation and with God Himself. That is what justice is: putting all things, which belong to God, in their proper place.

Because of this fundamental belief about God owning everything, it follows that there can't be times when I escape from God's presence. My music, my books, my calculator, my spaghetti sauce – God's. My money – God's. The consequences I have inevitably have a mark of God on them. If I am to be as faithful as I can, I need to try to orient my life towards Jesus Christ and his teachings – after all, he's the glue holding creation together.

What this has meant in my life has really been amazing. How many of us feel that we've got a holy side, and an unholy side – the one we take to church, and the one that sleeps in. Trying to shut that gap so that who I am in church is who I am in Walker is who I am at The Plymouth is not easy, and a continuious recognition of God's unwavering grace.

This was not the entry I originally intended, but if there's anything I want you to walk away with, it's the following – trying to shut the gap between the "woulda-coulda-shoulda" and the "faithfully depending" is one of the most true ways to understand peace. If I'm exactly who I am on Sunday (where I like to think I'm my best and most faithful) and on Friday night, then I have integrity. On the same coin, I should also feel free to be the sinner and the broken person I am in church, but that's a whole 'nother bucket 'o bolts.

Something new tomorrow. And Nick Drake is amazing. He's an all seasons guy, but I think I'll really like him come the first beautiful snowfall.

a couple things to mention for the week

    Here's some things I hope to talk about before I head out of Erie again: 

  • Zero Dualisms, and it's ever growing effect on my life
  • The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, and my desires to celebrate said disciplines
  • The first year out of college struggle

    That's three things in 4 days (I'm still in Saturday mode).

    ps – Today was a really nice day.  I spent time with Nick at the Ribfest and at B&N, and then hung out with Jenny for the rest of the night.  To close, I leave you with a song by Anathallo, which has sustained a run as my favorite band for awhile, and a band I will see in August and party with afterwards.  This song has been on my heart a lot, and it'll lead well into zero dualisms later.  peace.

Cuckoo Spitting Blood

Oh, night set on when I fell down
In the corner of the field.
Cuckoo, I too sang,
Spit the blood of welling thoughts.
Waking with a hundred grains.
Salt stains ringing 'round my legs.
I could not face you.

Since I don't know my father,
I won't be a son.
In morning when words rise up
Like the echo of a stone axe,
Some demon in me wants to rise up
And walk away.

When I am alone in the day.
At night when I am going without clothes
I see your knees where I would sit,
The purple chair,
Golden trim hedged 'round.

I hid myself.

Underneath my father
With the robes of a son.
In the morning when words rose up
Like the echo of a stone axe.
Some demon in me crawled out
And ran away.

I remember when I took the gifts
Asking you for everything,
Throw your name in the well.
I sink, and sink.


william perry? yes, i’ll have some of that.

In my class, we studied Student Development theory, and one of the theories I really enjoyed was William Perry's scheme of intellectual and moral development.  Basically, college studnets (and everyone else) are on a journey through different positions in how they figure out life around them.  The basic stages are dualistic, multiplistic, and relativistic.  Here are the 9 stages.  Enjoy!

  1. Dualism/Received Knowledge:
    There are right/wrong answers, engraved on Golden Tablets in the sky, known to Authorities.

    1. Basic Duality:
      All problems are solvable;
      Therefore, the student's task is to learn the Right Solutions
    2. Full Dualism:
      Some Authorities (literature, philosophy) disagree;
      others (science, math) agree.
      Therefore, there are Right Solutions, but some teachers' views of the Tablets are obscured.
      Therefore, student's task is to learn the Right Solutions and ignore the others!
  2. Multiplicity/Subjective Knowledge:
    There are conflicting answers;
    therefore, students must trust their "inner voices", not external Authority.

    1. Early Multiplicity:
      There are 2 kinds of problems:

      • those whose solutions we know
      • those whose solutions we don't know yet

      (thus, a kind of dualism).
      Student's task is to learn how to find the Right Solutions.

    2. Late Multiplicity:
      Most problems are of the second kind;
      therefore, everyone has a right to their own opinion;


      some problems are unsolvable;
      therefore, it doesn't matter which (if any) solution you choose.Student's task is to shoot the bull.
      (Most freshman are at this position, which is a kind of relativism)

    At this point, some students become alienated, and either retreat to an earlier ("safer") position ("I think I'll study math, not literature, because there are clear answers and not as much uncertainty") or else escape (drop out) ("I can't stand college; all they want is right answers" or else "I can't stand college; no one gives you the right answers".)

  3. Relativism/Procedural Knowledge:
    There are disciplinary reasoning methods:
    Connected knowledge: empathetic (why do you believe X?; what does this poem say to me?)
    vs. Separated knowledge: "objective analysis" (what techniques can I use to analyze this poem?)

    1. Contextual Relativism:
      All proposed solutions are supported by reasons;
      i.e., must be viewed in context & relative to support.
      Some solutions are better than others, depending on context.
      Student's task is to learn to evaluate solutions.
    2. "Pre-Commitment":
      Student sees the necessity of:

      • making choices
      • committing to a solution
  4. Commitment/Constructed Knowledge:
    Integration of knowledge learned from others with personal experience and reflection.

    1. Commitment:
      Student makes a commitment.
    2. Challenges to Commitment:
      Student experiences implications of commitment.
      Student explores issues of responsibility.
    3. "Post-Commitment":
      Student realizes commitment is an ongoing, unfolding, evolving activity

    The journey is sometimes repeated; and one can be at different stages at the same time with respect to different subjects.

If this all seems intersting to you, maybe Higher Education is for you.  Talk to me.


I wanted to leave this briefly, as I know Joshua will read this, and I wanted Rachel to know I put this here:

Right before I left Spring Institute today, Rachel came up to me and said (I'm paraphrasing because I have the gift of generalities, not particulars) "Adam, I just wanted to know that I think you're a lot of fun and if I knew someone I would totally set them up with you!  It's going to be in the back of my mind!"

I took it as a compliment, because that's the way one should take things like that.  I gave her a big hug and said that was sweet of her, and commented life is all about seasons.

She and Joshua are both in the their mid-20s, so it doesn't bother me one bit.

That might be the thing I'm taking away from this year of tumult (even in relationships) – life is all about seasons, and I can't control them.  I can only control what's around me and enjoy the ride on the rest.  That makes life so much better.

ps- Apparently I can import all of my LiveJournal entries.  I'm going to try to do it for both journals.  That'll be amazing.  All 6 years of blogging.  mmmhmmm.  I'll also be in Erie starting tomorrow, so feel free to say hi if you're in the vicinity.