08.10.01 >2208


I'm betting that wasn't what you were expectin' to read when you came across my first post-camp post, huh? I'm pretty sore right now from swimming yesterday. In fact, I nearly fell off the couch this morning because my arms wouldn't cooperate while trying to get up. Pretty sure I'll be laughing about this in a couple months, but right now . . . it's not too funny! *cough* Well, okay, maybe it is a lil' bit, but I'll give you only that much.

Camp was awesome. Some parts of it were indescribably wonderful. I prayerfully hope the changes that came about never fade away, 'cause I love the way this group is right now, and I'm expecting God to do a lot more through 'em and in 'em.

I'll tell you about camp in lil' bits and pieces beginning tomorrow throughout the week, until whenever y'all get sick hearing about it. Or until I do . . . whichever comes first. I kinda kept a journal while I was up there in the mountains, but sometimes I just couldn't write anything - there was either no time or no motivation. We'll see what memory musters to the front - but the memories I have from this camp won't be fading anytime soon. So "strap yourselves in, boys, this is gonna be a [koo-el] ride!" And if not koo-el, then at least interesting.

In the meantime, however, I'm off to catch up on my beauty sleep - I think I only caught about 3 - 5 hours' worth of Z's every night this week, and my body's much smarter than my brain is. Sweet dreams to all.

08.05.01 >0854

Countdown to youth camp : 6.1 hour-- Ah, ferget it. Zero!

I'm gone 'til the 10th, y'all. Have a great week!

08.03.01 >1836

So now the drama begins.

Last Friday one of my sister's friends came over for dinner with his two-year-old son. My sis, you see, is interested in this guy, and they're in a "get-to-know-each-other" stage. His son is completely adorable, and I love his name : Keoni (it's Hawaiian).

The problem is the ex-girlfriend, Keoni's mother. Right now they share custody of the boy, but ever since she found out that he is interested in someone else, she has begun restricting visits (Keoni stays with this girl). She is the insanely jealous type, even though she claims she wants Keoni's dad to move on with his life.

So now the father has taken her to court, and since her lifestyle (she smokes pot, parties, and leaves Keoni with a babysitter throughout most of the week while she's working) is not exactly compatible with the kind needed to, um, raise a son, we're hoping it'll be enough to grant Keoni's dad full custody.

For the most part, I am worried about how the case will go, though I s'pose I shouldn't be. And I think this girl needs to get a life - I mean, really. Okay, so yeah, I'm angry, too. But as I said, now the drama begins.

08.02.01 >2042

I offer you two brand-spanking new Pics of the Week, I guess to make up for the absence of a pic for last week, and since I won't be around next week, well, that's what the second one's for. Um, yeah.

Now this is one activity I'd like to try my hand at some day. I love the way the sunset colors reflect on the water in this pic.

The line of stones the girl's jumping over marks the place where the divisive Berlin Wall once stood. It's a great reminder that walls can be torn down, both physically and emotionally.


Uh, you jest, right? If you ask me, this would've been like Hitler wanting to be friendly with the U.S. during WWII.

Countdown to youth camp : 2.8 days


The Srebrenica massacre has got to be one of the most horrific things I've read about. But it made me think some . . .

I am only human. I've harbored bitterness against someone before (and paid the price for holding a grudge - they say God's all-knowing for a reason). If I were to lose my dad, brother and uncles to bullets, torture or the sword during a war, because they held different beliefs or came from a different race, would I be able to go on? Would I be able to forgive their killers? Would I be able to look at anyone who's even remotely associated with their killers the same way again? Could I forgive them for approving of their killers' actions at the time, even though they may ask for my forgiveness now?

I really don't know.

They say forgiveness is a godly trait. Just this morning my boss told me that she can forgive and just as easily forget a wrong someone committed against her. (And yes, she is a Christian.)

I cannot.

I've learned that holding grudges is not healthy - physically, emotionally or mentally, but esp. spiritually. But forgiveness can't happen overnight. I think bitterness stems from early judgment, in that when I am wronged, I tend to look at the person who committed the wrong rather badly, and criticize them behind their backs for their every fault. I've been dealt with the hard way to lose this habit, but still . . . forgiveness, esp. when it comes to a major wrong or when a bunch of wrongs begin to stack up, doesn't come easily or quickly. I honestly pray it were otherwise.

That's why it amazes me when other believers who are wronged can forgive easily - and yet, how many times are they haunted by the scene of losing a loved one in a brutal manner before forgiveness erases that memory?

Seventy times seven. Over and over. Forgiveness is like that - it keeps on erasing until bitterness no longer has a hold. It seems so darn easy.


I hate it that the mainstream media pays attention only to some events happening in the world, enough to make it seem worthwhile to be reported in print, and other stories are totally ignored. Grr. Our media is so fickle and superficial. (Yeah, and I'm planning to find a job in the same field. What irony.)

This story led me to this one. Inside, I'm all a-quiver with rage; outside, I want to lay my head down against my desk and cry.

BTW - is Saddam Hussein for real? Is this story for real?

08.01.01 >2127

Er, an afterthought -

Countdown to youth camp : 3.75 days

G'nite, y'all . . . I think my bed is definitely calling me.


I am, you anxious one.

Don't you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can't you see me standing before you
cloaked in stillness?
Hasn't my longing ripened in you
from the beginning
as fruit ripens on a branch?

I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am that wanting:
I grow strong in the beauty you behold.
And with the silence of stars I enfold
your cities made by time.

- Rilke, from The Book of Hours


On the wings of a dream
I flew to Enchantment
Otherwise known as England, or Oz, or France . . .
But what matters about the name
When what's important
Is what waits for you upon the shore :
Memories, my sweet, adventure,
And friends and sights, old and new



Last night the topic was goals. What were we striving for? What drove us to succeed? What were obstacles that distracted us?

The meetings I've gone to have been so very helpful - I can't tell you how much. During this meeting, we had an open forum. A lot of us (me included) weren't afraid to say what our goals were ; a lot of the answers were thankfully different and showed where each of us stood at that moment.

So, what is my goal, what drives me, and what are obstacles I face?

My main goal is to become a professional writer/author/journalist. The first thing I'll have to do to meet this goal is get my B.A. degree in journalism. I am 3/5 of the way there.

What drives me? Simple answer : God. I became a Christian around the same time I entered college (Aug/'98), and I don't think I'd be going to the school I attend right now if it weren't for him. I stumble a lot, and I've fallen a lot on my face too, but he helps me up and keeps me going.

What are obstacles I face? For one thing, I'm somewhat lax when it comes to self-discipline. One of my biggest summer projects is building my discipline up before school starts again. I don't want to keep stumbling around, falling, and playing the roller-coaster bit come August, September, October and so on. The seesaw routine gets a little tiresome after awhile, ya know? Another thing is easily getting distracted by other habits/nuances/hobbies. The line I keep hearing nowadays when it comes to a career is, "Do something that you love/like/enjoy." Okay, check. I can honestly say that this is probly the best piece of advice I've ever heard from anyone (and I've heard it from lots of people already). So - is what I'm striving for something I enjoy doing? I can truthfully say yes.

So if you have a goal . . . do everything you can to meet it.

Countdown to youth camp : 4 days


There's a lot that was talked about at last night's college group meeting that I tried to put in my last post - but it turned into one big ramble, so I erased it. I'll try again later today.

Countdown to youth camp : 4.5 days.


Now this is one sweet pic. 'Tis the Red Spider Nebula!