Friday, October 31, 2008


hey . . . it's been a while.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

whew . . .

Our last group left yesterday morning. They were a good group. I had the chance to lead six high school guys all week long reassembling a playground at an inner-city church in the community of Portland. It was tough, but we got it almost done. Just a few little things to finish up. But it was a great week, and I was exhausted. It's not easy to function on less than six hours of sleep each night. It's rough. I did get to go to the Louisville Slugger Museum on Friday, which was sweet. I never could have lived with myself if I'd spent an entire summer in Louisville and never gone. So now the summer's complete. Almost.

This next week we'll be wrapping everything up. Finishing projects, cleaning out the vehicles, and all that. My internship officially ends on Saturday after we help out at a Touched Twice Clinic at South Louisville Christian Church, the church that housed us and our groups. Then it's almost two weeks at home, a few days on vacation in Gatlinburg, and back to school.

I can't wait to see my buds. One of the biggest challenges this summer was being away from the brothers that God has placed in my life, from church and from high school and from college. I can't wait to just be with them again. To just hang out and all that. You know.

It's gonna be good to get back to normal life. To get away from the pressure and responsibility of this internship. Don't get me wrong - it's been fun and I've learned a lot - but it's demanding, and it'll be good to be finished. It'll be good to be a teenager again.

One major thing that God has taught me this summer is that I've underestimated my leadership abilities. I think it's mostly because I've never really been in a position of leadership like this before. I've never had to help six high schoolers build a playground before. But this internship has sort of thrust me into that position. Before this summer, I would have told you that leading by example or by serving were the only ways that I could influence people. But that's not true anymore, I don't think. I've realized that I can do more.

Mmmmmmmmm . . . it's almost bedtime.

So I'll be back in Ohio in six days. I can't wait to get out of Kentucky. Ohio's where the party is.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Sorry it's been a while. It's been hard to gather all my thoughts together from the past week so that I can share them with you. I'm still not sure that everything is up there ready to be down here, so I might be adding some afterthoughts in the next few days. Anyway, here we go . . .

First off, it was awesome to see some familiar faces. Before last Sunday, the only people I'd seen from life before CrossRoads were Eric and Jennifer, and that was only for a few hours. Being able to spend a week with people who brought DCC with them was a definite refresher. It was especially good to see some of the young men that I've been able to influence over the past few years, and it was also good to see some of the people who have influenced me. Without them, I'm not sure I'd be able to get through these last three weeks without getting incredibly homesick.

Over the past week I've been able to develop a pretty good relationship with this guy named IMER. He's a box truck. He carries all our tools and equipment and stuff. IMER's a beast. At first I was nervous about driving him, but now I'm totally comfortable. He handles very nicely for being a 1990 Ford. Cruisin' in IMER is luxurious. He's like the Porsche of moving trucks. Or maybe like the Hyundai. I don't know.

I learned a lot about homelessness last week, but I'm waiting to do a big monster post on that subject once the internship is over. Be looking for that in mid-August or so.

A crazy thing is happening. I'm learning that I'm actually a pretty good leader. Like not a bad one. Like kinda decent. I guess the biggest thing in my way before was actually gaining a position of leadership. That's the hard part. Now that I have gained that position, and people assume I know what I'm talking about, it's very easy to tell them what to do. Not that I'm abusing my newfound power or anything. Also, I'm not horrible at public speaking, as long as I'm prepared. Surprising, eh?

I also learned that it's very hard to go from throwing regular frisbees to throwing disc golf frisbees. Two and a half weeks ago, I was awesome at disc golf. After a few games of ultimate frisbee in Maytown and an hour or two of catch last week, I'm horrible at disc golf.

So on Saturday night I went to Red Robin and had the 5 alarm burger (pepperjack cheese, jalepenos, chipotle mayo, and salsa), which was spectacular. Then today on the news they said that salmonella was found on jalepeno peppers. Uh-oh.

After Red Robin, we went to see The Dark Knight, and wow. Wow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

a taste of home

I am worn out. It has been a long, hard, good week. It was awesome to see all the kids from home and all that. I'm too tired to think about this right now. I've had to wake up every morning this week at 5:45, except today, when I woke up at 5. I'll do more tomorrow or something. Sleep now . . .

Thursday, July 3, 2008


"Turn, look, look out and see
Do you see me?
Cause I think I see You
I've been some other place
The wind that I chase
It all just leads back to You

Oh, how I'm still so still
It's sobering, but still I ran
I knew You when I was young
But where am I now, that I'm a man?

Run to You
I will run, I will run
I will move right on through
All these things that I have done
And You'll take me back
I don't know why
I want to say I'll never do it again
But I can't, but I will try

Turn, look, look out and see
Do You see me?
Cause I think I see you
I've been some other place
The wind that I chase
It all just leads back to You

Oh, how I miss what You miss
But I will fall time and again
I will say that I'm true to You
But I'm a cheat, I don't understand

So I'll run to You
I will run, I will run
I will move right on through
All these things that I've done
And You'll take me back
I don't know why
I want to say I'll never do it again
But I can't
I want to say I'll never do it again
But I can't
I want to say I'll never do it again
But I can't
But I will try . . . "

-Run to You, The Rocket Summer

I rediscovered this song yesterday, and was surprised at how well it described how I felt last weekend. The thoughts and emotions behind it are exactly what I experience when I talked with God. That afternoon in the minivan on I-10, I made Him my priority . . . again. I had been chasing other things: satisfaction, success, approval, happiness. But my pursuit of those meaningless things just reminded me that I should be pursuing God. I realized that my childhood faith was gone. My heart has been corrupted by this world, and I can no longer automatically see God in everyday things, or trust Him no matter the circumstances. I have to make a conscious decision, regularly, to seek God. And even then, I will fail time after time after time. But that's fine, because He is a God of grace, and He will pick me up. It's one of my favorite passages, and I had the chance to read it again today, when Paul is talking about his thorn:
"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (II Corinthians 12:9-10).
Where I am weak, He is strong. Where I am humbled, He is exalted. Where I fail, He succeeds. Our shortcomings are reasons to celebrate, for God fills in the gap with His power. This is how Moses, the man with a speech impediment, became the greatest prophet ever known. It is how Gideon, the coward hiding from his oppressors, became the great military leader. Peter, the impulsive fisherman, became the rock upon which Christ built His church. The stories go on and on - stories of how God took someone's weakness and displayed His own power through it. Even though my heart has been tainted by this world, even though my soul has been weakened by despair, even though I am physically drained, even though I know I will fail Him again, God can and will still work through me, if only I choose to run to Him. To pursue Him constantly. What a beautiful thought. What a beautiful promise.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

something that's making me think

"Would you be willing to give your life to save the world if no one ever knew your name? If anonymity was the price you would have to pay for significance, would it be too great a price?"
-Erwin McManus, Uprising

Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm back in Louisville now, trying to recover from a couple of amazing weeks. Getting back is bittersweet. It's good to be somewhere relatively permanent, where I'm supposed to be, but leaving Mexico and New Orleans was so hard. I felt useful in those places, like I was needed. It gave me a hint of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but then it ended. It kind of feels like God is teasing me with my purpose.

After we said goodbye to the Mexico team on Saturday night, I went to the room I was sleeping in and all of a sudden I felt this utter hopelessness. I felt like I wasn't where I belonged, that somewhere I had taken a wrong turn, like I wasn't on the same page with God's plan for my life. The peace I'd had just hours before had turned to worry and fear. I felt alone. I hated it.

The next day when it was my turn to drive, and the others were asleep, I felt it again. Even the worship songs we were playing over the stereo were just a bunch of noise. So I turned off the radio and had a little quiet time with God. From just outside Houston, TX, to Jennings, LA, I talked with my Father. It was the most honest I've ever been with Him. It was the most honest I've ever been with myself. I held nothing back. It shook me up.

It was good to just be silent in the presence of God. To restore the peace of mind that had gone missing. To remember that His plans are better than mine, and that His dreams are bigger than mine. I realize now that it doesn't matter if God tells me my final destination. It only matters that He lets me know that I am on the right track. That's what He did with Abraham, and He has given me the same promise.

I may never truly know my purpose on earth. But as long as I pursue it, with God's help, I believe it will be accomplished. Who knows where He may lead me in the meantime? I can't wait to see . . .