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 . . .

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So San Luis isn't happening. Oh well.
So we finished up the siding on the house in New Orleans, even though it poured down on us right as we were about to finish up, and the power went out so we couldn't cut the last piece. Then on Friday I did more yard work.

We got to Piedras Negras last Saturday night, and we had an amazing week. The groups were really cool. Everyone worked hard and nobody complained. I headed up the drywall mud crew. We made it into an art form. Almost got the house done.

Right now I'm in San Antonio, and tomorrow we'll be leaving for San Luis, Mexico, to have a few days of R&R. So that's exciting. The team down here invited us along, because we're so awesome.

So that's all. Bye.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

title . . . goes . . . here?

Sorry it's been a while, but I haven't had internet access since Friday. Right now I'm in a shady internet café in Piedras Negras checking up on the world. The past week's been pretty sweet, and I'll run through that later when I don't have to type on a funky Mexican keyboard.

I love you all, I miss you all. Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement. It's good to hear from family and friends. Alright bye.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Never weedwhack with your mouth open.

Monday: I helped paint CrossRoads' new building. Not very exciting, but very hot.

Tuesday: Did street clean-up ministry. Most of the time was spent re-lining weedwhackers, but I had a few chances to take on the weeds myself. They were no match. Apparently I look like Eli Manning and Brady Quinn . . . ?

Wednesday: Worked on one of the houses under construction. I climbed a tall ladder and pried staples out of the exterior wall, and then used a nail gun to frame four second story windows. We were up on scaffolding and some contraption that rested on a couple of ladders. Uh . . . yeah. We only worked a half day, so after we cleaned up I went with 9 others to this place called Café Reconcile and had pot roast, which was super good. Then I took a nap in the afternoon and went to a local coffee shop in the evening. I didn't get anything at the coffee shop. Coffee is not good.

That's all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

a clever title for this post eludes me . . .

We arrived in New Orleans safely. It took us about twelve hours in all. Not too bad. I'll post more on the city later if I can. Once I have something to post, that is.

The entire day was kinda bittersweet because I got to come back to New Orleans (that's the sweet part) but I couldn't spend Father's Day with Dad or go to the Brad/Kyle graduation party. But whatev.

On a side note, who is this 'bonzo' character who commented a couple posts ago? I can't figure it out, but I'll get to the bottom of it. You better watch out, 'bonzo'. And by the way, thanks for the encouraging words. I WILL KNOW YOUR REAL NAME! But seriously, thanks for reading and commenting.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Week in Review

This week, my boss and my fellow intern were out of town, so I worked through CrossRoads' main office. We tiled and grouted the concession stand at Salvation Army's new building downtown and did some work on the sweet inner-city minivan. Then, yesterday, I drove about three hours up to New Carlisle, Ohio, which is about 15 miles north of Dayton. I met another CrossRoads staff person there and we led a Help Build Hope, and it was super fun. New Carlisle's population is under 5,000 according to the members of the church where we built the house. It's a town that has one main street, where most everything happens. Really cool.

Anyway, we did the build today, and I guess about 50 people showed up and helped us. The future homeowner and her son were able to be there, too, which was neat. My job was to answer any questions the workers had, and then help stand the house as the walls were built. I also used a router to cut out the windows and doors in the OSB siding, and did some other odds and ends. I wish I could have stayed for the benediction tomorrow, because I heard that they're a lot of fun, but I had to be back in Louisville tonight. The people in New Carlisle were really friendly, and it was good to see how this small church raised the money to build the house and then got the whole community involved in building it. Everybody had a good time. The weirdest thing for me was that everyone knew my name, but I could only remember a few of theirs. It was just kind of weird to be on the other side of one of these events. Being a leader and all that. I'll have to get used to it once we get groups in.

So it was a pretty good day. I built a house, used power tools, got a farmer's burn, got to listen to a lot of music during my drive, saw Jesus on I-75, and saw a Corvette Stingray on I-71. So yeah, I guess you could say that I had a pretty good day.

We leave for New Orleans tomorrow at 6:30. In the morning. Eleven hour drive. Then, next week, we'll head on over to Piedras Negras, Mexico, which is another eleven hours. After a week there, we'll come back to Louisville, spend a few days here, then go to Appalachia for a week. Busybusybusy.

Uh . . . yup.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Read this post.

New schedule:

June 15-21: New Orleans
June 22-27: Piedras Negras
June 28-29: San Antonio
July 6-12: Appalachia
July 13-19: Group 1
July 27-August 2: Group 2

Yeah, I'm excited.

Today was a downish day. We didn't do anything physical. I did some more preparation for the teaching times, we returned some material we didn't use, went tile shopping, and got the rescheduling done for the summer. I had the chance to use the math I learned in high school for the first time - we had to figure out how much tile to buy. I hope I did it right . . .

Tomorrow we're doing a Help Build Hope in Columbus, IN. We have to get up at 5 am so that we can be there by 7. Ouch.

Mom, if you read these posts, could you leave a comment or something to let me know that you've read it? That'd be a big help. Thanks.

Maybe I'll say something serious tomorrow.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


So . . . things won't go as planned . . . again.

Some pretty big stuff happened today. First, one of the other interns resigned, and that leaves three of us to do the inner-city tasks until August. Then earlier tonight, the group scheduled to come on the 15th cancelled, and that means we'll only have two groups the entire summer. So God has shaken up our plans once more. Bad thing? Good thing?

I'm trusting that it's good. Because we'll be free for about a whole month, we may have the chance to visit all of CrossRoads' fields - New Orleans, Appalachia, and Piedras Negras (which means, Ma and Pa, that you'll have to send me my passport along with a few other things). And, with only three staff people, we'll be busier and we won't be sitting on our hands for most of the summer. So, yeah, things will turn out alright. Luckily, Steve was sure to teach me that flexibility is the first rule of missions. I'm beginning to really see that. Nothing is guaranteed, that's for sure.

I've been thinking a lot about plans over the past year, due to all the major changes in life and all that. We make these plans, and we expect that they will be followed with relative accuracy. Then we get all disturbed when events or circumstances throw a wrench in those plans. We don't know what's going to happen, or we lose control of our futures, and we panic or we get uncomfortable. That seems backwards to me. I believe when something unexpected interrupts our plans, especially ministry plans, it's God's doing. He knows what's best for us. He wants what's best for us. His plans are infinitely better than ours.

So I'm not worried about this summer. We're in God's hands, rolling with the punches, and doing our best to keep up with the curveballs. There's nothing to worry about.

Also today, I mixed a bunch of floor-leveler concrete, spread some on the ground, and played Sequence. All firsts. Mmmmm . . . I'm having fun.

Maybe I'll post something serious tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You asked for it . . .

First post ever!

I'm really ticked off right now because MLB Gameday isn't working and I can't "watch" Edinson Volquez throw a shutout. Lame.

I'll start the serious stuff later.