Monday, November 22, 2010

Blessed Beyond Belief

This. Weekend. Was. Amazing. That is the best way I can summarize the events that happened over the past 72 hours. Combine the best activities that one might usually do over the course of a month and put them into 3 days, and then you might come close to what I experienced this past weekend. Simply put, the past few days have been some of the greatest and most memorable times I’ve ever had.
Before I even touch on the individual activities themselves, what really made this weekend great was the people I shared it with. The friends that God has placed in my life this year truly tell how blessed I am. They are brothers and sisters in Christ that are having a profound impact on me. Around them, I can be myself. I don’t need to impress them, nor them me. Individually, the events of this weekend would have been fun; but sharing them with my closest friends made them unforgettable.
Friday night started out pretty normal. Some friends were having a party at their house after the basketball game, but I knew I wouldn’t get there till later since I had to put together a game recap. Though not always the most fun thing to do on a Friday night, work pays the bills (ok, some of the bills). The party was a lot of fun though. Socializing with friends in a relaxed atmosphere always leads to a good time. Overall, it was a fun-filled night and a great start to the weekend.
Saturday, the fun continued. A group of us went out to Mongolian Grill for Joy’s birthday. I’ll admit that I purposefully didn’t eat a lot throughout the day knowing that we would be going there. Anyone who has been to Mongolian Grill will not think less of me for doing this. Nearly 20 people came out for the night and at the restaurant, we sat all guys on one side and all girls on the other. Following our meal, we did some speed dating, which provided plenty of laughs and multiple strange looks from those sitting around us. Being a group of young, vibrant college students; hopefully people weren’t expecting us to be too responsible. Afterwards, we walked around The Greene, which was having its annual Christmas kick-off weekend. Santa, snow (although provided by machines), and a 50-foot Christmas tree are all you need to get in the holiday spirit.
After leaving The Greene, a few of us went to Baxter’s house to hang out and look at video footage that was taken from the night. This provided a couple hours of laughs and goofing around. Finally, the night was capped off by watching ELF, which of course, is the best Christmas movie.
Sunday, following church, we had our annual “Family Brunch” in Chucks. A group of five or six of us will each make a different breakfast food and we all partake as a family. It’s a good alternative from the usual meal in chucks and also provides for good fellowship. Sunday night, we had a Thanksgiving dinner, complete with every traditional dish and much more. We each pitched in and brought something, which produced almost too much food (thank goodness for leftovers!). Let’s just say I ate…a lot. Of the nine different deserts, I had five of them with multiple helpings. To finish off the night, we had a game night at Michelle’s house. After a few “heated” games of Mafia, the weekend ultimately came to an end.
Like I mentioned before, the best part of this weekend wasn’t necessarily the individual activities, but more the friends I was with. Being over 650 miles away from home, these friends are my school family. Before each group meal this weekend, everyone held hands and we asked God to bless the food and our time together. With Thanksgiving only a few days away, this is truly what I am thankful for. While possessions and goods will fade away, good friends and memories will be with you forever. 

Friday, November 19, 2010


Yes, I know "likeables" is not actually a word. However, it felt like a fitting title to the list of things that I like. With Thanksgiving break coming up, I thought it would be good to make a list of some activities I will be doing to take my mind off of school as well as other things that I enjoy. Maybe you can relate...

- Sleep
- Food
- Camping
- Watching movies
- Sports
- Hanging with the "bruhs"
- Laughing
- IBC Cream Soda
- Skeeball
- Cooking
- Naps
- Cliff Jumping
- Candy
- Late nights with friends
- Driving
- Sweet Tea
- Being spontaneous
- Peace/Contentment
- Family
- Dressing up/Wearing a tie
- Skype
- Arnold Palmers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Procrastination Pledge

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.  ~Mark Twain

Remember in my previous post when I said that this week would be a difficult one? Well, unfortunately I was right. Remember when I said that I was a procrastinator? Well, unfortunately I was right on that too. These are the times when I hate being right.
Life since my last post has been non-stop. In the past six nights, my average bedtime has been 4:50 in the morning; finished off with going to bed at 7 this morning. Needless to say, that’s probably a little later than when I should be going to bed.
My biggest problem is prioritizing my time. Instead of planning things out accordingly, I choose hanging out with friends or other activites over working ahead on assignments. I continually tell myself that I have enough time to get things done, which although is true, means I stay up half the night. The funny thing is that going into this semester I told myself I wasn’t going to do this…again.

Thus, here is my public pledge: I will do my best to work ahead more and get things done in a timelier manner.

Trust me, it's not that I don’t enjoy staying up late doing work when other people are working on assignments too. Those have been some of the most memorable times of my college experience (Humanities Paper with Sean, Chase's laughing video, CLT and Spiritual Formation papers with unit-mates Freshman year, etc.). However, it’s probably not in my best interest to get on a schedule of going to bed past 3 AM regularly. As I’m writing this, it’s currently 1:57 AM and my change starts now. Goodnight.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gotta Love Being a Senior...

            It is weeks like this one that remind me why I love being a Senior. It has been a week in which I feel like I’ve had the right mix of school, friends, and relaxation. Let me rephrase that order…friends, relaxation, and then a little school. This semester, I’m only taking 12 credits. Now, before you judge and say that I’m slacking or that communications is an easy major, let me explain…

35 credits Freshman year + 30 Sophomore year + 18 Transfer/CLEP + 27 Junior year + 9 Internship = Relaxing 20 credits Senior year.
Now, back to this week…

            I tend to have busy weeks and easy weeks this semester, but there are far more of the latter. Up until tonight, this week has definitely been an easy week. With a presentation tomorrow and papers due tomorrow, Monday, and Wednesday, however, next week will be a difficult week. I’m far too much of a procrastinator to start thinking about that now though.
            Earlier this week, my friend Brennan from New York came to visit. Brennan and I share a specific type of humor and we both have high hopes for television stardom. In trying to think of something fun to do, I reminisced on my times at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Yes, we chose to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s to hang out. (Side note: if you want to go, there are lots of coupons online for token deals). The best part might have been seeing a few friends from Cedarville who were there student teaching with their school kids. All I know is that I love skeeball and I am unashamed to go anywhere that has it. As their slogan says, “Where a kid can be a kid.”  Oh, and in case you were wondering, I bought a Chuck E. Cheese’s PEZ dispenser with my tickets. Ya, be jealous.
            Although it sucked taking all those credits early on in college and working like crazy in the summer, I look at it as time well spent. To put it like my father would say, I am now reaping the benefits of my labor, and I must say, it feels great.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Growing Up

            Today, it hit me how far I’ve come since high school. It’s funny to think back to my days before Cedarville and remember how independent I thought I was. Back then, I used to think it was a big deal to go out to a party by yourself and stay up past midnight. This is a far cry from my current bedtime of 1:30 or later each night. Like I always say, everything is relative but the truth and this is no exception.
            One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is in time spent traveling. In high school, to go someplace an hour away felt like forever. I remember going somewhere an hour away and thinking it was a long distance in a car. Now that I’ve made the ten-hour trip out to Cedarville multiple times, that hour in a car feels like you just drove around the block. Even tonight, I made the hour trip into Columbus for a friend’s birthday. In high school, I would never imagine driving somewhere an hour away on a school night. Last year, I made the trip over to Indianapolis on a school night. That involved four hours of driving in one night. Never would I have thought I would drive that much on a night when I had class the next day.
            To think what I’ve accomplished since high school astounds me. To attend college over 600 miles away and go on trips with friends to over a dozen states has been amazing. This past summer, I completed an internship and took classes out in Washington, D.C. For two months, I lived on my own. I had to cook, clean, grocery shop, travel, and do a lot of other things by myself. This was an amazing experience in which I felt what it was like to be completely independent.
I feel that through my experiences this summer and my time at Cedarville that I am slowly weaning myself away from my dependency on my parents. Let me clarify that in no way am I saying that I don’t need my parents. Trust me, I rely on them for a lot of things, but I do feel that I am becoming more independent. By the time I came back to school this fall, I had only spent 55 days at home in the past year. That’s the least amount of time at home in a year that I’ve ever spent. Depending on when I start my job following graduation, this number could be even lower this year.
            The next big adventure for me is the trip that we are planning for Spring Break. Some friends and I are planning to go on a cruise to the Bahamas. While this doesn’t sound like that much planning, the cruise leaves from Miami and we have to arrange travel and sleeping arrangements on the way down and back. I enjoy challenging myself to plan something extraordinary and I know that if everything comes together, it will be one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
            Though I’m trying to become more independent and prove that I can do things on my own, I must always remember to appreciate my parents and not be afraid to use their assistance. They are here to help me and they want to be there for me. They have taught me the basic principles of life, but there is still a lot that I need to learn before I’m ready to live completely on my own. Even after I graduate and start my career, I need to listen to them for they are far wiser than I am. As Proverbs 1:8 says, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Weekend Away

            This weekend was very refreshing. Friday night, Chase and I participated in a ministry called “Date Night.” Parents who have children with disabilities can drop their kids off and go out on a date without having to worry about childcare. Each of us was paired with a child and we watched them and played with them for the night. It was a very beneficial experience. I have never been around so many people with disabilities and it actually wasn’t as taxing as I thought it would be. I thought there would be a lot more work involved in keeping the children safe. Honestly, going into the night, I thought my fear with having children would increase. My biggest fear in having kids has always been having a child that struggled with a handicap. However, seeing how much fun these kids were having has definitely allowed me to not be so afraid. When all is said and done, my life is in God’s hands and He is in control.
            The second part of the weekend I spent with my brother Adam. Since he moved back to Ohio, I really haven’t spent much time with him and it is something that I’ve wanted to do. Saturday morning, his church was holding an event called Skeet and Steak. Though it started before my normal 12:30 Saturday wake up time, it was a lot of fun! There is little better than shooting guns, eating well, and fellowshipping with other believers. I only hit four of the fourteen clay pigeons that were thrown, but that’s still an improvement over the last time that I went skeet shooting.
            Overall, it was a great weekend hanging out with Adam. Going in, I was a little nervous because we have had a strained relationship in the past, but I feel that we have moved on from the stage where we each are trying to outdo the other person. This competitive nature is often what caused problems between us and it is good to know that our days of fighting are behind us. I know that I only have one brother and I need to cherish my relationship with him. Friends will come and go, but family will be in your life forever. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Race of Life

Today was an exhausting day. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I felt like going for a run today. The weather was mid-50’s and sunny and I just felt like running. As a side note, every time I say that I feel like Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. I wasn’t planning on challenging myself; I just wanted to go run and think. I started the run at a pretty easy pace and surprisingly I never got tired. It felt like a constant second wind. I certainly got more physically exhausted as the run went on, but I was never short of breath.
The run was an amazing time to just listen to my iPod, reflect on life, and enjoy God’s creation. When I was running on the bike path, I would literally close my eyes and just think. I love running on the bike path for that reason; it’s smooth, straight, and you can just run.
The only problem with the run today was that I didn’t plan out the time accordingly. I was running for a little over two hours, but I didn’t start till after 5. The sun went down a little before 7 and that brought the darkness and the cold. In addition, I was wearing all dark clothes and running on the roads. This was probably not the smartest idea and something I need to consider for next time; not that I’m planning on running another 13 miles anytime soon.
As I finished, I couldn’t believe how far I had ran. The farthest I had ever ran before without stopping was around 8 miles so 13 miles was unbelievable. After I stopped, I could only think of Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” With this week being a rejuvenation in my walk with Christ, I know that I definitely couldn’t have run like that today without Him helping me. It was such an encouragement to know that he was with me.
One of the main reasons that I felt like going for a run today was to clear my head and step back from life. In the past few weeks, I’ve really become frustrated with school. This frustration mainly stems from my feeling that school isn’t going to teach me much more for my job. To get a job as a television broadcaster, you need to have quality experience and a good resume tape; of which I already have. A television station isn’t going to care what grade I got in American Political Institutions. I see much of the work I’m doing as useless and as you can imagine, this doesn’t provide much motivation to get it done.
When choosing my scripture passage for devotions tonight, I decided to read Philippians 4. This was completely because I thought of Philippians 4:13 following my run. God totally knew exactly where to send me in His word. This passage talked about not being anxious to move on and to remain content in the position that you are in. After feeling these thoughts about school and wanting to just be done with schoolwork, this passage reminded me that I still have much to learn. Though I may not be able to apply what I’m learning in my classes to my profession, everyday here at Cedarville is a new learning experience. I need to have the right attitude and remain content with where I am. Our lives go by so quickly, and I need to enjoy every day and live life to the fullest.

Monday, November 1, 2010

God, Guys, and Girls

            Being that this is my first ever blog entry, I’m not exactly sure how this is going to go. When thinking about topics that I want to write about, a lot of things come to mind. Unlike most people who journal about day-to-day events, I have a lot to catch up on in here from the past week or longer. The main topics I want to discuss are my relationship with God, my current understanding of women, and the relationships I have gained by being in McChesney this year at school. Basically, tonight’s journal will focus a lot on relationships.
            One thing that I’ve always lacked in my life is a strong devotional time. There will be times when I will go for a few weeks (and other times not even that long), and then I will become “too busy” and I will fade away from reading the Bible. I highlight too busy because it is often laziness or filling my time with other less important activities that stray me away from my devotions. Lately, God has been putting on my heart that I really need to start again and grow closer to Him. As my Facebook status said, sometimes when you think you have everything together on your own, it all get’s taken away and you are forced back to the basics and to Him.
            Today, I decided to read Isaiah 43. Going into tonight and even into my devotions, I was unsure where to read from. I actually Googled “Bible Passages about moving on” and a verse from Isaiah 43 came up. About halfway through reading the chapter, I knew that God had directed me to the right place. Isaiah 43 starts out by talking about how powerful God is and how he has provided for the nation of Israel. God is telling Israel that He is with them and He is protecting them. This was a major comfort for me. Lately, I feel that I have been fading away from focusing on God and it is always refreshing to know that God protects his own people. The latter part of the chapter talks about how Jacob and Israel had turned away from God and how he could easily punish them for that. This passage really hit home for me. I know that if I don’t grow closer to God, then my life will not be as good as it can be with Him. As I was reminded in chapel recently, a relationship requires work, a lot more work than sitting through a sermon once a week. For my relationship with God to grow, I need to constantly spend time in His word and in prayer with Him.
As far as my knowledge of women, I have yet to understand them. Though this is what many guys say and it is often joked about, I cannot think of a better way to start off this paragraph. I look around at many of the quality men that I know and most of them seem to be single. While some reason for this may be because they are choosing to stay away from relationships at the moment, some of this is also because quality women are so hard to come by. So often, my friends or I will see a girl and be attracted to her physically and then find out about her “extra-curricular” activities. It is so disappointing to see so many beautiful women selling themselves short because they think this will make them attractive to men. They may be fulfilling the desires of weak men, however, they are hurting themselves more than they know. It is a total turnoff to see a girl not living up to the potential that God has for them because they want to feel “loved” or “wanted” by non-spiritual men.
Finally, I want to say how blessed I am this year to be in the company of so many quality men here in McChesney. It was not until this year that I realized what I had been missing out on in quality relationships with men who can challenge me spiritually. I have always had four or five close friends who have challenged me, but it is such an encouragement to be filled with an entire hall of guys who are spiritually driven and such high quality men. These are guys that I can hangout with and never have to worry about doing something that will hurt me spiritually.
Of our greatest experiences together, the best time that we have shared this year is our Fall Break trip out to my roommate’s house near St. Louis. The bonding time that I shared with every one of the guys that went was indescribable. It was a full weekend of hanging out and fellowshipping with close friends of which I’ve only experienced few times in my life. I was able to learn so much about these guys and also learn from them. Together, we all challenge each other to become the men that God calls us to be. I realize that I am genuinely blessed to be in the position I am in.
Though everything in my life may not be going perfectly right now, I know that my future is bright. With quality friendships surrounding me and a fresh start with my relationship with God, I know that life is good. As I said in the last paragraph and I will restate it now, I am truly blessed.