the times are changin'
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Monday, June 29, 2009


We are now with the youth at Summersalt--the camp of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Should be fun. Prayer is definitely appreciated.
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

oh, and this is how he sleeps.

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this is the cat i adopted. it lives outside my apartment. i am in love. i just might bring him inside.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

God made beautiful things for us to enjoy. Man makes us pay for them sometimes. And i am sort of a poor college student.
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give a shit

“The twin towers fall every day in Africa for lack of clean drinking water—7,500 or 8,000 people dying every day and the church does not appear to give a shit." --Derek Webb

"Derek Webb wants to dig latrines for Jesus. And he’s looking for a few thousand friends to lend a hand. In a world where as many as 8,000 people die each day from waterborne diseases, he says, it’s the Christian thing to do. To get the word out about his latrine campaign, Webb, a Nashville-based Christian singer-songwriter who doesn’t mince words, is planning to launch a new Web site— The name, he said, is meant to startle people into action." --Sojourner's Magazine
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

new friends and old ones

Hiking the AT for a few days with some new friends was quite an adventure. The first stretch I thought I was going to die. (I felt much better when it seemed everyone else felt the same way.) We didn't make it to camp the first night, but we actual found a perfect spot along the trail. The second day we had to go back to the car and go back into town because the gas didn't work. So 3 of us went back to civilization while 3 went on. We brought them pizza :) The second night POURED. Luckily we had made it to the super nice shelter. Bruce and I are so stiff. Haha. We only went about 10 miles. I can't imagine 220. Paul's words about enduring and running the race kept ringing through my ears. 

Now I am sitting in the kitchen of Kathy Fidati. Yesterday I spent some time with Jacqueline--love her! :) And now Bruce is hearing all the stories and discussions of Dublin that we so long to have but people just don't really understand but us. It's so nice to talk to people who really know what you're talking about. Dublin is still very present in my thoughts these days. Hmm...
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Places I've Never Been: Going hiking on the appalachian trail for a couple of days. Pictures to come...
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I also may have a puppy sitting job this weekend.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

God is faithful. It took less than 24 hours after emailing Andy Crissinger about jobs to have someone emailing me about babysitting their kids
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My cat never tires of your fellowship. Ever. It can actually become quite annoying. What if we believed God never tired of our fellowship either?
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

The face of God seen at 1:41 am Glory of It All by Crowder. Jesus speaks to me through my iPod. The glory of the struggle is Christ's redeeming love
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Friday, June 5, 2009

as thy days, so shall thy strength be

I stumbled upon a beautiful sermon of Spurgeon. I'm not going to summarize, but I wanted to copy and paste some of his words. (You can find the entire thing here.)

Well now, translate those two ideas, and you will see why it is that even our sin, our lost and ruined estate, has been made the means, in the hand of God, of manifesting to us the excellencies of his character. My dear friends, if you and I had been without trouble, we never could have had such a promise as this given to us:—"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." It is our weakness that has made room for God to give us such a promise as this. Our sins make room for a Saviour; our frailties make room for the Holy Spirit to correct them; all our wanderings make room for the good Shepherd, that he may seek us and bring us back. We do not love nights, but we do love stars; we do not love weakness, but we do bless God for the promise that is to sustain us in our weakness, we do not admire winter, but we do admire the glittering snow; we must shudder at our own trembling weakness, but we still do bless God that we are weak because it makes room for the display of his own invincible strength in fulfilling such a promise as this.

When you are on dry land most of you are good sailors; out at sea you are vastly different. There is many a man who makes a wonderfully brave soldier till he gets into the battle, and then he wishes himself miles away, and except his spurs there is no weapon he can use with much advantage. That man has never been sick who does not know his weakness, his want of patience and of endurance.

 I have sometimes thought I would try to have more faith but I have found it very hard to keep as much as I had. I have thought, "I will love my Saviour more," and it was right that I should strive to do so; but when I sought to love him more I found that perhaps I was going backward instead of forward. How often do we find out our weakness when God answers our prayers!...That is, the Lord helps us to grow downward when we are only thinking about growing upward. Let any of you try to grow in grace, and seek to run the heavenly race, and make a little progress, and you will soon find, in such a slippery road as that which we have to travel, that it is very hard to go one step forward, though remarkably easy to go a great many steps backward.

We have all our tender points. When Thetis dipped Achilles in the Styx, you remember she held him by the heel; he was made invulnerable wherever the water touched him, but his heel not being covered with the water, was vulnerable, and there Paris shot his arrow, and he died. It is even so with us. We may think that we are covered with virtue till we are totally invulnerable, but we have a heel somewhere; there is a place where the arrow of the devil can make way: hence the absolute necessity of taking to ourselves "the whole armor of God,"...Man knoweth not himself so well as Satan knows him. There are back ways and subterranean passages into man's heart which the devil doth well understand. and he who thinketh that he is safe, let him take heed lest he fall...Tremble, for ye may yet be overcome! Ye are as weak as water if God shall leave you alone.

Now, I think, if we have well surveyed these different points of our moral standing on earth, every child of God will be ready to confess that he is weak. I imagine there may be some of you ready to say, "Sir, I am nothing." Then I shall reply, "Ah! you are a young Christian." There will be others of you who will say, "Sir, I am less than nothing." And I shall say, "Ah! you are an old Christian;" for the older Christians get, the less they become in their own esteem, the more they feel their own weakness, and the more entirely they rely upon the strength of God.

There is enough bullion in the vaults of Omnipotence to pay off every bill that ever shall be drawn by the faith of man or the promises of God...Believer, till thou canst drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, till thou canst break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, thou never needest to fear. Until thine enemy can stop the course of a whirlwind with a reed, till he can twist the hurricane from its path by a word of his puny lip, thou needest not think that the strength of man shall ever be able to overcome the strength which is in thee, namely, the strength of God.

First, it says our strength is to be as our days are; it does not say our strength is to be as our desires are... "Still," says one, "if I had faith like so-and-so, I think I should do wonders." Yes, but you would get the glory of them. That is why God does not let you have the faith, because he does not want you to do wonders. That is reserved for God, not for you...Once more, it does not say, our strength shall be as our fears. God often leaves us to shift alone with our fears,—never with our troubles...Troubles of God's sending are always suitable—the right sort for our backs; but those that we make are of the wrong sort, and they always last us longer than God's..."When you are weak then I will make you strong; but I will not give you any extra strength to lay by: strength enough to bear your sufferings, and to do your duty; but no strength to play at matches with your brethren and sisters in order to get the glory to yourselves."

"Ah! but," you say, "I could not do that."" Yea you could, if God called you to it. Any child of God can do what any other child of God has done, if God gives him the strength. You could not do what you are doing even now, without God's strength; and you could do ten thousand times more, if he should be pressed to fill you with his might. What an expansive promise this is!

Dost thou tremble, pilgrim?—"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." "But there are robbers in the wood."—"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." "But there are lions which shall devour me."—"As thy days. so shall thy strength be." "But there are rivers: how shall I swim them?" Here is a boat to carry thee over: "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." "But there are fires: how shall I pass through them?" Here is the garment that will protect thee: "As thy days so shall thy strength be." "But there are arrows that fly by day." Here is thy shield: "As thy days so shall thy strength be." "But there is the pestilence that walketh in darkness." Here is thy antidote: "As thy days so shall thy strength be." Wherever you may be, and whatever trouble awaits you, "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." Children of God, cannot you say that this has been true hitherto?

And when thou shalt see God face to face, though thy weakness were enough to make thee die, thou shalt have strength to bear the beatific vision: thou shalt see him face to face, and thou shalt live; thou shalt lie in the bosom of thy God; immortalized and made full of strength, thou shalt be able to bear even the brightness of the Most High.

What INFERENCE shall I draw except this? Children of the living God, be rid of your doubts, be rid of your trouble and your fear. Young Christians, do not be afraid to set forward on the heavenly race. 

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embracing accusation

The father of lies
Coming to steal
Kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

The devil is preaching
The song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies
Be telling the truth
Of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death
Then death is mine
I hear him saying cursed are the ones
Who can’t abide
He’s right
Alleluia he’s right!

Oh the devil’s singing over me
An age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently
He’s forgotten the refrain
Jesus saves!

-shane and shane
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

amazing adventures of a nobody

(my new friend, leon)

Well. This summer thus far has been an interesting blend of excitement and mediocrity. It started off with RUF summer conference, moved into bouncing from house to house, and has progressed with Julie Hammond and I moving into an apartment in Rock Hill. I have decided to stay here for the summer and work as an intern with Eternal's youth group. There had been a lot of options for this summer: working in Athens at Briarwood (my old church) being a (dare I mention, paid) intern, studying abroad in Dublin, being a (dare I mention it a second time, paid) intern at Clemson Pres, or staying in Rock Hill. There were a lot of factors here that I either can't or won't bother to mention which explains my decision. In the end, the most important reasons were that I wanted to get settled in Rock Hill paying bills, etc before the school year started and because I wanted to be able to really get connected into the body of Eternal, where I am now a member. I have almost daily questioned my decision, not for the reasons' validity but for the awkward feelings in the pit of my stomach which come and go often. I must keep reminding myself of a few things daily:

1. The internship, (really the summer itself) hasn't gained any momentum yet. The first real youth event is tomorrow, so how can you feel like you're out of place already?
2. You're still recovering from one hell of a year.
3. The decision is made. God is sovereign. Get over yourself and live your life. 

I started watching this show on Hulu, The Amazing Adventures of Nobody. There's this guy, Leon Logothetis, who because of a desire to "reconnect to the human spirit in [himself] and others," decided to travel across a continent or country on $5 a day. He's gone across the UK, the US and I am currently watching him cross Europe. His spirit is truly inspiring:
"There are moments in our lives where like waking from a dream, we are given the opportunity to challenge the status quo of our existence. In these moments we have the choice to either embrace the opportunity to redefine ourselves, or fall back asleep and continue down our well-trodden path of mediocrity, a path that is as familiar as it is mundane. I faced one such crossroads after watching the film "The Motorcycle Diaries" - a story about one man's journey of self-discovery through his connections with others. But by grace I made a choice that forever changed the way that I relate to myself and the world."
 You can read more about my new friend, Leon, on his website.

There are things that I want to do this summer. They may seem silly goals to some, but they are what I want to pursue this summer quite seriously. I hope to keep you all updated along the journey.
  1. Learn to play the harmonica.
  2. Go to the gym.
  3. Become a better photographer.
  4. Read good books.
  5. Visit places I've never been.
  6. Learn to cook Indian food.
  7. Write new songs.
  8. Make dresses and skirts.
  9. See the face of God in the every day things.
  10. Blog about these things as daily as possible.

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I obviously haven't been here in a while. There are a lot of reasons: exams, exhaustion, or just not really liking the thoughts in my head. Speaking of those thoughts, I'd like to share some wisdom from my old friend, Puddleglum, from C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair:

"One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say." 

Maybe all the awful things being whispered into my ear about myself are true. Perhaps. But I'd much rather childishly believe that the Creator of the stars and mountains and sparrows loves me with a furious love I could never comprehend than live any other way. And if in the end I'm wrong about such things, then it's no real great loss, is it? What good is this life without a God like that? What meaning is there in this broken world marked all too often by confusion and suffering and mediocrity if there doesn't exist a great Lover of us all who actually understands, and is, indeed, orchestrating it all for our good and His glory?
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