Thursday, July 29, 2004

Taking my own advise
For the past few months I, and a few other firls I know, have been struggling with dating and having relasionships.  Ive never been in one and for awhile it was getting hard.  Ive been watching chick flicks (i.e. A Cinderella Story and Pride and Prejudice) and it has got my moods down.  Not to mention being over weight.. Well, for the past few days Ive stuck pretty strong to liquid days. Drinking all day and only eating dinner.  Also, I have been biking until I got to 700-1000 calories burnt each day.  I have not weighed myself but I know if I keep this up I'll lose some weight. The problem is, I know my motives are not right.  They are not for God.. Its mostly to be healthy.. I want to be healthy. I dont want to fit into Chicagos percentiles of over weight people.  I want to fit into clothes.  I think a small part of it, like 10% is for guys.. like, wanting a boyfriend.  But then I know at this point I would not date anyone.  Well, Ive just been really struggling lately with it all.  Ive had some really frusterating hours, and some really content hours.  Right now, Im inbetween. I ate a hotdog and fries and corn for dinner.. but when I added up the calories it was under the ammount I worked off.  So, I feel pretty good. Crystal is out with Jaq E, Jules, Reese, and Christen in Chicago.  I wanted to go but Ma said she wanted me to come over, so I told the girls I couldnt today.  Mom brought me back home by 3:45 pm and since then Ive been stuck home, sulking.  I suppose the best thing for me to do now is focus on the word.  Im not content. I want a new computer. (Everytime I go to a site and start to find what Im looking for it freezes. Or when Im in the middle of typing a story) This house we live in feels so dirty, no matter how hard I try to clean it.  I just want a clean escape. Gr. New York.. that felt so good, to get completely away for a week and focus on the Lord. That was awesome.  I was on top of the mountain, and I guess now Im climbing again. This always happens to me after I have a high point in my walk.. I know it will pass. And, just thinking that now makes me feel a lot better. :-) :Long sigh:: Things will be fine.  I tell myself that a lot lately.  "Things will be fine." Over and over whenever I get discontent.  Wooh, that makes me feel good. Lol. Well, anyway.  I bought some film for my camera.  Ive been taking pictures.  Hopefully I'll be able to scan them and post them on here after I get them developed.  I hope they come out the way Im picturing them in my head. Hehe. Well, Ive got a lot of picture ideas in my head, a lot of movie scenes to make in my head (for my books), and a lot of poem ideas scrambled up.  I havent gotten much of anything layed out so its eating away at me. I know thats what I gotta do.. DUH Naomi! Write! Gr, sometimes I wonder about myself. Well, Im off to write.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Dance Fest Car Show
Yesterday evening we did the street evangelism; Crystal, me, Leo, Darren, John, Jason, Brian, Erik, Julie H, Tammy, and Kathy.  It went really well I thin.  Right when we got there Kathy pulled me over to talk to this group of goth kids.  They seemed like they felt really awkward so I told them to come to our youth group and that it was really fun.  But their friends had left so they had to go.  Throughout the night I saw them a few times, but it wasnt until a few hours later that I actually got to talk to them.  These two boys were asking me about the kind of music I listen to.  I told them I listen to all kinds but I mentioned christian heavy metal.  Rackets and Drapes, Kutless, Skillet.  Those were the basic bands I told them about.  I kept telling them that were not the kind of church that listens to light music. I think they were pretty interested in what we were saying. I think they would come but I really cant tell.  If I were them Id feel way too awkward, like I were imposing or something.  I just really hope they do.  One of the boys said he was going to burn in hell, and that he had comitted horrible sins that could never be forgiven.  I started telling him there was no sin that couldnt be forgiven but Im not sure if he really believed me.  I know the Lord allowed me to plant seeds though, there were many other people I talked to.  Like these three guys Chris, Anthony and Chris.  One of the Chris' seemed really interested in coming and he said he'd definately be seeing us next week on Sunday morning.  Oh man, anyone who reads this please just pray that the Lord will open the doors to them to come. I had my first real conversations last night and I feel so accomplished.  I cant wait to get out there and witness again.  I just need to remember every person I see is a soul to be saved.  Something happened in the past few days that really hit home for me.  This lady, Winnie, was killed by her husband, as was her four year old son.  My mom worked with Winnie.  Same department I think.  She say this lady everyday, and never talked to her about God.  We dont know if she was saved, and that is really hard to deal with when you know you could have talked to them.  I know it wasn't me, because I never met her, but its the same way with people at school, or anywhere for that matter.  It really set my mind straight on the way I need to look at things.
Well, Theo... Ah, I dont even know what to do.  He prayed the prayer that morning, monday...but I dont know.  I warned him the devil would attack and that he really needed to stay in Gods word strongly, considering he didnt have christians out there to keep him accountable.  By going by what he wrote in his journal, I feel like satan is really getting to him and hes not staying on guard.  I called him last night to see if he wanted to sleepover and go to youth group and church, because he wanted to earlier this week and Darren offered to drive him.  But when I called he said he was going to Minnesota this weekend so he couldnt.  I was fine with that, but I had to go because we were walking to the street fair and I could barely hear him so I said so and then bye.  I thought it was fine but in his journal he said he was annoyed. I dont know but everyone just pray for him because its so obvious hes not staying strong.  I want to think he is, but I can see, just going by that journal entry hes struggling.  Maybe it was just the moment he was writing and was venting, I hope thats all. But being away all weekend, its going to be hard to fight off satan while not reading the bible, not being around christians, and not having christian music around to listen to.  I know he has God but as he said in his journal, he still has doubts. :-(  Pray guys, please.  I know the Lord can work in him and guard him but he needs to want that also.  I dont know where hes at anymore and it worries me.  ::long sigh:: Pray..

Thursday, July 22, 2004

- On the road again -  

I was reading some of my old posts and I got myself wondering why I write the way I do.  If I want to be a writer, which I obviously do, why dont I spice things up a bit? Be more creative? So, that is precisely what I am going to do; or atleast try. I am not sure how yet but we'll just have to see. So, I'll start off with what I've been thinking sinse I haven't been writing much about that lately.
While looking through some blogs, I found one inparticular called "Stepping Into the Fog."  I liked the title and decided to take a little peek.  Turned out the person writing the blog was a follower of Jesus Christ.  What he wrote about, why humans were created to glorify God, really made me think.  As I was posting a comment on his site, the thought just kind of flew from my head to my fingers and onto the screen.  I dont even recall thinking it, but I guess it was a lingering thought. Obviously God created us to glorify Him.  But then, as many people wonder, maybe there is something else.  There must be, right? Well, as I was about to say we wont know until we get to heaven, the words formed on the screen.  Maybe in the overall scheme of things, Gods plan for creating humans will eventually play out in the destruction of satan.  I dont know why humans would be needed in the process of anything like that.  I dont think there are any biblical references to anything of the sort, but like I said, the thought went straight through the thinking process and onto the screen.  It's interesting though.  I dont know if it could even be a possibility... Though, it kind of seems possible to me.  I mean, after the rapture and the seven years of tribulation God says there will be a battle between Him and satan in which He will be victorious.  Could it be the human race was somehow needed for this all to play out the right way? The world may never know..
On another note.  Crystal got a job finally.  She will be making phonecalls all day, I think trying to sell this package of 180 CD's for a year; something of that sort.  She'll make $10-15 an hour..but most likely $10.00 as she is starting off.  I can already see it is going to cut into all the events we have going with our church; i.e. bible studies such as the proverbs study, and the womans study with Heidi and the rest of the girls.  And the street evangelism on Friday in Franklin Park.  Maybe the youth groups on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.  Who knows?  All I know is God is faithful and He gave her this job for a reason.  She met a girl on the interview today who was also applying for the job.  Her name was Jessica (I think) and she had a really really rough life. Raped by her own cousin and abused by her father.  I think Crystal said this girl does drugs and swears a lot..obviously that's expected.  I can see the Lord placed this all right in the palm of her hands so she can be an awesome witness and reach out to this girl.  I can not wait to see how Crystal's new job affects her spiritual walk. Will it help her grow, or stumble her? Maybe both?
I have been viewing my life like a movie lately.  I can take moments and slow them down, view them in black and white.  It's weird.  I feel like I can zoom in on certain things.  For example, the other day I saw a guy in a yellow short-sleeved blouse with a red tie and gray trousers and black shiney shoes. He held a black suitcase in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  I saw this in color, but in moments, my eyes slowed down the breeze that made his tie blow off to the side, and I could see him in a black and white sort of state.  Slow motion in a way.  I saw clouds of smoke blow off to the side of him and him turn slowly.  We made eye contact for a brief second, and then the stop light changed to green and we drove off.
When I was a younger kid, I used to wonder why we always drove on the dark side of the road.  Infront of us, all I saw were the red break lights and over on the side I'd see the white/yellow head lights.  The head lights are obviously darker, and I wondered why we never did, or could not, drive on the light side.  I used to wonder if the bad people got put on the side we were always on.  I would look all around the road, trying to find ways to get around the road and drive on their side without going in the opposite direction.  I thought we could just mosey on over and still drive our way, except face the lights.  Though as I got older I realized that would only cause trouble. -Head on collision- So, I now know we cant drive on the light side.  In the past week I tried to relate my thoughts to a spiritual thing.  I dont know why, but I'd been thinking about my childhood thoughts on the road and I figured why not try and relate the two?  So, the first thought that came to mind was how it says in the bible to walk in the dark and be the light.  Well, there are lights on the front of our car too. We can drive in the dark and be a light. 

Monday, July 19, 2004

- Saved - 
Well, the weekend was eventful. Friday morning through Monday Morning Theo slept over. Friday we went to Jewel and has the weirdest experience. We were in the check out lines and we split up for optimum time effiency.  Whichever line moved faster.  Well, mine was so I called him over but the guy behind me was like "Oh no..I dont think so.. no no" And I was in shock..I said "Well..I mean, hes with me..." The guy started laughing and said hes just kidding.  He said were supposed to say "bread and butter!" when were in two lines like that and one makes it first.  So, he started talking to us and telling us really weird things.  He asked if we were a couple and I said we were brother and sister. Lol. Close enough.  It was very humerous.. There was a TV guide picture for this new movie "Anchorman" and Theo asked me if I had seen previews for it.  I said no, and I dont want to see it because the TV guide looked dirty.  The guy behind us said "What? Dirty? Oh no...thats nothing. I walk around the house in a speedo. One time the old lady walked in. I mean, if you got it, flaunt it."  It was so funny! I could not believe it. This 60-70 year old man was telling us about walking around in a speedo! Lol.  Never in my life.... haha.  
Well, anyway, that evening we saw " I, Robot" which was pretty good..just a one time see movie though.  Then we went to Tiffanys for an hour and then to my cousins. We all (Theo, Crystal, Jill, Jax, and me) went to the carnival by their house.  I'd say there were two highlights that night.  One, this rapper, The "Dennius Weilman" project (Denum) preformed some songs.  They were about God, so we talked to him and he gave us two free CD's which was really cool. Though, after listening to some of his other songs we found hes not entirely all for Gof in his lyrics.  The next thing was on the walk back to the car; Theo was doing cartwheels.  He did about 8 in a row, but then ran into a bush!! HAHA! I forgot to tell him it was in his path. So he fell on his butt then just jumped up and said "Im good." Ah, it was great.  
 Saturday we went to Christens party.  Also very eventful.  I talked with Theo about God and he told me what all he was thinking.  Where he was at in his search for the right religion.  He was telling me how wicca wasnt feeling..right anymore.  But still he had his doubts about christianity.  But, the downside was...we ended up taking a walk, and by the time we got back they had sent out 6 people to look for us. It was kinda a big thing because half the group had already left for Roots. Things turned out okay though..its over now.  
 Sunday. Church and the concert.  Church for Theo wasnt too good. He kinda tuned it all out.  His favorite part was when Judy came and talked to him after service.  Then Julia handed him a note. The concert was awesome.  We missed KJ-52 which bit the big one! I was really upset, as was Jill. But we got there just in time to see Skillet who rocked! Though they preformed the same songs as last time. Matthew West was great.  Same songs from Festival I think..maybe a few more.  He didnt play my favorite but it was really touching. I really liked his preformance.  My next favorite was Audio Adrenaline.  They were amazing. Im definately going to go out and get their CD. They gave this speach about going all the way for God and being ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.  It rocked.    The highlight and most amazing thing that happened this weekend was that Theo accepted Christ into his heart!!!!!!!!!!! He prayed the prayer this morning.. Everyone is so happy! Jackie, Jill, Jules, Erik, everyone! This is so amazing! Yet again I see the Lord answer specific prayer! YAY!

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Speach

Suday for church the youth group was giving the service. The roots band was leading worship, and then for the sermon, all the youth and leaders from New York were going to give a 5 minute or less speach about something we learned or a moment we had. Afterwards we were going to perform the drama. We were supposed to be there at 9:30 am so we could practice and just so nobody would freak out that someone wasnt going to show up or something. Well, satan attacked us. Crystals alarm didnt go off..and my cell was on silence all. To make a sad story short, we didnt wake up until 10:45, and we missed the whole thing. But, this is the speach I was going to give...

So much happened during the trip to New York and its hard to pick one thing that stood out to me above all the others. But something I learned that I know is going to help me a lot in my walk with God is just that God will will be done. We were in East Harlem and the truck to deliver the food was late. I began to get really frusterated. I was thinking "Dude, we came all the way from Chicago to New York to do Gods work and witness to people, and here are these people just showing up late or not even coming!" But I caught myself thinking like that and I knew if I didnt do something about it now Id feel like that the rest of the day. (Even though I still felt I was completely justified in how I was feeling) So, instead of letting it get to me, I started praying. I said "God..please just first fill me with peace about all this. Next God, please show me what you want us to do. Should we stay, or leave? Is there something else here you want us to be doing?" And after I finished, one of the girls asked a leader if they could play with the kids at the park a few feet away. It took me awhile to realize but that turned out to be the real reason we were there. Those kids were the reason God had the truck show up late and gave us so much free time. I realized through this that all I need to do is ASK God what he wants me to do. I remembered that I have to ask him, because so many times I think things and feel like He knows what Im asking because He knows my every thought, but the truth is I need to ask Him and then He will answer. I learned that through prayer and petition all things are possible. Philippians 4:6-7 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God...will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I learned even though half of the things are satan trying to stop Gods word from being spread, Gods will is going to be done. God is all powerful, the Alpha and the Omega.Its not my problem is were running late or I shouldnt be getting frusterated. For those times that I feel like satan is getting control of the situation; like he has a huge blanket over me and has the situation in his hands, I have to remember that God also has an even bigger blanket over satan. I learned that I just need to bring it to God because he says in 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." I know no burden is too big for God to take from me. Learning this was humbling, encouraging, and a boost of faith. Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Tuesday, June 29 (3:45 PM New York Time)

I am so frusterated with all this drama right now. I can feel the devil working in me to just get distracted by all this. I know its not my job to take this frusteration because it says to turn your burdens to God and put them on His shoulder. Im not sure where it says that, but Ive heard it before. Honestly, I just want to cry..I feel disconnected from the group. Everyone has someone here theyre totally relating to and just getting closer to. Its not anyones fault but my own though, and I know that; which makes me feel even worse, knowing its my fault. Jackie was a bit frusterated too with the drama so she opened her bible and it was Matthew 21:21-23 Its about prayer. And I know at the end of the day nothing matters except where Im at with God, not with the youth or any other person. Guh. People are bugging me about eating. I dont like Italian Beef! Okay, so now I have to eat a sandwhich. Its fine, whatever.

Thursday, June 30 (8:05 AM new york time)

We went to the ferry today. That was cool. I sat with Erik, Eric, and Jax. I wasnt too excited to go on, but it was good. The thing is, I got on and was looking at the water and had a sort of flashback type thing about when I was younger and Tobi had fallen off this ferry we were on, on a vacation. So I was tugging on his leash, pulling him out from the water. He had seen a fish I guess and jumped in after it. I really wanted to cry, but I didn't. Well, Erik was telling me to go around to the other side and look at the stature of liberty. (I really wanted to see that the whole trip) Well, I told him I didnt want to, but he kept saying like "why not? its the statue of liberty..dont you want to see it..? etc" and I was just like 'no'. I kinda got the feeling he wanted me to leave so he could talk to Eric but he didnt say so. Anyway, he looked at me and was just like "Naomi,whats wrong?" And it seemed really sweet of him because nobody else had noticed I was sad, or that something was wrong. I didnt tell him what it really was, Tobi, because Eric was there and Jax would be coming back; I didnt want to end up talking about Tobi to a group because Ive barely talked about him with anyone at all anyway. So yeah. Anyway, at Statin Island we did the drama on the boardwalk. It turned out good. This one girl named Vanessa from Brooklyn Overcomers came and watched it with her friends. They were also handing out tracks. She was really nice and was out looking for more youth to join a youth group they wanted to stop. She seemed kinda'..I dont know how to say, excited that there was a youth group out there reaching out to others. I think the fact that we came from Chicago to New York really encouraged her, that there is youth out there that wants to have a personal relasionship with God and have christian friends. Atleast, I hope it did. But it all turned out good. I wasnt nervous at all to do the drama, even though I didnt preform good at all. -__-

Monday, July 05, 2004

June 28 (12:26 PM New York Time)

Im in this park in East Harlem now. Were taking a break for lunch before we start the prayer table. I think Ill end up walking around directing people to the table where people get prayed for by members of our team.. I cant pray aloud so I dont think I'll be good for that job. I dont know what we'll be doing after this. Right now, I honestly want to be alone somewhere, reading and listening to music. But I know thats not a good attitude so Im about to pray for it. In front of me now I see a small black fence standing about 2 feet off the ground with some grass and trees inside. Jason and Tony are talking about jumping over it and doing cartwheels over it. :-) The little kids are listening to rap music. One ran around holding up his shirt and yelling "its getting hot in here so take off all your clothes!" A few more people joined the team today. Theyre brothers, Jonathan and Martin. They seem like great people, and I think I saw them at church but Im not sure. Also, 2 ladies. One from France named Dominique and this lady, Ina (I think her name was) Im still paranoid a bird is going to poop on my head. Theyre droppings are coming awfully close..

June 29 (1:55 AM New York time)

Today has been crazy! Or, more likely it should be called yesterday. The truck of food didnt arrive until about 2:00 pm. While we were waiting, Charisse, Jackie, Jonathan and Christen went and played with the kids. Me and Jill did a bit but Im not good with kids. The kids got really attatched to them. Christen said three people got saved, so that is really cool. :-D After the truck finally got there, we unloaded and bagged up 6000 lbs of groceries. Soon I heard things about people gossiping about eachother and starting drama. It all got really frusterating soon because I felt like.. "dude, were in NYC on a missions trip and we still carry this drama...were just letting the devil right through" I felt like satan was gaining control of the situation. I know Im part to blame due to the fact that I let myself get frusterated. I let those stupid jealous feeling from the devil creep in and it got so ridiculous. I talked to Jackie about it though, the jealous feelings and I know its satan. Because under normal circumstances, my first reaction to meeting a new guy is not "ooh, is he single?!" but today it was. I feel a bit better now after talking with Jax. So much of me just wishes Heidi was here though. Anyway, I havent really talked to anyone or prayed out loud yet and we only have three more days! Its weird..when I first got here I hated the city. The smell, the traffic, the people. But slowly (or..quickly) I have come to love it all. Well, maybe not the smell. ::shifty eyes:: I have gained such a serious love and heart for the city and the people here. Though a small part of me wouldnt mind going home, to just be with Cleo and talk with my friends. More so I want to stay. Everywhere I go I can feel His presence and doing work in me. I really think this trip is to help me grow closer to Him and not as much to witness. I know Im here to witness and plant seeds, and I am trying, but also I can see God is doing a work in me that will change me completely. Welp, anyway. Jonathan loves my name. He keeps saying "Naomi Star!" its so funny.
At one point during the day Kumar and Jason started to help me run bags and pack them because most everyone had gone inside and I was still outside working. Another crazy thing was when Chap told the girls that some guys stuck around all day a the park and were just watching us, waiting for us to be alone. Kumar also told Chap that when we hear someone yelling, its good to duck because a gun shot could go off soon. (Good thing they didnt tell us while we were there or I'd have been freaking out the whole time) They compared East Harlem to being the Caprene Green (sp?) of New York.
Lastly, at dinner when I wasnt hunrgy, Jason decided to make a deal with me. He said, 'a compromise.' " eat this food.." or " pray out loud once this week" My jaw dropped. it was so funny! I never picked, but yeah. Also, me and him managed to get a free refill. I went up the counter and held out my drink and said "Can I have a refill please?" and the guy was like " free refill here" and I looked down and said 'oh'then the guy said "ok ok, only you get refill, but thats it" So Jason looked up, with this face like "Wha..?" It was soo funny! He looked so hurt. So the guy refilled his too. Hah
June 27 (1:02 am New York time)

The day is finally over! It was soo long! Throughout the day my eyes would just start shutting. I suppose the reason for that is I barely slept for 2 days and all I ate was some junk food on the train; 1 peice of pizza also. Anyway, we did our first outreach; it was at a theater for this fashion show. It turned out to be pretty cool.
"In the beginning" (Genesis 3:7)
"Ancient Days" (Isaiah 51:9)
"Renaissance" ((Psalm 45:6)
"Colonial" (Galatians 5:1)
"Early American" (1 Peter 3:3)
"Newsies" ((2 Corin 3:17)
The roaring 1920's" (Luke 21:34)
"1930's, the age of Individualism" (Pslam 33:15)
"1940s Wartime" (Matthew 24:6)
"1950s Elvis" (1 Samuel 15:23)
"1950s All shook up" (Eccelesiastes 1:9)
"Moonriver" (Colossians 3:12)
"Surfing into the 60's" (Proverbs 14 :13-14)
"Motown" (Ephisians 4:3)
"Protest" (Roamns 1:28)
"1970s Disco Craze" (Judges 17:6)
"1980'2 MTV and VH1" (Romans 10:3)
"1980s Dynasty" (Luke 12:15)
"Spiritual Warfare" (Ephesians 6:10 and 12)
"1990s" (Timothy 4:12)
"The Millenium" (Proverbs 31:25)
"The Bride" (Isaiah 61:10)
So that was all pretty cool. Im really excited to see how God is going to use these experiences to help me grow in my walk with Him. Im still pretty nervous about talking to the firefighters, especially one on one.

June 27 (12:33 am New York Time)

We started off today by going to the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church. We sang about 10 songs (You are so Good to me, Pour out my heart, I life my eyes up, O Magnify the Lord, Jesus be the center, Hallelujah [your love is amazing], Come now is the time to worship, open the eyes of my heart Lord, Empty me, Light the fire, and You are my all.) Next, this guest speaker from California gave the sermon ans it was such a blessing. The message was just so true; it was about profit/gain. Eternal gain or temporary gain. Obviously this is so cool because thats a major thing Im going to have to look out for this week. Like, do I want to have eternal gain through this trip by seeking God the whole time, or temporary gain, like doing wordly things -time square- and trying to have a vacation. My walk in Time Square was really hard because I saw a billboard for Nip/Tuck with Julian McMahon huge in the center of it. Also I saw the TRL building. The craziest things were in the streets too. Like, we saw a small section of the street marked off for filming of a movie or music video. I didnt ask what it was for because I can see so blatantly how the devil was attacking me today. Probably the worst thing I saw was when this mid twenty year old guy walked up to me holding up a cardboard sign and a jar. It read "Please help me to get money for a _____ reduction" (Im sure you guys can figure out what was in the blank, if not...your so lucky in your innocence) If someone did that in Chicago they would get in trouble! Thats another thing. This trip so far has really made me appreciate Chicago. The smell. The driving. The friendliness. I love Chicago. Uh, and not to mention that this week just happened to be gay pride week and today was the parade. Ive seen hookers walking around, gays and lesbians, cross dressers. Just culture shock I guess. At first it made me feel dirty, but I know we need to walk in the dark and be the light. The most thing Im struggling with now is the wordly temptations, frusteration with Crystal, and praying aloud. They keep asking me to lead us in prayer and I keep saying no! It sort of makes me feel like a failure but Im really trying. My eyes burn. My feet hurt and my back is kinda sore. But its cool. We have a new NYC original on our team. Kumar. He seems really nice but I havent gotten to spend much time with him at all. We split into two groups. Chap, Tony, Brian, Erik, Crystal, Christen, me and Annette) Then Jason, Kuman, Julia, Jill, Jackie, Charisse, Eric, and Jacqueline. MY group went to some fire houses and they were all really nice people. Russel B. and Ed N. were the two we got to talk to most. They said they love the Yankees. Police are the enemies. And the pay stinks but they love their job. At the next one this young man gave Crystal some of his meat balls. (Erik and Brian tried some too). The thing was she kept saying "Uhh. Im so hungry..that smells so good..uhh.. im so hungry" over and over and finally the guy offered her some. Hehe, it was so funny. I personally thought it was rude but they were very hospitable and nice people. The coolest thing to me is seeing how each station sets up their 9/11 memorial. The day overall went good and at this point I just need to pray. Im struggling with praying out loud a lot and frusteration with Crystal still.. She seems to be snapping at me but nobody else, and they wont notice either. Oh well, its fine. Tomorrow is going to be a long day so I gotta' get some sleep.

Saturday, July 03, 2004


June 26 (Late at night/ early morning on the train)
Today has been absolutely crazy! Starting from the moment we were scheduled to leave our house the devil has been attacking. As we were leaving to go to Eriks house, we found the back left truck door was broken and wouldnt shut. Dad spent 20 minutes fidgeting with it and looking for some bungie cords to keep it closed. Finally, I got down and asked God to help. Seconds later, they walked out of the garage with the cords. We were on our way, until we ran into a traffic jam. That also took up about 20 minutes. Mind you, at this point I am practically freaking out! I knew the devil was trying to stop us at all costs from going on this trip, so again I prayed. A few minutes later traffic started to clear up and we were on our way again. Lastly, a few feet from his house we got stuck behind a freight train. Crystal started crying, she was stressed! Eventually though, we made it. We walked over to the Metra and headed toward the AmTrak station. The day was very stressful and chaotic and its so obvious the devil is doing everything in his power to stop God word from being spread this week. Its so obvious that prayer and petition are all I have to stay accountable and strong in my faith on this trip. Hopefully I will remember this for the rest of the week and keep my attitude on the 'up and ups.' Psalm 27 - Do not be nervous!

June 26 (about 8:30 am)
Crystal is already cranky. :-( Barely any of us slept at all last night and yet none of us are snapping. I cant help but wonder why she cant just try to bite her tongue for once. Apparantly were in New York now. About 30 minutes ago we had a stop in Buffalo. So we have about 6-8 more hours until we get to New York City. I already miss Cleo. I feel dirty. Im hungry. I have to pee so bad its pathetic (I wont go on this train because the bathrooms are so nasty, Im holding it.) It's fine though. As long as I keep in mind the whole reason Im here.

June 26 (about 11:50 am New York time)
I just got off the train for a few minutes of fresh air. Now being back on it, its like a hundred times worse. i.e. you wake up and things smell fine to you, but once you leave and come back it is 10 times worse because you smell the difference between the air. Its like that now, only the difference is the smell of about one hundred people drifting around in a closed place for the past 20 hours. Plus, the guy seated across from us keeps burping really loud, in his sleep. Its only 2 and a half hours until we get to New York City; Im still waiting. 1 Corinthians 10 - You wont be tempted with something you can not handle. God is faithful.