Thursday, July 27, 2006

43 things
So I found this pretty awesome site. [ ] It reminds me of making a life list - you search things that you want to do and it will either show you more people who want to do it or maybe you're the first to suggest it. It adds the things to your list and you can write entries pertaining to each thing on the list. It's pretty incredible. Everyone should join! lol. Anyway, just thought I'd share that.

Monday, July 17, 2006

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." --- Anatole France

This entire weekend has been dedicated to Jason and Heidi’s departure. Friday night we helped plan for the goodbye party, Saturday we attended the party and went to the last Ro0ts ever, and Sunday we watched mournfully as others said goodbye to our beloved friends. It’s really hard to even think of saying goodbye to them as they have not only been our youth leaders, but also mentors, friends, and parents. To say goodbye to them feels like saying goodbye to a part of my life that has upheld itself on a pedestal for nearly four years. Ro0ts, in my mind, has always been the ideal place to be and with their leaving, Ro0ts leave also. It is the end of an age or the breaking of the fellowship. In just a few weeks Erik and Charisse will be leaving also – the golden age of Ro0ts is most assuredly over. Thankfully I can say I’ve made friends with the people or Ro0ts (most recently Dan) and am growing in friendship with Erik. It’s hard to watch change and know that there is nothing we can do to pause it or at least slow it down. The idea that we must die to one life to enter a new chapter of our lives is interesting but most depressing. To leave Ro0ts in the past seems wrong. I don't know how everyone else feels but for me Ro0ts is something that will have to live strong in my heart forever. It may make things harder for awhile, not wanting to let go, but in the long run I believe it will be best. It reminds me of ‘Titanic.’ At the end of the movie Rose says as an old lady that she’d never spoken of Jack to anyone until that point. “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets…” I think that’s just it – she never spoke of it to anyone but he lives strong in her heart – only existing in her memories. He was the most precious person to her and to never speak of him must have been hard. That, I imagine, is what Ro0ts will be for awhile – until we all meet again. It will be a chapter of our lives that holds incredible impact but in time will be buried beneath new things. Change for sure is a melancholy thing as saying goodbye to Jason and Heidi is a very bitter sweet circumstance. They are living out what most only talk about but at the same time we will miss them a lot. Whether or not a new youth group is started or if we all continue to get together every once and a while, the consistent meetings are gone and the time has come for us to depart our ways. Winter Camp, New York, Chicago, Summer of Love, Texas, Mission Radiance, Common Ground, Stink Bomb, Froot Loops and so much more… How to let that lie in the past seems an improbable thing to attempt. Rather, I will hold onto the hope of one day feeling that same unification as we had at Ro0ts. To one day walk back into Ro0ts with everyone there, as Rose walked back into the Titanic at the end of the film and saw everyone around her on the ship – finally reuniting with Jack. One day, whether it is on earth in 5 years or mars in 20 years, or heaven when we die, I hold onto the hope of being in Ro0ts yet again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cornerstone 2006
Well Cornerstone was amazing. SOOO much happened and I met so many people. I barely know where to start so be warned now - this post will be extremely scattered as it is a collection of random thoughts from the last week. We got there Monday: It was really hot and setting up the 8 person tent was a legit challenge. We walked around for the afternoon - the team showed me around the campground (the team being Crystal, Dan, Josh, and Cindy). That night it rained; hard and loud.

On Tuesday Crystal, Cindy, and I went to town to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. While we were out, we also stopped at Subway and Quiznos where we ran into a group of guys who told us of a group of protesters outside of the entrance to cornerstone. Conveniently, we ran into these protestors on our way back and I must say it was very intriguing. They gave me a handout telling me why they were protesting: they held signs that read "Cornerstone dishonors God." That afternoon the team walked up to the protestors and we had an interesting conversation. This guy thought that Cornerstone dishonored God because A) rock music, B) youth groups are evil, C) and no one has the right heart at Cornerstone because its equally secular. The conversation started when Crystal and I confronted him, but soon many people were joining the discussion. In the middle two guys making a documentary joined in and got a lot on tape. I’m interested in seeing this tape. Needless to say - nobody was able to prove this guy wrong because he wouldn’t let anyone say anything. Many of us had verses to back up our points but he was so busy trying to prove his point that nobody could get a word in edgewise. It was amazing; "Welcome to Cornerstone."

On Wednesday we saw "Underoath" on the main stage. I didn't think I'd enjoy it much because I was never too much of a fan but I was blown away. That performance would have to be my second favorite - next to Crowder. The lead singer worked the stage - he screamed. I don’t know what it was but I was entirely impressed. In the middle of one of the last songs an ambulance was pulling in next to the stage. After the song the band asked anyone who knew the injured girl to go to her; she was unconscious so they didn’t know her name. Nobody shifted - the band said they wouldn’t go on until someone went to her because "this girl was much more important that one more stupid song played" It was awesome. When the ambulance pulled in and nobody shifted to take notice of it I started to get very angry - I've been going through this thing where people don’t care about anything anymore because they're too desensitized to it. (i.e. car accidents. we see them so often that when we pass one we only look at it as an inconvenience instead of considering the person's life involved in the accident) So I was praying during that song and just asking God to help this girl when someone commented that it was a common thing and not that big a deal. I was heated. If Underoath hadn’t stopped the show I probably would have written off their show but they did and I so appreciated that small act of love for this girl (who we later learned was named "Rose")

On Thursday night we saw Crowder. He was awesome – as per usual; amazing worship experience. We met these two guys and a girl at that concert; Tim, Joe, and Ayesha. After the concert Tim, Joe, Crystal, and I went to watch the fireworks. Anyway, the show was awesome and Crowder would definitely take the cake for my favorite performance all week.

On Friday, Dan, Josh, and Cindy went to see Pirates while Crystal and I went to hear Mark from ‘Cool Hand Luke’ give a lesson. He talked about zeal without knowledge (focusing on 2 Kings 13). His teaching was awesome and to me it hit on exactly what I think is going on. He was aware of the lack of love going on these days in the church and he wasn’t unaware of his own lack of love to share to nonbelievers. After the lesson we went to talk with him and a few others and I was, for lack of a better word, ecstatic. The whole lot of us seemed to agree on these issues that the Judes has hit on in the past few months. The verse in Revelation on being lukewarm was discussed and gay rights were discussed. I loved it. I wonder what life would be like if all Christians had this same zeal for the Lord with a desire for knowledge behind it?

Honesty is an odd thing. When Mark was honest about his life outside of the band and away from the concert scene I didn’t want to believe him. He said he was pretty much a bad person – not loving unconditionally and not the perfect Christian. He was honest enough that I came to trust his word and his unending humbleness but that’s not all I realized. I realized I really do hold bands on a pedestal to live up to. For so long I’ve stood up for bands name and defended the fact that they are only human but I really only did that for secular bands. When it came to Christian bands I seemed to be in this mind set that they were beyond struggles – in my mind they needed to set an example to the world of what Christianity is. To a point that’s true but it is also true that they’re still human. This is why honesty is an odd thing; through his honesty I was able to be honest with myself about how I look at things. I see how hard it must have been for him to bring himself down from this picture perfect image we held him at because we all love to be idolized but at the same time I came to love his imperfections because of his honesty. I know this all sounds rather strange but in his mere honesty I realized a lot.

The concert was amazing. I met so many people – many in the Asylum (the Goth tent); Donna, Justin, Asher, red guy, mute boy, Mort, Amanda, Nick, Sam, etc. Most were nice but some I felt were a bit judgmental and not quite right. We met a kid at the ‘Falling Up’ Concert who had a huge bruise on his cheek from being kicked in the face during a mosh pit: we never got his name but we ran into him a few times and he was pretty awesome. I don’t even know what else to say because I’ve still skipped so much yet I can’t think of what to write next so I’m just gonna’ list stuff.

Top Concerts: David Crowder, Underoath, Cool Hand Luke, Kids in the Way, Showbread, mewithoutyou, Spoken, Lorien, The Wedding, Falling Up, Red, etc.
“Miner? Okay gotcha buddy!”
“Oooh Baby!!”

"Rest for the Weary" - Cool Hand Luke
Hey, it’s me
I’m sorry it’s so late
I can’t sleep
I knew You’d be awake (Psalm 121:4)
You’re always home
Waiting by the phone
For nights like these
When I’m feeling all alone
I wish it didn’t always
Have to be this way
I wish that I could talk to You
Face to face
But nothing compares to the way
You always listen and know just what to say
Hold my hand
I can’t stand alone
Here I am
Waiting for You to take me home
Oh, I just want to sing
I only wish there was a word
For what You mean to me
I would only say it once
In hushed tones
So it would not grow old
But all I haveIs “I love You”
You’re my Jesus, You’re my hero
Everything I wish that I could be
You’re the one who comforts me
When everyone is gone away
I can’t stand aloneHere I am
Waiting for You to take me home
And I will keep on singing
Because You hear me
And I will keep on smiling
Because You’re near me
I’ll sleep well on a promise tonight.

Dan: Lawn
Cindy: Garden
Naomi: Gnome
Josh: Flamingo
So that is a performance by mewithoutyou. I was sitting up on one of the hills and until that song I wasn't too jazzed about their music. After that, when they invited anyone to come up and dance on the stage, I was blown away. It reminds me of David dancing in the field and everyone thought he was crazy but it's so beautiful. Watching people dance on stage together and individually was incredibly inspiring.