January 5, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been settled here in NOLA for a few days now, and today I found myself with absolutely nothing to do and weather not conducive to exploring the city. After what felt like a productive day yesterday, today I feel very purposeless. And once that attitude takes hold, it really is hard to get rid of it.

I find myself worrying. Mostly about things I have no control over. I need to quit that. I read an article today about casting your fears on the Lord, and while I recommend reading the whole article, here is what stuck out to me:

“I love the word image I get from the idea of casting, but I often misinterpret it. I think of casting my fears on God like a deep-sea fisherman… You baited your hook, cast as far as you could and then waited…

That’s how I’ve looked at casting my anxiety on the Lord. I do it once a day at best. It’s something I do in my quiet time in the morning and then maybe at night if something is really bothering me. It’s a singular event, like throwing out a deep sea fishing line.

But in the last few days, I’ve started to feel like I might be wrong about that. What if casting your anxiety is more like fly-fishing. Have you ever seen a fly fisherman? It’s a surprisingly active form of fishing. You have to keep your fly, or lure, in almost constant motion, tapping the water repeatedly in an attempt to attract a fish…

And into that space, into my panic and tangle of worry, I am told to cast all my anxiety on God. Not like a deep-sea fisherman, throwing out one line and waiting. But more like a fly fisherman, constantly sending out line. Constantly giving up my fears and worries to the Lord. Not as a single act, but as a lifestyle of surrender. As a constant release to the Lord.”

To put it plainly, God is breaking me. And it sucks. It hurts badly. And while I know it is bringing Him glory and will make me more like Him in the end, it’s still difficult to want it when it feels like this. I don’t know how long I’m going to be in New Orleans, and I need to stop worrying about it. I need to cast it to Him.

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eve of more than a new year.

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, all my stuff is moved out of Lexington, and bright and early on January 1st, I will be driving to New Orleans. The past few weeks have been what can only be called an emotional roller coaster, as I battle times where fear overtakes me & anxiety cripples me, and times where I am okay with the new adventure I’m about to embark on. I try to remember the restlessness I’ve felt in Lexington, and the affirmation the Lord has given me that moving to NOLA is being obedient. I try not to dwell on the doubt Satan has been feeding me, as well as the lies of infinite “what if” situations, and my tendency to think too far down the road.

I do believe God will take care of me. I wholeheartedly have faith in that. Where I’m still coming around is that I think I know how I want Him to take care of me. I mostly don’t want Him to take care of me by replacing my current friends with new ones.

If you’re the praying kind and would like some specifics…
• Pray the anxiety problems I’m having will ease (problems eating & sleeping, etc.)
• Pray that I will stay present. And as Joe Joe says to me, “Live where I’m at.”
• Pray that no matter what, I will go to God for strength, comfort, and peace.

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2010 movies.

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Here are some great movies I saw this year, and ones I still want to see. Please don’t judge me, I don’t get to the movie theater that often. 🙂

Inception. Quickly climbing the charts as one of my favorite movies of all time. As an aspiring filmmaker, it had the big three: amazing intricate plot, fantastical & realistic effects, and superb characters.
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows, Part 1. I grew up with it, and they keep getting better. I can’t wait for the final installment!
The Town. I know most people dislike Ben Affleck movies, but I never have (Paycheck, anyone?) and this awesome crime drama did not disappoint.
Shutter Island. Leonardo Dicaprio is off my “I know you’re a good actor, but I don’t like you list,” with this amazing thriller. Even better the second time around.
Robin Hood. Ridley Scott has yet to disappoint me.
Eclipse (the 3rd in the Twilight saga). Don’t judge me.

Here’s what I want to see:

The Social Network. Yeah, the trailers were awesome, but I didn’t think they could pull off a movie about Facebook well. But apparently they did.
The Fighter. This will happen soon.
True Grit. This will also happen soon. My dad is very excited.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I’m usually not big on graphic novels turned movie, or Michael Cera, but I really wanna try this out.

Also, for an extra of my two cents, I didn’t like these movies this year:

Toy Story 3
Due Date

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still missing them 2 years later.

When I sat down to write this blog post, I realized it may not make sense to some people how I could still have things to say about the accident that happened two years ago tomorrow. A good friend and a potential friend were killed, and another friend was critically injured. And yet, even now, I am in tears remembering.

It’s weird what time does. In the past two years the name Tom has become almost foreign to me. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I don’t have any other friends named Tom, and maybe that is why. It’s also weird how life goes back to a new form of normal. I-75 near Mt. Vernon was always home for me growing up, being where my grandparents and Aunt and Uncle lived. But now it’s a place of sadness. But that isn’t what’s mostly on my mind today.

I know as believers in Jesus Christ, we can celebrate that Tom and Brad are in heaven now, where there is no death and no tears, but I still struggle with celebrating. Maybe it is where I am in my life, about to uproot from Lexington and move for seemingly no good reason other than God is telling me to do so. I just don’t think its fair that Tom had to die for me to realize how much like Jesus he was. And I’m not exaggerating things for the sake of being kind. Tom was so much like Jesus. And I’m ashamed that I didn’t learn from his example until he was gone.

That day is engrained in my mind forever. The sound of Erin’s voice on the phone breaking the news to me, Ben catching me when the news was final, and the funeral. What a horrible day. It all changed me, even when its not obvious to me.

The facts haven’t changed. I still can’t believe Tom and Brad are gone, even two years later. The sadness and disbelief are still very real, even for someone like me. But God is using Tom’s death still today, and in that I will myself to celebrate.

I want to be so much like Jesus, just like Tom was. That’s what I learned this past year. When I get to heaven, I want Tom to be proud of me, and then we can play Killer Pong, Assassinations, and SmudBall for eternity.

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paris: day 5.

My second day on my own was ironically the one I spent the most time lost. My first stop was going to be the Opera, but I got distracted by the famous Galeries Lafayette department store. And once I found my way out again, I was in a more expensive part of town and felt very out of place. Eventually, after wandering too far and getting turning around, I found the Opera. Unfortunately they were preparing for an opera (I think) and everything but the front facade was covered and the front had tons of delivery trucks so it was monumentally disappointing.

Next up was to find the Holocaust Memorial. This proved quite difficult as the metro stop I got off confused me and it took me about an hour to find it, and even when I did, it’s quite small and unassuming that I literally just stumbled upon it. The security was the tightest I’ve seen, even more than the Louvre. But I spent a good amount of time there enjoying the exhibition in the basement (and feeling when the metro trains went by) although most of it was in French.

The plan was to meet the Harringtons for dinner at the Notre Dame metro stop, but I got there about 3 hours early. Thankfully I found Shakespeare and Company, which was the first English bookstore in Paris. It is an awesome place of wall to wall, floor to ceiling books. Upstairs there are a few seats for reading and I parked myself there until it was time for dinner.

We ate at a Fondue restaurant, not far from Notre Dame. It was definitely a very French experience, and was great fun. I thought the night would end there, but Michael took me to the next suburb over to a jazz jam session! It was awesome. Michael played drums on a couple songs and I even got to see a jazz harmonica player and jazz flautist! Good day indeed.

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paris: day 4

My first day on my own.

Bus to the train station > train with one connection > the Eiffel Tower.

It was pretty stinking awesome. I decided to climb the stairs because the line was about a hundred times shorter. 360 steps later I arrived at the first floor. Circling it, I didn’t think it could get any better, but it could. 360 more steps later the second floor and it’s amazing views left me in awe. Then after a good bit of a wait, the elevator took me to the summit. It had just started to rain, so the views weren’t as good as they could be, but they were still amazing. I loved it. After climbing down I got a crepe (ordered it in French!) and walked in the gardens and saw some other sites.

Metro > connection 1 > check out Les Invalides > metro > connection 2 > Concord

Concorde Square is where the oldest monument in Paris stands. It was also the site where hundreds were beheaded before the Revolution. It also is at the tail end of the Champs-Élysées, with the Arc de Triomphe at the other end.

Climbing the Arc was definitely the best thing I’ve done yet. The views and watching the traffic around the roundabout were really cool. And the prices at the gift shop weren’t outrageous, maybe cause they are three quarters of the way up and they figured you’ve already paid a little.

metro > RER train > switch lines > bus ride home: success!

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paris: day 3.

The first Sunday of every month a lot of the museums in Paris have free admission. We took advantage of a couple of them. First, Joe Joe and I hit up the highlights in the Louvre, including Winged Victory, Venus di Milo, The Wedding Feast of Cana, and of course… the Mona Lisa. It was the most underwhelming and disappointing thing I’ve ever seen. Completely stupid.

Anyway, the Louvre it self is a maze. The pyramid thing is really cool, but the rest of the museum is impossible without a map and improbable with one. Thankfully Joe Joe knew it somewhat.

Then we hit up the Champs-Élysées, which is the most popular street in France. There we met the boys and went to a 2-story McDonalds, where the food and the restaurant in general is better than America (in my opinion). After lunch, Michael and I crossed under the massive roundabout to the Arc de Triomph. We didn’t climb it though, and I decided to climb it another day.

Joe Joe and I then went to the Musée d’Orsay, which has a lot of impressionists paintings including Van Gogh and Monet. I really liked it here, especially cause Joe Joe loves her Impressionism and told me about a lot of them. At that point we were exhausted and heading home for Bengals football and an early bedtime.

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