Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stress Is Decreasing, Patience Is Increasing.

The past few weeks, at least for me, have been very stressful. If you want to find out more about that, read my blog "Stress is bad for you." This week has been much less stressful. I think what helped the most was having a good talk over dinner one night with Jon, a friend of mine up here at Greenville. We spent a good 2 hours talking about everything, and that definitely helped me to relax. It was nice to have someone to vent to, and I felt it helped him to have me to listen to what he had to say, too. Around that same time, I got a call from my grandpa telling me that Mamaw had gotten a new recliner and I could have the old one. Last friday night I went down and got the recliner, and got to have dinner with my parents for the first time in a long while. Usually when I come home, I spend a lot of time with my friend Ryan and others from home, and rarely get to hang out with my parents. It was nice to just sit with them and talk and have a good time. Once I got back up here, I sat in the recliner and realized that this was also a great way of relaxing as well. When you're in college and you're really stressed, it's nice to sometimes kick off your shoes, put on some Jack Johnson, and just be chill.

While talking to Jon, we discussed patience. I told him about what I had been struggling with, and he said that patience is something that is easy to talk about, but oftentimes difficult to actually attain. Being a music major, I've discovered that patience is very, very important. When I first learned to play guitar, I found it really easy to get started playing. I learned chords and praise & worship songs within a month, and was better than my teacher (David) within a few months of playing. The same happened when it came to learning chords on the piano. I sat down one night with my keyboard, and taught myself all the chords that I knew on the guitar that evening. However, when I got up here, things didn't come as easy to me as they had back home. I was having trouble understanding all the theory, having trouble getting the hang of piano, and failing miserably at guitar lessons. I was getting very frustrated and didn't understand why this wasn't as easy at it was when I started. It was about that time when I began to think about being patient. In Galatians 5, it talks about the fruits of the spirit. It says But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Some of these things, such as joy, kindness, and love seem pretty simple to me. But patience is something I usually struggle with.  Recently though, I have become a fan of it. Whether it be with college, or a girl that you like, patience is crucial.

I feel that a lot of times, God is trying to show us things and requires patience from us. An example of this was with Lazarus. Everyone knows this story; Lazarus passed away, despite his sisters continued calls to Jesus. (Here comes some paraphrasing...) "He wouldn't have died if you would've just been here, Jesus!" they cried. "It's too late now, it's useless. You took too long, and now he's gone." I think we are like this a lot of times. Something happens, whether it's the passing of a family member, a relationship that didn't go well, or even something that is taking longer than we want it to. We feel that since it's past, or taking way too long, that all hope is lost. We feel that everything should be done on our time, and not His time. Anyway, as the story goes, Jesus comes to the grave where Lazarus was set 3 days ago, and raised him from the dead. I think the biggest struggle that we as humans have is realizing that we have to work on God's time, not our own.


1:04 pm

When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run
Pedro The Lion
Album - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thank God for Youth Pastors

Today I got two packages. One was Ruth's new CD, Anorak, which I had ordered last week. We're getting ready to see how it sounds. Reviews have been good. The other package was from some of my dearest friends I have: David and Amy Fortner. Although the goodies in the package were excellent, it was the thought that touched me the most. Let me give a little background first, to inform you why this was so important.

My freshman year of high school, our church decided we needed a youth pastor. While we as the youth had little to do with the whole process, two couples were brought in and we were asked our opinion of the two. We favored the second couple, although the guy talked a hundred miles an hour. At the time, it didn't seem like a real big decision. In the end it turned out to be one of the biggest and best decisions any of us had ever made.

David and Amy have taught me so much, whether it be guitar, or just simple things about going off to college. I've been on three international mission trips and one national with David, one every year of high school. Those four trips have given us a chance to become so close and I learned so much from him. Not just from a work ethic standpoint, but about life in general.

David had a lot to do with me becoming interested in music. I the summer of 2005, right before my sophomore year, I was chillin' at David's house and saw his guitar sitting in the corner of his living room. I asked him, "Could you show me how to play?" He said, "Yeah, sure." So for the next few days, approximately two weeks, we went upstairs with two guitars, and he showed me a handful of chords. From there, he gave me some praise and worship songs to work on, and I moved on to learn some more chords on my own. 

Not long after, I started writing music of my own, and soon starting writing lyrics as well. From there, Mustard Seed was formed, and he was one of our largest supporters. He gave us opportunities to lead worship on Wednesday nights for the youth, chances to have shows out at the church, and even play the music for Church camp the last two years.

The last four years have been some of the best years of my life, and I definitely have David and Amy to thank for that. I know for a fact I would not be the person I am today without them, and they are honestly two of my biggest role models I have.

Having said all that, I love you David, Amy, Baylee, and Chloe.


3:33 pm

Who I Was And Who I Am
Album - Anorak

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stress Is Bad For You

So today started out alright. I had intended on going to chapel this morning, but slept through my alarm. Took a test I didn't study for. Then the not so goodness started...

Made a 65 on my mini-test in Ear Training. Then she started to talk about finals which got me all stressed. Went to dinner very hurriedly in order to practice a little bit for guitar lessons, which I didn't get to do. I practiced for guitar lessons a little bit, but not enough to keep the teacher from saying "What have you been practicing?" I can tell he gets rather frustrated when I'm trying to play, 'cause I get flat out pissed off. Why does playing notes on the guitar have to be so difficult? Everyone here makes it look so easy, but I struggle with that. He also said "I'm a little concerned with your playing for juries." Frankly, I'm scared to death. Basically, I'm gonna fail guitar lessons, and lose my scholarship. $6,000. Gone. $6,000 that my parents don't have.

If anyone reads this, which I'm beginning to doubt anyone does, keep me in your prayers.

6:32 pm

The Scientist
Album - A Rush Of Blood To The Head

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Relient K and Ghost Hunting

So this week was quite the week.

Thursday, I had the opportunity to go see House Of Heroes, This Providence, Ludo, and Relient K at the Pageant in St. Louis. Although I got lost on several occasions, and had to make 5 U-turns, including being at a stop light and having a fire truck with it's siren on pull up behind me and me having no idea what to do.

All of the ridiculous driving problems were all worth it once we got to the show. House of Heroes was great, despite a short playlist, This Providence was pretty good, Ludo wasn't my really my cup of tea, and Relient K was incredible. The last time I saw RK, they played with Switchfoot on the Appetite for Construction tour. They were slightly disappointing on that tour, possibly because SF puts on such a great show. However, they were far from disappointing that night. Song after song was great.

After the show, I went and bought a House of Heroes shirt and This Providence shirt for myself, and a Relient K shirt for Erin (which she loved). In the merch room, I got to meet and talk to Tim Skipper, the lead singer of HOH, who was quite cool.

After that, we chilled by RK's tour bus waiting to meet them all. After just about 45 minutes or so, John Warne, the bassist, came out followed shortly by the other guys one at a time. I got my picture taken with all of them, and small talked a little bit with all of them.

Friday night, I was invited by my friend back home Ryan to go ghost hunting in "The Bottoms" back home. To give a little background, I live near the Ohio River, and his uncles have a farm in the low laying area down near the river. We, along with 4 girls, Annie Rose Martin, Abbie Bickett, Erin Ellis and Cacy Ellis, went together. For quite a while, Ryan drove us around telling us ghost stories, and I knew he was stalling for something. He kept calling one of our friends from high school, Kyle Lowery. He was giving him directions to a guy's house in a neighboring town. However, with the continued calls, I knew something was up, but he was so confusing with his talk, I stopped trying to figure it out.

We finally got to "Calico Lane,"and I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty darn creepy. It was way out in the middle of nowhere, and there was absolutely nothing on this lane. At one point in time, he stopped the car by this wooded area, turned off the lights, rolled down all the windows, locked them, then shut off the car. The girls in the back were yelling at Ryan to roll the windows up, but Ryan refused. I, personally, was a bit scared myself, but I played it off like I was tough. Later on, we met up with a few other friends, Kyle Morton and Derek Drone. We pulled up on Calico Lane a little farther and, with lots of persuasion, got everyone out of the vehicles and walked for a while. The girls were scared out of their wits and made sure to let us all know.

After quite a bit of walking, Ryan finally decided it was time to turn back around and go back to the vehicle. On our way back, two people came out from the ditches and scared all of us. It was Kyle Lowery and his sister Makenzie. Once I thought about it a little bit, I realized I could have seen that coming, but I didn't really think too much about it.

To sum up my weekend, it was pretty awesome.

2:59 am

The Lining Is Silver
Relient K
Album - The Bird And The Bee Sides