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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Thank You

Tonight, I can't stop saying thank You, because God answered these prayers:


  • prayers for more time to take care of my traffic ticket

  • prayers for Llaura to be safe, and well, in mind & body & heart & soul

  • prayers for help with changing my bad habits/lifestyle

  • prayers for help to handle increasing amounts of schoolwork

  • prayers for friendships
  • prayers for more ways to learn

  • prayers for answered prayers



I just keep whispering it, over and over again... thank You thank You thank You thank You... I can't stop. I can't stop thanking Him. He's the Prayer-Answerer. He took care of me, and He took care of Llaura, and I think you should trust in Him no matter what.

So... go thank Him for what He's done. You know at least one thing. Say "thank You," and know that He has not yet begun to bless.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Help me out here please peoplez

Okay... Here is the problem:
About a year- and- a- half ago God called our (Kiko and I's) youth leaders to move to Texas. Great for them.. not so great for our youth group. Things have sorta gone downhill. I want to try to fix it. So here is my requests :
1) Pray for U-Turn (our youth group), it needs fixin'
2) tell me what you like, or would like, in a youth group
ba as random and creative as you please.... all ideas are appreciated


You can post it here or @ my blog @ http://l457-r3z0r7.blogspot.com/

Thanks!!!

~Stephanie




Llaura

If you believe, please pray that Llaura (the girl to whom I have committed myself, in a way) will receive wisdom/guidance to decide whether to continue down the academic path she's chosen, or turn in a new direction. She has many other issues to deal with (financial, logistic, etc.), but that one is the most important, because everything else hinges on it. Her future hinges on it.

After working through a lot of difficult, tiring problems, jumping through hoops, and persevering even through total discouragement, she's finally arrived in Santa Barbara, and it's worse than she could have ever been prepared for. We both realized that this is an opportunity for God to show that He loves us actively. He's not sitting a million miles away, watching the world spin, or even simply orchestrating major events.

"For we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him." I know that Llaura loves Him, so we believe that He will take care of things/circumstances... what we are praying for is an extra measure of strength (to continue in active obedience to God when it gets hard), patience (to wait on Him for His voice), and humility to bend while God shapes her character and her future to best please Himand fulfill His will, for her and in the world.

To those of you who have already begun praying, or are praying even as you read this, thank you.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Vida del muerto

Vida del muerto

That means "Life of the Dead," and the most recent post there is awesome. Read it. Read it.

Pleather Kites and Purple Tights

The Silent Hour -> Pleather Kites and Purple Tights

I'm speechless. THIS is how you introduce yourself. Forget "Hi, I'm Cliche, nice to meet you" and "The pleasure of using meaningless language and overused pretense is all mine, I'm sure," this girl knows who she is, and how to get in touch with strangers.

She is the Prophesied One.

Ninjammies

Ok, your first mistake - learning to be a Ninja from a white guy amusing himself at Christmas time with fresh laundry ;)

Actually, that is pretty cool - how to make a ninja mask from an every day sweatshirt.

Did you ever hear of the assasination game? I learned about it in high school, and there may be rules around on the net somewhere. Its a harmless, fun game that would sharpen your ninja skills. What you do is put the names of everyone who is playing into a hat. Then each person draws a name and that is who they are supposed to "assasinate". You can do it any number of ways - sucker-tipped dart gun to the back of the head, letter bomb (just a letter saying boom! with some sort of a "trigger" like a taped string - break the tape and the "bomb" goes off), poison (slipping sugar or lemonaid into somones drink - something obvious to taste, but nothing that will make them sick or anything). When you have "successfully assasinated" someone, you inherit their name, and that becomes your new target. Last one alive wins. (Just remember the harmless fun part ;) )

It kind of teaches you to be on your toes and not be so complacent, and it lets you be creative in coming up with "mock assasination" schemes for your friends. I thought it was a blast. I dont know if you could pull it off at school, but maybe if you came up with gudelines (like no "killings" can be done in class, or the caffeteria, etc. Nothing that causes property damage, etc.)

Then you could put your newfound ninja training to use.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ninja Quotes

... okay, first things first: How to Be a Ninja

Now. I followed these instructions, and when I went across the hall to ninja-strike Jesse, Marc made a disparaging comment, and I ceased my ninja-like activity, at which point Jesse said..

"awww... you made my ninja go away!"

Later on, in the hallway, I attempted to assassinate my roommate, Ghost (aka Bill). But he had friends with him, and soon all three were attacking me. I would have triumphed over all of them, if not for Bill, who swiped at my face with his snack, saying:

"HYAH! Cookie to the mouth!!!"

Ninjas are cool.

Friends

I don't even know where to start. I guess in times like these, the best way to start is by admitting that you don't know how. Or maybe that's just me trying to excuse myself.

Wait, I've got it. Here it is: God is still good.

And you're thinking, "Okay, yeah, sure... now get to the point." Well, I'm pretty sure that is the point. It's the most important one, anyway. But see, now I've admitted that I have other points to make. Let me just warn you that this isn't going to be a very happy post, simply because I'm not very happy. I think my paradigm is shifting even as I type, though, so even if I don't surprise you (which I expect to do), I'll probably end up surprising myself.

Sometimes, I could almost- almost!- wish that my strongest, oldest friendships would just fade away, that I would forget them and they would forget me. But that's a pretty selfish thought. It would work though... if I were completely alone (except for the necessary acquaintences like roommates and such), I would never have to miss anyone. I would never have the pain I have now. And since my friends wouldn't know me, either, they wouldn't care.

Maybe part of the reason I hurt so much is because I spent the entire day alone. Don't get me wrong, I love the solitude. "Yeah, right... no one likes loneliness!" Think again. Ask my why I sit all by my lonesome at most meals here, and my answer will be, "Because my lonesome keeps me company better than most real people here."

(That's not entirely true. It's just that I come to the dining commons to eat food, and I can't eat food when I'm talking, and when someone sits at the same table I sit at, I'm obligated to both talk to them and respond to what they say to me, not to mention trying to be polite to people I don't have real relationships with, as if we have to pretend to be friends just because we know each others' names. That usually leaves everyone at the table feeling awkward, so I just avoid it entirely, if I can.)

And check it out: the only time I ever have to miss my lonesome is when there are too many people around me too often, and that hasn't happened, here. The dorms are practically empty on weekends. I love the quiet. I love the peace. I'm the oldest of seven, almost eight kids. I enjoy being alone.

But I hate, hate, hate not being with my friends when they're together. Brandon "Maria" Scott's 18th birthday par-tay was today. Ben was there. Alex was there. Garrett. Tim. Shawn. Jenni. Llaura. Mandee. Keith. Jeremiah. Each name makes me sink a little deeper. "Isaiah, you're getting all mushy on us. You're never mushy." I am tonight. I apologize.

They played games. They ate food. They laughed together. I miss that. I miss it so much. Think of something you really enjoy. No, seriously. Take a few moments right now, and think of something you enjoy more than anything else.

.
.
.

Have you thought of it?

.
.
.

It had better not be something edible. If it is, consider yourself officially shallow. Sorry to be all blunt like that.

.
.
.

Something you really enjoy. Here's a blank for you to fill in (mentally), if it helps:

x __________

Okay, you've got it, now. Let's say God leads you to college, miraculously provides you with financial aid and a good loan, leads you to a church in answer to your prayers, gives you friends who care about you even though they've only known you a month or so, and blesses you with awesome classes (mostly) that you are enjoying so much you could almost be persuaded to take them all over again next semester...

...but every once in awhile, you hear about something happening at home. x _________ happens, and you can't be there for it. You miss it. In more ways than one.

Isn't that a great feeling? <--- HEAVY SARCASM

I love the fact that my friends are still enjoying each others' company, and new friends and new memories are being made. Why can't I celebrate with them? Why can't I find it in me to be happy WITH them? What's wrong with me?

"Oh, quit moaning, foof-head. They're still your friends; you'll see them again one of these days." I don't care. I missed Brandon Wandon's 18th birthday par-tay, and I missed seeing Ben Wiles come out of hiding. Okay, Ben, I know you don't hide (like that); it's just not often we get to hang out, even when I'm NOT a few hundred miles away. It hurts; it hurts so much to be away when I know how much they're enjoying life. Together.

It makes me feel like I'm not supposed to be here.

"Boo-hoo, dude... get over it." Why should I? Why shouldn't I miss my friends? I can't decide whether it's right or wrong to feel like this. Maybe both. Maybe neither.

Hours. They've been hanging out for hours; heck, some of them have been hanging out since this morning, and the par-tay is still freaking going!!! They'll probably be up half the night, and with nothing to do but be together. I imagine how awesome that has to be, spending that much time with each other, and in response, I'd rather cry than smile.

It just hurts... why does it hurt so much?

And does it matter?

I could always just... give up...

I love you all.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Obituary

A moment of silence.....

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week. Larry La Prise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at age 93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in.

And then the trouble started.

I guess it's "Everyone Else's Blog/Xanga Promotion Week" or something.

Visit Jenihe's xanga.

A Day in the Life of Ug

A Day in the Life of Ug

Dungeon Master, web designer, forum moderator, artiste, friend, believer, child-at-heart, fantasy fan, video-game enthusiast, provider of snacks, co-proprietor of Ug 'n' Pippi's Bed-&-Breakfast-&-Library-&-GameRoom-&-Restaurant-&-CellHouse...

What more could you ask for in an uncle?

"Go ye therefore and comment on his blog, that he (and ye as well) may be blessed." -Isaiah 67:1, ISV

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Rain

I have heard from at least 6 different people in 6 different cities that it's been raining, and they've been enjoying it. I've also visitied several different cities in the past week (I took four trains and two bi), and I heard about rain in every single one. I've been up and down the west coast from Fresno to Coarsegold to Bakersfield to Anaheim to Costa Mesa... even people up north in Livermore have been enjoying rain recently.

I don't care about the weather patterns, or cold fronts, or low-pressure systems. I want to know why everyone loves the rain.

I've heard radio dj's and such say that they love it because FM range increases during rainy periods. Others say it "washes memories off the sidewalk of life." Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of poems and songs have been dedicated to rain. Rain is thought of as romantic, or melancholy, or soothing, or even practical... some love the effects the rain has on grass ("makes it green!") or what it does to the air ("makes it clean!").

It's not just the feel of rain, either. People love to watch it, taste it, smell it, hear it. But no matter how hard I try, I can't get one definite answer that everybody agrees on as to why they love it.

So tell me... why do you love the rain? If your answer is in the form of, "Because the rain is _____," then tell me why you think the rain is _____.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

In the Silence

God speaks. That was the topic tonight at Mariners Church here in beautiful (and rainy) Orange County I went there to lead worship with Ben Harbor, but one of the small group leaders didn't show up, so I led a group. It was great.

If you read my post about my weekend at the Marriot in Irvine, you know that God led me to Mariners for a reason. Well, I've been helping Ben lead worship there for two weeks now, and now I'm hearing stuff about recording a CD and stuff. Plus they have a need for me to help lead. So I'm really thankful that God answered my prayer, that He would show me a church where I could be of use.

(I've been thankful for the lack of compliments thus far, except I heard that some passers-by were wondering if there was some choir or group or something performing for the 6th graders.)

So I'm praising Him, not in private but publicly, and hopefully you will all be encouraged. God answers prayers, especially when you ask for things in His name, in His will... and I'm not just talking about my church experience so far. I've been getting alot of answers lately, alot of God-experiences. I hope this will be a testimony you can draw hope from.

Stay tuned for more God sightings.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Voice of the Movies

Men's Retreat: Garrett Stipe, Brandon Wandon Scott, Zack Granum, and last but not lowest, Rabbi Evian Wade. Oh... Tomas was there, too, and Ug, and my dad, and my bro Eli (sometimes known as Squany Erms).

The speaker was okay... 1) He didn't know how to relate to our generation. We had all ages there. 2) He tried to illustrate and prove some of his points using stories and analogies and metaphors. It doesn't work... stories are supposed to help us understand a lesson. They are not evidence in and of themselves that the lesson has any Truth to it.

And the worship leader! Reggie Coates is sickeningly skilled. He broke like three strings pulling some of his 'craziness' (props to Garrett for that word). I don't like his constant smile (seems fake), how polite he is (not a good thing), or how he liked to speak during songs (I HATE that), improvise little extra phrases in the lyrics, on the fly (I HATE that too), and perform instead of lead worship. I'm sorry, you just can't pull fancy stuff like that and expect everyone (or even a majority) to follow along, therefore you aren't leading, therefore you are performing.

Following 'Awesome God': "Ah, yes... He is awesome, isn't He?"

Following 'I Stand In Awe': "Yeah. He is holy, isn't He?"

#$^$%^#*$(@*(@^&(!!!!!!

He even devoted entire songs to performance. At least he admitted it. I wish I hadn't smelled that much hypocrisy in the air whenever took the stage.

Moving on. The Small Groups were pretty good, except for a certain person I really respected several months ago for his insight. He was a total child at the retreat... I should have been much more patient with him than I was.

It was a pleasure having Brandon, Garrett, Evan, and Tom all in my group, though. There was also another guy... Rick, I think? His passion and love were very evident, though he had had an incredibly long, rough road up until his recent repentance and acceptance of Christ's Truth.

Tom was a humble leader, as expected. =) In fact, the majority of the men there seemed to be very humble... when worshipping at the campfire one night, someone asked for "Jesus Loves Me," and they all sang it with their eyes closed and their heads bowed, some with their hands raised. I was touched.

Eli was supposed to bring the sparring weapons, but I found out the day after we arrived that Ug and Dad had said there wasn't enough room. >=( Foofy. Just foofing foofy.

So I moped around for awhile while everyone else played extreme ping pong/ring-around-the-rosy, and then I said, "I've got it. We'll get some sticks and pad the ends with socks."

The guys nodded. "Let's do it!"

So we're gathering the materials, and some along the process of assembling these boffers, I realize that I'm not on the same page as everyone else. "Wait... these are for sparring weapons, I thought."

Evan: "So that's why you've been hitting me with this one???"

Garrett: "Uhm... these are for the bass drum."

Isaiah: "...I'm an idiot."

So we finished these things, and headed for the Drum.

-=[ FLASHBACK ]=-

I remember coming to camp Sugar Pine when I was in junior high or maybe late elementary, and climbing one of the hills to find a huge metal thingy that was kind of like a half-pipe but turned out to be half of a water tank turned on its side, to curve upwards. This last weekend (years later), we found another water tank that was actually still in use... and it was big. Garrett suggested climbing on top of it, and we discovered that it made a really cool booming noise when he stomped on it.

So anyway. We took these things up there, and in a heartfelt gesture of Bando-ism, and in tribute to the great John Myers, we held our First Seance Rhythm Circle. It was pretty cool. We held the Second one that night, during the lightning storm. Everyone in the camp thought the Drum was just more thunder.

Evan and I spent about four hours impersonating funny voices and quoting movies and cartoons, and singing Disney songs and worship songs with each other.

Uhm... I was going to write more, but believe it or not, there was a several-hour-long interruption in the writing of this post, and I'm really thrown off now (but it's all good), so this is all you get. Talk to the people who went for more stories. IM me, even...

I Love you all. Oh, and I want everyone- EVERYONE!!!- in the college study group to know that I am praying for you.

God bless. (and He will, too...)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Politics?

I'm painfully apathetic. Once in awhile I even enjoy making fun of politics. When someone decides to use chapel time to hold a political debate between two teachers representing the dominant political parties, I decide that that someone is a poopy foof-head, and I spend that time reading an enjoyable book, while still getting credit for going to chapel.

Vote against voting!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Make-a Your Own Pumpakin!

Make-a Your Own Pumpakin!

It's Octoberween season... carve your pumpakin wisely.

Don't Give Up

Just saw on the news that a 17-year-old girl named Laura Hatch was driving through the mountains, lost control of her car (somehow), crashed her Toyota Camry in the trees several yards down, survived for 8 days without food or water and suffering from dehydration, a blood clot in her brain, and broken bones in her face.

She's currently entertaining the doctors with her sarcastic jokes and strong positive attitude.

A family friend claims to have had several vivid dreams of a wooded area, prior to finding Laura in the back seat of her car.

Don't give up.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Wholly Crap!!!

. . . I should probably re-spell that . . .

To Ug, Caleb, Jenihe, Derek, the Jay, Kiko, Evian, Lane-O, Sunset, Maria, and any others who are interested:

I'm writing this because I'm tired of watching angry, faithless pre-Christians screaming their hearts out at the so-called "Christians" who have abused the name of God, turning potentially good soil into concrete.

Here's a perfect example:
Lord Sephiroth

And another:
Martin Spellweaver

A discussion on what's important, with opinions from all over:
demonslayer

And here, scroll down to the fifth post:
Az

There are just too many to deal with. I'm a freshman in college with 17 units; I just don't have the time or the energy to talk to all these people and let them know that their feelings are actually valid! This is what the world feels when "Christians" present the "Good News":

"Humans need to lighten up! Their gods and religions are dreary, humorless, wrathful, intolerant, oppressive and generally unpleasant. There is no love, no joy, no fun! Humans are under the dominion of ideologies that are slowly but surely killing them. They need to release them and be free!

"No one is going to punish them for enjoying life, and there is no point to living if they can't enjoy it. No good god person wants to see people stumbling around in dread seriousness, doing ****amamie rituals and constantly beating up themselves and others."

And I wholeheartedly agree with it. Those who profess to have found the Truth are offering condemnation and propaganda, instead of Life. The links here are just a few examples of the thousands of people who have been Bible-bashed so many times that some of them are starting to bash back.

So this is what I propose (and this is the idea I had that hit me out of the blue, thereby inspiring this post's title):

I would share the truth with them, listen to them, minister and witness to them if I could. But i can only do so much. However, if there was a group of people handling tasks like these, we could begin changing hearts and live with just a few minutes of our time every day. Rather than handling all this on my own, I would really like to do it as part of a team. It wouldn't require a whole lot, as long as we have alot of people doing it.

So whaddya say? Wanna be an apologetic? Apologetics

PLEASE leave a comment or e-mail me, whether you're in or out. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Oh, you can also leave a post on the Silent Hour forum (anonymous posts are allowed, last time I checked...)

Chlorophylliary Posterior

much grass to Evian for his post... i miss all of you guys even more now. i see jenihe using 'sneaky sneaky' on her xanga, and i hear about all the quotes, and i'm like, "man..." it makes me sad.

on top of that, Llaura was here for a week, and now she's gone. this makes me want to sing. no, not joyfully... i just... need to express myself. heart's kind of overflowing. but i love to sing, so it's kind of a weird blend of negative and positive feelings, which are complementary rather than mutually exclusive or antimonious.

yes, that's a word... opposite of harmonious. :

anyway, i'm sorry i haven't posted much. i've been with Llaura.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The best Verve ever

Well, Verve Cafe was the BEST tonight. I drank my first Rockstar energy drink, and just to tell you, the burning from the acid goes away about half way through. Anyway, things were going all right, and then the guest speaker showed up. First off, he's Filipino, short, knows martial arts, and loves Jesus. Hmmm. Sounds familiar. So he shares his testimony. Then the lights go off, and he starts to black-light paint. It was awesome. Period. You can see some of his paintings here. Although it's not quite the same as seeing it live, they're still great.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Ha...

...llelujah.

I break it down like that because most people don't think of "Oh my gosh I can't believe how blessed I am because God loves me" when they see the word "Hallelujah." I swear, she's... I... she... we...

*suppresses a dreamy sigh*

Isjami does not sigh dreamily in public.

Llaura's grandparents live in Westminster. I spent the weekend with her there. =) Actually, she spent several years growing up here in southern California. It's been really great to spend this much time with her. I mean, it really shows how blessed we are, as well as how (and sometimes why) we're blessed individually.

It's difficult, though. I keep thanking God for our relationship, but yesterday I realized, "What about God? Loving Him is supposed to be my main focus." I kept thanking Him, without realizing how much my focus had shifted towards her and away from Him over the weekend. It's good that we're not going to the same college, I think. God knows what He's doing. LoL Big surprise, huh?

My family sent me all kinds of gifts, too. Dad sent me Photoshop 7.0 and 8.0 (appropriately known as "CS"), as well as some retro .mp3's and the haircutting kit so I don't have to gel my hair every morning anymore. LoL Jesse suggested I just forget bandanas and gel and let it dry naturally. I think people would die laughing, so I don't plan to do that.

My aunt sent me $10 and tons of snacks like Cheetos and popcorn and sunflower seeds. My uncle sent me $40, sort of an advance paycheck for the web building I've been doing lately. God funded my weekend with Llaura, and I'm still trying to figure out whether he approves of the way I've been spending my money, or if He was just being gracious by knowing I would spend $$ on stuff I didn't need, and giving me the cash anyway. *shrug* I hope He continues to teach me about finances and spirituality.

Had a great church service at Rock Harbor, home of Mike Erre (AWESOME pastor) and Todd Proctor (semi-famous worship leader). I might spend another night at Llaura's grandparents' place, because my first class is at noon tomorrow, but we're still considering that. She may not leave for Fresno until Friday!!!

I would be TOO happy, except that I have to study for this 100 question science class (from hell). Stupid stuff, but hey, it's 4 credits and an easy A. Well, I shouldn't say that. It hasn't been easy attending class from 2:30p-6:00p twice a week, but I'm not really worried about my grade, let's put it that way.

I'm just rambling now. I'll stop. I miss all you guys.