I’m really not sure what to say about today. Nothing interesting happened, but despite that, I was just in a really great mood. It’s pretty awesome, really. There was a slight incident after homeroom that kind of worried me or threatened to ruin my good mood, but thankfully, it was dealt with by lunchtime, and so it was of no consequence. I did my best to fix the situation; I can’t say I did much, but I at least tried. Anyways, that was my day – just great.
Last night was awesome as well. It was the first Praise Party thing, and I was really looking forward to it. I really thought it was going to be great, and it didn’t disappoint. Zeth played his acoustic guitar and we sang some worship songs, and then Pastor Rob did a little devotion on Hebrews 3:12-14 – “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” He spoke a little about having a hardened heart, and also about helping others through their needs, being sensitive to the Lord’s leading. It really got me thinking; I mean, I know I’ve been doing a lot better at encouragement than I used to, but I’m still far from where I could be in that area. I know that, and I’m working on it. Encouragement was never really my strong point, but as I’ve learned to keep it on the tip of my tongue at all times, I’ve found that it’s become easier to just say, “Hey, good job!” for something someone does. It goes along with a whole attitude shift away from a critical attitude.
After the short devotional, we shared prayer requests and then split up into two groups – guys and girls, like the Baptists always do. It was a great time; we all prayed, though it wasn’t forced or anything, and I thought that was awesome. It really showed the heart for God that each one of the guys there has. One request that really stuck on my heart was the one for Angelie. She’s a great friend of mine, and she’s going through a hard time with her walk with the Lord. I don’t mean this to be a gossip column at all – I truly say this because I’m praying for her and want the best for her. I’m sharing this because it’s been on my mind, and since she shared it with the group, I feel alright in saying it here. She mentioned how the verses we talked about that night had spoken to her about the hardened heart she’s been having, and just taking God’s grace for granted. I really admire her honesty and I made sure to keep her in my prayers. So if you’re reading this, Angie, please know that I’m praying for you, and asking God to just come close to you during this time and show you His presence. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to come and talk to me, alright?
There were a few things that I would have liked to see done differently last night. I mean, these aren’t criticisms, as I honestly loved last night, but just some things that could perhaps have been done differently. First off was just how structured it was. That’s not a bad thing, but I had expected it to be just a bit less formal than it was. It was still fairly open and informal, but still, I would have appreciated perhaps more of a discussion time instead of a message from Pastor Rob to us sort of thing. Perhaps that will come later, and as I said, it’s not a criticism – it was a really great devotional. I think what may also be happening is that some of the youth will take turns doing some of the devotionals, which should be great. That may have less of an imposing atmosphere, because it’s “one of us” up there talking – it may turn into more of a discussion-type setting, in other words. Then, of course, there was the whole thing of splitting up the guys and girls. I suppose it might have been done just because of the several relationships going on right now, but I also value the input and unique perspective that females have that you just can’t get from guys. I suppose it’s important to split up the guys and girls sometimes and not other times; it’s just a matter of discretion, I guess. But anyways, those are the few tiny things that I found – not much criticism in the face of how great it really was.
After our time there, we went over to the Dickinson’s house, a missionary family that goes to Central, to help them load up a van with boxes going over to Africa or something. That didn’t take too long with all the people we had helping, but I’m sure they were glad to have the help. After that, we headed over to Greenbrier Park and hung out there for a while. Kristy and Zeth were hogging the normal swings, so Jeff and I took the baby swings, spun them around to twist the chains holding them, and then hung onto the seat as it spun us around. It was insanely crazy, and yet amazingly fun. It gave me such a head rush, because you’re upside down and also spinning around at the same time. I did that a few times until I couldn’t walk straight and had a headache, and then we found other things to do. I sat down in the grass and talked to Angelie, Steph, and Meagan for a little bit, then after a while people decided to go to Dairy Queen. I stood up as people were getting ready to leave, and then Zeth and Jeff concocted this plan – Zeth went down on all fours behind me, and then Jeff came around and was talking to me, then just gave me a hard shove. I flipped over Zeth and lay there, sprawled on my back. All the girls were like, “That was so mean! How could you do that?” Zeth and Jeff were laughing, and so was I, because hey – it was funny. Jeez, these women should lighten up a little sometimes.
After that, Jeff knelt down and gave me a piggy-back ride – or attempted to anyway. I was sitting pretty high on his back, and then, for some reason, he decided to push me up higher. That got him off balance, and so we both went falling over, of course with me having further to fall. Jeff fell right onto my leg, and since he weighs about three times what I do (which really isn’t saying much, though), it kind of hurt. But whatever. Then Zeth got on Josh’s shoulders to show us up. I got on Jeff’s shoulders, and then Dave got on Jon’s shoulders as well. Then we had a three-way chicken fight. Normal people do this in a pool or something, where people can’t get hurt, but hey – we’re tough, right? Dave and Jon went down first, so it was down to Zeth and I. Zeth pushed me, and Jeff turned around to try and recover his balance, but then Zeth came up behind me and just pulled me backwards. I fell down on my arm, and they went away as champions. Then they asked, “Hey, are you alright?” I was, so it was no big deal. It was pretty fun, actually. Of course, I think the girls were just standing there thinking we were crazy, but hey, we were having fun, so that was all that mattered. We headed to the cars, got in, almost got ourselves killed trying to race, and finally made it to Dairy Queen.
Once we got there, I tried to figure out why I had gone. I just wanted to hang out, I suppose. I didn’t really want to go home and do homework, so I hung out there instead – even though I didn’t really want ice cream. After a little bit, Angelie and I decided to go try and find a payphone, since she needed to call home, and I wanted to call to get a ride. I didn’t really want to go home right then, but I could tell them a time to come so they’d know. We did so, and then went back. We hung out in the little park right beside DQ and just talked and stuff. It was pretty fun. Of course, Kristy brought up Melissa with me, and I tried to evade her questions, but whatever. We hung out there for a little while, and then my mom came and we gave Angelie a ride home. That was the night.
Overall, I had a great time. It was a mixture of spending time with God and spending time with other Christian friends, which just made it a great combination. It’s great that being a Christian doesn’t mean that you can’t have a social life or have any fun. And on top of that, you can come up with some great friendships and people that you know will support you and that you can support. It’s something that I’m really starting to value more and more, because I know that it’s rare. I have friends that I can just call up and say, “Hey, can we talk?” and they’ll say “Sure.” Or, we can just hang out and have a fun time and not be serious at all – but they’re not completely opposed to sitting down and having a deep conversation. It’s great having friends like that. I realize that it’s not just Christians that have that, but I’m glad I’ve found people who believe what I do, so it’s easy to relate to them. I hope I never take that for granted, because it’s a special privilege to have.
Anyways, I’ve rambled on long enough, but I just had to say that stuff. It’s most of the reason for my awesomely good mood lately. As well, today I got a note from Bethany saying that she really appreciated my blog entry yesterday. She said it challenged her to get more excited about reading the Bible and such. That just made my day – or at least added to my already-good mood. I don’t write to please anyone else, but if anything I say helps someone else, that’s awesome. It certainly makes me feel special. Tonight I’m going to get my hair cut. That’s also a cause for rejoicing – I’m getting sick of having to stroke my hair like a girl to keep it out of my eyes. I obviously don’t want it too short, but I just want to get rid of the growing mullet at the back and the big long bangs at the front. It’s just getting too long, and with graduation coming up, I want to look as amazingly amazing as I can – I know that might shock you that I actually don’t look the best that I could, and you’re asking yourself if it’s actually possible, but it actually is! Well okay, perhaps you’re not thinking that at all, but it was my conceited comment for the day. I’m just glad that I’m getting it cut finally.
I think that’s all I’m wanting to say for today. I never really have a good conclusion for these things, and usually I just end up saying, “Alright, this is the end. Goodbye.” I wish I could come up with some catchy phrase, like “Until next time, keep smiling, St. Angeles.” It’s great, except for one problem – probably no one from St. Angeles actually reads this. So until I find a good phrase, just bear with me. Alright, this is the end. Goodbye.