Friday, July 25, 2003

Quick Update on Life

I am currently packing up all my stuff for the big move. I hate moving. Its not that I don't like change, but I just have too much stuff. Sometimes I wish I could live out of a box and a bag...but anyway...

I am slightly dreading the move. I don't want to leave people, just places.

I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and all I can say is WOW. The book was dark, angry, and sad. Not as much humor as the previous books, but thats ok. I remember when I was 15...I was not full of giggles and laughs either. One last thing, Neville Longbottom is the greatest character in the books (imo). In this book he shines, I think I like him far more than Harry. I wonder if Rowling would ever consider doing what Orson Scott Card did with the Ender books? Maybe have a series devoted to Neville as the true hero...

Yesterday I did something I never thought I would do (its a good thing). It is fun to take risks...sometimes. It was not huge, its not life changing but something I had to have a lot of confidence in myself to do. (Although I probably would not have done it without some nudging from Jenn...and she did not even have to hold my hand!)

These last few weeks I have been completely overwhelmed by the power and glory of God. He has shown me so much, helped me learn so much, and has helped me question myself so much. I can only hope that what He has in store for me is something I am worthy of.

That is it for a little while.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Big Decisions

Is it normal to question big decisions? Here it is only about a week away before I move to Arkansas and I am questioning whether or not my decision to go is the right decision. I am a person who has regrets. I am getting better and not regretting things, but I am nowhere close to ridding myself of these regrets. My fear is to regret my decision to go or not to go. I have been praying about this for some time and have yet to reach a conclusion.

In the end regardless of my decision I must give up my worries and doubts about my decision to God. Its an incredibly difficult thing to do, but it is what I must do. I believe that things happen for a reason. I know then that I must give these worries to God. He will not lead me astray.

I am excited for the future. There are many things I want to do and many places I want to see. I must not get to bogged down with simple troubles. I cannot let life just pass me by.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Short(ish) Update from the road

Ok, so not literally from the road...more of my parent's house. So the trip so far has gone very well. We stayed the first night in Moriarty, NM. It is a small city/town east of Alburqueque...we then drove through the panhandle of Texas...through Amarillo (wow its flat there) and stopped outside of Groom, TX to see an amazing 19 Story x 11 Story Cross. At the Cross there was an exact replica of the Shroud of Turin, a replica of the Tomb of Jesus, the Stations of the Cross, a chapel (in progress) a fountain and more. was a very powerful place to say the least. After a brief stop and visit with family in Tulsa, OK we ended up in Fayetteville at around midnight. After a couple days messing around Fayetteville (we hope that the nightlife improves during the school year) we had an "extra day" and decided to head to Kansas City, MO. The trip through the Ozarks up to KC was breathtaking. We made a few stops (Geo. Washington Carver National Monument, Precious Moments, some cave (closed) ) along the way. Upon reaching KC we ventured to Winstead's for some great burgers...I had learned about these burgers on my first visit to KC in November. In KC we also experienced some nightlife in Country Club Plaza at a place called Tom Foolery's or something like that. We also visited Union Station, Crown Center and the KC Zoo. Loads of fun all around! We then traveled to the Hays, KS area to visit more family. During the few days there we went to a county fair, watched a monster truck rally, ate funnel cakes and bierocks and caught up with family, laundry and sleep. Now Jenn and I are staying at the homes of our parents (some 20 miles of city and suburbia between us). I am a little too tired to talk more about my observations of these places and some general thoughts over the last week or so. I have decided to start up a new blog...or at least new title and layout...but that will take sometime seeing as these next couple days will be the only time I can use a computer for the next couple weeks.

So I don't forget...some of the CD's we listened to so far: Barenaked Ladies - Greatest Hits Disc One (yeah, ultimate road trip band...I cannot say it enough), Sister Hazel - Chasing Daylight (best CD I've heard in a long long time), Jewel - 0304 (We both really like the new CD...she makes some great statements on this one), Switchfoot - Beautiful Letdown (cannot say enough good things about this bad boy), A Walk to Remember Soundtrak (loads of memories already...this trip just adds more), Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces (as we drove through Texas...sort of an homage to them and their exercise of Free Speech), Red Hot Compilation (who knew a found for free compilation would hold so many cheesy 80's love songs?) ....

As for now that is all. :-)

Friday, July 11, 2003

This will be my last post for about a week. I am headed to Arkansas with Jenn to find an apartment. We will also be hitting up Tulsa, OK , Hays, KS and Denver, CO.

2004 Presidential Race

I thought I'd leave with a little bit of politics:

From Yahoo! News: Some Moderate Democrats Could Like Dean

From MSN News: Democrats uniting behind criticism of Bush on Iraq

At this point in my life I hesitate to identify with any of the 5 significant political parties (Democrats, Republicans, Reform, Libertarians, Greens). I am a registered Democrat…this I will admit. However, I don't always agree with them, nor do I always agree with any of the parties. I guess you could say I am a moderate, but I am opposed to Capital Punishment, I support a war on drugs (not the current one mind you), I support gun rights (to an extent…I don't need an AK to hunt geese), I did not support the war in Iraq, but I did support the use of force in Afghanistan. So whatever that makes me…I don't know…but that is of course the tip of iceberg when it comes to my political beliefs.

Currently I support Howard Dean in the 2004 Presidential Race. I do not believe he is as "liberal" as everyone says. I am ok with this. I do not agree with him on everything, but I am okay with that. I like the man. I think he is as honest as any of the candidates, I like him because he takes stands when others are afraid. I consider him closer to Teddy Roosevelt than the other candidates. (There are only a few politicians who I give this compliment to…they include Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), CO State Rep Mark Larson (R-Cortez), Fmr. CO State Sen. Mike Feeley (D-Lakewood) there are a few others…but anyway).

What is really interesting is that both of these articles talk about the Democrats moving closer to Dean (in regards to positions). This is what I love about politics. Dean may not get the nod from the Dems, but he will at least move some of the candidates towards the position of (what some say) the majority of the American People. This is how politics should be. I love good ole' fashion American Populism…the kind that we had at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Williams Jennings Bryan never became president, but he did put a lot of issues affecting the American People in the limelight. If anything Howard Dean is doing just that, just as John McCain did during his run. These two people may never be destined for President, but at least they are taking some of the American Peoples thoughts to Washington. After all isn't that what ALL of our Representatives should be doing?

In other news

I pray that God will keep us safe on this trip and I pray that God will assist me in my struggles with Faith as of recent. I am thankful I am not blind in Faith, but boy is it hard to see and be curious.

"The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates (or So-Crates to us kids born in the 80's).

See you in a week or so!

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

I miss life as a grade schooler...summer vacation, koolaid, tuna fish sandwhiches and the slip n' slide. If only my responsibilities could go away for a day and I could be taken back to that world. I can only hope that as a parent I will make sure that my kids enjoy the heck out of their summers. I know my parents helped my brother and I. It only seems like yesterday we where running the big wheels through the big wheel carwash and waiting around for the ice cream truck.

I can smell the hot air, the asphalt and the wet clothes. I can see the trees on my street, how green and alive they are. I can hear the laughter of my friends as they pedal as hard as they can while driving the big wheel over the slip n' slide. I cannot remember what I thought about back then. I know it had nothing to do with the problems of the world, my faith in God, my life decisions or what is wrong with my car. I had a vivid imagination. I was probably thinking that I was going to be whisked off into the land of Narnia that night and ride on the back of Aslan for many years to come. Or I thought that I could build a fort out of pillows and sheets and I would be living in castle. I wish I could get these thoughts back in my head and not have to contend with logic, if only for an hour.

I hope that kids in this day and age have the freedom to dream. I hope that the techno world and "live war" have not taken away their imaginations. I hope that as I drive through the residential areas of this country I see kids playing outside. I hope I see them laughing and screaming because they have nothing on their minds but what they are doing. I do not want to go back to the good ole days. I just want the kids today to have the freedom from fear...if only for a while.

Call me a crazy idealist...or call me something else...but I still want to dream.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Self Doubt

I sort of got the idea for this entry from Liz at Take This Step. I can completely understand her questioning her major. I questioned mine all the time. I (unlike most) never changed it. That is not to say that I would not given the opportunity again. I wish that my parents would have had less say in my questioning, but I would imagine that they are a reason I never changed it (at the time it was a good thing). The lack of changing my major helped me get through in four years. However, I envy Liz because she is only doubting after a year of college. I've been there done that. I thought I had my whole life mapped out in college. I was going to be a public interest lawyer and I had been preparing for Law School. Hmmm...what happened to that?

Sometimes I wish I could clear my mind of all thoughts. At least maybe for a few minutes a day. I feel as if my mind races a thousand miles a minute. It is a water faucet that I cannot turn off. Because of this I often think about my future. I think about what I am going to do the next day, what I am going to do the next week and what I am going to do in the next 5 years. Most recently I've been contemplating my decision to go to Graduate School. I leave for Arkansas in less than a month. I am excited to start school again. I am excited to begin work in a field I know I love (Student Affairs - Higher Education). I am excited for the change of location and culture. But, I still have doubts. I do not want to leave Jenn here, without me. We are not "taking time off" from the relationship, we are going to maintain a long distance relationship. I question whether or not this is the right thing to do. I don't want to miss what could happen if I stayed here. Here is the paradox of sorts. I believe that things happen for a reason. If this is true there is a greater reason for me leaving. But, what if that belief is a bunch of hooey? Also, there is a new opportunity to start a church for young people here. This is something that I could put my passion and time into. It could be an incredible experience - a time in my life when I can work strictly for God. What I do not have if I stay here is the means. I need a job, I need money, I need a place to live.

I find it hard to pray about this. I do not feel that I am worthy of God letting me know what he wants me to do. I'd rather He look after those who are less fortunate. It is a stupid reason, but it is a reason nonetheless. This is the first I've written about this. I do not really feel like talking about it, because I know that the decision is mine. But, that does not stop me from hoping for an answer, an answer that comes from somewhere besides myself. It is coming to the crunch time...

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Comings and Goings

On Friday I met with a Joe, a church planter from Georgia. He is looking to start a church for the college age crowd here in Durango. He has some great ideas for the church, and I hope and pray that it will be a light for many of the "younger crowd" in the area who don't feel that they fit with either the campus groups or the churches in town. I think that my generation really needs a more open place to discuss faith. Not a place that seems old and dusty nor a place that wants to push dogma as opposed to discussion. I am bummed that I will not be here for this great experience. But I pray that Joe finds a dedicated group to create this dynamic group. Until then, I will help as much as I can.

Rodeo time

Last night Jenn, E and I visited the local pro-rodeo and bbq. All I can say is what a great time. I am city boy, that is true, but I've been to a few rodeos before (although none this small...I used to go to the National Western Stock Show in Denver every year). Jenn and E have been to a few more living in more rural areas...but anyway...this was such a great time. The competition seemed to be great, the folks at the rodeo where very nice to the three "youngins" who were not dressed as cowboys. I am a little disappointed the the town does not support the rodeo very much. The town has its roots in railroad and agriculture...however these things have been quickly replaced by the mountain bike and the snowboard. I like tradition, and this is one tradition I hope does not die soon in Durango or any other community that holds these events.

** on a different note...I put up a Guestmap. If you like what you see here show me where you are from :-) **

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

From the Durango Herald: City Council Opposes Patriot Act.

I'll admit it. I am a little worried about the impact of the Patriot Act on our civil liberties. I do not like the federal government having that much power over its citizens. However, I think that it is ridiculous for a my city council to pass a resolution against the Patriot Act. Whether they agree with it or not has no importance to me. We did not vote for them because of "national issues". We voted for them so they would increase the availability of affordable housing, help create jobs, better the Campus/Town relationship, protect our open spaces etc... I think that if we have a problem with the Patriot Act we should take that to Congress. We should get rid of our Congressmen and Congresswomen who voted for it. For our representative democracy to work (as Dr. Ken Dolbeare said in class) "we must think locally and act globally", not think locally act locally. I think this is another instance where the council and some of the citizens of Durango view the town as its own independent little free loving entity in a big ol' world.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Two Years

As of yesterday Jenn and I have been dating for two years. It has been an incredible two years both inside and outside of our relationship. This has been my first "serious" and long-term relationship. I have learned so much about myself, Jenn and people in general. For that I will be forever greatful. Jenn has taught me many things and I know I am a better person for it. There have been rough times and things that have been challenging, but nothing has been too hard to overcome. I don't know if God has put Jenn into my life for the long haul, but at this time I sure hope so.