Saturday, October 22, 2005

The only way I could ever be comfortable in A.C.

So this Friday I had big plans. The plan was to go to "The Price is Right" with my friend and a bunch of our other IVCF friends for her birthday. However, as I got there we found the news that tickets had sold out before we could get them. Well, 5 of us in the end decided to go anyway and how cool it was that we did! Her mother had what was called "Comp points" that allowed them to absolutely live it up while they were there!!! We stayed at the Trump Taj Mahal in one of their 'double door' suites at the end of their hallways. Our 'room' was perhaps bigger than the main level of my entire house. We had an entrance foyer, 2 bathrooms, 2 flat screen TV's, our private balcony, furniture for 15, jacuzi, king size bed, and to top it all off.... a bidet. And if you don't know what the last one is, google it, then post your reaction as a comment :-P

Anyway, we started the night with dinner at a private restaurant called The Bengal. It had an amazing buffet, and our waiter sure could sing "Happy Birthday"!!! After that we went to the room to settle in a bit, then went down to the casino. We watched them play poker a bit, and some of us spent a bit of money on the slot machines. I believe that the prevailing comment of the night at the slots was, "That's it??" We walked around the Taj a bit, and over to the Showboat to stand at the doors into The Price is Right. We also tried not to look at the people who were still wearing name tags from the show...:-( The group of us decided that we're going to come back again, even if the next time it's just for the show.

We then talked to a security guard who told us that there were a lot of things to do over at the Tropicana. So we proceeded to walk *2* blocks down the road to get there. We walked around there and it was really amazing. The ceiling was so realistically painted as sky/clouds that one really had to stare up to realize that it wasn't the sky. We found the karaoke bar that we wanted to go spend time at, but the line was over an hour long and it was too smoky with too many inebriated people so we left... We then proceeded to catch the Jitney to ride 23 blocks back to the Taj. Yes, I know the math doesn't make sense ;-)

We proceeded to close out the night talking and watching TV in the room. 1 on the King bed, 2 cots they rolled in, a couch, and a canopy couch thing. I was very entertained by the 'music' that I fell asleep to. *Someone* (our favorite college republican) switched on CNN and was talking back to the reporter disagreeing with what they said. I definitely fell asleep smiling to myself.

We got to sleep around 1am and the first of us was up by 7:30. After I had just over 2 hours of random sleep talking conversation with my friend across the way on the other cot, the rest of us got up around 10. We packed up/checked out, and then went to breakfast buffet at The Bombay Cafe. This was also another very nice restaurant that stuffed me way too full with food! After brunch we headed back home. I got to fill my gas tank at $2.36 before my 5% rebate from my credit card. This made me very happy.

Not that I know if anyone of the people I went with are reading this, however I just want to thank every one of them for such a wonderful time. Going with them was truly the only way that I could ever have been comfortable at a place like the Taj or inside any casino for that matter. The fact that we talked about how uncomfortable we all felt, and how scary it was looking at the blank stares on the people's faces, and how we wished they would all take their money and use it towards some worthwhile cause made me feel much better about being there. I couldn't have had any semblance of a good time if I went with most anyone else besides them. So, my brothers and sisters, I thank you and thank God for placing you in my life. I would spend any amount of my time with any of you.... any day!!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

So much happening... so little time to write

Where to begin. The Big Event was unbelievable. It was really just what we all needed. God just spoke to each of us in a very different way and really showed his majesty and power by being so very present. He was with us in some of the most intense worship I have ever experienced as well as editing the message of the weekend. The theme was supposed to be "witness" but He changed it so that it became "finding freedom through Jesus". So many people, including myself just let everything go to Him, fell in love with Him all over again, or just felt a new sense of conviction to make/keep Him the center of all of our lives. He did so many amazing things, I can't even begin to explain them on here... I made new friends, I met new brothers and sisters, I caught up with a bunch of brothers and sisters from Basileia, and most importantly, I actually was right there during the re-birth of a new sister in Christ!!!!! Seeing the change that overcame her totally re-invigorated my faith, and made years of pain and hurt as a result of my disobeying God's Will all worth it. It's an unbelievable thing, when you understand that God has used your pain to help someone else let go of theirs. It really gave retrospective purpose to the last 2+ years of my life... and to finally be at peace with most of that, is something I didn't expect to happen for a long time.

The week went by alright. Didn't get to do some things I really wanted to, like having an important conversation with a new friend Tues, getting to the Darkroom, writing papers. However, some things did go really well, like my trip to NYC on Wednesday with a few new friends of mine. We went to see the ICP... (no, not the insane clown posse, the International Center of Photography). Most of the pictures were depressing war photography, but the lower level was slightly more light hearted. Then we went to the most awesome restaurant in the city, Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Self, doesn't that remind you of of a movie we once saw?" Well, I'll answer and say yes, in fact the reason the restaurant chain even exists is because the movie Forrest Gump was made. The food is awesome ( ;-) M) the people are just as nice as Forrest is in the movie, there's movie trivia questions given by the waiters/resses, and it's just an amazing experience and I can't wait to go back!

Large Group was intense but exactly what we needed at the time. IV Alum Bill gave a talk on "Anger and Disappointment with God" that was a very very powerful message. Lots of Scripture, lots of realistic doable application, and lots of Christ. It scared me up until last Thurs. that if you would have asked me what Scripture was last spoken in LG, I couldn't have answered...... (it scared me more that I asked others, and they couldn't tell me either) That should have been our biggest sign. However, we're correcting this, and we have to keep on this very solidly. I can answer the question now, but my answer should change by next Friday, and the Friday after that... and so on. We can only know God's Power and Majesty and Brilliance, by reading and learing God's Word.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Methinks I hear the calling of the performing bard...

Right... so if you haven't seen it yet, go see A Midsummer Night's Dream at TCNJ's Don Evans Black Box Theatre on either Thurs, Fri or Sat at 8pm. It will be worth your hard earned $4 (with student ID). This was hands down the best performance of this particular show that I have thus far seen. You will be greatly entertained and wonder where the time went by the time it's over. It also seems to have stirred that desire to do theater inside of me again. I'm considering talking to my friend Megan about jumping into it right now.... however, only if I don't get that church job, which I don't think I'm going to. I'm sure I'm more than qualified, however I'm gone in less than 7 months depend on grad school stuff. It's illogical to have someone who might not even stay, start something you are placing lots of emphasis on. Even with as much as I can do, I know that I have a limit. And as much as I didn't expect to get to it this semester, there it is. Theater or the church job. That will fill me up.

Talked to a person on campus with Chuck today. Very rewarding experience that showed me things I expected, and withheld things I didn't expect. It was a positive experience. We continued our Bible study of James. Thought provoking book, and very easy to practically apply to my contemporary situation. Then I stayed to read and my friend Jess and her friend came to join me for their dinner which was awesome. I can see right now, that becoming friends with her will forever define my senior year when I look back on TCNJ. Junior year was InterVarsity, and Senior year will be at least some large part Jess. Truly unlike anyone I have ever met and I would dare say that she likes it that way. What a great friend to have made!

InterVarsity's Large Group meeting, Thursday night at 8pm in the Spiritual Center. There's my afore warned shameless plug :-P Professor Pedro Govantes will be speaking this week. There will be at least one special sign up for a David Crowder/ Shane and Shane concert on Nov 4th. It's supposed to be a good concert, and like Pete and I agreed at the Chris Tomlin/Matt Redman concert last Saturday, "If it's even as half as good as this one, then it will still be amazing." That concert last Saturday bordered on a full fledged 'religious experience' that I never dreamed could happen anywhere in the NorthEast let alone NJ. It was actually a worship service, lead by worship leaders, with an audience that was actually worshiping. It wasn't a performance, it wasn't a concert, it wasn't a show.... it was exactly what it was supposed to be, worship. And freaking amazing worship at that!!!!! I'd say to go see them, but they're not around here anymore for a while, but if they ever come around again... Go!

In summation, life's just had its usual ups and downs... they've been pretty even recently in terms of severity so perhaps my life is calming down. School's good, photography's a welcome challenge, IV has been steadily getting better, my family life is stabilizing, and my seasonal depression is finally coming back under control.... it kinda took me by surprise the other week. I didn't expect it so early in the season, but lo and behold, it is here. I think I've finally balanced out, but we'll see. Other than that, I'm looking forward to the Big Event at Young Life's beautiful Lake Champion this weekend, Fall break next weekend, and then concerts, babysitting, and going new places with new friends!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A quick thank you...

I can safely say that I won't be updating here till at least Sunday. York Moore is coming on into town today and it's a whirlwind attempt to use him for as much good on campus as possible till Saturday. So after I crash early Sat afternoon/night and settle myself Sunday I'll update with how thing with him went. I'm hopeful and excited, but only God can move heart for Him no matter what we try to do... Reassuring and disheartening at the same time, though much more of the latter than the former.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 tonight.... oh yeah!!!! Not getting home till well after 1am.... not so oh yeah, but worth it.

And a special thank you to someone who told me about their graphic design project... and has gotten me now re-hooked on The Doors. Just because of you I brought my "Best of" album to school today to listen to while I write a paper for my Shakespeare class. I literally put the album in, pressed play, and then said, "Thank you" out loud.... ;-)

Writing paper for Shakespeare, class x 2, blood donation, dinner with York, Large Group, TMNT2....

Three cheers for Thursdays!!!