Thursday, September 29, 2005

Damage, damage everywhere...

Okay -- so now I've seen the damage that Rita's winds caused at MS State University, where I received my Master's Degree. Tornados were spawned as far away as Starkville, MS. Amazing.

Great. In the last two months, I've had friends lose houses, jobs, all their possessions, and major weather damage has hit two cities and locations that I dearly love.

Somebody wanna go slap my momma while we're at it? I mean, this is just getting tiresome.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Red skies mean a CRISIS is coming, right?

So.

I really didn't sleep well last night. Thinking about things in my life, and wondering if I totally suck at this whole being-God's-vessel thing that we're called to be in our daily lives meant I had weird (bad) dreams and I woke up on an almost hourly basis.

And, since I am all but freaking out about heading up the College Ministry at Compass Church, serving as the leader (God help them) of GPS: God's Purpose for Students...this means I seventh-guess every word that comes out of my mouth, because the last thing in the world that I want to do is say something on Sunday nights when I'm leading the group that could cause emotional and spiritual damage to someone. Plus, I really don't want to sound like a total jackass. I want to come across as sincere as I feel in my heart, connecting up with people in a way that's relevant, meaningful and fulfilling. I do not want to do to them what was done to me: totally piss them off to God.

Since I normally get up before the sun anyway, this meant I was up especially early, and it gave me even more time to mope and be introspective. What fun.

About the time I saw light creeping through my window shades, I noticed that it had a certain hue to it that it normally doesn't have. It looked kinda red, in fact. And sure enough, the rising sun filtered through the cloud covering gave all of outside this eerie, ethereal glow and feel. So, I hook up my dog to take her outside for a walk, so I can see this odd sky in person, and maybe start to shake myself out of the funk I feel myself in.

...and then, it happened.

While staring up in the sky, watching the clouds move at various speeds, layering themselves as they transition from one point in the heavens to the next, the thought of how...comforting in the midst of this chaos it is that there is a divine plan and a Grand Designer behind it all. That no matter what the literal storms or the emotional storms in our lives may be...God's got it all in control, and there is a plan behind it all and a method to the madness. We might not like, enjoy, or even survive parts of the storms, but He is still holding us all, promising us that no matter what, He loves us and He will sustain us.

And no sooner had this thought entered my mind and heart...before a rainbow appeared. The sign of God's promise. Framed against this dark and grey sky, standing out like a lone smile in a sea of depression...my mind told me that it was simply a refraction of light, that there was a solid scientific reason why this prism appeared.

My heart told me that God just wanted to say hi, and that He was still listening. I wasn't alone, and that He had my heart. And my back.

Everybody go forth and have a great week.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A convergence of sorts...

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've been getting a series of strange emails and phone calls...old friends from high school...old friends from college...former RA's of mine...former students that I taught when they were in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL...siblings of former students...

And then there's the fact that I've been mixing up some of my directions lately; I've been thinking about how to get to -- say -- best Buy, and suddenly in my mind, I've mapped out the route down County Line Road in Mississippi as opposed to the route here in Athens. Or I've thought about going to places to eat in Starkville, or Booneville.

If I were a superstitious person, I'd be worried that it feels like multiple aspects of my life are aligning for some kind of paradigm shift. That something is going to happen soon.

Or maybe I'm just paranoid.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mystery Jesus Theater 3000

Okay -- this has got to be the funniest freakin' thing I have seen in ages. It even tops the drunk dial for sheer randomness.

Check out Vintage 21 -- and then click on "Media," and then "Videos," and then "Page 2," and then watch the Jesus films.

...and please be sure to READ about Vintage21 as well. Some of you might just think it's fairly cool.

Special thanks to Bryan Rose at Compass Church for finding this beautiful, beautiful site.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

KANTOOOOOORRRRRRRR!!!!!

"...and I must say this: the stars are aligned to the belt of the equator to where they fit in with the Juneteenth of the freshest eagle that I've ever seen."

Click on this link, boys and girls, to learn why why drunk dialing is a bad, bad thing...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

...and here's a fun fundraiser for your creative types:


Create a webcomic. Save a life.

Shameless plug

Everyone and their cousin is chiming in with ways and places to donate, and I'll be damned if I sit idly by...

One thing we all need to consider is this: donating once, twice...that won't be enough. Now, I'm not advocating we simply give, give, give of our funds until we're moetionally and financially depleted, but we need to be cognizant of the fact that giving one time in September 2005 will help, but people -- almost all of the evacuees from the MS Gulf Coast and from New Orleans -- will be affected still in March 2006, October 2007, and June 2009 -- and beyond.

We need to be prepared to open our houses, hearts, and selves to people. Be prepared to emotionally counsel as well as financially. Help people find jobs. Help people find missing family and friends. Help people find new lives.

Trust me -- I have a lot more to say...but for now, I have to get back to work.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

...and now I'm crying...

One of my former RA's -- probably one of only about three I give a sizeable crap about and would lay down my life for -- just got in touch with me. She's from New Orleans, and...thank God...she and her mom are safe.

To any and all former Millsapians reading this: Jessica Ordoyne is safe. Please pass the word along.

I swear. I'm crying. I'm just happy beyond measure this woman is safe and sound. I'm still leeching on to Em and not letting go, though.

Last night, I filled up my car for $2.93 a gallon. Two hours earlier, the same place had been $2.73 a gallon. Sunday, it was $2.48 a gallon at this same station. This morning? Same place, $3.39 a gallon. And rising.

Here in GA, I've heard reports of -- no lie -- gas being $5.88 a gallon in places, and people are STILL continuing to buy it.My parents live in Tupelo (MS), and my mom told me that the majority of the gas station have placed tarps or garbage bags over the pumps, shutting them down and not allowing people to purchase gas -- and 45 minutes away in Oxford (MS), only emergency or state vehices can purchase gasoline. Individuals can purchase only "in case of an emergency."

I'm afraid I'll see $5 a gallon for regular before the end of the MONTH, let alone by the end of the year...

******

I don't live in Mississippi -- any more -- but...I can't cut on a television set without seeing something, seeing someplace that I spent multiple hours in, have good (and bad) memories about...and now these places are all gone.

Good God. The sight...the mere THOUGHT of New Orleans alone is just...I'm not sure if I should cry, scream, vomit...

I've been harping this on a lot of message boards I frequent, so forgive and indulge me for a moment -- please. Please, please, please, please. Consider donating time, money, blood, prayers...this weekend, consider volunteering at a Red Cross shelter in your area, packing up supplies to be sent to the Coast. Consider getting your local church or volunteer organization to join in with others to support the efforts to clean up down there.

Millions of lives -- not thousands; millions -- have been affected by this, and we're just now feeling the first wave of ripples to come from it. The loss of life, the loss of culture, and the loss of property from this is simply too much to be able to comprehend.

I have friends, students, and family members I have not heard from, all of whom live in areas that are reportedly still under water. They may be dead for all I know. I'm steeling my nerves for if I do find out that they are. Thankfully, I heard from someone today and I swear, I thought I was going to cry the whole time we were on the phone together. Emily: I'm not joking. The next time I see you, I am NOT letting go.

So, again: please. Consider doing whatever you can for the people still trapped there, the people who have left and will not have anything to return t, and for those of us taking them in.

Thanks for allowing me a minute on my soapbox.