Checking off this weekend

Play softball: check.

  • My first proper exercise in five weeks! And I went 6-8 in our pickup games and got a little sunburned to boot. Oh, how I’ve missed the glorious ache of well-used muscles.

Get homework done: check.

  • Wrote a journal entry and a book review, and read about 250 pages on Bonhoeffer, including the first half of Letters & Papers from Prison. Expect some quotes, poems, and more things Bonhoeffer on the Nog soon.

Get ASC work done: check.

  • Attended to various emails, forms, admin stuff. Tiring. But it needed to be done.

Go to church: check.

  • This morning, Don Miller–author of Blue Like Jazz, To Own a Dragon, and a few other books that adorn my bookshelf, as well as a good friend of Ecclesia–gave the sermon from John 20:19-31; Liz has a good writeup. I like Don and agree (generally) with much of what he has to say (as found in his books), but like Liz, I was a little surprised at the tack he took regarding doubt this morning. I’m not sure whether or not he meant to be as down on doubt as he actually was, or whether it was an unintended corollary of being so assertive about the necessity of having faith in Christ (with which I agree). You can check out the podcast by searching Ecclesia Hollywood on iTunes; or just go here: it’s up now.

Watch Arsenal beat Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi-Final and the Mariners sweep the Tigers: …

  • I suppose I had been riding high a little bit, sports-wise. Can’t have that lasting too long now, can we? *sigh*

Finally, go support the movement to free Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi. You can do this on twitter (@freeroxana) and Facebook. And for more information on the story, check out this BBC news article.

Mid-September

So it’s been awhile since I let y’all know what’s up—since Seattle, I’ve been busy finishing off my summer class assignments and exams, which I did on Tuesday of last week. So it’s been a week since I got done.

Since then, I’ve been trying to recover from the year. It’s been long and hard, and I’m worn out. My body and spirit are tired—not just in the way that will be remedied by a good night’s sleep, but on a deeper level: I feel tired in my very blood stream; I’m BONE tired. And I’m not quite sure how to remedy it, or whether or not I’ll be ready for the new school year to start in six days’ time.

Seattle
I was in Seattle for a week, from August 25 to September 1. I had a great time, catching up with Hannah, Phil and Jason, people I hadn’t really seen in years.

I hadn’t been to Seattle since Christmas 1992, when I was ten, and it was cool to walk the streets of a city for which I have much affinity but (if you think about it) not much reason to have this affinity. There was a part of me that really felt at home in the Pacific Northwest, with the mountains, the trees, the various lakes, the beautiful port of Seattle, the cooler climate, the drizzle.

For the most part (six days out of seven), it was warm, sunny and breezy. And I commented more than once that if the weather was like that the whole year round, I might consider moving. But it’s not. So I’m sticking to California for now …

So much to say
There’s so much I could write about. I could write about the trials of relationships and dating and match.com; I could write about keeping in shape and healthy and P90X; I could write about finally finding a church to be a part of—Ecclesia; I could write about being desperate for changing and starving for truth.

But I only have so much time to write about life, and if you want to know more about these things … ask me.

If any path had been different
I often wonder about the journey that God has led me on; it’s been, at times, long, tortuous and trying, while also being a wonderful process of learning and loving. I think about how things could have been different if I’d made different choices, or if something or other had worked out differently …

Oh, what I could (have) be(en). I could (have) end(ed) up: actor, rockstar, lawyer, novelist, professional athlete, cop, politician, pastor, doctor, teacher; in London, Morocco, Hong Kong, Seattle, Texas or DC.

Sometimes, I look back. And then I look forward. And wonder where I’m going. Time will tell, I suppose. Right now, I feel like a running back, waiting for the right gap to open up in the opposition’s defense so I can go for it and really hit my stride. But the right gap is taking its time to open up at the moment, so patience and perseverance are a constant prayer request.

Photos
I realize that some of you who are on my blog don’t have membership with Facebook, and so don’t get to see many of my pics. So here are some links for you to check out:
Seattle trip album #1
Seattle trip album #2
Back in California

Greetings from Colorado

Hey y’all, I’m writing this blog from my hotel room in Aurora, CO. I’m halfway through my 8-day trip for Tim and Tiff’s wedding, which takes place on Friday. The temperature’s been consistently in the high 80s/low 90s and the weather’s been consistently sunny. Anyhow, in the few days I’ve been here, I’ve:

  • visited Scum of the Earth church in downtown Denver with Tiff;
  • gone to see a Rockies/Devil Rays game at Coors Field with four of the six Barker kids;
  • walked around downtown Denver—well, up and down 16th Street;
  • chilled out to a couple of rented movies over the weekend;
  • driven around lots, running errands—technically, this should be “been driven around lots by Tiff, while she has errands to run”, but whatever.

2007 has indeed been the toughest year of my life so far, as I sensed God saying at the end of last year. It’s also been, somehow simultaneously, the best year of my life so far. It’s been very different, very good; but very tough.

But I think a turnaround is in the works. Something about being here, out of the routine grind of Pasadena life, without work or class responsibilities, being with an old friend, just being able to enjoy life, being able to pray with Tiff, going to church, helping out at Sunday School, going to church again; something in me is ready for a return to full relationship with my God and King.

Being at Scum was invigorating—it was the kind of church I think I would want to be a part of: church that is honest, where the music is not over-produced but still polished, where the sermons are coming together to address real life, not simply talking in abstracts. It made me realize how much I really did miss regular communion with a community of faith—I’m still visiting churches in CA and will continue to do so until some time towards the end of the summer—just as spending time with Tiff and Tim made me realize how much I missed the comfort and companionship of old friendships.

I know that when I go back to California, things won’t be the same: my friends from London will have gone back to their lives in London and I’ll go back to work and class. But this downtime (well, as much as pre-wedding time can be downtime) feels like a kickstart. A much-needed kickstart.

Right … back to editing this best man speech of mine.