It's been a crazy couple of weeks since I last posted and it's not letting up. First of all, it's a week to Thanksgiving now. We are only 46 days until a new decade (I suppose we'll call them the Teens). It's hard to believe that this year is nearly done, though. I know that God's going to continue to bless us next year.

It looks like we are going to be back up at Morganton Baptist for a while starting the last weekend of December. Not sure what all I'm going to get involved in yet, but I know it'll be good. :D One thing that I know will happen is that I'm going to try to start a young married and soon to be married class up there. I feel that this is something that God wants me to do.

In any case, got to run for now. Clothes are waiting to be folded and washed. More later!


It's been a while...

So, you see the title, no real reason to re-write it. :D In any case, I finished this semester of classes, and it looks like I'm going to have 2 A's in these classes. They weren't as easy as I thought they were going to be. The first was Discipleship 500, which is basically an introduction class to discipleship. The final project is what kicked my butt. Talk about practical learning; we had to come up with a complete discipleship curriculum for a particular group within the church. Mine ended up being youth, and I think that I did a decent job on it. However, I also think that it would have been much better had I not waited until Thursday night to really get working on it. I had worked on it some on Wednesday, but I realized on Thursday that I was doing everything wrong and had to basically scrap everything. In any case, I finished it, got it turned in, and will be reworking it sometime in the near future so that it more represents the kind of youth group that I want. :D

The second class was Team Leadership and Conflict Resolution. Talk about hitting home. What this class did was remind me that even small conflicts can result in separation from God. Not exactly a pretty picture. We had to do a paper on a book called "The Peacemaker", and it was tough. There was some conflict in my life that I liked to hold onto rather than letting God take care of it, but I was able to realize my mistake and correct it.

I could have graduated this semester, but I wanted to take two more classes. I was thinking that I was going to take Prep of the Sermon, but I realized that it was not that practical for me to do so. This is not to say that I don't need it; I just feel that I need help in other areas more so. Also, I have access to the course syllabi if I ever want to find more books to read. So, the first class that I chose was Intro to World Missions. I have long felt that I want to work in home missions more than world, so this may end up being more of a challenge than I anticipate. The kind of cool thing about this class is that there is a 15 page paper that is about people groups and how to reach them. This sort of ties into home missions because there are so many people from all different places in the world right here in the US, so it's important to know where they come from, who has been working with them to know Christ, and how to culturally meet their needs in the name of Christ. I know that I'm probably the only nerd who gets excited for things like that. :D

The other class is sort of a repeat of one of my earlier classes, but I feel that I need more work in it. It is New Testament Introduction, which is similar to New Testament I. The difference is that it is more historical in view, thus quenching my thirst for historical classes. :D That, and I think that it will help me again to focus on the reasons why God chose to send Jesus at that time rather than another.

In any case, I'll be finished with classes sometime in March this coming year. I think that I'm going to enjoy these classes. Y'all keep praying that God leads me to the church that I need to be at and to the place in both Tasha and my lives that he wants us to be in! :D

More later...


Ready for this year to end.

So, I had to go to the doc today. Yesterday I had a bad toothache (so I thought) and just felt sort of cruddy because of it. Last night, my right cheek began to swell, but it looked like I had a sunburn on it, so I didn't really think about it too much. Well, today, I was swollen badly to the point that when I got to the doc, I was beginning to see some of the swelling towards my eye. Needless to say, not good.

Now, I know what most of you are thinking: why didn't you go to a dentist?! It's because while we have dental insurance, the only company around here that will take it is Coast Dental. The last time I was at Coast, I ended up with a poorly fitted crown that I found out that I didn't need. I had discoloring on my teeth that the doctor misdiagnosed as a major cavity. So, without working to make sure that it was just discoloring, he went ahead and starting drilling because this dentist knew he was going to get a big payday on it. In the meantime, he bruised my cheek to the point that it was black and blue and hurt me pretty bad. (Hmm, maybe this is why I avoid dentists like the plague?) So, that's why. That, and by today I was able to close my teeth without any probs.

Well, the doc came in and I described what was hurting me, and of course he was my cheek. He looked in the cheek and also felt along the cheekbone until he found where I was hurting (but gently). What I have is a infected salivary gland with stones likely in it. Like kidney stones, but your face. Who knew, right?! So, he has put me on a STRONG antibiotic (that I have to take 4x a day), gave me a steroid shot 'intermuscually' (i.e.: in my butt), and gave me more steroids to start taking tomorrow, which begins with 6 pills!! Oh, and he told me to chew gum if I can on the side that is hurting because it'll cause the gland to work and push out any grime. Guess what happened when I got gum and started chewing? Of course, grit came out. Yummy.

So, I am chewing gum like it's going out of style, but it's making my face feel better. I'm hoping that these meds work quickly because I was starting to look like Quasimodo. I just don't get how our family keeps getting the weird things this year. Hemorrhoids, tubal pregnancy, infected salivary gland. Ug. No more!

Ok, more later...


Tubal Pregnancy

Well, we had a bit of surprise this week. On Monday, we went to the doctor to have blood drawn after having a shot of chemotherapy to treat this failed pregnancy. Well, the numbers from Tasha's blood indicated that there was still something wrong. On Wednesday, we went to the Lawrencville office of the doc, had more blood drawn, and also another ultrasound showing that Tasha's left fallopian tube had likely a embryo growing in it. Well, on Thursday, we got the bloodwork back and the numbers indicated again that things weren't going right.

At Noon-ish, I got a call from our doctor telling us that we would be doing surgery last night on her. Tasha was feeling a lot of discomfort all through the day. We drove from Tasha's school back to the house for a minute because we didn't know when the surgery was going to happen. When we got home, the doc called again and told us to go directly to Northside Hospital and go to admissions.

After getting down there, we were pretty much pushed through quickly. Tasha was in pre-op around 5 (after getting done with paperwork around 4:20). Our personal doctor came over from Lawrencville to do the surgery. What they ended up doing was take the left fallopian tube completely out. What we later found out was that the embrionic tissue had already pushed through the wall of the tube, so she was darn near close to having a complete rupture.

We ended up staying overnight for observation, and came home this morning. Needless to say, we're both tired (Tasha more than I of course!) but we are thankful that she was able to have this done lapriscopically. Even though this pregnancy didn't work, we are very hopeful and staying positive that the next time we are pregnant that everything will work out great! :)

So, this weekend we're going to be resting a lot. I'll post more later. :D



The above title is a reference to a numbering system that classifies composers. For example, Mozart is K in the grand scheme of things, but this particular piece that I have listed is from Bach. It is Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor, written likely around the early part of the 18th Century.

I first heard it through a cassette tape that Dad had bought at Cracker Barrel of Old Time Radio programs. This particular program was Vincent Price and Ida Lupino as the two stars in a piece called "Fugue in C Minor". They used the motif from this piece as their main music that night, and it has stuck with me.

For some odd reason, it has stuck with me as both haunting and beautiful. Tonight, I finally looked it up to find out officially what its title is and what the meaning behind it is. Of all places, I found a decent description of it on Wikipedia (yes, shudder you masses). It described that this is one of Bach's most complex pieces that he composed, and that there is likely not an original copy.

The first notes begin a motif of deep longing or suffering. It it later broken up into 7 groups of 3 similar variations on this theme. From what I read, it all pertains to Christ's suffering and death on the cross. As the theme progresses, we hear the music move from the minor to the major. This of course represents Christ's rising from the grave and being triumphant over death and sin.

I am often reminded that even though there are hard times here on Earth, we have a heavenly reward. Christ did suffer even more than what my smallest worries or problems are, and that He is in control. It is just hard to let go sometimes, especially when it comes to our problems having children. But I know that God will provide us in every way, and that I must have faith.

More later.....


Bummed out

So, as many of you know, we did IVF this summer. However, we found out that it is highly likely that we miscarried once again. There is really nothing that I can say or write that will make me feel better about this other than we know that somehow this is still in God's plan. It hurts so bad, though. This is our third miscarriage in a little more than two years. And each time, it's like part of lives are being torn away.

This is a difficult time for both Tasha and myself, but we know that God has plans for us to have children one day. Thankfully enough, out doctor is happy about the fact that we at least were able to get pregnant once again. However, for me, we have to find out why Tasha's body is rejecting the embryo before we do another cycle.

I didn't really write this for sympathy, but more so as a plea for prayer. We are having to rebuild our finances and also save up for another round sometime in the future. Thankfully, God has blessed us with the ability to keep up with all of our bills and whatnot, so we are not in any danger of falling behind or losing our house. But just pray that God will do miracles for us in the coming times.

More later...


Hard week...

So, I can't really go into too many details, but it has already been a hard week. We had to go back to the doctor today and also got a call from the doc. Things aren't going great, but they aren't to the point where we (or the doc) is giving up hope. We'll know more tomorrow morning hopefully. For those of you who read this, I want you to pray hard for us. This is most certainly the Devil at work.

John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Something to ponder. more later...


Genesis 1-3

So, this morning I decided that I was going to start reading the Bible straight through. Just sort of decided on the fly. Surprise, right?! :D

Anyway, I read through two different translations of Genesis 1-3. The first was the New International Version which I am very familiar with. It's pretty much the one that I have read when I was growing up, so nothing too new there.

The other was from the Darby Translation from the 19th Century. It is a lesser-known version that comes out of the Brethren sect in Ireland. In any case, it was interesting to me to see the difference in the translation and made the text come alive once again.

In any case, I'll be going through Genesis 4-7 tomorrow I guess. Taking it three chapters at a time for now, but I'll probably gain more later.


Follistim, Ganirelix, and Progesterone, Oh my!

So, we are only a few days from re-implantation for the babies. :D The doc took 26 eggs from Tasha, of which 21 were good ones and began to divide after being fertilized. They've already frozen 10 of them, so we've got 11 to choose from! We're just ready for this to happen now!

At least we're down to one shot a day. Right now, Tasha has taken 26 shots to date. All we have is progesterone, which is done inter-muscular. Needless to say, it's not a great one, but at least it doesn't sting!

Got to get going here, more later!


What a week...

So, this is kind of the first time to sit and write this week. It's been crazy! We've been going down to Sandy Springs every morning for the last week and a half. On top of that, I've not been sleeping well because of the medicine that Tasha and I were both on.

To say the least, things are moving quickly. We have been seeing an amazing growth of Tasha's eggs this week, and it looks like everything is still on target for a retrieval on Thursday. We'll see if re-implantation takes place on Sunday or Tuesday, but things look good for either day.

Just keep praying for us. We're not to dire financial straits, but we aren't doing great right now either. Thankfully, we have enough to make it through the end of this month and next and we have plenty of food to eat. Just as long as nothing major happens, we'll be good! :D

For me, it's crazy to think that if everything works out right, we'll be having twins in April. In a way, it freaks me out a bit to think that I'm going to be in charge of my own kids. But Dad gave me a great example to follow for being a father, and I think that I'll figure a lot of things out as I go. I'm sure I'll quote Nathan later in saying "well, they aren't dead yet, so I must be doing something right." :D

Got to get to bed. This is the first time that I've felt tired this early in two weeks. More later...:D


New stuff going on..:D

So, we're going ahead with IVF this month. Needless to say, we're a bit excited and a bit scared. It's going to be great, though. I'm sure I'll be updating from time to time this month. For now, more later...:D



So, today was kind of long. Tasha had an appointment mid-day. Nothing major, but it took me a long time last night to get to sleep, so I was a bit sleepy when I got up. Well, I made the mistake of sleeping from around 5 to 7 tonight. Guess what? I'm still up at 2:17 in the morning, knowing full well that I have to be up at 8 am tomorrow morning to go walk. Ug. Anyway, I guess I'll try to get to sleep here. More later!



Mawwage. Ok, had to get that out of the way.

This week I've been reading a book called Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by Dr. John Gottman. This is obviously a book that I had to read for class, but one major fault that I see in it lies in that it does not really give a way for people to realize the major foundations that a successful marriage can be built on, even when everything's gone to pot. Tasha and I talked a good bit yesterday and today about what a great marriage is built upon. What we realized is that there are four basic points.

1) Always put God first.

This seems like an easy one, especially to those of you who read this blog. But for the vast majority of people who are married, this perhaps in the most difficult; this is especially true in our society today. Even in Christian homes, there is a lot of 'me first' mentality. This is not always an individual me first, but can be a couple we first. What we have realized is that when God is displaced from being first, everything else comes apart. It says in Ephesians 5:21, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (NIV) What this means for us is that we must love as Christ loved us. If need be, we have to be prepared to love someone so much that we would die for them. I'll say it again, whenever we displace God, everything else falls out of place.

2) Communication is key

One major part of this book that we read showed examples of different conversations that happened during sessions for couples to be worked with. What I found is that there was a major lack of healthy communication that happened with many of the couples. Of course, this was all verbal communication, but you could tell that the non-verbal communication matched what the verbal was. This is something that I personally have to watch out for. Also, having hostile humor and mocking the spouse, even in good fun, can be damaging. Something that I have realized between Tasha and myself is that we have excellent communication. This is not something that happened overnight, and it is something that we have to constantly work on. Whenever we don't talk about something (and not necessarily at length), I inevitably do something that isn't quite right. Thankfully, I've not done anything that couldn't be reversed, but we see that when communication breaks down for most people, then couple start to lose control of the peripheral things in a marriage. (i.e.: money, possessions, etc.)

The next two are interchangeable because they are related.

3) Respect one another
4) Love one another

Without respect, there cannot be love, and without love, there cannot be respect. Tasha and I did a study with our small group about a year and a half ago about marriage, and we found out that the majority of men are much more keen on respect than love; women are the opposite. God hardwired us this way, and even addressed it in Ephesians 5.

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Paul wrote this I believe very intentionally in this way. It is harder for men to show love, even to their wives. It is not necessarily easy for women to show respect as it is to show love. This also goes back to keeping God first in our lives, too! If we don't respect Christ, we don't love him. If we don't love him, then his sacrifice on the Cross is meaningless to us personally.

I know that there are a lot of different opinions on marriage, but I truly feel that if these four things happen, then the majority of marriages would not end in divorce. I hope that each of the people that read this will be blessed and hopefully will know that God is with them. As always, more later...


4:30 AM

So, I wake up this morning at 3:45 because, you know, that's just what I wanted, right? Ug.

I literally woke up like a shot this early and can't get back to sleep now. This is on top of two tylenol PMs that I took around 9. At least I slept around four hours already, but I REALLY wanted to sleep deeply and be refreshed in the morning. Well, now.

Tasha has a job next year, which is great. I've had to put the job search on hold until I get better. I didn't think that hunting for jobs right now should be a stress I need, at least until my rump feels more like itself.

Think I'll wrap this up for now and try to get some more sleep. Hopefully it'll come and soon. More later...



So, for those of you who don't know and needed a laugh (I know who you are. ;D ), I had a hemorrhoidectomy done on Friday. Yes, I had THREE (not the two originally reported) taken out under general anesthesia around 10:30. Amazingly enough, I'm doing pretty well, even though I do have spikes in pain from time to time (i.e.: when I have to go to the restroom). I'm also on good meds, so it's not too bad. Anyway, just wanted to let people know that I'm doing alright, and to laugh while you can. :P :D


Trying. Desperately.

You know, people, I am desperately trying to get a job. I had someone say to me that we shouldn't do adoption or try to get pregnant because I have 'no prospects'. I want everyone to know that I am doing everything within my power to try to get a job so that I can fulfill my duty to God as the head of this house.

Needless to say, I'm a little mad right now. More later.


Only in Georgia...

Only in Georgia could you have snow on Tuesday and highs close to 70 on Saturday...

We literally had snow on the ground yesterday night, into this morning. It was almost 45 today, and then they are calling for it to be sunny and almost 70 on Saturday. I'm sure we'll have the windows and the front screen open that day.

Crazy crazy crazy! More later!


Coming down the stretch

So, this semester so far has been relative easy, but yet somehow I have been procrastinating once again. It's week 6 of the 8 week course, and I have two book reviews due this week. So far, I have one done (save the footnotes and bibliography), a discussion board (which was due with the review for another class), and still have to work on a final review. I'm less than enthused because I hate reading books that are assigned to me. Yes, I understand that they will help me to become a more rounded individual/theologian, but I honestly hate reading when it is not for fun. I find myself being much more distracted with other things.

On a positive note, I am preaching on March 14th at Grassy Creek Baptist Church near Copperhill, TN. It's just fill at this point, but I think that they might be considering me for their lead pastor position. There is another position open that a church has discussed with me a bit, but I don't know where it might go either.

In any case, it'll be an interesting couple of weeks. I have a slightly easier week next week, but I will probably begin to work on my two research projects that I have due the week after next. What fun, right?!

Only six more classes, then I'm done. :D Pretty sad that it's only taking me a year to finish a degree when the last one took me 9.

More later! :D


50 things

So, I sort of stole this idea from one of my friends' blog. She had hit 100 posts, so she did 100 things about her. Since this is my 50th blog, I'm only doing that many. And it took me a long time to figure this out. :D

1) I love airplanes and airports.
2) I would love to learn how to fly, but I don’t know if I’ll ever do it
3) I am a cat lover. I’ve had cats almost all of my life and I can’t live without one (or two…or more)
4) I’ve played either baritone or tuba since I was in 6th grade. It’s hard to think that I’ve played for almost 20 years now.
5) I never thought that before I turned 30 that I would own 2 cars, a house, and a piece of land. Granted this is mostly through Tasha’s work!
6) I love comedy, action, and suspense films. I also like movies that recreate a character with some new enthusiasm. (i.e.: Batman, Sherlock Holmes)
7) I was on stage two times in college. The first time, I felt like doing it because it was something completely different for me. The second time it was to fulfill a promise that I made to a professor when I went for an audition for a scholarship.
8) I got great reviews for both. I wonder why I don’t act more….
9) I found out this summer that I have bad high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. I found this out because I went to the emergency room with BP of 160/100.
10) Other than that, I have only been to the hospital 3 or so other times. 2 times were because of my own stupidity.
11) It took me 9 years to complete my undergraduate degree. I have 172 hours total in my undergrad, and at least a third of those were music classes that were one hour courses.
12) It is going to take me a year to complete my Master’s Degree. :D
13) 13 is one of my lucky numbers. The best season that I ever had in Little League, I wore 13.
14) That was also the only year I ever hit a home run out of the park.
15) However, I have hit five homers total.
16) I marched for nine years total, including 5 in high school and 4 in college.
17) I stopped because I dislocated my kneecap on my left knee doing a half-split in the middle of the season. I marched two weeks later with a massive brace on.
18) I have a bad tendency to let my temper get the better of me.
19) I also have a bad tendency to stay up WAY later than I should
20) In winter, I have notoriously dry skin. Tasha has to use Aloe Vera lotion on my back almost as much as when I get sunburn.
21) I worry too much. All the time.
22) I feel fortunate to have such good friends, even if I don’t have very many of them.
23) My best friend growing up was killed in action, and I feel like I wasn’t the best of friends to him during the last year or so of his life. I’ve learned that I have to appreciate my friends more, and to pull them in closer.
24) My family is always at the top of my list, even when they drive me crazy. :D
25) I am almost anal retentive about certain things. A clean kitchen is one of them.
26) The bathroom is the other place.
27) I have a bad habit of completely destroying any workspace that I am in. I cannot keep it clean.
28) When this happens on my desk, I still know where everything is, though.
29) I have come to appreciate frogs. In every shape, form, and decoration.
30) Yes, there are even frogs in the bathrooms.
31) I love to read. I would estimate that between Tasha and me, we have over 1000 books. I think that I’ve not read about 3 of them that are in my bookshelf.
32) I love cars, and I love to work on them myself. Dad taught me that.
33) I do my own oil changes because it’s cheaper than taking it to an oil change place.
34) I will drive out of my way to get a deal on a large purchase.
35) I believe that God will provide for my needs, but I do not believe in the prosperity gospel that some people are preaching. When I mean my needs, I don’t mean my wants.
36) I love sports title games. Especially Madden and 2K Baseball
37) I have already had two careers in my lifetime. I worked in restaurants for about five years, and then worked as an administrative assistant for a year and a half.
38) Both of these professions have taught me that you have to treat everyone else with humility and humanity.
39) It also taught me how to make excellent fried chicken.
40) I am cheap some of the time. I’m learning more financial responsibility as time goes on.
41) I will wait for years to get something just to get it a lot cheaper. This is especially true with video games.
42) I have a penchant for dressing nice. I like nice clothes, and especially nice shoes.
43) I think that Big K coke is just as good as the regular brand.
44) I love the sound of trains. Where we live now, we can hear the trains all the time. While this might annoy most people, it comforts me. It’s a link to the past, too.
45) I love history, and hope to use it more in the future.
46) I know how to clean clothes, the house, and to sew enough to fix small holes and put buttons back on pants.
47) I can program a VCR so that it doesn’t blink 12:00 all the time.
48) I also know how to program a mixer board for sound.
49) I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but it doesn’t always mean that I’m showing all my cards.
50) I love making lists, and will make another at 100! Thanks for reading, and as always, MORE LATER!!!


SO frustrated right now

So, as y'all know, I'm searching in earnest to find a church position before too long. However, I keep running into a major roadblock. It's that almost every church now wants someone who's "experienced". Now, why this is frustrating me is that none of these churches are taking into account that I have volunteered for nearly every position that is available to me in a variety of different church settings. Why doesn't this count? And also, if I can't get a job, how am I supposed to get experience?! It's SO frustrating. I know that God wants me to serve, and I know that I'm doing the right thing in applying to places, but where is it all leading right now? I know God's leading me, and I know he'll put me in the right place, but I just don't understand everything right now.

Arg. Got to get homework done too. More later....


Snow Pictures

Almost forgot to post these...:D Callie: Not amused.

Let me in!
Front of the house. :)
Tasha being frozen!
Looking down the street from our house.
The side deck. About a quarter-inch, I'd say.

Uh, what is this?
Let me in!!!!

The front lawn

Can you find the frog?

Around the bushes in the front of the house.

More later! :D

Panini Press

So, I just used our panini press that we got at our wedding. Yeah, I just used something for the first time that we got two and a half years ago today. :D It worked wonderfully, and it seems like it's going to be an easy thing to clean, too. So, tomorrow night we're going to have chicken quesadillas. Good stuff! :D

For the weirdest reason, I just have not felt good all day long. It probably has something to do with the fact that I have had a hard time getting to sleep the last two nights. I fell asleep on Sunday morning at around 3:30, then last night I was asleep at about 2:30. Tasha woke me up at 9:30 for about 20 minutes so that I could call down to her doctor's office to get a note saying that she was there, and then I went back to sleep until 1. I usually am not this lazy, but I just felt awful! I'm about to head to bed here now (it's 11:40), so hopefully I'll be able to get back into a normal routine in the next two days or so.

Got to run for now. Going to sleep. :D More later!


The Aughts...

Nathan reviewed the early part of the 2000s already, but I'm going to take his idea and personalize it a bit more.

Btw, the reason behind the title is that many people in history would say 19-Aught-1 when they wrote or spoke, so thusly, we are completing the aughts decade.

2000 - We moved to a ranch home in Sandy Springs. In January, we had one of the worst ice storms to hit North Georgia ever, and I was stuck in Athens at JanFest! Because of a massive oak tree falling down, we missed nearly a week of school, and we huddled around the giant fireplace in the ranch-style house off of Abernathy Road. Later that year, Dad left FBC Sandy Springs, and the day after I graduated from North Springs, we moved to Mableton. That summer, Dad and I found a 1982 Buick Electra for me to drive. Who would have thought that this car was sensible? Apparently I did. I ended up driving it until 2002 when gas went to $1.30/gal....I left in August to attend Shorter College (oops on that one, right?) and completed my first semester of college by essentially losing the Hope scholarship with 2 Cs, 1 D, and 1 B. Oh well, right? My grades have gotten better since then! :D

2001 - Decided that Shorter was not the place to be for me, and I transferred to West Georgia. It ended up being a better fit for me at the time, and I got re-involved in Marching Band. I also got to be in a couple of choirs and attained a small music scholarship. That summer, I went to my last Youth Music Camp. (Too bad that they don't have those down in Norman Park anymore, right?) That Fall, I was in my first major stage production at West Georgia, Ten by Four (ten one-act plays written by four different authors). I almost got a scholarship for theater, but the company that was providing it decided not to offer to any of the actors that year at West Georgia. I'm sure I would've been the next Matthew McConaughey, except that I would actually have talent. :P (j/k!) I also decided that I was going to be a history major this year. How did I make it through?!

2002 - More band, more chorus. Got a 1992 Mercury Tracer this year. I hated that car. It had a spark plug that would never work quite right, even if you replaced the wire and plug itself. I worked at the Chinese restaurant for a while as a delivery boy, then worked at Zubeyda's 'Italian' dining (more like mostly alcoholic underage college boy bar), then at a chicken place. (The last two places are out of business, and the other is barely hanging on last time I went by.) Needless to say, I stayed busy again, and began to think that I should work in a good restaurant for once. Too bad that wouldn't happen for another two years!

2003 - Got in my first wreck! Got rear-ended by a girl who was not paying close attention, so there went the Tracer. Dad appeased me and got me my only Mercedes. Oh, good times, pretty car! :D I also worked part-time as a music minister at Rocky Mount Baptist Church in Carrollton. Who would have thought that this would end up being important later on? I think that this was the first time that Dad and I got to work professionally together at a church.

2004 - The major thing to happen this year was that I broke my hands over a stupid girl. Not a day goes by do I not regret that decision, but I realize that it was part of the growing process. Too bad I never thought that it would cause so much pain through the rest of my life; I try to translate this into good whenever I can.

2005- After all of the turmoil of 2004, I ended up working as a singer for Carrollton Presbyterian Church in the Fall and through the following Spring. It restored my love of God and Christ. The people there just loved on me, and gave me back a spirit of hope that I had lost.
I also ended up working at Arby's this year. It was an amazing place to work, even if it was fast food. I had a boss who actually cared for the workers, and we had great camaraderie outside of work as well. I had my Mercedes crack its engine this year, and got to drive the old stand-by, the 1995 Dodge Spirit. The strangest thing happened during November. The light switch began to short out while I was driving it, and finally burned partially out after work. I didn't have a phone number of anyone who could come and get me (since it was close to Thanksgiving break), and so I walked from Arby's to my apartment, about four miles away. This wasn't too bad, except that it was about 29 degree, spitting snow, and I had my nasty work clothes on. Thankfully enough, I was in an apartment where I could take a nice, long hot bath after I got in, and was able to fix the car well enough to drive it for another year (more on that in a minute).
One other thing that happened this year was that I did not participate in symphonic band. I decided to fulfill an old promise to the Opera teacher at West Georgia and I participated as a singer in The Mikado that Spring. It was a lot of fun to be back on stage, and I got the best reviews in the local Carrollton paper.

2006 - I finally decided that I was going to go to culinary school and not finish my bachelor's degree at this time. I worked until June of this year at the church and at Arby's, and moved into Mom and Dad's home in Blue Ridge. After getting fired from the job that I took after one day (after resigning a few weeks early to take this one), I found myself hunting for a job. I landed at Dairy Queen as an assistant manager. I ended up training in Kansas City and then Tampa for this job. Sounds good, right? Not so much. I ended up working 100+ hours a week until I finally couldn't take any more. I lasted from July until November of that year. No fun, but learned a lot. I ended up taking some weeks off and got a job at Taco Bell in early December.
In December, I filled in for the music minister at FBC Blue Ridge, and after the service, I had two of the youth girls come up to me and tell me that they had the *perfect* person for me to take out on a date. This person was Tasha. We wrote one another through MySpace for about half a week, and I asked her out to go to Chinese food in Jasper on that Friday night. We ended up staying at Chinese until the place closed, talking about TONS of stuff. Then we went looking at Christmas lights, and generally enjoyed being together. We ended up going on another date the next week, and then Tasha took me to her school's Christmas party two weeks after our first date. I knew that it was going to be something special, but I had no idea HOW special.

2007 - This was when things began to fall into place for me! In February, I proposed to Tasha, and we originally set a date of September for our wedding; we realized a few weeks later that this was going to be impossible for both of us since we wanted to take a true honeymoon after it, and moved the date up to July 21st. This sped everything up considerably! I moved from working at Taco Bell (after finding out that the manager and her husband were stealing vast amounts of money from the place), and went to work for Checker's hamburgers. I stayed there until about two weeks before the wedding. I also was urged by Tasha to go back and finish my bachelor's degree, and I agreed with her. I made preparations to attend Kennesaw State University in the Fall, and ultimately did.
On July 21st, Tasha became my wife, and we spent the next 6 days up in Gatlinburg at the Park Vista hotel on our honeymoon. We came back and spent two days in Blue Ridge at our parents houses, and then moved to Cartersville, GA. Tasha began working at Allatoona Elementary School in the first week of August, and I began to attend KSU a week later.
At the very end of 2007, I began working for the Office of Development as a student assistant. This was the first time that I had worked in an office, and was invaluable towards helping me learn how to be a good office worker, but how to run an efficient office as well.
As for vehicles, we got two new (!!) cars this year. I got my Hyundai Accent after purchasing a Mazda Millenia that blew smoke like crazy. We later traded Tasha's Honda CR-V in when gas got up to $4/gal. We thought that it was there to stay. Oh well! Tasha has her Sonata, so it's good. :)

2008 - Tasha and I decided that we wanted to buy a house, and we accomplished that in March of this year. We moved to 19 1st Street, Emerson, GA, and have been living there ever since. I continued to take classes and work at the Office of Development.

2009 - I finally completed my degree!! :D :D :D Apparently, miracles never cease. During the previous summer, I had done a large work in KSU's archives for my senior seminar, and was asked to do a research project about civil rights in Cobb County. I consider this the crowning achievement of my academic career, knowing that I have a paper that is preserved in the archives.
During the summer, I found out that I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I was working for Bank of America at the time as a bill collector, and unfortunately used all of my sick days and vacation days. Due to this, I had to resign my position after only a month and a half, but this did work to an end. I finally realized my true calling in life and have become a Liberty University Seminary student, working towards a degree in Christian Leadership. I finished my first semester on December 18th. Tasha also went back to school at Lincoln Memorial University off-campus to work on her specialist degree.

2010 - So far, it looks like Tasha and I both with be graduating with our degrees, and we hope that we will have an addition to the family soon, either through natural means or through adoption. We are praying that God will lead us through this year and that we will be receptive to what he has in store for us!

What a decade, and how far we've all come! More later! :D

Far be it from me to criticize...

I know that I will appear hypocritical by stating that someone is wrong for criticizing another person on their blog by stating this, but it's just bothering me. In short, we were involved in a church in Cartersville a few years ago now. We became a bit disillusioned with the pastor there, and I saw another reason why his leadership style is flawed (btw, I don't want to appear that I am criticizing his leadership of his church, he is more than free to do as he sees fit, how his congregation allows him to lead, and how their elders allow him to).

Recently, there was a scandal at a church in Canton, GA. In short, the pastor had an affair, was forced to resign, and has now announced that he is going to start another church without having accomplished what many people feel that he should have done before coming back to the ministry, much less as the leader of another church. I do agree with the pastor of the church we had attended in that he has not done what he said he was going to, and is going to further split the church the first church even more. However, I do have a problem of a preacher criticizing another pastor publicly in another church without the person being able to defend themselves. I personally feel that this is a bit of back-stabbing, even if the motives of the pastor are innocent. There is no reason to share with a church body that is not directly affected by what is happening in another church in another association and to be critical of what he is doing. Again, while I believe the pastor who had the affair shouldn't be doing what he is doing right now, it's not appropriate say things such as "If you think you're called to start a church & you don't meet the qualifications of Titus 1, you're being "called" by someone besides God" in your church service.

As I stated before, I know this will appear to be hypocritical of me to write something publicly about a church leader that I do not attend his church anymore, but I hope that you see the difference is that I am not criticizing him as a leader of a church to the congregation. I hope that I will be able to, if the situation ever arises, more efficiently and without malice to help the pastor who is in the wrong become a man without question. I hope that I will be able to accomplish this by not doing this in public either.

Thanks for letting me rant. The next post won't be so heavy...:) More later!