Sunday, December 10, 2006

Zoolander face!

This picture is from this past weekend. It is our best attempt at Zoolander's pose, "Magnum" (not to be confused with "Blue Steel")!

My friend Megan's 1 month old baby does a much better version!'s adorable and quite hilarious!

Jes came up to Richmond this weekend. It was a wonderful time! We did a lot of things in the short time that she was here. We went out to eat several times, she came to my band practice with me, and she got to meet some more of my friends.

On Saturday, we went canoeing on the lake beihind my house. It was really cold, so we got all bundled up and went down to the lake. After we got out on the lake, we realized that part of the water had ice on top, so we tested fate and went through the ice. It was really fun.

We also decorated my family's Christmas tree, a lot of good memories were made.

The best part of the weekend was knowing that I get to see her again in only 3 days!!!

I will be going down to NC for her graduation on Wednesday...I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's better to give than to recieve...

I wrapped my first Christmas presents tonight. I always like to be the first one in my family to put presents under the tree.

Jes is coming up tomorrow, so instead of trying to find somewhere to hide the presents that I have already gotten for her, I just decided to wrap them and put them under the tree. I think I did a very good job, they look really nice. I used a gift bag that I bought at Target that has a black and white snow scene on it, and then some red and gold wrapping paper.

Wrapping presents has always been such a favorite part of the Christmas season for me. Well really, every aspect of giving gifts really makes me excited. My family has always focused on the "giving" aspect of gifts rather than the "getting". And I can honestly say that when Christmas rolls around, I will get more joy out of watching my family un-wrap the presents that I have for them than any of my own.

Don't be fooled. I am not this amazingly unselfish person. I need to implement this giving, selfless attitude into my everyday life more...I think God wants us to be like this more than just at Christmas.

Why? Because that is how Christ was. He gave constantly to those around Him. He was always focused and attentive to the needs of all people, their spiritual and practical needs.

I am challenged to do more than give gifts to my famliy, but to give of my time, my money, and my energy to help meet the spiritual and practical needs of those around me.

Take a look around you today. Is there more you could do?

Friday, December 01, 2006

4 dinners to celebrate 5 months...

4 dinners are sitting on the kitchen counter right now.

I have my choice between vegetable soup, roast beef, chicken pot pie, or some sort of caserole.

My mom had knee surgery today, and so came an influx of food. It's a very nice thing, but I guess people don't realize that the Crisp men are very capable in the kitchen!

So I wanted to blog to say how incredibly proud I am of Jes. She finished college this week. She won't actually graduate for a few weeks, but she is done with undergrad classes. I am so proud of what she has accomplished. She finished in 3 1/2 years! and she even transferred! AMAZING! She is so smart, it just blows my mind.

As of today, we have been together for 5 months. We were talking about it last night, and It's funny how things can seem like such a long time and yet not at the same time. On one hand, it feels as if we have been together for such a long time (in fact, it's hard to remember my life before we were together), but on the other hand, these 5 months have flown by!

I am so excited to enter this Holiday season with her. I am so blessed that God has brought us together and given us such a strong bond. I have learned so much over the past months, and I feel like I am beginning to understand how to love and be loved.

So here's to our 5 months, and Jes' graduation!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Words of comfort and encouragement...

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Psalm 71:14-21

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like You? Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth You will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Waiting for the winds to converge...

Jes and I have been reading, Jesus, the One and Only by Beth Moore in preparation for the Christmas season.

Earlier this week, I was struck by a comment she made.

"When the winds of heaven converge with the winds of earth, lightning is bound to strike."


May we constantly seek for our winds, the activities of our lives, to converge with those of the Kingdom of God.

Thanksgiving Family Pictures

I have added my pictures from Thanks-
giving to my Flickr site.

Check them out.

Random Thoughts
Photography on Flickr.

This picture is on of my brother Patrick and his wife Jana. I thought it turned out nicely, after some Photoshop tweaking.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Kansas Thanksgiving

I spent Thanksgiving weekend with my family in Kansas. It was very bittersweet. It was the first holiday without my Grandpa, which was hard for all of us, but it was especially hard watching my Grandma as she continues to grieve and deal with the loss.

It was sweet, because my brother Patrick and his wife, Jana, announced to the family that they are pregnant. YAY!

Times like these really make you aware of the gift of life. It is so sweet and so short.

It's kind of strange to think about being an uncle. This little baby will be the first in the next generation of my family. A whole new dynamic is yet to be discovered.

Sadly, Jes and I weren't able to spend Thanksgiving together, but we're really excited because we are going to be able to spend a lot of time together during the next month. It's gonna be great!

I did get to spend time with Jes' family a few weekends ago. Her sister hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner so it was great spending that time with her parents, grandparents, sister, and brother-in-law.

I am so incredibly thankful for the acceptance and support that Jes and I have recieved from both of our families.

I want to send a "shout out" to my grandparents who finally got a computer that will allow them to check out my blog periodically.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Unity...It's a good thing!

Tonight I have worship band practice. It will be different from any practice we've had. Not only are all of my band members going to be back (the first time in 2 months!), but we will be meeting with the church choir and the sound team.

This past weekend, the Lord laid on the heart of one of our vocalists that there was a lack of unity between the different music ministries at our church, which in all honesty is a very true statement.

I have been very humbled this week as I have looked at myself and my attitude toward other people. I will be the first one to admit that I have made sarcastic comments or rolled my eyes about our choir on more than one occassion....this should not be!

Who am I to think that I am better than anyone else? Who am I to think that "my" ministry is more important that any other ministry? Who am I to take ownership of anything?

I am very excited about the meeting tonight, because I want to express my desire to honor and glorify God in unity. I am confident that the collective desire is to help lead the congregation into the presence of God, in a way that is the least distracting to anyone.

What an honor it is to be able to serve the Lord through music. I take it forgranted.

It is always so exciting when people come together in unity; when it is very obvious that the Holy Spirit is leading us. It is also very exciting to me that all of this didn't stem from a conflict. I think that conflict resolution is so amazing, but it's even better when we can put aside our differences and come together BEFORE there is a conflict.

I think God likes it when we are pro-active rather than just re-active!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Showing off her handiwork!

Showing off her handiwork!
Originally uploaded by
random thoughts photography.

Last weekend was another great time with my girl. Jes came up to Richmond on Friday - when she got here, we immediately got ready to go out. I had planned to take her to a dinner-theater that is about an hour away. We went to see the musical "Cats".

For some reason, I've never really felt like I would see that show, but since it was playing, I thought it would be a fun date. It was. The show was good....not the best, but the music was good, and the cast could really dance. It was fun getting all dressed up and going out together. Hopefully we will get to do that more often.

We spent Saturday with my parents. My mom had been wanting to go to Williamsburg for a while to check out the new Yankee Candle factory. We drove down and spent a few hours just walking around. The store was pretty cool. They even had artificial snow falling in one area.

Sunday Jes played with me at church again. This Sunday 3 of my band members were out, so it was great having her help. She is so talented and I am so amazed by everything that she does. It's so exciting to me that we share the same passion for music and worship. We were both very blessed by the opportunity to lead worship together.

Sunday afternoon, we went to see The Prestige. Good movie. I recommend it!

We came home and made dinner in my parents' newly remodeled kitchen. We made shrimp fajitas and Jes made a delicious berry pie for dessert.

We always have such an amazing time together, just doing every-day activities.

There are pictures up on my Flickr site now from our trip down to SWU and from this weekend.
Check 'em out!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Changing leaves and an update

It has been a while hasn't it?

Life seems to move at such a rapid pace these days. Sometimes I get so caught up in the activity of it all that I forget to stop and enjoy the ride.

It's kind of like the changing of seasons. I hadn't even noticed that the leaves were changing colors until I was driving down 85 to visit Jes at the end of last week. I left on Thursday and got a late start, which always stresses me out. I found myself driving down the interstate, frustrated that I was behind schedule, and thinking about all of the things that we were going to do over the weekend when I so clearly heard God speaking to my heart, "Stop. Quit thinking, and just enjoy the beauty of my creation." Wow. What an eye-opener. God is painting such a beautiful picture before our eyes, and it changes every day...every minute. We get so wraped up with our work, our relationships, our errands, our worries, our concerns, that we forget to enjoy the beautiful splendor of all that He has made for us.

The weekend was full and busy. I picked up Jes in Greensboro and then we headed down to South Carolina to visit some of our friends at SWU. Our time there was very bitter-sweet. I feel like I've changed so much since I left there last year. Sometimes it is very hard to go back to a place and spend time with people who don't really know the person that you are, only the person that you were in the past. But we had a good time together.

I have decided that one of my favorite things to do is driving with Jes. On our way to her parents house on Saturday, we drove past so many people who looked so somber and were not enjoying their time together. I felt so badly for all of those people and wished that they could find joy out of something as routine and ordinary as driving.

We were able to spend great time with Jes' parents on Saturday and Sunday. It is truly such a blessing to have the support, input, and guidance of both her parents and mine. Our families are very similar and I feel so at home there.

The best part of the weekend came on Monday, when I was supposed to go home, but decided to stay and go up to her school and spend a little more time together. We went to a coffee shop near her campus and spent a few hours just talking and being close to one another. It was so wonderful to just relax and not worry about anything, but just focus on each other and God.

This weekend was so wonderful and I feel so great about everything that lies ahead. My focus has been brought back to where it needs to be...I have a renewed sense of commitment to go deeper with my relationship with God and to truly seek to honor and glorify Him, not only in our relationship, but in every aspect of my life.

No matter what you're doing today....whatever you have on your plate. Take time to stop and enjoy the season. The clean, crisp air of fall makes me feel so alive, and the colors remind us that change can be beautiful.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Napoleon Dynamite and The Beatitudes

After three long weeks, I get to spend another weekend with Jes. I am very excited to share a few more days with her. I'll give an update in a few days about our weekend together.

I am in the middle of a couple of projects for school right now. I am editing my first radio series, and am designing a few logos. It's very exciting to learn new skills...because girls only want boyfriends who have great know numchuck skills, bow-hunting skills, computer hacking skills...I guess audio editing and graphic design are almost as dorky.

Wow...Napoleon. Good times.

For those of you who didn't know, last fall, my friend Carolyn and I learned the dance from the movie and won $250 at SWU's infamous "skit night" was a blast. I definitely don't think I could remember much of it now....probably a good thing!

It's hard to believe that was almost a year ago. My life sure has changed in the past year. I really never would've imagined that I would be where I am now, dating such an amazing girl, leading worship at my church, going to VCU...God is so good. He gives us what we need before we ever know it is our deepest desire.

Jes and I started reading in Matthew earlier this week and today was the Beatitudes. These words are so powerful, just think on them for a few minutes.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for thiers is the kingdom of heaven."

I love how God's heart and passion for people is so evident in these words. He seeks after those who are down and out. He desires to feed those who hunger. His embrace comforts all who suffer and His grace gives us hope. Hope for a future no matter what our circumstances are today. Hope for acceptance and forgiveness no matter how ugly our sin. Hope for life that is full of joy and fellowship with others. Hope for something meaningful.

Be filled with hope today.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad experience turns good

Sometimes God can use our mistakes to work to our advantage.

This happened in my life yesterday. I got out of my afternoon class early and decided to go down a few blocks to Barnes & Noble to hang out in the Cafe' and check out some new music before my evening class started at 7 p.m. For some reason, being in Barnes & Noble always makes me feel happy, especially when I have time to listen to some CDs, flip through the newest edition of Paste Magazine, and sip on some Iced Chai.

I left Barnes & Noble around 6:15 with plenty of time to spare, and so I decided to take the "scenic" route back to class.

I'll skip ahead and then come back to the good part.

So I got to my class around 6:40 and several of my classmates were sitting in the hall outside...So I sat down and started chatting away. At about 6:50, I said, "Is there a reason that we're sitting outside the class?" and they then informed me that we were donig a one-on-one quiz with the professor. I asked why he decided to start early....It was then that I remembered that my class actually starts at 6 p.m. not 7 p.m. Yeah...I felt like an idiot! I was still able to take the quiz, however, I had points taken off for being late...oh well.

The good part of the story is that on my way back to my class, I ran into a reporter for the newspaper that I worked for last summer. We talked for a while about our lives and such and eventually we talked about my frustrations with not having enough time to actually work this semester and gain more experience. She told me that there may be opportunity for me to work as a freelance writer for the local paper in my home-town.

Skip ahead to today...a few minutes ago, my cell phone rang and I didn't recognize the number. It was the Managing Editor at the paper, and I am now a freelance writer for Media General's Richmond Suburban Newspapers.

Not only is this a great opportunity to gain experience around my busy schedule, but I will also be paid for every story that I write.
I'm stoked.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fall Playlist

A few days ago, my friend Candice blogged a list of wonderful songs for the fall season. She inspired me to make my own list.

For the past 4 years, I have made a mix every summer and listen to it all summer long. When I read her post I thought, "Why not every season?"...SO, the plan is to make a compilation every season from now on.

I have to admit that I stole some artist and/or song ideas from Candice...what can I say? If you have good taste, people want to copy you. And if anyone has good taste/style, it's Candice!

So here it is:

Neon...John Mayer
The City...Milosh
How We Operate...Gomez
Waiting Line...Zero 7
Walnut Tree...Keane
I Don't Trust Myself...John Mayer
Nowhere Warm...Kate Havnevik
Strange and Beautiful...Aqualung
Somersault...Zero 7
I Drive Alone...Esthero
Chasing Cars...Snow Patrol
Against All Odds...Postal Service
Colors...Amos Lee
Cannonball...Damien Rice
How to Save a Life...The Fray
Nos Da Cariad...David Gray
Let Go...Frou Frou
Grace....Kate Havnevik
The Scientist...Coldplay

I have a silly habit of thinking about my life like a movie. Sometimes I hear a song and think...that song should be on the soundtrack to my life. These are just a few of those songs.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Here are the lyrics to a song that really spoke to me this morning.

by Starfield

I have not much to offer You,
Not near what you deserve
But still I come because Your cross
has placed in me my worth

I kow I'm weak,
I know I'm unworthy
to call upon Your name
But because of grace,
because of Your mercy,
I stand here unashamed

Oh, Christ, My King of sympathy
Whose wounds secure my peace
Your grace extends to call me friend
Your mercy sets me free

I know I'm weak,
I know I'm unworthy
to call upon Your name
But because of grace,
because of Your mercy,
I stand here unashamed

I can't explain this kind of love
I'm humbled and amazed
that You'd come down from heaven's heights
and greet me face to face

I know I'm weak,
I know I'm unworthy
to call upon Your name
But because of grace,
because of Your mercy
I stand here unashamed

Here I am,
at Your feet
In my brokeness complete

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Mudpie

The Mudpie
Originally uploaded by
random thoughts photography.

This photo of mine was chosen to be in the Schmap Chattanooga Guide. I had never heard of this before, but apparently several cities have this sort of online map and listing of places to be.

I think it's kind of neat to have one of my pictures chosen for something like this, even though there was no benefit to me, it's still pretty cool.

They did however, provide me with a link that I have put on my sidebar that allows my readers to download the Schmap guides...check 'em out, they're kind of cool!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend Update...

Yellow Jacket
Originally uploaded by
random thoughts photography.

This is a picture from my weekend in North Carolina with Jes.

Check out the rest of them here. There are only a few and most are from our trip to visit the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.

I had such an amazing time with Jes and her parents. I was so much looking forward to being able to spend some more time with Jes' parents and get to know them a little bit better. They are such amazing people, and I have been amazed at how willingly they accept me and have really been encouraging of our relationship. I really feel like I have a second home now in North Carolina.

This weekend, we had such a wonderful time enjoying each other and just some simple things together. We played tennis, went running, went to the Zoo, had some wonderful meals, played Catch Phrase, watched a movie, and just enjoyed being able to be together.

Today was such a great day, despite my major Jes withdrawls. I have such a renewed sense of thankfulness and joy and a strong trust in God.

A year ago, this weekend, I came home and decided to transfer from Southern Wesleyan. It is such a huge blessing to be able to look back on the past year and so clearly see God's hand guiding me to where I am now. I have never been one to appreciate the procees that leads to a result...I'm a huge instant gratification person. BUT, God has given me such a huge thankfulness for the process and the season of growth that He has brought me through in the past year. He is so good. His ways are higher than our ways, and even when I don't understand and the process is hard, I trust that He has a purpose and a plan. I trust that He has a purpose for every season, every trial, every hardship, every good day and every hard day.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Today's the big day...I am leaving in a few short hours to visit Jes for the weekend. I'm beyond excited.

On my way out of town I'm going to splurge and buy two....maybe three CD's for my road trip.

John Mayer and the Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack are definites.

Beyonce' and Justin are maybes.

I'll post about the music and my trip when I get back.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Random dates I'm looking forward to...

Grey's Anatomy season premiere.......Thursday, Spetember 21

Gilmore Girls season premiere.......Tuesday, September 26

and most exiting....


5 years later...

Since today is the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I thought I would share my memories from that day...

It was my junior year in high school. I was participating in a program called "elementary mentorship" in which a group of students went to the local elementary school 2 or 3 times a week to work in a classroom. I worked with a 1st grade teacher named Susan. Susan and I had already bonded, even though it was still the beginning of the school year.

I can remember that I was helping a student with his reading journal when Susan called me over to her desk. She told me what had happened and we sat behind her desk with a small hand-held radio up to our ears trying to hear the latest updates. This was inbetween the 2nd plane hitting the World Trade Center and the crash into the Pentagon. I remember being very confused and not really realizing what was going on.

The elementary school administration did not allow any television that day and so many of the visual images that people have of the events of that morning I did not see until later.

When I got in the car with a few other students to drive back to our high school, neither one of them had heard about the attacks, so I told them about it. By the time we got back to our school, many teachers were not allowing students to watch the news reports, and so I wasn't able to see anything until that night. My parents were out of town, and I can remember feeling very unsettled.

So many people had such devastating hours that day. If you haven't seen the World Trade Center movie, go see it. It is a great look into the personal lives of two Port Authority officers who were trapped under the rubble and their experience of that day.

Here we are, 5 years later, wrapped up in a war caused to some extent by the events of that day. May we continue to support our country and our troops. No matter your political leaning, on this day, lets all join together in remembrance of what our country lost and the freedom that has been given to us.

What are your memories from that morning?

Random Thought for the day...Just say no to drugs!

Drug Store - Color
Originally uploaded by
random thoughts photography.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Before my friend Jennifer moved to South Carolina earlier this summer, we made a sort of "demo" CD together of a few songs that we had written, I still haven't heard the CD, and it was meant just as a keepsake because Jenn has been my "singing buddy" since my junior year of high school. She and I have shared lots of fun times working out harmonies, sharing special music, and leading worship together.

Today was the first Sunday of having a new vocalist singing with the band since going through a major transition the past few months. Not only did Jennifer move away, but two other vocalists have stepped down, one several months ago, and one very recently ( who was also our keyboard player!). It has been a major challenge as I have had to really emerge myself into the leadership of the band, which, to be completely honest, is not where I feel most comfortable. For the past several weeks, I have been the only vocalist and also playing either guitar or keyboard during the sets....way out of my comfort zone. I was telling Jes the other day, that I would feel most comfortable being in the background, singing harmony with none of the added responsibility of leadership. But God is not in the business of keeping us where we are most comfortable.

This has all been such a learning experience. I have learned that I rely too much on my own ability and strength. I have learned that God IS faithful and will supply ALL of my needs. I have learned what it means to trust...even when it looks impossible and I am overwhelmed by the situation. I have learned that I am my own biggest distraction. I have had to look and listen past my faults and realize that HE is worthy of my worship NO MATTER WHAT!

Today was one of the first times in a while that I have been able to enter into worship myself during a service. I felt like God was pleased with my worship even though I felt so inadequate and unworthy to be leading worship. It definitely helped having another worshipper standing next to me.

Here are the lyrics to one of the songs that Jenn and I recorded. The Lord constantly uses these words to convict me and draw me closer. Allow the Lord to speak to your heart today. I know I desperately need to hear His voice.

"I Repent"

I repent, I repent
I turn and walk away from all I knew before
I repent, I repent
I'm feeling like a little child once again

You open my eyes to all my sin
You know all my faults, still you call me Your friend
You are all I'll ever need
Only in You am I complete

Set my heart on You
Jesus, set my heart on You

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another Picture from Labor Day Weekend

Jes and Me in front of the fire place
Originally uploaded by random thoughts photography.

Arise and Be Comforted

I added a new song to my myspace profile today. I try to change my song every few days, trying to capture the mood that I am in. I put up Watermark's "Arise and Be Comforted" from their A Grateful People album. The album is a collection of great live worship featuring Nathan and Christy Nockles of Watermark with special appearances by Chris Tomlin, Shane and Shane, and Charlie Hall. It truly is one of the best worship albums I've heard in a while and sadly it will be the last Watermark album. Raw and passionate vocals are found throughout. In my opinon, Christy Nockles has one of the best voices in the Christian music industry and is definitely a gifted worship leader.

The Lord has truly used this song to speak to my heart lately. One night when Jes and I were talking, she felt the Lord urging her to tell me that God was telling me to "arise". It just so happens that God had been singing this song in my spirit all week that week.

I think a very harsh and sad reality is that so often we get bogged down in the mundane and/or trivial aspects of life that we feel too overwhelmed to even seek the face of God. This song speaks to the cry of every human's be comforted. Also, it so simply expresses the goodness and tender mercies of the Lord.

Arise and Be Comforted
by Nathan and Christy Nockles
Arise and be comforted
For the Lord, He is good to the weary
And even the young heart can tire and fall
But He knows them all
For the Lord, He will renew their strength
And they will soar on wings as eagles
And they will run and never grow weary
They will walk and not grow faint
For the Lord, He is good
Lift your eyes to the heavens
For the creator is living in you
Come surrender as you are
And know that you’ll never stray too far
Let His power within you heal your heart
Lift your eyes to spacious skies
Let Him chart your way to flight
Spread your wings and fly
For the Lord, He is good

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Survivor" uses racial divisions to gain ratings

I'm not sure if you've heard about it, but the CBS reality TV show, "Survivor" added a new twist this season. They are dividing the tribes into four ethnic groupings - black, white, Asain, and Hispanic. I wrote an article about it for one of my Journalism classes....i'm posting it below. What's your opinion on the whole thing?

“Survivor” divides at home too

by Brett Crisp

RICHMNOND, VA - There is a storm brewing in the Cook Islands of the South Pacific. CBS reality show “Survivor: Cook Islands” fresh with a new twist and already causing quite a stir, is scheduled to hit U.S. airwaves Thursday, September 14.

Starting its 13th season, the reality show cast a more ethnically diverse group of contestants. According to an Associated Press release, the 20 individuals, called castaways on the show, will be divided into four tribes according to ethnicity – Hispanic, black, white, and Asian.

Jeff Probst, host of the show and a main voice in promotions for the new season, recognizes the potential of the new twist.

“It’s very risky business because you’re bringing up a topic that is a hot button,” said Probst to the AP service for young readers.

According to an MSNBC online poll, Probst was right in his prediction that the show is hitting a touchy subject this season. The poll responses are divided nearly equally as to whether the new twist is a good or a bad idea.

VCU’s response to “Survivor” ‘s new racial focus is also divided.

“I think it’s a bad idea, because that’s just racism,” said freshman Jenny Vo.

Senior Nicole Ballou agrees. “We spend so much time trying to be united as a nation and that [the new twist] is going against everything we’ve tried to do,” she said.

Other students are supporting the show’s decision.

“I think it’s a really good idea. The ratings are going to go up,” said sophomore Natascha Williams.

“I don’t think people should read so much into it, it’s just a game,” said senior Chanel Call.

Assistant Professor of Mass Communications, Dr. Lynn Owens agrees with Probst that this is a risky ploy. “It’s going to be tricky business for the producers,” she said.

Owens also thinks that the primary danger in the show’s focus on race is stereotyping.

“It’s going to be difficult not to highlight stereotypes,” said Owens.

With voices on both sides of the coin, the only thing that is certain is that a show that has not been in the spotlight for a while has garnered attention once again. Whether the attention will help or hurt the show is yet to be determined.

Here we go again...

So here's to another attempt to actually write on this thing. It seems that after I no longer had my faithful blogging friend, Candice, around to inspire me to update regularly that I have been a major blogging failure.

This past weekend, my brother Patrick and his wife Jana came home to visit. I found out when they got here that they had started their own blog and this caused me to start thinking about starting to write down some random thoughts once again for the reading pleasure of...well probably no one.

Jes was also here this weekend, as I guess you can tell by the picture. On Sunday, I decided to take her to the University of Richmond campus and walk around. We took a few pics while we were there. Check them out on my Flickr site. The one here was just of us being goofy. For some reason, Jes really likes my dramatic facial expressions!

All in all it was a great weekend. I am very thankful for my family and my incredibly gorgeous girlfriend. The Lord has truly blessed my life.

Look back for updates...hopefully it will stick this time.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Rollin' in Snowflakes and Paint

My weekend can be summed up by those two words. Yes, winter finally graced us with its presence and with it came about 3 inches of beautifully white snow. The snowflakes started to dust the ground just as I was heading home from work on Saturday evening(It always amuses me to observe how ridiculously cautious people drive when there is not even an inch of snow on the ground...I guess it goes hand in hand with the automatic trip to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk!). Unfortunately, I was a little to preoccupied to fully appreciate the snowfall as much as I typically would. This weekend I took upon myself the task of moving out of my room and into my brother's old room. Clearly this also involved painting because my brother and I have rather differing opinions on...well almost everything!

So I turned on the Opening Ceremony to the Olympics and went to rolling. Around midnight, I let my dog outside...she went crazy. She was running around and rolling all over the back yard as if she should've been representing the US at the winter Olympics. As I was watching her so freely enjoy the moment, I thought that there was no reason why I shouldn't be enjoying the snow as much as she was. So I found some snow clothes and ran out to join my dog in the yard. We rolled around together and I threw snowballs at her. We even made a snowman together....well I did most of the work, but she was really motivating on the sidelines. I found myself gaining the greatest joy out of something so simple like snow. At one point, I just laid out in the middle of the yard and looked up at the stars and in that moment it seemed as if God had sent the snow just for me.

Worship was wonderful this week. God met us in a very fresh, genuine way. I'm so excited about what God is doing in and through the worship band.

This week's set list:
Blessed Be Your Name
Famous One
You're Worthy of My Praise
Beautiful One
Potter's Hand

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What am I up to?

After my last post, I felt as if there was still much to say about where my life is at present. As previously mentioned, I am now attending Virginia Commonwealth University, which is located in downtown Richmond, VA. It has been wonderful so far. I love being in the city, surrounded by tall buildings, and just having so many different types of people with which to interact. I am starting out as a Mass Communications major with my concentration being in Print Journalism. I am thinking of adding Creative Advertising or Public Relations/Marketing as an aditional concentration next semester.

I have only a few non-major classes that I still needed after transferring, and I am taking most of these this semester along with a few Communications classes. I absolutely love my comm. classes, but I haven't gotten overly excited about the others. It's just one semester....I'll survive. One challenge to adjusting to a larger school is going to be keeping myself accountable to attend my classes....especially those that aren't too much fun. It's just so different to not be required to attend has to be my choice. I think that it is odd that I am learning more about responsibility and accountability at my extremely liberal, state school than I ever did at Southern.

In addition to my classes, I started working at a bookstore near campus. I have only been there for about a week, but so far I love it. The store is a christian store, but not like any typical christian bookstore I have ever been in before. The atmosphere is very casual and urban. My co-workers are great and the majority are in their early's wonderful to be working with like-minded people that are my peers. Hopefully some lasting frienships will be built at the store.

Also since moving back to Richmond, I have taken upon myself the role of worship leader at my church. I really would have never expected to be doing this, especially now. In fact, when I came home, I wasn't even sure if I was going to continue attending my home church or find something new. After praying about it for quite a while, I knew that I was supposed to stay there. Shortly after I got home it became clear that the worship team was going through a very dry season, and I was asked to take the lead. It has been incredible so far. I have been able to bring some new ideas and vision from my experiences over the past few years of being away, and some very positive changes have been made. It is wonderful to be participating in worshiop ministry again. I feel so at home when I am singing and leading the body of Christ into worship.

I am very excited about this new season in my life. I am amazed at how faithful and forgiving God has been to me. He has given me the desires of my heart...desires that I didn't even know I held.

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Own Prison

As I begin my first post in an extremely long amount of time, I wonder if anyone will even read this. I have decided that even if no one reads what I post on here, that it is still important for me to write. This first post will be an attempt to update any readers of the on-goings in my life.

Since my last post, I have transferred schools. I am now a proud student of Virginia Commonwealth University, located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The reasons for this change are countless. Even though I enjoyed my time at Southern Wesleyan, it was not the place for me any longer. So often we find ourselves in unhealthy places and do nothing. In the middle of last semester, I found myself in an extremely unhealthy place. I am not speaking of the physical environment in which I was located( however, Stu-B is not the healthiest atmosphere known to man), but this place in which I found myself was more of a state of being. I had become incredibly comfortable in every area of my life...this comfort had become a disease...a sickness that was draining my life of any purpose, passion, or direction. It amazes me how one gets to such a point of emptiness and desperation. It's not as if I woke up one morning and had changed so drastically overnight that I was unable to recognize the face staring back at me from my medicine cabinet. No, the process was slow and the changes subtle, but little by little I had become a different person. I was no longer sensitive...I had become calloused and walls were going up around me faster than in the suburban sprawl I now call my home. I had forsaken my passion of music and worship. I rarely(meaning never) spent an extended amount of time in prayer or even reflection. I had trapped myself in a prison made from a self-righteous facade.

So what do you do when you finally realize that you are living such a pitiful version of what your life is meant to be? Well, at first, you just put up more walls and pretend that everything is okay. You try to fill your life with activities and responsibilities to take up your time so that you don't even think about the mess that is your life. And in the quietness of your room when you are all alone late at night you mourn the loss of your dreams. At least that's what I did. You buy into the lies that are constantly whispered in your ear to give up, to continue in your misery. You are fooled to believe that you are worthless and that your failures will mark you for the rest of your life. You feel so far away from where you want to be that it seems hopeless. This is what I meant when I said that so often we find ourselves in unhealthy places and do nothing. We continue to feed ourselves all of the garbage and lies that have brought us here in the first place. I wonder how long a person can exist in such a place. I imagine some people never know freedom from this type of existence. Thankfully, I do.

I know this freedom now not because of anything that I have done. Leaving Southern did not give me freedom. A change in environment is often a tool that God uses when He guides us to freedom, but any changes we make are futile and meaningless if they are not in step with the Holy Spirit. How did I escape my own prison? I was broken. I was ruined. I allowed the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sin. I listened to the still, small voice that was calling me home.

The past weeks and months have been incredible times that I will remember for the rest of my life. The course of my life has changed. I am no longer on a path towards destruction, but toward life. I have been brought full-circle around to the calling and purpose that I was given to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am uncertain of what the next few years will hold for me, and that excites me beyond description. I am happy to be in this season. I am just beginning to know who I am and the many things that God wants me to learn while I am in this place.

I have so much more to tell about the specifics of what is going on in my life, but that will come later. For now, I encourage you to examine your life. Are you in an unhealthy place? Are you hopelessly rotting away in a self-created prison? Don't give up. There is hope. There is purpose. There is passion. He is waiting for you...calling out. Listen.