Jeux sans frontieres

We hopped from topic to topic at small group last night with no course charted, discussing games, then feminism, a long conversation about movies followed by consideration of radical Islam. It was great just to sit and talk; it’s for those kind of nights that I keep attending. Prayer was meaningful as well, and the Spirit was there in a powerful way. I’m glad we’ve got the ministry going, and that it will keep going through the holidays.

Christmas break has traditionally been the loneliest time for me during the school year. We finish the semester and all of the students leave campus. All of the college ministries shut down for a month. In previous years, I had attended a church further away than my current one, and the person I rode with would be gone. I’d be cloistered in my apartment (particularly during the week we have off because the university is closed) and become increasingly depressed and lonely until, finally, the semester would begin anew in the middle of January and I could start breathing again. It would take weeks to throw off the shadows I’d accumulated and finally be able to socialize normally… but this year should be different.

Having our college ministry based at an actual church, we can keep doing things throughout the holidays. There will be Christmas caroling and tree decorating. We’re going to keep having small group (except for two Mondays that fall on the holidays themselves). And now, church is in walking distance, so at the very least there is a place to go once a week.

And there’s April. This season is going to be very good indeed.

In other news, there are two articles to which I might draw your attention. The first is inconsequential except for the fact that it’s the first story I have submitted to Slashdot that has been accepted. I just thought that was kind of cool. The second is one I actually enjoyed reading yesterday. It details the motivations of a bird lover named Jim Stevenson, who shot several feral cats that were preying on endangered species of birds. He was arrested and went to court over killing the cats, and the detailed article explores both his side and the side of the cat lovers/defenders. The article is so good that I’ll probably buy the writer’s book when it comes out in February.

I hope you all have a fantastic day, my friends. The last FnC of the year is tonight, so you should consider stopping by. (It’s in the student lounge, bottom floor of First & Calvary Presbyterian Church, at 8 p.m as always.) Thursday night is Final’s Shindig, and you may have already received an invitation from me on Facebook. Abracadabras (there’s no “The” in front of their name, for whatever reason) are playing, and they always put on a good show, so I highly recommend coming at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

And if you’re looking for somewhere during the four weeks we’re out of school, there are guys and girls small groups, or just random hanging out in coffee shops talking about whatever comes up. Or sitting together and reading, or maybe writing poetry. Or playing video games. There’s no reason this winter break should be lonely for you, so reach out and find some people to spend time with. I might even have time to hang out with people 🙂 (April reminded me last night that, once Tuesday night FnC ends for the semester, it’ll free up several hours a week for me. More socializing time!)

Labour Day

Greg, the new senior pastor at the church I attend, observed yesterday that it’s funny how we celebrate Labour Day by doing no work. Sadly, that has not been the case for me so far, though I suppose it’s a good feeling to be productive. Or at least it will be until I start studying astronomy for one of my night classes…

Several months ago, I was invited to a party by an old friend from high school. She and I haven’t talked often during college, but I’d consider her a friend nonetheless, and April and I had a good time. I commented to this friend that the person I missed most from HS was Daniel, a guy who was in orchestra with us. He was also in Speech & Debate, and I considered us friends in high school. She told me that she’d seen him working at Barnes & Noble, so I determined to go there and try and catch up with him.

Well, I went to B&N, but it was nothing like I had expected. He didn’t seem particularly pleased to see me and the meeting was an altogether depressing one. He felt like his last 5 years had been all but wasted and that he was headed nowhere fast, and I imagine that my coming around with my fiancé and being relatively well-to-do didn’t help any. Regardless, we exchanged email addresses and April and I left.

Suffice it to say that I lost his email address. The napkin it was written on is not where I thought it was, and it has probably been thrown away for some time now. I’m somewhat disappointed, but I don’t think there was anywhere for our friendship to go after all this time. Hopefully he’ll contact me (he has my email address as well, after all), but it doesn’t look like we could pick up where we left off and I’m not sure that he wants to try. Who knows though, right? Maybe I’m being too pessimistic.

Had some people over to watch a movie last night, which was good times. In case you’re interested, we’re having an FnC Movie Night in a couple of weeks at the church. We’ll be watching The Last Temptation of Christ and there will be free food. Some discussion afterwards too. It’s a fantastic movie, so you should definitely check it out. (Click the link above for the sweet flier I made earlier! And by “sweet,” I mean “artistically challenged.”)

There’s a new essay on my site about the duality of the church, which also happens to be the topic I’ll be talking about on Tuesday night. If you’re free, come by the student lounge at First & Calvary Presbyterian (that big stone church on the NW corner of Missouri State campus). It’s in the basement and we kick it off at 8 p.m. with worship (I’m playing djembe this year!). If you do read the essay, don’t worry, you won’t be getting the exact same thing on Tuesday. We’re pretty discussion-focused, so whatever I have prepared often ends up on the backburner.

And if you’re not Christian, you should come anyways. You’ll have to deal with us worshiping, but the music’s pretty good regardless. We take a decidedly Christian viewpoint in the end, but we welcome all world views and encourage people to share their opinion, especially if it’s not a Christian one. We need to see all sides of a topic before we can make a decision on that topic, and we need to be challenged to push further if we are to understand something better.

We also, in case you weren’t aware, have a blog for the college ministry at http://fnccollege.blogsome.com. Brian and I have committed to writing twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, so check in those days for new articles and/or to leave/read a comment. Today’s entry is on taxes and the Pope’s upcoming statements about tax evasion.

April’s been playing WoW and just put a Gilmore Girls DVD in, so I might take a break. I’m not a big fan of Gilmore Girls, but it’s fun to laugh at. Not with. It’s a little too scripted for that. Have a fantastic day everyone.

Ick

I read through some of my work last night… disgusting. Some of the poems I had tagged as “pretty good” are, in fact, not really good at all. I only tried to read through one of my essays; I got about 2 paragraphs in before I had to stop. I know where I was going with it, but I was so worried about offending people that it took forever for me to get there. It was confusing and poorly organized, and has now been taken off the page. In its place is a more coherent article addressing the matter of bloodshed, particularly as it relates to war and the death penalty. I intend to continue rewriting my essays; I can’t include rebuttals and really “full” arguments in each one because it makes them too long, so I’m hoping to continue developing them as a sort of theological web. Much like the Bible, they would all have to be read to understand any part of them; you can’t pull one part out of context (in this case, the context of my site) and assume that represents the whole (or, to continue with this metaphor, that it represents my complete feelings/thoughts on a subject).

This morning I’m going to get some cleaning done and, once the dishwasher and clothes washer are going and the trash is taken out, I intend to bike to the gym and work out for an hour or so. April’s out of town, so I’m left to my own devices today. The device in question will likely be my XBox and a game Cody lent me. Finances need to be taken care of as well… my cell phone bill came out of my checking account last week on the same day my paycheck went in. If I hadn’t gotten my paycheck that day, I would have been at -$2.00 😛 Need to budget this month out a bit better, I think, though it had always been my goal to cut the end of the month close. Just not that close.

I feel like I should clarify real quick why I’m allowing my account to get that close to $0: I pay all my bills and put money in my savings account at the beginning of the month, leaving whatever is left for food and entertainment. Which isn’t much, but enough to get me by. After taxes, deductions, tithe, and savings deposit, I’m living on less than I was as a student worker… but it’ll be worth it once January rolls around.

I can’t wait to get married.