Saturday, May 26, 2007


so last night we had some free time. all 24 of us loaded up into the vans and took off for the local community center for this massive bluegrass event they hold every friday night. wow. it was like stepping back into a time warp or something... a good time warp. we got there around 8:30 after getting a little mixed up on these back mountain winding roads. we stopped at a double wide and asked for directions.
once we were there we walked into the building, which was pretty much this old gym that had a huge stage on one end and chairs and tables filling the rest of the floor. i had brought my guitar and accordion because i was told that it was the kind of thing that people just pick up instruments and walk up on stage. its bluegrass... 1,4,5 kind of stuff. its the original hillbilly jam fun time. so me, my roommate (one sick harmonica playa), and the assistant director stepped up and played some tunes with the old timers.
the old timers- these guys had been playing these same old songs on this same stage for the last 30, 40, 50 years. they new their stuff. it was really cool, actually. its a little piece of old appalachian culture thats slowly dissapearing. [i know im misspelling words, but i dont have the time to relearn the english language.] so this one feller, whose name was clarance (no kidding), was most excellent. he stood about 5.2 because he was so far hunched over. he had a huge 5 gallon black cowboy hat. they called him over to the mike to play a tune and he just went at it. the thing is, you couldnt understand a lick of anything that came from his mouth. it was all vowels. any consinent [again with the spelling] you could hear were the whistley "s"es. honestly, imagine that character from napoleon dynamite who shot the cow and talked about the arrow heads. thats what he looked and sounded like. it was so great. man, i want to go back. some of these guys, despite the fact that they were playing very simple music, were fantastic musicians. some of them were passing around instruments all casual like, just transitioning between them in the middle of songs. it was great. no pictures. maybe. ill write more later. take care, all. i miss you all. oh- thanks for calls and notes on my birthday. it was a good one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


so today was my last day as a teenager. i turn twenty tomorrow. another milestone passed. i love you all.


dad and i drove from chatt to brevard, NC yesterday, and got to Ridge Haven around 4. i met pastor curt, the director, and some of the other counselors, and got my stuff moved into the counselor dorms. my roommate, dan, is from NC State. he got a speeding ticket on his way here. he was pretty torn up about it. at 6 all the counselors met upstairs above the dining hall. we did a little brief introduction thing, and heard some from the director and the assistant directors. we had dinner and met the board. mikey and trey eventually showed up. after dinner we went over to robeson and did some team building exercises and then watched the season finale of 24. it was good times. we went back to the res halls and some guys sat around and we played music. i read a little and then went to bed...
morning meeting was at 7 this morning. curt gave his testimony. pastor curt has had an interesting life. alot of his connections are people i am connected to as well... like my sisters roommates father, and my parents pastor. anyway, after breakfast, we went back upstairs and met for a while. JD spoke and gave the intro presentation to the talks he is going to give to the campers this summer. we also took a tour of RH. after lunch we went to the climbing wall and high ropes course. we took our time there, learning the courses and belaying and coaching and things. we spent all afternoon there, and then went to dinner very tired. there was a group of kids at the low ropes course while we were on the high, and i found out later tonight that they are from Harvester Christian Academy, a school i attended from pre-K through 5th grade. my father was the headmaster of that school for 7 years or so. we are running the high ropes course for them tomorrow, so ill try and talk to some of the adults that came with them. anyway, after dinner we got our shirts for the summer, and all headed out to this spot on one of the peaks here in the blue ridge mountains called devils courthouse. we watched what was left of the sunset. mikey and i took alot of pictures. he doesnt want me to have any. so, go look at his blog for pictures. punk.
family, friends, and other supporters: i am well. im tired, but well. one of the things i need these two weeks and for sure the rest of the summer is that the Lord will give me strength. i need physical, emotional, and spiritual strength. im so sore right now. ill be posting more later this week. look at mikey's blog for pictures.

Monday, May 21, 2007

off to live in the mountains

so im leaving in about 5 hours for ridge haven. but, before i go, i want to post a part of the support letter that i sent out, just so my friends and others who drop in here can read it. i really need prayer this summer- for a lot of things. please continue to pray for me in my personal struggles, as well as other difficulties which i will face. some of these things are included in the following letter. read this:

Dear Friends and Family-

I am going to North Carolina for the summer to spend two months as a camp counselor at Ridge Haven Camp, the official camp and retreat center of the PCA. This is not my first time at Ridge Haven (RH); I was a camper over the course of several summers, and also attended several weekend retreats there. I understand first hand the impact that just a week at this camp can have in a young person’s walk with the Lord. My time at RH and the counselors who shepherded me had significant and lasting effects in my life. In the church, there has recently been a very real and frightening lack of interest in spiritual things in the minds and hearts of the youth. Many are falling away from the faith. A week at RH immerses campers in the teaching of the scriptures and challenges them to conform their lives to those teachings. It changes lives. For that reason, I am returning to RH as a counselor.

My responsibilities at Ridge Haven this summer start with watching out for my group of young men, shepherding them and challenging them spiritually. This is probably the most frightening thing to me. I remember how much I looked up to my counselors. This position is no small thing- I am not just baby-sitting for a week. Some of these campers have serious issues and questions about the nature of God and His plan in their lives. Please pray for me as often as you think of me. I need the Lord's strength this summer. Other things I will be doing with the campers include archery, climbing, high ropes courses, and rafting. Please pray that all of these activities go off without injury or incident. Also, I will be ministering to and serving my brothers and sisters who help run the camp. This includes other counselors, kitchen and grounds crews, those over us, and also the musicians and speakers.

We all need prayer- this camp is a powerful and relevant ministry. I believe that the Kingdom of God is being advanced at Ridge Haven. And, we know from the scriptures that anywhere that is happening, Satan and his forces are trying to stop it. I know right now that this summer I will be attacked with weariness, anger, frustration, hopelessness, self-centeredness, and many other weapons that the evil one has used against God's people. Please, begin praying for me that the Spirit of the Lord would renew in me every morning the fruits of the Spirit- that the Lord would be fresh to me every day. I cannot stress this enough. Your support through prayer is the most important and powerful thing you can offer this ministry.

Another challenge of Ridge haven this summer is raising a portion of my compensation for the summer. It is my responsibility to raise $1000 as a supplement to my salary. One of the most important reasons for doing this is that, in helping raise my own salary this summer, I am cutting down on the costs of running the camp, which in turn keeps the costs down for the campers and their families. And, since this is literally a little mission field right in our own back yard, it is only fitting that I have a responsibility to raise support to spend my summer there ministering to those needing the gospel, and to shepherd those who already have it.

It is of the utmost importance for both the ministry and for me personally that you faithfully pray for the camp, the counselors, and the campers. Please commit to pray daily that the Lord would watch over all involved in this endeavor and that He would bless it. This ministry needs your prayers. Please remember us all as we are serving the Lord at Ridge Haven.

Scott Steere

Saturday, May 19, 2007


is often just being content
with where you are"
as the falling snow
pattered like pop rocks
on the skin of our tent
and we four shifted drowsily
in the shelter built for two

i have been feeling the need today to be happy. it doesnt come to me easily sometimes. i went to a bonfire last with with about a dozen other kids from my class, whom i was never very close to. i was always on the fringes of practically every clique in high school... i could have done any one of them, but only partially. i never really committed to one, because not one really fit me. case in point: lunch was eaten outside when the weather was nice, in a little cafeteria-like building when it was rainy. i ate lunch alone every day either in the art department or backstage while playing piano. i had friends, but i was not a part of really any group. i drifted into a few after high school, though. i got closer to some guys after we graduated. anyways, i have been feeling like a loner alot these last two months or so. its a definite change for me. i had someone for over three years, and then within a very short time, i didnt have someone. i was alone again. i spent alot of time leading up to those three years alone. i spent my senior year alone (mostly) because that someone had graduated the year before. here i am again alone. and, the thing is, no amount of friends, no matter their caliber, can completely erase this ache in my heart- this reminder in the back of my mind that im a loner again. its a pain and a pleasure. its cool and at the same time it hurts like hell. days like today it hurt like hell. last night, while sitting with friends and watching the embers drift into the dark canopy above, all i could think of was someone i used to know. all i could think about was how much they would enjoy that moment. its been like that for two months. im so used to thinking of someone else all the time- im so used to thinking for two. i think about what they are doing then or about how they would enjoy something im doing at the moment. those things didnt just vanish when i turned back into the lone ranger. this apparition follows me and its a part of everything i do- this specter of a relationship past haunts my every moment. i dont know how long it will stay. i hope that my activities this summer will give me some relief from it.
i need to be content with this situation. i need to be content that this is where the Lord has placed me and i am here for a reason. i am here to learn something and to grow. maybe happiness wont come out of this contentedness, but at least peace will. the Lord has given me peace at times these last few months, and days like today i need it. happiness is sometimes just being content with where you are.

Monday, May 14, 2007


so dad and i went to the DMS today to get new licenses. i am now a registered Tennessee resident. this is only the third state i have lived in, despite the fact that i went to school in TN from 7th to 12th grade. i was born in New York in 1987, moved to Georgia and lived there from 1990 till just a few days ago. this may not seem that big of a deal, and it probably isnt, but i think its kind of cool. i wanted to scan a copy of my old license from GA that i got when i was 15 and then the new one i got today, but they took my old one. and, i dont even have a scanner or camera to speak of, so scratch that. anyways, thats where i spent most of my day. cheers.

Friday, May 11, 2007

"One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace. This tale of claws, which disturbed me so much, should only have filled my heart with tenderness and pity. The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her... I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little strategems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her..."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

and in this corner, weighing in at 165 lbs, straight from Salt Lake City, Utah...

monday. its the first day of moving into our new house in hurricane creek. we borrowed a huge trailer from the lazors to haul our big stuff. we traded the white car for the gaines' van for the week. we hag a huge amount of stuff. we had beds, dressers, a big kitchen table, the hutch, couches, my grandmothers old organ, coffee tables and bedside tables, and one giant stereo cabinet that we dubbed "the beast." we pull up and park the van and truck on the street in front of the house and got out to survey the massive amount of work which lay before us. it took me, dad, and grandpa jack something like two hours to get this stuff out of the old house and into/onto the vehicles. as we are standing there, who else but two Mormon "missionaries" walk up the street. "Can we help?" they ask with two grins, each setting down their blue weathered Book of Mormon on the lawn next to the curb. i gave dad this "are you serious?" look and he just shrugged. if they wanted to help, we weren't going to stop them. grandpa was a little more on the offensive. he said that they way he saw it, the longer we kept them, we would be helping keep them from talking to other people. they were a tremendous help on the big stuff like the beast. it was really nice to have four extra hands carrying our furniture into the new house. as they helped us move, the whole time dad was putting in little plugs about how he travels to Africa to teach pastors and how i traveled to Romania to help in an orphanage. Jack would talk about how, during the depression, the Mormons took care of their own and not one Mormon was on welfare. all of these things put together added up to them not even trying their spiel on us. when it was all in, they had a glass of water, rolled their sleeves back down, picked up their heretical book, and were on their way.

the Lord sent Mormons to help us move in. if anyone says that God doesn't have a sense of humor, i would point them to situations such as this. they came just at the right time. honestly, it was quite providential that they showed up. it would have been much harder to get some of that stuff inside without their help. so, this week, i have been thanking the Lord for Mormon missionaries. if nothing else, they make good movers in a pinch.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

party in 3 months... this guy's hosting

this guy is now located at one of the sweetest pads this side of the mason-dixon. feast them eyes:
so now that my family has moved into our new house, i decided that we need to have a back to school partay some time in late august / early september. this is not an option for wallballerz, but others can opt out if they wish. honestly, guys, this neighborhood is ridiculous. everyone is so crazy nice. we are living on this street with like 5 other families from my parents church (Covenant Prez) and we live in between tom schreiner and one of the pastors at the church. also on our street are herbereichs and lazors. i mispeled all that and im ok with it. anyway, all these people are so welcoming and helpful and so fellowship-oriented. i cant believe it. this street is going to be a great place for my parents. ill post more about that later. back to the topic at hand: COOKOUT! / CAMPOUT! (if we can find a good spot nearby we'll just roll over there and set up camp). look at these shots and pick that jaw up off-a the ground. the bottom floor of this house is my pad for the next year or so. i have a door to the main floor, a door to the garage, and french doors leading outside to the back porch with a swing and steeply sloping yard. (im trying to convince my parents into letting me have a dog... finally after 20 years or longing). but, one of the best features of this crib is the HUGE deck compete with rocking chairs, enough room for a limbo line, an excellent view, and soon a grill. right now the guest list includes, but is not necessarily limited to: mikeymike, pickles, david, drew, luke, jonfen, kyrie, siennr, be-off-a-koff, dubie, tobes (we'll all chip in and fly you out just for a cookout), and some other peoples connected, like heidi, maryann twitty, maybe my parents, and prob some neighbors will stop by... yeah. i live here.rocking chairsmore pictures and stuff to come... im as serious as a heart attack when i say that we are having a cookout. so, keep it in your plans. keep it secret. keep it safe. ill see some of you soon, and others later. take care all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


sunday night two of my good friends, jeremy fox and danielle forman got hitched. it went down at RCF, my church in rising fawn, GA. the service was short and simple, with some string players in the corner doing hymns as the groomsmen and the maids of honor came down the row. the girls didnt have matching dresses, they each had different solid colored sun dresses... or something. i dont concern myself with these things. the guys all had different brown sports coats. foxy was in a suit wearing this striped 70's polyester tie (i think its the only tie he owns... i dig his style). dani looked really pretty in a long white dress. pastor erik likened marriage to grad school in his homily (both foxy and dani had graduated the day before).

from left to right: Drew Belz and Will Kendall in matching seersuckers, them again with foxy and his classy tie, dani checking the train, and JM Forman (brother of bride and groomsman)

After the wedding we all headed over to the lookout lake bed and breakfast for sticky fingers and killians and dancing and just goofing off. it was fantastic. we all had a great time.Justin Borger and Charlotte Okie

Kati Stegall and Liz Tubergen
Ben Bruhn, Dani Fox, Jeremy Fox
dancing peoples
foxy.cooper and vroeg, my old roommates
natalie and b-gill, who was enjoying a Hefeweizen 5 days early.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

so i have had a fairly busy last few days, which came at the end of a fairly busy last few weeks. i have finished my second year at Covenant College. it was a hard semester- emotionally, spiritually, and personally. but, at the same time, the Lord has provided for me the kinds of friends i have needed and been longing for for more years than i care to remember: the wallballers. these kids are the proverbial shiz. they rock some socks. so, here is what happened at the end of exam week and in my final days at covcol this semester:

last night was the senior dinner and commencement concert at the convention center / the tivoli. i performed in the chamber singers and in the jazz band out in the lobby after the rest of the high brow stuff was finished. here are some pictures. we rocked.

then, after that, the last of the wallballers went to be-ah's new place over on vine and hung out and played squabble. it was so strange. i was still on this high from the jazz in the lobby and i was absolutely digging just everything- the wood shingling, a spiderweb in the corner, eccentric neighbors, the drizzling rain on the street signs- i was just so into and pumped about everything and nothing. i felt like Dean Moriarty from Kerouac's On The Road. it was fantastic. Dan and Mikey had to leave to get some rest because Mikey was headed back to SC in the morning. (ill see him in two weeks at the start of training for Ridge Haven) and so me, beeaww, dubes, heidi, drew, and cate laid out the squares and had squobble time. seriously, the best game to play. the next morning was gradgeeation. here- ill prove it:
this one is of three of the four guys in the old five man. we are the ones who lived in and cared for the hub of second south: 205. this is me, patrick hall, and chellybelly. not pictured is brian oakes.

this is my sister walking across the stage to get her BA in English. we are all so proud of her. now my family is wondering if i am ever going to finish school. i think ill keep them hanging for a while longer.

so, after graduation came the mingling and then the meal. my family (mom, dad, dan, krista, anna, me, grandpa jack, grandma ruth, and ruths friend florence) went to olive garden and pigged out.

this is my family, and i like them a lot. after food we went back to mom and dads house for coffee and we sat around and talked and sang. and slipped into a coma because stomachs werent meant to hold so much.

anyways, after all that i moved into mom and dads new house in hurricane creek and started this blog, which i have been working on for some time now. i have to go to church in the morning. goodnight everyone.