Monday, December 14, 2009

One semester down...

Um....hey. My name's Ryan. You may not remember me. I'm the guy who used to write on this blog. In case you forgot about me, let me refresh your memory; I'm 23, I love Jesus, and I'm now finished with my first semester of dental school. :D

Let me apologize for abandoning my blog for the last 3 months. I thought about writing off and on, but honestly, I just had way too much to keep up with for school. Long story short...I love dental school, but it's hard. To say I'm relieved that the semester is over would be a huge understatement. I really needed a break. Mentally, I'm exhausted, which makes sense because I've been in school since July. And I think I just need a break from Louisville in general. I love the city now. But I associate it with stress too, so it's good to get away for a while and just relax. I miss people though. But anyway, nothing too exciting in my life other than school. I study all the time. At least it feels like it. Such is the life of a dental student.

But now it's Christmas time, so forget about school. I've loved being home without having to worry about studying or anything like that. It's so good to just relax with my family. And plus, it's Christmas, and that makes it 100x better. :) Now I just need to focus on what it's really about, because for the last few years, it's become about a long break from school, and time to hang out with friends without school getting in the way, and sadly about getting stuff. How selfish is that? Of course I know that we celebrate Jesus coming to Earth as a baby, but for some reason that's never on the forefront of my mind as of late. But that's an issue for me and God.

Oh, and I recently celebrated an anniversary. Friday, December 18th was the one year anniversary of when I had my gallbladder removed. It's been a good year without that little green, pear-shaped sac of bile. However, it still bothers me from the grave. Nothing big, just the occasional pain in my side where it used to live, phantom limb kind of thing. Or maybe phantom organ...anyway, it's annoying more than anything.

So yeah. I'm back, temporarily anyway. I plan on fully enjoying my break from school. I've already made a trip to BG, and I've already started catching up with some friends from home. Lots of family time already too, which means a LOT of screaming cousins running around the house like a bunch of monkeys on crack...gotta love em though!! This break is much shorter than what I'm used to from WKU though. Used to get 5-6 weeks off, and now I get 3. Not complaining though! I start back Jan. 4th, so I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy the few weeks I have left. One semester down, 7 more to go! And if this semester was any indication, they are gonna FLY by. Whoever said that time moves faster the older you get was definitely right. Not so sure I like that...haha.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Fall

Dear Fall,

Thank you for arriving. I love everything about you: leaves changing color, football, hot chocolate, apples, pumpkin pie, cool weather, apple orchards, my birthday, apple cider, caramel apples, chili, Homecoming, brilliant blue skies, tailgating, hayrides, camping, bonfires, leaf piles...I could go on and on. I love the summer, for obvious reasons. Spring is great too, and even winter's not so bad, but Fall, I think you're my favorite. (Except for that whole school thing, but you can't help that.)

I'm looking forward to what you will bring us this year, and all of the fun times that I get to experience while you're here. You bring back so many memories, and sometimes that makes it hard to focus on things like Phsyio exams that I have in 3 days, which I really should be studying for...but instead I'm blogging about you. But really Fall, I'm glad you're here. Welcome back. :)

Your friend,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Always a silver lining

So I had a pretty rough week. I spent most of the week in a funk, not really sure if I'm supposed to be in dental school. It's been one of those weeks where I wondered if I'm following God's will or if I'm just doing my own thing and convincing myself that it's God's will. And it rained all week. Funks and rain don't mix well my friends. School is getting tougher, and next year will be even harder...oh the things to look forward to. Last night, I found out that one of my good buddies from WKU, Paul, has my former Sunday school guys in his small group at Living Hope. I got really jealous and felt kinda left out, if that makes sense. And I'm still driving a rental car because my car is still in the shop getting fixed from my accident that happened 3 weeks ago. And did I mention that school is getting tougher? Pretty much at least an exam a week for who know how many weeks, quizzes pretty much everyday, and an overwhelming amount of notes to study, plus our upcoming competencies in operative class over cavity preparations that I'm still not doing so hot at.

But on the plus side of things...

I love my classmates. We had our Ball Off the Belle last night, and my classmates are so much fun to be around. The upperclassmen are great too...well, the few of 'em that I know. But it was a lot of fun and was a good way to end the week...relaxing and having fun. And I got out of my funk. God is good, and I still feel as if He wants me there for now...hopefully until I finish school, lol. That was confirmed last night at the Ball. I invited 2 good friends from WKU who are classmates here in Louisville to the Post with me this past Tuesday. They loved it, and said they both really enjoyed the worship and the preaching. And last night, while I was dancing with one of them, she thanked me for inviting them and told me they want to start going every week because of the difference it made in her week this week. That immediately made my week better. And it's like my mom told me this week when I called to tell her I didn't wanna go to school anymore (because every guy calls his mom when he has a so called life crisis haha), Satan is probably making life hard for me because he wants to keep me from finishing school so I can't do God's work here and eventually do dental missions someday. And I invited friends to church...that probably didn't make him happy either. But our God is SO much bigger and more powerful than Satan, and God's will is done regardless of Satan's plans. Maybe I'm not the best student in my class, and that's more than ok with me. Maybe I don't have the best hand skills right now, but that's ok too because God can use me somehow to have an impact on the lives of my classmates, whether it be big or small. And I'll get better with time...just gotta practice. And yeah, school's tough, but I knew it would be going into it. Just gotta take it like a man and do my best. And about my former Sunday school guys...I was jealous at first because Paul gets to hang out with them now and lead them in Bible study, and I'm not really involved in their lives anymore. But you know what?? They've got a great leader in Paul. Paul's a great guy who really loves the Lord, and they're in good hands. God is taking care of 'em, and that alone makes my selfish feelings go away. And yeah, I'm driving a rental and would love to have the good 'ol Bonneville back already, but at least I have a car to drive for the time being.

God is good and He is faithful. He will never let me down, and when I need Him most, that's when He is at His best, and He's always at His best, let's be honest. The most powerful being in all of creation loves me, created me, gave His Son for me, wants me to spend eternity with Him, and is always on my side. I don't deserve it, but that's what makes it so great. He loves me, and that's enough for me anyday.

Guess it wasn't such a bad week afterall. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How many cups of sugar does it take to get to the moon?

I just realized that it's been almost a month since I've really given an update or anything...holy cow. Well as promised, here's my update on life. I could easily sum it up in a word - busy. But that would make for a terrible blog. Although, some of my past posts could rival that in terms of being pointless or just dumb. Admit it, they made you laugh because they were trying so hard to be funny, which actually means that they accomplished their goal. Anyway, that really makes no sense and is absolutely irrelevent to my life. Haha...sometimes I crack myself up. I don't get it. Moving on....a lot has happened in the last month or so, so I'm just gonna hit the high points about what I've been up to and what's been happening in the life of yours truly. It may be a little long, so consider yourself warned. And away we go...

The ULSD DMD Class of 2013 had our White Coat Ceremony on August 22. It was a really cool day. UofL views the ceremony as our 'official induction' to the field of dentistry. It was held at Southern's Alumni Chapel, so it was really nice. We were 'coated' by our advisor, got a picture with the Dean, recited the Dentist's Pledge. It may not sound like a big deal, but they make it a pretty special day. All of our families were there, and we all look pretty legit now. If you heard me talk about it at all back in the spring or even recently, you know I was excited about point in trying to hide it, haha.

I've gotten involved with a ministry called The Post. It's a ministry of Southeast Christian Church, but you don't have to a member of the church to be involved, and I'm still looking for a new church, so that works out great. For those that don't know, it's a college age/young adult ministry that strives to reach UofL's campus and Louisville as a whole. I've met some really great people there, and some good friends from home and dental school go as well. I've even seen WKUers there, when they're not away at school. I really enjoy going. They meet on Tuesdays, kinda like 180, lol. But the preaching is always great and Biblically solid, and I really come away challenged and thinking every week. And the worship is awesome. God has really been using it all to show me areas where I need to grow and make changes. I think He's been trying to get at me for a good while, and together with my quiet time, which I'm happy to say is still going strong, I'm starting to be sensitive to what He's saying to me. God is good. :)

School's going well. It's gotten tougher, and I feel like I should be studying all the time, and of course I don't. Gotta work on that, haha. But yeah, I'm still enjoying it, despite the long lectures and ridiculous amounts of notes. For example, our first physiology test covered 3 weeks of material, which amounted to 140 pages of notes. That's like an entire semester's worth of notes in a bio class at WKU. Each exam is cumulative too, so it's gonna get tougher. But, gotta do it! And I'm slowly getting better at the dentistry part of it. Just gotta keep practicing...good thing we have 2 years before we touch a patient, haha!

I wrecked my car last week. It wasn't my fault- someone pulled out in front of me. We were both within 2 blocks of our homes, and it was rush hour...great timing, huh? Long story short, my car got the better end of the deal- their's was totaled, mine had bumper damage. They considered totaling it because of the age of my car, but it was only about $2000 worth of damage, so their insurance is gonna pay for the repairs. In the meantime, I'm driving a silver 2009 Volkswagon Jetta. I'm not complaining. :) The more important thing is that noone was hurt. There was a young family in the other car- mom, dad, and 2 yr. old son. The mom was 8 months pregnant, but luckily she was ok. She went to the hospital just to get the baby checked as a precaution, but thankfully God was protecting all of us that day. :)

So's pretty much dominating my life right now. Oh, I bought a new movie this week. It was 'A Goofy Movie', which is of course the source of the quote I used for the title of this post. It was only $10...I couldn't pass that up!! And, I'm going to BG this weekend for the first home game against South Florida, and to visit everyone, of course. Just gotta finish my first dental anatomy practical tomorrow afternoon, and I'm hittin' the road. Gonna be a good weekend. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Many apologies

What up people?? I just wanted let ya'll know that there is an update on my life coming soon. This week especially has been insane, stressful, and just plain rough. But as always, God is good and He is in control, and that's all that matters at the end of the day. :) So...sorry if you feel like you haven't been thoroughly updated on my life in the Ville as of late.

And when the heck did September get here???

Thursday, August 20, 2009

With arms high and heart abandoned

Can I just say that God is incredible? Because it's true. :) I can say for the first time in a long time that I am consistently reading my Bible and spending time with God every morning. It's the first thing I do when I get out of the shower. Well I get dressed first, but you get the point. I make sure that I allow at least 15-20 minutes for me to read and spend time praying. Let me tell ya, I can tell a huge difference. My attitude in the mornings has been so much better. I don't struggle as much throughout the day with stuff that just drags me down. And my view on life is more God-focused, like it should have been all along. Let me tell you how all of this came about. WARNING: it could be and probably will be somewhat long...I apologize, haha.

As many of you are aware if you read my blog at all, Louisville and I haven't been best friends since I moved up here. I'll spare you the details of why, but it all reached the boiling point last week. I was packing to come back to Louisville after a week off from school, and it had been a great week- time in BG, time with close friends, time at home- I really didn't wanna come back. I was leaving home and was in a horrible mood. Instead of putting my iPod on shuffle like I normally would do for the trip up I-65, I played my worship playlist like my momma suggested, and my mood improved drastically in the 40 minutes from my house to the apartment. That night, I decided that I NEEDED to start reading the Bible daily. It was the one thing that I was missing, and every other area of my walk was suffering. It's always been a weak point for me. Even while being discipled by Matt Haste, teaching 8th grade Sunday school, and serving in multiple postions on BCM Council, a daily quiet time wasn't something that I did. In fact, it was rare. And while I knew it needed to be a priority, I pushed it aside with everything that I was involved in. Everything else was masking how much I really needed the Word in my life. Getting a dose of it on Sundays and at Bible studies throughout the week ain't enough people. Anyway, when I moved to Louisville and left all of that behind, the holes started to show themselves. I had filled them with my list of activities for at least the last 4 years. When I did attempt quiet times throughout college, I would last maybe a week, if that. Then it was back to my routine. When I moved, I didn't have Living Hope and BCM stuff to keep me occupied when I should've been reading my Bible and spending time with God. I didn't have a church home or a community of people to support and encourage me. To be sucked. I felt alone, I was angry and frustrated, and I really didn't like living in this city. So...after my drive back to Louisville, I decided that on Monday morning, I was getting up at 6 so I could have time to read and pray. And I did. Tuesday, I did it again. And again on Wednesday, and...let's just say I haven't missed a day since then. I love it. I just picked a book of the Bible at random and decided on Acts. I'm reading a chapter a day, journaling about what I read and what I got from it, and spending a few minutes in prayer before and after. God is so good people. Each day He shows me something that I need to work on, and I'm learning. God is showing me, using the early church, where I need to grow, where I need to step up, where I need to just let Him take's so awesome.

I just think it's cool how God grabs hold of us when we think that life just sucks. I'm not gonna say that I hit rock bottom and that life was miserable, but for the first time in a long time, I really felt pretty low. Isn't so cool that it's in those moments that God grabs us and holds us close to Him?? When we finally realize that we NEED Him, He's faithful; He always is regardless. Life is good right now, even if school is getting tougher everyday...but that's a completely different topic all together. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Look at the stars, look how they shine for you...

I'm pretty sure I could look at the moon and the stars all night. Especially during the summer and fall. They're always amazed me. There's just something about a full moon against a backdrop of midnight blue and shining just blows me away. Late at night I'll often go out on our deck when I'm brushing my teeth and just stand there in awe. And I love it in the late summer and fall when the moon comes up and its orange as iit rises over the horizon. You don't really get a lot of stars in Lousiville. Oh, I know they're there, but its hard to see em all because of the city lights. I love being at home, because it's such a big difference. I love being out in the middle of nowhere even more because there are no lights for miles to obstruct your view. If you know me at all, you know how I love that the skies reveal God's glory for all to see. It's another one of those instances where I think to myself, "How can you not know He's real?" I love Psalm 19:1, where it says the glory of the Lord is declared by the skies...not exactly word for word but you get the general idea. People have known for centuries that God uses His creation to show Himself to us. Some of the moments where I've felt closest to God have been when I'm alone in the solitude and quiet of a field with nothing but a breeze, crickets, and a blanket of stars. I wish people could just look up and see that and believe, but sadly that's not the case. And sadly, I usually don't do my part in helping them see God's glory like I do. That's one of my weakest areas of my faith- sharing what I believe with others. It's something I've gotta work on. I want to, I really do. I'm just hesitant when it comes to opening up about what the Lord's done in my life, although I shouldn't be. I know deep down that God will provide the words to say, but that usually isn't enough for me to go ahead and do it. A lot of times, my lack of faith is greater than I like to admit. That's just something me and God gotta work out together. A little prayer from you guys never hurts either. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Escape to Kings Island

I love Kings Island. I went yesterday with Allison, Tyler, and Mitch, and we had a blast. Seriously, probably one of the best days ever. It was really crowded, but the longest we had to wait was an hour for one of the rides, and it didn't even feel that long. The weather was great, the company was great, as usual, and the rides were incredible. I haven't been to Kings Island in 4 years, since the summer after I graduated high school. They've added some new rides, which were awesome, and they've changed ownership. They were owned by Paramount, so before all the rides had movie themes and the theme songs played while you waited in line. Now its owned by the company that owns Cedar Point, and while there are no more awesome theme songs and some rides have new names, the quality is top notch. But anyway, let me get back to telling ya about my escape from reality. :)

I love roller coasters. So I was pretty excited when I got there and saw the new coaster Diamondback. It's massive, and fast, and awesome. By far one of my favorite coasters. You get some quality air time on the drops, and its such a smooth ride. That definitely got the adrenaline pumping.

Firehawk was an awesome ride too. We waited in line for an hour to ride it during the afternoon, and it broke. We waited while they did repairs, and a lot of people gave up and moved on to other rides. We wanted to stick it out because we got so close to the front when they all left, but after an hour, they still had no idea how long it would take to fix it. We decided to get out of line and ride other rides while we could. And what do ya know, 5 min after we left the line they started running it again. We kicked ourselves for a while. But it all worked out, we went back later and got to ride it 10 min before the park closed. It was awesome. This coaster puts you on your back for the ride up the hill, and as you go over the top, you flip onto your stomach and it you ride the coaster on your stomach, as if you're flying. It was awesome...definitely one of the stranger but coolest coaster experiences ever. And totally worth the wait.

We also got brave and did the Xtreme Skyflyer. You know, the one where you strap into a harness and they pull you over 150 ft. into the air on a cable, and you pull the ripcord, and you freefall until the cord catches and then you soar over the park?? Yeah, we did it, and it was awesome. It was the biggest adrenaline rush ever and totally worth the 10 bucks we paid for it. They were running a can you pass that up??

And of course you've got your classics like The Beast and The Vortex, and you've the the stomach-in-your-throat, 315 ft. tall Drop Tower and the oddly relaxing but thrilling Delirium...there are a ton of rides to quench your thirst for a thrill.

So in conclusion, rollercoasters, great friends, and perfect weather...yep, it all adds up to a great day and a great way to spend part of my break from school. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Get out of the way

To say it's been a while would be an understatement, haha. These last few weeks have had me pretty busy, so my apologies for not posting regularly. I guess I should update ya'll on what's been happening in my world...

The first month of dental school has flown by. We're already in the middle of our week long break, and we were all VERY ready for it to be here. We finished last week by taking our second gross lecture exam and our first lab practical. Our practical was 51 questions over our 22 cadavers we had been working on for the last 4 weeks. On top of scrambling around and trying to get ready for gross, we started our second class, Dental Anatomy/Pre-clinical Operative. We've finally started learning about the teeth and we actually got to start working on our first cavity preparations. In other words, we started drilling on molars...fake teeth, don't worry, haha. It's gonna get a little tougher next week when we start our full schedules, but it should be fine...I hope. :)

I had to go back to BG and close out my apartment at College Suites this past weekend. I'm not really sad to leave the Suites thanks to the great management team they have there..................but I'm not here to vent, haha. I am gonna miss my roommates and living in BG, as I'm sure you're all aware of. :) I went down to visit last weekend as well, and I've been able to go back to Living Hope these past 2 weekends. I really miss being a part of that church. I got to see my 8th grade guys that are now freshmen in high school (they grow up so fast, haha), and I got to go to the church picnic they had Sunday night, and that was a lot of fun. I got to catch up with Matt and Cheye and some friends that had graduated a couple of years ago. The whole time, I kept thinking to myself "Man, Living Hope keeps raising the bar for churches in Louisville." But then later on, I realized I shouldn't be thinking that way. I know that there is a church in the Ville that God wants me to be a member during my time there, however long that may be. God has a plan for me to get involved in a church like I did at LHBC and He will grow me and use me there just like he has in BG, and I know I'll love being a part of what He's doing there. I can't limit God because I love being a member of a church in a town I don't live in anymore. I can't limit God period, but you get the idea, haha. As much as I love BG and as much as I would love to move back there someday, right now, God has me in Louisville, and BG may or may not be in His plans for my future. So, please pray that I will continue to seek God's will in Louisville, and that I won't let myself get in His way. God is the same no matter where you go, and that's something that I need to keep in mind. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Remember that dental school update I promised a little over a week ago? Well I'm just now getting around to it, haha. It's been a busy week, but a good one. I'm loving dental school so far. Orientation, in a nutshell, was good, but most of it consisted of boring info sessions, kinda like MASTER Plan at WKU. It was long, and our butts got tired of sitting down all day, haha. But our class really hit it off well, and I think we're gonna really enjoy the next 4 years together. UofL treated us to a Bats game after the last day of orientation, and that night, the sophomore's threw us a party to welcome us to dental school and to celebrate them being done for the rest of the summer. That was a fun experience, let me tell ya. I had been DD before, but only for like, 1 or 2 people at a time. This was a little different...try like, 5-6 haha. I got a little frustrated to be honest. Maybe stressed would fit better there. Either way, haha. But overall it was a fun night. :)

We started our first class officially on Monday- Gross Anatomy. I was a little anxious about seeing the cadavers for the first time. What are you supposed to expect when you're about to dissect a human body? There's really no way to prepare for that, haha. But, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting at all, and truth be told, I've really enjoyed working on them. If you know me, you know that I love seeing God reveal His glory to us in everyday life. Whether its the stars, the mountains, anything, seeing God's glory in our world fascinates me. You would not believe how incredible the human body is until you get a look inside of it. We've only gotten to see the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels of the arm and shoulder area so far, and I'm blown away. Everything fits together so perfectly. Every muscle has certain points of attachment so that they can perform their proper function. Every muscle consists of thousands of individual muscle fibers that align in the same direction. The entire upper limb (shoulder and arm) is attached to the rest of the body by one, small joint that consists of mostly cartilage. The nerves branch off and dive into muscles, they supply the entire body with info needed to keep the body working correctly. The blood vessels are so extensive that every muscle has adequate blood supply. The human body FASCINATES me. I took anatomy in high school and histology in undergrad, and I've always known that the human body is an incredible piece of work. But actually seeing it first hand in that kind of detail, and learning so much about it in class and in the really puts it into perspective for me. Everythings fits together so perfectly, and its all so intricately made. How can that be anything but a creation of the God of the universe?? It really speaks to me about the care and detail God puts into knitting us together while we're in the womb. I was talking about it with a girl from my class, and we were both just amazed at the glory God was showing us through those weird as that sounds, haha. But it's so true. We are all creations of a loving, powerful God, and we are all unique. No cadaver in that lab looks alike, and neither do we. God knows us inside and out, and if you ask me, that's pretty comforting and humbling.

I'm loving dental case you missed that. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Red, white, and blue

4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. We are so blessed to live in such a great nation, despite all of her flaws. I love celebrating with fireworks, cookouts, and getting to spend time with family. I love seeing red, white, and blue everywhere you look and I love patriotic music. I saw a quote earlier on someone's Facebook status that I really liked. It said something along the lines that its pretty cool that we live in a country that celebrates its Independence Day with family, fireworks, etc. rather than showing our military might and force by parading our missiles in front of our leaders. I think that just shows what makes America special. Whether you're a democrat or republican, black or white, celebrating our freedom is something that we can all do together.

I'm especially grateful for our armed forces. I have the utmost respect for the men and women of our military who are willing to put their lives on the line, here and abroad, just to defend the freedoms that make America great. I think back to all of the wars that America has fought, and its the men and women who fought, died, and still serve that make me proud to be an American. In fact, one of my best friends is in ROTC and the National Guard and will most likely later serve in the Army- Tyler Brown, I'm proud of you and have nothing but respect and appreciation for you brother.

More importantly, I'm grateful for the freedom that I have in Christ. Not only am I able to worship my God freely and openly, but I am free from the sin that separates me from my God. And someday because of that freedom, I'll be able to stand in God's presence and worship Him, and that will be so awesome. Thank you God for blessing me with such a great country to live in and with such great family and friends with which to celebrate. God bless America!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here we go!!

Dental school starts TOMORROW!!!

I'm excited. I'm anxious. I'm kinda nervous. And I can't believe it's already here. Man...there is so much running through my head right now. I don't wanna do much tonight so I can get to bed early since tomorrow will be an early day, but I don't know that I can sit here at the apartment all night. I wanna get out, but I wanna take it easy. Hopefully I'll calm down enough so I can get some sleep tonight, haha. I'll be sure to post about orientation in a day or two in case anyone is just itchiing to hear how it went, which I'm sure will be everyone who reads this blog, haha. ;) Switching topics...

I've started reading my Bible regularly over the past week. That's something that I've really been struggling with for a while. I read it, but it's so inconsistent. It's amazing how much of a difference you feel when you're regularly in the Word. God's awesome. :)

Oh, and sunburns not only hurt, but they also itch, in case you ever wondered.

Let me tell ya about the Class of 2013...

One of my dental school classmates threw a party at his house tonight for our class. It was a 'last night to relax, have fun, and get to know each other' kind of deal, and it was a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of my classmates for the first time, and I'm pretty sure their names will all run together before I see them again on Wednesday, haha. And funny enough, tonight was the first party I'd been to that had alcohol. I have nothing against alcohol, but going to BCM parties for 4 years and then going to dental school parties...its almost like a different world, haha. I had only been to one other party like that, and that was a sorority dance, so it was still kinda new to me. But it was a lot of fun getting to meet everyone, hanging out, and not stressing out about school while we can. And I think I learned a few things about our class from the roughly 40 of us that were there...

1) Our class knows how to party, and will do it well over our 4 years together. If tonight was any indication, then our class obviously knows how to have a good time.

2) Our class will get along great. It's hard to get a feel from only seeing about half of the class together, but from what I saw tonight, everyone made a point to say hey and spend some time with everyone. It seemed like everyone really got along and had a good time. I feel like all 80-something of us will get along great and will end up being a tight-knit group, and that would be awesome.

3) Our class may like to party, but we'll take school seriously. Hopefully, we won't be all party, all the time. But you've gotta think, we all got into dental school because we did well in undergrad, and they think we've got what it takes to be a dentist. I think our class will study hard and will find a happy medium between that and having a good time. Plus, even in a party setting, we couldn't keep from talking about our classes that we'll be starting soon...we're all nerds at heart, haha.

I dunno...those are just some observations I made tonight, so we'll see. But I'm really excited to see what the next 4 years are gonna bring with these people, and I'm excited to get started and learn all about being a dentist with them. I'm also excited and really curious to see how God is going to use me over the next 4 years. He's already placed some fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in my path, and we've talked about starting a Bible study or prayer group or something like that. That should be really cool. It will give us a small support system of sorts and will give us the opportunity to encourage and serve each other as well as our classmates. Anyway...its late. I'm gonna wrap this one up and get to bed. Hope your week is off to a great start!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

T minus 6 days...

Dental school is just 6 days away. Hard to believe right? I don't know if I can tell you how excited I am about it. While there are a few things that I'm anxious about, the excitement outweighs any reservations I have, at least for now haha. I met with my Big from the sophomore class today, and we spent an hour just talking about school and life. She gave me some great advice, and I was able to ask her questions about what to expect, what was hard for her, what she enjoyed...that kind of stuff. I'm more excited about it after meeting with her than I was before. I'm trying to think of the best way to explain why I'm so excited, but nothing's coming to me. I guess the best way to describe it is that it's like realizing a dream...I dunno. If you know me at all, you know that I've wanted to be a dentist since 7th grade. Not just that, but I feel like its what the Lord wants me to do. Just knowing that in less than a week, I'll be on the road to making it a reality is really, really, exciting. I know it won't all be fun and games, but its still exciting nonetheless.

And a little update on life here in the Ville- it's gotten much better. I think just the idea of the whole transition thing, on top of moving to the biggest city I've ever lived in really overwhelmed me. I've gotten to hang out with friends that are slowly trickling into the city for dental school, and I've gotten in touch with WKU people that live in Louisville too. And slowly but surely, I'm beginning to learn my way around town. Overall, I've just got a better attitude about it, and I know God is helping me adjust. Just gotta do things in His time!! :)

Sidenote- Transformers 2 was AWESOME. And I love NCIS marathons on USA. That is all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two weeks!!!

I start dental school 2 weeks from today!! It hasn't really hit me yet...I'm still more excited than anything. But I'm sure as July 1st gets closer, the nerves will start to kick in. I just can't believe it's so close!!!

On a sidenote, one of my leg muscles is twitching.

The most unproductive day ever

I have done absolutely nothing today. Seriously. I woke up at 10 and ate breakfast. Then I watched TV and got on Facebook. Then I showered and ate lunch. And then I watched more TV. Got some more computer know, YouTube, blogs, check my email over and over, check for updates on ESPN, more Facebook. And then I talked to my parents on the phone. Watched the 6:00 news only because they did a story in Etown and got a shot of my mom at I saw my mom on TV. And then my roommate came home. And we watched TV together. And then I ate dinner. And then I watched more TV and sat on my computer all night, and its now going on 1 AM. Oh...I did text a lot today. But hey, at least I showered and got dressed with the hopes of doing something productive or fun. But it rained all day. Kinda ruined any idea I had of playing in the pool all afternoon. Oh well. I guess we're all allowed to do absolutely nothing at all once in a while, right? I hope so...haha. I do have some plans tomorrow...thankfully.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Let me apologize in advance for this really, really long post. I've had a lot on my mind, and I'm getting it all out with this post, so consider yourself warned. Haha.

For those of you who don't know, I moved up to Louisville a little more than a week ago on Friday, June 5. I knew that moving to Louisville would be an adjustment, but I didn't anticipate how hard of an adjustment it would be. My first weekend here was really rough for me. I moved in Friday night and then Saturday I went to a wedding with some new dental school friends. The whole trip, I kept thinking about all of my BG friends and got really depressed. We didn't get back to Louisville until Sunday afternoon, and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to finish unpacking. At the point, everything just hit me really hard. If you know me at all, you know I can be a sentimental/emotional guy. Everything I unpacked reminded me in some way of WKU and all of my friends in BG. Needless to say, I went home the next day. I actually went back up to Louisville that night with some good friends from high school, a couple of which live in Louisville. We went to a Bats game and then hung out for a while on Bardstown Rd., and that turned out to be a really fun night, which is just what I needed. It was reassuring to know that I can have fun in Louisville. I don't mean anything against the people I've met from dental school so far, but it was just really hard for me to go from constantly being around really, really close friends all of the time to being around people that I liked, but barely knew.

I ended up making a trip back down to BG while I was home to see everyone still down there. Another thing that's been kinda hard for me to swallow is that all of my best friends are still in BG. Either they live there or will be back there in the fall, and I don't like the fact that I'll be away from them. I guess it's one of my flaws, but I hate the fact that there will be stuff that I'm gonna miss out on with them. Anyway, the visit to BG was exactly what I needed. I got to spend some time with more family when I got back to Etown, and now I'm back in Louisville, a week after I left.

Here comes the part that's difficult to write, mainly because I don't exactly know how to string all of these thoughts together into words, but also because I'm about to be really open....yeah. So bear with me, haha. I know that in time, God will make this adjustment easier. I'll get used to Louisville, I'll make a ton of new friends at school, and everything will be ok. I've been praying for that, and I know that God has brought me to Louisville for a reason. I need to have faith that He will do things in His own time. The human that I am wants things to happen now, and that's not how God works. And this sounds dumb, and there may be more of you out there who think this way too, but part of me is afraid of losing my friends in BG. I know it's ridiculous, but that's how my mind works. Many of my best friends from high school are still in BG, and there are those who I've become friends with in the last 4 years who are still in BG as well. I know that people who I'm that close to won't just stop being my friend just because I live 2 hours away. Our friendships are stronger than that. God has blessed me with those friends, and I know we'll be friends for life. It's just hard being away from them when you're used to being around them all the time for 2-4 years, or longer. Along with that, I've been surrounded by a great community for 4 years. The BCM has been such a blessing to me. I made so many friends there, and I experienced so much growth in my time there. I was also blessed with a great church home in BG at Living Hope. I felt like a part of the community there, and not just some college kid who was stopping by for a 4 year visit. I got connected there, I was loved, I was able to serve, and God helped me grow so much while I was there. That type of community I had in BG isn't here in Louisville. That has been hard to swallow too. No accountability, no church family...another reason I love BG so much. I realize that God will lead me to a new church here in Louisville and that in time, I'll have that same type of community. But again, it's just hard to leave that environment. At times, I feel like I'm alone, which is ridiculous because there are plenty of WKUers who are from Louisville and are home for the summer. And I've got high school friends and family up here. And ultimately, even without them, I'm not alone because I've got the Creator of the universe with me at all times. While that should be more than comforting, it still isn't enough at times. It just goes to show how flawed I am and how much I really do need God.

I apologize if all of that depressed you or made you wonder if I'm an insecure nutcase...I'm not I promise, haha. I just had a lot that has built up over the last week or so that I needed to get out. I've told some people about it, namely family and a few friends, but I've kept it mostly to myself because I didn't want everyone to think that I'm insane. I also wasn't sure about how to tell people without sounding like a needy, attached person. (I may have done that anyway with this post, haha) I guess the sucky part is that a lot of people experience this when they first start college, and I'm just now going through it now. But all of that said, I KNOW that God has led me here to Louisville. I know He has plans for me and that dental school is where I'm supposed to be right now. I know that the friends He's blessed me with will never let me down, and I know He'll bless me with new friends, a new church home, and a great support system here in Louisville. I've just gotta have faith, and sadly, that's sometimes the hardest part because of who I am...a human and a sinner. Thankfully, God is so much bigger than any of my problems and has a much bigger, clearer vision of what's in store for me than I could ever dream of. Thank you Lord for being everything I'll ever need. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009


So I finally watched the movie "Fireproof" tonight. It was really good. And I mean really good. I'm still processing my thoughts on it, but I really wanted to blog about this before I went to bed, so forgive me if this post is all over the place. I'm not even married and feel like I'm a horrible that weird?? Haha, maybe. I thought it was really cool to see the transformation of a man who didn't "need" God and who disrespected and belittled his wife into a man who couldn't live without God and who learned what it meant to truly, unconditionally love his wife. Its heartbreaking to think that marriages all across the world have to fight that sort of situation daily. What's worse is that most of them don't have any sort of hope. That's why I'm thankful for my relationship with Jesus. I know I'm not perfect. I know that when God blesses me with a beautiful, loving wife that our marriage will have really good times and some really rough times. It's gonna take a lot of work between us, and a lot of us depending on God and not ourselves. But you know what...I can't wait. :) And I'm so thankful that God doesn't require us to depend on ourselves. Otherwise, this place would be worse off then it already is. My relationship with God still requires a lot of work. While I know that I don't need to try and depend on myself, I still do it everyday, and the results are disappointing. But thankfully, God gives us grace everyday. Some movies just get ya thinking.... :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just blogging and watching Conan

As I write this, I'm watching The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. I've missed watching Conan and I'm glad he's back. I think he's hilarious, and honestly, I'm glad I don't have to stay up as late to watch him anymore, haha.

In other news, I start dental school on July 1st. That's one month from today. It's hard to believe it's so close to being a reality. As many of you know, I've wanted to be a dentist since the 7th grade, and I feel like it should still just be a dream. Kinda like when you wanted your driver's license and you finally turned 16, but you thought it would never actually happen?? Yeah, it's like that. But it's gonna happen in a month, God willing!! Exciting stuff.

It also hit me today that I am actually going to be living in Louisville. I drove up to the apartment today to check it out and officially meet the roommate (he moved in on Friday) and it hit me on the way up. I've always been familiar with Louisville, because living in Etown we always went to Louisville to shop, eat, and all that stuff. But now I'm gonna live there. It may not seem like a big deal, but I've only lived in Etown and Bowling Green- not exactly big cities, haha. It will take some getting used to, but I'm looking forward to it. I will miss the BG though...don't worry, I'll keep in touch with everybody!! :)

I'm also excited about finding a church in Lousiville. Living Hope has been such a blessing over the last 4 years and I am really gonna miss the people there. God is doing incredible things through Living Hope. But there are some really great churches in the Ville, and I'm excited to see what God is doing up there and through them. Please pray for me- that I'll find a church where I can grow and learn more about the Lord, but also where I can get plugged in, serve, and be a part of the community. Thanks. :)

Anyway, back to Conan. Have a great night!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Light show

As I was driving home to Etown tonight from BG, I got to witness probably one of the coolest things ever. I mentioned before that I enjoy thunderstorms. Well one thing that fascinates me about them is lightning. When we hit the road in BG, not even on I-65 yet, you could see a little bit of lightning over the west and to the north. Once we got on the interstate, we were able to see more, and the farther north we drove, the more intense it got. It was one of those times where I wished I wasn't driving because I wanted to sit back and watch. We got to see it all; the entire sky lit up at times, and at others there would be huge, jagged, bright streaks that would hurt your eyes. My favorites though were when you could see clouds silhouetted by the lightning flashing behind it. It was seriously incredible to watch. And it didn't rain at all until the last 10 minutes of the drive, so that made it even better. I thought it was pretty awesome that you could see all of this happening from BG, 76 miles away from the action. Just awesome.

Watching God's creation just blows me away. I know that a lot of people are scared of storms, and they can be really violent, but tonight, I was just amazed at the show He put on for us. It was beautiful, and it did nothing but remind me that our God is an amazing, creative, and powerful being. And He loves us...awesome, right?? :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Toy Story 3!!!!

I found out that Disney/Pixar released the teaser for Toy Story 3 today, which comes out next summer. Did I mention it's in 3D?? I'm pretty excited about this, and am totally ok with the fact that I'll be 23 when it comes out. The link is below...get pumped!! Haha :)

Toy Story 3 teaser trailer!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ahh, summer : )

I have really enjoyed having nothing to do the last couple of weeks since graduation. That's one thing I love about the get to relax and not have many responsibilities. I'm enjoying it while I can since I start dental school in about a month, but that's on a different note. I've been spending most of my time just hanging out with friends and family and sleeping in until about 10 o'clock. I've started running and surprisingly I enjoy it. I'm starting slow, but I want to keep it up so I can get into shape and shed a few pounds. I've also had to start packing my apartment. I'm moving to Louisville next week and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. But anyway, it's summer, so I'm gonna enjoy it while I can. So, what do I enjoy about summer? Allow me to share with you...

Being outside. Day or night, I love it. You've got the sunshine all day and at night, it feels incredible, and there are lightning bugs and crickets and all sort of critters making sounds.

Amusement parks. I love roller coasters. Everything about amusement parks makes me happy- the smells, the sounds, the thrills you get from the it.

Thunderstorms. While I don't particularly enjoy rain for days at a time, I do love it when it storms. Storms are relaxing to me...the rain on the roof, the low rumble of the thunder outside. The best are the kind that last about 20 minutes, blow over, and then the skies are blue again.

The lake. I love the lake. I don't get to go often, but I love when we do. I love riding across the water on a speedboat, I love trying to water ski (trying...haha), and I love just enjoying being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. We've got some incredible lakes here in Kentucky.

Camp. I love camp. I worked Centri-Kid 2 summers ago and loved it. I love everything about camp. Serving the kids, getting to know your fellow staffers, serving God with your time, energy, sweat, and everything else you've's incredible.

Free-time. I was thinking back to last summer recently, and while we complained a lot about being bored then, looking back, it was a great summer. We just got to hang out and do nothing...we had a lot of free time. I think since we're such a busy society, we feel like we always have to be doing something. Enjoy the free doesn't come around often.

Time to read. This goes along with free time, but you have so much more time to read than you do any other time, at least while you're still in school. There's time to read for pleasure, and there's time to read for growth. I need to spend more time reading the Word, and that's a goal of mine before I start back to school in July.

There's so much more that I love about summertime, but I'm gonna end it here for now. Hope your summer is off to great start too!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

One awesome weekend

This past weekend was one of the best weekends ever. My best friend Drew got married, and as I mentioned in my last post, it had been a long time coming. I didn't know know exactly what to expect as Allison and I headed down to Paducah on Friday for all of the pre-wedding festivities. I figured it would be stressful and very, very busy. I got part of it right, haha. While we were busy most of the weekend, we surprisingly had a good bit of least the guys did. But it wasn't stressful at all. I'm pretty sure Brittany was one of the calmest brides I've ever seen, and Drew was just wast laid-back Drew. One thing I was sure about however was that this weekend would be very special and very memorable, and I was 100% right about that.

I really enjoyed spending time with Drew on Friday night and Saturday morning before the wedding. All of the guys played basketball after the rehearsal dinner Friday night, and I got to share a room with Drew and our good friend Erik. I really enjoyed that time, just relaxing and enjoying time with our boy before he got married. I'm really grateful that I was able to be a part of their special weekend, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything. Drew has always been a brother to me, and Brittany has always been like a second little sister because she and Allison are so close. Two people couldn't be more right for one another, and I'm so excited to see what God has in store for their new lives together.

There's so much more I wanna say about the weekend but it's really hard to put it all into words. But what can you expect from a great weekend spent with a ton of people that might as well be family?? :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

WKU Alum!!

It finally happened...I'm a college graduate!! There were a lot of emotions running through my head last night as I filed into Diddle Arena with my fellow graduates, and most of em dealt with excitement. It's a really weird but awesome feeling, knowing that I've completed college. It's bittersweet too. I couldn't have done any of it by myself though. God deserves all the glory. It's only because of Him that I made it this far and because of Him that I have a future. I also want to thank all of my family and friends. Without them, it would have been a hard 4 years. Thanks for the encouragement, the hugs, the prayers, and the laughs. :)

But just because I've graduated doesn't mean its over. I start dental school in July, and I've still got all of my friends here at WKU. You guys are the best. I'm gonna miss you in Louisville, but I'm gonna come back and visit as often as I can. :)

And now, for the next big event in my life...Drew and Brittany's wedding. This one's been 6 1/2 years in the making...should be a good time!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Kinda hard to believe it's finally here. It's really exciting but kinda bittersweet too. It's been a great 4 years here in BG and I'm really grateful for all of the memories and friends that I've made in that time. And as scary as the future can be, I'm really excited about moving to Louisville and starting dental school, which by the way I start in just 6 weeks...weird!! God is good and I have Him to thank for a great college experience!! I'll write more about all of this sometime this week, but I just wanted to say...I'm graduating from WKU today!!! :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

Let me preface this post with this: I did not start to write this with the intention of it turning sappy. It just happened. And be forewarned, there will probably be at least one other sappy post in the next two weeks; I'm graduating, so it's bound to happen. So I apologize in advance if you hate sappy posts and if they make you sad. You'll just have to suck it up. ;) But seriously, I hate reading them as much you do, but I mean every word of it and I'm not meaning to be sad. And with that, back to the blogging...

These last few days have been awesome.
Who am I kidding, the last 4 years have been awesome. I'm so grateful that God has blessed me with such great friends. Simply said, college would suck without friends. The main reason everyone looks so fondly on their college years is because of the memories they have with their friends. Let's be honest: in 10 years, when someone asks me about my years at WKU, my Biochemistry class will not be at the top of my list of things to discuss. Friends help you discover who you are. They're the reason why you have more all nighters at this point in your life than you ever will again. I have spent hours laughing and joking with friends, and those are times that I wouldn't trade for anything. And friends are even more special when they share the same passions as you. Not only are these people my friends, but they are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Nothing can ever, ever change that. We're lifelong friends, bonded together forever in Christ. I know I won't keep in touch with everyone after graduation, and I know that some of you will be some of my best friends, no matter where we are in life; but ALL of you have impacted my life in some way. Friends for a year, friends for four, it doesn't matter. You are all special and I thank each and every one of you for your friendship, for the laughs, for the love, and for the memories. I love you all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Greek life

So this week I experienced some firsts in my college career. Actually, make that this year. I attended my first ADPi crush dance back in February after being invited for the past 2 years, and this week, I went to my first Spring Sing and Tug for Greek Week. I loved every minute of it. People have told me they could see me being in a fraternity, but I never really saw myself in one. I could now. But I'm a senior...kinda late for that. Not that I didn't have an opportunity to join. I could have joined FIJI and helped them colonize back in the fall, but being BCM president, I really didn't think I would have time. While I could have made time and just managed everthing better, I think I made the right decision, looking back. It would have been a stressful year. But I digress.

Since my freshman year, I've been fascinated, you could say, by Greek life on campus. I've always had many friends in sororities and more recently fraternities. Homecoming and Greek Week always make Greek life so appealing, to me anyway. I just love the excitement they all have about competing with/against one another and the pride they have for their organizations. It's really fun to stand back and watch them. I've lived across the hall from sorority girls for the last 2 years and they are great girls. They're fun to be around and know how to make people laugh...I love em. And this year, I've loved getting to know other Greeks as well. A lot of freshmen who are a part of BCM have joined different frats and sororities this year. Through them and connections we've made in the past, we've been able to start Bible studies in certain organizations and allow some to use our building for different events. They are so much fun to minister to. When most Christian college students think of Greeks, they think of unreachable, stereotypical college kids who want to party all the time...not true at all. While it may be hard to initially reach out to them, once you've made that first connection, so many doors are opened. I think that BCM has really worked to change the perception that many Greeks have had of us in the past by getting out there, joining up with them, and supporting them in their different events and philantropies. And like I said, we've let at least 4 different Greek organizations use our building this year for initiations, weekly meetings, Spring Sing practices, etc. We've made ourselves available and open to them, and they are doing the same for us. It's awesome. I love the Greeks on our campus.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Feeling a little nostalgic...

I just used the word nostalgic. Ok, moving on. I've been thinking a lot lately and reflecting over what all has happened in college, what God has taught me, you know, all that jazz. I tend to dwell more on camp and just college in general, so here a few thoughts about them. And for those of you rolling your eyes because I mentioned camp and you've heard me talk about it over and over and over, its not what you think, so keep reading. :)

I keep up with the Centri-Kid blog just so I can feel like I still have a small part in camp world. I watched some videos that were posted on the blog, and it made me think of all the memories I made 2 summers ago when I worked. That was a great summer. And as much as I'd like to have even a small part of it this summer as an adult sponser or special teams, it's just not gonna happen. I know that God used camp to teach me and help me grow, and that's exactly what happened. I got depressed last summer when I had to back out of working for a second summer to take classes instead, but God knew what He was doing...He always does. That's why I'm not getting down about not working this summer when I hear people talk about camp. Camp served it's purpose in my life, and I'm just grateful God gave me the opportunity.

And then earlier tonight, someone asked me how I've liked my 4 years at WKU. The only thing I could tell him was that they have been awesome. Honestly, how else can you describe a time where you've experienced so much growth? I've grown so much spiritually, relationally, and in maturity. I've been blessed with so many different opportunities that have prepared me for different aspects of life. I've been blessed with close friends. I've been blessed to be a part of two great communities at BCM and Living Hope. I've been blessed with great mentors. God is so much more real to me than He was when I was 18. He's revealed so much of Himself to me. God is so good...that's why my last 4 years at WKU have been awesome.

Now, I wonder what does God have in store for me next?? :) (Kind of random, but hope you enjoyed.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ode to a gallbladder

Oh gallbladder, why do you still hurt me?
You haven't been with me since December last,
But the memory of you is still like a stitch in my side.

The pain is not as bad as when you were around,
But it's there none the less
And it makes me frown.

It's not even a constant bother,
Just a stab here and there.
But when it happens you make yourself known
And I clutch my side as if it will help.
I know you won't bother me all of my days,
And I still have 4 cool scars from when you died.
Looks like I got the better end of the deal.

Sorry if you find this post odd. But I guess that's typical of me, haha. My used-to-be-gallbladder still hurts me every once and a while, and it gets annoying.
I guess you would call it the phantom gallbladder. I feel tons better without, don't get me wrong. But the fact that it's not even there and it still hurts just irritates me a little. Oh well. People I've talked to have said it took theirs a year to feel normal...guess I'll just have to wait it out. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Passion

It's become somewhat of a weekly thing to have Sunday movie nights at my apartment this semester, and last night was no different. However, this week instead of watching our usual fare of movies (comedies, musicals, Disney, name it) we decided to watch The Passion of the Christ.

If you've seen the movie, you're probably asking "Why??" about right now. Well first of all, yesterday was Easter so we thought it would be appropriate to watch a movie that details the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place. And to be honest, a few of us wanted to watch it because we hadn't seen it since it was in theaters a few years least I did. However I haven't had any desire to watch it recently because of the sheer bloodiness of the movie. I can handle war movies, but with Passion, the knowledge that Jesus went through all of that for me makes it harder to watch...or at least it did. (I'll explain in a minute.) It's just an emotional movie. Last night as I was watching, I kept saying over and over again to myself, "Jesus had to go through this because it's what I deserve." It comforted me, to be honest. I know that in reality, what Jesus suffered was much worse than they can show on a movie screen. But seeing the way it was done in the movie just makes it more real than just reading about it in the Gospels.

Now, you may still be wondering why we decided to watch it. "I mean, yeah, it's about the sacrifice our Savior made for us, but how does that make it any easier to watch?" I thought that too, even up until this weekend. There were still some people last night who didn't want to because "it's a sad movie". But the whole reason we celebrate Easter is because Jesus Christ conquered death and the grave and HE ROSE AGAIN. Plain and simple. Jesus is alive today, sitting beside our God in Heaven, after suffering through all of that pain and torture, and worst of all, being forsaken by His Father. He took all of our filthy sin on His shoulders, and carried it to the grave with Him, and then left it behind when He was resurrected. Knowing that He's alive today, I can't be sad about what I watched. Yes, it was horrible, but I should be the one going through that, and because He did it in my place, I don't have to. What about that isn't exciting!? My sins are paid for in full by His blood, and I should rejoice in His suffering because He overcame it and is ALIVE. That's why I was able to watch the Passion last night. Seeing it reenacted makes it that much more real to me, and I am that much more thankful that I serve a God who is willing to put it all on the line so I can spend eternity in His presence someday. Praise God!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We're all in this together

Forgive me for the HSM reference in the title. This post has absolutely nothing at all to do with HSM...sorry if I got your hopes up, haha. :)

Tomorrow night, The Veritas Forum will be making its debut at WKU. For those who don't know, Veritas is basically a venue for college students to come and hear about God's truth and how it relates to today's current and hot-topic issues. Accomplished speakers are brought in to speak about how topics within their respective fields relate in different ways to God's truth. Tomorrow night, Dr. Fritz Schaefer, a chemist from UGA, is speaking on the topic "The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and God." Dr. Schaefer is one of the world's most cited chemists, has refuted a Nobel Prize through his research, and is thought to have been nominated for 5 Nobel Prizes. He's going to share how he as a non-believer, in the field of chemistry, came to know the truth of Jesus Christ through his research and how God changed his life with that.

Anyway, I say all of that to set up what I really wanted to write about tonight. So much prayer, preparation, and time has gone into making Veritas a reality at WKU. 8 local churches, 8 campus ministries, as well as Christian faculty of WKU are presenting this in a joint effort. As you can imagine, making this happen requires a LOT of publicity. We have flyers, ads on the school website and in the school paper, surveys, and posters all in hopes of getting the word out about this. And its working- people all over campus have been talking about it.

Anyway, for publicity purposes, tshirts were also made to help promote the event. From my understanding, about 500 shirts were ordered. They were passed out through the different churches and organizations involved so that their students could wear them the 2 days before the event to make this visible all over campus. The BCM has used tshirts before for publicity, but we used more like, 50 shirts. 500 shirts is a LOT of tshirts. But here's the coolest part...

All over campus today, and I mean EVERYWHERE, I saw people wearing Veritas shirts. People I had never seen before were wearing them out on the Hill. I saw people who I had no idea about their views on Christianity wearing the shirts. In a word, it was awesome. Being so involved in the BCM, it really is like I'm in a bubble. Sure there are other campus ministries. And sure there are other churches other than Living Hope. But in a way, I had never noticed, if that makes sense. Often, it seems like the BCM is the only organization that does anything out on campus and as proved today, that's the case at all. Sadly, this happens because we get so focused on what OUR ministry is doing, and we simply fail to notice or interact with others. Sure we work together on stuff like Homecoming, but that's about it. Today I saw so many more blue Veritas shirts than the BCM could have ever dreamed of passing out and using, and that was so encouraging and reassuring.

I think what this taught me, or reminded me I guess, is that God works through so many different people and so many different ways. He doesn't just choose one group of people to do His work. There are reasons that we are all involved in our respective ministries and churches. But we all have one common, unifying goal, and that is to do the work that God has set out before us. We are here to share the Gospel with our campus and show them that God loves each and every one of them, regardless of who they are. Seeing the shirts everywhere today made that so clear. Something that really encouraged me was that it really showed that we aren't alone, even when we feel like we are. Sometimes, we get so caught up in ministry that we feel like we're the only ones serving and working for God's Kingdom, but we aren't.
I got to talk to some students I had never met before about this very topic, all because of our matching shirts, and we all felt the same way. It's just refreshing to know that we aren't the only people out there on campus repping Jesus. We all lose sight of the people we're supposed to be working with. But we have Christian brothers and sisters out there working along side of us, and we have a God who will never leave our side. We are never alone when we do the work of Christ. Praise God!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

8th grade guys

Tonight I just wanted to write about how awesome God is. He has blessed me in so many ways and if I were to write about all of them, it would be a really, really, really long post, and we all know I can write some pretty long ones. (scroll down and see for yourself, haha) But I'm gonna try to keep this one relatively short. I just wanted to write about an opportunity He blessed me with this past year.

In August, I was able to start teaching an 8th grade guys Sunday school class at Living Hope. I had taught at camp and at VBS and thought it would be no big deal. I forgot what I was like in 8th grade though. In 8th grade, you're the king of the school because you're the oldest. Let's face it, 8th graders can be kind of cocky...we've all been there. As lame as it sounds, I was kind of intimidated by these guys. I was placed with 2 adult leaders at first, and we taught the group of 20-30 guys together. Since the group was so big, we split em in two. The 2 adults somehow ended up teaching together, and I was stuck with a group of 12-15 guys each week by myself.

They eventually found a co-leader, another college student, but he has since stopped helping to focus on ministering to his family and that's awesome. But luckily, over the last 8 months, I've really bonded with these guys. They always cut up with me just because I was a little more lax then I should have been, but I wanted them to see me as cool and sort of look up to me, as lame as that sounds. It was rough in the beginning, needless to say. But now, we're finally to the point where they feel completely fine opening up to me in class. They pay attention when I teach, they answer and ask questions, and when I've gotta go adult on 'em and make put something away or stop talking, they actually listen.
But we still find time to cut up and have a good time. I've even had a guy talk to me on Facebook about relationship advice, and giving that kind of advice to a13 year old guy is tougher than you think, haha.

But it really hit me today how God has used me to impact these guys when they started interrogating me about graduation and when I would be leaving. When I told them when I would probably have to stop teaching them, they all said they wanted to do something with me before I left. They wanna go on an overnight camping trip to Mammoth Cave with me and Ross, the middle school director. Whether it's gonna actually happen remains to be seen. But I'm a sentimental guy if you didn't know already, and that really got me. I didn't get emotional or anything, but that short conversation showed me how they've come to think of me as their friend and someone they look up to. Whether I've known it or not, God's been using me in small ways to impact the lives of these 8th grade guys, and I'm so grateful for the chance to do so. These guys have definitely had an impact on me, and it's gonna be hard to leave em in May when it's time to move on to Louisville. I've told em that I'm gonna visit them when I'm back in BG to visit friends, and they thought that was cool. But more importantly, I hope that they've seen Christ in my life and have really learned what it means to be a follower of Christ in today's world as a teenager.
And I hope they've learned as much from me as I have from them. If God can use my example to impact one of those guys, then that's awesome. They're a great bunch of guys and I thank God for the chance to hang out with them and lead them in Bible study this year...I've loved every minute of it.

Ok, so maybe this one wasn't as short as I thought it would be...oh well. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

I read Ryan's blog for this??

For the last 15 minutes, I have been sitting at my computer, trying to think of something to write about. I tried to go the more serious route since my last post was anything but serious. And then I tried to think of something funny, but I just didn't feel like taking the time to think of a clever poem or anything else that might be even a little funny. So, basically, I'm writing to let you know that for a good while, I tried to think of something that would be worth your time to read. But I failed, so this is what you get. :)

Ok, there is one thing. Today in my histology lab, we looked at the cross section of a human appendix, and our teacher was like, "What's this structure in the middle?" People start throwing out answers like a cell, a gland, a parasite...typical biology answers. He laughed and said, "It's poop!" We all laughed pretty hard. But this is my only story...all you get!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pointless late night ramblings

You know those times when you're really tired and you wanna go to bed so you can sleep but you just can't make yourself get in the bed?? Yep...that's happening. Right now. And it's 1 AM. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a poem when I should have been in bed, but not this time. (mainly because I just tried and what I came up with was crap) Instead, I've decided to pick out random objects in my room and voice my thoughts to them, as if I can talk to them. Which technically, I can. People would just think I'm strange, talking to inanimate objects and all. So naturally, it appeals to me. I late night ramblings to stuff in my room, as promised.

Girl Scout cookies: I like you a whole lot. Especially since you're Samoas. The other kinds are good, but you are definitely my favorite. :)

Candy cigarettes: I'm so glad I found you for only 19 cents at the gas station the other night. You bring back so many memories from childhood, and I'm sure I'll be seeing more of you in the near future.

Man-to-Man night ticket: Seeing you excites me, because I know you're going to get me some unlimited barbeque at Living Hope tomorrow night. Mmm.

Risk (the boardgame): I miss you friend. I haven't played with you in a while. I promise I'll change that soon.

Flip flops: Did I tell you I've started to call you my flippy-floppies? I got it from a song. I think it's a great nickname, so I hope you don't mind. But I'm glad I've been able to wear you a lot this week. I missed you.

Stamps: I bought a lot of you, and I don't mail stuff out that much. Hope you don't mind some quality time on my desk.

Lamp: You blew your bulb, and honestly I'm kinda mad at you right now. I'm too lazy/busy to get to the store to buy a new bulb, and I don't wanna steal one from the living room like last time, so I'm being forced to use that light on my ceiling that's attached to the fan. We don't get along too well...he just doesn't give off that comfortable, homey vibe you got going.

Red towels: I love you guys. All 10 of you. You bring so much school spirit to the room, and you remind me of so many things about WKU. You're the best.

Aladdin and Mr. Incredible: What up fellas? (judge me)

Bed: I like you a whole lot, and if it weren't considered illegal since you technically belong to College Suites and I would be stealing you, I would take you to Louisville to live with me when I move up there. You're just so comfortable, and I look forward to our time together every night.

This concludes this edition of Ryan's pointless late night ramblings.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A God who renews

Today was a really cool day at Living Hope- it was Spiritual Renewal Sunday. I honestly didn't know much about about it other than the fact that it was called Spiritual Renewal Sunday. However, I did know that this was something that the church leadership was very excited and passionate about, and a lot of prayer and preparation had gone into it. The church as a whole had been praying and fasting in preparation of this day for a while. When we allow God to move among us and speak to us, He does big things, and that is exactly what happened today. God spoke through the music and through the preaching, and I can honestly say that He refreshed me and renewed me today, and for that, I am so grateful.

One of the first few songs we sang was "Great is Thy Faithfulness", and as I was singing, some of the lyrics really stuck out to me. You know those moments where you're singing praises to God, and the Holy Spirit just grabs hold of you? It happened to me during that song. We were singing the first chorus, and I just got choked up. Lately when I pray, I've been following the ACTS prayer format- adore, confess, thanksgiving, and supplication. In the last week or two, I have really been focusing a lot on the adoration part, because it's something I know I don't do enough of. Our God is the creator, He sustains us and provides for us, He loves us unconditionally, He is faithful, and He wants to spend eternity with us. What about Him doesn't deserve our praise?? So, I have been focusing on praising Him and His many great attributes. Back to the point...we sang these words:
"Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!" As I sang those words, I was overcome with the realization of the truth of those simple lyrics. Each and every day, God provides us with a new day to enjoy, to live, and with which to serve Him. He provides for our every need, whether we realize it or not. He showers us with undeserved grace and mercy every day! God truly is a faithful God. I've sung those words who knows how many times, but I had never thought about what they really mean. As I realized all of this, I got teary eyed. (I've turned into an emotional guy, I won't lie to ya, haha.) God gripped me in that moment, and I could do nothing but praise Him.

It happened again when the choir sang their song, "You Are". When Benny explained the premise of the song, he told us to pay close attention and listen for the 30 different attributes and names of God that the song talked about. So I did. The choir sang, and as I listened and read the words on the screen, I was overcome with emotion again. I didn't get teary eyed this time, that I remember, but was overcome with overwhelming joy and excitement. As they listed off the different attributes, I had the realization that is exactly the kind of song we will someday be singing at the foot of God's throne, in the presence of our God himself. How cool is that??? We will forever praise our God for all that He is, all He does, all He has cool is that???? It was such a cool moment, and I really don't think words can explain what all I was feeling at the time. I started singing along to myself, and just embraced the moment.

I was really looking forward to the sermon because I had heard our guest preacher before at the men's retreat back in October. This man speaks with such a fire for God, and he really allows God to speak through him. Anyway, he preached from Philippians 3:10-14. From my understanding, the main point was that we are called into salvation and into service by God. When we are saved, God calls us to a new identity; we become holy children of God. When you're saved, you are also called into service. When God calls us into service, He calls us into action, into activity. When we're saved, Christ takes hold of our lives, and when he does that, he gives us a purpose. It's not always clear what that purpose is, but we are to pursue it as God leads, and our activity should reflect that purpose. Basically, God wants us to serve Him, so we need to get off of the sidelines. Too often, we'll let someone else in the church do the work for us, when we're supposed to be working along side of them. Our service is about God, NOT us. Many are guilty of serving because they want to make themselves look like a good Christian, and I'm guilty of that too...we all are. Serving is about glorifying God, not ourselves. And if you feel like you aren't qualified to serve, serve anyway. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called. (somewhat of a Christian cliche, but a good one to remember) Whether you think you have the ability to serve or not, God can and will use you. Serving isn't about how big we are, but about how big our God is. Isn't that reassuring? Why should I care what others think of me when I serve? I should serve to bring the attention to God.

And as if that wasn't enough, God continued to move. When it was time for the invitation, it seemed like half of the congregation got up and got on their knees in front of the church in prayer before our God, and I heard it happened in the other two services as well. That was incredible to see. God moved in the lives of so many people this morning. Families, couples, friends, individuals, children, all praying to our God. It was such a beautiful site. As I watched, I prayed from my spot in the balcony, in awe of what our God is capable of. And the best part is, I know that there are no limits to what He can do- this was just an example!

Sorry for the lengthy post. I know that I probably rambled some and got a little repetitive, but I just really wanted to share what God showed me this morning and sometimes its hard to put it into words, ya know? Our God is incredible and it's so awesome to see Him move in the lives of so many.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

The frustration that is UK basketball

UK's frustrating season finally came to and end today. In all likelihood, they will still get a bid to the NIT, but let's face it...compared to the NCAA, the season is over. And after 17 straight NCAA appearances, that's kind of hard to swallow. I honestly don't know what to think of this team. They obviously had the ability to win big games. They swept Tennessee and beat Auburn, which has surprisingly gotten really hot over the last few weeks. But, that same team, that started SEC play 5-0 mind you, split games with Florida, Vandy, and Georgia. How do you beat a team on their home floor by 20 and then get beat by that same team on your floor on senior night, with your NCAA tourney hopes on the line?? Just one of many questions UK fans have been asking all season. To add insult to injury, they were swept by South Carolina and lost 2 heartbreakers to LSU, the most recent of which came today in the SEC tourney. So the question that is on the minds of all UK fans is, what happens next?

Kentucky basketball is the most storied program in the history of the sport. 7 national championships, 13 Final Fours, 43 SEC regular season titles, 24 SEC Tournament titles, and the most wins out of any other program in NCAA history. We obviously, and rightfully, expect a lot from our teams. We haven't been to a Final Four since we own our last championship in 1998. It's been 11 years. This is the longest Final Four drought this program has had. Our last SEC tournament title came in 2003. (don't quote me on that, or the regular season titles, haha) The two times that come to mind where UK was even close to another Final Four were in 2001 and 2005. Both times, they were thwarted by Michigan State. We've had more 10 loss seasons in the last 11 years than ever before. It's been awhile since we've held on to a Top 25 ranking for more than a week. UK fans are hungry for the success we had gotten so used to in the 1990s. So what's the problem?

Many fans are quick to blame the coach. Tubby faced a lot of criticism in his final years at UK before he finally left for Minnesota, where the pressure is much less of an issue. Billy G is in his 2nd season as head coach, and he has quickly learned that this job comes with a LOT of pressure and expectations. Perhaps we're too hard on our coaches. They obviously want to do well. They want to win, and they want to have their turn at coaching UK to an 8th national title. But the vocal minority of our fans are sometimes beligerant and downright heartless when critiquing our coaches. Even when our team is winning and the coach is doing a good job, people are pointing fingers at him, blaming him for all of our problems.

Many fans blame the administration. Say what you want, but Mitch Barnhart has a done a lot for UK athletics. Our football team is no longer the joke of the SEC- they've won 3 straight bowl games. The baseball and tennis teams do well each season, and usually hold a Top 25 ranking, sometimes a Top 10. Women's basketball has done better in recent years, the cheerleaders continue to win national championships. (they're up to #17) But many fans call for his head on a platter because the men's basketball team has been down, compared to our high standards.

Many fans blame the players. THEY'RE HUMAN. UK fans treat our best players like royalty. Jodie Meeks. Patrick Patterson. These are kids who just wanna play basketball. Yeah, they're great athletes, but even Kobe and LeBron have off games. Give 'em a break. Being hailed as the best players at UK has to carry a lot of weight. Playing for UK isn't easy. You're always in the spotlight in this state...we love our basketball. Granted, I do believe that some players don't understand what playing for UK means. Little boys all across this state would do anything to wear that jersey with Kentucky across their chests...they dream about it. I did. Some players need to understand that it's a big deal to play for UK, but I think most of them do. What makes you think they like losing??

All of that said, maybe it's we, the fans, who are the problem? Yes, we know a lot about UK basketball. And yes, we do have a right to be frustrated when we're not doing so hot. But we put SO much pressure on our team and the people in charge. Fans will be the first ones to tell you that they aren't happy with the way things are going. Keep in mind, we aren't the ones making the plays and coaching the team. We often think we know best about who should play, but we don't see what happens in the locker rooms or in practice. We're the fans. Our job to is to cheer and SUPPORT our team, in good times and bad. In the last few years, the fans have gotten a not-so-good reputation. Many analysts blame us for running off Tubby. Fans of other programs often call us spoiled and arrogant. Is that what we've become? If not, we're on our way. However, a lot of our fans are immature.
Catspause, the biggest UK message board, is so frustrating. Our fans that post make fools of themselves and the rest of us. ESPN has even taken note of this; the board has gotten national exposure. Grow up people. We need to get behind our team and support them. Go ahead and be angry with what's happening with our program, but put the boys ahead of your emotions and opinions.

Now, all of that said, I'm not gonna place the blame on anyone. Yes, some things do have to change. But it's not my place to figure out what's wrong with Kentucky basketball. My job is to cheer my heart out for those guys on the floor. I'll let the higher ups make the decisions on what needs to be done. I can only hope they'll make the right decisions. I hope that our key players decide to come back for another year. I hope that next year, this program does turn around and really show some improvement. I'm not calling for a Final Four next year, although that would be freakin' awesome. I just wanna see us moving in the right direction. An SEC tourney title, a regular season title, a Sweet 16 berth...anything. I just wanna see the hard work of those guys pay off. GO BIG BLUE!!!

(Sorry for the lengthy rant. I just wanted to vent. And even though the Cats aren't in the NCAA, the TOPS are, and I am thrilled about that. I love it when my school makes it into the Big Dance and I hope they have the success they did last year. But, there are more important things than basketball. I know that most people who read this blog are fully aware of this, but I feel compelled to make that clear. Basketball is something that I enjoy and am clearly passionate about, but there are bigger things than the state of UK basketball and March Madness. Sadly, my passion and conviction for sharing the Gospel often pales in comparison to that other things, but all who know me know that Jesus Christ is the most important part of my life. Sharing His love, doing His will, and serving others in His name are much more important to me then sports. If anyone doesn't know who Jesus is or what He's about, please feel free to ask me. And for my brothers and sisters, keep me in check. Thanks, and God bless!!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Break!!

So it's Spring Break, and I'm at home in the good 'ol Ebreeze. (That's Etown for you non-natives.) This won't be a long post...just long enough to update you on my life. A longer post will not worry my friends.

I'm loving being at home and not having to worry about anything school related. And by not having to worry, I mean that I left anything related to any of my classes or the BCM in my apartment in BG, not to be seen again until I return. Ahh...freedom. And I started running this week. Weird, right? But I like it. And the TOPS won the Sunbelt Tournament and that means they're going Dancing for the 2nd year in a row...who's excited!?! And the weather has been freakin' up to 80 today. But tomorrow, in the 40's. Welcome to Kentucky. I did some apartment shopping in Louisville yesterday and finally nailed down the roommate situation. I think I may have found a place too, so that's exciting. I just have a lot to be thankful for right now...God is good!! And did I mention that it's Spring Break? :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A poem at 2 am

So I may regret this when I read it after I've slept, but I really wanted to get on here and write a poem after I've been awake for 19 hours going on only 4 hours of sleep. And I haven't posted in a while. So, here we go.....

Preface: If this poem is really dumb, and odds are it will be, I apologize. It will probably be funny (or not) in my head, and therefore you may think its dumb. So while I'm sorry, I also don't care. It's my blog and my poem, so there. I need to go to bed....

My 2 am Poem

I made an apple pie today. It was really yummy.
The weather is warmer and it makes me happy.
UK lost today, and that just made me sad.
They lost to Georgia, and that makes me sadder.
At least the pie was good!

I have a midterm tomorrow in my Histo lab.
It will be a tough one.
I probably should have studied more.
But at 2 am, I don't really care.
So there.

Spring Break is almost here.
And that makes me excited.
I'm going home to Etown, which doesn't have a beach.
I wanna go to a beach.
I like Spring Break.

I'm tired.
I need sleep.
Morning will come early.
But that's ok, because it's almost Spring Break.
I like Spring Break.

This 2 am poem is coming to a close.
Because Ryan is tired.
And this poem is really ridiculous and needs to be stopped.
So I'm stopping it.
And going to bed.

The End

I hope you enjoyed my poem. When I read this again after getting some rest, I'll join you in thinking that this was really dumb. However, it's also for your reading pleasure. So I hope you at least giggled as you read. Let's face it, it's not laugh out loud funny. But I hope my sleepy rambling gave you a grin. And I'm done. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Running through my mind

Let's take a look at what all is running through the mind of Ryan Peace on this cold February day.

Last week, it was 70 degrees and I got to wear shorts. Then it got cold over the weekend. 2 days ago, it was close to 70 again. Today, it feels like its in the 30s. I'm kinda ready for spring to get in gear and stick around.

March Madness is one of my favorite times of the year, and probably my absolute favorite sporting event. I love filling out my brackets and watching hours and hours of basketball for 4 weekends. But this year, I'm kinda anxious to see what's gonna happen. If you haven't noticed, my Cats have been struggling a bit lately and have lost 4 of their last 5. We started out 5-0 in the SEC and now, well...we're tied with 3-4 other teams for first in the SEC East with 4 losses. Kentucky really needs to step it up if they want to have a chance of making the Dance. Last year they flirted with not getting in, but apparently this year our chances are slimmer. We've made it 17 straight times, and I would hate the streak to end this season. So this for my Cats...step it up and win big, or just simply win the SEC tourney in 4 weeks. Actually, I would love it if you could do both. Thanks. GO CATS!!

On that same note, the Tops are looking to be in good position to win the Sunbelt tourney again this year. For the most part, they've played pretty consistently and pretty well, but we've had a few bad losses for every really good win. We solidly beat Louisville in November, but after losing to Murray St. by close to 30 pts. We've also had bad losses to Evansville and Denver, and then a few heartbreakers. But we've had some other solid, hard fought conference victories too. So if they play well the last few weeks and take their A game to Hot Springs, AK with them, we'll hopefully be seeing the Tops in the Big Dance again this year! GO TOPS!!

I was supposed to go see Dave Barnes in concert tonight at Exit Inn in Nashville, but as of yesterday afternoon, it was sold out. It made me really sad. I've been looking forward to it for a while, but I guess since he signed a bigger record deal, he's of course gotten more popular. And it's in Nashville, where he got his start. That teaches me to wait until the day before to try to buy Dave Barnes tickets. Oh well...

I really need to find a place to live in Louisville.

I'm glad it's Friday. :)

If I write anything else, it will just be really random and really long. So yeah. The end.