Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Oh the weather outside is frightful...

We're supposed to get somewhere around two to two and a half inches of snow tonight, with the high tomorrow being only about twenty degrees. *Sigh*...

I was just outside a little while ago, garnering my first experience in pushing a stalled car into a parking space in the snow. A little tip for the inexperienced: push any piles of snow out of the way of the tires before you begin to push the makes the entire process SOOOOO much easier. Trust me. I speak from experience :)

posted by Bolo | 9:17 PM
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Today is Monica's birthday...35 years old. I bought her one of those 99 cent "Happy Belated Birthday" cards, just in case I don't see her today. Hehehehe :) This morning, when I opened one of my closet doors, I saw this huge box sitting on the floor. Contained within? A Kitchen Aid 5 quart mixing appliancethingamajigabobberdoohickeydad. My guess? Dave's birthday present to Mon. Was I right? Well, let me put it this way. When I said to Dave, "Soooo...Kitchen Aid 5 quart mixing thingy, eh?" he just smiled and laughed rather mischievously :)

posted by Bolo | 2:16 PM
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Tired...eyeballs burning...burning...buurrrrrrnnniiiiiiiiiinnnnnng. Bleh. I'm sitting in U of L's library right now, waiting for Mon to finish work. We won't be leaving here for another hour and a half...I think I'll be sleeping soon. Speaking of which, I crashed at Carver last night in Jeff (actually, he says it more like, "Juheyurf") Johnson's room...I don't think we went to sleep until somewhere around two-ish. I sat there eating chocolate covered granola bars and drinking orange soda (he calls them "cokes"...strange people) while he talked about...hmmm...what did he talk about? :)

I found out it was something like 13 degrees outside this morning. At least, that's what Blind Brandon's computer said. I feel like some piece of Holy Hindu Meat being left in the freezer too long...when will I get to defrost?!?!?!

Dr. Mohler was walking Baxter last night, and as he often does, he passed through the halls of Carver. Juheyurf asked him about The Passion (the movie), since Digglety Migglety has already seen it. I don't recall the entire conversation, but it seems like his response to the movie has been positive. There's a lot of talk on campus about the movie, some of it centering on the second commandment, some of it upon the evangelistic impact, some on its faithfulness to the Truth. In any case, I find my own reaction rather...well...neutral. It's not that I won't see it or don't care to; in fact, I'll probably see it as soon as it comes out, just like everyone else. I guess you could say my neutrality comes down to spiritual edification; will it help me to get so worked up over the movie now, when it's still a month away? Probably not. Therefore, I'm not all that excited about it...yet. One thing Dr. Mohler did say that got me...well...raising an eyebrow: he'll be having Mel Gibson on his radio show within ten days to talk about the movie. The cool thing? It's broadcast from on campus.

Alright...time to find a nice little place to settle down for the next hour or so...did I mention my eyeballs are burning?

posted by Bolo | 3:28 PM
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If you see something different about the blog, you're right, something is different. I've added titles :) To be more precise, I've had titles enabled all along, and have written in titles for most of the entries, but didn't bother to see why they didn't show up. Today, I figured, "why not?" So, I dug around a bit, found that I had to edit the template code a little, did the editing, and woosh! I now have titles! And yet one more thing over which to ponder as I write entries...

Snow covered our beloved campus as we had our Convocation Chapel Service. Dr. Mohler got decked out in his funky red and black robes, along with the honkin' hugemongous bomboocha Seminary Seal (think medallion) hanging on his chest. He preached on John 3:1-21, talking about the simplicity of the Gospel, and how we ought not to forget it. In some ways, it reminded me of Chip's message last night from Romans 2:17-23. He had the gall to substitute the words "Jew" and "Law" with "Christian" and "Bible" :) Try reading that passage like'll be somewhat cutting to you, methinks. Anyway, the kinship of those two messages was found in the what Dr. Mohler said about Nicodemus, the man to whom Jesus was speaking in John 3. The big Digglety Migglety said that Nicodemus was a man whose credentials could be compared to a modern-day seminary graduate, yet still was shown to be foolish by Jesus. Chip was talking about living up to what we preach. Different passages, different truths, yet the same result in my heart. I've got a lot of growing to do...

posted by Bolo | 1:09 PM
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"Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability..."

Classes are cancelled today, due to the nasty ice storm that has left many of the roads and highways looking something akin to bumper-cars at a carnival. It's a bummer for me, since my only two classes are on Mondays. Oh well...

Mon's sitting next to me (we're in the computer lab on campus) taking an online quiz for her Theology II class. Her phone just started beeping, and she's talking to it, telling it to "ssshhh!" She gets more and more like Mom every day :) She even sings like Mom...hehehehe! That's ok...they all say I dress like Dad. Which I do NOT. I don't wear polyester Aloha shirts. And I look WAY cooler in my old Aloha shirts (cotton barkcloth or nylon, mind you). At least, that's what I tell myself ;)

posted by Bolo | 11:26 AM
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Weather Report

The weather report from my soul today? Cloudy, with lots of stormy activity...brainstormy activity, that is. There's a lot that's on my mind, so forgive me if I repeat stuff I've written about recently :) Where to begin? The beginning, I suppose.

School started yesterday. Fortunately and unfortunately for me, I didn't have any classes yesterday. I'm sort of bummed that won't be able to take more than six credit hours this semester (possibly six and a half, but I'll get into that in a bit), due to my job and financial constraints. On the flipside of that, it means I'll be able to relax a little and perhaps focus more on serving others, which I'm looking forward to tremendously :) Over the break, I spoke to Jared quite a bit, and we agreed that there's a need on campus for discipleship. A lot of guys at Boyce are younger, and I feel a distinct desire to share with them what God has brought me through, and serve them in that way. The Who's and How's if it all aren't in place yet, but I'm not worried about that...God has a sneaky-cool way of bringing that all together.

On to the six/six and a half credits. Last night, I had a talk with David Parks, our youth pastor at Rolling Fields, concerning my status as a youth intern at the church. Here's the deal: I've been working security overnight on weekends, and it's been a very compatible job with my schedule and transportation needs, save that I can be pretty drained come Sunday mornings. I teach Sunday School for the middle school kids before the regular service, and for the most part, I'm not in such bad shape, but being that I was sick as a dog being teased by an ugly cat a couple weeks ago, I was VERY drained that Sunday morning. Also, we had a youth event this past Saturday night, and so I was even more tired this past Sunday morning. That being the case, both Sundays were...well...eventful. I won't post what happened just 'cause it's a little bit embarassing (email me if you really want details), but those happenings brought some realizations to David's mind, thus prompting the chat last night. He's been very understanding and gracious, yet expressed concern that the tension in the situation may be causing some fissures within the youth ministry. *Sigh*...we both don't like what we see, and yet know that we can't go on without making some clarifications and adjustments. Be that as it may, I'm praying for direction on what to do. Do I stay a youth major? If I do, I would need to stay on as an intern at the church. If not, I would still stay on as a volunteer, which I'd love, and that would also make room for another youth intern to come on and help out. On the other hand, what comes to mind is the faithfulness to staying in the situation God has put me in, as the internship is a great opportunity, and it has a built-in level of intensity that volunteering wouldn't bring. Still more is the overarching issue of where God is calling me to. I told David that when I first felt God telling me to come to Kentucky, I felt Him telling me very strongly that my life was and is and never would again be my own. *Sigh*...what to do? I'm not sure; God is. The real issue isn't figuring out what to do, but listening to Him.

Oh...the difference between six and six and a half? The half credit is the internship...if I'm not a youth major, I'd switch around the classes I take this Spring.

Boss. Although he often doesn't see it, I see God's fingerprints all over his life. He's often questioned his growth (as we all do), but hasn't had the depth of teaching that Andrew and I have had to help comfort us in our journey. That, more than anything else, has made me sad when it comes to our friendship. It's not the struggles we share with each other that make me frown, it's the lack of light to pierce into his darkest trials. But not so now :) For whatever reason, I felt God putting him on my heart while Andrew was here. Andrew will be back at home for this next season, as will Brian, and it's been my hope that they both lean heavily upon each other. They're two of my brothers, but I can't say that they've both seen and savored each other as I'd want them to...and, I think as God would want them to. I talked to Brian last night, and he shared so much that made me smile. I often ask myself after our conversations, "does he see it?" I think so...I think so :)

Relationships. Marriage. Gary wrote to Andrew and I and said he didn't know "who in the world would be willing to marry either of you guys." I agree...I don't know, either! God, however, does :) Andrew and I figured out that during our three weeks together, our conversations have centered upon relationships 90% of the time...the other 10% was other stuff, like our friends back home, things we've learned, and who in YFC used to be The Player. The relational stuff covered everything from what the Puritans said (go for the girl with whom you could be best friends for life, not the one with whom you're passionately in love with at the time) to what the Sovereign Grace churches say. In between, we tried to figure out where we fit in this great, God-glorifying mix. We also talked about the difference between "Strategic Planning" and "Stalking" was a very amusing topic :) After a while, we could only shake our heads...we're getting old...we're growing up...we're talking about...marriage. We've begun to realize just how long we've come together, and could only smile and look forward to, Lord willing, the journey together still to be unveiled.

Whew, this is a bunch of stuff. There's still a lot in my noggin, but that's the brunt of it. Am I confused? Not really. The clouds and the storms of life bring water to the dry land, and they remind me that God's hand is mighty and active in my significantly insignificant life. Excuse me while I go play in the rain :)

posted by Bolo | 11:33 AM
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Gone, gone, gone...

Yes, that is indeed Andrew who wrote yesterday's posts. He's now gone from Kentucky, on his way to the west coast to visit some friends in Washington state. I'm tired, and pensive, and not quite sure what to make of everything. Then again, when am I ever sure what to make of things?

Our time together was amazing. Late night talks that turn to early morning talks at the kitchen table...chillin' with the boys in Carver...going to Steak N Shake again and again and again...and again...I suppose I realize now that we're still the same two guys who met over ten years ago...yet we're very different...God's just changed us in amazing ways. *Sigh*...

posted by Bolo | 1:52 PM
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...i forgot to add "the five-year plan" to my list of things i'll never forget!=) MAHALO's to dave, monica, john, and jon for letting me crash your house. tanks!=) ...andrew

posted by Bolo | 11:14 PM
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kentucky journey...


aloha! i hope this entry finds you well and cared for by the graciousness of God. just for the record, this is andrew...not john. i just wanted to record a few of my thoughts during my time spent with john in kentucky and indiana. i've been here for 20 days and it has been a good time. a lot of thinking. ...a lot of stillness...and quietness. ...a fair bit of reading. ...a lot of good people. ...and a lot of cold (both temperature and illness=). here are some of the things that i'll remember the most...

being able to see my breath while riding in the car... the quiet... chicken katsu curry... good talks.. sweet tea... taking in the haunting, soul-stilling kentucky landscape... a one-on-one snow ball fight with brandon... talking with God... jim winn... chuck e. cheese with the youth of Rolling Field's Baptist Church (never again!=)... the stillness... basketball... jenn the kind and sweet (intimidator of men=)... late night / early morning steak and shake runs... chris davis... talking to john at the kitchen table until 5:00 in the morning... hanging in brandon's room... surfer john... the silence... cranium=)... Kanikapila with some of the boys in carver in an early a.m. session... monica's shoyu chicken!=)... rob... talking about surf details over monica's shoyu chicken, oyako, and tons of rice... watching "band of brothers," with sound that you could feel, while eating choke chinese food!... listening to hawaiian music and looking at monica's pictures of Hawaii sunsets while i was completely surounded by the bitter cold... john's thong... driving by a Bob Evans... ministering with dave and monica at the U of L BSU (you guys are great...the LORD bless you!)... biggs... the 11 left turns and 1 right turn on our way to celebrate chinese new years with gen...

that's about all i can recall for now. though it feels like i have been here for a good portion of forever, it also feels like i could spend a life-time here and still be lacking. both are probably true... well, i jump on a plane to head back west in about 8 hours, and this will be a memory. ...but it will be a good one. The LORD has been more than gracious and compassionate to me on this journey. i look forward to what he has in store ahead. soli deo gloria... i come. journey stong...andrew=)

posted by Bolo | 10:20 PM
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A friend of mine wrote an email to me that has me thinking a lot. She was quite frank in her email, and told me about the struggles of being away from friends and family, growing up, and having people react to that. It reminded me of being back at home for the first time after going away. I thought that I'd changed. I thought that I'd be able to just come back home and be the person I knew I really was. The problem? It was hard for people to accept the changes God had worked within me. It was hard for me to accept people's reaction to what God had done. Jesus talked about this, saying that the prophet is not without honor except in his own hometown.

Now, I'm not equating myself to a prophet, but I will say that I understand that verse a little more since leaving home. At times I feel like Elijah, ready to take on the false prophets of whatever Ism has come into vogue; at others, I feel more like Jeremiah, prone to weeping and whining to God, or perhaps Jonah, knowing God but not loving His nature.

I haven't written the said friend back yet. She's gotten me thinking about my own situation a lot, but even more so, thinking about what she's going through. She's got a lot to deal with, and I feel pity for her. Yet I'm glad she's having to deal with it. My hope is that perhaps, as God has taught me, she'll learn that bitterness toward her hometown isn't the answer. No, I think that when she is able to look past her own pains, she'll see that they want her to help them in their pains. What a sweet joy that realization is...what a sweet joy it is to help them :)

posted by Bolo | 6:11 PM
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Table For Two

We sat up late, talking about...stuff. Relationships, people, the church, spiritual growth (and lack thereof), ironic situations, and more. Very quickly it seemed to turn from late to early, and before we knew it, the night had passed into morning. We went to bed, tired and worn, but one thing was decided upon: sitting there, at a kitchen table in Jeffersonville, Indiana, neither Andrew nor myself felt that it'd be the last time we'd be doing that. Although he'd be leaving in a week, we had the distinct feeling that...well...perhaps this wouldn't be the last time we sat together like that. We used to sit up late at home, talking. I guess it just goes to show that although the times and places may change, we'll still be sitting up late, talking about...stuff. I wonder what we'll talk about tonight...

posted by Bolo | 9:20 PM
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Old hat

Being sick as a dog sucks. Being sick as a dog on vacation sucks even more. Being sick as a dog while on vacation to visit a friend and also having your friend sick as a guessed it. It sucks. Such is life for Andrew and me right now. Other than that, it's not all that bad. School starts up in a little over a week, and I'm getting decent grades in my classes, so things are going well, you could say.

Or are they?

Life is far too easily encapsulated by how well I'm performing...or supposedly performing, that is. This morning, when I was reading through a few Psalms, I thought again about how quickly God's word becomes old hat. God being "clothed in majesty" or being from "everlasting to everlasting" is so...well...boring to me. But should it be? Hardly! I find it sad that I'm so much more impressed with myself or other people than with God. Every morning, the sun rises (or seems to). When is the last time I made the sun do that? Heck, when's the last time I was up early enough to *see* the sun do that? *Sigh*...God makes the sun to rise, and the stars to twinkle, or the skies to rain...and yet, I'm impressed with how I look in the mirror. Silly human.

posted by Bolo | 2:53 PM
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Is He enough?

I'm sitting in Blind Brandon's room right now, typing away at this entry. I'm thinking back to Josh's first message at New Attitude...he spoke on Psalm 73, and how that particular Psalm answers the question, "Is He enough?" During things like conferences and camps and good conversations with friends, that question is very easy to answer. It's during the lonely hours of the night, or the doubtful hours of the morning that we don't find the answer as convincing as it once was.

In an earlier entry, I touched upon that moment during Bob Kauflin's song. It was like I almost heard God smiling, that's how big He seemed to be smiling. Don't give up! Don't ever give up! I'll often wonder if it's worth it to keep on keeping on. I'll find the smiles less easy to produce, the truth not as sharp and vivid. But that reminder...Don't give up! Don't ever give up!'s a reminder that not only is He in control, but that He's joyfully watching over every situation, every frustration, every sinful moment, every triumphant smile. And still, He laughingly says, Don't give up! Don't ever give up!

Is He enough? Yes, He is. The thing is, is that enough to make me run to Him? Or is He only enough to make me crawl? I think He's enough for both those times...those times when I want to run, and those times when I can only crawl. The beauty of that? In either case, He always reaches down and grabs me, 'cause there's no way I'd ever make it all the way to Him.

posted by Bolo | 10:31 PM
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One year later

January 12, 2003. A year ago today, I was getting on a flight to LAX. It would be the first time I'd leave Hawai'i, ever, and life has never been the same since. I flew into Los Angeles at night, which was rather like seeing a real-life version of TRON unveiled beneath my eyes. Later, I'd watch incredulously as my breath fogged up in Cincinnati, while waiting for my shuttle to take me to my flight in Louisville. Within less than a one day period, life changed...really changed. Home no longer was seen by my opened eyes, but with my eyes closed. How enexpectedly sweet :)

posted by Bolo | 3:56 PM
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For Brian

You know who you are. You're the one who's tired...weary...longing for a break...and you haven't even woken up. You wonder if anyone cares, if you're the only one who is going to be left behind, or if God even has a plan...for you. You sit, alone in the dark, too heartbroken to count the tears as they fall. You sit, alone in the dark, feeling exactly like that: utterly alone, utterly in the dark.

You know who you are. You smile at the passerby, but secretly frown when contemplating what's on the inside. You know exactly where you are, but have no idea where you're going. Strangely, both seem to be the same place: nowhere important. You wonder where the joy went, you wonder why life seems so unfair. You begin to wonder, "when will God show he cares?"

I know who you are. You are the one I'll always are the one God has forever loved. You are the one who doubts yourself. You've got it half right, since God wants you to trust only in Him. You are the one I cannot be there for. God is the One who's never left, and who never will. Remember, God knows who you are :)

posted by Bolo | 5:24 PM
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The past couple of days, I've had the flu. Chills...*brrr*. Body aches...*groan*. If I said I was going to call you after the conference but I haven't, my somewhat horrible physical state is to blame. Andrew and I agreed that it's quite ironic...half a year of not seeing each other, and the first time we get to spend by ourselves, we're busy trying to deduce just how to rid ours mouths of TheraFlu's nasty aftertaste.

Yet, all that aside, God has been gracious, and He's allowed me to think still more upon what's transpired within the past week or so. Looking back upon my experience at New Attitude, I realized that I did indeed enjoy it more than my experience at OneDay. That's high praise, indeed! Why such esteem? In a sense, I believe it comes down to one thing: service.

Often, we're pointed toward Romans 12:1, and told to live our very lives as worship to God. The sweetness of such acts are often lost, however, in the everyday hubbub of human activity. Service to our brothers and sisters, when done with proper "clear-headed passion and warm-hearted compassion" (someone once said that of the Puritans...I forget who, though), truly is worship.

I met so many great people at the conference. Although that was what made the experience memorable, serving them (and in doing so, worshiping God) was what made the experience sweet. How good God is! I saw in their faces a glow, one that occurs only when Christ is present in a person's heart. I was truly blessed to have served, truly blessed to be given the opportunity to worship.

posted by Bolo | 4:26 PM
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Happy New Year

One more thing. Happy New Year!

posted by Bolo | 7:00 PM
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WOW! (post-New Attitude)

Wow. No, wait. That's not right. WOW! That's better.

New Attitude (the conference that ran from Thursday through Sunday) is over, and I almost wish it wasn't. It all started out on Wednesday, when a few of us Boyce junkies hung out with the band from the first five N.A. conferences. Blind Brandon, Jared, and I met Eric, Augie, and Ted in the main office at Carver. Little did we know that we were in for treat. Those guys...WOW. (I'm going to use that word a lot in this post - get used to it.) As Eric later put it, we all seemed to be "kindred spirits" from the beginning...even more so when we were "caught" throwing the football around the lawn in Carver Ciricle by Boyce College's Dean, Dr. Jerry Johnson. At one point during the conference, being the facetious little angel I am, I told them that we weren't their groupies, but they were our groupies :) I think it's safe to say the groupiness (be quiet, is too a word!) is mutual.

If the groupiness we now have with those guys was all I walked away from the conference with, it would have been enough. But no. God didn't want to stop there. Time and time again, I was BLESSED through people. Oh my....what a list...Pat, Edgar, Daniel, Tiffany, Blind Brandon, Oscar, my Family Group (Kari, Jenn, Kristen, Chris, Franz, Matt, Shirley, Meena, and Lauren...I think), the TWU crew (Rob, Bart, Lindsey, Melissa, and Jess), and more that sleep deprivation has driven from memory. Looking into their eyes and seeing God's joy reflected there...WOW. I found myself wanting to keep these formerly complete strangers to myself, if only to soak in the goodness that God has done in their lives. God's blessings are indeed good!

If God had stopped with people, it would have been enough. Yet, in His goodness, God didn't stop there. His word became sweeter and more piercing as Josh Harris, Mark Dever, Wayne Grudem, Dr. Mohler (our very own Southern Seminary President), and CJ Mahaney shared with us. I told Dave one caffeine-deprived morning that what I loved most about the preaching was how principles were not simply shared as something that should be done, but were shown to be important because of how they intertwined with God Himself. Such preaching pleaded with us to realize that God is not to be mocked, and when we toss aside His design for our fleshly preferences, we are tossing aside the wonderous ways in which He displays His glory. Further still, we toss aside God Himself. Such stubborn adherences to subtle lies kills the joy we have in Him as we see Him more clearly and deeply. I did learn a lot, yet I don't think I necessarily learned a lot of "new" things. If anything, the things most astounding to me were the things that God had already taught me, but made agonizingly fresh and sweet once more.

His sweet it is to look over the wretched chasm of sin and death and realize that Christ's cross already spans the distance!

Service...Romans 12:1 & 2 has never been so satisfyingly real! It was truly a deep and eternal blessing to meet the needs of so many.

Fellowship...a meal tastes better when Christians truly are the Salt.

The Eric put it, let us "sit in the shadow of the cross," never to leave...let us stay, let us linger, let us say, "that's where you'll find me."

Sin...I am a horrible, proud, selfish, wretched person, who has been washed clean in the blood of Christ. The depths of my sin is beyond me. It's not beyond God, however, nor beyond His grace.

Faith...I told Tiffany that it'd been a tough month. My wretchedness was apparent more than grace, and I'd become weary of the battle. One line of a song that Bob Kauflin wrote after the first day of the conference (a prophetic song) said, "don't give up." I told her that in those words, I could almost hear God talking to me. He wasn't giving me the encouraging pat on the shoulder like people often will when they say, "hang in'll be ok...God is faithful." It was like God was grinning as big a grin as He possibly can (that's a huge grin!), laughing and crying all at once, pleading with me as He said, "don't give up! Don't you EVER give up! I'm not leaving you, and oh don't see what's on the other side, but I have SO MUCH in store!" It was almost like I saw God rejoicing over me as the proud father of his first newborn would be rejoicing.

Last, but not least, Andrew arrived last Thursday. It was strange, driving on the I-65 in the van, with him riding shotgun and Steph in the back (she got in earlier that day, too); it was like were going to the beach or something, but the setting was all wrong. Very, very surreal. Seeing him here has been awesome beyond words...being at the conference with him...WOW. He was giving away pineapples that he'd brought up with him, and doing so immediately identified him as being from Hawai'i. If that weren't enough, the vintage Aloha Shirts we wore were more than ample supporting evidence. I type this, he's sitting next to me, typing out emails to some people. How cool :)

Perhaps I'll put in another entry quite soon; I've definitely only generalized what God's done over the past several days, and I know there's so much more that is flowing from inside of me right now. WOW!

posted by Bolo | 6:18 PM
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