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



Character. As defined by Merriam-Webster, it refers to moral excellence and firmness. That very definition could, by today's accepted standards, define someone such as Oprah Winfrey as having character. Jerry Rice, according to a recently published article on ESPN's website, would also qualify. Yet there's got to be more than just being firm and excellent in morals.

Now, I'm not going to pick on Oprah or Jerry...after all, Jerry's the Man. If anything, I'm picking on myself today. I bring up character because it's something I've had to think about a lot as of late.

Dr. Draper, in his Interpreting Isaiah course, said that our outward moral acts are meaningless until they truly reflect the inward character of the heart. Ouch. We were learning about the setting of the eighth century BC, the time during which Isaiah made his prophecies. That period was not, from a biblical perspective, a time of greatness for Israel. God's people had added many horrid rituals to the system of rituals that God Himself had instituted long ago, and were engaged in a society where the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, with no signs of change on the horizon. Thus, so many of Isaiah's prophecies spoke of impending judgment.

In talking to Scott, many of our conversations have centered upon how we are going about living lives that take captive every moment for the Lord. God has seen fit to develop within both of us a desire to live in accordance with His Word, to live lives of character. Yet, that comes with a price. What is that price? It is the pain of being tried by fire, of having the dross purged from the silver. Is it easy? No. But is it worth it? Absolutely!

As student leaders, it's often difficult to live under the eye of scrutiny. Incoming students are watching, parents are watching, and faculty and staff are always there to urge us on toward obedience to Christ. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. It is hard at times, and it is humbling, yet it is so worthwhile. Scott and I speak of the accountability that's built in with the roles we have here on campus. How are we going to ask guys if they've struggled with looking at pornography if we ourselves aren't living up to our end of the bargain? How will we urge other students on to more meaningful study and discipline if we ourselves do not practice such things? How can we speak of the gospel in glorious and savory terms if we ourselves are not glorying and savoring in the worth of Jesus Christ? It's simple: we aren't, we won't, and we can't. It's a matter of the inward heart matching up to the outward actions.

Character...joyful and faithful obedience to God, by His grace, for His glory.

posted by Bolo | 8:16 PM
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Paul Butterworth is officially Boyce College's Most Popular Bachelor. How was this mostly scientific conclusion reached? Simple. When he went up to make an announcment at last night's dorm meeting, the crowd went bonkers. What caused such mad hysteria? Could it have been those rather stunning set of ears he sports? His amazingly gangly limbs? Or, better still, perhaps it was the trademarked, utterly unique, and heretofore unheralded walk of his? None of the above, yet all of the above, methinks. Pablo, as we affectionately call him, is quite the studmuffin, and last night proved it. After all, he's more than worth his weight in butter! (Which isn't a whole lot of weight, judging by his body type, but that's beside the expression.)

posted by Bolo | 11:20 AM
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Fun with AIM

So I'm in Blind Brandon's room (which is once again messy), and someone IM's him on AIM. I start talking to this person, and before long, figure out it's his sister. The only thing is, she thinks it's Brandon she's talking to. It's a good thing Paul chimed in from his computer and let her know of my fun at her expense, 'cause I might have had some explaining to do a little later on :) Hehehehe...

posted by Bolo | 2:40 PM
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First things first

The first Dorm Meeting of the school year is in the books, and so is the first Scott & John Post-Dorm Meeting Walk & Talk & Pray. As incredible as Dorm Meeting was, I think the Walk & Talk & Pray was even better. Scott and I hadn't been able to do our ritual during the Spring Semester due to his schedule, but now that his schedule is more free, we're back in action. *Sigh*...we were both grinning from ear to ear by the time we were back at Carver, knowing that God has blessed those times in the past, and that He'll continue to do so this year. How sweet it is :)

posted by Bolo | 12:21 AM
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Hormones and stuff

Have you ever felt extremely...well...vulnerable? I think I'm feeling that way today. I think, actually, that I've felt that way for the past few days. It's the kind of vulnerable that seems to make me want to...well...curl up in the corner and cry. Perhaps it's almost like being very sensitive to even small admonishments, but moreso than usual. I don't know why I'm feeling that way, yet I suspect my silly emotions have their purpose, you know? Maybe it's hormones...maybe it's testosteronepause or something like that...maybe it's gas. Maybe it's 'cause I'm human.

posted by Bolo | 3:31 PM
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So. Classes started for us today, believe it or not. How I managed to get through orientation, I'm not sure, but here I am! I believe a quick review of orientation is in order, so here it is :)

Yesterday was absolutely great. I don't think there was any one point where I knew exactly what my duties were, since I had responsibilities to both the Admissions Office (Ambassador stuff) and Student Life (Howdy Group Leader stuff) to fulfill. Still, I had a blast, and I'd do it over again in a heartbeat, no questions asked. The total number of incoming students numbered somewhere around 175, putting Boyce's student body at just under 700. Crazy, isn't it? Just about all of the new students I spoke to had great things to say about their orientation experience. From my perspective, that's extremely encouraging, because that's exactly what we were shooting for.

Scott delivered a great "speech" to the new students yesterday afternoon. Essentially, he unpacked Christ-likeness, pumped our systems with it, then packed it up again for us to carry away with us. *Sigh*'ll be a great school year :)

My Howdy Group has been an amazing blessing, and I'm looking forward to meeting with them over the upcoming semester. Bailey's been a great co-leader, and even though I refuse to tell this to her too often, I think highly of her. (If she ever reads this, I'm SO'll ruin the image, ya know? Hehe...) The blessings have already been many, and I look forward to the many that will continue to pour forth from God's sovereign, loving, merciful, and righteous hand.

Oh! I cannot forget Kristin Wicker, our Women's Student Life Coordinator, in all of this. She's been Da Bomb Diggity! I'll go on record by saying that she was near tears yesterday when she gathered us up to to thank us for the work we put in for orientation. But you know what? I think she reacted that way because she really felt this was something that needed to be done well, and therefore had put in far more work than any of us really knew (or ever will know) about. But you know what? We didn't need to know then, and we don't need to know now. We do what we do for the King, not for Kristin, and she knows that. That's why she asked us to help, and that's why we joyfully labor on :)

Oh! One more thing about Kristin! Her new name is "Gooser." Why? 'Cause when we were done taking the group picture with the student leaders and staff, she goosed one of the girls. Guess who saw it and told her he would be putting that in his blog? Hehehehehe :) Here's to Gooser!

posted by Bolo | 11:12 PM
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I was reading from Luke 22 today. In verses 31 and 32 Jesus tells Peter, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Jesus is referring to Peter's denial of Him, and the events following. As I looked at those verses, I realized that Jesus never tells tells Peter that He is protecting him from Satan's "sifting." In fact, Christ's words indicate not only that Satan's sifting will indeed take place, but also that Jesus knows the nature of the sifting, and has granted it for Peter's good, and even beyond that, for the good of the brethren. Wow. How good of God! To think that even our failures have their purpose in God's plan is precious indeed!

I've often felt like Peter. People talk about their favorite biblical characters often; I've always loved Peter. Why? Because it is overwhelmingly evident in this simple fisherman's life that it is Christ who is shining, not Peter. Peter's foolish, often speaking before he thinks. He's zealous, though, and much as we do, he means well. Still, Jesus takes him and molds him, sometimes at great cost to Peter's pride, yet always at far greater yields than Peter deserves. *Sigh*...yes, how good of God!

posted by Bolo | 11:42 PM
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Tough Stuff

Whew. I. Am. Exhaaaaauuuuuusted.

The past several days? Brutal, absolutely brutal. And you know what? I love it :)

The majority of the new crop of students are in at Boyce, and it's been a privilege and a pleasure to keep eeking out that extra bit of energy, in hopes that perhaps talking to just oooooonnnnne more student will make the difference that ripples out into big things. Of course, it'll be the semester-long commitment that will really be the test, but one can never tell what little things we do now will be big down the road. A lot of these guys are coming here purely out of obedience to the Lord, with crazy circumstances nearly keeping them from getting here at all. I talked to one guy today who was hindered by Hurricane Charley (he's from the Tampa area). He told me that he was in the middle of firefighter/EMT training when God called him to Boyce. He missed all of yesterday, and pulled in today after most of us got back from lunch. He had no idea what to expect, yet the first thing that greeted him was a bunch of guys coming out in various forms of dress (I still had my clothes from church on) to help grab his stuff and move him in. I was able to talk to him later, and it was great to hear his story, and to reassure him that the student leaders were there to do everything possible to serve and encourage him. We live for that :)

Yesterday was pretty tough, in more ways than one. We had a long day that taxed us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The hardest time was probably when we found out about some tragic events that had happened to a fellow returning student just moments before we were to be introduced the new students and their parents as Howdy Group Leaders. We gathered to pray for our friend and her family, then filed into the front of Boyce Chapel. I don't think I'll ever forget those moments, comforting one another and trying to put on a brave face for students who were in a new and strange environment. Needless to say, it wasn't easy.

Nelson is cool :)

posted by Bolo | 8:24 PM
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A "fun" kind of tired

Whew...from 9 this morning, until about an hour ago, which was 11 pm-ish...that was the duration of our student ambassador orientation and the leadership retreat today :) Tomorrow's schedule is shaping up to be agonizingly similar. But you know what? I love it. Why wouldn't I? I've been looking forward to ministering to fellow students and future ministers all summer, and now that the time is here, I can only smile wearily and thank the Lord that he's giving me the strength to enjoy it all :)

Ok, time for bed. Er, maybe not yet...I'm hungry :)

posted by Bolo | 12:20 AM
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Less than eight hours 'til I'm supposed to meet in the North and South Gallery for student ambassador training. What am I still doing awake?

Scott got back today...the buzzcut's gone, replaced by a little bit of shag up top. *Sigh*...soon, all the madness of a new school year will begin, which signals the real end of summer...forget what the weather dudes say. Textbooks will be borrowed 'cause I ain't paying no stinkin' $70 for a single book, new students will be brought up to speed on all the old jokes (like how Dr. Draper is The Man That Not Even God Can Kill), and each new student who has even a remote connection to Hawai'i will tell me about it ("Oh, I had a second cousin on my mom's stepdad's side that married a guy who had a hairdresser that walked a dog for a college professor who once flew over Hawai'i from Los Angeles on the way to...oh, where was it?"). So is almost here :)

Oh, and I cleaned my room today. Like, CLEANED it. Clean enough to get Mon excited about it. That's REALLY clean. Snaps for John! (Legally Blonde 2 reference. Yes, I watched it. Shutup.)

Humility is a harsh lesson, you know? I find this summer's been full of it, whether or not I like it. I was telling Leeman a while ago that I didn't want to come into the school year for the sake of distracting me from the other distractions; I still hold the same conviction. It comes down to the delights of my heart. Is the Lord truly the strength of my heart? Can I say with full conviction that His nearness is my good? Would I be able to joyfully agree with Augustine that I love God too little if I love anything together with Him, which I love not for His sake? Oh, how little I delight in the Lord! And yet, is not His grace sufficient for me? Does He not delight in taking those who are dead in their sins and making them righteous, making them holy, making them delighters in the living and eternal and sweetly condescending God? Absolutely!

Such thoughts are not reason for arrogance. No...humility is a harsh lesson at times...yet, how sweet it is when we acquiesce to God's gracious act of humbling us :)

Less than eight hours 'til student ambassador training. And you know what? I'm hungry.

posted by Bolo | 12:17 AM
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Sweet Tea, anyone?

It's good to see friends again. I just had dinner with Chriyus and Blind Brandon...those monkeys are back in town :) We had a little encounter with someone in a red Mustang that will forever be locked into our memory banks...sadly, it'll have to end there, 'cause Brandon practically swore us to secrecy.

Talked to Mr. Jim Winn today, too...and Jessica...the school year is starting soon, and everybody's getting back. *Sigh*'s a happy papers, no studying, but lots of reunions. Hopefully, the happy times will continue.

posted by Bolo | 8:57 PM
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News from Da Surf Crew

Talked to Mr. Mikami last night for the first time in...oh...something like a month and a half. Has it been that long? Probably. He said that when I'd call and he wouldn't answer, Priscilla would ask him why he didn't just talk to me for a few minutes and then call back later. His response to her query? "You don't understand...I can't just talk to him for a few minutes...I have block off this HUGE chunk of time to talk to him." helps a guy's ego to know he's appreciated, you know?

Our conversation last night varied a bunch...purity issues, girl issues, sin issues, dream issues, intimacy with and obedience to God issues, life issues...I know we had some moments that seemed pretty profound :) Too bad I can't seem to remember any of that stuff right now. *Shrug*

On another long-lost-friend note, Brian emailed me from Japan and told me he got to hop in the water over there and do a little surfing. It wasn't anything great, but he said just to be able to say he did it was enough. *Sigh*...Boss is surfing the Land of the Rising Sun...the motherland! That is, my motherland, not his :)

Speaking of surfing, on Saturday Andrew said he hadn't been surfing in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! Fortunately for him, he was on his way to meet Brit at Diamond Head. Unfortunately for us, Diamond Head isn't exactly known for its great cell-phone reception; we got cut off. I look forward to hearing about the latest Wave Offering he offered up on my behalf :)

posted by Bolo | 2:36 PM
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Martha, Martha, Martha!

Old age stinks. I've got a kink on both sides of my neck, an irritatingly painful lower back (I think it's my vertebrae acting up), and another kink somewhere in between my shoulder blades. Oh, and for good measure, a heel bruise that made standing at the elevators at work not exactly the most funnest thing in the world. Hehe...I just typed "funnest"...isn't that HORRIBLE?!?!?! Old age...*sigh*...

But other than that, life is great :)

Mon and I compare notes every night on how our respective crafts are coming: Monica with her scrapbooks, I with my in-progress journal. I'm pretty happy with how the journal is coming's much simpler than previous journals, and therefore much less cluttered seeming. I think it's anchored better, overall, but it's still pretty organic and free-flowing where necessary. My goodness, I sound like Martha Stewart or something...*shudder*. I think it's Mon's fault. She still watches Martha's show at noon every weekday. *Sigh*...the only thing that sucks more than old age? Domestication by Martha. Sucks the testosterone right out of you, ya know?

posted by Bolo | 4:17 PM
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One more thing...

Happy August!

posted by Bolo | 10:58 PM
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Like a Child

So today, I met a real Special Agent who worked for the U.S. Government. No kidding. He came into the LG&E building, to scope out a meeting area for a Congressman who's coming on site tomorrow. I suppose this is one of those things I just sort of jot down as having done in my life: "Meet Real Live Special Agent for the United States Government." Cool.

All strange happenings aside, I've finally gotten some sleep. I took a five hour nap yesterday after work, and another three hour one today. *Grin*. My left eyelid has stopped twitching! Definitely cool. I still have 63 hours of work this week (praise Jesus for overtime!), but I'm enjoying my time at work...the people there are great to work with, so it's always fun. On Monday, I took an informal survey, since one of my coworkers disagreed with me on the definition of "Department Store." She said a department store was any store you could by clothes from. When I corrected her on her erroneous assumption by informing her that I, as a rule of thumb, do not purchase clothing from department stores, but rather from stores such as Banana Republic, Express, Brooks Brothers, J Crew (sometimes), and the like, she responded by saying "well those are department stores!" Ugh! I'm sure each and every one of you will agree with me in saying that I was more than justified in conducted the aforementioned survey :) I'm also more than happy to report that 33 of those employed within the LG&E building agreed with me (and thus, were correct), while only 2.5 agreed with Karla, and 1 had a definition that wasn't even on the map. As you can see, worktime is extremely productive :)

On an only slightly more serious note, Monica came back from Florida on Sunday. She had a great time with Dave, which is good. She said he's in his element...very much comfortable in the way he's being used by God there. Sweet! When Mon got into the house after church, she opened the refrigerator and freezer to see what I had eaten. She saw that I ate the two bags of cocktail shrimp, but left the turkey cold cuts. I told her I ate all the canned tuna and a ton of peanut butter and honey, as well as the grapes and a bunch of oatmeal. When she continued to complain about my not watering the plants, despite the fact that I had all the dishes put away, took out the trash and recycling, and generally kept the house in good shape, despite working a bumboocha amount of hours, I told her in a classic pidgin voice (Editor's note: for you Caucasian readers, you will probably have difficulty understanding these next few lines), "hoooo, no need even get married!!! No need one wife! I already get you! *mocking voice* "You eat all dis, you no eat dat, you clean dis, you no watah plants, you do dis, you no do dat!" */mocking voice* Maybe I should go up on da roof and sweep off one cornah fo' go sleep, 'cause I get one contentious sistah!" She started to laugh at our silliness, and all my supposed transgressions were forgiven :)

But now, I come to the part where I truly get serious. School is about to start in a week, and the summer is inevitably and hastily winding down. It's the deep breath before the plunge. Only right now, it seems like I'm still learning how to breathe properly, if that makes sense. I think I've learned a lot this summer...and yet, my fears tell me that I've not learned a thing. Who do I listen to? The titles that have been bestowed upon me at school and and church tell me that others are not only trusting in my life, but they're investing in me, and that investment is ultimately an investment not only in myself, but in others, as well. That's scary. Am I worthy of such trust, such hopes? I don't know. Am I afraid of failing in that trust? Absolutely. The question is, will those fears stop me from even moving forward? I don't think so; yet, consider this: As I've looked at myself in the past week, I've seen the wall I've put up slowly crumble. It's a wall of pride, of fear, of shame. *Sigh*...will I trust the Lord with not only the good that I see within me, but also the bad? I must confess, it's a hard thing.

I had a dream yesterday...a strange dream, one I hope I don't forget. I think this dream conveys a good picture of where my heart is at. In the dream was a little girl...perhaps Kason's age, perhaps a little older. In the dream, the only thing she was doing was praying. Her prayers mirrored many of my own prayers in word, but they far surpassed mine in their faith. She was praying as a child would, with absolute belief that Jesus would do what He promised to. As I lay there dreaming, I started to cry. I cried like I haven't cried in a long, long time. I thought to myself, "where have these tears been?"

It's a hard thing to live life with the burdens we give ourselves. It's even harder to live life knowing that these burdens aren't as heavy as they often seem. Although the dream was just that, a dream, it's been a reminder of the tenderness of Christ. Not only does He engage with us tenderly, He also changes our hearts to engage with Him in tenderness. I'm also reminded of Hebrews 11:6...the faith that I go to Him with must be just that, faith. It can't be a contract, an "I will if You will," or a "I know You are, but what's in it for me?" sort of attitude. It must be faith, that faith must believe that He is who He says He is, and it must be a child.

Oh...and Jewel...stop slacking :)

posted by Bolo | 10:12 PM
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