It's the 29th

Today is my birfday…birfday what is birfday?? I don’t know that word oh well. Happy birfday to me happy birfday to me happy birfday to meeee happy birfday to me. I forgive everyone who didn’t remember and never sent me a happy birthday E-mail or card or phone call or present. You can remember next year ba ha ha ha. Steveo remembered. In normal sec fashion he sent me an E-mail with a total of four words and one was grace. It made me happy. I also had a party with like eight little kids running around and that was fun. I got M&Ms, cookies, a miniature dodge ball with superman on it, and Dayquil because I might be getting sick. I also got to see Aurora what an amazingly responsible adult she is. Keep in mind she’s the Youth Pastor here, with eight little kids watching she puts a tiny hole in a helium balloon and inhales the helium and starts talking. It was really funny but maybe not the best time to do it. I don’t know if we will ever see those kids back here again after they go home and tell there parents what they saw here. It was a wonderful birfday party. By the way I’m 22.


V for Vendetta

V for vendetta was a very interesting movie…actually that was a lie it was a great movie. I wasn’t sure if I would really be thrilled with it because at first it looked like it was all about revenge and payback and that is what the movie Punisher was like and I wasn’t thrilled with Punisher. But I watched this movie and it was really great. It’s a futuristic movie in which UK has become this huge superpower which is now run by a dictator. He is using fear to keep everyone under control and in order (Just to warn you if you haven’t seen the movie yet and want to I’m going to ruin it for some of you). Scientists are able stop this disease that has pretty much destroyed the United States and other places and they have samples of it and they purposely infect almost 100,000 people with it and they all die. So they have that fear to help keep control and they have this elite police group called the fingers to help them keep control and they do it well because people are more scared of them than they are of the normal police. There is also a curfew instituted for everyone except the Finger (I sort of got that the finger name was like the actual people doing the dirty work it wasn’t the head guy it was his fingers…maybe). The dictator in charge restricts books and music and paintings, they are all illegal to have. It’s illegal for someone to have a butterfly collection. It’s strange. I guess people aren’t allowed to think for themselves at all. That is what V (the masked characters name) is fighting for. He wants justice to reign again when it hasn’t for so long. He realizes that it’s fear that has been running this country and he wants it to stop. He realizes that a symbol is only a symbol and it has no power unless the people give it power. So the symbol that has power is destroyed, and the symbol is the Parliament building. It is a sort of skewed way of doing justice but in V’s mind it was all kosher. It made for a great story line as well. The critics Roberts and Atell gave it two thumbs up.


Panicking never works

I find it strange how one event in day can over shadow almost everything that was good. It started out as a normal Thursday. Rations in the morning, lunch in the soup kitchen, talking with Aurora, waiting for Teen group to start. We were taking a trip to Bald Mountain. A hike up the mountain and back down, easy enough…or is it dramatic music dun dun daahhh). Everything was in order we had drinks we had apples we had the teens we had a van we had keys. We drove to the mountain we ran up…most of the way. It was great. We climbed to the top of the look-out-tower from where I could see my house. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do because we didn’t have a ladder to get us to the first flight of stairs and on top of that some of the stairs are a bit sketchy. I did my Sméagol impression a number of times and Ryan hid in the woods and then jumped out in an attempt to scare Aurora and a couple other people. It was worth the effort. Then we went down the mountain. There was no trouble until we reached the bottom of the mountain. It was a bit of a race. Ryan, Emily, Cody and I were all running down the mountain (not smart in the first place) I was headed straight for the van and I needed to stop. I didn’t want to hit the side of the van with al my weight on the door because then there would be a big dent in it (that may have been a better idea) so I decided to put my hand up and use the window of the van to slow myself down so I didn’t hit the door so hard. Well the window did slow me down for a few seconds and then it shattered. My initial reaction was Oh $@%&#!!! I had never broken a window before in my life ( I actually didn’t think I could with out injuring my hand neither did the guy replacing the window). I can’t remember if I had ever broken someone else’s property before that was this huge, so I panicked (no the best way to handel a situation). I didn’t want the other teens to know that I had broken the window of the van because I thought they would have thought less of me, so I asked the three that were there to lie for me (second bad step). Emily said she couldn’t lie well, so I said don’t say anything. So when Aurora and the other teens came down the mountain and saw what had happened, the story they heard was that the window was already broken when we arrived, so someone may have just decided to break our window because they could. We had a two hour drive back and I was almost holding back tears the whole time. Once we dropped off the last of the teens I told Aurora what actually happened and we headed back to the corps for a Corps Council meeting (so everyone that needed to know was in one place at one time). I told Doug and Deb the actual story (they were obviously not thrilled with the news) and because I laugh so often it sort of seemed like I didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation. I think, at first, I was more disappointed with myself than they were. I was hoping that only the two of them and Aurora would be the only three that knew the actual story, but in a small town the truth gets out fast. Not everyone knows yet but thy will after reading this, and I do need to tell all the teens and apologize to them for lying and asking three of them to lie for me. I guess I just didn’t want to leave Bangor with everyone remembering that I broke a van window, but I am human and as Doug brought out so was David, people don’t remember his faults over the fact that he was an amazing king that’s comforting to know. Someone once said "It's not the making mistakes that we learn from, but how we handel them." Anyone know who that was?? Do you think he broke a window too?


Community involves unity

Word of advice from me to you: Don’t stop blogging for a long period of time because there is so much stuff to catch up on it’s easy to fall behind. I had the opportunity to preach on Sunday morning three weeks ago. So I did. I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock when God does something that makes everything fit together, but I can’t help being amazed by it. This past few weeks Doug Burr has been trying to build a closer community within the corps family. He wants to stop this surface level knowledge of who everyone is and get deep into each other’s lives (who knows where he comes up with these crazy ideas ba ha ha ha). When God spoke to me what I was to be speaking on it went right along with what Doug has been pushing for. God spoke to me about bridging the Gap between the youth of TSA and the elders. In order to progress and keep pressing on in the fight against the enemy we need to be standing along side each other working together. We can’t fight as a divided army. The elders have knowledge and wisdom that they youth don’t have, but the youth are the ones that will be taking over as leaders, and if we don’t build a foundation for them to base their faith on then when they got to places where they face huge temptation they could easily be torn away from the church and dragged into some other religion, or they may just give up on religion all together, that’s never good. We need to be working to build up the youth in a corps so they take over the leadership and be effective in a corps. We can’t have disunity and still be effective. We can’t fight a battle on our own and expect to succeed when an entire army is needed. TSA will fail if we aren’t raising up effective warriors. A spiritual foundation is not only built by what we do ourselves, but it also comes from interaction with other Christians. I’m not talking about just sitting by someone on Sunday morning. It comes from deep conversation and having a meaningful impact on each others lives. We need to be helping each other through problems and we need to know that there are people that will stand beside us when attacks from the enemy come up. People being brought together in a church setting doesn’t happen by accident, people that look up to you doesn’t happen by accident, and corps officers aren’t sent somewhere by accident. It is spirit led and God ordained. The youth that will be following each generation is not an accident. God has a plan and a role for each person to play in the future in the church. We need to recognize that and set them up for success. It takes cooperation from both sides. If we don’t set up a precedent then the next generation will follow suit, and there will be generation after generation of surface level relationships and that is a scary thought. It’s not something I would want to be a part of. It’s not easy, it does take work but we can create community.

That’s basically my sermon. I thought everything went by really fast. It felt like I started and was done in four minutes. The recording had fourteen minutes of space used up, but it sure didn't seem like it. Fourteen minutes still seems really short but at least I know I probably kept everyone’s attention. I did a much better job of starting this time as well. I didn’t have to leave to find a lapel microphone like I did over the summer. After it was all said and done I felt like my sermon was almost JAC worthy. I know that I’m no Stephen Court, but I have my moments.


My Canadan adventures (dramatic music plays)

Warning If you don't like to read long blogs turn back now. I’m sure that by now everyone (that is 614 related) has probably heard all about Jenn and Josh’s amazing, spirit led, beautiful, perfect, wedding. If you haven’t yet (you weirdo) talk to me; I’ll fill you in, or better yet talk to Josh or Jenn Ivany…oh man that is so weird. What most people probably haven’t heard is my adventure before and after the wedding. I will tell you my tale…now. It was a dark and stormy night when we set out. If you don’t believe me ask Aurora or Alberta. We were seriously driving through a snow storm. So we all that thought it would be a good idea to not let the Floridian drive. I think I would have done fine. It was around nine thirty at night and we couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of us. We eventually found pout way out of the mess and were making good time headed for the border. There wasn’t whole lot that happened on our way up there except for sleeping, talking and switching out drivers. Alberta had the unfortunate privilege of being pulled over in New York by a State Trooper. I think he thought she was drunk because he said she was crossing the lines a bit. The lines are our friend stay in the line. He thought we were drunk ba ha ha ha. He asked us where we were going and our response was Canada. He then said you do know your going south right? We said, “Yeah, we know that’s how we get to Canada from Maine”. He was very confused and said “you’re going south to go to Canada”? We said yes and let us got with out a ticket or a sobriety test. If you ask Alberta she’ll tell you that he was driving an eighteen wheeler but I think it was just a SUV. I was told by a friend that state troopers in Massachusetts and New York drive a Dodge Viper. This shows how much those crazy Florida people know. We were on our way and after my shift Aurora took over. I put my coat over my head and fell asleep. I woke up right after we paid out last toll in New York before the border. It cost $12.60. How do those people sleep at night? I can understand a buck fifty here two dollars there but twelve sixty. That’s highway robbery. I told Aurora I would have hit the gas and gone. I was going to be in Canada in thirty minutes anyway we’d a been safe. Anyway, we crossed the border at Niagara Falls and stopped to admire the view and it was amazing. I never knew Niagara Falls was so huge it went on for miles. I couldn’t believe how awesome it was I was really tempted got but a video camera, but I’m a poor college student (no matter where you go to college at some things never change). We then stopped at Denny’s. It was really expensive there, so we left and went across the street to an all you can eat breakfast buffet where we didn’t have to pay fourteen dollars for French toast. After all that we arrived at Aurora’s parent’s house, and I got to meet her family and they were lots of fun and then we found Jaime Riefer and that was really cool. The next day we drove from London to Toronto. So picture this on a Canadian highway: Jaime, Alberta, and I all in one car Aurora was in the car with her mom in front of us. Fun stuff happens in those situations. We drove circles around them. Literally we drove in circles…maybe more of a box. First we passed them, got in front, crossed in to the far right lane, let them pass, and got behind them again. We did it like four times, and each time was just as fun as the first. I want to do it again. So Josh and Jenn need to have another wedding so I can go to Canada and drive circles around Aurora. Tell me when you set the date. Actually I don’t think either of them read my blog. So we finally arrived in Jackson’s Point and I knew we were in the right building fairly quickly because I saw Darren Hailes and I heard Tara laugh. You know that really loud laugh that will scare you if you don’t expect it. I heard that and it made me smile. I saw Rob and I didn’t recognize him at first he’s different. It was strange for me to not recognize someone. Then we had the wedding and that was fun. We met up with Sue…Ann and spent a few days with her in Toronto. WE went to The Hard Rock Café and we saw the CN Tower thing. And we went Toronto 614 service and we saw elephants and we almost went into the hockey hall of fame but time was running short and so was money. So we saw the front entrance. It was good. Then we started our trek home. We made a stop in Montreal where I couldn’t understand a single word the signs said because they were all in French and we stayed with Aurora’s cousin…whose name I can’t remember. We got lost a number of times with her in the car. Then we headed for the states. We decide to take route two through Vermont and New Hampshire and into Maine. Now you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this. You may be sitting in your chair right now saying, “Travis why are you telling me the road you took that seems pointless”. I’m warning you if you have been driving for a really long time and you want o got to Bangor Maine don’t take route two. It takes you away from toll booths and all that business, but it is so long. I didn’t think that road would ever end I just wanted it to all be over. And it was over at sevenish at night. Most of you probably want this blog to be over as well so I will end now. I give you more details of this tale some other time. There will be another soon.


I can Blog again...finally

Okay guys I’m seriously bogging this time. I’m sitting down at a computer typing and I’m going to push post when this is all done. I finally have found some time to sit down and blob about stuff that has been happening in the mind and life of Travis. I think I just finished my personal longest stint of not blogging ever. Granted I haven’t even had this blog running for a year yet but almost. Besides being busy with work and going to Jenn and Josh’s wedding and other random stuff I think one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging so much is that I stopped doing my rations for a few weeks. This week and last week I have been on task but managed to push them out of my mind and do my regular life without my daily rations. I know it may sound odd but I really think that my blogging ability usually go hand in hand with my rations. I thought I just had writer’s block for a while. It’s really weird that something that should be automatic by now can still be pushed to the side by other stuff in my life, this should not be. I blame McDonald’s. Please pray that I reestablish that discipline again so that I don’t try to “fit it in” my day, but that it's a constant in my life. My spirit is willing but my body is weak. I hate it when that happens.