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 Joe's Journals
     e-mail me: click here

As part of my studies at California Baptist University, I was required to submit Journals for my FOCUS class. As I began to share these journals with the folks at the epicenter I was approached with an offer to write for the page from Galt to the Ends of the Earth.  Although I am no longer required to write, I have found that it is good to have an outlet.

From the Philippines  1-14-07

Hello All,

I am safe and sound and having a wonderful time in the Philippines. I just left Moscow yesterday morning at 0115 and arrived after Midnight.

Earlier that day (Saturday) Masha helped me to get my Visa registered in Moscow, then we picked up my new miracle ticket from Qatar airways. Then we went back and I resituated all of my possessions. I had been burdened with two large suitcases, but after the arduous adventure of trying to leave the airport on the 11th with them, decided that I could pack what I needed into one suitcase and a backpack. I still wondered if there was some extra things, but thought that it would be able to make it through the weight requirements at Moscow airport.

First, we arrived at the airport. The maximum weight for a suitcase is 32 Kilograms. Guess what?! My suitcase weighed EXACTLY 32 Kilos. Yeah,  Masha and I were pretty impressed until the clerk informed me that my ticket allowed me to only take 20 Kilograms.  Unless I paid an excess baggage fee.

So, we went to see how much that fee would be, while they began to send my suitcase off to the plane. The fee turned out to be over 9,000 rubles. That is more than $300. As I was deducing this conversion, Masha was busy pulling rubles out of her wallet. She was going to pay for me!! Well, that is such a sweet gesture, but there is NO WAY that I was going to pay that much. I didn't even have anything worth that much to me in that entire suitcase. So, I asked Masha to ask the attendant if I could get the suitcase back, and if we could move the baggage around or something so that I wouldn't have to pay.

Anyway, I ended up finding 8 Kilograms of very nice warm clothing that Masha was willing to receive and will distribute to orphans and others in Russia. This was such a good blessing from God. Here I had thought that limiting myself to one overstuffed suitcase was enough-- how God has shown me what I can live without, and I was blessed to invest the warm clothing in a cold climate. How ridiculous it would have been to cleave to my possessions and feel such a loss to bring extra sweaters to the Philippines during the dry season.
So, my burden became a blessing to others.

NEXT!  the airport did not check my visa registration, so they did not have an opportunity to ask any questions.

The airport almost sent my luggage to MANchester instead of MANila. ( unknown to me until I received a new baggage tag at the gate when I was boarding the plane.)

After I landed, I was in a rush to get out and get through immigration. I made it through immigration, but had left my backpack on the plane. IT was recovered and I did not even have to leave the baggage belt and then found my suitcase on the belt safe and sound.

NEXT Dr. Russell met me just outside the baggage claim area.

On the ride home, Dr. Russell told me about the new ride that I would have up to PBTS. I would not have to take the bus alone, God had provided a man who would drive up, and I would get to meet him at church Sunday morning ( MORE ON THAT LATER).

The final luggage comment will be that Dr. Russell gave me the one condition of the ride, I would be allowed to leave my suitcase at his house and take my  backpack full of clothes. He will bring my suitcase on Thursday. I LIKE TO LEARN WHAT I CAN DO WITHOUT. It is also nice to know ahead of time sometimes, so one can choose what to take and what to leave--- much better than paying for things one does not need and then having them sent to another continent.

God is SOOO GOOD!!!



Saturday, May 6, 2006

What's New, Joe?

After a few weeks pounding the pavement and scouring this tiny town for meaningful employment,
I have been hired to work here in Galt at Longs. 

Also, I am making plans to travel with the New America Singers for their 2006 tour. This year begins with a trip across the state of California, stopping in Galt on Monday, June 26th for a concert at 7:00 PM . After the California leg, we will say goodbye to about half of the choir and the remainder will travel to Hong Kong. After this portion, yet more will return to the USA and the rest of us will continue to Thailand and the Philippines. Last year was my most exciting tour so far and I am expecting God to accompany us, lead the way, and follow up in the hearts of those who we meet.

Experiencing God in Liberia
for 80 Days

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                 THE INBOX: CLICK HERE

Interacting with
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

during the 80 Day Spiritual Adventure
               in Liberia:

Day 52:


pg 94 To be God's friend, you must be honest to God, sharing your true feeling, not what you think you ought to feel or say.


As this is so, we should not dwell on feelings and our own perceptions. Briefly acknowledge our lack of understanding and then take a more positive step by reciting the Biblical cure. It is not deceit to communicate with God that although we have deep emotions, we do not want to live without faith. So as much as we can-- we speak the absolute truth of God's Word. Even if it does not drastically, immediately change our feelings, the Truth has gone forth and God honors our attempts.


Day 53:


Pg.105 God is pleased when your worship is practical.


Warren used this idea to mention that people who will not bother to go, but instead say their spirit is there -- that is worthless. Well, I might not go that far, but it is very valuable to Pastor Wesley to someone from FBC Galt visit regularly. It is important to go and do instead of just praying. Good thoughts and money are good, but many times the worship can be in the feet.  If you won't go, make sure that God has some reason for you to stay.     --Joe


Day 54:


Sunday March 5th, 2006 


Today was another fine service at Greater Love Bible Baptist Church. Since it was the first Sunday of the month we remembered the Lord's Supper. The Theme of the Sermon today was The Imperfect Made Perfect -- From James 1:2-5 The main message that was conveyed was when trials come our way, we should see the trials in the way God is dealing with us (from God's perspective). Gold has to go through the refining process. When God allows trials, it is a result for our own good. When the trails are aborted, cut short, it will not produce the patience necessary for this perverse world. God has a timing. JOB 42:5 "I have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you." Trials are not for evil; God will allow them for my own good.


Practical Aspect: Many people in Liberia do not have what they would desire so sermons widely use verses about overcoming trials and the benefits that will come later. "Deep valley experience before mountaintop delight". 


Well, I needed to hear this sermon as well.


There were around 70 people at church today and 8? visitors. One was a man who is returning for a short time from Lebanon. He is excited and wants to see his Lebanese church help Pastor Wesley.

Day 54:

pg 111 Focus on who God is:
                       His unchanging nature.


Day 14 (PDL) is about trusting God and having faith even when you cannot feel His presence. Though God promises to never leave us, sometimes He hides himself from us to test us and strengthen our relationship. pg. 110 " He wants you to sense His presence, but He's more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him".    --Joe


Day 55:


pg. 118 When we put our faith in Christ ... other believers become our brothers and sisters, and the church be comes our spiritual family.


This truth compels us to help other believers. We need to connect (hmm ... I guess I was distracted when I was writing this) with those who are in need, especially those who have the love of Christ in them and are helping people in Jesus' name.


Day 56:    pg 125


Relationship, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matter most in life.  


I have generally considered myself a rather loving person. Now I am beginning to struggle with more long term concerns and they have fogged my mind. This has led to very close relationships with my parents, but also to a more isolated, introverted existence. In my concern, I have tended to not be as outgoing to make new friends or genuinely care about others. Even as it feels like I do not have the same drive as in past years-- I believe it is still important. So I trust God and step-by-step make advances in these Godly relationships.    --Joe


Day 57:


Pg.133 A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation.


 Living away from your family:  Today's study is all about how we all need a local, dependable group of believers to share life with. I am happy to have a church family at FBC Galt. It's hard growing and being away. But, I have still found great encouragement from my family in Galt. It is hard to go away and to commit. Tough when I was at school because though I was there, my heart had not settled with a new church family. The important thing is having groups of believers who you are accountable to even if you cannot always be with them.     --Joe


Day 58: pg 139  In real fellowship people experience authenticity.


The main difficulty with being authentic comes when we feel weak and do not know how to change the situation ourselves.  pg.140 "it means facing our fear of exposure, rejection, and being hurt again" It is easy to be honest when everything is great and things are looking up, but it is difficult to tell people your concerns and daily failings. The benefit is that God has created us and placed us in a family to help each other. We do not need to fear our brothers and they provide strength and a listening ear when we are weak.  --Joe


Day 59:


Pg. 148 Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don't think of themselves.


I say I want the blessings that come with humility, and I do not want to be proud. It is hard to serve others and forget about ourselves. We see what we see all day. We know what we feel and what we want all the time. It takes effort to feel what others need and to see what they see.  --Joe


Day 60:


Pg. 154 Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs. Some of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone … to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness.


Today's lesson was written to instruct the reader how to restore human relationships. I feel like I keep pretty good relationships with others. Where this applies to me seems to be the reminder that there are some needs that only God can fill. I have many reliable people who care for me very much, but there are inner workings and spiritual lessons that they cannot do for me. They can and do pray for me, but the rest is a process with God so that God and I can build our own relationship.  --Joe


Day 41 (of 80 in Liberia):

The purpose of life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness . . . you must begin with God.  pg.17 of PDL
This ties in with what Blackaby and everyone else has been saying. Prayer and faith and reading the Bible develop this relationship so He can show us the path. But we need not focus on happiness or peace of mind -- instead focus on praying and doing God's will. Peace will come later, Right??   --Joe
Day 42:
pg 23
God never does anything accidentally, and He never makes mistakes
God made me for a purpose. He planned for me to be an American, go to good schools, and care about people. There are abilities and experiences I possess that need to be invested and experiences and attitude adjustments are part of God's preparation for my future.  --Joe
Day 43:
pg 33  It is usually meaningless work, not overwork that wears us down, saps our strength and robs our joy.
Finding what God has for my life is most valuable. The alternatives would not be satisfying. Without God's purpose for me, I could change jobs and other circumstances seeking joy and peace, or I could seek rest, but it would all be vanity.  --Joe
Day 44:
pg.37 When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now . . . many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention.
If we don't invest in eternal things, then we are building on a false foundation and it will all eventually crush us. All of our days have some purpose for eternity. We can either follow the purpose, or fill the time with things of this world. We should not let the cares and concerns for corruptible things distract us from the value of those that will last.  --Joe
Day 45:
pg.43  You are always being tested. Every day is an important day to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God.
We must use every day to the fullest, because God has entrusted it to us. It makes me as an American afraid because we are trusted with mo much wealth and opportunities. Those of us who have been given so much by God need to make sure that we are not wasting it on ourselves or letting it spoil and rot. It is fine to enjoy what God has given us, but there is a limit and Americans are obese in so many ways. How could I ever give a valuable return for all of the opportunities that God has given me? The truth is that we cannot repay what we have been entrusted, but with God's help we can grow to use it more effectively.  --Joe

February 3, 2006          Joe's 20th Birthday


January 9, 2006

Once again I write to explain how grateful I am to see God working through the efforts of those in our local church and their willingness to help those in Liberia.

As Dad and I studied over material about Liberia (learning a little more about the culture and religious groups there) we were glad to yield to a message from our church. Preparations are being made for gifts and items to be sent with me to the children's home. It was pointed out to me that my feelings have been changing as I witness the actions of the local church and the response of members who are sharing with those precious people in Liberia.

January 8, 2006

I am very glad for the support of my church as I prepare to go to Liberia. I said today in the 11:00 service that I am afraid to go to Liberia. I was thinking later .... of course I am afraid. This will be my longest trip in the most severe conditions. Even amidst the roller coaster of emotions that I am going through I am doing my best to trust God. For the first time in my life, I am really giving everything to God.

As good a boy as God helped Joe to be, God does not want Joe to trust in himself. I must trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; if I acknowledge God in all my ways then he will direct my  path.

Although many others have experienced much more severe trials in their lives, this is really a first for me. Mom and Dad have helped a little by comparing my position to being in labor or going to boot camp. I think that both of those would be much more difficult, but some common aspects would be the uncertainty and anxiety that arise. Also, they are part of growing up for many people. Just because I am afraid or cannot envision the future does not change the fact that God is in control and He wants the best for me.

January 3, 2006

Busy day today. I got online and applied for my semester class 491 International Missions Practicum. Dr. Dan Wilson agreed to serve as my professor for this semester's experience in Liberia. There are four learning goals outlined for this practicum. First, I should come to understand the realities of living and ministering in a culture different from the typical American culture. Second, through my writing, I should demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of the Christian faith as contrasted with the principles of other religious systems in Liberia. Third, I am expected to serve in evangelism, Bible study, youth related activities, church services, and follow up decisions in that context. Finally, I am expected to maintain a daily journal with specific details of this mission's experience. I will also be expected to note matters of personal significance and long-term value of this experience.

I am scheduled to leave one week from tomorrow although there remains a  question about the trip from Accra, Ghana to Monrovia, Liberia. I must admit that I feel inadequate to the task but trust that "apart from Him I can do nothing" ... so I guess He will give me grace to see this God-sized assignment through to His end. If you have time and high-speed connection please click here for a video that says it better than I.

New Year's Eve 2005

Tonight I am going to be staying home and spending some time with my parents and sister. Mom is making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and later we are going to play some Rummy and maybe some other card games.

Earlier today I went to the Men's Prayer Group at FBC. They meet every Saturday morning at 6:00 AM. Yeah, it is a bit odd for a teenager to be awake at that hour on a Saturday, but it is a good time to remember God and to put aside my own agenda. 

I have really been trying to discover what God wants me to do and am learning more about how to follow and obey when I 'don't feel like it'. 

I also learned today that,Bellview, the company flying from Ghana to Liberia has reopened flights after their short shutdown last week.

Please email me:

December 26, 2005

Today has been a good morning. I awoke and went downstairs with my parents to watch Horizon's Church in a Box. It was a nice DVD with the Christmas story. Then we watched the VHS tape that we had made of different performances from our Christmas Eve Service at FBC Galt.

I received some more interesting news as I was checking my grades for the last semester at CBU. I GOT a C in my Mathematics Proofs class. Now that was a very difficult class and I was very unsure about how the grades were going to come out.

Soon I will head out for a walk around Galt with my parents. I really enjoy being able to spend time with them and get exercise.

It is a beautiful day here and I am very excited about going outside into the sunlight. There is just something therapeutic about how the light feels and looks. I am getting excited just thinking about it. If you need a boost, I would encourage you to step outside and receive some sunlight.

Please email me:

December 18, 2005 Sunday at Home

This morning I was able to attend my favorite church and fellowship with  the  very special people of First Baptist Church of Galt. 

The message to me was about God's Will and how we can know much of it from searching the Bible. That is we can foresee many sins to avoid and the Fruits of the Spirit that we should convey. Beyond that, God has a will for us that we do not see clearly. He will show us one step at a time and we have to have faith to persevere even when we do not perceive beyond the next inch. Because faith is only shown when one cannot see.

So we take our life one day at a time, avoiding sin, loving others and listening for the next step that God would have us take.

Please email me:

Oh yeah, I hope that this page loads a little faster now because I moved much of the contents to an archive page.


December 11, 2005        Living Christmas Tree

Tonight I went to Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church to see their 26th annual Living Christmas Tree. It was quite an amazing event, and I will try to explain some of the qualities I observed.

If you can imagine on the stage in the sanctuary, there is what appears to be a large Christmas tree. There are platforms so that a choir can stand up inside the branches and sing choruses. That is what I was expecting, a stand up choir in the Living Christmas Tree.

Instead, I was quite delighted to find a Christmas program complete with some fifty's music, an orchestra and full choreography. The performers were everywhere, all over the stage and all around the audience as well. Of course, there were soloists and the necessary sing-along hymns.

Also great, was the use of songs about the resurrection-- odd for a Christmas program, but it worked quite well. I am glad that they took the time to make this something more than just a party for Christians, Because to the unchurched friend who came to see the show, it is very important that they be presented with the news that the Christmas story has a far reaching message. It is not only about the birth of a baby, but the salvation of all men through Christ.

Then Ted took me out to dinner and I was able to spend some more time fellowshipping with him and his favorite wife. It was a very good afternoon, and I am so blessed to have people in my life who care so much about me and invite me to hang out with them and to show me new experiences.

December 4, 2005                    (adapted from Ted's letter)

Dear Joe:

About 300 Marines came out to our performance at Camp Pendleton. They were very serious and very attentive. 10 Marines had been killed in Iraq the day before.

They not only stood up (and sang!) during God Bless America, hey stood at attention while we sang the Victory Song!

Then, at invitation time, about 70 men indicated that they had prayed with us to invite Jesus into their hearts. Praise the Lord, for one more opportunity to share with these brave young men. Pray with us that the new Chaplains will be able to arrange for us to come back again in the future, and pray for the men who made decisions. Pray that they can find Christian friends to help them grow in the faith.

I appreciate your for making time to share with this audience during such a busy time of year. Aren't you glad you did?

Love, in Jesus,

Ted Campbell   
New America Singers

  At the beginning of the school year, I was quoted in an issue of the California Southern Baptist (in a story about the New America Singers). We performed at the Baptist World Alliance during our mission trip to Asia in the Summer of 2004.

Read the full story


 Want more? Read Joe's Earliest Archives: CLICK HERE


 Read Joe's Archives: CLICK HERE
house-church paper:

 Letter to the Galtonians: CLICK HERE

Joe's Résumé CLICK HERE

Ukraine Letters Archives: CLICK HERE

ScavengEaster Egg Hunt

New America Singers: Unofficial Site

Summer 2005 Itinerary

Hey Joe

My name is Jane and I work for the Flipside Church in Rancho.  I was eating lunch today and thought it would be funny to Google flipside church and see what came up.  Among many odd things, your journal popped up with your entry about visiting us.  I was totally impressed with the entry and it was so cute – the little pictures of our building.  Just wanted to let you know that I thought it was neat.

Have a good day


Jane Lane

The Glue

Flipside Church

Letter from a CBU Alumna

Dear Joe,

I don't know if you remember meeting me... I am Doris & Jim Fugate's daughter, Ruthanne Kay, from Washington state. You made quite an impression on my folks from the beginning when your family moved to Galt and I have to say you were my favorite kid to watch and hear about from FBC.

I have heard stories and anecdotes about you for many years from my parents.  They love you in a special way and are proud of you as though you were their own grandchild!

When I heard you were touring with New America Singers I thought that was such a great experience for you!

I told my Mom and Dad you should go to CBU for college. It just seemed like a great fit for you.

I attended CBU in the 70's and can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.
It is such a great place to get your college education. I was so glad to hear you decided to go there.

In fact I was down there showing my son Aaron the school just before I heard you had decided to go.

He ended up choosing the Master's College as he had been there before during a missions trip and one of his best friends planned to attend there.

Anyhow, I was delighted to know you are at CBU and making the adjustments to college life.  It sounds like you are a bright student and will do very well.

I pray that you find God's direction for you life while you are there.  I read your journal entries and am enjoying them very much. I will continue to read them and pray for you as God leads and directs your life. It is such a joy to hear of your love for God.

Keep up the good work... I wish I was at CBU too!  It still looks like a fun place to be... enjoy it all you can!

Tiniest Miracle

October 3, 2004

Computers are so temperamental. Sometimes they act differently if you merely reboot them or you restart them. But my old tricks just were not working.

Last night I installed a program to hook my new calculator up to my computer. A window popped up saying that it may interfere with the correct operation of Windows XP- my operating system. I thought nothing of it and was especially surprised when Windows backed itself up just in case.

This morning I went to turn on my computer and it did not want to work. Said that I needed to reboot it. Somehow or another I do not have the system disks with me. I must have left them in Galt. Anyways, I thought, maybe I will just restart it … but to no avail. So I thought, my God controls everything, surely he could help me. Thank God that I prayed, and so was not really distressed, just did not want to lose all the information on my computer or have to be without my papers/rewrite them. But the restarts did not work and it was time for church to begin.

I left my worldly struggle and went to church, as is my custom. I talked to God and recognized what I really knew all along. God loves me, but sometimes he does not intervene, especially in something so small as my computer when I was clearly warned and forgot the CDs. But I also knew that there was no huge need for me to be without my computer and I believed that it was an opportunity to acknowledge God’s overwhelming greatness and control of all situations in accordance with His wonderful will for my life.

Sometimes, he says, deal with it, don’t be too upset. And then other times, if you ask him, he fixes everything the way you think he should. (Like sometimes when He helps you find your keys, but he has also comforted me –years ago- with the loss of my wallet, willing not that I find it even though I asked sincerely.)

But somehow God led me to control alt delete. And even beyond. Apparently God made a way for me to reboot my computer without any outside CD. Not that it is a big deal, but it certainly was important to me. I count it as the fact that God comforted me showing me that everything would be ok either way, but also proved that He was more powerful than inventions that I did not understand and could even restore what the computer had eaten. So I just thought that I would share how God showed himself to me this morning. Oh how He loves me and I know that He listens. Hopefully I will be so quick to seek Him in the future.

Just had to tell you ‘cause I want to honor God and thought you would enjoy my little circumstance.

How do You Spend
Your Time

November 1, 2004

How do you spend your time?

I spend my time on various activities now that I am in University.  I allocate sufficient  time for socializing with friends, having my meals in the ADC and  revising for school , as well as  tutoring at  the Academic Resource Center.

On campus, I spend a considerable amount of time socializing with friends.  Now that I am away from my family, I obviously do not get to spend any time with them save for the occasional phone calls through which I correspond with them. 

I spend only a small portion of my time eating at the ADC, because they are closed   save for a few hours a day hence not accommodating my different cravings for food at different times of the day or night.  When they are open, I have other campus activities for which I have to attend as well as to go for my various academic courses. Hence justifying the limited time I spend in the ADC.

A considerable amount of time is spent on my academia.  As should be the attitude of university undergraduates, learning is my first priority. Therefore, it is paramount that one should make a concerted effort to allocate sufficient time to academia rather than to imprudently dedicate too much time spent on other activities which are secondary.

During my free time I work at the Academic Resources Center.  This has allowed me a financial avenue for which I can rightly exploit to pay for my college expenses, meals as well as tithe.  It is crucial that I schedule enough working time so as to support myself as well as to help others in financial or academic distress.

Back in my dorm, for lack of better activities, I watch television, nap, exercise or chat on the internet with a friend in Singapore. This way, I am able to keep abreast with the political affairs of the outside world, widening my scope on what is happening outside the US.

My Friend, Bethany
Just before our all-out tennis match!

Scenes from our FOCUS Class

Today is Friday and I am having a good time here in Southern California. I have been keeping busy working as a math tutor and studying for my classes. I also find time to play with friends.

Last night I played tennis with Bethany, and tonight I am going to a drive-in movie with my FOCUS class ( a class specially designed to make good friends and FOCUS on how to be successful in college).

I am looking forward to my chance to come back to Galt for Thanksgiving and am very excited that the website is continuing to grow. I am continually interested what is going on back home so it is nice to have a link.

October 24, 2004
I am having a great time here at University. This weekend I finished a 10
page research paper on the Zealots and gave an informative speech on the
topic of abortion. I am very excited to hear about MacDonald Wreh coming to be with you for a while.

Also, I will be coming to Galt around the 19th or 22nd of November to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and catch up with my

Joe's room ...a little messy

This is of my side of the bedroom. It is a little messy, but I assure you that I clean it at least once a week. Tuesday is the
weekly appointment when the ladies can come and see my bedroom and help me
decorate it.

I am eating well, but also trying to exercise regularly. I am playing tennis occasionally, but not as much as I would like.

Here is a picture of my friend, Sally. I just thought you might like to see a picture to prove that I am making some friends.

Joe's new friend, Sally

My courses are going well as I am completing my assignments well and
hopefully I will be able to continue.

Thank you to my parents and to Grandpa and Papa Fugate who have sent me care
packages and to Virginia who sent me a letter. I am very appreciative for
these simple actions and it reminds me that I am loved and remembered.
e-mails work too.

(Note: Why not email me now?)

Culture Shocks

October 4, 2004

What ‘culture shocks’ (things you did not expect) have you experienced so far since coming to college?

I have experienced several culture shocks as a result from coming to college including changes in diet, living arrangements, and interactions with people.

My diet has changed as I have been moved from a diet that ate different food in mostly small portions to one of two main meals. I was accustomed to eating fruit and other small items whenever I was hungry. Now, I eat two main meals (Lunch and Dinner) and do not snack between those meals. This is due to the fact that my 13 meal plan does not allow me to snack between meals for free, or to eat 3 meals on a regular basis.

As a result of my move to college I have changed living arrangements. Not only do I live in a totally different region of the state, but the climate is different. Southern California is sunnier and the temperature at night is warmer than where I am used to. But more than the temperature and climate change, my living arrangements have changed as I now have a roommate and my privacy is limited. I knew that I would have a roommate, but I could not have predicted how we would interact and how living so near to a new person would affect my life this much.

My interactions with other people were a culture shock to me as I realized that everyone around me is a new face. Although I have some interesting friendships developing, it is nothing compared to the relationships I had at home. These people do not know me from my sports or church connections. They see me as a totally different person. It was unexpected because I had not realized how much this would affect my life.

October 10, 2004
I have been having a great time here at CBU.  When I first arrived and after setting up my dorm-room we, (the new students), all went to the mountain for a retreat and some time to make new friends.  This week included some great times of devotions and worship as well as some strange funs.

One such time was during "Food Twister," and another was during Clash-and-Bowl.

"Food Twister"

Clash-and-Bowl involves special dress--clothes that do not match, and the ability to do something you have never done before--bowling with my left hand, granny style or with my eyes closed.  These strange games give all the new students some opportunities to overcome their differences, cooperate, and fellowship before school begins.

With new friends and some great times behind me, I felt very comfortable and excited about my first week of school.

"Clash and Bowl" Outfits

Managing My Time

October 18, 2004

What advice from the readings did you find helpful or had never thought about before?

The advice about managing my time well I found to be especially important. I learned that I should not overextend myself because that would force to not be able to do a good job in any areas. I learned that I need to plan ahead. I should take a look at what I need to do and think about how I am going to get it done most effectively. I had never thought about the idea of writing out the plan, I just tried to keep things in my head which doesn’t always work too well. It says not to plan more than three days at a time, the other thing that I had been trying to do was to plan everything in my head for weeks in advance. This just made me more stressed out and instead of doing anything well, I just thought about all that I had to do. It is a good idea to check things off as I complete them, otherwise I will not see what still needs to be accomplished, nor would I realize how much I had already achieved.

I did not realize about how much organization is a time saver. I thought that it just was for show and that I could actually do things faster if I did not think about how messy things were and did not spend my time cleaning. There is a balance about cleanliness and actually doing the work. It is easier to work and sometimes work is done faster in a cleaner environment. But then there is the point that if you only clean and never work, your work does still not get done. Everyone will need to adapt the idea of cleanliness to their specific situation and only clean as to where it helps them, and not clean as a distraction from actually doing homework.

Another great idea in this reading is about consciously making choices of how to use my time. It is a great idea to set a limit to how much television or socializing I will do. Without a limit, I would never cease socializing and actually finish my papers.

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