to Joe's Journal
February 13, 2005
Do You Feel the Love?
Oh I really love February.
Not only does it involve my birthday (2/3), but also my momís birthday (today: 2/13), and Valentineís Day (2/14). I really appreciate all the friends I have made on campus and wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge their influence in my life.
First, I went to the store and found a nice card for my momís birthday. Then I bought a bag of Hershey kisses and a large stack of 3 x 5 index cards. In a time when most people are sharing Valentineís Day with one special person, I continue to celebrate a revised elementary holiday. I made 40 Valentines.
Beginning on Thursday, I made a point to creatively deliver these special notes. So far, I have seen a great response from the recipients and I only have 4 more to deliver. Seeing the surprise on their faces and recognizing the joy that comes from being appreciated makes me smile. Yes, it is more blessed to give than to receive and the more love you give, the more you have to give.
I was having a
great time passing out these notes when I decided to
go to the mail room and see if there was anything
for me. Of course, I had already received a
Valentine from my mother and several birthday cards.
To my surprise, there were two letters in my box.
Both contained personal messages of love and
Thanks Cathy Warren and Laverne Avila and family for your cards. They were great.
And to top it all off Ö
there is another special package from mom
and a valentine from Virginia Parker and family.
WOW, THANKS GUYS!!
So, find some special way to demonstrate your love for someone. It will bless them and you might even receive a blessing for yourself.
Happy Valentineís Day!
February 4, 2005
This week has been pretty good actually. It still feels like things are going to be harder, and I wonder if I will be able to keep up. But I just remind myself that I donít have to have all the answers now. I can live one day at a time.
was my 19th
Birthday. I had already received a few
emails and cards from family, friends and church
members. I even received a box from my friend,
Natalie, in Singapore. But
on the day itself I was feeling kinda lonely.
After finishing my courses for the day I went back
to my dorm room and took a nap. Then I went to work,
where my tutee did not show up. At this time, I
called my friend, Krystal, who said we could get
together later, but she was busy shopping or
something. I went back to my dorm room and did some
homework. After this, I was watching TV in Luiís
room and he coaxed me back to my room where
Many friends were crammed into my room, they had
party poppers, balloons, and a cake.
They had remembered,
and were ignoring me the
entire day so that they would not give away the
surprise. Attached are some pictures.
Krystal, Briana, Louie, Melissa, Sally, Natalie,
Lori, and Mark were all in attendance. As you can
see by the look on my face I was quite happy and
Mark & Melissa
Sally & Natalie
I also wanted to say thanks for the emails, cards and letters that I have been receiving. A couple I can remember are the Springer family, Santillans, Grandpa Clock, Grandma and Papa Fugate, Auntie Bev, Aimee Grace Sayre, Pastor Wesley, Mom, Dad, Daniel, Natalie, Marillis, Lora and Valera Pavlenko, Mary Chase, Amanda Harlan, Eva, Krazy Al Warren. If your name isnít on the list, you just gotta send me more letters. Please keep them coming, cause I love to hear what you are doing and I helps me to feel loved and connected.
January 30, 2005
These last few days have been more manageable. On Thursday I made the decision to drop my Ceramics class and focus on my more important classes. I want to do them well. That gave me some momentary relief, but I am still not fully at peace. At least I have more time to do homework.
Today I went to Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church and arrived as the sermon was beginning. Todayís title was The Road to Recovery Ė Step 1 Stepping Into Freedom.
Although I had been feeling kinda fearful for my future and anxious about present situations ( with classes, homework and life track) I had not put all the pieces together. Todayís sermon was an opportunity for God to minister to me.
I was challenged the REALIZE Iím not God. Of course I know that I am not perfect and I canít seem to keep things together. But the other part is understanding that I donít have to control my own life. I was never intended to control myself and when I begin to think that I can control my image, other people, my problems or my pain for my own selfish reasons the consequences are fear, frustration, fatigue, and failure.
I had not felt that I was denying Godís role in my life, until I heard those symptoms and remembered how I had been feeling. I have been feeling afraid, frustrated, fatigued and that I would eventually fail. This brings the question, How am I praying? I have not been saying God, Your will be done. But rather, God, help ME to Control my life.
The balancing ideas are 1) God should control my life and 2) I should be obedient to His guidance and diligent in my pursuits. Godís ownership of my life does not eliminate my workload, but it focuses it on what is worthwhile and manageable. I must do what God tells me to do, and trust Him.
January 25, 2005
Today I had an alright day. I was able to make 2 bowls in ceramics as well as take a Calculus test and find some articles for my upcoming English work.
I saw Curt Estel and his wife Vi in the Cafeteria while I was enjoying a lovely meal with my friends Briana, Jasmine and Lui. Vi and Curt are so encouraging. Vi reminded me that it is alright to be up and down, it helps me to appreciate the ups.
I am beginning to realize that the courses I am enrolled in are not what I expected. I had been under the impression that I was doing school as I had always done school. That it would take some time, but that I would catch on quickly and run my way through it.
Today I had
an amazing insight. I am uncovering the true
titles of my classes. This semester the subjects are
not Physics, Math, Bible and English, no no. Those
have been learned before.
This semester I am studying patience, perseverance, humility, faithfulness, self-control and peace. Yeah, I realize that this sounds a bit dramatic, but if I focus on these lessons, I will gain a valuable education.
His divine power has given us
everything we need for life and
godliness through our knowledge of
him who called us by his own glory
and goodness. Through these he has
given us his very great and precious
promises, so that through them you
may participate in the divine nature
and escape the corruption in the
world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason,
make every effort
to add to your faith goodness;
and to goodness, knowledge;
knowledge, self-control; and to
self-control, perseverance; and to
perseverance, godliness; and to
godliness, brotherly kindness; and
to brotherly kindness, love.
For if you possess these
qualities in increasing measure,
they will keep you from being
ineffective and unproductive in
your knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ. But if anyone does not have
them, he is nearsighted and blind,
and has forgotten that he has been
cleansed from his past sins.
2 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed is the man
who perseveres under trial, because when he has
stood the test, he will receive the crown of life
that God has promised to those who love him.
Consider it pure joy,
my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 12:1-9 CLICK HERE
January 23, 2004 (Saved)
went to the Flipside, a church in a nearby
city. The message was based on the movie
After a healthy video summary
of the major scenes covering the plot, the pastor
encouraged us to love others. He used the story of
the Good Samaritan and the striking differences
between Jesus and the Pharisees to remind us that
love should be our first response when we are
dealing with each other.
*see my Dad's correspondence with
Director Brian Dannelly:CLICK HERE
It is a very normal reaction for Christians to openly oppose homosexuality and other ďmajorĒ sins. Yet, most homosexuals already realize that Christians oppose this behavior. They are turned off by this initial attack.
It would be more effective to look at the individual and truly care about people. I know if I have a problem, I like people to care about me. I do not want their first words to me to be condemnation of my actions. The message was not about denying our faith, but about loving people first. All of us have issues and we need to love each other in spite of this.
The Flipside meets in a warehouse. They have
rows of chairs with couches and a bean bag in the
It's one of those new churches for younger people (not exactly what I am used to). Today they were having a small group fair to advertise the new season of weekday small groups. Ranging from Menís, Womenís, Couples, Youth to Running and Music/Arts. I am planning to go on Thursday to The Orange: Creative Arts Bible Study.
This afternoon I went with my friend and wingmate (we live on the same side of the 3rd floor), Keith, to his churchís college group get together. We played games, watched a movie, and ate pizza, it was fun. I need to write a letter to my Paul and the Early Church professor to get some insight into his desires and advice for my upcoming paper on ďHouse Churches:Ē their significance and implications for communal Christian life.
Alright, well that is enough for now. I need to get to my schooling. Write me an email J
January 22, 2005
This morning I called Curt and Vi Estel to say hello. They invited me to spend the day with them. Vi informed me that her grandsons would be around and they were all going to go to see the movie Racing Stripes. This sounded like a great idea to be around a large group and see a movie on a Saturday. It was nice to be able to play some games with the kids and just get off campus. I was even able to do my laundry. After spending the day with Curt Estel and his extended family (wife, mother, grandsons, sons, and daughter-in-laws) I was dropped off at school by his son, Corey. Corey invited me to go to church with him and his fiancť at the Flipside tomorrow.Be praying for Curt as he is going through more
January 20, 2005 11:30 PM
January 16, 2005 11:30 PM
January 12, 2004 This afternoon has been great. After a kinda tough beginning, I did some Calculus work and then began reading one of my textbooks: Paul and His Letters.
Then I went and had a lovely dinner at the Alumni Dining Commons with some friends. After dinner we went and swam, our pool is heated. It was nice to do some exercise, I like swimming.
I have been checking out Napoleon Dynamite for the upcoming Youth Rally:
The Gospel According to Napoleon Dynamite.
I am finding mixed results. Personally, I really enjoyed the movie and some of its unique characteristics. I enjoy each character for their individual special additions to the movie.
I have been trying to find Biblical elements or scenes that may be used to convey a good message. There is the willingness of Napoleon to assist Pedro, the new student. He does not conform to othersí standards and does whatever he feels like.
Napoleon and Pedro (the new kid) with the cake which has been built for Summer.
I really enjoy watching Kip (Napoleon's 32 year-old brother who chats with babes all day on the internet). I thought of Kip's good fortune as I read my Dad's blog about Fred McKendry.
OK, I am going to get back to my studies now, but there is plenty of other great things to find on this site. email me if you want, I would love to hear from you.
January 11, 2005
January 8th, 2005
This morning I woke up at
6:00 am to drop Daniel off at the High School
for his bus ride to Lodi High School for a
wrestling tournament. Later, Mom, Dad, and I
I was amazed to, once again, see how awesome he is at this sport he has recently joined. He defeated four out of five of his opponents Ėpinning them for the maximum points. His determination and success at this recent undertaking is giving me even more hope for my own future. I have to remind myself daily that I am in a very good position in life. I am healthy, and have plenty of time to find out where I will be most effective.
In recent conversations
with my father, I have received the advice that,
when I return to University, I should visit the
churches on the street in hopes of gaining favor
with the pastors and possibly finding a job.
This could be a wonderful idea. I have been
working in the church all of my life, it would
be a great opportunity for another church to
help out a P.K. (a University student) as well
as having the assistance of a hard working young
adult who has been around church, and knows what
it requires. I know that spending time speaking
with pastors in my area would not be a waste of
time even if it did not provide immediate
employment. I would build more contacts and
possibly find a great church in which to invest
January 6, 2005
Today is a beautiful day, and it is easy to see many great things in my life. Another day that I could hang out with my dad and I was even able to have a chat with Jim and Doris Fugate.
I just wrote a letter to some new viewers from the Ukraine. Maybe you could write them a letter too? If you would like to write them or view their original letter, click here go to our missions page.
This morning I awoke at 4:30 am, it was time to get up and get ready. We were taking Jerry to the airport. He will be spending at least 6 months in Michigan helping my uncle and grandparents. He will also be finishing his senior year of High School at the same school my father attended, Coldwater High. We will miss Jerry, but have the hope that he will enjoy a wonderful season of his life in the snowy land of Michigan.
January 3, 2005
Today is a wonderful day. Yeah, I know it may seem dreary with the cloudy sky and everything, but it is nice for me. This morning I woke up to the idea of a nice home cooked breakfast. Yes, we were treated to eggs, toast, hash browns and bacon.
I am looking forward to returning to CBU for my second semester, but still a little uneasy about everything. Just doesnít feel like anywhere is perfect right now. But I can entrust it all to God, He has never let me down before. I finished my first semester in university with Aís and one B+. I am also relieved to find that my credits I earned as a result of Advanced Placement classes and tests in High School have been applied to my transcript. I am now in the process of sending in my final check to pay for the second semester and getting my transcript from Consumnes River College, where I gained 8 units of Sign Language, transferred to CBU.
I am planning (as I have the last 4 years) to travel with the New America Singers over the summer. We do not have any information yet about where or when exactly this trip will be taking place, but I wanted to begin preparing. I have thought about my expenses at school, how much I make at the Academic Resource Center, and my ability to acquire these additional funds. I had been worried, thinking that this opportunity may be missed as a result of poor planning or laziness on my part. But I have resigned to the authority of Godís word. I will not worry, nor will I be afraid because God is with me and wants everything to work out for the best in my life. I just need to be faithful and continue listening for His voice in my life.
I wanted to recap on some of the events of the past few days. On Wednesday, the 29th through the 31st, our youth group (18 teens and 5 adults) traveled to San Jose for the California State Youth Conference: Tsunami-Connect. The theme is that as the teens of California and the United States get excited for God, we would experience a mighty tidal wave of His power and the realization that God has equipped our generation with abilities unseen ever before. With the use of the internet, mobile phones and everything else, the world is easier to reach than ever before. Yet, at the same time, we are experiencing the largest percentages of non Christians in the US. So the challenge is to use our time, talents and resources to do what God wants us to do, for the teenagers to step up and make a difference in our schools, churches and ultimately in our world. Soon, the teenagers of today will be the leaders of the world. What kind of world could we have? Either a world that is full of people following God, or the alternative, a world of idolatry.
We were challenged with the fact that humans are designed to worship. They will either worship God, the only one worthy, or waste their lives pursuing stuff or unhealthy relationships.
As well as having some great speakers to challenge the teens to think seriously, there was great worship music, games, and many smaller groups that focused on issues from how to get along with parents, how to share your faith, and how to go about dating.
We had the opportunity to give to two causes. The first was the Tsunami in Asia. The group raised almost $8,000. That is really good for teenagers. The other offering went to helping a Bible School in Mexico move, about $6,000 or so was raised for that.
On Saturday, Dad, Mom and I went to the hospital to see one of my friends, Veda Rackley. Dad worked with her on her memory verses and told stories. It was a very nice visit, and I am glad to know that she is doing better and understand and can respond when we talk to her.
December 27, 2004
Well, Itís been a few days, you know how it is, people donít like to work on their holiday breaks, but I decided to fill you in on all the details of my wonderful holiday season.
On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to attend another Bible Study at the Greeneís house. It was well attended by the young and old adults alike. We had quite a sweet time reading the Christmas story and exchanging stories, thanking God, and praying for each other. After the meeting, everyone stuck around and fellowshipped over pie, fudge, many other desserts and coffee. At this time, I found the opportunity to spend some time with the little ones. I love to play games with Rachel and her brother. They are such energetic, happy children on Wednesdays.
Friday night was Christmas Eve. I had been asked to play piano on some of the songs. It was easy at first, but later I needed to practice to get my fingers to the positions on the keys. I have not really played piano since I left for school, and I was reminded of different things that I had missed while I was away. But, with a little practice and Godís help, the songs sounded beautiful, the story was great as usual, and the candles were wonderful.
It was wonderful to be home for Christmas. Though there may have been fewer gifts under the tree, I had a better time this year than in recent years. Call it growing up or whatever, but more and more I am realizing that presents donít really matter. Yes, it is nice for someone to know that you care about them, but material things can only satisfy us on a certain level. Daily attitudes and smiles mean so much more. I was so grateful to be home with my family and just being able to spend time with them. The time is more valuable since I am doing my best not to engage in petty sibling discourses. I am really trying to be genuine and nice, I know my mom appreciates it.
Yesterday, I awoke to my fatherís request (delivered by my mom) that I play piano in the early service. I was sorta tired, but remembered that I really do enjoy the 8:30 service and it would be important to my dad, he would expect me to be there. That is helpful for a young man, to be expected to do what is good. Immediately, I prepared and went. How this reminds me of Abraham, not that it was a big deal, but just the basic act of obedienceóknowing that the outcome will be good.
Yesterday after the first service, I went to a small group meeting that is led by dotcom.tom and Jim Fugate. They are studying through the book of Romans, learning about our guilt under the law and our justification through faith. It is quite a lively group. I enjoyed myself.
Last night, we had a memorial service for the ever vibrant Miss Polly Kimball (she didn't die--she's moving). She was recognized for her wonderful work with the VBS, Sunday School, and Missions Events. There was much involvement from the congregation as many members stood and spoke about Pollyís good character and what they remembered about her. I also enjoyed seeing the video about some of our Southern Baptist Missionaries in South East and Central Asia and India. Hey, check out some of these other mission pages:
From Galt to the Ends of the Earth
Pastors' Vision Trip
The Epicenter (re. Tanzania)
OK, I think that you are all caught up with Joe, have a Happy New Year. I should be writing soon about the California State Youth Conference which I will attend Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
December 21, 2004
Today I have been hanging out with my Dad. I awoke at 9:00 am and after a short while was with him in the office folding papers and stuffing envelopes. We are helping Mary Chase (our friend, a missionary to Moscow) send her newsletter to those who she cannot contact on email.
After working in the office for a short while, I went to see my Grandma and Papa Fugate. It was a splendid visit and I was reminded once again of how much my church family loves me and how supportive they have always been.
While away at college, I had been kind of emotional. I am not exactly sure, a mix of homesickness and fear, uncertainty about the future and concern over my abilities. I had been worrying about what I would do to make money and if I would be able once again to travel with the New America Singers. Of course, as my mom reminds me, things have always worked out in the past, even when the future was not clear. And, if I did not travel with the group this summer, that would not be the end of the world.
I have been working at the Academic Resource Center. It is kind of interesting helping students, 7th grade-adult (with their math and other subjects). Yet, this does not appear as the most effective way to make money; the hours are uncertain and the rate of pay is the state minimum.
Yet, as much as I feel like worrying, I know that there is no need. I keep reading on the Homepage about how our God is in control. We can trust God to run the universe, yet somehow wonder if He can really help us. Anyways, as many people have reminded me, this is just part of growing up. I am thankful that God is allowing me to feel this way and notice His provision while in a safe environment.
Today as I was folding
I recognized the need to choose a line at which to crease the letters so that they would fit into the envelopes. I noticed that the place where I needed to fold was the very line where Mary says that she continues to remain focused. This reminded me of the many times I have seen on the website where we are to Focus our lives on something special that God is doing, and also to dotcom.tomís blog concerning vision and focus. It seems like I do not see very far into the future at this moment, but I am focused on God. I am extra interested in how He will be involved in my life and what ways He will make happen for me. Extra thanks to those who have been praying for me and who have awaited my updates.
Hey, Skip, if you're reading
December 11, 2004
I read over a list of stats forwarded to me by my
editor. Over 12,200 hits since October 1st and 34
countries. That's great! Appears that this website
is really reaching out.
I think that today I will be going to the beach with some guys on my wing. :)
Later, our Hall is having a Christmas Party.
I only have a few finals--Physics and Jesus and the Gospels. In Speech, we have a very small test and in Computers, we will be presenting out Powerpoint project.
I received the care package from fbcgalt. I will make sure to spread the goodwill and goodies. It's nice to be remembered.
See you at the Epicenter at the Christmas program: "Home for the Holidays."
Love you all,
December 4, 2004
Tonight we had another
concert at Camp Pendleton. All the seats were
filled, and they had Recruits sitting on the floor
in the front, and in the aisle. We sang many
It was great.
Thursday, Dec. 2:
Today I went to school and first it was Calculus laboratory. I learned how to estimate the area under a curve using a computer program and using my new calculator. Then I was in the same classroom for my next class, computers. We are studying Powerpoint. I have two classmates who will be preparing a presentation with me. We will begin working on it tomorrow. Then I went to Physics class. We learned how to figure out whether objects will float, how to figure out density and buoyancy force.
Then I went to lunch and met with some friends. After which, I tried to take a little nap. After that, I went to the library and worked on my speech for tomorrow. I will be demonstrating to the class how to convert from time in days to time in seconds.
After working in the library, I went to dinner and then I went to the lighting of the Christmas Tree. It was cold, but the choirs were singing about an hourís worth of music. It was good. Now I am back at the dorm room. I have just finished helping a classmate with math and am talking to my friends on the internet. In a little bit I will go to the gym to play basketball with another friend, Jasmine. I am a bit tired, but I promised her a few days ago and really should spend time with others as much as possible. There is always time to sleep later. I have been having a little bit of trouble sleeping, it is better if I am tired.
Wednesday, Dec. 1:Today after my classes (Jesus and the Gospels and Chapel) I went to the computer lab to work on my Calculus project. I was using my new calculator to show different ways of approximating area under a curve. Then I went to Speech and learned about my new speech, a demonstration speech to be given on Friday. After Speech, I went to Wandaís and picked up a to go meal. It was my plan to drive my new bicycle down Magnolia Avenue and see what I could see. My bicycle was having some difficulty, I think I broke one of the gears. So I turned around and returned to the bicycle shop, where they promptly fixed my bicycle. Then I rode home. After a short little nap, I went to dinner and spent time hanging out in the cafeteria with my friends. Now I am back at the dormitory watching, A Bugís Life, and talking to my friend Natalie in Singapore.
Tuesday, Nov. 30:
I woke up and had two classes, computer (where I presented a project using Microsoft Access to make a database) and physics (where we discussed springs and pendulums). Then I left for the globe in front of the Yeager Center--it was time to have lunch with my parents. We decided to go to this lovely little cafeteria I know about, where they serve an all-you can-eat buffet. It was my treat at the Alumni Dining Commons of CBU. We had a nice lunch and then I gave them a mini tour. We went to the Academic Resource center where I work, looked at the library and also visited one of my classrooms. Then we went to my room to get my camera so that Papa could take some pictures for the website. When we were finally finished, we headed to pick out a brand new bicycle for me. It is hoped that having a new bicycle will provide the opportunity to explore more of Riverside, leading to exercise and even more job opportunities. I donít know about all of these ideas, but it sure has seemed to work for MacDonald.
Monday, Nov. 29:
This morning I woke up a little
late, all the other children were gone. Mom was home
and she decided to make breakfast for me. How
wonderful it was to be home again and have that
personal time with my mother also. I also had the
opportunity to put in some laundry. Dad was at the
church doing some work and then came home to eat
breakfast and prepare to go to jury duty. He invited
me along. I was excited about the opportunity to be
able to go on a drive with my best friend, my dad,
though I was still a bit concerned over the prospect
of missing more school.
Dad took me to Sacramento, but first we stopped to get coffee. Dad bought me hot chocolate. After we acquired the drinks, we headed out and soon we were in our stateís capital heading toward the courthouse. After a little work finding a parking space we arrived and began waiting for the case to be called into the courtroom. After a few minutes we went into the courtroom where the judge thanked the jurors for playing their part in the judicial system and released them because the case had been been resolved differently.
So, I called mom and told her to be ready Ďcause we would soon be home and ready to leave for Riverside. By the time we got back home, mom was finished folding my laundry and had baked me some delicious chocolate chop cookies to take back to school with me. We hit the road and listened to sermons and Christian music.
Sunday, Nov. 28:
Tonight, I went to see Randy Stonehill at the church. He was very funny, and yet also had the proper mix of real, heartfelt music to balance. I was encouraged by his music as it impressed upon me a point that I had been hearing for weeks, though all humans go through hard times, God is faithful and helps us.
When I first came home to Galt, I was under the impression that I would return to Riverside on Sunday night after Randy Stonehillís concert. That would mean a long, late night trip. Instead, my dad ended up having jury duty and so the plans changed. Since we would not be leaving on Sunday night, mom and dad had the opportunity to spend some time after the concert with Randy Stonehill.
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