Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Stars Are In My Hands, My hands Are In God's

Today I'm exhibiting traits, that of a cliche teenager. That fact alone send shivers up my back, warm and delicate. That back, made warm with today's wonderous heat. A warmth so sweet and gentle, I can feel it consuming me. Every time I cross by an open window I am blessed with the warm breeze and the sounds of people who have wondered out to enjoy this unfamiliar February day. I want to bask in the sun forever. I want to lay beneath a tree, read a book, talk to someone I love, share a drink while sitting on a bench in the center of town, eat a strawberry. I want to enjoy this day, unlike yesturday, which was a day almost wasted by my emotions and exhaustion. I sat outside with half my feet on the chilled cemet and by rump on the carpet of my house. Leaning against the sliding glass door I hummed to myself and closed my eyes. I saw red as the sun's light still found it's way past my eye-lids. I watched as my cat danced in the overgrown grass, and rolled in the dirt looking back at me after every turn. "Stuart," I called when he decided that our yard was not good enough for him; I don't mind interupting his explorations as long as I am keeping him safe, he'll thank me later.
Today I appeared to be something of a chaser. I wanted to chase my friends all over town just to get their attention, just to make them notice that I had nothing to do. My chasing ended in a void, and I still ended up sitting at my house playing a card game with my Mother. I didn't mind, I was actually suprised when she looked over from the couch, "Let's play cards. Remember that game we played a few weeks back, lets play that?". I smiled and grabbed some snacks, a couple chilled soda's, and two decks of cards. We shuffled the blues and red together, then after left them scattered on the table for later pick-up. I enjoyed winning as well, I made a late comeback, but beat her 120 to 150. A sweet success indeed.
Today prior to playing cards with my mother, I went on outreach. I led to girls in a prayer, and my legs felt like jello when I walked away. Ashley and I engaged in some interesting conversation with a buddhist; we did not get our point's across to say the least, but we walked away with one more person witnessed to.
Last night driving home from bible study, I sang in the car to the song "Kiss me" by the Cranberries and daydreamed about my wedding. I felt thirteen all over again, and wasn't ashamed. Inside I think we are all emotional thirteen year old's, struggling with hormones and emotions. Every now and then we must drift back to that inorder to see how far we've come, even if it's just singing along with a four minute song on the car ride home.
On Thursday I saw the stars, I wanted to grab them and hold them so tight. I wanted to let them trickle through my fingers and I wanted to blow kisses to the moon. If only I could fly, just for the night; only me, God, and the sky, for however long we wanted. Laughing and crying, sharing and telling secret's, talking and listening, nothing more than sitting in a crater staring at the earth, it staring back at us. We would have the advantage, we would have the luxury of watching the greens and blues mix together in a blunder of clouds. But it would end sooner or later, maybe after hours, days, or even weeks, and I would have to float back to earth and not be able to express in words my experience with God and the universe. I would cry, tears of joy, for I know that even after that, I would see him again, standing by his gates shaking hands like a welcoming pastor. I love my God, and I know he loves me. We fly together, we laugh together, we love together; forever, together, all through eternity.
-Toby K.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Life Lost To Bad Decisions

Today was a very busy day for me, I was running all over town. My first stop was the hospital where we finally had our orientation. It was nice to take a tour through the hospital, and upon leaving I already knew that I am going to get lost; after a few more times through, I should get the hang of it though. After leaving the hospital I began driving home, debating on whether or not I wanted to go to my afternoon class. Shortly before turning into my neighborhood I decided to head towards the school, despite the only forty minutes of class remaining. I walked into the school wearing a newly wrinkled pair of black scrubs and squeakingly stalked the hallways until I made it into my class and gladly entered seemingly unnoticed. My professor, Madam Zimmerman, made a reference to a man that she once lived with while spending time in France, and she said that the last time she visited France, he had recently bought one peice of land near his residence that would now be coined a ruin which contained an oubliette.
For a bizzare reason this miniscule piece of information really struck me.
I sat in class, jotting notes, sparsely listening, and my mind kept trailing back to this idea of owning a oubliette. Could one imagine, walking through this tunnel sort of enclosing and staring into what appears to be a cell and not attempt to consider the people that once sat inside? This led me to thinking about all the other tragedies that humans have had to endure.
There is a song out, it might have been released a few years back, and one of the lines states "No one's laughing at God on the day they realize the last sight they'll ever see's a pair of hateful eyes". Take that in for a second, absorb the magnitude of that line..."the last sight they'll ever see's a pair of hateful eyes".
Now, I have never been beaten, or abused, or put into a situation that even amounts to anything remotely close to the degree of torture that people on this earth have had to endure, because of simple hate that someone has held against them. I don't want to live a day where I am forced to.
Then that got me thinking about the tortures that await after death. The tortures that await all those who have decided to live a life that goes against God, their creator. How can people be so defiant against the one person who put them into existance, when our one and only purpose on this earth is to serve him?
Then that thought led me to this one; how is that we can let work, and school, and family, and friends, all get in the way of us spending time with God, when spending time with God is all that we are meant to do? Now, I cannot say that I have not let life get in between me and God, because I have, we all have, and we will all continue doing that; I just wanted to put this into perspactive, so that the next time your forced to choose between going to work, or going to church, you will think about your true purpose.
My life seems to weigh down on me more when I am away from God for long periods of a time; I cannot imagine what it would be like to die and be away from him forever, in a place where their sole purpose is to torture you. We all choose our destiny, we all make the decisions, why must you make the ones that will send you to hell?
-Toby K.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Southern Wind's Are Calling

Yesturday Pastor preached his last sermon. It was hard to sit through, all the emotions going through the room made our minds seem moonstruck. The skit team performed for morning service and it was done flawlessly. Rachel and Joe played Susan and Pastor (Joes wig, which was spray-painted 15 minutes before, was the icing on the cake), while Daniel and I played Bobby and Alice (two made up characters from New Mexico). This is the second skit that I have been "Alice" in, I don't know why, the name seems to fit. Rachel played Susan so well, especially her incessant jabber on marriage, which we depicted by having Rachel presume that Daniel and I were a couple and swiftly pulling a white wedding dress from her bag insisting that Daniel and I should marry within the week. The crowd roared, and Pastor sat not three feet from us with a crooked smile. After the skit me and Rachel walked out of the Sactuary and bounced about the church enterance silently giggiling, each sporting a grin that stretched from one ear to the other. We high-fived the guys as they came through the doors about a minute later while they tryed to play down their excitement that they found hard to hide. This is what it is like after every skit and I adore it, I adore being in ministry even more. It feels like a million bloodpumps through your body all at once.
Nothing is equal to the feeling you get the second after the curtain sails close.

That was just the beginning of the day. At the end of service, when Pastor asked Foley to approach the stage all the hearts in the room began to beat with severe intensity, for we knew it was time. Praying for Foley came easy, but when Pastor and Susan took center spot in the front with all hands raised towards them, I found prayer the last thing I was capable of. I found difficulty even speak through the flowing tears that I tried frantically to wipe. When the noise of tongues finally subsided and Luke prophesied, waiting for the translation the only sound heard was the sniffles of the various noses throughout the room. God gave his blessing to Pastor, and service came to a close. It ended, Pastor's last service ended, and the only thing we could do was cry and embrace eachother. Lines formed behind both Pastor and Susan as people waited their turn to hug, cry, and say their goodbyes through cracking voices. I watched as Susan hugged every person that passed her, wipping tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand rather than pulling a tissue from the box sitting on the alter stairs. I took generously from the box, stairing at the vociferous room, tissues in hand held close to my chest, and replayed what felt like Pastor's every service in my mind. His dry humor, his booming voice, his lack of concern for personal space, his always tactful advice, the feeling of saftey that you always get when he's at service, and the insecure feeling that forms when he's away at conference. I didn't want to let go of his hand in our final handshake, and my voice rattled as I thanked him for just being here with us. He smiled and laughed as I talked about crying through every Foley service to come and moving to New Mexico after them.

In the end, after the last wading family left, all us young kids joined Pastor and Susan for one last picture and still Susan with wedding bells ringing in her ears, backed away from the crowd, arms spread out towards us, "Perfect, I can just match you up now...Okay you go over here with him," she laughed. We smiled wide as we all blinked through the final flash and then we left. Pastor walked out the doors, cold air brushing his thin gray hairs, Susan close to his side holding her skirt above the west greening cemet. They will like the New Mexican heat.

I felt nauseous walking back into the sactuary that night (but I think it was a reaction to my perfurm more than overwhelming feelings). I haven't yet addressed Foley, but I will with in the coming days. He is my new Pastor, I can't ignore him forever. Pastor wouldn't want that, he expects more from me. So next Wednesday, I'll walk through the maroon colored doors, not be engaged by Pastor's awkward belated greeting, sit in the second row, and slowly adjust to Foley's manner of speaking. It shouldn't take long; I hope.
-Toby K.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Mud On The Hill, The Water In The Well.

I was inspired to write today while reading assorted pieces of work that a few of my friends have written. I haven't yet sat down to write anything, and I am almost compelled to write a short shpeel right now, but I don't know if many of you would like that. For now I will write about my day and if I am to stumble on to some fiction-esc styles, then that will be it.
Today I went to outreach after I helped set up for my Grandfathers 90th birthday party. We had family from all over drive in to celebrate. I was only able to stay for about fifteen minutes after my Gramps arrived. He sure was suprised. He shuffled in holding onto his walker and looked up, eyes wide and pale from shock, as we non-concurrently yelled "surprise". He sat down and hugged his way through family members, shaking hands with distant relatives and a few distant grandchildren who barely knew his name. He made jokes and talked about women, as he usually does. He smiled as we followed his every word. The years show on him, through his wrinkles and bended fingers. His laugh has turned into a bark, and his voice hangs in a husk. Even through his Americanized words you can hear his German accent. It's hard to catch, and comes faint like a butterflies flap but when listening for it, you can find it. He smells of cigarette smoke, sometimes cherry, sometimes chocolate, but no matter the flavor the room is thick with it. When you hug him you can hear the buzzing of his hearing-aid and it feels as if your brain waves are crashing into his like a fighting ocean. He smiles wide like the suspenders draping over his shoulder. I don't remember anytime in my life where he didn't have a cain with him, wooden and rounded at the top. When he's sitting at the old worm table that him and my Grandmother had since forever, he would look down at the surface and run his fingers over the wood wiping away dust that wasn't there, or the ashes that were. His eyes look sad, grey and deep. They were probably once a bright blue, but the years have drained them of their color. His baseball cap sits loosly on his head; I have only seen him without it maybe twice in my entire life. His shoes are brown and heavy, and his coffee cup is stained with years of spilled caffeine. My Grandfather's bird Buddy, squeals sharp and is consistantly heard in the back ground; maybe just to make himself known in the room full of talking people. His green feathers drap down low and red trickles through his tail. He is older than I, and my siblings as well who are fourteen years grander than me. When I begin to think about my Grandfather when he still lived on the hill, in a house hidden in the mountains behind our little town, I cannot help but think of my Grandmother. She was something else. Loud and crazy, a character in the least. When ever company walked through the screen door she would spring to life, telling stories about way back when or the adventure she had just yesturday going to the market. Mud laced our shoes and the rims of her wheelchair. You could tell where she had been based on the marks covering the floor. It was a small dirty place, bugs and dust filled every crevice, and the garden was far overgrown when we finally sold it, but just a few years before, it was something beautiful (still dirty, but beautiful). I do remember her standing in the garden, probably shooing the geese from out of her way. Clothes and draperies hung on the wire lines that ran over the garden, and humingbird feeders lined the walls outside the house. Chicken ran amuck just over the fence leading to the coop that us kids would get eggs from. I know every child down through my nieces and nephew who are now 5 and 9 went out and collected eggs. I do remember collecting eggs with my Grandfather, and my Grandmother shortly before she was wheelchair stricken. All the water that went through the house was from a well that sat a little further up the hill; the water never being clear, but tasted sweet. My Grandmothers laugh, high like mine, mixed in the air like sour and sweet. I've been told I look like her, and have been told even more so that I act like her. She'd throw out her opinions regaurdless of who was in the room or not. She was like the fire on the logs that burned in the furnice, bright and strong, always hot to the touch. She was the thing that held our family together and the thing that sometimes tore us apart, but we would always come back to her, never staying away too long. I pray that I will never forget her, that I will never forget the days sitting on the hill, rain spitting on the windows, smelling chocolate smoke, laughing with my grandparents. They are the past, present, and furture of all of us; may I never omit that from my mind.
-Toby K.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I had a vicious headache today. I sat in my car during lunch and listened to the insestent kahing of the crow perched in the tree above me. "Kah kah kah", he went, and I readily rested my head in my palm as I watched the seconds tick by mockingly. This day has gone by so slowly I can sparsely stand it. A concert is tonight at the Linfield college with one of our bands, Untold Stories, and I am actually looking forward to that. I love our bands, they are so annointed and talented. God is defentley working in through their music. I am quite elated that we get to branch out from the Other Side (our local concert scene) and get to preach to people who wouldn't usually come to one of our concerts. Prayer is about 25 minutes or so, and I will be leaving soon, I just thought I'd take a second to relay all of this to you. My day, non-stop and hectic, not the most joyous, but I'm banking on it having a fabulous ending. The sky has been diseased with a constant cover of clouds latley, I hope tonight I will get the chance to look at the stars.
"Ka-kah" says the crow, sparkle does the stars, bump of my heart beating soley for Jesus, my savior.
-Toby K.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Passionate Philippic

The bowl next to me has about a 1/2 cup of milk left over from my midday snack that I designated at Fruity Cheerio's on this dreary cold February day. "Slurp", sounds as I consume the last remaining drops. It was sweet and wet, the perfect thing to cleanse my palette after todays visit to the dentist. As we speak I have six rubber circles shoved between my gums seperating my teeth for the braces that will be applied this coming 24th. As excited as everyone is surrounding me, I would rather not jump for joy over the self-inflicted pain that I am putting myself through. And on top of that, today I had an orientation and walkthrough at the hospital for my up and coming internships; upon arrival (after going through the wrong door and standing in a room awkwardly for about a minute), I found a note on the correct door informing me that the entire orientation was moved to next week..."sorry for the incovenience". I would have preferred an apology five hours ago, before I left to the hospital. But "what is done is done" as my mother would have eloquently stated. So as I brush the gas money filled dust and debris off my non-grudgeful shoulder, I will keep myself preoccupied by running my tongue over the plastic pieces wedged throughout my mouth.
Luckily I have church tonight, and after reading the above paragraph I bet many of you are wondering, "Is this person really Christian?", but I think that everyone, Christian or not, has days that upset them. Yes, Christians do get flustered and aggrevated as much as we try to hide it. But I think the difference is that we don't really take all of it to heart. Yes, today was slightly off, compared to the day that I had planned on experiencing, but that does not mean the rest of my day is ruined or wasted. No, that is not true. After I finish typing this I will go and pray for a while before running out to finish some errands before church tonight where I will commit thirty more minutes to prayer. And I right now, vow to have productive and effective prayer...the devil will try to change that, but I wont left him.
So my over all point is that I think that no matter what events may occur, don't let them level your day competley, and also don't let someone's ranting over a blog characterize them as something or another. For I am not truely riled, I am but lavished with strong emotions, alike any woman in today's society.
-Toby K.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tuberculosis Testing.

Today we have a prayer meeting. It will be Pastor's last meeting (remember he's leaving to New Mexico in a week), and my first meeting with him present. What will take place will be a sanctioning off of groups where we will have corporate prayer (this is when we go around in a circle giving prayer requests and praying after each request), we usually go around the group once or twice then have one final prayer on various prayer requests. If there is time after we will seperate into our own areas and pray until the meeting is over at 8:00pm, after the total hour of prayer (minus the few minutes of chit-chat thrown thoughout).

I find corporate prayer rather rejuvenating. With corporate prayer comes a very livley atmosphere. It is quite addicting, praying with groups of people. It is also nice, because if you loose your train of thought (side note: as I wrote this the train next to my house went by tooting its horn, "toot toot") you can simply build off the prayers of the people around you, much like a piggy-back prayer. Some may see that as prayer-cheating, but I just see it as unnoticed support.

Today unlike yesturday my schedule is empty. I have nothing to do. I went to school this morning and got home around 1:30pm after going to the doctor to get my TB test checked; and incase your wondering, no I do not have tuberculosis, wooh. If it was under my own discretion I would have not gotten the test in the first place, but starting in two weeks I will be interning at the hospital, and inorder for me to even think about working at the hospital they would like to ensure that I do not contain a destructive bacterium that could potentially harm the patients I will be interacting with. I also was forced to take the H1N1 vaccince so that I may be aloud to step through the doors of the birthing center.

So now I am at home, with an arm pricked, a forearm cleared of disease, and a schedule dull as an old forgotten knife. How immensely exciting, I know.

-Toby K.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Day of Work and Church

Today is seemingly a busy Sunday for on an average my Sunday's seem calm and layed back. I go to church 9:30 and get home around 12:30-1:00pm, (depending on whether or not I go out with friends this time may vary), once home I usually curl up with some novel that I have taken interest in and listen to music for the few hours until our night service which starts at 6:30pm, but I leave at 5:30 for prayer at the church. I enjoy going to prayer because it helps get me focused on service and my tasks at hand. But today, unlike my many other Sunday's does not seem as enjoyable. I must clean out the back of one of our cars as we have found that that trunk has been holding water in the spare-tire hold. So with towels, gloves, and some old jeans I will attempt to find the problem for this water accumulation. While doing that I will have laundry going which needs to finished and folded, then I must clean the bathrooms, and do the dishes if I see fit. On any other day, these chores would not serve as an issue, but since this is Sunday, a HOLY day, I would rather lounge and forget the world for a moment. But I doubt that if I search for scritpures about Sunday as a day of rest, the chores at hand will slowly back away no longer needing tending to.
I am rather excited about service tonight for I will be sitting in on our Children's Church service, and I have never done that before. I will soon be more involved with Children's Church, and I thought it would be nice to familiarize myself with the various kids and activities. I know many of the children, and more so their parents, but there are still some who have completley escaped my knowledge. I often expressed my strong feelings of dislike for children, but as of late I have been told that I "work well with kids". Is that not always how it is; you become the thing you strive most not to be?...So I am destined to be the mother of six rambunctious annoying children who will inherit all of my flaws; oh what a joy.
-Toby K.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Two and a Half Hours and Counting

Well I have two hours before bible study at the O'hallorrans commences, and I am trying my best to fill up my schedule. I'm sitting here feeling like a drone in my very own house, doing nothing productive nor doing anything that is at all worth something.
Latley I have been wanting to paint. I have found this difficult since I am at a complete loss of supplies. If I wished to dig endlessly though mounds of unpacked moving crates I might find myself successfull; but I would rather not knowing that I would most likely get out into the garage, pumped and ready to begin the scanvenger hunt, then after opening three boxes get tired and traipse out of the garrage frustrated and sweaty. Now that does not sound like the type of thing that is going to get me into the mood for bible study.
I do believe that after writting my spiel about things I will go upstairs to my room, turn off all the lights, and pray for a while. I find it odd, but I do not like praying with high lighting dosages to my cornea's. I know this sounds high maintanence but it is true. Please do not misinterpret this by thinking that if the lights are on in a room I will refuse to pray like a temperamental child, because that is false. I do pray in well lit rooms, especially before church when we have a prayer meeting beginning an hour prior to the beginning of service. I pray everywhere essentially, but when I want to have time with just me and God I find that turning off the lights and putting myself into a quiet place helps take away many of the distractions that I would be faced with other ways.
I am looking forward to bible study, I greatly enjoy minute that I get to spend with my congregation and some of our new converts. We have two new girls who have been coming regularly for a while now. One is named Heaven, she has a very blunt personality but seems to take direction shockingly well, especially since I hear stories about how she has responded to some of her teachers or authority figures in the past. She is only 14, and I find that is a very tender age, so we are being sure to take that into consideration when dealing with her, but we find that despite the lack of dicsipline that she has been raised with, she almost longs for it. She tests the waters regularly alike any teenager would especially one in her condition. I have found her salvation and testimony very refreshing. She has only been coming for about a month, but God has been continually making differences in her, even from the very start. She was filled with the holy spirit and her demeanor in general has changed quite a bit as well. I am looking forward to watching her grow up as a church kid, because she is at the age where she will begin to grow up very soon.
The second girl who has been coming for about two maybe three weeks is named Yani. She is sixteen and finds herself pregnant. Her personality is completley different from that of Heaven's. Yani is seemingly quiet and calmer, but she has such a good sense of humor. She shows maturity beyond her years. She is also between homes at the moment with various level's of family issues, so many of our church members have taken her in, and are ensuring that she is going to school and that she has a place to stay every night. She alike Heaven has been doing this (jumping between homes) since they have arrived, and I feel that it is defentley building a trust between them and our congregation. I can see that they really feel at home with us, and I hope that they never loose that sense of belonging.
I am looking forward to what God is going to continue doing in both their lives.
-Toby K.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Febuary 4th, 2010

Today I am going out with the gals for one last Who-Raw with Susan Mammen. We will miss her and Pastor quite terribly. I still have a page to decorate for her tribute scrap book, and I have just over two hours before we head off to Portland.
Through this transition (much like Casey Mammen suggested) I have learned a lot about myself in the eye's of God, he has taught me many things within these last few weeks. I will never understand his logic, or why out of the six billion other people on this planet he chooses to listen to my measly prayers. But the silly thing is that he does, and he not only listens but responds. His latest message which came last night through Abel and I believe Illy's mother, said that many hard times are to come, and many judgements are to be made, but only through him can we make it. We must rely, we must pray, we must depend.
He is our God, why is he often the person we choose to depend the least on?
He told me last night to try harder...I know what I must do to fulfill his wishes, I must pray more, and stop pushing him away by filling my ever growing schedule with more pointless actions. This is what he is teaching me, these are his commands, this is why I must listen, because he is my God, he is my father, he is my savior.
-Toby K.