Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Period.

Latley I purse my lips a lot, tilt my head to one side when I'm listening or thinking, (or thinking while I should be listening), sing in my tongues, listen to sad songs on purpose, draw still-lifes at work, clean my house a bit too much, wear sweatshirts and grey ankle boots often, stare into the sun a little too long, take pictures on the side's of roads, forget my words, think about this up and coming November, think about the summer time and the time I will not be able to spend in Prescott, think about moon hanging down low over the hills surrounding us, plump and full dripping out stars like juice from it's busting seams; I think of my family of blood not shared, their compassion and ever watchful eyes, their comfort and grace towards my ever failing flesh, I think of their hearts full of fire illuminating bright like a distant torch signaling the oncoming battle- the battle they have been fighting before my time had began; I think of the ones I will miss if I were ever to leave, the ones I would cry over, the ones I would call without second thought; I wonder about the years close to come, falling onto eachother as they pile in a line before me, dauntingly and silent they sit waiting- forever waiting; I rehearse scripture in my mind, stare into the faces of stangers I pass through a wet mist of the fog as we walk the cold and murky streets, read their hearts as they pass, asking in my heart if they were alike me, wondering if they were waiting on the King above all kings, or if in their heart was a sufferage, a weight, a dark and sinister power that grip tight, sufficating all it's love letting it die and exude slow and painful...if their hearts were not alike mine; these things I think of so often, perform so often, experience so often, and so often I wonder how many times a day I say the word "I" instead of the word "Him".
-Toby K.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"If you like your ministry, then you must not be minisitering"...

      So lets give some updates shall we? Right now we are in revival with Alvin Smith, this radical-contagious-soulful-singer-preacher type. He's amazing! And Black! He literally sings throughout the entire sermon and during praise and worship he sings so loud from behind the song leader that you can hear him even into the 5th and 6th rows. During the sermons I find myself lurched forward in my seat digging my elbows into my knees as if getting any closer could make the annointing any stronger...He's practically the definition of supernatural.
       Anyways. About two or three weeks ago Ashley invitied these two girls out (I think), but they've been coming ever since. They're 14 and 10. They come to the concerts and atleast every night service. They even came to two outreaches and LOVE IT. They are so into everything, love God and aren't ashamed. Now granted they are young and defentley New Convert status so they have a lot to learn but they are defentley open to letting God use them. They have brought up to 5 visitors at one time to the concerts, and bring friends to church almost everytime. Jaime and Ash say that the girls have taken a liking to me, and I am defentley starting to see that. They practically flock me. I felt like a mother duck the other night, after service, the girls followed me single file (literally) throughout the entire church until I finally said "Okay, we're leaving, get your things".
        The first outreach they came to, I felt so bad---it was pouring down rain, and by pouring I mean rain was coming down in the droves. We were all soaked by the end of it, but the girls stuck through. The youngest, Lisa, was even asking why we don't do this in more public places, like pools, where we could just preach and sing and stuff. We assured her in the summer we do that much more often because the weather actually permits. Lisa is even anxious for ministry. She was itching to ask me about joining drama and is well determined to join Untold Stories, but she hasn't quite brought that one up to Ash or Jaime yet- Ha! You should of seen the look on her face when we broke it to her that she has to be coming consecutively for atleast six months to join ministry. She was so disappointed and talks about it all the time, about how she cannot wait for these six months to pass. I just laugh and assure her that they will, "believe me kid, they will, faster than you know".
      But a sermon by Pastor Smith defentley dealt with me concerning these kids. I really like them a lot, they are funny and nice- but they're so young. And yes I know that I am practically a bottle of uncontained energy and can usually be confused with a prepubescent teenager, but I am ubdoubtedly older. It has defentley taken a lot for me to remain nice---all the time. That dosen't sound so hard when said, but to actually do that is so difficult. I can't just act nonchalant around them like I do with my friends, I have to maintain this constant level of - happy. But Pastor Smith was talking about the powers of the Holy Spirit, and he said "it gives us the ability to deal with people"...and that is true! I've defenetley been asking for major grace towards these kids because I didn't realize before how hard it truely is to be a disciple in this sense of the word.
      I like it though, it's good for me. I love ministry, but so often in ministry I simply must do things I don't want to do...and this just happens to be one of those instances.
-Toby K.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

For The Eyes of Women Only.

So, this is defentley a more personal Toby K. blog, but it's been on my mind so I thought I'd share it. Luckily most of my followers are women, which is good, but if you're not a woman and reading this, I would ask that you please skip this blog and read onto one of the many other blog posts that I have in assorted blog library I have listed on this page.
So- (back story to the actual story), a few weeks ago I was with some of my wonderful girlfriends, Hilah and Septembre (and later on Nikki), and we were at Washington Square Mall doing some (last-minute) christmas shopping. Having Hilah on board we were somehow bound to wind up in Victoria Secret, where Septembre moseyed through racks and Hilah ping-ponged herself through the store lavishing herself with the rich fabrics and the sleek designs; I, on the other hand,- awkwardly stood to the side, following a few steps behind the girls, keeping my head down, fiddling with my fingers or strings from my clothes, doing anything to shoo away the most uncomfortable knot that sat in the pit of my stomach.
I'm twice the size of these girls, I've never even considered going into Victoria Secret let alone actually looking at their products. But soon enough Hilah was leading me around the store blindly asking me non-sensical questions like "Have you tried this bra?" "Have you ever worn this style panty?" etc etc. I answered the only way I had ever answered those kind of questions before, "no".
"What do you mean?" Hilah pressed (as Hilah does).
"I've never owned anything like this before", I shyly ducked behind a display case.
"Well, then we'll just have to get you sized",- and that's where it began, and then ended twenty minutes later with me leaving the store with my very first Victoria Secret bra and my very first pair of lace panties....I didn't quite know what to do with myself.
I learned to love them though- feeling like a "women", (what ever that means) when I wore them.
But I was still the same, insecure, unsure, and self-concious, plus-size girl I had been all the time before. It's hard to hide your size when you're sitting in a girls row of size 4-or-less girls; you're kind of the weed in a sea of wildflowers, and a simple set of undergarments wasn't going to change that.
But the other night, in the midst of usual Saturday Night Scene chaos, all of which includes me dashing through the back doors of the MacStage, grabbing my dress and leggings that I was supposed to have on in less then a song, and making the almost impossible wardrobe change in the moldy cramped bathroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the yellowing mirror that hung above the glass sink, and I saw someone I don't remember seeing before. That day I happened to wear my matching bra and panties, and while pulling and tossing clothes to and from the counter, off and then on my body, I saw- the full hips of a woman, a waist not depicted by a size based on media, strong arms molded by the industrious world, hands beautifully calloused from years of pencil pushing, thighs that were thick and full of elegance, a face full in bloom with confidence and spotless with enchantment- I saw her there in the mirror for just that second- a glimpse into someone that was hiding behind this bulky ill fitted form. She might of been there for a moment, or maybe I made her up in my imagination, but I look back on her memory and remind myself often that "Charm is decietful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised" (Prov 31:30), and just hope that everyone remembers that when they see me enter the room.
Thanks for letting me share.
-Kaylee Gemm Johnson.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mid-day With Septembre in Mid-January.

             I don't really know what to put down. I know that there is a lot I could say, a lot that I could conjure up in my little mind and plaster onto this digital paper but I'm not sure what I want to think up right now. I could talk about my day today......
         This day could of been a lone-some Monday cooped up in the house but was instead spent traipsing about Third Street with my dearest Septembre. We spent much too long getting ready at her house, but that also included me meeting her very hippie room-mate Josie whose laugh still cracks me up; that led to us eating lunch at the Sage then going into different shops on Third trying to hang a poster for our up and coming Revival with Alvin Smith (...and for some reason I'm having the hardest time getting his name right; it's so bad I think I invited about three people out to a revival with "Alan Smith", not Alvin...but whose gonna remember?), then we finally got it hung up on the FRONT door of an active Third Street shop and to say the least I was very excited especially since we'd been told by other places that they wouldn't even hang it because of "religious affiliation, blah blah blah"; anyways, shortly after we got some cookies, shared them with Jess, and then spent the rest of the afternoon in Cornerstone playing scrabble and harmonizing to praise and worship songs at our little nook table. It was the best afternoon I've had in a while. I know we both needed this afternoon, and it defentley made itself something worth remembering.
         There's defentley more on my mind, completley aside from my afternoon, but I think that's for a later blog.
Farewell Bloggers.
-Toby K.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Michael Layman Story.....

So this morning I did some writing at work. I was thinking of writing a few pages everyday and making it a blog story written through out a series of blogs. But it wouldn't take up every Toby K. blog post of course, I'd write other stuff too, it could be like a weekly post or something. I'm not sure though. I read it to my co-worker and she really liked it....but she's not my blog followers, you are, so here's the trial. Give me a yay or nay and it dosen't mather either way (Ha! Rhymes.), but really I am curious to what you think----

    Michael Layman’s eyes shot open the morning of March 8th and stared blankly at the white wash ceiling glimmering from the rays of the morning sun. It was Tuesday and Michael knew his parents would be returning from their Caribbean vacation any minute, trotting in with flowered shirts and newly tanned bodies.
     It seemed that just yesterday they were saying their goodbyes at the small American Airlines check in counter, his mother sobbing into her sleeves and his father too busy checking the bags.
       “-and don’t forget to feed the fish, and remember my plants, and, and-“, his mother, Carolynn, said through her sniffles, “and one last hug, please”.
     “Mom, this is like our sixth hug in the last hour,” Michael said.
     “You won’t see your mother for two weeks and you won’t even do her the favor of giving her a hug”, Carolynn said lifting a sagging sleeve to her trembling lips.
      “Mom, that’s not what I mean”, said Michael leaning in for a hug. Michael towered over his mother matching 5’11 to her 5’ foot frame and still wisps of her thick curly Italian hair managed to itch his nose. Michael waved away the tickling sensation as Carolynn pulled back now starring at Michael’s father.
     “John, please give your son a hug goodbye,” she said.
     “What was that, Hun?” John said, still looking down at the machine ejecting the two plane tickets to Miami’s International Airport.
      “A hug, John, for your son”, Carolynn urged.
       “Oh, yeah, love you too son”, said an unaware John, waving a hand over his bent shoulder as he made the final adjustments to his bags.
       Michael chuckled as he thought back, but too soon refocused on the current day, slowly coming to terms with the fact that he would no longer have the house to himself. The past two weeks were spent lounging on the plush couches, flipping through the pages of his mother’s Home and Garden magazines, and eating nothing but Cheerio’s and Top Roman.
     “John, can you please focus and help me get these suitcases from the trunk?” Michael heard his mother’s plea from outside his open window. Michael sighed, sat up in his bed, and peeked over his right shoulder, seeing through his window, where down on the street his parents attempted to carry in their entire set of luggage at once. “John, please hurry, I want to see Michael; I’m sure he’s missed us.” Said Carolynn, following John step by step up the cement drive way.
     “Carol Honey, I can only go so fast carrying three suitcases and a forty pound makeup bag”, John continued up the drive.
     “John Layman, don’t be so ridiculous”, Carolynn huffed inching closer and closer to John’s heels.
      Michael watched his parent’s slow ascension towards the house and then disappear under the front porch awning.
     “John, really, how hard is it to find the key, on a key-ring of only three keys?!” Carolynn probed and leaned her chin around the side of John’s shoulder.
      Michael, still sitting in his bed, reached his arm down to the floor inching his fingers across the matted carpet until he felt the fabric of his favorite tee-shirt. The fabric once black, had greened over time and a large hole found home under the rim of its collar. The design on the front, he remembered, had been a dragon winding it’s tale around the branches of an apple tree, blowing fire down the left side of the shirt; now the design had warn and peeled, leaving only blotches of color sporadically throughout the middle. He heard the front door open and the immediate shout of his mother attempting to disguise her excitement and failing in short order, “Michael, we’re home!”
      Michael sighed as he took his time turning his shirt inside out.
      “Michael! We’re home!” the words echoed as Carolynn searched through the different rooms of the house.
      “He’s probably upstairs in his room sleeping” John mumbled without looking up from where he stood in the kitchen, hovering over two weeks of newspaper Sport sections.
      “You’re probably right”, Carolynn said as she marched past the kitchen towards the stairs, “Michael. We’re home!”
       Michael finally slipped his shirt over his head when he heard his mother on hot pursuit, “Michael!”; and with one sharp thrust Carolynn opened the door and pushed her head into Michael’s room, “Michael Sweetie, we’re home”, she said beaming.
     “Hi, Mom” Michael said, now standing and wearing, along with his green dragon-less shirt, a pair of dark straight legged jeans embellished with years of wear and tear at the knees, “I’ll be down in a minute, kay?” Michael, now forcing a smile.
    “Oh, well- of course”, Carolynn said, distracted by the look of Michael’s room, “you probably want to get dressed any how”, she smiled and nodded.
     “I am dressed”.
     “Well,” she paused awkwardly, “indeed you are; but you might want to do something with your hair,” she said leaning in, and whispering, “you’re starting to look a little shaggy”, ending with a wink and nod.
     “Thanks Mom”.
     “Of course sweetie, any time. Oh, and your father is very excited to see you” Carolynn said pulling away from the door but still sustaining her smiling face until the door finally closed.

Soooooooo? Should I continue? Or maybe continue it but just not through a blog?....Oh the mounding questions (joke).
-Toby K.
(ps. I kind of hate and kind of love Michael's name. I might change it later if I get too sick of seeing it all the time.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Good Night Might Lead To The Next.

So I did it. One of my very dearest friends (who happens to be scanning her eyes of these very words) told me to do it and I did it, and before I did it, I sat there nervous wondering about the things I would lose if I did it, wondering about the emptiness that might insue, but once I did it- none of that happened. It was as if a weight I didn't even know was there was lifted off my shoulders. My lungs opened up and I could breathe again. All because I did it.

All because I.....Deleted my FACEBOOK!

AND I got told by more than five people tonight that I looked cute, annnnddd I even got told I looked skinny(er)! BOOYAH!
If that's not a hip hoppin night, I don't know what is.

Okay, thanks for letting me get excited for a second.
Ta-Ta for now.
-Toby K.

(ps. GO DUCKS!)

I don't know who made this pumpkin but I found this picture and thought it was just about the coolest thing ever.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Strickly Buisness.

This is not an usual Toby K. post sadly since I've been promising some more within the recent weeks, this post is strickly update. It's early and I'm tired and want to sleep.
My Point:
I am taking a Media Fast. I was told that while Pastor Mammen was still here he did a month long Media Fast with the church and since I've seen the affects both positive and negative (mostly negative) that the media has had on my life I thought it didn't sound like too bad of an idea. God has dealt with me for months about my time spent with media and I'm finally acknowledging it. My fast will start Sunday January 9th and go through Febuary 9th. I might continue aspects of my fast more long term than that, but during that month I will be really strict about my Media use. I will not go on Youtube or Facebook at all and maybe by the end of the fast my facebook will be deleted all together. I will cut out all music in my life, from home life to car rides. I will limit my blogger visits to three times a week for simple blog updates and things along those lines. I will only check my emails once a week. The only other time I will be on the internet will be for research and checking my bank account balance, which wont be often.
I'm debating on books since I haven't had a struggle with books, but without other media I can see books being a problem. For now- books are still on the fence.
No movies or television obviously. No news paper.
There will probably be more added to this list come Sunday and if you can think of anything that I haven't listed or have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them. This is new to me, but I'm excited. The hardest for me will be music. It's like my baby; my wonderful, wymsical, plentiful, baby of all goodness, but if I spend more hours listening to music than I do talking to God- there might be a problem.
Anyways, I think that's all the updates I had....I think.
Well I'm tired.
(Oh! And I have a good story idea that I plan on writing in a series of blogs, I'm just not sure quite where to take it yet. I'm still planning, but I have a month of no distraction, I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something.)
-Toby K.