Spires [Edit]

Lali was right. It needed a giraffe.



Book cover for the new Undergraduate Journal that Mercer will be publishing this year.

Imagine this, folded in half hamburger style and then wrapped around the book part. ;)



I've been really enjoying Shawn McDonald's most recent cd, Roots. Some smooth jamming with great lyrics, I think you should check it out, too. :)

Clarity is the first track on the record.


Well, I'm just a simple man with a simple plan, trying to find my way home
And this dusty, dirty way, with nothing left to say, I stagger and I roam
And I'm tired, and I'm worn and my clothes are kinda torn
From this long, hard road
My arms and legs are weak, I continue to seek, and leave behind this load

I need clarity and truth to be, and peace to make me whole
I want freedom to come, and hate to be done,
And love to guide my soul
I want love, yeah, I want love

Standing on the battle line I fight for my aching to be free
From this war that I face as I long to embrace and be with my King
And this fire in my soul, Desire to be whole is deep within my bones
And I long to be near as I cast away my fear, running for your throne

I need clarity and truth to be, and peace to make me whole
I want freedom to come, and hate to be done,
And love to guide my soul
I want love, yeah, I want love

I need clarity and truth to be, and peace to make me whole
I want freedom to come, and hate to be done,
And love to guide my soul
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want...



heart feels like lead.


it's like something is sitting on my chest.

i don't know if it is guilt, stress, sadness, confusion, or desire.

i wish i had the guts to talk about this openly today.

but i'd rather not.



i went to my home church today.

Southside Baptist in Warner Robins.

it was great.

Pastor brought a good message.

(Don't give up your future for the present. Your vision should be to see God, not for fleeting pleasures...things that DO feel good, but will not last)

after the service, I said hello to a few people.

I saw Mrs. Dale, and true to our nature, we were both crying after fifteen seconds of discussion. No joke. It's just something about her sweet spirit. She can say, 'hello' and I'll tear up.

I also talked to Pastor. Funny story, he randomly met Laura (Dr. Lackey/the professor-friend I've been working with this past year) a month or so ago at a meeting for the city of Warner Robins, and they talked a little bit about the Kenya trip (and subsequently how freaking awesome I am...or not...).

But, so Pastor was already familiar with what I'm doing.

And so we continued talking, and after mentioning that I'm really involved in New City Church Downtown, he said, "I know about you, Beth, I keep up with you--I see videos and stuff and I would comment on them more, but I don't want you to think I'm a stalker..." and it was so cute! :)

But the conversation kinda turned to the great place that SSBC is and how it has served as a great foundation for me -- spiritually, relationally, and musically.

And he was just so proud about Southside, and was just bragging on it. But not bragging on numbers or music or money. It was like I heard him saying, "Have you seen how we've changed? Have you seen how different we are? Listen and look and see the type of people that we have worshiping here. They are all different. They are from different backgrounds, and different communities. They have different hang-ups and different lives all-together. But something is happening. And it's happening for all of us."

And I felt something stirring in my heart.

Gratefulness for the part that I had in life at SSBC, thankfulness for what God is doing in SSBC, EXCITEMENT about what God has in store for all of our lives. Not just at SSBC or NCCd, but all across the world.

I felt redemption moving.

I hope you feel it, too.

There is so much left to do.


Take Back the Night, Macon

T-Shirt for the Macon event -- this Thursday!

I'm bummed I won't be able to make it, but if you're around, you should support them!

For more information about TBTN, check them out on the web at http://www.takebackthenight.org/history.html

NCCd Sermon Series Graphic

I kinda like it. Inspiration from: http://www.kardoayoub.co.uk/design/trendy-poster.jpg



two things have happened in the past twenty-four hours that i haven't been able to shake from my mind.

the first was a dream that i had about my uncle and aunt.

the second was a song that we're playing at new city tomorrow.

both "experiences"--if you want to call my dream and the recollection of the song, experiences...I'm not really sure what I should call them, realizing the feelings caused by these..."events" (?)...are real, but the actual stimuli, themselves, are not. I also feel that by the very nature of this discussion, my grammar is going to be pitiful. I'm sorry.

the bottom line is this:

the dream
the song
reminded me of what a pitiful creature I am.

Here are the stories behind why these two events hit me so hard:

Backstory #1
A month or so ago, my uncle (the one in the dream) messaged me on facebook, basically telling me and my sister that we are intellectually dishonest and naive, and that our views are on the slippery slope to pain.

It came out of nowhere, to me. I felt attacked, I felt misunderstood, I felt persecuted. He lives on the other side of the country. How could he tell who I am and how I aspire to live in love aside from his limited view of my life on facebook?

On top of all that, he is a smart man, a knowledgeable man, but as sometimes (as is the burden of such scholarly types), he is very wordy. Traditionally, phone conversations and email exchanges are unwieldy, long, one-sided discussions, where he provides you the answer. The answer to what you should eat, what computer you should buy, what medicines you should take, what aspects of faith you should follow. I would like to know where I err, but feared that opening this door to discussion would suck me dry of time I already struggle to manage and energy that I already struggle to expend, rightly, on the things that I love and enjoy, and that are in front of me, here.

So I clammed up. I said a few things and then refused to pursue or allow him to pursue the situation more.

I labeled my uncle, feeling I didn't have the time to address every point of failure in my walk, and justified it by knowing he had labeled me because there was no way that he could know who I am in "real life."

For a while, I've just wanted to call him and say, "I'm sorry. We've both made assumptions about the other that may or may not be true, and can we just start over? Can we just start at the very beginning of a relationship and pretend like none of this happened? I'd like to learn about who you really are, and I'd like for you to learn about who I really am, and facebook is not the place to learn that."

It's also hard, because he lives three hours behind us, so times that are convenient for him are not as convenient for me. AND, unfortunately, my feelings are hurt. I don't want to willingly subject myself to his backhanded humor (like when i called the other day at 5pm EST, and he was understandably busy--we all get busy--he asked me to call in, like, 5 hours, and I said I couldn't, and he said, "why? are you busy?" and it made me so mad. Yes. I am busy. I would like to go to see my family. We were having a party for lali. Or maybe I'd like to go to sleep because I have practice in the morning...)

So, mistake #1. I want people to love me and look past who I have been known to be and know that I am continually learning and growing...but I often fail to extend that opportunity to other people.

I hope to call my uncle again, soon. Perhaps he will call me. I really don't know what to do there. The dream just made me feel even more uncomfortable about reaching out at all...and I know it's just a dream, but still...

Backstory #2

The summer before my senior year in college, I lived in an apartment on campus with another RA who really was a great girl. She was studious and helpful, loved God, arranged a celebration for my birthday, and just...all that stuff.

That summer, I would sit outside on a little hill next to our apartment and play guitar. The song that really hit me at that season of life was Hosanna by...(hillsong? i can't even remember now.). I would play it a lot.

I also did a lot of other stuff by myself.

I often kept the door to my bedroom locked.
I was selfish with my possessions.
I also made fun of her for how lovey-dovey she was with her boyfriend.
(Which, EVEN IF it was over the top, that is mean, and I know it now...)

and one day, she got upset with me about it.

and things haven't felt right ever since.

granted, I haven't talked to her in two years,
that was a summer that I sang songs about the King of Glory and new revivals and praying and seeking God,
and I was heartless
and selfish.

and so, mistake #2: not loving people unconditionally, and loving my comfort more than a relationship.

i often think about her and wonder if i should write a letter to her in apology.

i also often think about my life and how strange it is that sometimes i feel incredibly close to God and i look back on those times and feel sick for the ignorant arrogance I displayed in having that thought.

i also sometimes wonder if I think too much.

I want to love people.
I want to have no regrets.

but in the same breath that I utter those desires,

I thank God for mistakes
and for second chances,

but mostly for mistakes that don't feel like they can be fixed...
because surely it softens the heart
and makes you conscientious of things to be aware of in other relationships.

and thank God for the promise of hope and joy and peace
in the midst of a world of troubles.