Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Explanation of the Drastically High Suicide Rates In America Today

We Read Every Card... (not...)

Anyone sensitive to Department of Motor Vehicles Employees should willingly chose to not continue reading this blog. Thank you for your lack of cooperation. Seriosuly. Quit reading.

I have officially decided that starting off a day with a trip to the DMV is a bad idea. I know that most people may disagree with me on this but I'm going out on a limb to say that the DMV is the most worthless establishment in the history of mankind. My thoughts are not unjustified (well...partially perhaps), I have spent my time there and paid my dues (overpriced!) so I have reason to speak on this issue.

First of all...
That stupid annoying counter machine; everytime it goes off I want to smash my skull into a glass coffeetable. Partial exageration. It really does suck.

Excuse me...excuse me...now serving number yada yada yada.
The recording sounds like they forced Ben Stine to do it with a sinus infection. Goodness!

I have truly come to believe that the United States Government hires personality conflict rejects to work at the DMV because the states can get better tax breaks. I haven't met one employee from the DMV yet with an I.Q. over 10; PUT A HELMET ON PEOPLE!

As you can tell this blog was written completely out of frustration and its important to know that I don't really hate the DMV: I just hate the establishment and approx. 99.9% of its employees. So, as long as that's clear, I will continue.

I found three things I would rather do than spend a morning at the DMV:

1. Get hit by a train.

2. Get punched in the asophogus by Mike Tyson.

3. Drink a gallon of this.

That's what I think.

God bless


Monday, August 28, 2006

A Dime A Dozen...

The last few weeks have been an akward few, just beginning to really feel like I'm back in my groove here in the Eug'. I have struggled a bit here and there with the typical re-entry issues that people deal with upon returning from time overseas. I realize that to most people a few months isn't very long to be gone; but truthfully I know that their are many cultural norms that I adjusted to and became quite fond of during my time in Europe that simply aren't the same here.
I got used to something called the "du and sie format." This format is one that takes you from a simple acquaintance "sie" to a more formal (friend) with "du." "Du" and "sie" are simply two seperate ways to say "you." But, in Germany when someone wants to befriend you they spend time getting to really 'know' you for who you are. They spend time talking about goals, ambitions, and lifes dreams. It is important in the German culture to be aquainted with people who are similar in perspectives and share a willingness to truly 'be there for you.'
As I returned to the states I began seeing all of my friendships in the same lenses; I was quickly dissappointed. Friends would call but not show; they would say the basic, "Glad your back...yada yada yada." I wasn't satisfied with the typical cultural shallowness that friendships often result in. I wanted more out of the relationships I was in. I wanted to believe thay my friendships were more than just the normal 'hello and goodbye.' But, something scarry happened: I looked into a mirror. I began realizing that the reason my relationships were so fruitful and beautiful in Germany was because I had made a serious sacrifice of time, money, and resources to be there; to be their friends.
I am trying to learn to just appreciate what I have; be thankful for everything God has blessed me with. I want to be a better steward of my relationships this year; I want to have a more godly perspective on the value of people.
If any of my friends do read this; (likely not) I hope you all realize that I think you are all incredible. I try to keep people near to me that I can trust, that I can count on. So I believe that God has blessed me with people like yourselves.
I want solid friendships. I want friends who will call everynow and then; I want friends who are there for the good and the bad; and I want friends who are more than 'surface level' buddies.
Well, that's all I have to say.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


You are...
Or you are not.

I've often times wondered what it takes to truly become a "Scrabble" master. I have tried memorizing entire sections of the dictionary; watching tape after tape of the Spelling B' National Finals; and listening to our schools beloved Dr. Bonnie Lee go off on rants about MLK and improper usage of the word, 'impact.' All of these attempts to strengthen substantially my vocabulary to a calibur of one of those annoying community college philosophers teachers has seemingly failed; my options have truly gone awry. I find myself stuck in the clay of an average vocabulary, a place i've feared since the beginning endevors into the world of "Scrabble."

I use to think that this extremely boring game was best left to the senior centers boardgame shelf; or the doctors office cabinets; but I was very, very, wrong. I was completely caught off guard by the excitement that nearly shook me off my foudnation after playing my first organized game of "Scrabble" some four or five months ago. I soonthereafter made it habitual in my life to play on a daily basis; or at least challenge myself to learn a few new two or three letter words that include Q, Z, or J's.

Here is a list of two-letter words:
(not all fairplay words)
AA rough, cindery lava
AB abdominal muscle {OSPD3}
AD advertisement
AE one
AG pert. to agriculture
AH intj. expressing understanding
AI three-toed sloth
AL East Indian tree
AM [be-conj] (to exist)
AN indefinite article
AR letter 'r'
AS to the same degree
AT in the location of
AW intj. expressing disbelief
AX to cut with an ax
AY aye
BA eternal soul in Egyptian mythology
BE to exist
BI bisexual
BO pal
BY side issue
DE of, from
DO to execute/first tone of musical scale
ED education {OSPD3}
EF letter 'f'
EH intj. used to indicate lack of understanding
EL letter 'l'
EM printer's measurement
EN printer's measurement
ER intj. expressing hesitation
ES letter 's'
ET [eat-conj] (to consume)
EX letter 'x'
FA fourth tone of diatonic musical scale
GO to leave
HA sound expressing triumph
HE male person
HI intj. used as a greeting
HM intj. expressing thought (hmm)
HO intj. used to attract attention to something
ID part of psyche related to instinctual impulses
IF possible condition
IN influence
IS [be-conj] (to exist)
IT person playing tag/indefinite pronoun
JO sweetheart
KA Egyptian spiritual self
LA sixth tone of diatonic musical scale
LI Chinese unit of distance
LO intj. used to attract attention
MA mother
ME pronoun referring to myself
MI third tone of diatonic musical scale
MM intj. expressing satisfaction
MO moment
MU Greek letter
MY possessive prounoun
NA no
NE born with the name of (nee)
NO negative reply
NU Greek letter
OD hypothetical force of natural power
OE Faroean wind
OF coming from
OH to exclaim "oh"
OM mantra used in meditation
ON side of wicket where cricket batsman stands
OP style of abstract art
OR heraldic color gold
OS orifice/bone/ridge of sand (esker)
OW intj. expressing sudden pain
OX hoofed mammal/clumsy person
OY intj. expressing dismay
PA father
PE Hebrew letter
PI Greek letter/to jumble
RE second tone of diatonic musical scale
SH intj. used to urge silence (shh)
SI seventh tone of diatonic musical scale (ti)
SO fifth tone of diatonic musical scale
TA thanks
TI seventh tone of diatonic musical scale
TO toward
UH intj. expressing hesitation
UM intj. expressing hesitation
UN one
UP to raise
US objective pronoun for "we"
UT musical tone in French solmization system
WE plural pronoun
WO woe
XI Greek letter
XU Vietnamese monetary unit
YA you
YE you
YO intj. used to call attention {OSPD3}


I hope that my passion for "Scrabble" has somehow rubbed off on you. It is a passing legend; I am
hoping that this generation will bring the game back to its original popularity.

It truly is a gem...

This man is my hero...the last Scrabble Champion!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Linguistic Lamentations

Yes. I have officially decided after much prayer and inner-debate that I need to pick up what I started last year; Russian.
Aww.............Snap! (I am having text problems; highlight the rest of the page to read the article attached)


After a summer of awesome times in
Europe I found myself feeling a bit unworthy of the opportunity. I spent seven plus days in Holland surrounded by missionary kids who spoke three languages fluently; often times they were languages like Russian, Spanish, and English. I found myself a bit frustrated and thinking, "This is crazy!" I have studied German for about 3 or so years nonchalantly and really wish that I'd spent some time picking up another language.
I spent about two and a half months last year taking one-on-one lessons at the
University of Oregon last year. It is something I will never regret. I find myself a bit disappointed in my lack of passion and persistence in that area of my life; languages. The truth is my one passion outside of Jesus is learning languages; my actions often times show otherwise.
I felt prompted this summer by the Lord to continue in my journey towards becoming fluent in Russian. I would appreciate any prayers you would send my way, its going to be an interesting time.
My personal goal is to be at basic-intermediate level communicational fluency by June of two-thousand seven.
Here goes nothing...


What do you call someone who speaks three languages?
What do you call someone who speaks two languages?
What do you call someone who speaks one language?
An American.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Partial Exposure

A sheer snapshot

A summer in
Europe believe it or not presented me with much time and space for reflection. I had ample time to do things like; people watching in Munich, Guitar playing in front of a drifting Swiss sunset, and watching hearts be melted into the palm of Jesus' hand in a foreign language. All of these things triggered a response within me, a yearning for an explanation, a desire for answers to the questions I’ve been asking all my life. "Why me?" "Why here?" "Why now?" I know with unfailing certainty that the response my loving heavenly Father gave me was a simple and sustained, "Why not?"
As I sat before the
Wecht River in Ommen, Holland at six-fifteen on a Sunday morning I allowed my mind to float away. Thoughts of my future wife, my future ministry, my future kids and even a spotted dog named "Spotless." An abrupt sound of water splashing being caused by springing fish startled me and shook me out of my day dream. I realized that my common problem is that I have been so fearful of the past I’ve thrown myself in feet first into the future. By doing so I tend to miss the beautiful simplicity of the present. I have partially traded the validity of His awesomeness now for that of the future. Sitting before the still (mostly) water and just singing to the Lord I saw so clearly that He just wants me to be Ben Strength; now and here, nothing more. Anything else severely prohibits Him from truly guiding and leading; He just wants me to be.
To merely "Be" and not to "do." It seems like such a transition, a switch of roles. Gladly I walk with this new revelation in hopes that I may not miss a glimpse of what our creative maker is doing before me. I don't want to take a Bavarian Bubble Gum sunset for granted ever again. I don't want to simply pass by the majestic English Gartens of Munich. And I definitely don't want to just sprint past the princess God could set before me.

I am here. Waiting. Patiently. I am comforted in the stillness of His hidenness. Knowing He's here working in me; even though I cant see or feel it.
What a great God we serve...

"Chucking" (Thanks Patty-cakes)

Ben: How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood...
i need your answer..
wikipedia and google hadn't a clue...

Patty: Well, after much thought, i think that a woodchuck could chuck as much as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood...

Unless this wood chuck were a liberal teenage american, in which case he would deny the exitsence of the wood, call it a conspiracy from the government and proceed to post his discovery on his myspace group of fellow illuminati chucks who revel in their own pre-pubescent intellect, and who also praise their affiliation to Chuck Norris via their species (Chuck Norris of course the man whose tears cure cancer... too bad he has never cried).

I have never had such an epihany concerning a wood chuck.
I am personally a firm believe that if a wood chuck cood chuck wood he would opt out of it due to the immodesty in our post-modern culture to just 'chuck' in public. I think its quite rude honestly.

The chuck is on its way out of the mainstream. Public crackdowns in major cities such as Springfield, Nebraska and Turlock, California have imposed "Chucking zones" in public parks, as "chucking" is now completely banned in bars, restaurants, schools, internet cafés and chiropractic offices. These zones are surrouned by a 10 foot high and 3 foot thinck wall that is completely non chuckable, and many logs are there to be "chucked".

Many chucks however have decided to stop "chucking". One such chuck said:"I chucked when i was younger, we all did. We didn't know its dangers and we all did it to be cool. We have since opted out of chucking and turned our lives around. I will never go back to chucking."

However, the ever rebellious teenage population has decided to go on "chucking walks" around town, proclaiming their inalienable right as American citizens to chuck:
"It's in our constitution man, freedom of expression man! we're being seggregated against man, worse than the blacks man, worse than the gays even man! I love chucking man, it's a trip man, and freedom of expression man... yeah man!"
"It's all a conspiracy! first 9/11, then no chucking. They're all trying to keep us down, The Man is out there! But we know the government did it, me and my fellow bloggers have, even though we are all undergrads and have yet to get a manly voice, discovered the truth behind the no chucking law! It's the same as JFK!!!!"

When confronted about the immorality of chucking in public and the cancerous side effect of witnessing chucking, these liberal woodchucks have one thing to say "Morals? what's that?"

It seems as if chucking will be a thing of the past within the next few months. Law enforecment officials however say that the black market for woodchucks who thought they could chuck has blown up... "The problem won't go away instantly" warns Sgt McChuck "because where there is a woodchuck who can chuck as much as a woodchuck can chuck, there will be demand for chuck to be chucked. And we don't know how much one woodchuck can chuck".

Chilling words. Back to you Ben.

After reading the alarming reports concerning the "chucking epidemic" in the U.S. I've focused my studies into the nomadic regions of Sweden; the Stockholm area. An area where blood painted faces and spears still rule the dominant thrones their are incidents of chucking being reported. One nomadic tribe leader name $&#??: was quoting saying such, @#$ :{ @#$ :." Even I was surprised to realize that even the nomadic people are speaking up.

Continuing in my studies I went deeper into the pits of the world renowned Stockholm to get the low down from those dwelling the canibalic regions. I regret to inform you that no actual quotes were brought back to the tragic fact that my only camera guy, and text junkie "Clarence" was actually eaten alive during the interview. No conclusive evidence released concerning their thoughts on "chucking" in a post-modern culture.

The only true center of factual information was stumbled across by complete accident; a one, Stuart Webster; an American native with time spent in France and currently working in Stockholm as a part time cake-decorator and lead guitarist for Stockholm's own "senior center blues group" had this to say in response to our question (Why don't you go chuck yourself?)"Well...honestly I have to say I'm an anti-chucker. That's right. I said it! I have seen the drastic impacts 'chucking' has made in this culture. My neighbor Karl used to mow his yard every week, get his paper every morning, feed his kids every few days. But no...not anymore. Karl only has time for 'chucking', he bought a membership card to Chuckers-R-US just so he could 'chuck' whenever he felt the need. I lost my friends Karl to 'chucking' and I won't lose anyone else. I've started "NAKED" Neighbors against Karl's excessive (d) chucking (couldn't find a use for the d?). Our slogan is, "Friends don't let friends chuck..."

Well my friend Patrick...this is the news...this is the truth...and that's the way....the cookie crumbles...

back to you...

Thank you Ben for that great insight into the world of... Wait... I'm getting news that Homeland Security has just thwarted a major plot to smuggle "chuck" into the US of A via an underground tunnel system in southern New Mexico. We now go live to our senior correspondent on "chuck", Lord Von Webster. Lord you there?

-Yes Patrick, i can hear you liud and clear.

-Lord, give us the run down on the situtaion near El Taco Grande.

- With pleasure Patrick. You see, since the nation wide ban on "chuck", or as afficionados like to call it "that sweet pablo chucko", or "chucking bud that keeps on giving", or " el chuckomiendo", or "HM (How Much)", or...

- Yes yes, we see.

- Rhmh, yes, well as I was saying, since the nationwide ban on "Ze Chuque", many a woodchuck has defecated, im sorry, defected, to the Chucks Resistance Army based around Tortilla Mas Caliente, the Mexican side of El Taco Grande. The newest bust is the largest in this nations history, with over 25 tons of chuck, mainly spruce derived being captured. The bust also included a significant amount of chuck from the rare Norwegian Red Wood Of Death, estimated at a cost of over 2 billion dollars (pre tax) on the black Market. This chuck is called "Big Red", and it offers you quite an... enjoyable... high... it takes you to a nice place, covered in white lillies and...

- Lord, you're wandering again

-Sorry Pat. Anyways, Law enforcement officials are very happy to have uncovered this plot. As one senior investigator noted "We now know that the prairie dogs were in on this the whole time, and it's through their tunnels that these vile chuckies were smuggling this filth into the States". The President has since announced a war on the Great Plains. The members of Prairie Dogs Against Segregation (PDAS) are furious, but as a senior white house official noted "It so happens that all prairie dogs are not terrorists, but most terrorists are prairie dogs". The head of the Woodchuck Association of America Society (WAAS) has not been reached for comment. His secretary said something about him being in a meeting discussing Changing Human Conservative Knowldege In Non Goffers. Back to you Patrick.

-Shocking news. Just when we thought that chuck wa sbeing controlled. Reflections on the matter Ben?

Thanks for the insight.

I plan on doing a thorough investigation on the current occurances....

That was senior staff writer Ben Strizength. Thank you Ben.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Untypical norm

Thank You everyone involved for making my BFA trip the best part of my European Adventure this summer!


My time at the English camp in Kandern, Germany (Black Forest) is summed up best by the following: Late night beatings and mid-day soccer matches, akward cafateria food and obnocious "your momma" jokes, overpriced grocery stores and unfriendly small theme park seatbelts, trash talking German youth and joke cracking American counselors. Truly... I loved every second. (Honestly...it was friggin' awesome!)

(This pic above is of me juking Simon Gotsmann; for an overweight american I actually played very well during my time in the Black Forest. I scored 10 goals in one week...thats about a goal and a half a game. Lucky ey?)

I Got Zin'daned!!!

Thank you Steve for utterly destroying my Sternum."

I was totally in Dalfsen, Holland when the whole Zinidane Zindane (spelling?) thing went down; and lauged histerically. Perhaps I should be more sensative...but its soccer...and its sadly normal for grown men to destroy one another in the name of fun. (hypathetical justification...failed?)

So yeah...

This beautiful picture taken by my friend Andrew Faglon was the view I had during my 13 days in the Black Forest. And this was only the front view...

Throughout my crazy busy week in the Black Forest working with these awesome German youth; the staff and I also had some intersting (akward and confusing?) times together...

There were many of these times...

That's just funny
(book title)

Were seriously that crazy

The Legend of "Aga Khan"

(aka: maglite)

There really isnt much to say about this hoarse...its technically a pony...and its probably the ugliest one in all of Europr. For all of those who know the inside joke of "Aga Khan" please refrain from leaving comments that may spark the imagination of any of my blog viewers. (That means you Faglon, Steve, and Skaer!!!)

I was an awesome navigator/tour guide for
our rediculously long trip to Europa Park. Viel Spast!

These were some of our youth just having a swell ol' time in line for the Silver Star: The sweetest friggin' coaster in all of Europe. (Or so they said...)

Their were some questionable moments along the way...

I was the official "Camp Nurse." You can just imagine what sort of laughter that created inside my head... you have a head ache? I've got just the right stuff for you. (This would be where I could hand the innocent German youth a box of American Laxatives.) That would shut them up ey? I know its sick and wrongl; its still funny!

I was also in charge of (helped with...minimally) the shopping for the campers.


We had some pretty sweet frisbee sessions. Mike Skaer and I tought some of the youth how to play ultimate frisbee; they really had a blast!

I of course perfectly exemplified the proper form and technique to throw a beautiful direct toss. (PS> I hit many of
them in the face accidently...)

My roomate Andrew was absolutely awesome. We had got to know each other back in Chicago during my missionary training course in June; this time together really opened the opportunity to build a strong friendship. He is cool!

This was him

This is him sipping his 1L margarita on his b-day at Europa Park!


Michael Skaer and Andrew on some stupid kids roller coaster @ Europa Park....... ---------->

Andrew: You are an absolute nutcase...I love ya just the way you are!

Thank You Staff!
You will all always have a special place in my heart...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Heute war trauig


Today was an exhausting day; both mentally and physically. Waking up to the screams and yelps of obnocious German youth was defniitly a blessing; and an annoyance. I stumbled out of bad after blowing my nose and realizing my face had just turned into a fountain of blood. Bloody nose and blwoing your nose; bad mixture apparently.

I then had some Nutella and bread and yelled at kids about cleaning their rooms; fun stuff like such.

I then was forced into the inevitable; saying goodbye to the campers. As much as some of them truly pissed me off this week and drove me to near suicide (extreme exageration) I really did break down when they left. Their were a few guys in general that i really will miss; Karl...the guitar playing dread head...Felix...the annoying baby huey like trouble maker...the memories are everlasting.

After spending three or four hours cleaning (i slept...) the gang of staff took off for Freiburg. We spent the entire evening there. We had a dinner at a really nice Italian restaurant on Einbahnstrasse and did some shopping. I really appreciated this week and the opportunities that have flowed from being around such exciting and awesome people.

Thank you Jesus for blessing me beyond comprehension; I couldn't imagine life without your love.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

the randomness of deutschland


As I already expressed in my previous blog I have been in the Black Forest helping
Counseling for an English camp. The experiences here have been everything from
getting a phatty head cold to laughing myself nearly to death when a German youth
got himself locked behind a fire door.

The weather here has been about as unpredictable as Michael Jackson's wardrobe. But,
it doesn't bother me too bad because I realize that when I go back to the states it’s going
to be the same. It rains every friggin' day in Eugene; its beautifully green, but obnoxiously

So yeah... their have been some absolutely amazing things going on here with the work God
has been doing in the hearts of the youth. The common stubbornness found in most Germans
is seemingly disappearing this week with random "your momma" jokes and the constant beatings with various blunt objects. The other guy counselors and myself have been experiencing a true sense of camaraderie and bonding. Comet peach ice tea and wurst have been the normal in our evening "talk times" over an awesome game of chess or Metro.

I have really enjoyed building relationships with the German youth. Jacob and Jens have taught me many intriguing new jokes; even though German's aren’t usually funny. Daniel has taught me the benefit of spitting in other's drinks at the lunch table. Andrew has taught me the meaning of PAB. Which you'll never know. And Jim the crazy maintenance guy has helped me grow in my friendship with his pet pony "Aga Khan."

Monday, August 07, 2006

Die Familie

This is a dated pic of my uncle ray (72) myself (19) and my aunt benita (66).

I have been in Europe all summer and haven't been home since Christmas. I live in Eugene, OR and am a full time college student. So, getting home to Spokane, WA is a rare thing.

I spent some time in tears this weekend in regret for not taking the opportunities given in January and Ferbruary to go visit my family. I know i shouldn't live in regret; but its diffacult because my family is extremely important to me and my actions haven't reflected this in the past six months.

I don't get home sick often; and haven't for the two years I've been away. But, this year has been extremely tough and I am praying in faith that this school year I will be given the chance to visit my family more often; and take up on those opportuniites.

homesickness bites...

Friday, August 04, 2006

The First Official Day of Germany Youth Camp

Today was the first official day of the Black Forest Academy English Camp 2006.

I woke up around seven o'clock to the annoying alarm clock that went off every four minutes starting and six-thirty. I staggered into the shower and to my surprise the water was instantly hot; my skin felt like a cold steak getting set on the frying pan. After my flesh was done being brought back to the proper temperature and my hair was thoroughly washed with the lowest quality, lowest grade dandruff-proof shampoo I stepped out into the seemingly sub-zero hallway and made a dead sprint for my room.

I woke up my four guys Karl, Christoph, Andreas, and Jonah at approximately eight o'clock, directly following our morning staff prayer meeting. A few of them seemed to be quite the morning people, springing out of bed excited about the new day. But Karl on the other hand remained in his cocoon like sleeping bag insisting that his body required more sleep to properly function in such a high stress environment as English camp. I agreed; then I beat him with a pillow until he got up. This seemed to convince him that he'd be fine for the remainder of the day; free of any tiredness.

The English classes started at ten so a few other staff members (Katharina, Thomas, and Mike) and myself went into the city of Kandren to do some shopping. We first went to the Deutsch Post (post office) where I purchased a plethora of exquisite post cards. We then went to a grocery store where we all bought a mass load of German chocolate and some sweet random stuff that you can only buy in this country (I will not state what I purchased just in case the Chicago O’Hare International Airport customs agency reads these blogs...).
When we returned all the students and staff got together for an authentic Mexican lunch and laughed at the Germans who attempted to eat burritos with their forks and knives. Suckers!

Well, nothing else has happened yet but I hope you realize that I am in the Black Forest and it is absolutely amazing; I wish you were all here. But, if you were all here their would not be enough food...so perhaps its better that you just stay their. I'll send the postcards, you read em'.
God Bless ya'll

Mark 4:1-20. The Sower. I read this today for my devotions with my German guys; perhaps you would find it encouraging to read also.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

A day in Switzerland

“Arise!” states Michael Skaer boldly as my eyelids subconsciously draw themselves to a partially opened position. I stumble out of bed and attempt to insert my limbs through the corresponding openings of my Wal*Mart sales rack clothing. I make my way through the clouded and blurred, dim lit hallway to the cafeteria that is flooded with joyful laughter and the smell of fresh muffins. Immediately following my traditional Switz breakfast of muffins and basic-brand Captain Crunch I leave in an old school white Euro van with many others alongside me; our destination: Switzerland.

As we pull out of the driveway I tilt my head up towards the hill side and am temporally blinded by the overwhelming beams of light blasting through the clouds from both sides of the hillside; peaking around the snow capped mountains in the far out distance; a mentally paralyzing view to say the least.

I sit and chat and mess around at the meeting place “Palmgarten” where our original departure time was 8:30 and had been change to better accommodate those who are unable to correctly operate a $2 alarm clock. So, after a half-hour wait we make our way to the luxurious fifty-passenger bus and head out on our day excursion.

After about and hour and a half drive in this pampered air conditioned beauty we step out into a majestic like city lined with hillsides and a large castle; springing up from the city center. Thun is the name of the city and the majority of the buildings I encountered dated back to the 1500’s.
After venturing alone (I always roll solo) through the crowded market street and heading through some shop-lined alleyways I found myself staring at the base of the Thun Castle. I trekked up the stairs: this was nearly a day job. I found my way through the various tunnels and to the entry gate; where I paid the unreasonably high yet typical European price and began my venture. As I surveyed the architectural masterpiece I imagined myself in full knights armor and fantasized about being Sir Lancelot from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: just mowing people down with a sweet sword. Yeah, it sounds nearly psychotic; but it was really all in good fun.

After twenty or so pics with my technologically advanced, state of the art, waterproof disposable camera I proceeded down the twisted concrete stairway and found myself back smack down in the heart of the city.

I soon began feeling symptoms of a headache coming on so I succumbed to the healing power of a twenty-four ounce white latte. The coffee was five franks (about 4 euros) and the vanilla pastry was around 3 Franks (about 2 euros) so I figured I better enjoy my 6-euro purchase while it lasted. I then frolicked about the water’s edge of a beautiful crystal clear river that divides the city; just singing random eighties show tunes and often quoting movies in a raspy near silent voice so I wouldn’t be discovered by the obviously annoyed Swiss gentlemen walking alongside me.

I then found my way to the Golden Arch’s of Thun: McDonalds. I spent approximately fifteen minutes there just starring at the Swiss menu before I wondered off after realizing a Big Mac meal was like 10 Franks. After leaving McDonalds I found my way back to the tour bus so we could depart for our next adventure.

Trummelbach was our next location: the most enormous in-mountain waterfalls in all of Europe. The thirty-minute excursion through beautifully painted landscapes of green plush fields and sky-high tree flooded mountains we were at Trummelbach.

In this particular place the mountains are seemingly surrounding you from all sides; sort of a prison of God’s majestic creativity. We proceeded into the main attraction: a massive indoor waterfall. It is a few thousand feet of various waterfalls crashing on both sides. I walked through dimly lit wet rock carved hallways from waterfall to waterfall; all the while feeling the mist of the next gigantic water cannon I was going to see. Tourist with the clicking of cameras and the typical “ooh’s” and “aw’s” accompanies the clear and powerfully beautiful displayed waterall. I wasn’t sure whether I should be humbled or terrified; so I just did both. I spent an hour or so just reciting various scripture verses concerning God and water; it seemed to comfort me a bit to know that not a single drop falls without his sovereign knowledge and permission.

On the walk down I received a new epiphany concerning perspective. When we are submerged in the beauty of God our vision of everything else is filtered through those lenses. I need to have a more godly perspective on life so I can be better prepared to give God the benefit of the doubt when life seems to be seemingly in shambles.

The absolutely irritating and head-pain two and a half hour ride home made myself and everyone else on the bus a bit antsy and frustrated. I always figured a traffic jam in beautiful Switzerland would be a good thing; giving us tourist more opportunities to snap photos and such forth. Apparently its only beautiful if your driving through in an air-conditioned bus; weird huh? After about a half and hour of waiting into the two and a half I began imagining that the bus was forever broke down, and I would have to survive on my own in the Swiss wilderness. I imagined myself living in the mountain regions for a few years; particularly carving an alp horn with my Swiss army knife and being signed on to do a commercial for Ricola or something awesome like that. “Ricola!”

Well I ended my afternoon by eating a five-euro schnitzel and pounding down a few orange cola’s along side my friends at some sweet lodge style restaurant in the hills near our house.
On the drive coming back to our old school Deutsch mansion I realized how much this house is like a Christian version of MTV’s “Real World.”

Random Thought of the day: Are sheep actually talking or just randomly grunting; if its talking I am curious if they talk about soccer or girl sheep; or if its grunting...well...I would just be baffled I think?

Yeah that’s it. In the unlikely case that you’ve read the entire thing; thanks and I hope your eyes aren’t bleeding from the boring randomness that comes periodically with my writings.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Chaotic Silence

A couch. A bible. A torn out page of Mead college ruled notebook paper. The faint sound of billiard balls colliding. The intrusive sound of a variety of c.d. players spitting out their own special tune simaltaneously. My heartbeat is loud. A thousand men marching in heavy rain. The pounding so strong my chest twitches; my throat croaks. My mind is louder. Thoughts of my inabilities, fear of man, lack of financial security. The pain that uncertainity brings, future knocking on the door like an ever-clanging symbol; loud, constant. But, the Spirit is the loudest. The truth is spoken with such velocity and force; like that of a hundred thousand seas. My body shakes and trembles; im spoken to deep within, in the innermost. All external is tuned out. All internal is tuned in. Its quiet again; a petit stream water sound is heard; all is quieted by a taste of truth.

The mountains will shake,

The seas will tremble,

He is still; always still.

It's my first time... *wink*

This is my first blog.

I am officially in the Black Forest in Germany working waiting to begin an English Camp for some German youth in the area.

I will write more in detail concerning the events of my summer as my schedule winds down and am given some more sufficient time to do so.

"To will and to do...His will."

God Bless...


PS> Paradox Definition:
An assertion that is essentially self-contradictory, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises.