I’ve said all along, specifically

I’ve said all along, specifically concerning my web-journal in my website, that when writing my concern is getting thoughts on paper, rather than grammar or spelling. Anyone who reads this weblog, my journal, or my quiet-time entries will know that my sentences may not be complete, my thought processes or progression may not be very logical or rational, or certain words I use may not be the best.
Well, this has come back to bite me in the you-know-where. I got back my first paper, which I have to admit was done at the last minute, and grammatically I did not do very well. It is a sad commentary when someone, like me, who already has a Master’s degree, sees comments made on my paper like, “not a complete sentence.” Its embarrassing.
Okay, so I need to be cognizant of grammar from now on. Frankly, I am not very excited about the whole prospect. I have never really made the effort to learn English grammar well; I always hated diagramming sentences; I get all blocked up when I have to think about dangling participles or how to avoid the passive voice. Yet, I have to, else I’m going to be in big trouble. These on-line things have to be a little more correct in form, I suppose. I know in the long run it only benefits me – both in class assignments that prove my academic prowess, and also for the comfort of anyone who may read this stuff.
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Spending parts of Sunday thru

Spending parts of Sunday thru Tuesday with Ashton was wonderful. Spending Sunday and Monday in New Jersey was a nice break from the Close and the City. Of course, I accomplished far less then I had planned. I needed to get more done, but that’s life!
My side of the apartment is without heat, and I’m not sure why. It has been a bit cold since Sunday! Today, it’s raining like Ohio rain – sideways. There were flood warnings for Manhattan for today – the sewer system is predicted to not be able to handle the volume of rain. I don’t think it has been raining all that much – steady but more a drizzle – but the wind has been quite strong.
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I’m not sure what to

I’m not sure what to think about the differences of opinion that many here at General have concerning a whole variety of things theological. It isn’t that I have a problem with the differences, per say, because the dynamic is wonderful as we move towards a more balanced and I think true understanding of God and God’s ways, yet the forming of personal understandings and beliefs that remove any type of supremacy of scripture is proving problematic for many. It is easy for many to discount and explain away many aspects of theological understanding of God and God’s ways presented in scripture because it doesn’t present an image of God they desire – problems with the violence in the Hebrew scriptures for example doesn’t jib with notions of God’s all goodness and all love. Another example is what seems to be a universal discounting of the existence of a being commonly know as Satan or the Devil and demons. The idea that there is an entity that influences us towards evil or our more base selves just seems beyond many. I don’t understand how they could claim a supernatural being – God – yet cannot fathom another supernatural being that influences for evil – Satan. Not that Satan is a god or is equivalent to God in any way – a created being who strived to be god and rebelled against God through his pride and arrogance. Removing this idea opens up so many problems as they try to explain the presence of evil and/or how God could allow evil and tragedies such as 9/11.
Speaking of allowing evil and existence of Satan, if we are to truly have free will, which many say we truly don’t have, it seems reasonable that there is an evil presence of choice opposing a good presence with whom we can align.
Of course, this is all speculation based on belief at this point. To formulate a good theology and/or philosophy of all this is why I’m here. I’ve thought through much of this with the resources I have at this point, but the purpose of the next three years is to gather even more that enables me to formulate even better theologies/philosophies concerning life and the divine. The challenges of others with at times drastically different understandings is great – the challenges help me delineate what I truly think and believe. It will be very interesting to see where I am after these three years.
My goal is truth, simply. I really don’t have a soap box, yet I believe what I believe at this point and until something more reasonable, rational, or responsible comes along I will argue my point. I certainly do have biases and pre-conceived notions, but that’s okay as long as they don’t become sacred cows – unchallengeable.
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I’m really wondering right

I’m really wondering right now whether I’ve gotten myself into another relationship that really isn’t workable. I hate to say that, and I don’t want to say that, but there is this gut feeling that maybe Ashton and I are not going to be right for one another. Not that we are not necessarily compatible, but that we simply will not be the best for one another. I don’t know. I just wonder whether this is going to turn into another relationship like past relationships, even though I am so cognizant of past mistakes. And, it isn’t that Ashton or the others are not great guys in their own right, but maybe another guy would be a better match for them, and another guy would be a better match for me.
It isn’t that I’m looking for the perfect person, but what in the world holds Ashton’s interest in me? What about Ashton holds my interest? The way we met, strange as it is, and the quickness with which we have given over much time to one another – well I just wonder whether my determination, after John, to take things very slowly, to really get to know the person well before even considering a move into a relationship, has been thrown out the window. Well, it has been thrown out the window, but I wonder whether I am simply going back to old habits, old ways.
I’ve told Ashton that I love him, and that is exactly the way I feel. Not lust, but I do love him in that I want the best for him, I feel excited to see him and spend time with him, I want him to be the most he can be as a person created in God’s image. I know things are still very premature in the scheme of things – really too early to know whether I honestly love anyone or not, yet this is how I feel and what I have expressed to Ashton. Am I truly jumping the gun, again? Do I know him well enough to know whether something permanent will arise? I doubt it, nor does he know me well enough.
I ask whether, for now, I can simply enjoy his presence… whether I can simply enjoy spending time with him. Would it be better to listen to this hesitance inside and say so and put things off, or to just enjoy now and continue and see were things will go? After the ego boundaries reassert themselves, I’m sure both of us will be doing some reconsidering and renegotiating.
I hope, I really do hope, things will work for the good, for the future. I do like Ashton, I feel I love him, I can see a future, but things are still new and as we reassert ourselves in time, will all those things remain. Only time will tell…
I fear, though, that I may push things too much. As Vince said about John, “you’re too much for him.” I am an intense person who wants to figure things out right now, here and now. I want to answer all the questions and if I can’t then work on them diligently. As John would tell me, I need to just let things be for now – enjoy the now. What does it benefit me to be so concerned about the future. I can’t know. It adds nothing to my life, or the quality of our relationship, or his wellbeing, to be so concerned about whether things will work or not – in the future! Enjoy him now, look to his best interests, grow with him, and just be as content as I am when we are laying next to each other talking.
(The above repeats what I wrote in my journal entry for today. Until I get back into a regular routine of writing, the repeats my be the norm rather then the exception.)
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I’m waiting for Ashton to

I’m waiting for Ashton to call. Excitedly and expectantly. I’ve discovered more then I thought that these beginning few months of transition and courses make life pretty difficult and stressful. Finding a routine has been tough, partly because the seminary keeps throwing in all these extra meetings and seminars and matriculation ceremonies and, and, andÂ… If we could simply have one normal week, I think I could actually see what a routine might look like. I feel so far behind and the anxiety of upcoming exams and papers due is building. It isn’t that I don’t think I can do well. It is just I don’t have a grasp of the over all picture in terms of course requirements, assignments, and all that. There is always this feeling of “what am I missing now,” or “something is due tomorrow and I haven’t even started it.”
The curve ball, of course, is Ashton. I did not count on meeting someone and beginning a relationship. If things had continued as I had planned, I would probably be much more rested, have much more accomplished, and feel more integrated into the seminary community. Not that I don’t feel a part of the community, but I would be spending the time I am with Ashton with others or doing more homework or maybe even working out a little more. Thursday evenings with the boys of Seabury Heights watching Survivor and Big Brother, for example. Feeling more rested and wanting to go out to G with the Tim and Wendy and Chris and Roy and the others. Who knows? Anyway, here is Ashton. I would not trade the possibilities of him and a future with him for anything! He is wonderful. And, I am anxious and worried and fearful and everything wondering just how this is going to work. Wondering whether this is a false start or whether I just might have a real relationship with someone who might know what that is and wanting of the same things I want in another.
I’m waiting for his call. He is coming up tonight, later this afternoon straight from Light Fields. I need to talk to him tonight about whether he really knows what he is getting himself into by dating me. My life is odd and not my own. I am not a normal kind of guy. My life will not be normal. Does he have a clue? Can he be interested in the different aspects of my life? Will the expectations and perceptions placed upon me, both positive and negative, be manageable for him? Does he have any interest or concern with his own spiritual life as a Christian? Will the persecution and controversy that I will become be too much for him? Will the demands and intensity of this life of mine now and to come be too much? Does he know what he is getting himself into?
This is an interesting time. Living in New York City. Going to the NY City Opera. Going to interesting movies that may or may not appear in Cleveland. Secretary. His Secret Life. Facing all the temptations that readily present themselves. Not knowing where I will fit into the “system.” A future that is a complete blur. A current life made all the more rich and exciting by a certain person – by someone that just might be.