Glen

Itís hot, very hot, 91 the radio station says, but I donít mind the heat. I donít mind it one bit, some things are worth momentary discomfort this is one of them. Standing in the parking lot of Taco Bell, just ate lunch/dinner. 45 Minutes left on a 5 hour journey back home from the beach. Iíve spent the last week in Myrtle Beach, SC with my 7 closest friends in the world, and a few lady friends as well. After all whatís a week at the beach without some ladies?? A week and 2 days ago, I walked across the stage and grabbed my high school diploma. Which would make the year 1997. Which would make me 17.

Man itís hot, sweat is starting to run down my back I can feel it trickling, but again itís ok. After all, when is the next time all of us are going to be together again like this? With nothing better to do then just sit in the parking lot of taco bell and talk of high school memories, and future plans. Well itís mostly them that have the plans, I really donít have any at the moment, I just know the college life isnít for me, dad is still upset about that, sure I could go to college in Charlotte but itís not for me at least not right now. Maybe Iíll go to the local community college, not sure yet, Iíll worry about it later. Right now Iím with my friends. My closest friends with all there big plans, one is going to the army, one is engaged heís going to be married in a year, one is leaving for the big city going to find a job somewhere, another has a job lined up for him already waiting for when he gets home. Thatís 4 of them with big plans, then of course there is the other 3 that are going off to college, in different places even to Utah. Man Utah, thatís pretty far away. I wonder how hot it is down there?? Canít be like this I imagine.

So there they all are all excited about the future, the one that wants to go to the army is going anxious to get home to see his girl. Oh finally I can relate, Iím anxious to get home to see my girl too. Missed her soooooooooooo much all week. Thought about her half the time. Had a chance with another girl, one I had wanted since 8th grade, but no didnít want to ruin anything with my angel. For the first time in my life Iím in love. Didnít want to exchange that for lust. So ready to get home and talk to her, She said she was going to email me every day, Iím anxious to get home and read all my emails from her. Thought about her all the way home, how good it felt to have her in my arms for the first time last month. You see her parents donít like me to much, Iím hmmmmmmmm how do I word this properly?? Scum, yes that was the word her father used Scum, low life, low rent, low class scum. Thereís your encouragement. Itís ok though her older sister likes me, she knows me for who I am. After all she was the one that arranged for us to meet both times last month. Gave me about 20 minutes with her. No I didnít kiss her, why not you ask?? Wasnít the right time. The time will come Iím sure of it. After all she loves me, she told me so right before I left for the beach, sheís even told me "I take her breath away". Sheís wonderful, Ok so we have had a couple of fights, but that was junk started by her friends they donít like me that much either. We can work around that though. My friends donít really know about her, ok they donít know about her. One, Jeff he knows of her but even doesnít know but so much. Canít risk it, canít risk losing her. Donít know if could take it.

Oh where was I?? Oh yeah, taking a sip of mountain dew. Trying to cool off the heat is starting to get to us. Well itís about that time, time to say good-bye. No not good-bye. Canít tell them good-bye. Is it really time to go already?? Seems not to long ago I was just getting to know all of them in 7th grade. Now here we stand, all about to go down separate paths, paths that are very very spread apart. Will this path cross again?? No one knows. I surely donít, I have to face the very real possibility that none of our paths will cross again. Heck at least they all have a path, a clear path it seems. I donít have a path, I have a 'lil wooded path.

Oh well have to face up to this, donít want too. Donít seem like none of us want too. However itís time to do it anyway "Goodbye", "take care", "be careful", "watch out for yourself", "keep in touch", "love you guys", hugs all around, choked back tears. Ok now Iím in the car, whew finally some A/C, finally time to cool off. The final 45 minutes of the ride home with 3 of the 7 is mostly in silence, Iím sitting in the back staring out the window. My thoughts drift back to my angel as they also do in times of sadness. The mental image of her smiling face and those pretty blue eyes cheers me up but only slightly. After all Iíve said good bye to half my friends and shortly, Iíll say good-bye to the other half. Sure I might seem them once or twice more during the summer but not really. Never saw them much outside of school anyway. With the exception of Jeff after all I work with Jeff. At least until he goes off to school 3-4 hours away from here. Which will be in less then 2 months now. We talk of the week at myrtle beach how much fun we had, staying out to 2-3-4am, driving up and down the strip, drinking, partying, yelling at the balcony. We all got some t-shirts out of it, mine says "funnel me Elmo" user your imagination Iím pretty sure you can picture it. Then the conversation dies down again and I got back to staring out the window.

If I had so much fun, then why the nagging sense of guilt?? I didnít do nothing bad did I?? Well nothing really bad anywayz, and certainly not worse then the people that got kicked out of the hotel. To heck with all this, going to think about her, being in her arms, looking into her eyes, watching her brush her hair in the rain, so pretty, so beautiful, so mine. Canít wait to get home, get on the computer go to our chat room (so her friends canít find us) and talk to her. Canít wait to check my email after all she is going to write me everyday I was gone, Iím excited to read her emails, I have every email she has sent me since we met 3 months ago. Well a few days short of 3 months, but whose counting?? Then thereís also the matter of her boyfriend that doesnít quite know about me either. She doesnít love Him though, she insists that all the time. Just for appearances, canít have her friends asking questions and causing more problems for us. I can start enough fights with her on my own, without there help.

Even saw some of her friends at the beach, outwardly the like me, heck they love me. 2 of them even wanted to come up to my room, when no one else was there. Teased it in my mind for a second there, what guy wouldnít?? in a room alone with 2 fine girls?? Granted their boyfriends wouldnít have liked it to much, but boyfriends donít seem to like me, go figure. All I do is talk to them and listen, they just want some attention and that I give. Is that such a crime?? If the boyfriend did his job, he wouldnít have nothing to worry about now would he?? All my problems with peopleís boyfriends started a year ago, one guy thought I was messing with his girl (it was the other way around) so he decided to run up when I was looking and bust me in the eye. I got a reconstructed eye socket out of it. He got a 30 day trip to jail and to pay me a lot of money, He funded this lil escapade to the beach I took. Enough of that though. Thatís in the past. Time to concentrate on the future, no not the future, which I donít really seem to have a plan for. Ok so no past, no future, how about the present. Oh yeah the present what does the present hold for me?? 10 more minutes and Iíll be home, on my computer, checking my email, talking to my angel. Still have right much money left too, between the lawsuit and graduation. So Iím set for at least another 6 months I know.

Thereís my driveway, get out the car, walk to the back, grab my bags. Say the rest of my goodbyesí "later guys, take it easy". Well there goes the car pulling out of the driveway, there they go down the road. The future awaits you guys. Best of luck. Walk up the driveway, get to the deck, get to the side door. Fumble in my pocket for my keys. Open the door, drop my bags, walk up and hug my mom and my sister who have missed me dearly. Feels good to be loved. Tell them some stories of the week (all pg rated of course) well 45 minutes later, walk to the living room finally. My computer, ahh the mail, graduation cards full of checks, and phone calls to return, thank yous to write. Forget all that. My angel awaits me. I know sheísí there in our channel, she knows what time I was getting home. Well the general idea anyway.

Boot up my computer first time in a week, donít remember this thing being so slow, oh yeah Iím in a hurry, computers are never in a hurry. Finally itís booted, hit the modem, connect dang you connect, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, busy signal, busy signal, busy signal, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Stupid busy signals, finally I get through. Yes!! Quick on to the email. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 57 new messages, makes you feel missed. Start going through ok, nice animated graduation cards from some other lady friends. Ugh stupid chain letters delete, delete. Email from friends in other states. Thatís nice. Skim, Skim, Skim, ok where is it?? Where are the emails from my angel?? I thought Iíd have 7 or 8, maybe even 12 after all. Iíd get 2-3 a day from here when Iím home much less when Iím gone for a week. Ok easy does it donít jump to conclusions. Could me lots of stuff, maybe she was out of town all week, maybe her computer broke after all Iíve had to walk her through fixing it on the phone. Maybe her parents grounded her from it again, after all they did the first time they found out about me. As far as they know we quit talking in late April. Ok off to mirc I go. Quick to the efnet, scan scan scan, found our channel. Script loaded. Only my way in the channel. Say a quick Hi to the bot get my ops. Bang Iím back up and running. Finally , freestyle is back on mirc again, and back in control of his channel. Now where is my angel?? There she is, oh sheís away, stupid away system. Leave her a message, which consisted of 50+ lines of "I missed you".

Ok sheís been away for 15 minutes, Iím going through my mail, nice pile of money I got going here. Nintendo 64/Cd player for my truck here I come. Gonna be jamming and playing some video games. I can dig it. Still miss her though wish she would hurry up and get back. Doesnít she knows I missed her?? Of course she does. I told her enough before I left I missed her, she will definitely know once she gets back to get my message awaiting her the 50+ lines of I missed you, Yeah she knows quit being so paranoid. Heck think of the money, itís a dang lot of money more then Iíve ever seen in my life. With only 3 bills to pay, itís going to last, boy is it ever going to last.

Alarm goes off, "user is back from away" the voice tells me. I hope up from my pile of cards sending them all over the floor, hop back into my computer chair. Get back in the room, message her "hello beautiful, boy did I ever miss you this week", the response from the one who so easily captured my heart "oh, hey". Oh hey?/ Oh hey?? I been gone a week and I get a "oh hey" I wasnít online one night and I had 3 page long emails. Iím gone a week and I get a "oh hey". Ok keep it calm Iím sure itís reasons for all of this maybe she just had a bad day or something. Iíll talk to her for a lil while and get everything straightened out we always got things straightened out before Iím sure we can do it this time. No doubts.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. How could this be?? No, it canít be. No this canít be true, Iím still asleep in the car!! Yes thatís it Iím still in the car. Iím asleep and this is a horrible dream. This canít possibly be true. I pinch myself, ouch. DANG IT Iím awake. Oh God please no, It is true. Please donít let it be true. Itís not true, itís not true, itís not true, it canít be trueÖÖitís true. Tears well up inside of me. Today sucks. Iíve lost my closest friends in the world I may never see them again. I get home to the one good thing in my life, well to what I thought was the one good thing in my life. Sheís not in love with me anymore, she never really was, she wasnít sure what she wants but she knows itís not me. Itís this other guy sheís met. No not her boyfriend, heís still just for appearances but a guy she met in the chat room, OUR chat room. From freaking Canada. CANADA FOR CRYING OUTLOUD. Who in North Carolina falls in love with someone in Canada?? How in the world do you go about doing that?? Youíve never met the person, youíve never looked into there eyes, she DOESNíT EVEN KNOW HIS LAST NAME. This canít be true. It canít get worse.

It gets worse, he comes into the room, he says hi to the bot. The bot gladly ops him as well. Great now Heís taken my lady, from My chat room and now he has the same rights to the bot in the chat room. Heck heís just as much a supervisor in this room as I am. He wasnít even in this room last week. Now heís a freaking operator!! Dang it, because guess who controls the rights to the bot?? You guessed it, my angel. So I try to talk to her in private try to make some sense of this. Try to talk her out of this. After all I talked her out of that freak in Texas. I can talk her out of a freak in Canada. Trying to talk to her trying to reason with her in a private chat not out in the open. Huh another alarm?? What the?? User Freestyle has been kicked and banned. What kicked and banned what did I do?? NO, she didnít, she did not tell the Canadian to kick me. She did tell him, heck he showed me the history file. I aint gotta take this. I am NOT going to take this. I know some back doors to that bot, I know some back doors to that channel and I got some friends that know a few mirc tricks as well. Ok find them. Didnít take long, always easy to find tyger and ^livewire^. "Hey guys wanna take a channel??". "Sure, name the channel", "my channel." "your channel?", "yeah I got kicked/banned" , "by who??", "by her", "I told you about her" (tyger is a girl about my age) "yeah you did" "say when, and we will take it" "ok,Ö. When".

Itís over in about 20 seconds, gotta love computer wars. The channel is ours, didnít take long at all. To bad thereís not a job that pays to run an mirc channel. Point was proven. I give the channel back, get off line go to my room. The grief has become to much, I miss her, Oh God why did you this to me?? I miss her soooooooo much. Tears start running down my face. Why God why?? Why did you do this to me? What did I ever do to you.

2 and a half days later. Finally I go to sleep, because I have to go to work tomorrow so I need some sleep. Staying up for 58 hours straight is exhausting. Work will kill if Ií donít get some sleep, maybe at work I can forget about her if only for a few hours, and concentrate on work.

I get to work, I do forget about her for a while, after all tonight Iím working with Nick. Nickís great to work with. Heís different now, then he used to be. Used to be in a lot of mess. Used to date that girl I busted in the eye over last year, but she did him wrong to. So we have a kindred spirit now. Also he likes star wars. I love star wars. So talk most of the night since tonight is slow at the steak house. Talk about star wars, I tell him about the fun( exaggeration, wonít all that fun now that I keep thinking about it) of the beach. He graduates next year. Heís really changed now. His speech lacks any profanity now. Heís quit smoking pot, trying to give up cigarettes and making good progress. He smiles now a lot, a whole lot. Always so happy, what in the world has him so happy all the time?? I dunno wish I did I could use some happiness. Heck now he goes to church, even on Wed night. He enjoys it seems. Well to each his own. I envy him. WoW canít believe how much he has changed. I guess all things are possible. Maybe I shouldnít be so depressed. Nick doesnít seem to let much get him down, I should follow suit and do the same. I get home to find an email from guess who? If you said my angel youíd win the prize. Sheís sorry, she wants to talk to me, just me when I get home from work. In a room that just us will be in. Ok, Iím game, after all if nick can change like has in the past month or 2. Maybe she change too, we will work things out we always have before

The summer goes on, My days consist of me, Nick, and some of his friends going to various places the mall, the movies, playing Nintendo 64(I told ya Iíd get one) fun stuff. Iím actually having right much fun with them. Nick is a right cool guy. Clean fun at that, no cussing, no drinking, no tempting females. Yes, Iím rather enjoying this. Nickís cool, very very cool guy. Why is he always so happy though?? Whatís he know that I donít. Hopefully I will figure it out one day. Ahh, oh well any things possible. My evenings consist of working at the steakhouse, which is cool most nights Nick and Jeff are there except wed and sun. Nick doesnít work then keeps going to this church he talks about all the time. Oh well whatever floats his boat. I been to church before. Yeah they are all goody goody and preaching at church, and then drinking, and adulterous outside of church. (and they say kids donít pay attention) so I didnít care much for it. Nick at least isnít hypocritical about it. Heís not cramming this mess down my throat either. I appreciate both. I really do. Nights I spend on mirc, either arguing with my angel or making up with her. I like the making up party, but it never lasts, Canada boy is out of the way now, so is another one from Texas, now itís a guy in Australia. Will it ever end? Of course it will itís just a summer phase, sheíll grow out of it. Iím sure. After all I still got my tyger and sheís in Michigan if my angel can have a guy in Australia. I can have a girl in Michigan can I not??

Ok summerís over, Iím going to community college, computers. Seems Iím developing an ability for them. Angel is in love with the Australian now. Weíve decided to just be friends, close friends, very very close friends. Iíve almost had her back a couple of times when she was mad with aussie. She doesnít like Nick that much though or that other guy I work with, Swoosh we call him. In fact she doesnít want nick in the channel at all, or swoosh or any of my new found friends. She doesnít like any of them, she wants me to decide them or her. I canít decided. How do you make that decision?? So I pawn it off, I defend them. I stop fights between them. They decide to call a truce. Thank Goodness. Now just to get Nick to quit bugging me about coming to church on wed night. Well I work on wed night oh well canít go. Good excuse I think to myself. Life goes on, depressing for the most part, except when Iím with Nick and my new friends which is always fun but other then that itís rather sad. Itís like Iím missing something in my life. All this nagging guilt, but thatís ok. Gin and Jack Daniels always seem to chase that guilt away at least for now. Hey after all the other kids my age drink, why not me? Well Nick doesnít.

Thanksgiving and I have nothing to be thankful it seems. You see last night my angel told me and I quote "I Hate You, never talk to me again" that kinda hurt. Ok that really hurt I cried the whole night. Ugh, donít wanna go to that stupid church thing tomorrow night. Got to though promised Nick I would. Donít wanna do anything just wanna stay here, me Jack Daniels and Mr. Mt. Dew. Ugh canít go to that thing with a hangover. Pour the stuff out the drain. Ok now Iím at the church thing, itís not really all that stupid. In fact some of my friends are there. Syxx and J-Rod, swoosh, hosh, and even buffdaddy. The youth leaders are rather cool as well. DDC and Howie they are called. Been to DDCís house to watch Nitro the past Monday. Nice guy to put up with a bunch of youth watching wrestling on a Monday night. Had to be better things to do, But no he made me feel right at home. They even had chocolate. I love chocolate. Ok so I was wrong the church thing wasnít stupid it was fun a lot of fun. I got next wed night off too. Might come to youth. These guys are rather neat to hang with.

Itís Now Mid Feb. I havenít had anything to drink in a month. Iíve got a class schedule packed so I canít work at night during the weeks so that means I can go to youth on wed night. Howie the youth pastor is a cool guy. Talk about computers, baseball and stuff like that. Talk to my former angel about once twice a month but no more. Time to move on from that. New beginnings. Fresh starts.

Wed night youth is over. Iím sitting in the basement with Howie and Nick. We are talking about all sorts of things. Iíve noticed Iíve started to change a little too. No more cussing for me, havenít had a drink in almost 2 months. Life is a little clearer now. Still that nagging sense of guilt. Still miss my angel. However, I look forward to every Monday and wed night. With the guys from church. Met lots of nice people at this church. They are all so friendly they all seem to love me but they have no reason too. If they knew half the stuff I had done they probably wouldnít but wait a minute the ones in the youth do know a lot of the stuff Iíve done and they just love me the same if not more. Weird. What is this?? They must be crazy, all of them always smiling what makes them so freaking happy??

Finally, Iíve figured out what makes them so happy. Iíve figured out what makes so crazy seeming. I figured out what makes them love me so much. Itís Jesus, this Jesus that Iím told died on the cross for me. This Jesus that was the son of God. Well heck I was taught that to. Sure I believe Jesus was the son of God, sure he died on the cross and came back. Big deal whatís the point??

Iíve figured out the point. 3 of them. One of each nail driven though his skin. He died, because He loved me. He loved me sooooooooo much that he died. He was nailed to a piece of wood for me. All I have to do is accept it. All I have to do is get on my knees and ask for forgiveness. This forgiveness that is only found in the son of God and His sacrifice. What do I have to lose?? So hard to ask for forgiveness though all the things Iíve done in the past year much less in life. I canít even forgive myself how can God??

Canít take it anymore, canít live my life empty anymore. Ok here goes nothing "God I know Iím a sinner, Iím know Iíve done terrible wrongs, Lord I also know that you sent your son to die for me on that cross. Lord forgive me please, Lord Jesus come into my life and wash away all this guilt all this sin. Please Lord, help me see what Nick, DDC and Howie and so many others that church see Lord. Help me see you. In Jesus name Lord. Amen"

I arise feeling better, much better. I feel whole for once, I feel complete this is better then anything. Better then spending all that money back in the summer, better then holding my former angel in my arms. Better then anything in my life. Finally I see a path. Finally I see a clearing. Like the fog has just been lifted. I like this. I like this a lot. Perhaps this Sunday I will show up for service after all. I can still sleep to 10 and make it there by 11.

Now itís 9:00pm, 6/05/00, Iíve just wrote 6 pages of text, my fingers are tired, my eyes are weary and my smile is yet to fade. Why am I smiling you ask. Because in front of me is a picture of what is easily the most beautiful girl in my world. My T-Girl. Oh God, thank you so much for her. I never knew I could find someone like this. I never knew they existed. However with you God all things are possible. She is proof of that in my eyes Lord. In comparison she makes my former angel as appealing as an old shoe full of dirt. Yes she is very wow.

How has the other parts of my life turned out?? Well itís been no easy road, itís been quite a struggle actually. Each struggle won though, each hurdle cleared has been with the help of my God who is now in my life. Nick is my best friend, I love him like a brother, Went with his family to the beach the past 2 years, His dad helped me get a good job working as a tech specialist. Nick is a constant source of inspiration to me. A constant reminder to stay on the course, and then when I slip up he and the rest of my new found friends (we call ourselves the nBo, itís about 50 of us) are going to be there to help pick me up, dust me off and point me in the right way. Not only do I attend church now but I show up for Sunday school as well. I help teach youth on wed nights. Iíve led bible studies on Mondayís over at DDCís house. I help run a web page for all us. I say this not for my own glory but for Godís. Please understand that. He took me when I was nothing but scum, low life, low rent, low class scum. He has made me into something meaningful. He has blessed me beyond, anything I could imagine. He has given me the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for in the nBo. He has given me the most wonderful girlfriend I could ever imagine in my T-Girl (whose a part of the nBo of course). He has brought back 3 of my 7 friends from high school back around into my life and into my church and 2 of them into his good graces and his permanent family with hope for the 3rd one joining. Most importantly however, he has brought me into His loving kindness and forgiveness, into His arms and into His love.

I think now I understand what Paul was talking about in Romans 1:14-17 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Paul (formally Saul) was saved by the Lord Jesus, He remembers where He was, and what God has done for Him and where He is now. This is why I think He feels obligated to preach The Gospel to everyone he comes across, he wants everyone to know how wonderful and great God is, and what God can do for them. A message both Believers and Non-Believers can stand to hear.

The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. The Gospel doesnít bring power, the gospel doesnít give power, the gospel IS the power. The good news of Jesus Christ - has inherent power; we do not give it power, we only stop hindering the power of the gospel when we see it presented effectively

The gospel is not advice to people, suggesting that they lift themselves. It is power. It lifts them up. Paul does not say that the gospel brings power, but that it is power, and God's power at that." .

The gospel's power to salvation comes to everyone who believes; God will not withhold salvation from the one who believes; but believing is the only requirement

Well thatís my story, know you know why I believe what I believe. Since coming to Christ. Iíve enjoyed life more in the last 2 and a half years. Then the 18 before it. So it was kinda long, Iíve gotten a lot better at expressing thoughts and emotions now a days though =). The Christian life for me, is a wonderful life. Itís a fulfilling life. Thank you Lord Jesus, Thank you God, for blessing me like you do for forgiving as only you can.

If anyone out there doesnít know God, Doesnít know Jesus. Like know Him please at least consider it the possibility that God loves you enough to send His only son to die on a cross for you. After all I did, look where it got me. =)

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