Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas at the Beahm's

The beauty of nieces and nephews growing up in my family is that the clock turns back about 10 years at the Beahm house. What I mean is that the older we got, the later we got up on Christmas morning. I can only think that this year is the latest we'll probably get up on Christmas morning for a while. Josiah was enthralled with the gifts this year... and he is not even 2 yet. I can't imagine next Christmas when he will be able to say words like "fisher-price" and "nerf dart gun." I can't wait. This year Josiah certainly received the gift of all gifts at our house. My dad got Josiah a police car, which is bigger than him, that he can peddle around in. While peddling is not one of the first motions kids learn... after pushing Josiah around the living room this afternoon, it is clear he is on his way to learning his way around in the car. The rest of the afternoon was filled with eating egg, cheese, and sausage cassarole, which after eating probably 2 lb.'s of, I am currently feeling the affects of. Well, I am about to Skype with Jenny, Alex, and Wendy Jane, but I will leave you with a video my roomate Blake showed me last week. The kid in this video reminds me of Chris about 10 years ago, minus the vicious scratching on the box about half-way through. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their families... and Nathan, Feliz Navidad. Miss you bro.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

10 gifts Jiu Jiu will never give Wendy Jane for Christmas

Jenny, your last post on double decker strollers got me interested in strollers. So I googled double-decker stroller, and found that double decker strollers were like jr. cheeseburgers compared to the monster thick burger of triple decker strollers and beyond. How anything beyond a double decker stroller is street legal... I have no idea. Well, one thing lead to another from my initial interest in strollers, to eventually thinking about all things Wendy related. So I decided to make a top 10 of gifts that Jiu Jiu will never give Wendy Jane for Christmas. While most of these could never be sent to China anyways, you and Alex can rest assured Wendy won't find these gifts under the tree from me in her toddler years. (no particular order)

1. Detachable skis for a stroller. I know Chengdu doesn't receive much snow, so it wouldn't be as useful a gift in comparision to if you lived in Boone, but regardless, I'm just not sure how these things are on the market. Black diamonds and babies just shouldn't have anything in common with each other. Wendy Jane, you will never receieve this gift from me. 2. The Pink SUV pet stroller. The day that Alex pushes fufu in a stroller, better yet a pink stroller like Wendy Jane's, is the day I drop out of ASU second semester of my Senior year and move to China (mainly because I want to be there to see it). Wendy, you will never receive this gift from me.

3. The baby Hummer. This is the Barbie Jeep and big wheel on Steroids. While this would be next to impossible to ship to China, I want my niece to drive something stylish as opposed to something with combat capabilities. This gift is much more suited for Huddy or Boston. Wendy, you will never receive this gift from me. 4. The stroller strap. The child in this picture is clearly cropped in, because I can't see any child being happy about being strapped to a stroller. Nor can I see this strap staying on for long, unless it has a padlock on it. Wendy Jane has a will, and I think freedom would be her way in this situation. Wendy, you will never receive this gift from me.

5. Harness buddy. A close relative of the stroller strap, this product is one that looks good on paper, but I just can't see it looking good in public. I know a leash when I see one, regardless of whether or not it looks like a Bailey or not. Wendy, I will never give you this gift for Christmas.
6. Tinkle targets. The primary reason I would never gift this to Wendy is because they are meant for poddy training boys. Secondly, I would never buy them for her because all you need for poddy training is a small light blueish, green plastic toilet, that can literally travel ANYWHERE with you (even on airplanes)... and an uncle to carry it. All these other poddy training devices are just gimmicks with catchy names I say. Wendy, you will never receive this fun, easy, flushable gift from me.
7. The Cart Coat. Hopefully you will never spend long enough in Carrefour that taking the time to decorate the cart would be necessary. I am a witness to how far a mere yogurt carton, gatorade bottle, or bundle of carrots can go in keeping Wendy occupied in a cart, so forget about your designer cart coats. Wendy, I will always be willing to help you decorate your room, but never a carrefour cart, you will not receieve this gift from me.

8. Diaper Depot. I don't know how all the stuff in this depot are related to changing a diaper. Give me a box of tissues, some lotion (not necessary, but useful) and a clean diaper, and we're set to go. Baby wipes: not needed. Baby powder: waste of space. Wendy, you will never receive this gift from me. 9. The Splash Shield. This product gives a bad name to bath time. There are no reservations with water during bath time in my opinion. Shields are for protecting. Water is for splashing. And bath time is for having fun. Yes, it could save some clean up time after bath time, but Wendy, you will never see this gift under the tree from me.

10. Last, and certainly least, I will never give Wendy a Duke mobile for a crib. Between the football powerhouse that Appalachian State is, and the basketball powerhouse UNC is, there is no need for her to have any affiliation with this second rate team. Don't be surprised if you ever receieve a Roy Williams edition mobile, or a Yosef edition though. Wendy, you will never EVER get this 'gift' from me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Why Jill Phillips is one of my favorite songwriters

"Working hard to tie up the loose ends
So hard to decide who you let in
Put your best foot forward with a grin

I can see the fear behind your eyes
Wondering if someone will recognize
You’ve grown tired of keeping up the lies

Don’t whitewash the truth about yourself ‘cause
Nobody’s got it all together
If you want to be like everyone else well
Nobody’s got it all together

I have seen the darkness of my heart
And found a love that taught me its too hard
To walk through life and not let down my guard

What good is it to say please savior come
If there is nothing you need rescue from
Life is something no one has a corner on

Don’t whitewash the truth about yourself ‘cause
Nobody’s got it all together
If you want to be like everyone else well
Nobody’s got it all together

When the parts that are self righteous
Start to disappear
Every other life is
Just another mirror
And life is way too short to run and hide

Don’t whitewash the truth about yourself ‘cause
Nobody’s got it all together
If you want to be like everyone else well
Nobody’s got it all together"

- "Nobody's got it all together"

Title track from Jill's new CD. Check it out. Ask for it for Christmas... I am.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekends in Boone and things I've been learning

This weekend has epitimized a classic weekend in Boone for me, and I will definitely miss weekends like this next year after I graduate I think. This morning I slept in a bit, then went to Espresso News with Craven and did some reading out of More than a Carpenter. I've come to enjoy reading and getting coffee at Espresso News more this year than I have in past years. I think part of the reason is because I realized how close it is to the Comm. bulding... but besides that, their coffee, and atmosphere really is better than any other coffee shop in Boone in my opinion. This afternoon I went over to Foster's to watch the Michigan vs. Ohio State game. I decided to pull for Michigan a few minutes before the game, but even though they lost, it was an amazing game that did not dissapoint in light of all the hype around it. Well, tomorrow I'm headed to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship for the first time in probably a month. I've only been there a handful of times this semester because I've been out of town so much on the weekends... whether doing stuff with Crusade, or running half-marathons, or visiting family. But, the Lord has been teaching me a lot recently through a number of different ways about the importance of community in the Christian life(one of which was the recent Boundless article on Christian webcasting, another was a passage out of the book "Serious Times" by the President of Gordon-Conwell, and finally Reggie in his talk at Crusade Thursday when he talked about having a critical spirit). So much of my college career has been me trying to 'work out' my walk with the Lord on my own, in the sense that things that supplement, whether books, or articles, or even podcasts/sermons... those things unfortunately can become the things I rely on most in my walk. And as a result, I think I have begun to see church (or the message on Sundays) in a sense, as merely a supplement to my faith, rather than a foundation for it, and a place, or community to pour myself in to. A verse that has come to mind recently is Galations 6:6, which says, "One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches." This command implies a response from me towards those who teach, whether on a Sunday morning or Thursday night. And it makes perfect sense, because then we start building a foundation for growth. If I am just consuming, consuming, consuming, truth becomes knowledge, and growth becomes stagnent. So often, I do neglect that response, and am not kept accountable for truths I am being taught... and I like the word accountable there, because we should be held accountable for biblical truth we learn, because scripture does hold utmost authority in our lives, and also because we should be sharing what we learn with those around us. But, just imagine the type of affect it would have in our lives, and in our communities if we started taking Galations 6:6 seriously. Things left unsaid would start being shared. Apathy could be replaced with action... and even awkwardness at church, with sincere care for others. I guess what I'm trying to say is, when my life becomes privatized, individualized, independent of the church, and divorced from authentic relationships that is when I am most prone to falter in a number of different ways. When I don't feel like going to church because I'm feeling ashamed, or guilty, or even apathetic, that is the time I should go, because I need the sharpening and encouragment of fellow believers, as opposed to turning on my ipod and listening to the latest sermon, by the most renowned pastor. In doing that I forget the God has placed me in a wonderful fellowship, for a greater purpose, with ordained leadership, in order to grow closer to Him and impact those around us for Himself through the church.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

My editorial article from The Appalachian (Nov. 15, 2005)

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

I recently saw the movie Hotel Rwanda for the first time. I thought the movie was so well made, I decided to watch it two nights in a row.

What I appreciated most about the movie was how real it was. The movie depicts the very real conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus in a very bloody period in Rwanda during the early 1990s.

Unlike most movies, there was little resolve for me after watching it, because I could not stop thinking that the events I watched, although some probably loosely based, really did happen.

I came away from the movie awestruck, feeling guilty even for how safe I feel here in America, and in my house here in Boone.

I started thinking how my life would be radically different if I had grown up in a place that appeared to completely disregard moral standards and the preciousness of life.

I also came away from the movie feeling as though something had gone completely wrong in the world for atrocities like this to occur, and in varying degrees, occur fairly often.

It seemed to me that somehow things were not always supposed to be this way.

What I mean by this is, what are we to think about the reasons for atrocities such as those depicted in Hotel Rwanda, and what about the constant struggle we all seem to have in staying within the lines of the law, or of moral standards?

Is this struggle merely relative to our surroundings, or upbringing, or is there a natural tendency within each of us to struggle to do what is right?

I believe that we as humans are capable of doing great things, like revolutionizing, and being activists in a society that needs much change.

But whether something so foreign to us as genocide, or something more familiar to us like choosing dishonesty over telling the truth, it seems we continually come up short in producing in ourselves, and in others the type of change that is both continuous and contagious.

In his book “Blue Like Jazz,” author Donald Miller writes, “I think every conscious person, every person who is awake to the functioning principles within his reality, has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group think, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself.”

One of my favorite sections of the book is when Miller writes about how after he protested a speech for the president, he realized, “I am the very problem I had been protesting.

I wanted to make a sign that read ‘I am the problem.’”

While I have never been much for rallies or protests, I can honestly relate to Miller’s feeling that beyond problems with policies, legislation, administrations, or politicians, lays a deeper problem within my own heart.

I so often overlook my own shortcomings in loving those around me and constantly pass out excuses and judgment like raffle tickets.

Although I may not commit atrocities in my lifetime like those depicted in Hotel Rwanda, the desire to place myself above others and my failing to treat others the way I want to be treated is nevertheless there.

So in that respect, I am hardly different in matters of the heart with those who committed the heinous crimes in Rwanda.

Miller says in his book, “It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished.

But that doesn’t make us good people; it only makes us subdued.”

I have come to the point where I know that all the goodwill I can muster up within me to love others better can not produce a change of heart in my own life or in others.

I believe however there is someone who loves me relentlessly, even in my shortcomings, and in that truth my hope is found.

Michael Beahm, a junior journalism major from Greensboro, is a news writer.

(I thought I'd post this on my blog, even though it is from last year... because the only other place it is, is on the archives of The Appalachian newspaper online). Hope everyone has a good weekend. Be thinking of me Sunday morning if you would, as I will be running in the Wilmington half-marathon with my roomates. - MB

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

13 miles and a battleship

I am now an official participant in the Battleship half-marathon in Wilmington on Sunday, Novemeber 12. While I was a little indicisive these past few weeks about whether I'd be up for another half-marathon (I did the Raleigh half-marathon my Senior year of high school), I finally decided to do it. Andrew, Daniel, and Jacob are the other guys running in it from the Manor, and a few girls we've been friends with since freshman year will also be running in it. I'm getting excited about it finally, and setting out to beat my time senior year, which was 2hrs, 2 minutes. That would be averaging 9 minute miles I think, which shouldn't be too difficult, although I feel like it's harder to run as fast now as I did in high school (something about 2 years of campus meals, some age, and weight I guess), but anyways I won't make excuses. Well, if anyone is interested in running in it (Jenny, if there's anyone you can come back from China for the weekend), you can still sign up by Novemeber 1st. Well, I'm headed to run with Daniel, then I think we are headed camping for the night. Hope everyone has a good fall break.

Friday, October 13, 2006

AP Concert

Tonight one of my collegiate dreams is coming true. No, I am not going on a date with a girl I think I will marry. Nor, am I playing in an Appalachian State basketball game after being drafted by a scout who was running around the indoor track at the rec center and saw me lighting up some three pointers in a pick-up game. Tonight, I am going to see Andrew Peterson and Jill Phillips play a show in Greensboro. Andrew Peterson has been one of my top two favorites artists since entering college - Derek Webb being the other. Although Andrew and I had a difficult first meeting in high school, as I discarded his cd because I didn't like his voice, he grew on me, as I grew in my taste of music in college. So although my dreams of playing competetive basketball, and meeting the girl of my dreams shall wait another day, Andrew, tonight we meet... Well, me in the audience, you on stage... but nevertheless, it's going to be tight.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bound for Boston

Tomorrow I am headed as far north as I've ever been in the U.S. The next two days I will be taking part in the "Discover" weekend at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary outside Boston, Mass. I really don't know what to expect, as I've never really had any experience at a Seminary. I went to Southeastern last February for an Apologetics conference, and also went down to Columbia International University in high school to visit. My experience at Southeastern in some ways ignited a passion for me to pursue Seminary, as I sat in on a lecture on worship led by a professor there, and also heard a professor named Bruce Ashford speak a couple times. Anyways, I'm excited about visiting Gordon Conwell, and hope to gain more understanding as to what to look for in seminaries. In a way it's hard to believe these sort of decisions are right around the corner, but on the other hand I'm excited about seeing where God directs my paths. I'm also excited about visiting Boston in general. It seems like a city with a rich culture, a lot based on the history of its location. However, with the Red Sox looking like they won't be in the playoffs this year (actually I think it's impossible for them to get a Wild Card spot at this point), I'm wondering if that will affect the mood of the city. We'll see. This past week at school has been stressful as I had 3 tests this week, but Fall Retreat this past weekend was awesome. I'm really glad I decided to go at the last minute, and it was probably the best Fall Retreat of my 4 years up here. It's hard to distinguish between the different ones, as they all had the common themes of being held at Camp Tapawingo, and all usually consisted of Packy and Jon Bass decked out in camo, and me having run-ins with barbwire during Capture the Flag. This year managed to leave out both of those, but it was made up for by some solid games of volleyball, cornhole, and Mafia, as well as chillen with the fellas late Saturday night, and some incredible experiences that made me feel like some things just aren't about me. What I mean by that in terms of this weekend is first of all cabin time. In leading the discussion time, I asked one question: simply, "What did you all learn from Daron's talk tonight" (Daron by the way was the speaker). For the next 30 minutes, the 13 or so guys in Cabin 3 proceeded to encourage one another with truth God had been teaching them, whether from the talk, or other experiences or reading. It was incredible to see guys being honest with each other, while at the same time sharing truth. That's something I think I've been learning this semester, namely the importance of being honest with my brothers in Christ, like Andrew, Dan, Nate, etc... and then also sharing truth from God's word with each other. Louie Giglio put it really well in a talk I listened to through Itunes from Passion a couple years ago, called "Waking up to the Whole Gospel." This talk is one that stands at the forefront of my mind in terms of radically changing my view of the way the Christian life is lived. Even though I forget how to live it everyday, I am hopeful that I am in the process of waking up, by pressing up and in to the Gospel which changes everything - as Daron put it this weekend. I'll be sure to let ya'll know how Boston is.

- MB

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Steady as she Goes

"Steady as She Goes" by Andrew Peterson

I see the thunderheads rise
In the northern sky
And my heart is sinking
In the threatening tide
'cause my portside's heavy
with the worries of life
and the worries of dying
on the starboard side

Well, I wonder, am I really
Stouthearted enough?
'Cause the ocean is rolling
and these waters are rough
There's a storm cloud brewing
In the sky above
So let my vessel be sturdy
Let my anchor be tough

'Cause the clouds are known to gather
and the wind is prone to blow
I'll keep my eyes on the horizon
Not below
And keep her steady as a river
When the wild wind comes to blow
I've already been delivered
So I'll keep her steady as she goes

Well, I shiver in the wake of the raging storm
And my rigging is tattered
And these sails are torn
Gonna cast this cargo overboard
But I ain't setting my headings
For no change in course

Though the clouds are known to gather
And the wind is prone to blow

I'll keep her steady as a river
When the wild wind comes to blow
I've already been delivered
So I'll keep her steady as she goes

So when you can't find the faith to slumber
When you're thrown by every swell
You know that you're not going under
With the captain at the helm

Friday, September 8, 2006

Pursuing God, nothing more, nothing less

Tonight I was reading the best of A.W. Tozer, one my roomates books. I was reading a short chapter called "God must be loved for himself." One of the paragraphs in there hit home for me, so I'll share it. Tozer writes, "Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used. His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after personal gain. He will not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection." Later in the chapter, Tozer writes, "If we love God as much as we should, surely we cannot dream of a loved object beyond Him, which He might help us to obtain." These are exciting words for me tonight. It seems to me that if I spent more time actually seeking the heart of God, and less time complaining, wondering, being anxious about things God is clearly sovereign over, I can only imagine how things might change. Another great thought I read recently is by Francis Schaeffer who says, "God is there. Not in here, defined and shaped by my own desires. God is out there. Objective. Absolute reality. All that looks like reality to us is dependent on God. There is a creation and creator, nothing more. And creation gets all its meaning and purpose from God." Those words pierce where I'm at right now, and what I need to hear. They are truths that we can never get past, because as basic as they seem, how can we ever fully get our minds around them. I may be familiar with them, but familiarity doesn't produce deep seeded faith. Only God can produce in me the childlike faith that He desires to put in us. I would write more about these things, but I could not do any justice to the words of Tozer and Schaeffer. It's also getting late, and my roomate is snoring some. So, that's my cue for bed. Also, if anyone has skype, I just got a webcam... so we can chat it up with video for FREE!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Summer Reflections, Senior Preview

One week from today I will be headed back up to Boone. I'm excited about moving back in to the house, and certainly looking forward to the first cookout at the Stone House (although the best cook in the house will be MIA - Nathan - until September 13). It's been a solid summer for real in my opinion. It's hard to believe this is my last one though as a student.. well, unless I am seminary bound next year which I hope to be. I've definitely felt more of the reality of the fact this is my last student summer, as I see less friends from high school still around town, and also I had two internships in 'the real world'. Those were indeed enough to make a kid happy about getting one more year at college though. But anyways, After spending six weeks with Jenny in China, I've spent these past five weeks working for my dad at Coyne Beahm Shouse advertising as a copywriter. It's been a cool experience, although definitely lonely on many occassions up there in that cubicle. The second half of the summer I've gotten the chance to spend some time with Turner which has been great. He is by far one of the coolest guys I know, a great spiritual leader and encourager, and besides the basketball team at UNC, TK is one of the only reasons I'd rather be at Carolina this year. Anyways, just thought I'd update everyone on what's going on in my life. If you are searching the internet and stumbled across my blog via facebook, or somewhere else, and have some time, check out They had some great articles in July, and also have some good ones in the archives. I mention that because Boundless is the best office mate out there for down time in the cubicle. I'm out for the evening. Looking forward to seeing all you App folks in a week, and Chris.. since you one of the only faithful readers of my blog that I know of.. just want to let you know you are clearly putting my blog to shame with your stories of Tyler Hansbrough, and shooting air rifles with your wife! I'm jealous.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Paris... Rome... Boston?

Anyone who was watching the World Cup final today probably saw a live feed from the site of where this photo was taken. But for those of you who didn't watch the game, if you had to guess where this photo was taken during the world cup game between France and Italy.. where would you guess? Paris? Rome? No, it was taken in Boston, Mass. Unbelievable!! America has soccer fans?? I mean.. die-hard fans that are standing in afternoon summer heat, watching a game on a distant projection screen between two foreign teams. Well done New England!! With that kind of support, maybe we can rally behind the U.S. national team in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Italy's win today though makes the U.S. team look strong, because we were the only team throughout the World Cup to tie them in a 1-1 draw in the first round. So in a sense.. I saw the U.S. hoisting that trophy today. Well, that's a stretch, but anyways.. I really wish it were us up there. I will say though if you get a chance to go overseas during a world cup you will realize international soccer fans are crazy about their soccer, even if their team isn't in the world cup. This will be my last blog about the world cup for 4 years.. so for those of you (like my sister Lisa) who read my blog, but are disinterested in soccer, this should be good news for you. Hope everyone has a good week. I start my summer job at Coyne Beahm tomorrow, so I'll be sure and post about how that goes this week. And, if anyone wants to go see the new Pirates of the Carribean flick, which I'm stoked about seeing, John Kiser and I will be hitting that up sometime this week, so drop me a line if you are in the 'boro.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

World Cup Recap

In today's anticipated world cup semi-final game between Italy and Germany, all of the allotted time, including two 15 minute overtime periods were needed to decided a winner to play for the championship this weekend. In the 119th minute, only 1 minute before the ref would call the game and force the game to be decided by penalty kicks (in which Germany was heavily favored to dominate in), the Italians came up with a beautiful goal.. set up by an even more beautiful assist. Then to top it off, the Italians ran the ball back down in the stoppage time of the second overtime to seal the deal, and earn a spot in the championship match between the winner of Portugal vs. France, in tomorrow's second semi-final match. Both teams of these teams have played well recently. France is coming off of a decisive victory over the heavily favored Brazilian team; however, they had a slow start to the tournament with two ties, many wondering if they would make it out of group play. However, Zidane is playing well, and Henry has been a reliable scorer this tournament. They happened to be the two that came together in France's only goal in Saturday's win over Brazil.. as Zidane played a beautiful ball from a set piece to hit Henry as he made a cut to the far post. Portugal won all three of their group matches, defeated a tough Netherlands team in the second round, and held off the English on Saturday in penalty kicks. Portugal had an easier first round, and proved worthy opponents to the Netherlands and English, so we'll see how they match up against France. My pick is Portugal tomorrow, simply because I think France won their world cup over Brazil on Saturday. However, if Zidane controls the midfield, and Henry can get open for a header off a corner kick, or free kick, than France could very well be playing Italy over the weekend. Anyways, enough talk about the World Cup. My brother and I have been obsessed with it though since I've been back in the States. Anyone who watches 119 minutes of scoreless soccer non-stop, is truly a fan in my book. Alright, I'm headed to bed. I hope everyone avoided the storms, and got to enjoy some fireworks tonight.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

World Cup Semi-Finals

Tomorrow at 2:55, US Eastern time, World Cup host Germany will play Italy in the Semi Finals of World Cup Germany 2006. We will find out if the host country can pull off another amazing victory, after Friday's penalty kicks win against Argentina (who I was pulling for to go all the way), against this year's solid Italian team. The Italians took care of a difficult first round group that consisted of the United States, Ghana, and the Czech Republic. Deep down, I'd like to see the Italians be victorious this year, only because the American squad gave them their toughest match yet (1-1 tie) in the qualifying round, so that makes the U.S. team look good. I think the Italians will ultimately be defeteated by a scrappy German home team though. The home team has done well in my lifetime of World Cups. For example, France won the tournament in 1998 when it was played on their home pitch, and then South Korea made an amazing run in 2002 when it was played on their home turf if I recall correctly (however, my blog is by no means This year has been an exciting World Cup, even though I was in China for the first 3 weeks of it, where the games came on at 11 p.m., and 3 a.m.. Tonight I'm in Apex, hanging out with my brother and Melissa, getting ready to drive to Raleigh to spend the night with my sister Lisa and Josiah. My brother and I are going to spend Indepence Day morning hitting some golf balls on the Driving Range, before I head back to Greensboro in the afternoon. Two of the coolest people I know, Turner Krebs, and Hannah Page are coming back to Greensboro this week.. so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them. Alright, I'm out.. hope everyone has a great night.. and support soccer in the U.S. by watching the World Cup tomorrow.

sequal to 13 reasons

For fairness, and in return for the six amazing weeks I spent there this summer, I will now post the sequal to the "13 Reasons post" from a few days ago, with "Book the next flight: 13 Reasons I want to go back to China".
1. I bought 8 bottles of water for $1.00, and 3 cokes for $1.00.. I was rarely thirsty.
2. Riding bikes is not recreation.. it is a test of coordination, fitness, and agility on the bike. Closest American comparison: Dodge Ball.
3. Thursday night International touch Rugby league.. I will do my best to make it catch on at ASU.
4. Practicing English with Chinese friends
5. Conveniant transportation: 1 yuan bus ride; 3-5 yuan rickshaw ride; 5 yuan taxi ride (8 yuan = $1.00 U.S.)
6. Speaking Chinese (not conversationally), just every now and then to impress Chinese friends
7. Carre-four (French supermarket).. Everyday shopping crowds like it's the day after Thanksgiving
8. slippin, slidding, and hooping it up on a DIRT court with International Fellowship peeps on Sundays
Jiaozi (fried dumplings), Banana Pancakes, Peter's Tex Mex Grill, and my favorite: Jenny's home cooking.
10. Watching World Cup matches with the rest of China in the middle of the night
11. Eggs and Testosterone: Men's Thursday morning breakfast.
12. Alex, Jenny, and all of their co-workers over there.
13. Being Wendy Jane's bodyguard

I thought about doing 22 reasons, simply because China has 22 provinces; but, the concentration of 13, as I did with America may lead to better, funnier reasons. I'll let you be the judge.

We'll it's nearing 4 AM Sunday Morning, and I feel like it's 10 in the morning.. or atleast sometime during the day. I went to bed at 12.. woke up at 2.. got out of bed at 2:30.. and am definitely awake. Jet-lagged am I. Oh well, atleast you get to enjoy another blog as a result. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

By the way: Jenny, Alex, and Wendy Jane arrived safely in Uganda Friday. They will be there through the entire month of July. Be praying for Jenny as she and Wendy serve with high school students in an orphanage in Kampala, and for Alex, as he provides leadership for a team of high schoolers.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Railway to Tibet

This weekend marks the opening of the railroad from Beijing to Tibet. This railway will be the first of its kind, as it will allow people to travel from Eastern China to Western China easily. I don't know about you, but I think I've had a dream about this sort of thing before. Imagine journeying across mainland China old school, by train, and looking out your window to see the Himalayas off in the distance! Wow. Here is a brief description of how the plan was started, and also, how the train can bear the intense altitude changes.

"In 2001, the plan was resurrected. Engineers determined they could build elevated bridges over the most unstable tracts of permafrost. In other places, they could sink pipes with cooling elements into the ground to stabilize track embankments, ensuring they stayed frozen."It's kind of like non-electric refrigeration," said Zhu.The train cars, manufactured by Canada's Bombardier Inc., are fitted with double-paned windows with ultraviolet filters to protect passengers from the sun's glare and have carefully regulated oxygen levels in all classes of travel."

For anyone who prefers to be a few feet off the ground, rather than 30,000 (by plane), like myself, this sounds like a sweet adventure! Anyone with me? For the full story, here is the link:

By the way: Here is Tibet relative to the rest of China

Thursday, June 29, 2006

13 reasons why I'm glad to be back in the United States:

13. Blue sky and fresh air (much of the time)
12. Drinking water from the tap
11. I don't have to fear visiting a squatty
10. Speedo's are not a natural occurance at the swimming pool
9. Sweet Tea & Sportscenter (they kind of go together)
8. Boone trout streams & rivers
7. Riding in a car/taxi does not make you want to be sedated
6. Pringles don't come in seafood flavors
5. Communicating in English comes more naturally to me
4. Democracy
3. Westover Church, and friends and family
2. Dog is never an item on the menu (although it does tastes like beef)
1. World Cup games come on during the day, not while I'm sleeping


It's Thursday afternoon, I think, although my body is telling me it's Friday morning. I just got off my third and last flight from Chicago last night around midnight. It's good to be back in Greensboro, see my parents, and talk to friends for sure. This was my fourth adventure to China, and it sure did not dissapoint. It took a few weeks, as usual, to get reacclimated to Chinese culture.. but by my last couple weeks in Chengdu, every bit of me would not have minded staying the rest of the summer. It was especially hard leaving Wendy Jane. That is her playing with my IPod in the picture. The hat was staged for the picture, but the IPod was all her. I felt honored that she started saying Jiu Jiu by mid-June, which means mother's younger brother in Chinese. That is now one of about 10 words in Wendy's arsenal of vocabulary. Jenny, Alex, and WJ will be traveling back to the States for about 2 months next summer.. so it was refreshing to keep that in the back of my mind as we said good-bye in Shanghai. As I was boarding the plane in Shanghai, the three of them were preparing to go to Uganda for a month, where they will be leading trip for high schools students from China, and America. It's been a dream of theirs for a while to go to Africa.. as it has recently become mine.. so it'll be cool to hear how the trip goes in August. For anyone living within two hours of Greensboro this summer, namely Raleigh, Charlotte, or Boone.. give me a shout, and we can hang out. I start an internship at my Dad's office July 10.. but weekends roadtrips will definitely be in store until Senior year starts back up at App State.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Sunday Morning

It's Sunday morning here in Chengdu, and I'm getting ever some sort of stomach virus that I picked up Friday. It's been a rough couple days, but I slept better last night, and can hopefully do some solid eating today. On a better note, tomorrow marks the birth of my brother Chris - he'll be turning 26. Happy Birthday Chris. The past few weeks here in Chengdu have been good. I think Wendy Jane learns something new everyday. For example, literally overnight she can know identify a clock.. and say "coo coo" if you point at it. WJ is practically a celebrity here in Chengdu, and anytime we're out in public she draws a crowd, and has probably caused a few bike wrecks or two by distracting people. The Chengdu Weekly Internship is going well, although it is much different than I imagined it would be. I'm still writing articles for the paper, however, it is more of a free lance position... as I only went in to the office Tuesday morning this week for the meeting to pick up my assignments and give my ideas. The articles so far have included a restaurant review on Peter's Tex Mex, an NBA Playoffs article (which was mad fun), an article on a rugby league in Chengdu (that I actually played in last week), and a couple more. Friday I interviewed a carpenter here in Chengdu, and will be writing about him for next Sunday's edition. One of these weeks I'd like to be more involved in designing a page for the paper, and doing some editing. Time with Jenny and Alex is great. Jenny mentioned a few weeks ago that this summer is perhaps the longest time we've lived together in eight years. It's cool to see what life is like for them over here, and meet a lot of Chinese friends they have. I'm headed down to Kunming with Jenny in about a week, and will be visiting the one and only A-Roc, as well as Flan-Daddy, Matt Foster, Parke, Whitney, Alinna, and the rest of the App Crew there this summer. I'm stoked about seeing some of the best in China. Also, last week, I got the chance to eat dinner with Ryan Berry, and the Hollendfellows group from App. It was great to be thousands of miles away from App and see people who were RA's with me, and had class with. Again, if you want to wish the bro a happy birthday.. check out , and leave him one.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

First week in the 'Du

It's Sunday afternoon here in Chengdu, and I just returned from a quality breakfast at 'Del Mar' with Jenny, Al, and WJ. I've been here about 5 days now, and have definitely enjoyed being back in China. This is my first experience in China apart from being on a trip with a large group, and it has taken some getting used to.. as I've missed the excitement of being with folks who are experiencing China for the first time, and being in fellowship with friends. But, getting the chance to be with family, and seeing what it is like to live over here full time with Jenny and Alex is going to be a great experience, and I've already learned a lot just in this past week.. jet-lagged and all. An unexpected event happened thursday afternoon, as I threw out my back in the apartment. No, I'm not the old man that it sounds like I am, I actually strained it initieally Sunday afternoon by hoisting my bro over my shoulder (accidently). But then after 30 some hours of travel, I guess all that sitting upright wasn't best for it.. and then finally Thursday I pulled the last straw that broke my back you could say. I'm going on my 4th day of resting it today, and I'm definitely ready to spend an afternoon hanging out in Chengdu, and not laid up on the couch reading/sleeping/watching movies.. but He is certainly good, and I can't complain about the rest. I'm also thankful Jenny has been around the apt. to pick up things I drop, give me advil, etc.. My back has felt that best yet today.. so hopefully this week it will continue to improve. Tomorrow I begin interning for the Chengdu Daily/Weekly newspaper. Right now the plan is to work there MW and Thurs., with tuesdays and fridays studying 2 hours in the mornings with Jenny's Chinese tutor, and also helping Alex with some stuff. I'm unsure of all the internship at the Chengdu Weekly will entail, but Alex assured me it was good to be flexible concerning it. The weekends will probably consist of hanging out in Chengdu, doing some hiking, hanging out with WJ, etc... and also taking a trip down to Kunming in June to visit everybody. I believe thats all the news for now, I'm going to hit up the couch.. and either throw in a movie, read, or listen to a podcast (which by the way are stinkin awesome to have over here). Hope all is well in the states.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Summer in Chengdu

This summer I will be in Chengdu, from May 9 to June 30. I will be working for the Chendgu Daily a few days a week, assisting with the weekly English newspaper which is published on Saturday's. The rest of the week I will be helping Jenny and Alex with anything they need, working with a friend of theirs on a web magazine he's starting up, and hanging out with my beautiful niece Wendy Jane. Hopefully, if I can get good internet access while over there, this blog can serve as your source to my life (as my brother put it) while I'm over there. I can also get emails while I'm over there, at, which will probably be the best way to stay in touch. I hope everyone has a great start to the summer.