Deep Fried Diary: Day 2

Oh my! To say that today was amazing would be quite the understatement.

First of all, Raudel Hernandez (our Spanish campus pastor) preached from James 1 at Summit today. He talked about temptation and sin. Here’s just a few things to think about from what he said:

  • “Sin is not that we want bad things, but that we want things more badly than we want God.”
  • Every adversity AND every prosperity is a test. Do you honor God or do you ignore him?
  • “You always do what you most desire to do.” -Jonathan Edwards
  • We sin because we want to sin (see above).
  • Sin is sweet, but Jesus is much sweeter and more satisfying than our sin.

The message isn’t up yet, but it should be soon. I HIGHLY encourage you to listen to it here as soon as it is. It gave me a lot to think about.

Also, I tweeted about a blog post and tagged @SummitRDU and @JDGreear in it earlier this week. J.D. AND someone on Summit staff both read the post and tweeted back at me. It’s a silly little thing, but it’s still incredibly exciting.

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After church, I had a quick lunch with my grandma and a family friend, then I hurried off to the fairgrounds.

My first assignment of the day was to attend the Livestock Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I helped shoot (with a camera, not a gun) the event. There was a light reception after the ceremony, then Heather, Danette and I headed back to the press office.

My next assignment was to write a press release about the SPAM recipe competition.

When I finished that up, I took a camera to get some golden hour pictures around the fair.

I was on my way back, when I bumped into Andrea and Heather, who were on a mission to sell two extra tickets to the sold out Florida Georgia Line concert that Andrea had purchased.

We went up to Dorton Arena and successfully sold Andrea’s tickets, then we set out to try to get into the concert to get some photos for the Public Affairs Office. After some trying, we made it in, and were told that we could stay for the opening act (Larry Frick) two songs of the Florida Georgia Line show.

Shooting that concert was one of the coolest things I have EVER done in my life. We were so close– I was probably about a foot away from the stage. I’ll post some more pictures later this week.

FL GA Line

I actually didn’t eat anything at the fair, so no awesome fair foods to report on today. Never fear, though, I’m going back tomorrow and I WILL be sure come back with something to share.

Deep Fried Diary: Day 1

Well, North Carolina, the State Fair has finally returned and Honey Bee will be buzzing around with the rest of the Deep Fried Crew from time to time over the next week and a half to celebrate North Carolina’s Homecoming!

Today was the first full day of the fair and since I had the day off work, I made my way over to the fairgrounds to spend the day with Public Affairs in the Press Office.

Shortly after I arrived, I headed over to the flower show for the opening ceremony. Before it  started, they sent Rebecca (this year’s intern) and me back to the press office to grab something that had been left behind. So, we set off on our adventure. In the golf cart. With me behind the wheel. Scary, I know. The good news is that we survived, as did the people around us (even the stupid jerks who thought it was funny to play chicken with the golf cart).

This year, Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler introduced his “homecoming court” for this year’s fair: 10 mascots for 10 of North Carolina’s biggest agricultural commodities. They even used a picture I took on their Facebook page!

After the opening ceremony, we went to a lunch, where I helped served drinks. (Even on my day off, I can’t get away from “refreshing beverages,” “my pleasures” and taking food out to people’s tables.)

Later that afternoon, I worked on a press release for the House-Autry Mills cooking contests.

Jen and I also went all around the fairgrounds distributed signs for the scavenger hunt.

For dinner, Rebecca and I went out in search of some deep fried goodness. Oh, did we ever find some! I decided to stick with my fair favorite, a roasted ear of corn. While I was waiting for my corn to finish cooking, however, we noticed that the place next door had Pumpkin Funnel Cakes. It was DELICIOUS! it was topped with cinnamon sugar and cream cheese icing! YUM!

pumpkin funnel cake

Be bold

Throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded by Christian friends, coworkers and family. Insulation makes being a a Christian easy. There’s no one to make you think or to challenge your beliefs. I got comfortable–too comfortable.

Confession: the last time I shared my faith was in high school (and it didn’t end well).

I find sharing my faith uncomfortable. My excuses are numerous: I don’t really know any non-Christians. I’m a people pleaser–I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t know Scripture well enough to present the Gospel. What if I can’t answer their questions? I’m more of a “share my faith by my actions” kind of person.

On Sunday, J.D. Greear preached about sharing the Gospel and being bold about our faith (listen to his sermon on Acts 4:23-37 here).

I was convicted to say the least, but even so, I really couldn’t think of any opportunities to share my faith. So, I began praying for opportunities and for boldness when those opportunities arose.

This afternoon, I opted to hang out at the mall for a while after work and write some cover letters (for some reason, I work best when I’m tuning out the world).

While I was there, a mall employee that I’ve chatted with a few times came over and sat with me while he ate his dinner.

Conversation flowed freely as we talked about our families, backgrounds and future plans. We talked about D.C. for a little bit, which oddly enough (or not so oddly if you know about my experiences in D.C.), the conversation turned to church.

Talking about church led to a conversation about faith and Christianity.

I’ll be honest. It was rocky. I fumbled at the beginning. I didn’t present the Romans Road or the Four Spiritual Laws.

I mainly asked him a lot of questions about what he believes. I tried to make sense of what he believes and place it side by side with what the Bible says.

He believes there is a G/god, that sin exists and that your soul continues to exist after you die. He doesn’t believe that we need to be reconciled to God or that we need a Savior.

God gave me boldness and he gave me the words to say (sometimes I didn’t even realize what was coming out of my mouth until I had already said it).

I keep thinking of things that I should have said and questions that I should have asked. He still doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah. He’s not coming to church with me on Sunday. He didn’t pray to accept Christ.

BUT

I obeyed. He heard the Truth. We parted as friends. 

God is good.

Today, I am thankful

Yesterday I wrote about how I was struggling. Nothing has really changed, except for one conscious decision: I choose to be thankful.

  • I am thankful because I have family and friends (and even friend’s families) who love me and would drop/have dropped everything to help me out. Whether it’s coming to my aid during a crisis, inspecting used cars or inviting me to dinner, these people mean so much to me. Even if these people aren’t my “buddies” (although I DO hang out with some of my friends’ parents), they are precious.
  • I am thankful because I have friends and family that, despite great distance, show me love, hear me out, encourage me and make me laugh.
  • I am thankful for my parents. I am thankful that they are healthy, in love and my rock when things fall apart.
  • I am thankful for the uplifting music playing on my way to and from work today.
  • I am thankful for my job. Yes, I’ve traded my heels for “chicken shoes,” my address doesn’t include a 20002 (or similar) zip code, I’m not sitting behind a computer writing all day and I’m not making as much as I would like to be making as a college graduate; but I am still thankful. I have a boss that exemplifies generosity and graciousness everyday. I have coworkers that are work hard, take care of each other and are genuinely joyful. I get to use my gifts and skills both behind the counter and in building sales for our store.
  • I am thankful for understanding, kind and even jovial tow truck drivers.
  • I am thankful for autumn (including, but not limited to: comfortable days and cool evenings, pumpkin everything, changing leaves and the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas).

“…For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find…”

~Matt Redman, “10,000 Reasons”

Struggle Bus

There’s a phrase circulating popular culture known as the “struggle bus.” It’s used when someone is having a rough day or just can’t get things right.

Struggle Bus [struhg-uhl • buhs] noun – a metaphor for a difficult situation, used when things aren’t going your way

Sentence: Man, I’ve been riding the struggle bus all day long; I haven’t been able to get anything right!

Well, folks, not only am I riding the struggle bus, I am driving it. I have wrecked it (literally) and I have popped it’s tires (literally), yet I just can’t seem to get off.

I don’t know what God’s trying to teach me in this “real job-less, boyfriend-less, kinda lonely, car destroying, soon to no longer be living on my own” phase of life, but I wish He’d just go ahead and teach it to me already.

Tonight, I am just so tired. Of uncertainty. Of waiting. Of unexpected problems. Tonight, I want to know why I can’t get my life together or why I can’t seem to drive a car.

Yes, I know God’s timing and will are best. Yes, I know that He is good and I trust Him. I am far from losing my faith, but I still can’t help being frustrated.

In April, I wrote about how I was broken into pieces. In August, I wrote about how I was rejected. Today, I am struggling.

 

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