Pretender to Contender: It’s been a long time coming

It’s been a while since I told my testimony, but today I was sparked by a sermon given at my church. The sermon isn’t on iTunes yet, but click here to listen to other sermons.  It was on Jude and how he called out all of the pretenders and hypocrites and talked about how we need to stand up and be true Christians.  Pastor Ritchie told a story about his wife.  When she was a young girl (I’m assuming 12-14, not certain), she accepted Christ into her life.  She was super involved in church, even touring the country with her music.  Then some years later when she was in college, she realized that she hadn’t fully understood salvation. She hadn’t fully understood what being a Christian meant.  If I remember correctly, she solidified her faith in Christ by getting baptized again and moving forward from there.

I basically went through the same experience, but it’s taken me much longer to come to terms with getting baptized again.  I accepted Christ and was baptized in an Episcopalian church when I was in 4th or 5th grade by the Archbishop of West Virginia.  Before I got baptized, my dad sat me down and asked if this was something that I wanted to do.  He asked if I understood what salvation and baptism meant, and explained it all.  I think he even showed me a yearbook of sorts of the group of kids he was confirmed with (he was raised Catholic).  If my fuzzy little kid memory serves correct, he even asked if he could get baptized as well, but the pastor said you only get baptized once.  So, he got anointed with oil and all that jazz.

When I went to university, one of the first people I met was my friend Daniel.  He was an RA in the building and he had a weekly bible study, BOOM (body of one outreach ministry, I believe).  Anyway, over the 2-3 years I attended that, I was introduced to the notion that you should get baptized again once you realize the way you’ve been living hasn’t been right.  I went through some personal stuff (not important to point out what, just know that it was sin).  When I came out of it and ever since then, I’ve known that I’ve needed to get baptized again.  Duh.  So why have I waited this long?  Because.  No one had ever pointed out how much of a lie it is to keep on living like this.  I can’t go on pretending like I’ve fully accepted life as a Christian (works + faith and everything else) when I haven’t even taken the leap to get baptized.  Although I do consider myself a “strong Christian”, I believe that the lack of getting baptized again has really been holding me back.

As much as I want to say that I don’t think I’ve been lying to anyone, just to myself, I have been putting up that facade of having my faith in a perfect little basket.  I’ve never ever claimed that this life and this road is an easy one.  It’s always a learning and growing experience, and this is the next step. Baptism.  I filled out the communication card today to say that I’m interested in getting baptized because Avalon is doing two Sundays of baptisms.  I even put the very shortened version of this in quite the sloppy handwriting, but again, I’m not perfect.

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NYC Day 1

NOTE: I’m in NYC for Book Expo America (BEA).

Today was.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  I felt like I was walking around in a life that wasn’t my own.  That or I AM GHOST.

I woke up this morning after three hours of sleep, and that was hard. My body was hating me last night, so I barely got down a scoop of breakfast before needing a full can of Sprite that I so graciously left in my dad’s car.

ATL of course is all about the stress free travel, so I got to my gate fairly quickly.  That flight felt long, but not full-feature movie long.

Sidenote: My plans changed yesterday so I ended up booking a hostel for the first four days of being here.  Also, I just read the “rules”.  One says, “Food and beverages are not allowed in the rooms and will be thrown out by housekeeping.”  I definitely slipped my chicken salad from Brooklyns Natural without a problem.

THAT’S RIGHT I WENT TO BROOKLYN.  My friend Jenn and I got together with her roommate to coordinate BEA schedules because that’s something you have to do to obtain the books you want.  My list is relatively short compared to theirs.  I am the odd ball.  I think I’m most excited about seeing BLOGGER FOLK and quite a few of my favorite authors.  Victoria Schwab and John Green, I’m lookin’ at you.

Also, there’s a lot of events I didn’t even know about that are happening concurrently with the conference/exposition.  So it’s good to know some BEA veterans.

I walked quite a bit today.  Probably as much when I was in Los Angeles last year.  I wish I had blogged some of that because Alexi and I, as well as a gaggle of friends, had some crazy adventures.  ANYWAY.  I walked from 11th/23rd to 5th/14th.  Because I am crazy and I needed the exercise. And sunshine. I had Jamba Juice for the first time in my memory.  I felt like I needed to tell my friend Dev because he is quite the JJ enthusiast.

Plans for tomorrow: There’s breakfast tomorrow morning at 8-9:30.  You know how we do… Slide in at 8:30 or something.  Anyway.  Anyway.  Then I’m going edit the frick out of a video.  If my roommate leaves for a good bit, I’ll make a BookTube News, but I am not certain on that as this hostel doesn’t have A/C so I’m dealing with street noise, as you would expect from Chelsea, NY.  Like, guys, I’m near Chelsea Pier.  I don’t know if that’s anything exciting, but I just had a rush of feelings when I walked past one of the pier buildings?  I dunno, maybe I’m falling in love with this city.  TO MAKE IT UP, I will be vlogging at BEA and BEA Blogger Con.  I will have no shame.  *nods*

NOTE: What the heck is my roommate listening to?  Goodness.  First, she’s listening to Rihanna, then fun., then some sort of Rod Stewart stuff.  And now back to the Rhianna/raggae hip hop stuff.  Whoever she’s listening to now either covers bits of Sean Kingston or vice versa.  I don’t even know music anymore.  She’s Argentinean so it’s all swell.  Okay, now she and I need to be best friends or something because she’s playing Party in the USA.  Girl, turn that up.

TL;DR – I’m in New York and it’s nice and humid and my legs are jello and my hostel roommate listens to a lot of American music.  And I got to meet and hang out with Jenn Levine. Cool.  Cool cool cool.

The Last Enemy

I feel like I’ve cried so much today.  For the most part, it was happy tears.  I watched Charles & Alli’s wedding videos (their CTFxC vlog and the wedding montage).  All the happy tears.

And then when I was cleaning up my plate after dinner, my Grandpa said in a serious tone, “Liz, I need to tell you a story when you have a minute.”  Because of the tone, I knew that I needed to sit back down.  So I did.

He told me about how he has always been close with God and that God had saved him from many situations he shouldn’t have survived.  He was in WWII and Korea as a pilot, so you can imagine the risk.

He told me about how when my grandma went into an assisted living home that she didn’t want to end up like the helpless elderly, the ones who need help dressing, get pushed around in a wheel chair, etc.  She was a strong minded lady, and whatever she set her mind to, that’s what happened.  Grandpa said they prayed that if the end was near, that it would come quick.  Grandma was only in the nursing home from July 4th until about January 10ish?  before she collapsed.  They both have Do Not Resuscitate on their medical records, so when she fell down or whatever, I don’t think the assisted living workers were allowed to do anything, so they told him to go see her at the hospital.

I was a face full of tears by then.  Sure, I’ve gotten over my grandma passing, but it still tends to make me a bit blue when I think/hear about the situation.

Anyway, Grandpa told me that if he ever collapses for whatever reason, that we shouldn’t resuscitate him either.  You can imagine that by now, I’m bawling.  Like, I can’t handle talking about death, much less of someone who lives in my house.  And because I’m CPR certified.  *insert unenthused yay here*  He talked about how if he stopped taking his meds, that it would take about six weeks before he would start having a stroke, heart attack, and all those other things that happen to men who are 87.  He has congestive heart failure (same thing as Elizabeth Taylor died from).  Pretty much, he’s the smartest man I know, strongest emotionally, but unfortunately has all of the old people things.

It’s inevitable, death, but I just suck at dealing with it.  I get over the blue state in a few days.

I know God’s been preparing me for this stuff, hinting that it’s coming, but I can’t help but get sad, y’know?  I am a very emotional person.  When someone I love is in some sort of mortal peril, if you will, I get like this. I understand what comes after this, that he’ll be reunited with his wife in heaven and all of that.

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Chorinthians 15:26 (NIV)

Things that make Liz uncomfortable: a list.

This is based off of this post by Alexi.  I thought it was a neat idea, so I thought I’d share mine.

1.  Alcoholism in my family. It sucks that we can’t go one family function without people getting sloppy drunk.  It’s annoying to the people who actually want to enjoy Thanksgiving without having to baby sit you.  This isn’t something I talk about with a lot of people because alcoholism is embarrassing!  And I hate complaining about family because when they aren’t drunk, they’re quite awesome.

2.  My half-brother.  He is in prison after a long chain of events.  Also, not that I think he owes me anything, but it would’ve been really cool if he had decided to live with dad instead of his mom.  And I hate that he blames my dad (technically our dad, but um) for what he’s become.  I don’t think I’ll ever be close to him, to be honest.  My mom and I talk about this every so often, but I don’t talk about it to anyone else because it makes me sad.  BUT he has an amazing daughter who is almost 16 and she is becoming quite the amazing young lady.  I pray for her to be the best she can be, given her circumstances.

3.  Where I work.  It comes up, and I’d rather not talk about it because it is a family business and I’d rather not make that public knowledge to my youtube/internet following.

4.  This isn’t an uncomfortable topic of conversation, but when I sit on my grandma’s old sectional couch (which is now in my television room), I feel really odd when I eat on the couch or when I have my feet on the couch.  It’s like she’s still sitting in her recliner, watching me.  So most of the time, I’ll have my feet off the edge of the couch to keep the couch in perfect condition.

HELLO.

I am back.

Yesterday, I took the written assessment for my (hopefully) future major.  It was one of those, “Does the internet help or hinder how we interact with one another.”  Of course I said, “Help.”

The internet has brought me friends and creativity, if not more.

I’d tell you more about the essay, but I don’t want to bore you.  Actually, I’m feeling really lazy right now because my eyes are watering and my nose is stuffed.  I took some Dayquil, and it helped some.  And I drank some vitamin C stuff.  OH GOSH HERE COME THE WATERWORKS.

Anyway, Monday was intense.  I had two tests (including the assessment).  Oh, and I got a 100% on my essay in Professional Speaking!  Score.  And then I spent 3 hours trying to get WordPress and GoDaddy to be friends (for my Elizziebooks blog).  To find out that the solution was SO stupidly simple.  All I had to do was change the nameservers for my domain.  Baby steps.

I’m sure that this is super entertaining.  I just want to get back into the habit of blogging for ~fun~.  Not that book blogs aren’t fun, but I’d like to have something more personal sometimes?

And I’ll never see the likes of you again.

Kudos if you understood the title.  If not, TO GOOGLE WITH YOU.

Anyway, I was scrolling through some Google Plus posts and saw a post from one of my friends about being in Ireland and experiences he’s had in Dublin and Cork.

I was typing out a comment about how my sister, dad, and I went there February 2006.  It got me to thinking about that time.  The memories we made and the ones I still cherish.  Even when kids were chucking pieces of porcelain at us as I took a picture of my dad in front of the Guinness factory.  And when we got SUPER scared during the ghost tour.

Anyway, the point is… You’ll never have those memories again.  You can play them over in your head, but you’ll never have those same exact times.  You’ll never feel the same feelings and you’ll never have that same family chemistry.  The people grow up, change.  Heck, you might have some times when your family doesn’t really get along.  But those memories will always be there (unless you get Alzheimer’s).  Now, I’m not going to say that they’ll always be of comfort, but they’re there.

Brain Crack & Ze Frank.

So, probably the best and most influential panels of all of VidCon were the ones involving Ze Frank.  I know, weird to say, right?  Honestly though, he is one of the most creative an innovative people on the internet.  I mean, other than the people creating the technologies we use to log onto such platforms.

The first panel he was on was called “Brain Crack” which involved himself, Hank Green, Alex Day, and Kurt Hugo Schneider.  They’re all fairly easy to find either by YouTube or Google.  Have at it.

The panel wasn’t just to talk about the wacky ideas these guys have come up with over the year.  Although I though Alex’s idea about a reboot of Power Puff Girls was quite hilarious.  They talked about what to do with said brain crack and what to do if it doesn’t quite work out.

Even though I’m always team, “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today,” it’s kind of nice to let things marinate before you jump into planning a project.  I’ve only had one major project while on Youtube, and it wasn’t planned very well, so it sort of… Erm… It was okay.  It could’ve been planned better.  But as one of the panel members said (Hank, I believe), if you fail at something, it’s still a learning experience.

Something big that I’ve learned from this experience is that when you have downtime after a project or whaaaatever, that’s when you can kind of let your mind simmer and ideas start bubbling up.  That’s the main reason why I carried around a notebook at VidCon.  I knew that I would be inspired to create new things and try different ideas, so I always had my tools to help me plan such things.

I almost forgot what I was about to write.  SAD.  Anyway, I came up with a half-baked idea, and I still need to plan it because I have a new format in the works.  I’ll still be using the old format at the beginning of videos, but this new format is something I’m excited about.  It’s nothing really new to the internet world, much less youtube, but it’s new for me and it’s something that I would really like to play with.  You will see!  It’s definitely going to help me make material that matters to me.

Saturday was also the day in which I got to see a lovely group of friends perform music and poetry.  ‘Twas awesome.  And then there was coffee, dinner, music, and dancing.

And this concludes the end of the VidCon blogs.  Tomorrow will be something new and whatnot.  I have no idea what it will be, so yeahhh.

Happy Voldey Appreciation Month!