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Richmond Community Church

Yet Another Stupid Rent-A-Cop Incident

By funny, life, rants, sarcasm

Anyone that knows me fairly well knows I like driving out to the country. If gas was cheaper, I’d cruise around aimlessly every day. There’s such a sense of freedom that comes with traversing the open road late at night, away from the light pollution of the suburbs.

One of my favorite places to go is Beaumont On The James, a roadside pulloff slash park and boat landing, off Route 522 in Powhatan County, on the James River. It’s beautiful out there, and a wonderful place for stargazing. It’s pitch black at night and completely quiet and peaceful, save for a few other souls who venture out therefor the same reasons on occasion. With the price of gas and my 17 MPG Xterra, however, this fifty-mile (there and back total) trek is no longer a frequent option.

That being said, I decided to only venture out a little ways last night. Rochelle and I were driving around, talking about this and that and working on some script ideas for upcoming RCC dramas. We were headed through the West Creek office park complex in eastern Goochland at the time. Deciding my tank of gas would dry up long before our conversation did, I figured I should put it in park eventually or I’d just drive around all night. So, we pulled into one of the parking lots for just a few minutes.

Not even five minutes into our stay, an SUV pulls up to my car. It was very obvious that it wasn’t a police car. Nope, it was a rent-a-cop, I’m guessing from the office park. I just laughed when he pulled up, because apparently I’m a rent-a-cop magnet (most of you will recall my VCU Police incident slash misunderstanding a few months back, plus other incidents).

So after I had a good chuckle, I put my window down and very politely said hello and that we weren’t doing anything wrong and would head on our way. In the SUV was a grumpy old man who spoke with a strain in his voice that was a result of his failed efforts to sound stern and threatening. He swiftly barked at me, “You are tresspassing! Leave immediately or I’ll report your license to the police!” All cops, real ones or fake (as was in this case) seem to have a coherent attitude towards people of my age group. No matter how cooperative or respectful you are of them, they still all seem to go on the defense right off the bat. I guess it’s understandable considering how some people my age would probably get into some sort of mischief out there, but come on, I wasn’t doing anything wrong and wouldn’t have even gone in there if I saw any sort of “no trespassing” signs. I didn’t see any posted.

So as I was backing out, the guy annoyingly used the only “weapon” he had on him: his flashlight. He waved it around in a circular motion and tried to blind me as I went in reverse. What the crap. He seemed like he was way more afraid of me for some reason, despite how nice I was to him, than I was of him (which was not at all).

So there you have it, another day, another “rent-a-force” (or farce) story. It’s funny how the people who actually do wrong in these places get away with it and people like me who do nothing get all the heat. Oh well, at least it gives me a good laugh every time.

Oh, and in other news, this morning as I was pulling out of my neighborhood, a Henrico County policeman (yeah, a real police officer story for once) had pulled over a golf course maintenance truck on the cart path! How great is that? Granted, he may have done something on the road and just caught up to the guy once he hit the golf course, but still, that’s priceless.

Forgive And Forget

By life, spirituality

Pastor Rick gave a profoundly impacting message at church this morning. It was all about forgiving those who have wronged you in the past and appologizing to those you’ve wronged yourself. I think everyone has both of these situations in their lives with at least one person, and I’m no exception. I generally don’t hold grudges against anyone, but there are one or two people who I need to apologize to for certain things. They’re actually mutual situations so I hope that by being the bigger person and reaching out to them to apologize, they might, too. But even if not, it will still make me feel better to right the wrong.

God forgives us for our sins by coming into a relationship with His son, Jesus Christ, and He commands us to do the same to others. He proclaims that there is nothing more essential in life than loving other people, and that’s essentially the basis of Christianity. That being said, I have a bit of work to do to make things right again in my life with a few people.

Celebrating Easter

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It’s today that we celebrate that Christ, who died for all of our sins, rose again. Take the time today to remember and celebrate all He has done for all of us and in your own life personally. But it really is something to be joyful about. I know it’ll be a party at RCC this morning at the services (and when I say party, I mean that they really get into it, even more so today than usual, and it’s very impacting and powerful)! Happy Easter, everyone!

Fun With Styrofoam At RCC

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What’s the best way to clean styrofoam out of a huge building? Ride it down the steps, of course! This is absolutely hilarious and we had so much fun doing it. Check it out (and make sure you have your sound on to hear all the ridiculous stuff we said)!

Time Management

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Pastor Rick gave what I thought to be one of his most inspiring messages ever today. It was all about time management. He’s done some great messages in the past and is probably the most impacting and inspirational speaker I’ve ever heard, but today his message really hit home.

In the service today, Pastor Rick gave a lot of great advice and wisdom about how to manage your time:

Evaluate your time priorities. This can be done (as I’m going to do) by keeping track of how you spend your time over the course of two weeks.

Busyness does not equal productivity. I am always busy with something or another. The whole week it seems I’m never free. But I’m finding that a lot of the time I’m not doing much of anything of any real worth or significance.

Establish time systems. This could mean many things. One example Pastor Rick gave was his own schedule. Every day, he gets up early in the morning and spends time in solitude praying and having study/research time to plan his messages. He’s also at home every night at 6:00 PM for dinner with his family. These two recurring events are set in stone in his weekly schedule, and are obviously very important to him. I need to figure out which things are the most important for me to do, and plan everything else around them on a recurring basis like he has done. Having set things to do at set times and days also makes it easier to say no to people when they ask you to do something, and that’s a big thing for me. I find it hard to tell people no when they ask me to help with or commit to doing something.

Eliminate time wasters. As you’ll read below, I’ve already gotten rid of a lot of my time wasters, but this is something I really need to work on more. Pastor Rick spoke about how you should delegate what’s important and find new ways to use wasted time, such as reading or catching up on something that needs completing when you’re waiting (for example at a doctor’s office).

I have some of the worst skills when it comes to time management out of anyone I know. I always have really good intentions of getting lots done, being productive, and accomplishing everything I need to do. In fact, despite my lack of priority-based planning, I have one of the most immaculately-organized iCal calendars ever (that picture is a screenshot of how my iCal looks on a weekly basis). It’s broken up into sub-calendars, the main ones being home, school, and church. I have everything from my classes at VCU to my weekly breakfast with Tori and dinner with Jen. From the looks of it, you’d think I was one of the most organized people ever, right? Not so much.

So why doesn’t it all work out in the nice, structured way it seems to by looking at my iCal? There are a couple of reasons. First off, I don’t seem to be able to stick to what should be my top priorities. It’s sometimes out of stress, lack of will power, tiredness, or sheer laziness. Other times it’s because something fun comes up and I end up going out with friends. All I know is I need to increase the amount of time I spend doing some things, reduce others, and maybe even completely eliminate a few. Most things are fine in moderation, I just need to find the right balance.

Sometimes the time I allot to certain tasks ends up getting wasted because I’m multitasking while I should be focused on a singular goal. I also get distracted (and spend too much time on) my Mac and iPhone. The biggest distraction involving both devices? Facebook. Up until today, I had a ridiculous connection to Facebook. On my computer, there’s a desktop program that flashes a little box in the upper right hand corner of my screen notifying me when someone writes on my wall or does some other action on my profile, I get an email with the same information, and then a text on my phone. Sometimes the Facebook email also goes to my phone. Now before you send out the “whitecoats” to haul me off to the nut farm, please understand that some of these notifications were in place from the time I first registered my Facebook account (almost two years ago), for example the emails. I just added one thing at a time and now I’m at this ludicrous level. I’m happy to say that as of today, I’ve completely eliminated all of my Facebook notifications on both my Mac and iPhone, turned off incoming email to my phone, and turned off the new mail notification sound on my computer so I don’t automatically open my email client and read it as it comes in.

In summary, here’s what I plan on changing with my schedule starting this week:

  • Allot more time to studying, working productively at church, and exercising
  • Spend less time on the computer, doing less-than-productive things, eating out, and not necessarily hang out with friends every night
  • Come up with the best balance of school, work, volunteering, and fun

I’m excited about finally getting a handle on my life and make time for the things I need to do and be able to accomplish so much more.

The Value Of Time

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Pastor Rick started a new message series entitled Time a few weeks ago, and I’ve got to say it’s probably the most impacting series he’s done to date (and he’s done a lot). The first week he talked about just how quickly life goes by. He made several analogies comparing your age with the time of day. I don’t remember exactly the ages and times he referenced, but if you take the waking hours (8:00 AM – 11:00 PM), if you’re 15 years old it’s about 10:30 AM. If you’re 30 it’s 12:00 noon. If you’re 50 it’s around 7:00 PM. Scary, huh? Time passes by more quickly than most of us realize. Today, Pastor Rick talked about how you should invest your time in things that have an eternal value and in things that will have a long-lasting impact.

All this got me thinking about just how funny time is. Sometimes I’ll do something and a few days later think that it feels like it’s been a week or two since I did it. Then, some event that comes around only once a year, take Christmas for example, and I feel like it just happened and the year flew by. It’s funny how different people perceive time in different ways.

One of the most interesting things Pastor Rick said is that people get along (or don’t) and associate with one another based on their time style. Some people prioritize their schedule. Others schedule their priorities. I’m definitely the first style (and sometimes I don’t have them in the right order at that) and I’m trying to become the second. It’s difficult, but I know I can do it if I keep at it.

To find out more about the Time series, visit www.highimpactliving.com.

One Semester Down, Changes For The Next

By Uncategorized

So my first semester as a college student was officially over last night after I took my history final. I think I did pretty well on my exams, but I know I still could have done better in terms of grades. Not horrible, but I had a lot on my plate between adjusting to college, working at church, and having a part-time job. I’m going to seriously consider the effect working has on school before I decide where I’m going to work next semester. I need to pick a place with flexible hours and good pay (so I can work fewer hours but make the same amount of money as I would in an average-paying job- does that sentence even make sense?).

Anyway, I’ve come to realize several things this semester. Not having much time to do anything besides what I mentioned above, I realized just how much I value free time. I got so burnt out that once I took a week off, such as I did from the church, I not only saw all of the stuff I had neglected to do for months and decided to get it done, but I also decided to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and just chill out. Moreover, what I really realized was that I just want to live a little and be a college student. I have the rest of my life to slave away at work (well hopefully I’ll be doing something I like), so I want to live it up while I can. I’m going to seriously consider changing a lot of things next semester.

First off, not seeing many of my friends nearly as often as I did before has caused that area of my life to suffer, and I’m not willing to let that happen. Friendships are an integral part of life and with schedule conflicts caused by all that I did last semester, I lost touch with some people that I’ve been friends with for years.Secondly, I don’t even do anything with several hobbies I had before. I have run a local history website (that I haven’t updated in a year) since 2001. This is the first time I’ve let that slip in seven years. I also have a history exhibition out at Field Day of the Past that I’ve done since 2002. This was the first year I didn’t set up my display because it’s a huge undertaking (the displays take up the whole tailgate area of my Xterra from floor to ceiling) and I just didn’t have the energy after the week I had.

There are plenty more things I haven’t had the time or extra energy to do, like writing, doing some graphic design and video projects I’ve wanted to, and on top of everything else I’m not going to let my school work suffer anymore either. To quote the lyrics of a song by Bruce Hornsby, next semester “there’s gonna be some changes made.” I’ve got to balance things out more. I’m amazed I’ve even kept my blog updated on an (almost) daily basis.

Christmas At RCC

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This past week, Pastor Rick started his first message about the Christmas Season. The first message was all about giving. He talked about how much giving to God blesses you. One of his points was that you can’t outgive God. He’s talked about this in the past in other messages, and told numerous stories about how people who thought they didn’t have the money to give still gave, and how their lives were transformed and how God provided for them. I am without a job as of last Friday, but after hearing this message, I’ve decided I’m still going to tithe and give to the annual Christmas Offering next week because I’m faithful that God will help me to find another job soon.

I’m Back, Here’s What You Missed

By Uncategorized

I know, I haven’t written since Thanksgiving. I’ve gotten at least half a dozen emails asking where I was, if I was still alive, etc. Thanks for the concern. I’ve been extremely busy with not only Christmas decorating (if you’ve ever been to my house at Christmas you know how long the outdoor light display takes me to put together), but I also painted my room and bought all new furniture at IKEA. I’m still putting some of it together, and will post pictures when it’s all finished. It basically looks like Starbucks (walls painted gold at the top, and chocolate brown at the bottom to chair rail level), combined with the European design that’s typical of IKEA furnishings. I think it’s pretty cool. School and work has kept me pretty busy, too. Basically, this is the first chance I’ve had to update.

Speaking of church, I originally intended to take off the week of Thanksgiving just to catch up on some stuff I had neglected for a while and take a breather, but once I started on my room, I realized it was a much bigger task than I originally thought, and I ended up taking this past week off, as well.

Well, I’ll have a lot more free time this week since I no longer have a job. Friday was my last day at the Attorney General’s Office. I had a lot of great experiences and learned a lot of things I otherwise wouldn’t have. There are a lot of great people that work there. Where to now, though? Hopefully the Apple Store at Short Pump Town Center. We’ll see.

I promise I’m going to start updating on a daily basis again, because I have a whole lot to write on. But for now, you should be pretty much up to date.