The New Beginning


This week started a new semester, a new chance at learning new material.  New and old faces pass us in the hallways, and this is a new beginning for The Cross-Between.  This summer, I worked almost every day.  I didn’t go on vacation, just worked and worked, I didn’t even leave town, except for some training I underwent.

You would think it would be a great time to write, to get a lot out of my head, but it wasn’t. I was always tired from work, I was always stressed over finances, and when I wasn’t tired or stress, I’d go outside with a lighter, and make a bonfire in the fire pit, or go hiking on the AT (Appalachian Trail).

This summer I failed as a writer.

But the summer is over, and now in school, I feel that the rhythm of school and the focus of learning gives me ideas to write about. The rush makes me want to write, and when I write for class, I find ideas within that I could write about here.  I will be writing a lot this year. I have two communication writing classes, one on news writing, the other on editorial. I’ll be writing in the opinion section for the Liberty Champion (the school newspaper), and here, The Cross-Between.  I take The Cross-Between seriously, and even though my summer didn’t show it, this semester is going to be a great time to regurgitate the things I learned this summer.  One thing I learned, make sure when you create a hootch out in the woods during Army training, use a mosquito net along with the ponchos.  Stupid mistake!  I could have enjoyed many more hours of sleep with a mosquito net.

This new beginning to the school year is also part of my long journey to becoming a successful and published writer/journalist.  The next step, is my journalism degree, and after that finding a humanitarian type organization or magazine somewhere around the world that needs a journalist. On this journey, I will have The Cross-Between, and keep writing. This summer was a three month break, but I’m back and will keep this adventure going.

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The Cop Out


In the last week or so, I haven’t really had much to say.  I could tell you that writing was pushed to the side during my Thanksgiving break, but that would definitely be a lie.  I thought about writing.  I ached over the fact that I hadn’t written.  To be totally honest, I was blank, and couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to write about.  But now I have something.  And it’s something I actually take to heart.  It’s important to me.  I’m going to write about something that deeply upsets me.  I do it, and I find that many around me, at my Christian University do too.

At my school, each student is required to partake in a “course” called CSER.  It stands for Christian Service, or Community Service, and many call it C-Serve.  Because I transferred into Liberty University this last year, I had never participated in CSER.  I went out job hunting so to speak, and I found a health and rehabilitation center here in Lynchburg that caters to the elderly.  It’s similar to an elderly home, but most of the patients here are younger, but have physical problems or illnesses that require constant monitoring.

Now I’ll dive into what upsets me.

I’ve been going since September.  And since then I have become friends with a few of the elderly gentlemen that live there.  There is one elderly man, whom I shall call Bob, that I have become good friends with.  I’m upset with myself because there will be days and weeks where I tell myself I’m too busy to go to hang out with Bob.  Every time I go, I enjoy Bob’s company.  We have great talks.  I really enjoy going, and every time when I leave, Bob thanks me for coming and spending time with him.  I am disgusted with myself because some days I’ll say I have too much homework to do, and then I’ll waste my time on Facebook.  I could be really making a difference in the lives of many people, but I sit on Liberty campus.  Nevertheless, I do go.  I’m glad I go, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else for CSER.

The fact that I don’t spend a lot of time at the health and rehabilitation center does upset me,  but there is something else that upsets me even more.

There are so many CSER opportunities out in the community.  There are tons, just to name a few, working at an elderly home, working for Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children, volunteering at the hospital, or anything out in the community.  But I find that most people at Liberty find really horrible CSER opportunities.  Instead of being out in the community, where people need Christians, and Christians are needed to serve, like Jesus, they decide to do a CSER right here on Liberty University campus.  WHY?  The word of God and presence of Christians is already right here on campus.  But in Lynchburg, only 2 miles away from campus, I don’t find Liberty University students doing CSER.  People can choose to do a CSER on campus where they sit in a professor’s office and do paperwork, or you can work for the Liberty security and do office work for them.  To someone in the community, looking in on CSER, it would seem as if Liberty is just getting free labor.  I, as a Liberty student, see it that way too.

God has called Christians to be out and among the community.  If we are going to do Christian service, or COMMUNITY service, then Serve The Community. Working on campus for Liberty is a cop out.  God desires every one in the community to follow Him, and if we aren’t in the community, and off Liberty campus, how is that going to ever happen?  If  the CSER isn’t out in the community, then call it Liberty free service, where you work freely for Liberty that is right now spending 50 million dollars on their new Library.  They have the money pay people to work on campus, but they can’t pay people to love and care and desire a change in the community.

Fellowship


I realized something yesterday, that I had missed over the last few months.  Last semester, I was on leadership here at Liberty University and every Monday night, we had a prayer group and small devotional with the leadership.  This year, it took a few months for me to get into leadership, and yesterday wasn’t my first day on leadership, but due to other circumstances, it was my first day being involved in the leadership prayer group.  I must say that while I sat there listening to the devotional we received, I realized that in the last few months I missed that fellowship.

Our prayer group is made up of all the leadership on the dorm, and we are all Christians.  What’s different from this prayer group and the normal prayer group each week, is that this one is for the leaders, while the regular one is by the leaders for the guys in our dorm who may or may not be followers of Christ.  While the prayer groups for the regular guys on the dorm is really good, the fellowship and devotional within the leadership prayer group was just so much better.  Everyone within the group participated, and brought something different to the table.  We each had a knowledge of the Bible, and so we all were able to discuss, instead of just listen.

What I realized last night, is that as a Christian guy, I don’t only need Christian friends, but I need to fellowship with them and dig into the Bible and learn with them.  We need to support each other, and pray with each other.  I needed to be a part of this leadership prayer group as of the beginning of school, but since I didn’t have one during the summer, I didn’t really miss it.  But then when I experienced it, I realized that I had missed it, and that I needed it.

 

 

Front Line Tour showing at Liberty University


Hey everybody, Invisible Children will be at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA on Monday, Nov 7th. In Towns auditorium, there will be a screening of their new documentary, Front Line tour, at 7:45 pm. If you don’t know what Invisible Children is, or what their about, I ask you to watch this clip. And if you’re in the area, I hope to see you there.