Lesa Close: Azusa Pacific University Coordinator for Bush/Cheney ’04

I am now the holder of an official position on the Bush/Cheney campaign! I accepted the position this afternoon, after much prayer, thought and deliberation…and though I am still apprehensive about some aspects, I know that this will be an experience I will never forget…and I am up to the challenge! I am still so honored to be asked to take on this position. I am now a “coordinator.” SWEET!

Today was alright…I found out a kinda disappointing fact today in my Medieval Europe class…we have been talking about the Roman Empire, and that inspired me to watch “Gladiator” last weekend. After watching the movie, which is fairly accurate historically as far as the culture of the times, and the events that occured after Marcus Aurelius’ death (isn’t that a marvelous name? Maybe I will keep that in mind for a son…LOL…JK!). I asked my prof today, though, how Marcus Aurelius died…because in the movie, his son, Commodus, kills him because Marcus was not going to name his son his successor…and that is fascinating to me…so I asked–and it is not the story that is regarded as true by most historians. Most say that he died of pnuemonia or something like that while he was up in the Germanic country fighting wars for many years…so, while that isn’t nearly as captivating as a son killing his father so that he can be in power, that is most likely the truth, so I will accept it. And morally it is a more preferrable situation, as well.

I am in the middle of writing my autobiography, for a class, and it is fairly tough–because we have to write in the third person. It is only tough because I am having to step back and look at my life in a completely different way…I am writing this paper with a political theme, beginning with a scene from the future, when I am inaugurated as Vice-President, with Zachary Ritter as President, in 2028…I am enjoying the assignment, for the most part, as it is fun to look back and see just how political my life has been from the time I was three years old…good times.

Alright, I suppose I should get to bed. Not much else happened today–except that I was unable to watch the State of the Union because I was at work. I did listen to part on the radio, and I have the entire transcript…but it just isn’t the same. Watching these important speeches is just as exciting as the Daytona 500 or the Superbowl to me…:) Yeah, I’m a nerd! 🙂 Have a blessed day!

An interesting day…

Today was interesting, mostly good 🙂 Spent the day with Steph and her family, and it was fun and relaxing…watched “A Few Good Men” and “Crimson Tide”, for the first time, which was great. I have actually been doing homework today, for the first time this weekend…a shocker, I know 🙂

Trying to decide about the Bush Campaign position–which I want to do more than anything! 🙂 But…there are a lot of things that must be considered before I just jump head-first into this job…please pray for me, as I have to make my decision soon…I have pretty much made up my mind, but still am not certain…

My professor for my Current Events class is the author of many books, and for this class he is having us read one of his own, a book called “Living Victims, Stolen Lives.” (By Brad Stetson) In this work, he talks to the parents of murdered children, and the chapters are interviews, verbatim, from his time with those parents. His introduction was so eye-opening, and so angering…he presented many statistics about murder, many of which I did not know. For instance–did you know that by the time you are in high school you have witnessed an average of 40,000 murders through media? 40,000!! I highly recommend this book, as it has raised my awareness level a great deal, and I am so angered at these murderers, most of whom are still roaming the streets…feeling probably no remorse for the pain that they have caused countless family and friends of these poor victims…anyway…

Plans for Spring Break are in the works, and I am totally excited! I wish that it were closer, and not three months away…but I will be plenty busy in those three months! 🙂 I am so excited about seeing Chicago, a great lake, and getting two states…oh yeah, and about seeing Mike and Larry!! (Of course I want to see them the most!! :)) So yeah…gives me something to look forward to!

This week will be crazy…tons of classes…way too many…I do still have the option of dropping one by Wednesday…but I think I can handle them. 🙂 This week will not be nearly the social time that this weekend turned out to be. Sigh…back to being an undergraduate college student…

“Never tolerate, because of sympathy for yourself or for others, any practice that is not in keeping with a Holy God. Holiness means absolute purity of your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and every thought in your mind…Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life.” –Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, Sept. 1)

Great night!!

Wow–it was SO great to hang out with Aaron tonight! There is just something so amazing about ASP friendships…such a bond, such a depth to the relationships…and it was so wonderful to see him. I can’t say it enough–God has truly blessed me!

Anyway, APU beat Vanguard tonight, I think it was 74-42 or something like that…a pretty decent win. 🙂

Goodnight!

Thoughts…

Well, today I had set aside as a study day…I was going to do all the reading for Tuesday…I was going to write my paper that is due on Thursday…but…God gave us such a beautiful day!! 72 degrees, sunny…so I…well, let’s just say that the apartment is clean, and my heart is filled with joy from talking to so many people today on the phone (unlimited weekends!!)…and still my books sit here, staring at me…oh well! My good friend Aaron from ASP is coming to see me tonight, and he is definitely more important than reading about Medieval Europe! 🙂 Also, my roommate from my freshman and half of my sophomore year, Allison, is going to visit tonight while she is in town from Colorado…that takes precedence over studying (I know what Mike is going to say about my excuses!!)…

God has filled my life with so much joy, even through the suffering and trials He has allowed me to undergo in the past 5-6 years…but I have realized just how much I have to be thankful for! My hand has recovered about 85%, so I am able to use it–which is a total blessing…a year ago I could not move my hand, much less play piano or write…now I can do all these things and more…I have been blessed with absolutely unforgettable and amazing friends, such as Stephanie, Mike, Aaron, Jason, Dan, Nate, Larry, Alli, Katie (basically everyone from ASP!!), Sara, Leslie and Jessica…and these friends love me because of my uniqueness, not inspite of it. 🙂 God has blessed me with this university, which I do love despite my problems returning and transitioning…It makes all the trails and hard times well worth it!

I have a dear friend who is really hurting right now…the pain does not seem to end, but only seems to grow stronger…I am so concerned for this friend of mine, as I feel that the pain may be leading into a type of depression…And it pains me so to know that I cannot do anything to take the pain and suffering away…I want to offer some encouragement, and all I really can say is this: Friend, allow God to take away the pain…He died on the cross so that He could live through you, and if we surrender our hurts and “cast our cares” (I Peter 5:7) upon Him, He will sustain us…I Peter 1:22 tells us to “love one another deeply, from the heart.” Friend, I cannot tell you how much I care for you, how much your friendship means to me…you are an amazing individual, so full of life and knowledge…so full of compassion and love…I am praying for you, by the hour, and often more than that…and I pray that you will find your hope and strength in the Lord Jesus, because He wants to take our yoke and to give us His (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30). Friend, you know who you are, and I pray that you will seek the Lord with all your heart, because it is then that you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13)…I am ALWAYS here for you, even if I am not physically close to you.

Tomorrow will be another wonderful day…I will get to teach Sunday school again, to my junior-highers…I will be able to hear and see how they have grown since I saw them last…I will be able to worship my Lord and Savior…tomorrow night my fellow youth leaders are taking me out, to welcome me back, and I know that we are going to the Bonaventure, in downtown LA, to the rotating cocktail lounge…it is such a great place! They took me there in May, before I left for Pennsylvania, and it was such a beautiful view..great place…I am excited! Then I am going with Stephanie to her house to spend the night and spend my day off with her family. Good times!!

Anyway, thanks for reading…please pray for my friend…pray for peace, for guidance, for sustenance, and for God’s love to surround and fill my friend’s heart…:)

A Song…

My good friend, Jon Rossi, is quite the talented writer, and has composed many songs for his various bands throughout the years. He sent me this song today, and I thought it was worth posting. It captures the frustration of trying to capture God’s love and His Word in a simple song…

Lines On Paper

lyrics: Jon Rossi

Write some lines on some paper

Trying to turn my thoughts into ink

My hand can’t write as fast as my heart can think.

I don’t know what to say

How to turn eternity into a song we play

I don’t know what to write

How to take five minutes to describe everlasting life

Waiting for inspiration

Then the words cascade down like rain

Trying both to share myself, and to please You

I don’t know what to say

How to turn eternity into a song we play

I don’t know what to write

How to take five minutes to describe everlasting life

And these words that I’ve written

As I use my heart for show and tell

Will they touch the lives of others – will they care?

I don’t know what to say

How to turn eternity into a song we play

I don’t know what to write

How to take five minutes to describe everlasting life.

Thank you for sharing, Jon! If any of you have some poetry, song lyrics, etc that you would like me to post, send it to me at tangello2911@apu.edu

Orange

I love the color orange. I began to like it the summer after eighth grade, and loved it until it became popular around my junior year in high school (I have this thing about not following the crowd, or doing what everyone else is doing…I’ll talk about that later!). Orange is just so bright and cheery…some shades are obnoxious, I must admit, but most are great! Yes, this may seem random, but it has a point!!

I think of myself as being very energetic, very enthusiastic, and I know that my friends would agree. I am just a very joyful person, and so many things in life, things that some would call “simple,” delight me in a major way. Flip-flops have become one of those things that excite me–which I know sounds absurd, so let me explain. Prior to D.C., I wore flip-flops every day. Seriously. I can think of a couple instances where I actually had to wear tennis shoes, but really i wore them everyday with everything. So, being where it was too cold to wear them, or inappropriate for work as the case may be, was difficult! I am absolutely LOVING being able to wear my Old Navy flip-flops.

I say all this because I am really beginning to feel like myself again…and I know that people can sense that as well. I am beginning to be just as random with my thoughts as I used to be, I again love to make people laugh, and I am back to being “unique,” as my pastor’s wife calls me. 🙂 Praise the Lord! God is doing some amazing things in my life, and He is bringing the joy of the little things back to my life. I believe that so much joy can be found if we only look for it, and too often we only look to the bigger things in life…but I am finding joy in the fact that I can actually see the mountains (no smog right now)…I have not slept through class yet (which has been only a slight problem in the past, not a major problem) and I have not missed class yet (SO THERE, MIKE!! :-))I got a little sunburned last week, which was exciting because there is actually sunshine to make that possible! Yeah…so I am becoming happier and happier, again. Things with the roommates have become so much better in the past two days, and I am sure that is partly because I am being myself around them for the first time, so they are opening up.

I am just so excited about this semester, about this year, about seeing all that God has planned. I cannot fathom the great things He has in store for my life! ASP will always influence me in the years to come, and now is the time to apply all the lessons from my incredibly amazing semester…it is time to change my world, one day at a time. Praise the Lord for everything He so generously gives us and does for us!

Alright, I am going to get dinner before work…Make sure you read Cameron’s poetry from yesterday’s blog entry. It is well worth the time! 🙂

Introducing: Poetry by Mr. Cameron Crawford

Is isn’t too often that you become acquainted with talented poets, but I have had the privilege of doing just that! While in D.C. I met Cameron on a couple of occasions, actually–during an interview and a couple months later at church. He is a fabulous singer as well, and sings on the worship team at the church I attended while studying in D.C. He recently sent me some of his poetry, and I was very impressed! So I have decided to post his poetry in my blog every once in a while, as he sends it to me. Feel free to comment on the work!

Rainy Day

By Cameron D. Crawford

Spent dripping and wandering.

Computer screen stares into my face,

As thoughts of the day careen through my Mind.

Mildness, and calm call me this day.

Focus that has been lost, now seems closer.

Sit.

As I sit, and think, these are the first thoughts out of my mind.

Clear the distractions.

Make way for the journey.

Thanks for sending it, Cameron! 🙂

Today was a great day–much better than the last few days. I spent an hour with Dr. Flannery today, my advisor, and it was SO encouraging! He gave me advice on my future in politics, and also commended me for my work thus far at APU. I bought books today, the money for which was a gift from God. Praise Him for providing for all our needs! Chapel today was amazing, as I expected it to be…I had coffee with my dear, dear friend Stephanie before chapel, and we are going to begin our Bible study/accountability partner sessions as well. God is healing my heart, and is beginning to help me to feel better about being back at Azusa Pacific University…God spoke to me a great deal today, and for that I am unbelievably grateful.

May God richly bless your week!!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” –Romans 12:12

Getting Better…

You know, tonight things started to get a little better…the daytime wasn’t too bad, I had 4 classes, one of which I will talk about later. Classes will be tough, but easier than ASP…Things with the roomies are getting better, slowly…they talked to me tonight and asked how my day was and stuff…and my old roommates/friends really made my day today. Leslie called me this evening and asked if i wanted to come down and have cookies with them…if only she knew just how much that meant to me! We had a great time laughing, talking, sharing…it was almost like old times. I felt like myself around them, which hasn’t happened in a while! God is beginning to bring joy back into my life, and I am so thankful for that…though I still feel strange…hmmm…

An ASP alum from Spring 2003 came into the library today (after I had been praying the whole night that God would bring her in!!) and it was so great to talk to someone who had been through what I am going through…she said that she also felt like she no longer fit in, like she didn’t really want to be back here…and she said that a part of her still feels that way. ASP changes us in ways that we don’t even realize until we re-enter campus life, I have found. Anyway, we exchanged contact info, and I look forward to sharing stories with her, and pictures too!! (’cause I have a FEW!!)

Okay–so about one of my classes…Research and Writing…I have heard that this prof is a little eccentric, perhaps even strange…but WOW, I never expected today’s event. I cannot possibly portray to you how ridiculous our excercise was today, but I will try. He was talking to us about paragraphs, and about how they are supposed to be connected and should flow into one another. He asked if we had ever seen children on a field trip with a teacher, or crossing the street or something similar. He said that paragraphs are like those children who all hold hands while crossing the street…they are all different, but connected. Yeah. Okay. So that was interesting. But he didn’t stop there. Oh no. Can you guess what he made us do? You’re right! The classroom has two doors, and he made us all hold hands and go outside, with people walking around watching us, from one door to the other (probably 30 yards)…we just laughed. I could not believe that a 300 level upper division writing intensive political science course was HOLDING HANDS WHILE WALKING!! Wow…yeah. I know that it isn’t as funny reading it as it was to experience it…but use your imagination!! 🙂

APU has sure changed–I must say that I feel as if I am on a totally different campus…which only makes me miss D.C. more, even though our campus is more beautiful than when I left. They have redecorated/renovated nearly every building on campus, built several new ones…it looks great! However, it all changed while I was gone, so I wasn’t here to see the process…the library changes are the hardest for me because I am supposed to know basically everything about the library, so that I can help patrons, and I do not know much of anything anymore…patience…:) At least my boss is SO patient that he is giving as much time as I need.

Okay, I should get some rest. One class tomorrow after chapel…I am really looking forward to chapel for two reasons: one, I have missed the West Campus worship team tons, and two, our campus pastor is speaking and he is absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to get back into his Wednesday night study, which for the past 2.5 years has been on Mark…I wonder if he is done with it yet…who knows…

Goodnight!!

Back in Southern California

Wow–I had forgotten just how amazing the weather is down here…the past two days I have been wearing tank-tops and FLIP-FLOPS!! I love flip-flops! It has been between 75-80 degrees…and I love it. As much as I love the East Coast, I guess this shows that I am, and always will be, a California girl at heart.

Well, let’s see. After the long, 500+ mile drive on Friday, I am settled into my new apartment. It has already been a tougher transition than I had thought it would be. My new roommates (well, 2 of the 3) are alright, I don’t know them at all yet because one of them has been working since I arrived, and the other one is really quiet, so I don’t know much about her yet either. The other one arrives today. I am praying that this isn’t as hard this week as it has been this weekend…it isn’t only the transition of living with new, “random” people…but it is the thought of seeing my roommates for the past two years with their new roommate….I am dealing with feelings of replacement, though i know I shouldn’t be. It is also much tougher than I expected to be back in L.A. I miss D.C…I miss the people…i miss the classes (though i never dreamed I would say that!!)…I miss the comfort of being there. And now I am uncomfortable, but I know that these are the times God uses to stretch and mold us the most…so I anxiously await the changes He is going to bring about!

Church today was great. It was so great to be back at my L.A. church–the one constant in my life right now…things have stayed the same, basically. i am back on the worship team, and have already been asked to sing special music…the youth have missed me (which is a nice feeling right now, since I have been living/spending time with strangers)…and it was so good to fellowship with these wonderful people who care about who i am, who i have become… 🙂 This is good!

What else…Mike is coming for spring break!!!! WOO HOO! I was the first to know, and I am SO excited. Hopefully we can have an ASP reunion when he is here. I am so excited to see him again, and to have him flip me off in person (long story, LOL). He is one of those friends for which I am so incredibly grateful! I shocked him the other night by revealing a little known fact about me, and he has not yet recovered (LOL–it has to do with classes :)) Anyway, Mike is great. Pray for him, though, as he is dealing with a lot right now, and it preparing to enter into the same transition period I am undergoing…

Well, I am ready for the semester, I suppose…most of my friends come back this evening (Sara, Leslie, Jessica and possibly some others…). Last night I went out with my twin friends Cara and Christina, and we had a wonderful time. I love those girls so much, and it means so much to me to have them in my close circle of friends. I can’t wait to see my poli sci buddies, especially Joe and Ryan, who live close to me…they love to harrass me, and I can’t wait to give it right back to them! 🙂

Anyway, have a blessed Sunday, and may God teach you something new and amazing this week. I’ll post again when I can (no internet in the apartment yet).

Redeeming Love

Quick note: If you don’t read any other work of fiction in your entire life, I’d encourage you to read “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It is based on the love story found in the book of Hosea, set in the California Gold Rush era (1840s-1850s). I read the entire thing in two sittings, and although this is the second time I have read it, it still impacted me in such a great way! Francine Rivers is an amazing author, and she has written many other works that are absolutely incredible…

The only drawback to reading this book is that I now long to get married–even more…this is such a common longing that I should not be surprised, LOL. But God also spoke to me through this book and urged me to continue to be patient and to seek His face above all else…and i will continue to do just that! 🙂

Governor Arnold gave his “State of the State address” this evening, and I must say that I was impressed. I did not vote for Arnold, but more and more I am gaining faith in him. He is sticking to his beliefs and convictions, he is not going with the “status quo” and he is making the legislature be accountable for their actions by showing the populace exactly what they are doing. This man can really make some great changes in this state, and I am excited to see what he accomplishes!

One more thing: My friends from ASP are amazing, incredible, wonderful people…these words cannot even begin to describe them…there is one especially who has come to be one of my best-friends, and I am so unbelievably thankful for that friendship. Praise the Lord for the innumerable blessings He bestows upon us!!