Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What I'm Doing Now

Wow, I know it has been forever and a day since my last posting on this little life blog of mine.

Where to start is a talk in itself... I suppose I could start where I left off, SB.

Many of you, I'm sure, are wondering what happened to me. Don't worry I didn't fall off the face of the earth, although it feels like it:)

Due to a lack of video needs inside Show It Fast I was laid off on good terms. With much help from David Jay I started what is now Photographer's Reel. The expense of SB was a factor in my move but more then that I think the Lord had other plans. DJ had given me a gracious two months to figure out what I wanted to do. The day before my rent was due I called Mary for the first time. That night for 5 hours we talked about alot of things one of which a potential move to NY. She was in TX at the time but was moving to NY to work at a camp in January. The camp needed one more person on staff for the winter session and she encouraged me to give them a call. The very next morning, the day my rent was due for the next month, I called the camp and talked with the director. After a long conversation, which I won't go into, I made the decision to join Mary in NY at the Camp. That day I told my land lady I was leaving and seeing that I had already paid my last months rent in my deposit I pocketed the rent due. I sold my dirt bike and began to get ready for my move.

I left SB just after the SB Tea Fires hit and headed out to Texas to meet, though unknown at the time, the most amazing girl of my short lived life, Mary Segreti. You most likely have seen her picture and know who she is by now but for a quick update for the ones who have been left in the dark by my abrupt and speedy disappearance. She is 21, from a family of 12 children and the only girl with 11 brothers, she is a Massage Therapist by profession, an unbelievable cook and the most amazing friend. In everything her passion is to honor and serve the Lord Jesus Christ with her life and all to His glory. Everyday she pushes me closer to the Lord, encouraging me to remain fully committed not to His will but to Him.

Meeting Mary in Texas was so much fun. When she stepped out of the car to say hello for the first time, my heart was racing and I had to double check and see if I was still alive. Did I die in the SB fires, was this all a dream? No, she was really there, waiting with the most beautiful smile. I couldn't believe she liked me and still can't to this day.

Mary was living at her brother and sister-in-law's house in TX helping take care of their little 1 year old child. I stayed in TX for a week and hung out with Mary who was to become and now is my best friend. We went to our first ever NHL Stars game and walked around Dallas TX we cooked alot at home watched movies, stayed up way to late talking about life and had fellowship in His word. That week was awesome but soon came to an end. I had to fly home to KC to spend Thanksgiving with my family. We were sad to part but were eagerly looking forward to her arrival in KC two weeks later. We said our goodbyes and I was off.

When I arrived in KC, I was met by a nation of people AKA my family. I hadn't seen my rather large family of 14 in some time and was happy to be home. I arrived in KC just before Thanksgiving and was able to spend an entire month there. Thanksgiving was a blast, seeing all the relatives again and just being able to chill with my family was really great. Mary and I continued to talk every night looking desperately to her arrival in KC. The time came slow, but it came:) Mary flew in on December 12, 08 a Friday, one of the best Fridays of my life. Her flight was coming in at 11am and I was going to meet her at her gate. I went to Starbucks with my computer and started to get some e-mailing done, it was 10:30 and I had a little bit of time. Her gate was only about 30 feet from me and I was just going to hop up when the time came. I was really excited to there just as she got off the plane! So it's 10:35 and I get this call, look at my phone and it's Mary. "Paul I'm here" I look up to see her heading right towards me. I'm confused, caught off guard, kinda feeling stupid for not meeting her at the gate but when I saw her smile I knew she didn't care. She was in her comfortable sweats, a sweatshirt and looking cuter then ever. I got up walked over and gave her a hug. "Mary!" I said, excited to see her, then in a disappointed voice told her how I was planing to meet her at the gate. She told me her plane landed a half an hour early and that she even had time for a bathroom break before heading my way. I smiled and inside felt like a million bucks because my best friend was right next to me once again and we had to weeks to to hang out. During those two weeks, Mary met alot of people, relatives mostly, went to alot of dinners, one of them being with my parents, which was awesome, and just chilled. Mary soon left KC and flew home to her family in VA. We were both once again sad to leave but also like before, we were looking forward to Dec 27 the day I flew out to meet her family and parents.

I spent Christmas at my parents house and it was wonderful. My dad was the best he cleared out his little office and let me setup my editing stuff for the month so I could work. As the holidays rolled on I started to realize that this could be my last Christmas mornings spent at my parents house it kind of made me sad. Reflecting back on my childhood I wished I would have soaked it all in a bit more. I knew I could never get it all back for life happens even to the best of us. Christmas came and went and I was off once again but this time to VA to meet Mary's family.

I flew into VA on Dec 27 and arrived around 10pm to be greeted by Michael (Mary's Brother) and Mary. Mary looked beautiful, she was waring a white blouse with blue pin stripes. She had her dark blue jeans on and black boots with the pant leg pulled over the boot. She looked stunning! Her hair was all done up and the smile on her face was from ear to ear:) I felt bad because when I saw her I nearly forgot to say hey to Michael. After saying our hello's Mary informed me that she had gotten chocolate on her shirt at the bottom. I laughed and said if she hadn't pointed it out I would never have seen funny memory:) We waited for my bags to arrive for over an hour but all three talked to pass the time. The bags finally came and we were off to Mary's parents home. Mary pulled up in her little car/tin can, packed up my stuff and headed out. The drive was a little over an hour but we made it. Meeting the parents was really great. Her parents remind me so much of my own.... must be a big family thing. Both her Dad and Mom (who they all call Mop and Pop) talked to us till late hours in the morning. After everything was said we went to bed. To make a long note a bit shorter I'll be less detailed. I had such a wonderful time in VA... I met all the brothers younger then Mary. I have to say the time was interesting, for the first time in my life i realized what it was like for someone to get bombarded by question and have their name be called out at least 15 times every minute. People always said it was like this at my house but I never I do:) Don't get me wrong though, I had a blast hanging out with all of them. We went hiking, played lots of chess and checkers, answered lots of questions, swapped stories, jumped on the tramp and talked some more. The week flew by really fast and it was almost time for Mary and I to be off again to up State NY to meet her older brothers. I spent the New Year with the younger brothers and her parents, watched some movies and then hit the sack. Early the next morning I went out to breakfast with Mr. Segreti to talk about camp, Mary, the future, the Lord and all that stuff. I was a bit nerves at first as I'm sure all boyfriends are when meeting the girls dad. We went to a small breakfast place and actually had a rather wonderful conversation. We mostly talked about Mary and how the Lord needs to play the biggest role in our relationship. I found him to be so much like my own dad it was unbelievable. His love for the Lord and for his daughter was obvious and encouraging. After we ate he insisted on paying for the meal and we were off. We also talked alot in the car on that way back. All in all I came away very encouraged and blessed. Just before heading out I also got to talk to Mary's mom. She gave me this little book that I would highly recommend it's called "Victory in Christ" by Charles Trumble. She too greatly encouraged me and wished us well. Mary and I said our goodbyes and were off with Michael driving and us two smashed in the back.

The drive was long but wonderful... We listened to music, talked, sat quietly, fell asleep, woke up, talked, stopped for lunch, went to the bathroom, etc.... After a long ride we finally made it to her older brothers' house. Meeting them was a blast... we had alot of really great conversations, play X-Box, went to the CITY (which was AWESOME!) and just chilled. I would go into more detail but this note is really long and I'm tired cus its late. After the week ended Mary, Michael and I all headed to our final destination for the following 3 months. We arrived at the Camp around 7pm and that my friend will be another post...

The camp is where we are at now and have been for the last month... I'll post again in more detail regarding what we do here.

God has been teaching us so much and I can't wait to see what He has in the future,


Friday, November 21, 2008

Update From TX!!!:)

Hey everyone,

Sorry for not writing for so long, I have been so busy. My time with Showit Fast has come to an end and I'm moving to up state NY. This last year with DJ and Showit was such an awesome experience, God taught me so much as far as business, trust and true dependence on God's ever abiding love. I wouldn't trade this year for anything, it was awesome!!! I'll miss everyone so much but especially Crystal. Crystal is Awesome!!! She was like my big sister always a true friend.

I have transitioned into running my own company Photographer's Reel ( and can't wait to launch. The launch date has been push back due the the SB Tea Fires that hit last week but is coming soon.

Right now I'm in TX visiting my good friend Mary Segreti.... My time here has been so wonderful, we stayed up way to late talking about life and how the Lord has been so good. I'll be here till the 25th of Nov. and then I'll be flying home:):( mixed feelings.

Today we went down to Waco TX and visited Micah Bender, Mary's brother James' fiancee.... Check out the awesome pics:)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My buddy AVG juts sent over some pics taken on his I-phone while dirt biking the other day.

Awesome time!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Left My First Love

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with life, in constant worry of what "could" happen?

Life has been that way for me...

This last year has been full of so much opportunity and blessing. Every day God has been so faithful and overwhelmingly forgiving of all my mistakes and less then perfect life towards Him.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

It's so easy to get caught up in business, opportunity, life and just the everyday needs that I forget to remember the reason for which I live. I so often forget the purpose for which Jesus Christ laid down His life and so graciously called me to Himself, so that He might dwell within.

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

If ever this verse is true it's now. Life has seemed like a whirl wind in a sea of opportunity and business but in the midst of it all, somewhere, I "lost my first love". Beginning to focus more on the opportunity He put before me and less and less on the God who provided the opportunity. My prayers became more self centered, focused the worries of tomorrow, with little to no thought for the lost or the furthering of His kingdom. Saying with my life "God provide and I'll serve" and He says "no, serve and I'll provide".

Revelation 2:2-5 ...I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary. 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first...Revelation 2: 2-5

With everything thats going on, these self centered prayers have become more and more prevalent. I found them full of worry, begging God, rather then contentment and trust. I developed an attitude of thinking I deserved it, rather then an attitude of thankfulness and rest in His perfect plan. If the Lord lifts you up, does He not have the right to bring you down again?

I ran across an about me section on a friends Facebook page, it reads.... "About me: Its not about me. Its about Him. Not my will be done but His. "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

It hit me hard when I read this and made me sad to think that I had so slowly, slipped into this disgusting, self centered view of life.

So pray for me, that more than business, more than opportunity, and more than tomorrow, pray that I remember the purpose for which I have been called and that I depend fully on His abiding strength that dwells within. Pray that I continue to realize the faithfulness of an ever loving God and that I continue to serve Him, moment by moment, trusting that He knows and is more then able.

Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21

Psalm 1
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I thought I was going to die!!!

5:30am, Wake up... I put on two pares of pants a long sleeve t-shirt, a long sleeve sport shirt and a sweatshirt. Threw my shoes on and headed out the door to meet Andrew (my dirt biking buddy)

It was a beautiful morning out, the sun hadn't come up yet, the night sky was clear, the air was crisp and you could see a billion stars.

I was meeting Andrew or (AVG is what we call him) down at DJ's place at 6:00am. I pulled up to see him standing there waiting for me, we gave our quick, "what up's", and headed up the mountain to start our long morning of dirt biking on the back trails of the SB mountains.

Driving along the cliffs as the sun was coming up over SB was breathtaking. I know I talk about how awesome the view is from up there during the day but during sunrise it's stunning. I don't even know if I could describe it well enough... you will just have to see it some time.

So we hit the trails, the sun had come up by this time and we headed off onto this gravel/dirt trail was pretty fun. The back end of my bike was sliding around all over the place and we were ripping it up... so i thought. I pretty much trailed AGV the whole time.

AGV has been dirt biking since he was 5 and is way more experienced then I am, to say the least. He is about my hight but more stocky. He owns a Honda Enduro 400cc and I own a Honda Eduro 600cc.

So we are whipping around these corners at about 25 mph but I'm just seeing the dust of AVG's bike. I come to this part where it looks like he turned left so I turn left into a dead end and my bike slides out from underneath me, I hit the ground and rolled to a stop. After AVG didn't see me for a while he biked it back to see what was up. When I hit, I bent my clutch handle pretty bad. After a lot of thinking, we figured out how to set it mostly straight again and then we were off. I thought to myself "well this isn't that bad... I mean it could be worse". Little did I know that was the easy part.

AGV pulls off on to another side trail that was TOTALLY LEGIT!!! The ground was soft with dust, mixed with rocks and little boulders all over the place and small crevices that had dug into the ground because of rain fall. There was no consistency to the path, on second your good and the next you think you're going to die. And these arn't flat plains like in KS, I'm talking mountains, super steep inclines that you never thought a bike could go up.

So we head off onto this trail and start gunning it around these bends. At the base of our first hill AVG guns it and lands at the top. I tried doing the same thing got caught in a rut and dumped my bike. AVG comes down and tells me how to take these hills. "you have to throw it in second gear and just gun it... don't let off the throttle". "Right!!!" I thought to myself. I tried psyching myself up for the climb, jumped on my bike and tried it again.... get half way up, same thing, I dump the bike. On the third try I finally got up the hill. After that first hill I though maybe I had the hang of things and was ready for another challenge. I wasn't ready... We start heading down a small hill to a flat plain and in front of us sat another hill. This one has huge, rocks on both sides with the same soft, dry dirt on the ground, mixed with stones the size of you head. AVG tell me to go first so he can watch me. I gun it in first gear...I'm zipping up the mountain with dirt flying everywhere, my back end it all over the place but I'm making it!!! Climbing, climbing, the front end of my bike goes down and then pops straight back up again, I don't have time to think and I can't stop or I'll fall back down the hill, I go airborne for a second and then land sideways which throws me off the bike. The bike idles for a bit and then dies. I'm laying on the ground thinking "dude I don't know about this!!!" The good new was, after the dust cleared, I made it to the top ... SWEET!!! AVG comes running up the hill asking me if I'm alright...."yeah I'm cool" I responded. I jumped back on the bike and headed off again...

The rest of the day was pretty much the same, falling down the mountain, falling up the mountain, the bike falling on me, all in all I think I bit the dust like 15 to 20 times. I don't know that I've ever been so exhausted in my life. Every muscle in my body said quit, I felt like I was going to throw up and I had a headache!!! This was not my day.... My right foot is slightly swollen, my right arm is all scratched up, my left elbow is swollen, just under my right knee is swollen and my thighs are all blue from bruising. But the good thing is I didn't break any bones and I'm alive:)

I cancelled my 10am hang gliding lesson for Saturday.... Almost dying twice in one week seems to much for me:) I'll do that another time... Right now I just need to recover from this.

What a day!!!

Check these guys out... I found this video on YouTube... My falls weren't quite this bad but I feel their pain!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Go into all the world...

Tonight was such a bummer of a night for me. My family back home along with many of my friends, all trucked it up to Princeton Missouri for the yearly bonfire at the Donnell's farm. I'm missing all the big events:(

I can't legally ride my dirt bike at night yet, so after watching the unusually large waves for SB, I headed back up to my little tent like house just as the sun was going down.

I walked though the door and was greeted by a rather catastrophic mess and rather odd smell. My place (as my mom would say) "looked like a tornado hit it". After checking e-mails and making a few business related calls I looked around again and decided that this is no way for a 22 year old to live. So after getting over the fact that my house wasn't going to clean itself, I put on an audio book "Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secrets" and began the daunting task of "PROJECT - DEEP CLEAN".

While folding my clean cloths, that had been sitting on the floor for 2 days, picking up trash and piling dirty dishes, I heard the reader say something that was very convicting.

Hudson Taylor was addressing a church in England just before going back to China to continue God's work of spreading the gospel to those who had never heard. He was explaining how there were regions as large as England that had not one preacher and then he said this... "It will not due for you to say that you have no special call to China. With these facts before you you need rather to wonder weather you have a special call to stay home. If in the sight of God you can not say you are sure you have a special call to stay at home why are you disobeying the Savior's plan and His command to go. Why are you refusing to come to the help of the Lord again of the All Mighty. If however it is perfectly clear that duty not inclination, not pleasure, not business, detains you at home. Are you laboring in prayer for those needy ones as you might. Is you influence used to advance the cause of God among them? Are you means largely employed as they should be in helping forward their salvation.

I found this convicting for me because I have always looked at it the other way around. It's not a "SPECIAL" calling by God to be in the work of His ministry. No, but rather it is the direct calling of all who are in Christ."

It may not be in China or in some far off land but until we can say that all around us are saved the call remains.

In the darkest of places, even a small light shines bright.

And He (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes"...Romans 1:16

John 3:16-21
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Just a thought,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Swimming The Mile

Well for sometime now I have been telling people that I've been swimming a mile and I was pretty proud of myself too. So recently I went home to check my distance on google... I sadly found out that what I thought was a mile was really only about half. I was a little disappointed but not discouraged. I chalked out a mile on Cabrillo Blvd, the road that runs parallel to the beach, using google maps. Now that I knew what the distance was the challenge was on.

I set out a little reluctant today, seeing that I haven't swam for about 2 weeks now, due to being to busy. The first 100 yards out was the hardest part, the water was cold, I knew I had a long stretch ahead of me and never having swam this far before I wasn't sure I could make it. Once something is in my head though and the challenge has been set, it's hard for me to let it go. I pushed through the first grueling 100 yards, my blood began to flow a bit faster which warmed up my body a bit. Once I got my breathing down it seemed pretty relaxing and I was able to get my mind off the swim and think about other things. Arm over arm I pushed on, distracting myself with thinking about life. This method of distraction worked for most of the way but the last 1/4 mile was a struggle. The ocean was covered with a thick haze which blocked the sun and made the water seem so much colder. I started to rationalize to myself why I should give up, "Paul it's really cold out, I think sharks swim in cold water, you are going to cramp up, just quit you can always come back and try again later" crazy what the mind tries to tell you when things get tough. Despite the urging of my entire body to stop, I pushed on... I thought if I've gone this far I might as well finish. When I hit my mile mark I gave myself one last push and swam into the beach. My legs and arms were so tight but it felt good... I know swimming a mile doesn't really say much in the grand scheme of things but it's a good lesson learn, that when times are tough and and every part of you says give up, don't. Push through cus in the end, it's worth it. I swam non stop for about 45 minutes, the longest I have swam to date.

Here is a picture of the spot that I always swim at and the distance marked out on the closest road.