Time to Get Real

July 31, 2013

It’s time to get real. We have people who have grown up in the church who are leaving it and becoming atheists. Some people blame Sunday school for accidentally teaching a be good and have faith and you’ll get super physical rewards way of faith vs. the actual Gospel of no one is good enough, but God loves us and sent his son to do the work for us so we could be redeemed (see here). This may be part of it, but I think there must be more to it. What is it that drives them from Christianity and to atheism? As more and more groups try to water down Christianity I see more and more people simply wondering what the point is of calling yourself a Christian when you are exactly like the rest of the world. Does God forgive sins? You better believe it. Is that a reason to sin all the more? The apostle Paul says no, but it seems many “Christians” today disagree. I see “Christians” in out of wedlock family situations all over the place, but it’s ok they’re not married, living together, and have kids because God understands the stress of being married and he will forgive them. I see “Christians” who take sex as a trivial thing instead of the ultimate way of knowing and becoming one with a spouse. I see “Christians” who go to church on Sunday, but Jesus never comes up the rest of the week. I see “Christians” who lie, cheat, steal, are dishonorable, and don’t love anyone but themselves. What does this show the world? Are we really being a people set apart? Are we living the calling we have received? Are we clinging to our first love or are we clinging to the love of stuff? Real Christianity, Gospel filled Christianity, is what the world needs. People who are different from the rest of the world. People who are set apart and seeking to do God’s plan above their own schemes. Until there is revival in the church and all the modernistic allowances and gimmicks are kicked out, I think the trend of people leaving the church is only going to increase.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Poetry Monday 7/29/13

July 29, 2013

All this technology is supposed to make life easy
But I don’t think it really works right
Instead of enhancing our lives and plans to get together
We spend all our time in front of a screen’s light

Don’t let the machines take over
Texts and emails are fine
But remember we need real interaction
Just know where to draw the line

I’m beat. I just feel completely used up and in need of recharging. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m very glad I have a job, but I’ve been working 6 days a week and it is starting to wear on me. On top of work I’ve been on duty at church this month, meaning I have to get there early and stay there late to unlock and lock up, and I’m still teaching Sunday School. Life gets busy and eventually I just feel worn out. So, what do I do to recharge? How do I beat my feeling beat? Part of it is definitely having a wonderful wife who takes care of me and loves me. She tries to take care of me and does whatever she can for me. Another part is having something to look forward to. In about two weeks we are going on vacation to visit my sister and brother-in-law. I’m so excited! I haven’t seen their new house or ever been to Jacksonville, FL before, so I’m pumped, despite the long drive, to visit a new place and maybe be able to help them out with some projects around their house. There is a lot to do before going and the days have already stated feeling like they are going slower, but it’s close enough to give me hope. This will be the first almost full week (Monday-Friday) I’ve taken off from work since I got married and went on my honeymoon. I’m very ready to get out of town and recharge a bit.

How do you handle feeling burnt out?

Family Time & Baseball

July 24, 2013

It has been a busy and full, yet fun, half a week. My eldest sister and her husband came to visit (along with their dog) last Friday and there has been something going on every evening since then. We’ve had a lot of fun between eating, birthday parties, a wedding (my wife and I went to that), church (where we had a VBS presentation by the kids who attended VBS), painting (my mother and sister painted my bathroom while I was at work one day), leaking refrigerators, and a Mississippi Braves baseball game all while I have been working my regular 8-5 hours (8-2 Saturday). It’s been packed, but I’ve loved getting to spend time with my family and especially my brother-in-law who isn’t always able to make the trip to visit because of work. I’m so glad my family gets along and we enjoy spending time together. We’re not perfect, but we love each other and look out for one another. I’d encourage everyone to seek out a group of people who care for each other, albeit nobody will be in a good mood and easy to be around 100% of the time, knowing you have a family (whether its your actual family or just a tight knit group of friends) is a wonderful thing and gives you a baseline from which to measure and analyze what the world throws at you and a safe haven from the craziness that can so easily drag us down.

As I mentioned, we went to an MBraves game and it was a lot of fun. I highly recommend getting out to see a game and enjoy Trustmark Park. The Braves beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and it was a pretty good game, though several innings were uneventful. If you’re like me, part of a ball game is ballpark food. I enjoyed the food a little too much. For future trips I will stick with the hotdogs and sausage dogs, the burger was ok, but the dogs were better. Here’s a collage of a few pics I took of the cool moon over the ballpark last night.

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Poetry Monday 7/22/13

July 22, 2013

Life isn’t easy, sometimes I need a hand.
It gets messy and hard and I can’t understand
Where all my times goes when I don’t look close
It seems to fly by when doing what I love most.

I’m a simple guy, nothing too fancy
In world full of people who’d rather be antsy
About everything they say and everything they do
All the contests and arguing and wondering who’s who.

Just take it a day at a time, nothing less, nothing more.
And we’ll see what happens, what God has in store.
Well make it through, each hour, each day
Because God won’t leaves us, no matter, no way.

In past generations work was important. People, and men especially, needed to work. I think that need/desire to do good work and a job you can take pride in still exists in most everyone, but gets superseded by the desire for money. When people call up to where I work asking if we are hiring, most say, “I need a job,” when they really mean that they need money. They aren’t looking for something to take pride in, they are looking for money. I don’t know why, when, or how the viewpoint changed, but I know the drive to do work, the need to do work goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where Adam worked. Before sin, before destruction and despair, Adam worked by tending the garden. The desire and drive, perhaps even longing, is in everyone, it just gets pushed aside in most people, or shows itself differently after being ignored. We live in a society that has demonized work. Everyone talks about how their job stinks and how everything would be better if they didn’t have to worry about money and could quit. I think there would still be a longing to fill by doing some kind of work. I’d encourage you, find something you can work at and be proud of. Don’t just do something because you need money (though at times, we all have to do this to make ends meet), but find something you can do well, enjoy doing, and at the end of the day fulfills your desire to be doing work.

I go through phases where I listen to a lot of different stuff. Right now I’m working my way through some podcasts I’ve been listening to off and on for a while.

First off, Penny Arcade’s podcast, Downloadable Content, is back. After many years of being gone, they had a Kickstarter and brought it back! I’m so pumped about it. If you enjoy their comics and other projects, you will most likely enjoy their podcast. Fair warning, there is a fair bit of language, so it’s not really for the little ones or those who swearing bothers.

Next, I’ve been catching up on Critical Hit, a podcast of the Major Spoilers crew playing D&D. They’ve been doing their campaign since 2009. It’s a really fun and funny listen. I tend to listen to it in chunks. I’ll listen a whole bunch to catch up, then I won’t listens for a while so they can get ahead again because I don’t like waiting a week between episodes to see what happens next. The language ratio is fairly low as well, though it is still there, so you may want to be careful with little ears around. It can be frustrating to listen to. At times I find myself talking to my iPad, telling them not to do what they’re about to do or wishing I could hear what a different choice would’ve brought about. All in all, it’s a good podcast of people playing a fun game.

Finally, I’ve been listening to another Major Spoilers crew podcast, Munchkin Land. They play Munchkin. They’ve hit all the base sets and are doing mixed sets now. It’s interesting listening and has given me some very munchkin-like ideas for the games of Munchkin I play. The harsh language rating is also fairly low in this one, though there are some slips.

What podcasts do you like listening to and why?

Poetry Monday 7/15/13

July 15, 2013

This is where I go
When things don’t go my way.
This is what I do
When I don’t know what to say.

I try to follow God
He’s the one who cares for me.
He gave me ears to hear
And gave me eyes to see.

Sometimes it’s so hard
Not understanding the situations I’m in.
I have to trust in God’s plan
And not in the plans of men.

Do you ever feel like, “What’s the point?” What’s the point of trying to make anything better or change anything? It seems we enjoy wallowing. We know we are sitting around in our own fecal matter messes, but we don’t want to change anything to get out of the mess and get cleaned off. It’s easy to point out the problems, but for some reason we don’t like it when people bring in solutions. We poke holes in them and cut the person down to size almost as though we are saying, “Who do you think you are to offer me a solution?” We want things to get better, but we don’t want anything to change. We get set in our ways and change can be scary. For all the idea and solution people out there, don’t give up. The world needs you. You make a difference. The people who belittle you don’t hate you necessarily (though some may, but what does that really matter? All the great idea people had nemesis that didn’t want them to succeed), but are afraid of change and thinking outside the box. I’m grateful for solutions. I’m not a solution person all the time. I definitely get stuck in my ruts, but I try to be willing to change for the better and bring solutions to the table. I know if I get discouraged with just the little bit I do, those who are the real heroes of change for the better must get disgusted and fed up and worn out all the time. This is for you today. Keep going. You do great things. I appreciate you. Thank you for working for the good of those who don’t know what’s good for them.

Do you know a solution person? Give them a word of thanks this weekend.

Cool Stuff

July 10, 2013

Everyone knows about the spreader bar hammock that just isn’t all that comfortable, but more and more people are finding out about camping hammocks, or gathered end hammocks, and how comfortable, easy to pack, and functional they are. A lot of strides are being made in this area with materials and designs. Here’s a handful of hammock companies I think are doing cool things:

1. Kammok has a Kickstarter going for their new rain fly that catches rain water in vessels for those who can’t carry enough water on their journey.

2. The Hennessy Hammock company has made awesome strides in the all-in-one camping hammock, including a bottom entry that automatically closes when your body weight moves to reclining.

3. Hummingbird Hammocks has a Kickstarter going as well. They are making a huge, multi-person hammock.

Check out these companies and back the Kickstarter campaigns if you can. Have a great day!

On another note...

This is about my struggle to confront my fears of changing my direction all for a better life.

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