Category Archives: Faith
I like to think that one of my more refined (and useful) skills is the ability to figure people out rather quickly. For the most part people are very simple creatures, largely predictable. Once you figure out how they respond to certain inputs, it’s safe to say they’ll usually respond similarly in similar situations. If you’re able to pick up on those tendencies, you can go as far as to emphasize certain inputs to… erm… manipulate the outcome. For the most part people are inputs and outputs.
I’m not saying I’m manipulative… I usually choose to just observe.
Honestly I find it disappointing that most people are so simple and 2-dimensional. Feed them something they love, and they’ll re-regurgitate it right back to you. Ask them why they love it and they say “I don’t know, I just always have.” Feed them something they hate, and they’ll parrot every opposing argument they’ve ever seen, heard or read on the internet. Ask them about something neutral, and they just don’t care.
All of the most interesting people I’ve come across in my life (which probably total less than 8) share two things in common. First and foremost, they have deep convictions and feelings about the things they consider relevant. And second, those convictions are rarely unsolicited, because those convictions aren’t reliant upon the acceptance of others. They are wholly their own. Both of those traits are probably my most respected qualities in a person. The ability to form your own thoughts, be passionate about them, and not require validation.
Because your thoughts are your own should be validation enough. Should someone disagree with you, what does it matter? If you think something is “stupid” or “awesome” because someone else did (or didn’t), that’s not conviction, that’s influence. I don’t mean to say you should be unique for unique’s sake; it’s absolutely fine to share similar feelings as others. It is how you arrive to those feelings that matters.
Don’t confuse a strong conviction with ignorance though. One of the most powerful conversations I remember having with someone was talking with a friend about salvation. You may or may not be religious, but the conversation below is a great example of what I’m talking about.
She said, “Do you know you are going to heaven when you die?”
“Absolutely,” I said.
“How do you know for sure?”
“Because I believe 100% that Jesus lived and died on the cross for my sins. That as the Son of God, His sacrifice is enough to cover the sins of all humanity, including my own,” I said with great confidence.
“You think believing is all it takes to be saved?” she asked.
“I do. When I stand before the Lord I can say I believe with all my soul that Jesus saved me.”
Then she caught me off guard when she said, “I would rather stand before the Lord and tell him that I did everything I could to know for sure that Jesus saved me.”
I felt a bit ignorant in that moment. I believed I was saved, because that’s what I was told I had to do. Just believe. She made me realize that just because I choose to believe something doesn’t make it real in and of itself. That what is truth is truth regardless of what one chooses to believe. That that conviction needed to come from personal revelation through action. (James 2:14-17) Those are the kinds of thoughts that I find alluring.
So, honestly I’m rarely that “interesting” person I’ve been talking about. I’m pretty predictable and unsolicited myself a lot of the times. But I try to keep an awareness of it about me. I try to be my own person and do what’s best for my family and me, but also realize that my way isn’t necessarily the best way for anyone else.
We are all unique individuals. Being different isn’t something we should feel awkward about. You should celebrate it! Don’t let conformism take away one of the greatest personal freedoms you’ll ever possess, and that is the freedom of individual thought.
Ready to retreat, more every day.
Note: I started writing this blog almost a week ago and finally finished it today… timeframes referenced probably aren’t consistant!
So this morning I got up at 6am with my alarm clock, despite staying up until almost midnite last night. I kicked on the coffee and decided I’d do a little web surfing to start the day. Then I did something I shouldn’t have. I kicked on the Google News page.
With all the commotion going on about this health care reform, I foolishly took up an interest in its outcome. I watched the final stages unfold much as one would watch the end of a match between the worlds finest chess players. I get the basics of the game, but the moves are completely above my head and happening so quickly that it’s easy to see how people can feel that stuff like this is just being rammed through. Every move is so carefully calculated, planned, and countless unseen hands are pulling the strings.
I had initially had the intention that I was going to find out what the Health Care bill really meant, form my own opinion and take side on the issue. Of course nobody was talking about this story. It was about the “Story within the story”. Some jackball yelling “Baby Killer”, or isolated cases (yes yes, I realize of real people) from both sides that are supposed to convince me one way or another to be for or against the broad sweeping legislation that apparently all of a sudden has a deadline.
What further discouraged my already misplaced faith in the populous were the comments section in all of these news stories. After coming up dry on the real information I really wanted, I continue to read heated purely emotional discussions between ignorant people that have no intention of discussion. They’d just rather have the opposing argument eliminated. I guess it was disappointing because it was all so predictable.
1 John 2:15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
There are SO many struggles I face every day, trying to be more like Christ. But the passage above is certainly one of the least difficult! What a lot of folks see as interesting, entertaining, or desirable– All too often I see them as mundane, predictable, and empty. Six hundred shows on TV about nurses and doctors? Oh yay, a new greener car! TV Guy says: “Here’s something you didn’t know exsisted until just now but you HAVE TO HAVE IT!”
The term “rat race” seems all to literal. Running a maze to get some piece of cheese, only when you get the cheese you realize the maze continues for more bigger cheeze. Then you look around and realize everyone elses cheeze is bigger and tastier than yours… so you keep running. If only everybody knew that the race was voluntary. I mean I don’t try to be different for different’s sake, I just try to be comfortable in every situation… perhaps at times making the people around me somewhat uncomfortable, hehe.
Jenn blogged about Facebook today. It made me realize how far from the center I am. Not to say Jenn isn’t a unique person, far from it. But Facebook is top dead center on what is popular in today’s culture, and I really couldn’t have less to do with it. I’ve never been too social. Infact even back in school I always preferred my small group of good friends over being the popular one, or center of attention. So in that respect Facebook is a little overwhelming for me. I’m sure there’s plenty of others just like me out there, but we’re the weird ones.
So I’ve once again swore off Google News, and really the media in general in most respects. I’ll stick to message boards and a few niche websites. And if I just so happen to find out some major earth shattering event two days after it happened via the IGN Boards, so be it… It wouldn’t be the first time!
Haven’t posted lately…
So I decided it’s about time to post about SOMETHING!
Honestly, there’s really not much to report on. Things are plugging along as usual, and to be honest that’s how I like it. No news is good news right?
I built a little directional Wi-Fi antenna that was posted on Lifehacker.com For some paper and tin foil that I already had laying around the house the return on investment is well worth it. We ditched our old router for this one a while back and it made a big improvement. But we’d still lose the connection once in a while. But since I added this, I’m getting 95% – 100% signal strength to our server in the living room! Not bad!
I’m plugging along on my next N64 re-review. I don’t really want to say what game I’m working on, but to at least half the folks that read my blog here, probably know. I will say that so far after all these years, the game has been compelling enough for me to want to beat it again before posting about it. A true testament to how great the game is.
I remember being a kid and loving and living for winter. All the snow, it was so pretty and so fun. But I’ll be honest, I’m ready for spring. And this has been quite the mild winter even! I’m excited to get out and work on the cars. We’re looking to repaint Andrea’s car next month, and I need to get my front end rebuilt on mine. I am looking forward to getting some flowers planted out front. And maybe even some grass to grow in the back yard! But I’m trying to stay realistic here!
I think Andrea and I have found ourselves a nice church that we both like. An interesting story… The first day we went apparently they had a “guest pastor”. All well and good, except the guy ended up SCREAMING at the congregation for the whole sermon. Truly one of those “fire and brimstone” preachers. It was an…. intersting experience. For example, part of his sermon included talking about a young guy he wittnessed to and later that week got in a car crash with (and I quote) “brains all over the car” and he sure hoped that boy had taken Jesus as his savior. Now don’t get me wrong. I agree with him in message…. but that’s a little more graphic than I go for on my Sunday mornings. The regular preacher seems like a real nice guy. He’s a little charasmatic at times too, but he seems a lot more sincere about it. Make it more tolerable I suppose. For now we’re going to keep attending, and someday soon we might chat with them about membership.
I do know it’s nice to be going again though. I was really involved in church back when I was in school in Ingalls. But I think I got in over my head. I was leading the youth group there, and even preaching sermons when the pastor was gone one Sundays. Shoot I was only 16 or 17 at the time. And it seemed like the church always kept asking me to do more and more. To be honest my memory is kinda vague as to how it happened, but over a short time, I just sort of got frustrated, burned out, and fell away. Getting back into it has been harder than I ever imagined. But now that we’re going, it’s so much easier! I don’t know about Andrea, but it’s a refreshing feeling.
That’s about it.
Taking another moment…
For some reason or another, I got back to thinking about the mechanics of life again today. No, I don’t mean the guys that get your car going again after you’ve plowed a quarter mile through swampland. I mean life, how we got where we are and how we get where we’re going. Perhaps it will make no sense, or perhaps it only makes sense to me. Could I be so enlightened?
Mostly I’ve been thinking about “existing”. And what it means. I haven’t dusted off Webster’s lately, but I’m operating under the assumption that it mean “to be”. You think about life. “To live.” To react to your experiences. To change and grow as time goes by.
We’ve gotten a good amount of rain here over the past few days, and I was looking out the window today at a plant that had gotten noticeably fuller and greener over the past week. My first thought, as yours might be, “I bet that plant has enjoyed the rain.” As a human, we all too often assign human qualities to inanimate objects. While the plant has benefited, and grown over time, I doubt it “felt” any better. Should it whither and die, we would feel sad. Who was so mean to not water the plant, to let it LIVE!?
If that plant had half a brain, it would up root itself, shuffle over to the hydrant, wrap its leaves around the spigot and have itself a drink. But it can’t. It’s firmly planted where it’s at and it isn’t going anywhere unless someone like you or I intervene. In fact it only EXISTS there, because it’s adapted to that specific environment. In other words, it’s not a coincidence that a banana tree hasn’t sprung up in the vacant lot next to the radio station.
But if you stop and think…why is that? Why CAN’T a banana tree grow there. Read the rest of this entry
I don’t usually worry about much…but I’ve been getting kinda stressed out lately. Seems like there’s a lot to do, not a lot of time, and a whole bunch of uncertianty. Between the wedding plans, looking for a job, and wondering where we’re gonna be living in 2 1/2 months, it’s wearin’ on me.
I keep sayin’ whatever happens will happen. Trying to have faith that God will open the doors. I at least take solace in the fact that by July 1st all those questions will be answered. Spare a few prayers if ya got ’em.
Someone posed the question…
With so many millions and billions and trillions of stars out there, and many of them with planets orbiting them, is it really possible that we are the ONLY life in this universe?
The above isn’t a computer generated image. It’s an actual image of deep space captured by the Hubble Space Telescope of the biggest known galaxy cluster. Thousands of galaxies, some even bigger than our own. It’s reasonable to assume with so many chances at life, that we aren’t alone. We were discussing it on oldspower.com and this was my response.
It’s really hard to fathom. The universe that is. Google Earth is awesome now that it also show a catalog of they sky from the Hubble and other telescopes. It’s amazing to look at the stars and then to really zoom in and see just as many whole galaxies as there are stars! We truely are one of a billion+ tiny rocks, going around one of a billion+ tiny stars, going around one of a billion+ galaxies (that we know of).
My philosophy on whether we’re alone or not has a lot to do with my faith. By whatever means God created the universe, its entirely possible that we ARE the only life that exsists in it. While I wouldn’t say we ARE, I would say there’s an equal chance of either.
Should life exsist elsewhere in the universe, I think its highly unlikely that we would make contact prior to the extinction of either ours or their race. Not to say we couldn’t detect them, but interaction would be out of the question due to the sheer scale.
I rather postulate that the vastness of the universe is an attribute of the Creator. The more we learn about the universe, the more we learn about God Himself. If man were able to see to the end of the universe, or be able to magnify the smallest particle, it would only be a finite matter of time before the fundamental workings of our universe were understood in their entirety. Once man has learned all there is to know, what purpose would their be to seek God? What purpose would man serve? Knowledge would be capped, and the only variable to remain would be time.
Man’s power to create could possibly equal God’s at that point. But in an infinitely detailed universe, there will always be an unknown, something always unexplained, and something that can only be explained by faith. HOWEVER, to simply write off the unexplained as supernatural and not investigate its origin, is passiveness. I hate it when Christians do that. We should FOCUS on that which is unexplained, if only to better understand that which created it.
Anywho. That’s my take on it. Just from what I believe, observe, and think about.
well if you have any spare prayers to throw my way i’d like to have them.
just to let everyone know im having my apertment inspected for hazardess material becasue i think thats whats been causeing all my headaches considering that i never had them this bad and my medication isnt working for my thyroid or it seems like it isnt working i hate feeling like this. somthing needs to be done.