Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things I've Noticed Lately

     I'm gonna preface this by saying I won't be offended in the slightest if you disagree. And I'm actually banking on the fact that you will because I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter. I recently stopped attending weekend services at Rock Harbor because I got the distinct impression that all anybody was looking for when they went to church was an experience. Now I'm well aware of the fact that I tend to be old-fashioned in much of what I do and how I think, but I can't help noticing how trendy church has become. I've been going to Rock Harbor for awhile now because I really like the music and the art and the teaching and the funny preachers; and I think that's the problem.

     3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

     I've always taken these verses to be referring to non-Christians; but I see more and more that we, as believers, are also just looking to get our ears tickled. We gauge our closeness to God on our emotions and the feelings we experience. We only listen to the preachers who say what we want to hear. I think there is a more level-headed way to approach things that takes the emphasis off of what we feel and puts it where it should be: God's glory.
     The next verse tells us to be sober in all things and endure hardship. This doesn't really tie into what I'm talking about here but I like it--a lot--so I'm gonna give my two cents on it anyway.
     Be sober in all things and endure hardship. It's gonna be hard, it isn't gonna be fair; but don't let your emotions get the best of you. Be sober in all things and endure hardship.
     It's like I tell the boys I coach, and sometimes the girls: "Quit crying and suck it up."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This may be a bit negative but...

... I wanted to express my disappointment in the StrengthsFinder book/test. I mean it's neat in the sense that it gives you an idea of what you're good at, but after reading the first few chapters and then taking the test and seeing the advice they give I get the sense its all about taking the easy way out so that failure is less likely to occur. For example:
Don’t over-invest in losing causes. Your natural inclination to see the best in people and situations can create a blind spot that will keep you from moving on to more opportune situations.

     I can't see anyway of making that statement acceptable. The author implies, in the beginning of the book, that the countless hours he spent practicing basketball were wasted because he didn't make the team. What an awful attitude to have! If all we ever do is what we're good at then there's no room for growth. It's adversity that pushes us to improve. Perseverance and endurance in the face of difficulty and opposition are what makes us better people, not taking the path of least resistance.
     Maybe I missed the instructions on what we were supposed to take away from this test, but I sure hope it was just supposed to be a look at our strengths and not a comment on what we're to do with them. Because I couldn't disagree more with the majority of what I'm reading. It's gettin' me all worked up!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


     I just logged on to catch up on all the blogs and saw I haven't posted for exactly a month. To be honest, I'm sitting here and I still can't think of anything I want to write about. But I guess that's something. And as long as I'm being honest I can say I'm not the biggest fan of blogging. I understand that its a big group and we all have very different and busy schedules so blogging is a very good way of keeping in touch; but I find myself, much like right now, trying to force it. And its taking longer than usual because there are about seven gnats flying around the computer room and I've caught three but the other four are both swift and clever.
     Anyway this brings up an interesting point I've been pondering for, well, years I suppose. I like to absorb. In any group setting where more than four people are gathered I tend to sit back and soak in whatever conversation is happening. That's not to say I'm not participating. I'm just not adding anything. This may stem from growing up eight years behind three chatty sisters (I used to raise my hand at the dinner table if I wanted to say something). In high school my teachers would talk to me about not participating because I never brought books to class or took notes when they gave reviews for tests and they would give me lectures about paying attention and putting forth effort. But I got good grades because that's just how my brain works. If I take notes my brain won't remember what I wrote because it thinks, "Well it's written down now--and I could always look at it later."
     I'm not sure where this is going but it has something to do with the fact that, while I read every one of your blogs, I don't comment on them or write my own. Or how on Saturdays, I don't speak unless spoken to but I always get a lot out of the discussions. And I don't think its a self-confidence thing because, quite frankly, everything I say is solid gold. In light of that, I'm gonna bless you with one more paragraph that'll bring all this nonsense to a head.
     My dad used to read Proverbs to me before bed. Over and over. He'd finish it and then start over. And only one idea stands out in my memory from those readings: talking too much is foolish. It seemed like every night there would be some verse about how much better it is to pipe down rather than sound off. So I guess rather than keep typing I'd like to get your feedback on that idea. Because I like to absorb.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A More Deliberate Idleness

     Last week I typed about how I'm in an awkward in between stage where I don't really have anything to do but wait. The next morning I woke up to an email asking if I was interested in a position at Hoag Hospital as a Lab Assistant in the Microbiology Department. I said yes without hesitation, but fully understanding that my qualifications are...less than existent.
     Both of my phone interviews were atrocious. The HR people actually told me I should never use the answers I gave in any interview--ever. But they still put me through to an in-person interview, which I thought went well. I also learned that if by some miracle they did give me the job, I would be in way over my head.
     So I've been having a very productive, very continuous talk with God about why He's advanced me so far in this interview process, because if one thing is certain, I didn't get this far by merit. And I keep getting this nagging feeling that I have but to ask Him for the position and He'd give it to me. But I haven't. Because if the last few years have taught me anything, it's that I truly have no idea what's best for me. So I'm gonna let Him decide, and if He thinks I'd flourish there--cool. If not, well, the military is looking awfully inviting.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not Much

     Not much. That's all I've really been able to say to people when they ask me what I've been up to. There is probably ten hours throughout each week during which I actually have commitments. The rest is just waiting around. At first it was pretty rad. Wake up late. Stay up late. I got to do what I wanted. But now I would kill to have a job, even if its just to fill in the empty parts of my schedule. I've applied to more places than I can remember ranging from UPS to the NBPD.
     I've had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that, while I'm called not to be idle, however hard I try the opportunities aren't coming. So I'm waiting. And I don't like that so much. But maybe that's the point...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Here and Nouwen

     To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of the majority of this book. I guess I just wasn't feeling the connection between the author's experiences and my own. He was, or is, a far more emotional person than I am. But with that being said, the idea of living in the present has been weighing on me lately(as my last blog mentioned). And although Nouwen only really focused on that for one chapter, it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time I needed to hear it.
     My life has no direction. This consumes my thoughts. I've been going to college off and on for the last four years without any real purpose. It feels like I'm spinning my wheels. So, to continue the metaphor, I find myself worried about when I'll finally get traction and take off. At the moment I'm unemployed, I dropped out of school again, and I've lost the ability to do the one thing that has always been a constant in my life, sports. There really isn't anything about the present I care to focus on; I'm just waiting for a job, waiting to heal, waiting to move out, waiting for motivation to set in.
     So it's been a struggle to focus on where I am instead of where I want to be. But in doing so I've been more driven to make the most of the little things that happen throughout the day. That's what I've taken away from Nouwen's book more than anything.
     But, unless I missed it, Nouwen forgot one crucial part to living in the moment: where that moment lies in eternity. We were made to last forever. And while Today is all we have, if Today is not viewed in the backdrop of Forever then we've missed the point. I've only ever been motivated by the temporal rewards to what I'm doing. I want a job because I have bills to pay. I want to play volleyball to win and have fun doing it. I want to move out for the freedom. What I should be focusing on is the eternal implications are of my activities. I need to work because My Master says I need to be productive to the society He put me in. I need to play sports to bring glory to The One who gave me the ability to excel at them; my joy  in playing brings Him joy. Every day I have, and every thing I do in that day must be for the right reasons--the everlasting reasons. Unfortunately I'm a bit of an idiot, so God had to physically break me to get me to slow down and realize I had it all wrong.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


     I just watched the Orbiter with Chris and I really like what was said about satisfaction. It is really hard for me to be content with where I am and it seems like I'm always thinking about what's next or what I could have done differently in the past.
     Most of my preoccupation with times outside of the present stems from my desire to make the most of opportunities. But in my attempt to live life fully my mind gets in the way. I look to the past at all the things I wish I had done. I look to the future and worry about missing out. Inevitably I miss the present.