Friday, September 30, 2011

The Renewing Mind: Boundaries Cont.

So the question remains: Is there an acceptable way for a Christian to have boundaries?

When dealing with other Christian's I think that there definitely is. As part of our Christian life, we are supposed to help each other in becoming more like Christ. When a fellow believer behaves in such a way that not only is sinful or un-Christlike, but also abuses other members of The Church, I think that having boundaries and enforcing them is not only smart but biblical. The catch is that the boundaries that we create and enforce have to be biblical and christ-like themselves.

While there are many passages on this, I think the Fruit of the Spirit is a good guideline to do a quick check against.
Does the way in which I am enforcing this boundary express God's love for this person?
Does it reflect the joy I have in the Lord?
Are you expressing the boundary in a way that should promote peace?
Are you being patient with the person while enforcing the boundary? Also, are you persevering not only in making sure your boundary is Godly, but with that person as they work out their own Christ-walk?
Are you expressing the boundary with kindness, not to hurt or belittle or even accuse?
Is this boundary good and is your enforcement of it good? Do both things coincide with biblical teaching and avoid sinfulness?
Are you relying on Christ for the situation and not on your own wisdom or powers? Do you have faith that He will work things out on your behalf?
Are you being careful to express yourself in a way that is not needlessly hurtful and that is clear? Are you doing your best to make sure that your expression does not get in the way of your message? If it is possible, are you making sure to help the person feel cared for even as you are enforcing a boundary against them?
Finally, are you controlling yourself? Are you letting anger or resentment cloud your judgement?

Really, these are good guidelines for dealing with anyone, Christian or otherwise. With non-Christians, I think there is an added responsibility to sacrifice our own comfort on their behalf. They do not share our view of creation, nor are they being made more Christ-like, so we have to ask the extra question of whether this boundary is leading them to Christ?

I think a big issue a lot of us have is seeing kindness and gentleness as weakness, as well as seeing boundary enforcement or saying 'no' to requests as unkind. The strongest people are those who can be strong while also considering others; and sometimes the kindest thing you can do is say 'no' to a request when you know that saying 'no' will ultimately help the other person more than 'yes.'

Now just to figure out how to do all that all the time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Poetry Day ~ Menu by PETA

The last poetry day seemed to sort of work, so i thought I would do it again.
Now, I don't foresee this being an every week sort of thing, so don't get to attached to that aspect.
Also, I am going to continue the thoughts from yesterday in my post tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I apologize to vegans and vegetarians for this poem.

Menu by PETA

If I’d my way
Then everyday
I’d eat the meat of caribou
And tie my fate
Onto a plate
Of lightly roasted kangaroo
I’d think it fine
To nightly dine
On duck billed, web foot platypi
Upon some beast
I’d daily feast
To satiate my appetite
My vulgar pride
Cannot abide
To consume the non-quixotic
I’ll not be filled
Unless what’s killed
Is endangered or exotic
So serve to me
Some chimpanzee
With baked white-breasted guinea fowl
Some animal
Like basted breasts of spotted owl
More pleasure does this fare allow
Than lowly, unprotected cow

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Renewing Mind: Borderline, think that I'm going to lose my mind.

The problem with setting boundaries is that you have to be willing to enforce them.

Things have been crazy around work lately. Basically, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. The reasons for this aside, I have found a few times when I have had to enforce boundaries in the work place in regard to how much work I am expected to do. It has gone well and people seem to be understanding, but it is an uncomfortable position to be in.

How do I explain that there are more important things to me than my job? I'm not saying that my job doesn't have some importance, but not as much as God or Church or my family. When I am done at work, I want to be able to enjoy and participate in the things I think are really important. So I end up having to enforce boundaries.

And it isn't just at work. I have boundary enforcing issues all over the place. I am a recovering People Pleaser, and it feels very uncomfortable for me to say no, or to tell someone that I don't want to do something for them, or to tell someone when I've been hurt; even when my saying those things is warranted. There is a part of me that is convinced it is selfish. When I look at the Bible, I see verses expressing that we should go out of our way to be helpful, that we should let ourselves be inconvenienced in order to serve others. So I get uncomfortable when I say no, or take time for myself.

Part of the reason I struggle is because I know that a portion of my motivation to be better about my boundaries comes from arrogance and vindictiveness. I have this horrible idea that I am constantly the one who is having to be inconvenienced, or having to sacrifice, but that it isn't returned. There are many reasons that I believe cause this way of thinking, and many reasons this way of thinking bothers me; but the main 2 are that, first, it most likely isn't true. I am sure people in my life do things all the time and I am just too self-absorbed to notice. Second--and more importantly--there is no where in the biblical narrative that says "help people out until you get tired of it or until you feel you are being abused." Jesus got tired, Jesus was severely abused till he died! There are many other biblical incidents of Godly people being abused but still be required to serve. I have no excuse.

It's getting better. Maybe I just need a vacation.
I still feel there must be a good way to have some boundaries. Perhaps there will be more on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Renewing Mind: More than the sum of the Parts

I'm curious about the things that we use to define ourselves.

If I think about how I would define myself to someone, I would say that I am a Christian first, then a husband and father. Those are really the big ones.

Then I might continue and say that I am a geek/nerd, based mostly on my interests. I also would say I'm a son, and a friend, and a brother. After those, we start getting into really obscure things that I wouldn't say define me enough to be important.

I would NOT say that I am a computer support technician, even thought I spend 9 hours, 5 days a week doing that. I mean, when people ask me what I do, I say "I am a ...", but I would define myself with that.  In my head, it is what I do, not who I am. Even though I spend more than 40 hours a week involved in that, way more than I spend at Church or in prayer or with my friends or with most of my family, including my daughter (at least awake.) I also have been doing that job for almost 10 years, but still I wouldn't use it in the description of who I am.

Which makes me wonder if my view of who I am is flawed. Am I in denial about the things that make me up? Who is a person other than a collection of the things the do, the things they say, the thoughts they think? If I spend so much time fixing computer, and having to talk about and think about fixing computers, doesn't that make me a computer tech, even if I don't want it to?

I test this against how I think others see me. I know they see some of the things I would consider defining about me, but they also see me as at least some of my job. There are people in my life that almost can't talk to me about anything other than my job, so they must see that as an integral part of my personality. How do I explain to them that I see that as the most minimal part of me and would much rather talk about something (sometimes anything) else? Don't get me wrong, I like helping people and those skills allow me to help others, but I want people to take interest in me, not what I do.

The big thing that is left out of the above list is that I am a sinner. I have never really had a problem with admitting that, in fact I probably focused on it too much in the past. I sometimes have a hard time understanding how anyone can believe we aren't sinners.
However, I don't see this as something that defines me anymore. Again, it is something I do; in a sense, it is a disease that will one day kill me. However, thanks to Christ, it isn't who I am. I suffer from it and because of it, but I am not ruled by it anymore. I am ruled by Jesus and that transforms me in such a way that I am separated from sin in a way that makes it no longer a part of what is truly me. I will an unfortunate part of every day fighting it, I will be subject to sin in the world and in others actions far more than I care to think about, I will even still succumb to sin and do things I know aren't right. But who I am in Jesus Christ is so much larger and more powerful than sin that it completely overrides sins grasp on me. Sin will kill me, but I will recover, and be better than I ever have been.

This is what helps me understand how to look at who I am. I am more than the sum of the things I do, or thing, or say. I am more than my job. I am who Christ is making me, and that is far greater than any other thing that I am, to the point of making them inconsequential. If being a husband defines me, it defines me in so much as Christ is using it to change me. If being a father defines me, it does it only as Christ uses it to show me His heart and teach my children about Him. Even though my direct time with God is depressingly small in the scope of moments, it is the biggest thing I am involved in and infuses everything else.

So, I may not be all that I want to be now, or ever in this life; but one day I'll recover.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN/The Renewing Mind: Adapt to Survive

The problem with having a blog where you try to update every day is that on some days I can't think of a topic.
Now, my writing teachers and every writing book I have ever read would say to just start free form writing  and something will come to you. I am supposed to just sit down and write about whatever I am thinking about, or what I am looking at, or even just write the same sentence over and over a hundred times, just to be writing something.

Well, I am not writing the same sentence over and over, that's too much like a punishment. I am trying to get more into writing, not alienate myself from it.
I'm not really looking at anything but the computer screen, so that isn't going to work.
And I'm thinking about how I don't have anything to write about.

There may be a breakdown in this method.

The thing that is possibly the bigger issue is that I don't function too well without some sort of plan. Not with everything, there are some things with which I am distressingly comfortable flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. Apparently, writing is not one of them.

I think that holding on to any plan too firmly is a mistake. I heard a saying from a military commander once in regards to that , He said something along the lines of 'The best battle plan is rendered invalid after the first shot is fired.' I know I've experienced non-combat versions of that countless times.

I think that is one of the main reasons that the Bible tells us no to make to many plans for the future, but to instead focus on getting through today. There are too many things going on, too many people involved, too many unknowable variables to really make reliable plans. I think the most you can hope for are guidelines. And since I've noticed that a lot of people get much more stressed when their plans don't work out the way they want, it seems that' God's advice to us about plans is mostly just to keep us sane.

So does that mean that the Bible is saying that we should make no plans. I don't think so, just that when we do make plans, do not hold on to them tightly. Acknowledge that circumstances may change in ways you can't foresee or control, and be ready to adapt.  Adaptation is an excellent ability to develop. I definitely see that the times when I am the most stressed and unhappy could have been aoided if I had just been more open to adapting.

And praying. Always praying.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Things I learned about writing from smart people.

Someone asked the other day if I had tips on writing. I only have what I have learned from others. Here's the summary.

First, just write. Don't over think it. People who want to write but don't write often don't write because they are too busy thinking about writing. Maybe you have an idea you need to write about, maybe you don't. Either way, if you want to or need to write, just do it. Get something down. Get a draft, work from there.

So you now have a draft. It is most likely a mess. Decide if you need to write a second draft now that you have  your ideas more firmly in place. If you think you do, do it quickly. If you don't, don't. Don't get hung up on the way things sound yet.

Ok, now you have your ideas down. Now correct glaring grammar errors. Not all of them, just the really horrible mistakes that are making your thoughts less coherent.

Next, edit out things. First, figure out if there are redundancies in the document. Not restatements, redundancies. Take them out. Then figure if you can make certain ideas more concise. Figure out how to use words more efficiently. Using fewer words to say something is always better as long as it doesn't sacrifice understanding. Finally, see if you have any parts you are hanging on to just because you like them. Be brutally honest about whether you need them. If not, take them out, no matter how much you love how they sound.

Now check your spelling.

Now do the in-depth grammar check, but remember this: Grammar ultimately is a secondary component of writing. More important than grammar is clarity. Your reader must be able to understand what you are saying (that isn't always accomplished by using more words, by the way.) If fixing some technical grammar error makes the sentence difficult or unintelligible, change it back. Grammar is supposed to serve understanding, that's why it exists.
Also, some things we were taught were bad grammar are either accepted now or really have always been accepted. The dangling preposition is a good example of this.

At this point, if you have time, put the document down and walk away. For at least an hour or so, a day or so if you can do that without getting lazy. Then read it again and see if you still like how it sounds and is clear. Remove things and edit as needed.

Now give it to someone to proofread. Remember that a proofreader is there to tell you if they can understand what you are saying in the document or to catch errors you missed,  not to tell you whether or not they like it.

I know this sounds like a lot of work. Don't let anyone fool you: Writing is work. It can be fun and rewarding, but it is work. You can get better at it and make the process pretty quick once you get the hang of it, but writing well is something that takes effort.

Most of the time it's worth it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: When the Mind wins the Brain Game

Today I took a Blacksmithing class. Specifically, I took a class that taught how to make a small, propane-powered forge. As part of this process, we had to line the inside of our canister with a heat-resistant baffling that is very like fiberglass. If you have never worked with fiberglass, then you haven't experienced the itchiness that comes if you aren't careful how you handle it. You see, fiberglass-like materials have tiny shards inside them that get in your skin and make you itch. It is not pleasant.

However, as long as you are not shredding fiberglass, or burning it, or some other crazy thing that sort of aerosolizes it, you aren't really in any major danger if you are just mildly careful. I wore long sleeves, I wore safety goggles. Everything should have been fine.

However, for an hour or so after finishing working with the fiberglass, I had problems breathing. Well, not really problems, more like just a odd sensitivity.

Don't worry, I didn't inhale fiberglass. You see, these symptoms were psychosomatic. I didn't inhale fiberglass. I just worried that I might have and my brain produced a few symptoms to help my worry along.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, pretty much every time I do anything with volatile or potentially poisonous materials, I have some sort of mild reaction. I'm not kidding. If I have to use bleach to clean anything, I convince myself that I've managed to swallow some, and then my throat feels all weird.

However, all that is not even the part I think is interesting. The interesting part is that I know I'm doing it. I mean that, even while my brain is slightly worried that I may have swallowed bleach, my mind is saying "You didn't. You're fine. You do this every time. Calm down."

And yet I still have a tickle in my throat.

Now it has gotten better. The weirdness doesn't last as long as it used to. Some things that used to trigger it don't anymore. Also, I have never (at least to the best of my memory) let my worries about this sort of thing keep me from doing or trying anything. Because I know it is in my head. Sometimes I can just remind myself it isn't real. Sometimes I pray a little. Either way, things get better.

So I am fascinated by the power of the brain. Based on something I am worrying about, it can make me feel symptoms that I have no reason to be having.
However, I am more impressed with the power of the mind. Even though I am worried, I can tell myself that it isn't real and still make myself behave normally.

Now, I don't want you to think I obsess over all this. I don't. These 'worries' I have when dealing with chemicals and such are no real hindrance. I usually just ignore them and go about my day, because I know a few things.
First, the Lord is watching over me.
Second, all these silly little worries are in my brain.
Third, my mind, thanks to how we were created, has power over my brain. I've been given a conscious mind by my creator, and it has been empowered by my savior to help change me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Words are weapons, sharper than knives

it seems that a large section of my brain power is used to determine and remember when to keep my stupid mouth shut.

There is a part of me that envies the people who don't think or care about what they say or how they say it. I see that and, while I am somewhat repulsed, I also am fascinated by the apparent freedom they feel to just speak their mind. I am often so exhausted just by constantly editing that the thought of being able to stop is very attractive.

Now, some of you who know me are saying, "you edit? I couldn't tell."  Let me assure you, YES I edit. A lot, constantly. So the next time I say something crazy, keep in mind that whatever I said was the edited version.

As freeing as being able to say anything that comes through my head or that I am feeling at that moment would seem, I can't do it.  First, whenever I see someone behave that way, I am instantly repulsed by their complete lack of regard for others. Make no mistake, people who do not consider their words and put the entire onus on others to translate and edit for them are selfish. While I agree that there is some responsibility on the part of the hearer to work at understanding and not overreacting, there is also a responsibility on the part of the speaker to be understood in a helpful way. People who refuse to consider their words are either arrogant or lazy, and people who claim to do so and still say needlessly harmful things are at best deluded or ignorant, and at worst are cruel.

Those of you who disagree, consider this: when one reads a book, there is an expectation that the writer will convey his meaning and intentions, as well as the story, in an understandable and engaging manner. If the author does not, it can result in an annoyed, perhaps even insulted, reader. The purpose of the writing is lost.

We are all the authors of everything that comes out of our mouth. The same rules apply.

Also, whenever I speak, I find that it makes whatever I am speaking about more real. When something is still in my head, I can try to argue against it, calm myself if need be. Eventually I may be able to alter or change it as needed. Also, it gives me a chance to actually test my thought veracity before acting.
Once I speak, my thoughts become more real. I find that I become more committed to them; I become more emotional and animated; my belief in what I am saying increases--whether it is actually true or not. Words are commitment. Words have power.

While i agree that in most cases, 'actions speak louder than words,' words speak pretty loudly. They are the first true indication of the character of the speaker.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Poetry Day ~ We Run Like Rain

Occasionally, when I can't think of something worthwhile to write (or I need more time to develop a thought, I'll post something old.  Sometimes it will be my bad poetry. Sorry about that.
This is a piece I did for a poetry class.  It is written in the form of a pantoum.

We run like rain down the cobblestone streets
through shadows of structures centuries old
The echo of footfalls faintly repeat
down halls of history too large to hold.
Through shadows of structures centuries old
past archways where once centurions stood
down halls of history too large to hold
joy that replaces the rivers of blood.
Past archways where once centurions stood
our giggling gameplay softly resounds.
Joy that replaces the rivers of blood
And softens still lingering battle sounds.
Our giggling gameplay softly resounds
Wafting gently to the arena floor
And softens still lingering battle sounds
From struggles settled centuries before.
Wafting gently to the arena floor
Our parents voices as they call our names.
From struggles settled centuries before
We draw the designs that govern our games.
Our parents voices as they call our names
Lost in the caverns where bodies once lied.
We draw the design that governs our games
Out of the soil where martyrs once died.
Lost in the caverns where bodies once lied
Our spiritual parents prayed for reprieve
Out of the soil where martyrs once died,
Prayed for a pardon they’d never receive.
Our spiritual parents prayed for reprieve
In hallways where we now play hide-and-seek
Prayed for a pardon they’d never receive
for the inheritance promised the meek.
In hallways where we now play hide-and-seek,
Prices were paid that we can’t understand
for the inheritance promised the meek
freedom to happily play hand in hand.
Prices were paid that we can’t understand
These histories now are simply our play.
Freedom to happily play hand in hand
drives any gloomy reflections away.
These histories now are simply our play
through these ancient archways, dungeons, and floors
we drive all gloomy reflections away
after racing through Coliseum doors.
Through these ancient archways, dungeons, and floors
The echo of footfalls faintly repeat
After racing through Coliseum doors
We run like the rain down the cobblestone streets.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN/The Renewing Mind: The Cake is a lie

I've pursued lots of things in the attempt to become Awesome.

There seems to be a thought in our culture that any, and perhaps even ALL, of us have the ability to become something phenomenal. Television, Movies, Radio, Books, and even the people around you tell you things that make you feel like you have it in you to be Superman.
The problem is that this is a lie.

No one can be Superman.  Not even Superman is really Superman. Whatever you accomplish in life, you will always be able to see some way that you could have theoretically have been better, greater than you are now. Everyone falls short of their supposed potential.

But falling short isn't the issue (it is The Issue, but not the focus of our current discussion.) The issue is that the World tells you that you can be a Superstar, so when you feel like you aren't the Superstar you were meant to be or thought you could be, you are devastated or feel like a failure.  You wonder where you've gone wrong.

I feel like this a lot. I had a lot of dreams and goals I wanted to accomplish. In a very strict sense, I have accomplished very few of them. Many--possibly most--have died a horribly painful death. When I see the death of these things, I feel like a failure. What have I done with my life? What do I have to show for it? Most things I have tried have not turned out.  I'm not famous, I'm not rich, I am not really successful in any way that the World promised me I could be.

But the issue is not that I'm a failure (again, it is The Issue, but that's for later), it's that I paid far too much attention to the lies of the world. The Cake is a LIE! There is no magic place in life where you get everything you want and are totally happy.  I would even go as far as to say that anyone who says they are perfectly happy with life is either a stinking liar or horribly deluded.

Here is a part of truth: You will never be completely happy in this life; you will never have everything you want; you will never feel totally fulfilled.

But you can be content. You just need to stop living trying to be the person the World told you that you could be, or even the person you want to be. Start figuring out who you should be.

You should be someone who loves God with everything you are.
You should be someone who loves others at least as much as you love yourself (hopefully more)
You should be someone who holds on to this world very loosely.
You should be someone who can accept that you aren't perfect, and while that isn't OK, it is reality. It is what everyone of us lives with every day.

The longer you spend denying it, the worse it gets.
So cut it out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: It would be a shame to kill you now.

This is a suggestion to anyone who relies on others to get their own jobs done: Be Kind.

I work in an IT support department, and the number 1 issue that makes working in IT frustrating are the users who call up and demand that I hook stars and bring them down for them to use at their whim.  And do so in a condescending or cruel fashion.

Sir or Madam, you do not seem to understand something very pivotal about our relationship: The very same abilities that allow me to help you with your issue also give me the knowledge to make your computer world a world of pain.

Now I would never do that, but since I could theoretically, you would think it would give you an incentive to at least be kind and polite. I know you are having issues, and I didn't cause them, so there is really no reason to treat me like I'm something you found on the bottom of your shoe, especially since i can erase your entire hard drive in about 30 seconds.

Again, I would never do that, but I am also not the only person with whom you should be polite.
Plumbers, electricians, contractors, police, firefighters, anyone on whom you rely for your daily comfort, protection, or just general ability to function should be treated with, at the very least, politeness.

Really, there is almost never a reason to ever treat anyone poorly.  A gentle answer turns away wrath, and it is possible to be kind and strong/assertive.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Indestructible Pants

I don't understand these pants I am wearing today.

For the most part, they are normal pants, but they have 3 different buttons at the waist. They are not ButtonFly pants.  I am wearing dress pants to work.

So here are these 3 buttons. Well, they aren't all buttons.  Basically, I have the interior button, then a sort of slide-fastening mechanism, then an outer button.

Why do I need all these buttons? I am not, to the best of my knowledge, threatening to burst out of my pants.  I could understand a secondary button as a safety measure, but a tertiary fastening device seems like overkill.

I am trying not to be offended that pants manufacturers believe that I am such a risk that they need to protect the structural integrity of these pants.

I would much rather have pants where the FABRIC was somehow reinforced against my shenanigans. I'm thinking some sort of Carbon Nano Fiber that would then be both tear and stain resistant.  Really, all my clothes should be made this way.

The other benefit is that the Carbon Nano Fiber (CNF) clothes is that they will probably last longer than I will.  I can hand them down to my children. They will become a family heirloom of sorts. They would have to be in a very neutral fashion in order to be useful, but otherwise they could last for generations.

Anyone who has CNF manufacturing capabilities, let me know.  I think I have a billion dollar idea for you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: You're not thinking 4th Dimensionally

I really enjoy the subject of Time Travel.

I am not entirely sure why I do, but I have a few thoughts.

First, I think that I engage with Historical subject matter more fully when I see how things could have turned out instead of how things did turn out.  The comparison makes it easier for me to really engage with the original subject.

Second, the idea of being able to revise mistakes is sort of attractive. I think most of us can relate to that.

Third, I like that most of the revisionist time travel stories deal with how the attempt to change the past actually causes more problems than it solves.

When I think about Time Travel and the actual possibility of it, I have to assume that, if Time Travel were possible, the traveler would not be able to actually change anything. He would be a spectator at best. If he was actually able to interact in a significant way, I have to believe that anything he would do would simply contribute to the way things turned out in the first place.  Revisionist versions of Time Travel are interesting thought experiments, but they inherently imply that there is no plan for creation. Being a Christian, I have to believe that God has a plan for us and is therefore moving things in specific directions for specific purposes. He may allow us a certain amount of freedom to make choices inside that plan, but not enough to invalidate the overall goal.

Also, a revisionist concept of Time also implies that God may not have crafted time all that well, if we could potentially jump around inside it and change things. If Time Travel is possible, I think that God's impeccable crafting of Time would take into account that travel and integrate it into it's whole. Really, if you continue with that, it really makes it so that Time Travel itself is very likely impossible, at least as long as you exist inside it. It is so well crafted that nothing bound within it could violate it in any meaningful way.

I've probably thought about this too much.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Come and see the incredible golf ball whacker guy...

I have never been a "sports" guy.

I have pretty much become okay with that now, but growing up it made things difficult when it came to friend-making. There is a strange amount of pressure on boys (at least when I was growing up) to be involved in sports in some manner. You should play them if you can. If you can't, you should watch them.

As far as the 'standard' sports are concerned, I did neither. I could just never get to the point where I thought sports were that interesting.

But because it seemed expected, I gave it a shot. I ended up finding a few sports I enjoyed, but they are all individual sports: skiing, rock climbing, cycling, running, etc. Team sports never appealed, and I think a big reason is that, in team sports, there are other people depending on you to do your job. And I am bad at sports. I don't pick up on them quickly, usually. So having others on a team who are depending on me to perform decently was very stressful.

Eventually, I got older and my friends got older and we have come to an understanding: I'm bad at sports and don't enjoy watching them, but I will play and watch because we are friends. My friends understand that, when I play, I will be not doing well.  When I watch, I will be asking lots of questions. We are finally old enough where that all works out.

I bring this up because, yesterday, I went to play golf with a friend of mine who is getting married. I went because he is my friend and I wanted to hang out. He (and his family) are good at golf. I am NOT. I would say I am even below my normal average for sports when it comes to golf.
He was very supportive. I asked for pointers and he was good and patient about giving them. I improved a little and I think we all had fun.

and it only took us 5 1/2 hours to finish 18 holes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sensitive Geek MAN: Say Hello to my little friend

I am always the first person up in my house on the weekdays, and today is no exception.  It is just before 7 as I am writing and I have already been on a run and eaten breakfast, checked all my email, and now written this post.

While being up isn't different, getting all that other stuff done is. Usually I need to be out of the house by 6 in order to make it to work by 7:30, but today I am taking off work to go stand up in a friends wedding. I enjoy weddings. I usually have fun at them, and I am still somewhat of a romantic (regardless of what my wife may think), so the idea of weddings appeals to me.

This particular wedding is interesting, because i am standing up in it, and because this particular friend and I have not know each other long in the Grand Scheme.

However, he is one of those people with whom I have developed a particular and special bond, and quickly at that. I hope anyone reading understands what I mean. A person who very quickly gets you and whom you get. One of those friendships that becomes tight rapidly and is naturally relaxing. It's very nice.

I have had several of those types of friendships over the years. I am happy to say that I am still friends with almost all of them, regardless of my lack of long distance communication skills. That is another nice thing about those types of friendships: distance and time are less of a hindrance than with other friendships.  Which is good, since for some unknown reason, many of my friends of this sort feel the need to move rather far away once we have our friendship established.

Now, I don't want you to think that I somehow value these friends more. The value of a relationship is not the ease of the relationship. It isn't necessarily that these are better friends, although some of them make up some of my very close friends. These friends just come more easily and quickly. There is an appeal to that.  However, I also find that there is a great deal to be said for friends with whom I have had to put in a lot of work and years of time. These friends have been proven by fire.  We may not have as much in common naturally and our times together may not be as peaceful, but we have proven the friendship time and time again, and it has grown us in doing so.

Really, I am thankful that God brings these different types of relationships to us. I learn things from each of my friendships; other than Himself, they are the best teacher He's given me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Before Brad@Home: Why this blog existed originally

This Blog was written well before I transitioned the site over to Brad@Home. It is still valid, the scope of the blog has just been expanded a bit.

There is a constant stream of distraction that keeps one from writing.  I have never met another person who considers themselves a writer (or even just wants to be one) that doesn't have a constant struggle just to sit down and write; nevermind that once you sit down then you have to think of what to write.

So the reason I started this blog is in the hopes that I will write something on a more regular basis. Even if it isn't the masterpiece that I would like to write or even anything meaningful, if I could get to the point were I write something everyday I would consider that a significant victory.

So, a few things you can expect from this blog.
You can expect that I will sometimes ramble.  Hopefully it will at least be entertaining rambling.
You can expect me to TRY to be meaningful.  Any writer that really is introspective and honest with himself understand that writers and wanna-be-writers struggle with arrogance.  There is a great potential for arrogance in anyone who want to write things that others will read. There is an assumption that the writer in question has things to say that others will find enticing. I struggle with this a bit, although my issue is that I tend to convince myself I have nothing good to say and then I don't write.  So instead I am writing, not with the idea that I am going to say something profound and life changing for my readers, but instead that i will hopefully say something to which a reader can relate.  Something that causes a reader to think "I know what you mean" and makes people feel connected with each other.

You can also expect me to reference Jesus Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, and the Church.  The name of this blog is The Flame Imperishable, and that is God Himself. I endeavor to make Him the central point of everything I do.  I fail a lot, but I'll be honest about it. If you don't agree with my religious beliefs, I hope you will keep reading.  I am open to discussion, so please feel free to start some in the comments and such.

If you are reading, thank you. If you are up for it as a reader, help keep me diligent, humble, and honest.