Odds & Ends


It’s been just over two months since my last post. No, I’m not dead.  No, I haven’t given up blogging. I’ve just been working crazy hours at my job.  Sleep has been a luxury (to give you an idea of how crazy it’s been, last week I slept five hours between Sunday morning and Thursday night), so blogging has been out of the question.  I apologize for not at least posting something a couple months ago notifying everyone that blogging would be next to non-existent for a while.  When I have a few minutes I write down some thoughts for a blog post, but then it takes me 10 days to get back to it, and I only have five minutes to write.  So I will be posting something in a few days.  It’s only a few paragraphs, but it took me more than a month to write!

For those of you who have not already subscribed to my email feed, I would encourage you to do so (click “email notifications” on the top right).  Hopefully by December things will be back to normal, and I’ll resume blogging on a regular basis.  Until then, I’ll try to post when I can.  Thank you for your faithful readership!

InfatuationThere is a difference between being enthralled/infatuated by someone, and being in love with someone.  Enthrallment or infatuation is when you are consumed with your desire for someone else.  Love, on the other hand, is the giving of oneself to another.  It is caring for their needs as you would your own.  It is doing all you can to make them a better person.  In short, infatuation is self-consuming, while love is self-giving.

I tend to think that we have so confused the two in our culture that only a minority of couples ever experience true love.  Instead, they experience intense periods of infatuation in the beginning of their relationship, and that gives their relationship the gas it needs to continue for a considerable distance.  But like a car that only gets filled with gas in the beginning of a long trip, the relationship does not reach its intended destination of “til death do us part.”  Only true love (or pure will and commitment) can fuel a relationship so that it can endure the many hardships of life.

For quite some time now, I have wanted to expand this blog from a one-man show to a team of like-minded bloggers.  My hope is that this will add more diversity to the blog, and engage more people on multiple levels. That is why I am pleased to announce that Chad Moore has agreed to team up with me as a contributing author at Theosophical Ruminations.

Chad is a lifelong Hoosier who was born and bred in Bloomington, IN with my wife, Tonya, and their three children. He is absolutely committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wholeheartedly believes in the local church, having worked for a decade in youth ministry, and regularly serving as a teacher in his local church.

Chad earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and an M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. So by day, he is a software engineer and web developer, and by evening, he is an avid reader and theologian.  One of the remarkable things about Chad is his ability to translate the truths communicated in the ivory tower in a way that is relevant for the people in the pew.

Chad is not new to blogging. He has been blogging at What’s More for some time, and will continue to blog there as well as at Theosophical Ruminations. Check out his personal blog when you have a moment.

Everyone, please welcome Chad to Theosophical Ruminations!

BoredI’ve always said that if you are bored, you are not in the will of God. After all, if we are doing what we are supposed to do as Christians, we don’t have time to be bored. If someone says they are bored, ask them if they have prayed, read their Bible, talked to someone about Christ, helped the needy, visited the widows, etc.  I think we all know what the answer will be.

As I think about boredom, it’s not just that people are failing to do the activities they should be doing; it’s that people are filling their lives with the wrong kind of activities.  Their days are spent pursuing insignificant activities, entertainment, and self-fulfillment rather than living their lives for God and others.  They pursue meaningless activities like playing video games for hours on end, watching endless amounts of television, and spending inordinate amounts of time on social media rather than pursuing relationships with God and others.

For an increasing number of people, their “relationships” are mostly virtual.  Having a relationship with people has been reduced to posting pictures of yourself online and waiting for your “friends” to like and comment on them.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not against entertainment or social media, but if that’s where we are spending most of our time, and that’s where we seeking meaning for our life, we will be bored.

Exclamation point“God/Father/Jesus” are not punctuation marks, so they shouldn’t end every sentence we utter in prayer. Prayer is our communication to God. We wouldn’t communicate with any other person by ending every sentence we say to them with their name (“What did you do today John? Are you going to the game John? It was nice to see your kids John. They played so well last week John. The hot dogs at the park were delicious too John.”)

When we talk to God that way, we are not using his name to address Him, but as “filler” material. I doubt God is annoyed by this in the same way that I would be annoyed if someone talked to me that way, but I think we can do better nonetheless.

talk lessI was thinking the other day how I could be a better conversation partner, and show myself more friendly to others.  I began to think about the kinds of things I find annoying when talking to others: failure to make eye contact, interrupting, dominating the conversation, changing the topic, etc.  Then, I thought of another faux pas that I’m sure most of us are guilty of.  Not only have I observed it so often in others, but I find myself doing it as well, either due to nervousness (particularly when meeting someone new), my desire to demonstrate our commonalities, or in some cases, just pure selfishness.  To what do I refer?

When in conversation with someone, we have the tendency to relate our own experience when it is similar to something the other person is talking about.  The worst thing to do is relate your story while the person is in the midst of telling their own!  But it may be good to withhold your story, even if they have finished theirs.  I don’t know about you, but if, when I finish telling my story to someone, they immediately begin talking about themselves, I get the feeling that they are more interested in their own story than mine.  It almost feels like you have two people competing against one another to share their personal story, each talking past the other.  If we want to be a better conversation partner, and show ourselves more friendly while in conversation, instead of telling our story, how about we seek to know more about their story?  Show them you are listening and you care by asking them to share more.  Not only is this flattering to your conversation partner, but it expresses our genuine interest in them as a person.  Rather than using their story as an opportunity to talk about ourselves, we use it as an opportunity to get to know them better.  We’ll have plenty of opportunities to share our own experience in the future.

“Although feminism purports to raise the value and status of women, it actually deconstructs femininity, treating it as an illusion or even an aberration.  The male chauvinist of the past identified women as unique and different, but then treated femininity as a lesser thing than masculinity.  The feminist of today, rather than celebrating femininity as a thing of equal worth, dismisses it as a bourgeois construction.  Far from championing femininity as a beautiful, God-created gift, the feminist absorbs femininity into a hyper-masculine world of competition, struggle, and ideology.” – Louis Markos, “Just Brilliant!: Three Things only a PhD Can Believe,” Salvo, Issue 24, Spring 2013, page 16.

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