11,700 sleepless nights

February 16, 2006

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s insomnia.”

Since that statement is not Biblical, maybe I should not feel guilty for wishing I were plagued like this guy.  Some would debate whether this was a disorder or a blessing.  I am a tremendous advocate of sufficient sleep, but only as necessary.  If I thought I could function as effectively without sacrificing any mental acuity while not having to give up the hours to rest, then I would hope that I would.  However, this man’s line of work is more labor intensive than it is mentally exhausting.  I wonder why watching TV isn’t as effective as sleeping.  You should be able to get both the mental and physical rest while watching the evening sitcoms as you do while sleeping.  In fact, I believe that with the creativity of dreams, that your mind is actually much more engaged in the middle of the night than in the middle of Seinfeld.
The friend that sent me the link for this article mentioned that he wouldn’t mind giving up eating as a necessity.  I, on the other hand, am much more fond of eating…moreso to my detriment.

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A Leave of Absence

February 11, 2006

Hopefully I will catch up on some posts today.  I have been very busy with work.  There are certain pros and cons of working in front of a computer all day.  Unfortunately, one of the negatives is that when the day is up, you don’t always want to come back and catch up on all your personal stuff.  Then, when I do feel like it, I am torn by the desire to help and spend time with the family.  This week, for the good of all, my family has won and this explains my absence for a week.  I know that I have thousands of subscribers out there (ok, maybe 1 or 2) who have grieved my absence, but I am sure you will find much more interesting stuff out there to read.  Truth is, I do this more as a discipline to myself than any other reason.

When time does permit, my choice is read or write, and this week I have read more than I have written.  Today, I hope to blog about another book or two that I have completed.  Hang around, if I really think people might read this, I will be more motivated to continue to cultivate the discipline of writing.

Livid with Labels

January 28, 2006

I struggle with labels. I don’t know what label I even want put on me. There are certainly many labels that I would immediately reject, but no label is definitively specific.

In a conversation with some new (Christian) friends, the history of my vocation was discussed in which I told them that I was most recently on staff at a Baptist church. They quickly (without shame) responded to this with, “Oh, you’re one of those.” What was I to do, I was on the defensive now. I did not want to stand in support of what every person who labeled themselves a “Baptist” had done, nor did I want to disregard the many godly, compassionate, freedom-loving Baptists that I have been in fellowship with. Not to mention the fact that I do align most closely with Baptistic theology.
On another post this week, I made reference to “Community” churches and the lottery that is inherent in visiting one of these. You really never know what to expect.

Finally, I have had a few use the term “emergent” when referring to me. This has become a very loose term, and a label I do not currently wish to wear. The positions of those who would consider themselves emergent vary in drastic ways. If I were to be tied to someone in that movement, I would choose Mark Driscoll over Brian McLaren (although Mark probably does not use the emergent term in relation to himself, there are certainly many that have used the term of him.).

All of this thought today was prompted by an excellent and humorous response to McLaren by Driscoll on Christianity Today’s blog. Enjoy.

Roe v. Wade anniversary

January 24, 2006

It has been 33 years (last Sunday) since the verdict came down in Roe v. Wade. Sunday morning, before church, I was surfing and came across a recommendation by John Piper (via Justin Taylor) to check out Abort73 for some relevant information about the war against abortion. This site is for adults only, viewer discretion is advised. I do not regret looking at the site, but it does have some shock value. Mind you, this is not something that you want to view on a Sunday morning before church, but it awakens you to what is going on out there. I had no idea that abortions in America (alone) number 1.3 million each year.
Watch the opening video and if you can take it, follow it to the “next page” after that. You will see footage from abortions. It is disheartening, disgusting, and even sickening, but it is real. I certainly have not done as much as I could in this cause. How can we let this continue under our watch?

Amateur Electrician

January 23, 2006

I am by no means a professional electrician; however, in spite of that fact (which will soon become more obvious), I (at my wife’s request) took on the project of switching out our receptacles and light switches on the first level of our house (the upstairs is on a future to-do list).  This job isn’t shouldn’t be all that complicated.  Basically, you begin by shutting the power off to the items you are switching out.  Then, you take off the old making note of what wires went where, and then you add the new.

Our house is slightly over 7 years old, and there was no necessity in changing the pieces we were, except that we had the more traditional beige electic outlets and switches.  Our replacements were the more modern white, square receptacles and rocker-arm switches.

To make a long story short, at about 9:00 on Friday night, there was no power running to the first floor of our house.  Something was wired incorrectly.  Except for the stove light and our bathroom light, there was nothing working.  Basically, except for our bathroom (we have a first floor master) and the kitchen appliances, the rest of the first floor seems to run on just one breaker.  I don’t know what it is like at 9:00pm where you live, but it is dark here…very dark.  To add to my stress, Saturday was our son’s first birthday and my wife’s entire extended family was coming to our house.  A few of those family members were going to be seeing it for the first time.  Now the birthday party was at noon, and we have plenty of windows for light, but it was also predicted to be rather overcast.  Furthermore, I was not sure how keen the guest’s would be to using the guest restroom by candlelight…hey, at least it counteracts any odor….

Well, I took my flashlight to the basement and finally found that catch-all Home Depot book that I got when we were first married.  As I opened it, I heard the spine crack.  I guess I haven’t gotten the use out of this thing that I had hoped for.  I found the electrical section and began to look for things I might have done wrong.  I appeared to have done everything “according to the book.”  To be sure, I began to re-examine every bit of wiring I had accomplished thus far.  My wife, by this point in time, had retired to bedroom.  She couldn’t watch TV, because there was no power to it; so she just went to sleep.

I decided, I would go ahead and replace the last few remaining, and if nothing else, the wall plates would look nice in the sunlight.  During this process, I continued to make numerous trips up and down the basement stairs to the far corner to flip the breaker on, only to come back upstairs to realize it was not working.  Finally the last switch was replaced.  I took one last trip downstairs to turn things back on, and much to my surprise, everthing worked when I got back upstairs.  I can’t explain it.  The pieces that I had replaced since the lights went out, were pieces that had worked previously.  It didn’t make sense, but that didn’t matter.

I took a moment to clean and put the final screws in to mount the plates and finally crawled into bed.  The one highlight came at that moment when I realized I had to set my clock.  The clock was blinking 12:15, because it had been 15 minutes since I had flipped the lights on with success.  I checked my watch for the correct time, and it was 12:15.  I had ironically turned the power back on at midnight.  I went ahead and bumped the time on my alarm clock forward 9 minutes (the length of my snooze), but I did not set the alarm.

Rapprochement

January 18, 2006

I feel that I need to blog this word, because it has hit me from multiple angles this week. I cannot remember ever reading this word or hearing it in conversation prior to this week. This is a new word for me. However, I read this word in a minumum of 4 places this week. First of all, I came across the word rapprochement in Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. Secondly, the word has appreared more than once in Nicholas Sparks‘ book Three Weeks with My Brother. Thirdly, it also appeared in a blog post I read earlier in the week (although I don’t have that reference right now).  Finally, what prompted this post was the reading of the word in J.B Phillips book, Your God is Too Small.
You can find full definitions at Dictionary.com and at Merriam Webster’s site. Essentially, it is synonomous with reconciliation. I can’t tell you how this word has haunted me. The sources in which I found it are entirely unrelated. I am glad I am well-informed of its definition now.