Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Simpleman's Simple Mind Working Overtime.

Recently I have been struggling.

I mean it.

I have had a lot of things going on in my hamster wheel powered brain recently. With all the things going on in life, the thing I have been thinking about…well actually there are two things.

First, "the things I love…I can't convince you of." Those are lyrics from a Derek Webb song, & every since I heard them…I can't get them out of my head. I really don't go into great detail on here about a lot of my passions, my hearts cry, the things that makes me ache inside…have you ever wanted something so bad you absolutely ached for it?

I am not talking about wanting a stick of gum here…

I mean your insides seem to quiver at the sheer thought of (fill in the blank) happening, & yet it seems (at times) so far away. There are a lot of things, right now, that I am starting to feel very distant from, some of those things I feel like I am getting much closer to…some seems like I would have to swim the Pacific & walk across China to get to.


Imagine feeling so passionate about something, so driven, so hungry & not being able to have people sharing in that with you? Denise & I feel the same, & maybe a few others…but from there, if I share…it's almost like trying to convince someone of what I (personally) love… your closest friends, those whom you love, so many you care for...

...and maybe it was even your friends themselves.

It's kind of like convincing someone you are worthy of being married to.

Imagine me bartering with Denise before we got married. Trying to convince her that it was a good idea. First, if you know me, you know I wouldn't do that. If anything went wrong she would resent me, & what would become of our relationship if I couldn't fulfill all the things I bartered with? So, my point is what good is a convinced relationship as opposed to a true heart-felt, inside, guttural desire relationship?

I guess what it comes down to is, does my life make people want that true heart-felt, inside, guttural desire for the things I love & have that true heart-felt, inside, guttural desire that I have? That is a hard question to swallow, because what I see is a resounding, "No"… does that mean I have that true heart-felt, inside, guttural desire? I believe so…so what is going on?

This leads me to the second part.. When I started speaking, I had so many people tell me that there was something special there. I have no clue what it was, honestly. I have people that I am in contact with ministry-wise, just love to be around both Denise & I. Once again, I have no idea why…at least on my part. I still have people say there are big things in store for you, big, big things…& that is a nice stroke to the ego…but what does that mean? How far away am I? Could you translate "big" for me? I mean, what am I looking for here?

If there is something big, why do I feel so small? If small is big, then what effect is there on the populace? Isn't that the impact necessary? Why do I feel so far off the course? Why can't I find a map I can read? Why is there no outlet I can plug into? Why am I so frustrated about all of this? Does this happen to anyone else?

Man, I am weak.

A feeble man with a direction few understand.

Ahh sweet Sovereignty… to follow & understand Sovereignty…as a small, finite-minded, simpleton…truly a vain pondering.

So ponders the simpleMan…

So rambles the simpleMan.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rearview Mirror (Black Version)

Have you ever set a goal? You know, you wanted to achieve something so you set up a goal, and maybe even set up steps to get to that goal? Maybe it was to save some money, maybe buy a CD, car, TV, or Christmas presents. Maybe you are like me and you're trying to lose some weight. You may have even decided to read a book, write a book, write a blog, …whatever. I think we all have had SOMETHING we have made a goal for, and if not, you may want to talk to somebody about that.

When we set goals, how do we normally go about doing that? I was talking this past week and said, "It is best to start towards something having your destination in mind." I say that because it is easier to know what steps to make by having the goal, or destination in mind and knowing what you are shooting for.

So let me ask you a question.

Have you ever set a goal to the past?

Does that make sense?

For example, my goal (now) is to lose 15 pounds last year! It doesn't make sense does it?

Where are you going with this simpleman? My point is that sometimes we get so worked up about what we have already done (Or what someone has done to us) that sometimes it hinders us moving forward. Someone hurt me, which I do not mean to make light of, but am I willing to let that ruin my life or the lives of those close and dear to me? Am I willing to let that make me ineffective at life, love, friendships, and so on? I can name a number of people I think that struggle with this…

And I have too.

However when we come to the realization that our life is not in the actions of our past but in our seeking out whom we were designed to be. If you think of a traumatic event of your past, and we more than likely have all had them, how does that traumatic event affect your future goals? I am not asking how it shapes you as a person, or if has an affect on your future…because those types of events shape who we are and continually shape us…what I am asking is…does that event(s) cripple the "ideal" you that you have set as a goal for yourself? Think about it. How many people rush into a second or third marriage without moving on from the hurt and pain of the first? How does that translate to their next marriage? They carry the baggage from the first right in the front door of the second.

So what? What is your point?

My point is, if you are seeking to be the person you feel you were designed to be, let the past form and shape you but do not let it rule you. If your past rules you, you will be stuck in the past for your whole time here on this planet. We cannot function like that as an organization, family, friends, or even in our own personal life.


…what is it?

What hurts you?

What slows your progression to the real you?

It may help to get it out and talk to someone about it, write it out maybe, it may help. There may be no quick fix or quick answer…but sometimes sharing just gets it out of there. Strive to be the person you have set the goal for yourself to be…don't get stuck as the person on the past, let the past form you and make you stronger…but don't get stuck there.

May you, when you look in the rearview mirror, see that you are driving away from those events with the memory firmly in your mind, but not sitting there staring at it and letting it eat away at you. May you remember those events but not be crippled by them. May you strive to become all that you are supposed to, and may you help others do so along the way.

So says the simpleMan

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kudos & Futile Mutilations (Based on myspace blogging)

It's funny; I have tried to start working on this like three times now. Maybe this will work…if not I have to change three to four & try again. Kristen said a while ago, "BTW - what the heck is with this "kudos" thing? What - does everyone now require some kind of gratification for every post that we have a build in system for giving a "pat on the back"? Sad..." You know I would normally say, "I agree!" But then I started thinking…& while I do agree that it is "sad", do I really act out what I would have been saying? You know what I mean? Basically what I am saying is, Kristen is right…& I agree verbally…but sometimes, if I am being honest (shamefully so), I like the ego stroke.

So what can I do?

Well, let's think about this. Is that my motivation? You know to get my "kudos"? Sure I like kudos, (I especially liked the granola bars that were called Kudos…MAN those were good)…& sure I get that welling feeling inside when I get MY kudos (you know because I deserve them), but if that is my motivation & it is what makes me write more blogs (for example) what happens when my next two or three or twelve are flops & I get NO comments or kudos? I burn out & stop writing blogs maybe forever.


You know, I think Kristen has a point. How many people in this world base their motivations & actions on "kudos"? I have done it before, & to be honest…I have gotten to a place where kudos don't mean everything to me. Sure it is nice, & it is nice to give people their "kudos" when they do something good…I am just looking at the motivation. Why do something just because it will meet someone's approval. I was reading yesterday, & do you know in the ancient town of Philippi men were getting circumcised because they thought that gave them religious rights.

Think about that…but not for too long…

They were cutting off parts of their…OUCH…so they would be "approved" & get "kudos", they actually called these futile mutilations because it didn't get them any further in life or what they were seeking...and neither do kudos. Seems like this mindset has been around for a while. Grown men. Wow. Why is acceptance so important? Think about how our society is set up, & apparently it was set up in ancient Philippi. We are accepted into peer groups, cliques, certain schools (including pre-school), college, jobs, relationships, & now days even parental relationships in some cases, & the list could go on & on. Acceptance is important, but if you are not accepted, does that change who you are created to be?

I can honestly say, I have been rejected at every level that I mentioned. I have become more accepted as time has gone on & people have come into my path, or maybe I stumbled upon theirs, whichever. The point is acceptance (or kudos) doesn't always come as you want it, or when you want it, but it will come…if you do not have that as your priority. Because if you do have that as your priority, it will eat away at you when you don't get it & degenerate who you are designed to be. You can't base all of who you are on kudos.

Seek to give kudos; do not seek to receive kudos. Ask yourself how good you are at accepting sometimes, you may find hypocrisy. No, really, I say that because I have found some hiding there from time to time.

I really appreciate that Kristen bringing this up. She's a smart girl, & she is strong enough not to lose herself in the "kudos" of life, & it's a good thing, because she doesn't get the kudos she deserves sometimes. Thanks Kristen, Kudos to you!

Now, all of you, shower me in your kudos! If you do not, I shall no longer grace you with the wisdom of Simpleman & I will move to Philippi!

So says the Simpleman.

(Sidenote: Think about the whole basis of the movie "Accepted")

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thirsty Waiters (pt.2)

First off, don't forget this is a continuation of last time.

You know…as we were talking about waiters, thirsty waiters for that matter, I began to re-read what I had already written. I began to really try to evaluate how "on target" I was. While I feel I was getting at something, I think we have to look a little deeper, because if we don't we may miss the point…or maybe just I would miss the point.

So here we go…

The world is full of "patrons", people who come and go as they please. Just like our friends they come and go, they sit, they stay, and do what patrons/friends do. I guess I am trying to view myself as that thirsty waiter. What I mean is, think about a waiter that comes up…you know like I mentioned…all out of whack and thirsty and…basically just a mess. How do you feel about that? You would probably have something to say to everyone around you about what a mess they were.

So what kind of waiter am I?

I am sitting here thinking…as a waiter, am I good at this? Do I give good service to the patrons around me? I have to be honest…I am no good at this. I am getting better, and I have come a long way, but I am so far from good.

An inexperienced waiter struggles and fumbles and makes mistakes lot of the time and that is understandable. I have been a "waiter" for a while now, and I find myself hiding from the patrons at times. I get so caught up in the "kitchen" that I don't do too well with the patrons, which should be my focus. Sometimes I find patrons I really like and just wait around till they come again, while other patrons should be getting my service. I bicker with other waiters. I am a bad waiter.

What does this have to do with thirst? Well that is the other issue, isn't it? Think about what I just mentioned in the above paragraph…did it involve anything that was healthy for me? See it is easy to get very removed from the patrons, but it is also very easy to get removed from…


If that happens what do you really have to offer the patrons? What do you have to offer anyone? Sometimes the best way to reach out to patrons is to make sure you are ok. There is a line where the break must be made…and that is where discernment comes in. We need both.

I can't tell you how often people I come in contact with want me to go here or go there to talk to someone about something that they need me to take care of their patrons. I don't mind, and I understand in some cases that it is better coming from another "waiter." However, if I am constantly doing this…doesn't it mean there is a problem? Certain situation call for more experienced waiters…and some things even the busboy can take care of.

So to wrap this up…are you a thirsty waiter? What are you offering the patrons that come to you? What can you offer them? What do they get when you are around? Are you frazzled? Complaining? Irritable? Is that what we are serving in the "Kitchen"? Why would anyone want to come back? Maybe it's time we get a drink!

Think about it.

I know I have a long way to go…cus I still find myself a thirsty waiter far too often.

So says the Simpleman.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Thirsty Waiters (pt. 1)

Why are relationships important? Ever wonder why we long for relationships? I am not saying you sit at home and LONG for a relationship…I am saying if someone walked up to you and struck you the right way in conversation, you would be a slight bit (if not more) happier if someone did that to you. Unless there is an issue (which all who know me, KNOW I have issues.

And issues…

And yes...

More issues.

You would be way more receptive if you saw that person walking up to you to talk again.


Because we love the idea of having a friend, and if it is someone of the opposite sex and they appear to not be …how shall I say…of a stalker stock, and you are available…think of the feeling you get.


We seek relationships. Granted there are skeptical people out there, who it takes a LOT longer to break down the walls if someone comes and starts a conversation with them. Here also are quite a few that if you walked up to them and started a conversation, or even if you just asked, "How are you doing today?" Would think, "FREAK!" How bad is that really?

Have you ever messed around with your waiter/waitress (in the sense of just goofing off, don't go make out with your next waiter/waitress after this…unless your married to one, then by all means) I am surprised by how many "days" have been made just by asking them how they were doing and listening…granted sometimes they are busy and that isn't the best time to ask…but on slow nights, many times (not always) they are waiting to be listened to…why? Because they listen or ask people questions all day, imagine if you were in a place where you had to fill peoples water glasses, but the only way you got to take a drink was if someone else filled a glass for you (you could not fill one for yourself) think about filling people water glasses all day and never getting a drink yourself. You are around water all day…and yet you are dying of thirst…that is what so many people's lives are like.

Sometimes the waiter/waitress are "those" people, and sometimes I feel like the thirsty waiter. I would love to say, "When I feel like the waiter, I just keep pouring." You know, cus I am SOO righteous. However, really…you know when I am honest…when I am thirsty I first try to look at how good I am at filling others glasses, and I am not really very good at that at all. In fact, I dare say…if I was your water-filling waiter, I don't deserve a tip. I don't deserve a refill.

...To Be Continued...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Investments & Meetings

I am at the church & there is about 4-5 inches of snow on the ground.

I love snow.

I want to do a video lesson on snow so bad; it’s all churning around up there in the gray matter. I was here at the church for about 13 hours yesterday and you know what…that is about normal, I mean maybe not at the church but between my wife, mother-in-law, and I…it isn’t all that unusual to be running, non-stop for 13+ hours a day. I am talking no sitting, no nothing. To be honest I am ok with that…


I am spending time out meeting someone for counseling, meeting up with someone to work on our relationship, meeting up with students, studying for a sermon, studying for school, working on one of the houses, or spending time with family or ANYTHING of that nature. I am not very cool with meetings, and I am talking the drawn out meetings…not the constructive kinds. I remember when I worked at Target, I used to work the very early morning shift, and you know when they scheduled the mandatory meetings?

Weekends & evenings.

So why do we do meetings? I mean in theory they have a very good purpose, right? The problem is, well at least how I see it, is if the meeting is short, sweet & to the point…whoever is in charge is short and must be in a bad mood. If it goes long people complain too. So where is the happy medium? I tend to be on the short, sweet, & to the point side (although I have had meetings I am sure some would debate that point). Why am I an advocate of this?


Mainly because, if I am running for 13 hours, how many of those hours are quality time? You know, talking to my wife? Reading as I should? Spending time in the quiet with God? Spending time with my wife on a date or just sitting & reading together?

As of right now, there isn’t a slowing…just not possible, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can bet I will appreciate those times so much more when they come around again. YES, I KNOW I WILL BE BUSY FOREVER (For all you people who like to poop on people’s parades), but when I have an investment (time)…I want to invest it as I should.

So says a simple man.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


What has happened to this year? It flies by so quickly and it seems like last year didn't even really end. Sometimes when life moves this quickly I really try to assert some kind of free time to just sit and think, "Is this what life is all about?" I mean, rushing about and trying to get "stuff" done in time…for whatever time has been set to do something. This is something I have really been wrestling with recently.

Time and priorities.


No really, I really struggle with these things. A lot of people would look at me and say my priorities are great. Who am I being compared to? The general populace? Who wants to be a general populace person? If you do please speak up. Anyone? I think we all want to be remembered for SOMETHING, even if it is just by our family members or friends. Time and priorities go hand in hand, we all have time and we all have priorities. What do we do with them?

I probably shouldn't be writing this.



I have other things I should be doing with my time, I could justify it with an excuse…but I have made it a priority to write this…and I don't even know why. Should you be doing something else? I don't know. I have things around my house that need fixed, I have homework to do, I have work to do…but you know what. You know what I have been wrestling with?

You may not share my beliefs, and in this point it doesn't really matter. What? Well, my point is if I want to be the person I believe I should be, let's say the non-populace guy, I should be reaching out to people. Making friendships that last, touching lives that are hurting, for God's sake…HANGING OUT with people…and a HIGH priority is to hang out with my WIFE! What in the world does a degree matter, if my marriage crumbles? How nice is a house that you have to sell because of divorce or separation. How nice is it to have zero friendships? I am sure this could be worded so much better…I know it could, and before you shirk all responsibility…there is a place for responsibility too, and that also should be a high priority…but how high? That IS the question isn't it?

I guess what I am saying, or randomly commenting on would probably be more accurate, is that I have made certain things more of a priority than I should…and some other things less of priority than they should be. My time has been devoted to some things that are menial at best and I have wasted away a lot of the time I should have spent on more important matters. I want to pour more time into the lives of my wife, family, friends, students, and those who will be my future friends. I believe that is who I really am, and who I am called to be.
What about you?

What are you thinking right now?


Yes, true…