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Much Has Happened in the Last Year

August 25, 2007 1 comment

Today was my second to last shift at the A&W. At this time tomorrow I will be enjoying a glass of wine and reflecting at all that has happened in the past year. I actually started thinking about it tonight and the list of things is quite staggering.

I am just three days short of working in the restaurant world for one year. Coming out of college I would have never dreamed that I would be 27 years old and working in ‘fast food.’ Yet I see clearly now how God’s strong invisible hand was directing my steps all along the way.

The last year has been an incredible time of self-discovery and reckoning. I have made confessions, faced past mistakes, identified things that trip me up, begun healing and growth processes, and challenged past patterns of thinking and being.

I have made some great new friends and I’ve seen the world from outside the Christian bubble I spent most of my life occupying. I have a better understanding of what life is like for people who are economically, intellectually, racially, and spiritually different from myself. I really value that.

My skills and resume as a leader have been bolstered. I wonder, had it not been for my A&W management experience, if I would have gotten my new position with Target. It is amazing to see how God brought all the pieces of this career change together.

  • My brother’s lack of internship opportunities and his finally catching on with Target based on the mother of a girl he was in a relationship with
  • Jeff’s referral of me to his boss
  • My not being chosen for three other positions I sought this summer
  • The sale of the A&W which released me from my commitment to the previous owner

These are only a smattering of the things that have happened during the last 12 months. The only constants have been the providential hands of God, the great love of Jesus, and his continual refusal to never give up on me or let me go. Praise Christ!

Categories: God's Sovereignty, Mind

Future Blog Posts

In the mental pipeline…

– the importance of Dad’s sticking around for their kids
– the difference between hiring and training girls vs. boys
– a critical look at the deception inherent in the act of hymenoplasty
– frustrations with people who don’t do the job completely
– comparison of race car driver spotters to Jesus
– a list of behaviours I am thankful my parents instilled in me

What would you most like to read about? State your pick in the comments.

Categories: Mind

Thoughts on the Decline of Societal Intelligence

May 23, 2007 3 comments

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend about the decline of modern language and the increasingly small amount of word range that people possess. An example of this would be the enormous overuse of the words awesome and nice. While I was lamenting this thought my pal argued that a majority of people in the past probably spoke with about as little sophistication and linguistic range as the majority of people currently do. Maybe so, maybe not.

This is not going to sound good but…

Today while I was walking to the mailbox at work I was pondering the possibly detrimental effects that limited family sizes among elite families in America could have on the intellectual repository of our country. It seems to me that some amount of intelligence and intellectual ability is passed on genetically. So, if this is true, the decline of births in intelligence rich households, coupled with increases in births among those in not-as-intelligent households, could lead to a society filled with intellectually defunct peoples begetting more and more of the same until the gene pool is so deluded that the entire intelligence quotient of the nation is drastically reduced.

Just some thoughts…

Categories: Mind

Some questions…

April 18, 2007 2 comments

How powerful is God? Can he completely rewire us and make us view people and situations in ways we never thought possible? Should we, as his followers, be excited and long for this kind of thing? What role does sin play in the prevention, disruption of such change? Why was humanity created? To display the glory of God? To enjoy relationship with him? Why should we think that God would get enough glory/ share enough loving relationship with people on earth only? How much time do I spend asking God to do things in my life that I, though at the time actually don’t want him to do, but I know need to be done to prepare me for eternity? How do I consistently love my wife like Jesus loved the Church? Whats flaw/ troubles/ issues does God have purposefully in my life right now (Ross) because he has a refining/ transforming work that he wants to do? How do I bring a cup of cold water to the people suffering around me?

Categories: Mind

My Strengths Can Be My Weaknesses

Last week I had dinner with some friends of mine from Bethel Seminary, one of whom is a leadership mentor to me. I always appreciate being around him because he helps me learn about my strengths and how to apply them in my life. Plus I know that he believes in me and wants the best for me in life.

After the meal he and I were talking in his office about some of the things I am learning in counseling (yup – counseling). I was wondering how my strengths fit in with some of the more negative behaviors I am working through.

My friend told me that some of things that factor into my negative behavior are actually God-given talents gone haywire. He said that in many ways I have a hard-wiring from heaven and so the goal shouldn’t be to eliminate everything, but rather to redeem it and use it for God-honoring behaviors.

A few days later I read Steven Furtick say much of the same thing. It is like this…

Through my son, I’m learning that the ancient axiom couldn’t be more true:
Every virtue carries with it the seed of its own destruction.

Put another way, an unguarded strength is a double weakness.

The very characteristics that have the potential to make him a great man of God have the potential to ruin his life.

The flipside of the attributes that make us extremely effective can also make us very vulnerable if not submitted to the authority of Jesus and the control of the Holy Spirit.

The actions that I need to take involve arranging my life in such a way that I use all of my God-gifted passions and abilities for His sake and not my own. Obviously there are some areas inside myself that are damaged and need healing. But I don’t think I need a strength/ gift/ passion transplant as much as I need a reconstructive procedure that will restore my soul to holiness and godly passion.

Categories: Life, Mind

The Racism That (Regrettably) Still Lives in Me

Today at the A&W a co-worker (who is black) called to let me know that he wouldn’t be coming in tonight. It turns out that something happened between his son and some policeman in Milwaukee. Sounds like the police may have roughed the kid up a little bit, but no one is releasing much information for my co-worker was going to try and find out what’s up.

While discussing the situation with another co-worker (who is white) I found myself sort of heading down the mental trail of “another black person who thinks the while police are out to get him.” Instead of feeling empathy for the man and the uncertainty of his son’s situation, I found myself mentally debating whether or not my black co-worker was looking at the situation racially. Which is exactly what my unconscious brain filter was causing me to do.

It was such an awaking to the sin that lives inside of me and how much ‘renewing of the mind‘ I need, no matter how far along I think I have come in my sanctification. Most times I would not call my self racist. I honestly strive to live out the truth and beauty that Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 5 and Ephesians 2. But I also have to be in touch with my depravity so that I can do the work I still have to do to become more like Christ.

Categories: Mind, Sanctification

Collection of My Thoughts

December 31, 2006 Leave a comment

At the stroke of midnight 2007 begins. I also will turn 27 years old. Sitting in my living room right now watching the sticky wet snow collect on the ground provides me the chance to observe the stream of thoughts running through my head. Want to hear some?

– Wow I can’t believe I will be twenty seven.
– My kids drink too much juice.
– I hope the Packers win tonight.
– I get frustrated too easily with my wife and kids.
– I wish people could understand what I really think and feel, all the time.
– I wish I could understand what other people really think and feel, all the time.
– Why do my kids love to play in the bathroom?
– My wife and I need to have more conversations.
– How late should I stay up tonight?
– I am still hungry, my peanut butter and sandwich were not enough.
– When is everyone coming over today?
– I think Stephanie got me a Bible for my birthday. I can’t wait to find out.
– Wireless internet is the best!
– I love my kids and wife. I have a wonderful family.
– Should I yell at my kids for slamming the door? That was always a big one in my house growing up.
– I want to write more in 2007.
– I want to read more in 2007.
– I want to become more like Jesus in 2007.
– The pastors had too many points in his sermon today. Too much to think about and respond to. He needed to focus on something and ‘land the plane’ sooner.
– Frick, my satellite isn’t working because of all the snow.

Categories: Mind