#250. A Week of Insanity: Part 1

Last week was a large transitional week for our family. My wife started a new job and she’s out of the house all day, every day. There’s no “Hey Honey, I have a migraine, can you bring dinner,” option any more. From bath time to the daily chores, it’s all on my plate these days. Balancing these needs with working full time? Wow.

I can hear one of the nice, little old ladies with blue hair from a congregation past in my head during these recent moments. She’s patting my shoulder, trying to be comforting, and telling me to cast my cares upon Jesus because he will give me strength.

It’s true that every day will continue to go whether the laundry gets done or doesn’t. There are many reasons to be thankful for all this extra time with the kids because we play more games, talk science more, and we’ve been having some serious conversations about why pink jelly beans are better than purple ones.

We’ve also had the challenge of a 2 year old trying to gain her independence. Part of that process involved her opening up a can of Red Bull on her own, dumping it on my MacBook, and then declaring that she “spilled.” So yeah - RIP MacBook. Hello HP all in one that sits high enough that when 2 year old tries to spill again, all I’m replacing is a cheap $20 keyboard.

Life is full of challenges. No one promised us life would be easy! It’s how we respond to these weeks of insanity, I believe, that really is a testament of where our faith stands. Do we allow ourselves to fall into insanity? Do we run away? Or do we seek out the teaching moments that go beyond turning to Jesus?

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#249. The Right Wrong Way

Yeah… so I’m a Fiverr guy. I get projects here and there, but nearly almost all of my supplemental business comes from the gig economy. If you ask the average person who does gigs like me or works from home in some way, you’ll get a lot of different answers about how to get exposure for your work.

Funny thing is, I never market my gigs. I might talk about them to folks sometimes like this, but I have never once paid for marketing, advertised, put links into forums, or spent any time promoting myself beyond word of mouth. “Hey - I’ve got this Fiverr gig if you need a writer.” That’s about it.

It’s true that for awhile, I didn’t get as much work as others did. I was ok with that because with 4 toddlers, it’s hard enough to sit down and write! Today I had to suspend work because I’ve had too many orders. It’s a good problem to have!

The point? To many, the right way would be to market yourself immensely and get as much work done as possible. I take a different approach, or the “wrong” way. I look at what it would take for someone to say to their buddy “Hey - I hired this writer and this stuff was so great that you’ve got to use him.”

Then that’s what I attempt to provide. In faith, I think that’s also what we’re called to provide. It might be the wrong way to some, but the results tend to be very, very right.

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#248. A Widow’s Two Pennies

I got an interesting e-mail yesterday. It came from an unexpected source - a church my family had attended almost 2 years ago to the day. We had tried the church once and decided it wasn’t for us. It boiled down to what happened to our son. He was being bullied by another kid, stood up for himself, and he’s the one who got into trouble.

I’ve actually thought nothing of this church until yesterday. I quirked my eyebrow, decided to open it up because it was about Easter, and then got a huge surprise. Inside the message wasn’t about Easter. It was about the fact that the church was $54,000 short of their budget, they’d checked their records, and discovered that I hadn’t been tithing.

The message was clear: I needed to get right with God so that the church could meet its budgetary needs. That’s actually a direct quote.

I’ll leave the conversation of whether tithing is appropriate or not for others to have. You see, I believe that to truly embrace one’s faith, a person must open their eyes to the needs of the world around them. I don’t believe it’s about giving 10% back to God.

I believe it’s about giving 100% to God.

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#247. Just Enough Isn’t Good Enough

After a brutal 7 weeks enduring the combination of illness, being hammered with work, and just overall fatigue, we stopped our sabbatical from church this week. I can’t really say that staying away from church was planned, but to be honest, I also can’t say that I missed going to church.

When you’ve got four preschoolers, church is more about making sure your kids don’t misbehave more than it is about actually listening. You’re up and down a lot with potty breaks, picking up crayons, and trying to explain what the word “bountiful” means.

One of the things that we emphasize with our kids in church is respect, not for the building or the people or even the content of what is being taught, but respect for God. I’m one of those quirky people who don’t wear shoes in church. We teach our kids that when praying is going on, we stop what we’re doing to give respect to that prayer.

As I’m trying to teach Ronin that specific lesson this week, the guy sitting in front of us is on his phone, busy looking at something while the pastor is praying. What does my 3 year old say? “Why should I have to listen when adults don’t bother to listen?”

He’s got a valid point. It also provided the opportunity for one of the best lessons I could ever teach my kids.

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#246. The Superiority Paradox


It warmed my heart to see a crazy liberal can actually learn how to be a god fearing christian.

But when his attention turns to the academic … then we get a bit a nervous. This is the work we are trained to do. We are professionals.

I stole an unused sound console from my old church along with a projection screen, which were sins that Jesus thankfully died to forgive.

Three comments from three Christians. One is just your average person, another is a well respected professor at a local university, and the third is from a more controversial, but equally respected figure of the church in his own circles. All have one thing in common: the appearance of a superiority complex.

When it comes to reputation, it isn’t the intent of what you say that matters. It’s how the people around you receive what you say that does. The instant I assume that my perspective is right and another is wrong, I’m making myself superior. Period. Doesn’t matter if that’s my intent because that’s what I’ve communicated to everyone.

Want to know why so many hate Christians? Here’s a good place to start.

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My wife says I’m writing a lot of worship music these days… I don’t know that I’d call this worship music per se, but maybe more like the daily experience of life. There are times when we really want to worship. Moments later, it’s like “Dude. God. Seriously? Come on, man.” We cry out, yet we still worship. We anguish, yet we feel the need for a real relationship. That’s what this song is about.

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