New Feature

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There have been a few recent updates to WordPress, and it inspired me. I’m not using of the new stuff at the moment, but I did decide to make a menu. Hopefully it will be easier to find specific posts with the new menu. You can see it on the top right of the screen! I’m hoping to add new choices in the menu, but as it turned out most of my stuff fits into just a couple categories so the overflow just went to a ‘Misc.’ tab.

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A Moment of Humility

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Do you ever get the feeling like you NEED to write something down to process it? Today is a post like that. I’m not even sure it will make sense because it is highly dependent on the private issues of someone else, so in respect of his privacy I’m trying to sensor details as much as I can — but I really do need to write this down. As I’m writing, I feel a deep sense of humility and recognition of my own flaws. I hope that as I continue to process it, it will lead to repentance.

Last night was one of my most difficult nights of work ever. It wasn’t because it was stressful or that there were a lot of calls for me to respond too — actually there was nothing all night. I was on the verge of a panic attack as I went into work, but I don’t feel like I can take a sick day because of a possible surgery that I might have coming up (maybe I’ll write about it later, but it’s gross so you probably don’t want to know). I tried as hard as I could to relax and calm myself down, but by the time I got to the dorms I was shaking and could barely breathe. By what I’m going to call a miracle, two acquaintances (and the only 2 people I saw all night) were in the hall reading the Bible and discussing God. On a couple occasions during the first half of the night I had time to just stand and listen to them talk and calm myself down.

So what would cause me to reach this level of anxiety? Sin. Here’s the kicker: The sin that lead to it was not my own and was not even acted on in recent history. This may even be a little bit of over share, but I’ll risk it, I have two MAJOR areas of sin in my life that played out here: First is that I totally idolize people I love. Second is that I struggle with immense feelings of guilt, even at little things and things that are not about me. In this respect, I compare myself with Martin Luther. He struggled with guilt so badly that he would go to confession several times a day to seek God’s forgiveness for every little thing individually.

Anyways, I had one of those moments last night, when I realized (again) that a guy that I love and consider a brother is not perfect. In a conversation that was so nonchalant and short that he might not even remember it today, he told me about some sin of his past. The “genre” of sin is the same one that I would say he is most passionate about people being repentant and holy in. I’ve always known him to hold that attitude to this genre of sin, but it never connected that his passion for the topic was because of his own struggles with it.

I’ve seen the way he lives his life, and I am 100% convinced that he repented a long time ago (well before I met him), so I don’t know why I would feel guilt and grief about his former life, but I really did, and kind of still do. I feel like there might have even been some envy in there; a feeling like I was missing out, like I gave up my “get out of jail free card” by not indulging myself before now and not giving myself that “opportunity” to repent of it, like him. I don’t even know if that makes sense.

The nice thing about having an unexciting night of work and not seeing much of other people is that it gives me time to think. After thinking all night about it, I’ve come to have much more respect for him because of his past sin. He “tasted the forbidden fruit” in one genre of sin, loved it and indulged in it. But, now he’s repented and really cares that no one even approaches “the line” between sin/not sin and lives a life that models it well. Most people who are strong advocates of holiness in this area seem to be people who never would have done it before in their lives, so I tend to take their word with a grain of salt. But, it’s completely the opposite with him, and I see that now.

It’s kind of like this example: the D.A.R.E. officer can tell me not to do drugs. I can accept that, but it doesn’t mean nearly as much to me as when the heroin addict tells me not to even chew nicotine gum — now that means something.

Things I Like Thursday: October 20th Edition!!

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So, if I did something last Thursday…and I’m doing it again this Thursday… it must mean I like it right? Well last Thursday I celebrated my birthday (it was actually on Friday though) at Bo James. When my Spaid suggested we go to Bo James to celebrate I didn’t realize that every Thursday is Karaoke Night…. But, this week is James’ birthday so, this week I like:

Bo James Karaoke

It was actually kind of fun last week. I’m not a country guy, but I did sing a song. I sang ‘I don’t wanna be’ by Gavin Degraw. It was REALLY bad. I haven’t seen any videos go up online, so I can only assume that no one was cruel enough to take any! Don’t expect a repeat performance.

I’m actually not much of a singing karaoke kind of guy, but I really enjoy watching it. It’s even my day off this week so I don’t have to take a vacation day to go! So, happy birthday James and happy early birthday Miranda.

New Twitter

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Hey, I got a twitter account and you should follow it… My account is FordUIowa. There’s a link on the right side of the screen to start following me. And I’ll follow you too!

 

Things I Like Thursday: October 13th Edition!!

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I was feeling pretty sick last night and into this morning. I don’t like use medicine unless I absolutely have to — don’t ask where this came from, I really can’t think of why and I have no quorums when other people do use them for little things — so I have some weird ways to “feel better.” I don’t think most of my remedies actually do anything to cure me, but they certainly distract me. This week, I talk about one such cure — one I used last night in fact. This Thursday, I like…

Family Guy

The comedy of Family Guy can take a little getting used to. They took the idea of the Simpsons, a dysfunctional cartoon family living life, and put it to strong pop culture humor. I’m really surprised that given the generally high conservative nature of Fox Broadcasting that a strongly liberal show could do as well as Family Guy has done. Family Guy is on it’s 10th season, part of animation domination, has a successful spin-off, has inspired half a dozen similar shows, and made millions of dollars recreating the Star Wars series with more movies still to make.

Things like family guy do not magically make me feel healthy again, but it is hilarious and is very good at exposing inconsistency of political figures and agendas. In order to understand Family Guy, you have to be up to date with what’s going on in the world. Family Guy takes so many stories, characters, and plots straight from the news and social networking. They also work very hard to include obscure jokes to entice people who are into classics and news that occurred long before their average audience member was born — a little something for everyone.

If you like poop jokes…got it. If you like political humor… got it. If you like religious humor… got it. If you like epic stories… got it. If you like family values…they kind of have it. If you want to look at family guy with moral lessons, it really is possible; certainly family is more important to the Griffins than anything else, they always come back together in the end.

Every so often family guy does a long running episode series and they are always my favorite. The Stewie and Brian episodes are the best. Stewie is the baby and Brian is the dog. They have done everything from going to a world drawn by Disney to getting locked in a bank vault to taking on Hitler in nazi Germany to going to the North Pole. They are a perfect match for each other and the episodes the pair go off on adventure highlight it.

Things I Like Thursday: October 6th Edition!!

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I know, I know… it’s late. I’m working 10-hour shifts for the next two weeks, so I’m mostly just awake (well, out of bed…) long enough to eat and go to work. It’s not too much fun, but it means that I get 3 days off during the week instead of 2. To relax myself from stress, I like to listen to music… This week, I like:

Michael Jackson!!

First off, I know some people have a lot of issues with the King of Pop. There were lots of accusations about him. Though none of them were ever proven, he certainly put himself out there for such accusations to be made.

What I do like about Michael is his philanthropy and inspirational music. Michael actually holds the world record for the most charities supported and endorsed by a celebrity. Normally I stick to Christian music because I don’t really care to hear about peoples’ sexcapades and drug habits. Michael never did that. One of my favorite songs by Michael is “Just Beat It”

Just beat it is Michael’s cry about gang violence. He wrote it during the heyday of gangs in the early 90s. He recognizes that these kids want to be tough, they want to be bad… but it isn’t worth it! Being cool and liked isn’t worth the risk of being killed.

In Michael’s song “Ben” he talks about a guy who people don’t realize his good qualities. Despite all appearances, Ben is very special and a true friend. When you do research you find out that what made Ben so unlikeable was that he was a rat, but Michael is saying that if you look past appearances, you find the good in anything.

Man in the Mirror is another song of deep introspection. Michael realized that there are people dying of hunger, in the cold, with no home and he ignored them. We pretend not to see the little, invisible ones. And too often we recognize them and say someone should do something about that. Michael says that if you’re going to make a change you have to start with the man you see in the mirror. If you aren’t living the change that you want to see, no one is going to change.

Whether or not we agree with the life that Michael Jackson lived, I think we can all learn lessons from it. Michael’s music is a reflection of the agony of a deeply tortured and convicted soul. You know what he felt at any point in his life because his music was an exact reflection of it. I truly believe that we could Heal The World, Michael’s dream, if we could all live with such introspection and painful honesty as Michael did.