I have been going through a crisis in the last day and a half with reading some old comments on earlier blogs. I went back and looked at Getting Over It yesterday and that was probably my rawest posting so far. One of the hard things about blogging is that anyone can post a comment. And some hurtful and judgmental things were posted about that blog. Now, I'd be really sad if people that didn't know who I was from being upset about moving to another country and losing my job and getting sick and anxious and depressed but being unable to work read the post. But I wouldn't be nearly as upset as if a close personal friend busted my chops about feeling anger towards the school board and church for what happened. I'm working at being positive all the time. I've got no time for anyone's negativity. If you want to help me great. If you want to correct and judge me, I've got no time for you. I'm trying to get better. Maybe we can all learn how to suffer well together. Chantal was great. I will talk about her later. Moving forward!
I haven't been on here as regularly as I'd like, and part of the reason is that my head just hasn't been right. I was doing so well-being an encourager for the family but at the same time as being an agoraphobe, keeping up with my quiet times, and generally being very patient with my daughter, although not being a particularly fun dad since I don't leave home much. I have some kind of longstanding health things that I think are hormonal from having been so very stressed over the last 10 or so years, probably much longer. And terrible stomach problems that torment me almost every meal, made much worse by the only truly healthy ingredient I've recently added to my life-running I know God doesn't owe me anything-a job, a life and career, a good marriage. I just started out on this journey really wanting to serve him and being idealistic enough to think I'd be rewarded. It's nowhere in the Bible, Jesus and Paul were terribly abused, but I don't think I'm alone in thinking this wasn't how things would turn out. Unfortunately, the quiet person bears the brunt of my anger and disappointment over all these developments, and that can be and usually is God and sometimes my wife. And since God doesn't talk back or defend himself, that's who I have trouble forgiving and wanting to continue serving. I listened to JP Moreland lecture not too long ago about what once constituted a noble life 100 years ago or so. And that was caring about others more than self. Not feeling well has led to not thinking well and has made me very selfish. I have read some research online about xanax making stomach problems and agoraphobia better but there is a high cost-physical dependency. I've been taking it for about 3 weeks and tried to stop it for the last day and a half and guess what? It has been awful. No sleep and terrible guts and generally all the darkness of the world has crushed down. So I guess I'll have to be a drug addict for awhile longer. I want to be better for my family. I haven't had any choice in the bad things that have happened but I can't hate God and all the people that were supposed to be his people that have treated me and my family so poorly. So, I'm still stay-at-home Dad. And I love my family enough to stay addicted to drugs if it makes my life and therefore theirs a little better. See you again here soon with notes from the Chantal Kreviazuk concert we'll be at tomorrow night.
Well, maybe they weren't all friends, but lately I've been purging my FaceBook lists. anybody that seems to start political or religious arguments I get rid of. why? well, obviously I'm not there in person to banter back and forth with all the ideologues that share the wrong POV, so rather than coming across as a cantankerous old kook I remove them. I hope you have people like that because as great as they are to debate in real life, they're that frustrating on FaceBook. And I can't just leave well enough alone. It's always said that the 2 ways to start a fight are to begin a discussion about religion or politics. Are you like that? Is it just cause I "stay at home"? I've always thought that "liberals" are people that generally aren't working for a living and therefore find it easy how to tell everyone else how to spend their money as well as what's important globally. I guess the longer I live, the more I want people to be responsible for their own actions. As a school teacher I was always in disbelief when seniors preparing for graduation wouldn't bother doing assignments on time, didn't study for tests, missed excessive classes, etc. And their parents would come by and say "Why didn't you let me know?" I don't know ma'am, why isn't your adult student responsible for his actions? I hope this still fits with the theme of the blog. I expect the best of myself and, for some reason, I still expect the best of others. So says the guy that's sitting here watching My Name is Earl.
I have to teach Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman and What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza and wondered if anyone out there had ideas. I emailed Doug Groothius at the Constructive Curmudgeon after seeing that the Postman book was one of his favorites and even saw that he had the class do a media fast and write about it. 10 days with nothing but books and magazines. I think I'd DIE but are we becoming dumber and dumber because we don't read about the faith or culture? Do we just copy it? I know with Twitter which I don't use there's FaceBook that I do use and both make it easy for me not to interact with others or ever do much reading. I'm doing my best to read my Bible but I did take last week off. And I am moving through Mere Christianity slowly, but by and large I'm on the computer and probably on FB. The D'Souza book will be a little easier to teach but I want to make it engaging. Have you had anything that has recently profoundly affected your spiritual life? Anything that made you notice God in the world? Movies or music? I think I already talked about Count of Monte Cristo again but I'd love to hear from you. I'll give you full credit! Come Lord!
I didn't go to church today. That's kind of a big deal for the family because we've been here before. This isn't the first time I've been run off from the ministry and the family, which was smaller at the time by one, quit going to church for a time then too. It was just too hard to go for the sake of going and God hadn't given us anyone to minister to and no one was there to talk us through our pain. It's a little like now, but I'm still praying for God to give us an individual or family that we can bring through something. This afternoon I'm also watching the new Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Caviezel. Jill and I cried as Caviezel and Richard Harris talk as the old priest is dying from the tunnel cave in. The priest tells Edmond not to waste the rest of his life on revenge because of God's plan for his life. Edmond states that he doesn't believe in God. The dying priest says,"It doesn't matter, God believes in you." So that's what I hold on to today. I have struggled often lately, but it doesn't matter. God believes in me. Biblical of not, just what I needed to hear.
I've been thinking about church for a while now and what makes a good one. Sometimes the things that attract me to a church are not very lasting things and I quickly lose interest. Sometimes I see an obvious thing I can get involved in, music for me, and think that's what I'm supposed to do. Sometimes it's just great preaching that's really clear and meaningful and culturally relevant and that's why I want to go, but I also want to be preaching those sermons because that's my calling personally. Sometimes there's great community. People that you've seen several times and just really connect with on a deep level and you are both so glad to see each other. I have a deep stirring in my spirit that a change will be happening in my life and the life of my family. I don't think nearly as many people go to church as they once did because society has become so secular and disconnected. Church should never be a continuation of that and our church should be reaching and caring about people that are secular. I don't have solutions, just concerns. Concerns about the people I see out walking for exercise or running alone during church times and wonder how we've dropped the ball reaching them. What do you think? All I know is that even though it's not all about me and mine, somebody has to reach us too. It's lonely out there. Come Lord.
So why am I the stay-at-home apologist? Well, I think there are 2 reasons. For most of my working life I haven't been at home, that is, not working at home. I have been in the workplace in a mix of secular and Christian jobs. I have to say I much prefer the secular. People have no expectations of you and you can BE your faith and once in a while get to talk about it, if others ask. I think I'm quite good at it. I've also worked secular jobs at the same time I've been doing some preaching and those in the Christ-soaked South wanted to see if I was for real or just another hypocrite. Or, that is to say, an obvious hypocrite. Secondly, I think God has given me the responsibility of raising my daughter appropriately. I don't know that I'm doing a great job cause I don't feel much like playing 2 and a half year old games(her age) and I don't have a whole lot of energy due to just being destroyed from a rough last 10 years. But I do love her. I want her to know what Jesus is like the best way I can with whatever I have the energy to do. So it's best for me right now to be stay-at-home. Especially since I can't work in this country anyway. I think it helps my wife and we don't have to have childcare. It's lame for me as a man to be at home but it's God's thing for right now. Maybe now I and whoever reads this are convinced of my stay-at-home apologist status.
I don't know if posting about it is actually going to help me do it, but I have a great deal of venom and even hate flowing through my veins and I want it gone. The school that hired me from another country for one year did not renew my contract for a second year and has left me stranded. And even though I HATED working there and didn't want to ever go back, I can't move on since I don't have a next thing. The guy who hired me and is a complete piece of garbage for living with me and my brother during the transportation and then doing this is now the PRINCIPAL for the foreseeable future. Interesting since the guy didn't even go to college and never even went to Christian schools or sent his children there, so how does he make it better? I've never worked for such a Pharisaical bunch of people. I mean, I was told not to drink and smoke as a church-going kid in the South but this was pure evil. These were definitely the people that killed Jesus and ones he was so enraged by. I guess I should be thankful I only lost my job. Only I'm not. I pray terrible calamity on the board and their families. The kind of prayers David prayed against his enemies in the Psalms. But I've got to get over this. Please God and community of Jesus, get me over this.
Well, today is my first day of doing this, so this may be short. My daughter doesn't want breakfast, only a cookie, which she's asked for continuously. We're sitting in her room so she can stay in her bed with her pacis, the bed being the only place she can have them. I'm struggling with stomach problems, either from stress or running or the things I've tried to make it better. I intend to work tirelessly to make her a responsible citizen in this world by letting her know who Jesus is in her everyday life. I'm also going to help teach her proper behavior and hopefully potty training. She's a pretty good little kid that's had a kind of unstable life with me not having a job anymore and both parents being generally unhappy and lonely. We wait anxiously on God's good things like encouragement and money and job satisfaction and people to influence. And even if Lia is the only person I influence I really look forward to that.