1) The Bible on electronic devices
There are people who are against the use of electronic devices in church to read Scripture from. It isn't a surprise. Someone, somewhere is against everything. Someone is even against you. And me. Don't feel badly. There are a lot of people against God Himself, so you are in good company.
Do they have a point? Are they right to be bothered by it?
I have thought about it, and hit someone up this morning who I have a lot of confidence in and really like as a person. He uses a tablet of some kind to read Scripture from in church. I prefaced my question by making sure he does do that, and he does. I asked, "What would you say to someone who criticizes the use of electronic devices to read Scripture from in church?" His thoughts on that pretty much echoed my own.
What he said, and I was thinking is a nutshell this: The Bible contains God's Word. The book itself isn't technically God's Word. It is a medium. To read it on a tablet or phone is no different or worse than reading it from the printed page, or listening to it on a CD or MP3 player.
He made the point that by carrying a Bible, you can be a witness, but that shouldn't be your only reason to carry it, and anyone can carry one and not live like they should.
It is a matter of preference. I find it very convenient to have a Bible app where I can pull up any verse on about any translation I want on a small device I carry with me. A Bible that fits in my pocket is not something I could read at this point in my life. Believe me. I had one and could not read it.
Where did the phrase "in a nutshell" come from anyway?
2) The greater good
The greater good is a phrase I have heard a lot over the years. It is often used when doing something one doesn't necessarily want to do, or when trying to convince someone to do something they don't want to do.
There is a really good book I finished this evening that had a discussion between two fictional characters about the greater good. The gist is that what the greater good is depends on the person and what is important to them. It isn't something I really ever thought about, and I enjoyed the new (to me) thought. Here is the conversation:
Maybe I am the only one who found that interesting, but I did. The greater good can change so much depending on one's beliefs and ideology, and shouldn't what God wants always be the greater good?
3) The duplex
I know I talked about it in my last post, but I am really liking my new place. I liked the farmhouse, the cheap rent, free gas and water, living in the country, having 2 bathrooms, having one bathroom right off my bedroom and the washer and dryer right off that bathroom, and the quiet. I didn't want to move. Yeah, the rent is higher, and there are more bills.....but I never dreamed I'd find a place I would like so much.
My futon came yesterday, and I managed to get it upstairs by myself. Very cautiously, might I add. There are about 13 steps, and they end on a small platform. From there you either have to step up to the right to go down the hallway to the spare room, or step up to go straight ahead to the bathroom or my bedroom to the right of the bathroom. And it was in one piece with the legs inside a zippered pouch under the seat part. It didn't help that it kept folding and unfolding as I lugged it up the steps.
I am no Martha Stewart...thankfully, or I'd be a woman and an ex-con. Though I would be popular and rich....but I am happy with how I have my place looking (and happy I am a male and not an ex-con). Here are a couple pictures of that room with the futon now in it:
I put my small superhero collection in that room. There isn't much, and most of it is Captain America. In addition to the small display below, I have a metal shield I hung above the futon...only because there was a nail already there, and I am not supposed to use many nails.
My neighbors in the other side of the duplex put a stand out Monday evening with a "free"sign on. It is pretty nice, and has storage under it. A door on each end, and double glass doors in the middle, with one shelf in each section. It is 5 feet long, so it took a bit for me to lug it in the house. I wasn't sure where to put it, but decided to take the coffee table out and use it instead. I like how it looks.
I am so happy with how my place has turned out, I may end up staying home more than ever. :)
4) Day off...and needing to carry cash
Today was one of my days off this week...I'm on Wednesday, the 11th now... It was hotter than it has been lately, but I decided to walk to where I needed to go today. Both bedrooms have the kind of ceiling light that takes two bulbs, and has a square glass cover that is held up by a plastic nut type thing. The one in my bedroom was missing that nut. The cover was in the closet, and I decided I wanted it up. My first intended stop was the hardware store in town, owned by the son of my landlord. I didn't figure they carried the part, but thought maybe a regular nut might work.
My walk there took me by a cool store, the Cluttered Cupboard, I had been wanting to check out. It is a neat store that has some consignment, and carries all kinds of things, used and new....like mounted deer heads.... I found a cool 1/18 scale die cast car in a box I liked, but it was $22, so I passed. They had several lighthouses, the kind that are mounted on wood. I liked several, and the price wasn't bad - $8.99 each. I may stop another time and buy one or two. My walk also took me by The Corner Store, the place where I had bought my end-table and other cool stuff. I went in to look around, and found 7 books in the Love Inspired Suspense and Love Inspired line. Problem: their books are only 19 cents, and the minimum purchase for a debit or credit card is $10. 7 times 19 is not $10. I asked if she'd hold them for me til later, and went to the hardware store.
To my surprise, they had the part. Problem #2: It was only 25 cents. I don't think they have a minimum for debit, but I hated to charge 25 cents anyway. I looked around and found some cleaner for $4+ that I didn't really need, but could eventually use. The owner started ringing me up and said he wouldn't charge me for that part since it was for the house. Sigh.
I hot the Dollar General on my way back to my house, and bought two rugs. One for in front of the sink, and one for in front of the shower/bathtub. I wanted a long one for in front of the shower, but it couldn't be very wide: 24 inches at the most, or it would cover the register. And I wanted it to be around 56 inches. I found one there for $6 that is a rubber backed runner, 20 inches wide, 54 inches long. Works great. And yeah, the space between the wall and shower really is narrow. The bathroom is pretty small. I think the closets are bigger. :)
I went back home, deposited my purchases in the house, grabbed enough change from my dresser for the books, and walked back to The Corner Store. When I got home this time, I scrubbed the bathroom floor, the entry way, kitchen, and the part of the dining room that has tile. Then I went up to put the new rugs down in the bathroom. Problem #3: I didn't have the big rug. I hopped in my car and drove to the Dollar General, and they had it behind the counter for me.
I still have a few things to work on. I got the closet in my room straightened out last night: took some things out of there to make it easier to walk in a walk in closet, organized my clothes again - I had gotten them out of order a bit when I moved. I have shirts by color, and by sleeve length (short and long sleeve), and pants by color. I also got the kitchen organized better. I still need to work on the closet in the spare room, and on the basement.
I really like my job, and really like a lot of the people who work at the hospital I interact with and see on a daily basis. I have the nicest and best boss I have ever had, and enjoy the environment and atmosphere I work in.
But I have some frustrations, especially lately. First, I'll describe how my position came to be:
For years, they had a lady sitting behind the desk in the main lobby way over away from the doors. All she would do was answer the phone, look up room numbers, and give directions. My boss after visiting other hospitals pitched an idea to change that. She wanted someone on their feet closer the door, greeting people as they came in, instead of having someone sitting at a desk where people had to approach them. The two older ladies that had the desk job decided the new one was too much. One retired, and the other got another position she likes better.
The new position is called "concierge." We are at a desk closer the door, and can sit for brief times, especially when slow, but for the most part are out in front of the desk on our feet. The job entails giving directions, answering the phone, looking up room numbers, helping people into wheelchairs, keeping wheelchairs stocked for visitors - not always easy, as we are short often and other employees come and take them.
We also keep registration/outpatient testing stocked in wheelchairs. Not really part of our job, but something we do.
And wheelchair escorts fell to us. I don't think originally it was really supposed to entail what it does, but there is no one else to do it now. Security used to, but does not now. So that means any visitor going anywhere in the hospital who needs someone to push them, gets pushed by me... even to the other end of the hospital...halls that are the length of 3 football fields. I even have to take women in labor to labor and delivery....though at the other hospital, nurses from there come and get their patients. I usually put 5-6 miles on my feet per day.
There are departments in the hospital who bring their own patients to the front, but many call me to do it. If you are following all this, and thinking it out, you will realize I am gone a lot from the front of the lobby. Add lunch and bathroom breaks, looking for wheelchairs, and there is a lot of time when people walk in and need help, and I am off elsewhere.
And there are a lot of times when those departments who rely on me to transport their patients call my desk and I am not there.
This is where the problem and frustration come in: I have my ways of knowing, and sometimes the guilty parties make it evident to me - some of these people are getting angry with me if I am not at my desk to answer the phone when they want their patient brought back to the lobby.
I shall re-cap:
a) My job is primarily to help the visitors and patients coming in and out of the hospital. My job is NOT to help other employees, though I am happy to help where and when I can.
b) Employees from other departments always bring their patients to the lobby and never ask me to do it.
c) Do these people realize that while I am transporting their patient, that someone else may be calling me to do the same.... and that often when they can't get hold of me, I am off transporting a patient or visitor for someone else?
The worst part about it, is some of these people are so nice to my face, then turn around and stab me in the back. I don't necessarily dread going to work, but it has caused me to not look forward to it like I used to, and caused me to look forward to and enjoy my days off more.
I don't know what the answer is. I believe some of these departments could transport their own patients back to the lobby...if some can, can't all of them? I honestly feel most of them just don't want to do it.
I don't want to rock the boat, so I try not to think about it too much, and try to be nice to the people who I know are complaining about me when I can't help them when they want me to.
6) Author recognition
I review books on my other blog, and enjoy doing it. I don't do it for author recognition, but it is cool when an author takes the time to do that.
One author did a link to my review, thanked me, and made the cool graphic above.
A little more about him, from a Facebook post I did earlier this month:
A few years ago I somehow ran across 2 books by this author that were general market fiction, not Christian. They are super clean and curse free, obviously written by a Christian. I was having trouble finding even a used copy of the 3rd book, which was actually #1 chronologically for under $30 used. The author is an air force pilot who has flown stealth aircraft.
I emailed him, thanked him for his service, told him how much I had enjoyed the 2 books, told him the other book difficulty, and asked if he had any to sell at retail price.
He replied, thanked me, and said if I didn't mind a copy with a few errors and name changes, he'd send a free hardback copy. And he did, with a cool bookmark.
His first Christian fiction novel came out, and I got it free to review. He had a pre-order deal if you preordered it anywhere and showed him proof of purchase, you got a free cool package. I wanted it, so I ordered one as a gift.
My stuff came today, and I thought it seemed heavy. In addition to the cool stuff...lapel pin, coaster, bookmarks, pad of paper, autographed book plate, and a metal thing I have no idea what it is, he sent hardback copies of his 3 kids books..which I've almost bought. Juvenile fiction is great. Maybe I'm just immature 😎
There was supposed to be a pen, but after getting 3 free books, I'm not complaining 😎
7) The "Bibles of Satan"
If you have read many blog posts by me, you may know that King James Version only people are a pet peeve of mine. I guy I shall politely refer to as an idiot made a comment (the picture above) on a friend's post, which resulted in me addressing the KJV issue again.
By the way, part of my reply to him was pointing out that if the other versions are Satan's, I would think he would have removed all of the bad stuff about him.......because it is in all of the versions I own and have read.
I was raised on the KJV, and we still use it in my church except the rare occasions my pastor risks excommunication and reads from the NKJV. I'll admit as a teen, I was horrified at the idea of other translations, but the more I have considered it and thought about it over the years, the more convinced I am that the KJV is not the only version, and certainly is not the only God inspired version. In fact, I am convinced it is NOT the best version there is out there. Consider a few things:
a) This was a version commissioned by a very wicked and immoral king. Did that influence the content any? I doubt it, but come on... that would be like Obama or Trump having a Bible version done today. And then Christians insisting it is the only Bible we should use. Think about it.
b) There have been many more original manuscripts to work from for these newer translations and versions than they had in 1611.
c) Pre-1611, people had Bibles. There was the Tyndale Bible and Geneva Bible to name two. Why and how did a newer Bible suddenly become better than those, and the only Bible God approves of? And if the KJV was a newer and better Bible than those, than how can anyone dare say that there are not better ones than the KJV that are now newer?
d) The KJV we use today is not the original KJV. It is an updated and clearer version of the 1611. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to be so radical to slam we who use newer versions when those radical people are not using the original 1611 KJV? I challenge them to do that. I have looked through it. :)
My favorite current version is the English Standard Version. I use it in Sunday School, and it is interesting to see the differences in versions. I'll give an example of what I noticed this morning in the first two verses of Mark 2. The wording is a lot different, yet it says the same thing, and is so much more clearer and how we talk today:
And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them.
I firmly believe we are better off to use a few different versions and not stick to one. I have no problem with anyone using just the KJV, or preferring it. I do have a problem with those who insist is superior and the only one to use, and all others are bad and of Satan. Anything can be worshiped and become an idol.....even a Bible version.
Below, most of my Bibles. I have a few others, 2 on CD and a couple of study Bibles, KJV and NKJV, which are upstairs. A lot of the study Bibles pictured are ones I got free to review. I would never buy that many. :)
8) Our identity
It is becoming more and more popular for people who are attracted to the same sex, but believe in and live according to what the Bible says, to refer to themselves as gay, gay Christian, gay celibate Christian, and even "queer" and "queer Christian."
I don't like those terms. To me, it is an identity you should not cling to if you are truly living for God. I am working on a blog post where I am addressing it and other related issues in more depth, but I was really bothered by something I read this past week, so am mentioning it here also.
There is a website I used to follow and promote called "Your Other Brothers". It is made up of several mostly younger guys who deal with SSA (same sex attractions) on some level. They have had a lot of good to say, but then they started getting in the brush. Keep in mind this site was being visited by all ages and all stages of spiritual maturity people, mostly ones dealing with SSA. I'll give an example of one of their problematic posts: One of them did a post raving about how wonderful a gay TV show is he watched. A few people voiced concerns - I guess there is a lot of sexual innuendo and inappropriate joking about gay stuff. Every guy who writes for the site defended watching it, and anyone who voiced concerns was shut down. Tom, the young guy who runs the site, eventually blocked me and a few other guys my age from commenting when we continued to voice concerns about it.
Think about it: These are guys attracted to other guys, supposedly living for God, not giving into the desires and sexual attractions, and running a site where they can help others who struggle with SSA....yet they are watching gay TV shows, recommending them to their audience, and defending it. Even if the show doesn't hinder them in any way - which I cannot believe - can they be certain no one reading their post will not be affected by watching it......at their recommendation?
Anyway, I still get emails with their new posts. I usually delete them, depending on who wrote it. But one caught my eye last week by Dean. Dean is married - to a woman, and I believe comes from a very conservative religious background. His newest post was on his referring to himself as queer, and defending it. Now especially if you are a female, think about that: how would you feel if your husband suddenly started calling himself queer? His wife must have issues if she isn't bothered by that.
Revoice is a newer conference that has sprung up for people with SSA. They accept and encourage their attendees to use queer, transgender, and gay terms to describe themselves. One attendee, who wrote a great book a few years back "Washed and Waiting", Wesley Hill, crowed on Twitter how wonderful it was to hang out with all of the queers at the conference. Let me emphasize these are people with SSA who believe what the Bible says about sexuality and are attempting to live for God and not give into those attractions and desires. But does it sound like it when they are throwing those words around to describe themselves?
One of those attendees has a boyfriend who he is supposedly celibate with, but is now marrying. I don't know if they are going to have sex now, but living that close to the edge, I have been expecting it.
Ironically, a lot of these people, who refer to themselves as "Side B" take issue if you dare say Side A cannot be Christians. They believe pro-gay theology (God is OK with gay marriage and sex between 2 people of the same sex). Side B love to attack the church and anyone who dares disagree with them on their rather dangerous ideology.
I have heard a lot of arguments about the terms and identity, and disagree. They claim it is different than saying Christian adulterer, Christian alcoholic, Christian thief, etc. because you do not choose to be attracted to the same sex. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me it is clinging to an identity built around a sin God condemns, and we should not cling to and identify with. From what I hear and read from a lot of the "Side B" crowd, they completely embrace their sexuality. As my best friend put it, they embrace and do everything but the sex. And give them time for that.
There are probably a lot more lonely people than we would imagine. I also believe most of us have experienced or will experience loneliness at some point in life. I read an interesting article on loneliness last week, titled "How to Heal if Nobody Comes to Heal Your Loneliness." A heads up if you read the article, the guy appears to be gay, if such things bother you. This line he wrote indicated that: "Still, I held on to the belief that there was someone out there for me. Once I meet him, we’d instantly click, become best friends, and face the perils of growing up side by side. I’d stop feeling so lonely because I’d finally have a person to call my own.
That person never came." But then you are reading the blog of someone who is attracted to other guys.
I've had a lot of lonely times over the years. Loneliness is not exclusive to single people, but it is often one "perk" of being single, possibly more among males than females. I may be wrong about that, but as an onlooker it seems a lot of single females hang out with other females more than single males hang out with other males. Unless watching sports or guzzling beer, guys don't seem to hang out as much as women do. And I hate sports and don't drink. I read and shop. And watch movies. How many guys do you know who like to hang out with other guy and do those things? Yeah, not many.
Too many people have the mistaken notion that they need someone to complete them so they are not lonely anymore. The guy in the article I mentioned had that idea, and seems to have changed his thinking on that. His article doesn't come from a Christian viewpoint, but he still has some good points.
I liked this: "We are usually alone when we feel lonely. The feeling can attack us anywhere, but it usually picks the moments when we are by ourselves to impact us the most. It’s easy to believe that when we feel lonely, all we need is someone else to make the hurt go away.
It’s why the “someone out there” comment is so widely used. When we are lonely, we feel like there’s a part of us that’s missing. Like we’re a jigsaw puzzle that’s unsolved because we’re missing one piece.
And by that thinking, we imply the idea that we aren’t enough to make ourselves complete. We’re required to wait for someone else to come and make us complete.
What happens if that person never comes? What happens if they arrive late because they’re stuck in traffic? Do we just wait? Suffer through the loneliness with the small hope that maybe someone someday is going to come and take it away?"
Now obviously the Christian belief is God is who completes us, but even Christians get lonely and too often fall into the thinking that they need someone of their own to love. Yet there are a lot of married people who are lonely. Dating and marriage are not a guarantee for loneliness. And you can be lonely even when around people. I'll confess church is a very lonely place for me. I haven't felt a part of my church for several years now. There may be more than one reason, but one is that most people have someone....especially my age. I'm 50. I'll never marry, never have kids, never have anyone of my own to love. And most likely never have someone to just hang out with to watch movies, eat out, shop, etc.
Back to the article, the author, Joey Rambles, goes with the idea that we fear being by ourselves. Interesting idea, and he may have a point. I don't think that is part of my loneliness. To be honest, I have gotten to the point I mostly like being by myself. In fact, it is possible I am not lonely as often as I think I am, but when I am lonely it stands out more as the negatives in our lives often stick out more than the positives. If something bad happens during our day, we will remember that instead of all the good. The one bad customer will overshadow all of the nice ones.
I don't like myself very well. But yet I have become fairly comfortable being by myself. If I actually liked myself, my times of loneliness may be very rare and not stick out as much...who knows.
Most of us are social beings and need to be around people, but what about the times there are no people around? What if we don't have friends to hang out with?
I am a paradox. I have my times when I am so lonely I could scream, yet I have my times when I don't want to be around people. There are days I would love to stay home and be by myself, but I need a job......so I don't do that. There are days when I'd like to stay home from church and not be around people, but you aren't supposed to skip church, so I go. Usually.
Was Jesus ever lonely? I think He probably was. He was completely God and man, and experienced the same emotions and temptations that we face. Loneliness is one of those emotions we face.
Now obviously the Christian has some solace in prayer, reading the Bible, and in God.....yet as I stated before, even Christians are lonely. Maybe we should be better at handling it and knowing how to overcome it, but just because a person is a Christian doesn't mean they will handle loneliness well.
There may not be an actual cure for loneliness, though we may think there is. But it doesn't have to be a permanent thing. Looking back, I can see times in my life that were more lonely than others. Even now, there are moments, days, or evenings that I am more lonely than others......and times I am alone and am completely happy with being alone. Alone doesn't have to always equal lonely. The two words are not synonyms.
I like the quote above. It has good advice, and may be part of the solution. Don't brood on loneliness. That makes it worse, and makes you more depressed, especially if you already deal with depression.
It will happen to all of us at some point, some more often than others, and some of us longer than others. We may as well learn to deal with it, accept it, and realize that no person is the answer to that feeling.
And never discount times of prayer and being alone with God.
(I feel I rambled a lot here. Hope I made some sense)
10) Three day weekend
As I end this post, it is now really early Monday morning, close to 2 am. Monday is my third and final day off in a 3-day weekend. They rarely happen not requested, but a coworker needed this coming Friday off, and asked me to trade her days off. It has gone too fast, but I still have Monday. Saturday, I worked on the closet in my spare bedroom. When I moved in, I put a lot of stuff in there to get it out of the way, and you could barely walk in there...and it is a walk in closet. I removed and emptied 4 large plastic totes and 2 large boxes. There is still things on the shelf above the coat rack that needs sorted out, but the closet is in so much better shape now than it was before Saturday. I did the same with the closet in my room the week before. Have I mentioned how awesome it is to have 2 walk in closets?"
A lot of these posts of several topics go over 20, but this is another that I have gone rather long on some of the subjects, so I will end it with this one and head for bed. I plan on sleeping in - hey, it will be 2 am by the time I get to bed...plus I don't really have anything that needs done tomorrow. I am finally settled into the house. The shelf in the closet can wait, and so can the basement. It is storage and needs organized better, but that can be a winter project. No hurry. I don't live down there. My living area is organized and the way I want it.
Have I mentioned how much I like my new place, and how happy I am with how it looks? Yeah, I have. But it bears repeating.
Til next time!