Finally, A New Post…

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

I haven’t posted to this site since January of this year. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve spent hours reworking the look and feel of the site, adding images and better navigation, but I haven’t written anything, aside from a new landing page.

So here is a post.

You would think that I would have so much stuff to write about that I couldn’t keep up. The year 2020 started out fairly normal, but between ridiculous impeachment farces, murder hornets, the “novel” coronavirus that is anything but novel, senseless violence and riots across the nation, the rise of petty tyrants in state and local governments, and this being an election year, there was indeed no shortage of things to write about. I just didn’t want to.

Every time I would start to write, the words invariably became harsh, angry, and unpleasant to read. Everything went into the digital dustbin, the zeros and ones scrambled to randomness. My mood since March when everything really started to get rolling with “the virus” and I was one of the lucky ones who could do their job remotely, has either been one of deleterious detachment, certain uncertainty, or simmering discontent. I should have felt immense gratitude that I could still work, still earn a paycheck, and not be wondering whether I could pay my mortgage or put food on my table.

I had every reason to be grateful, feel blessed, and thank my God that I was in the situation I was in. But…I didn’t. I said the words. I agreed with my friends who were in the same situation, as most of them were very grateful and said as much in our Zoom conversations. But…I wasn’t. I can’t explain why, anymore than I can explain calculus to a toddler (or anyone else, for that matter). It just wasn’t in me.

After committing to, and succeeding in writing and posting to this site for twenty-one consecutive days in January, I just stopped. The year had not yet even got rolling down the tracks toward the crazy train. I just remember that I was happy that I had written those twenty-one days and I was out of ideas. So began my slow, but inexorable slide into…my current state.

I’m trying to pull out of the slide.

Case in point, I’ve acquired a new hobby – woodworking. I’ve collected and organized a fairly good set of tools, completed my first big project (my workbench), am working on my second big project ( a new desk for my home office), and continue to be fascinated by the amount and quality of information available on the Internet. Between YouTube and other sites, I’ve learned a LOT about how to measure, cut and reconnect wood pieces together so they make things which are useful and attractive (still working on the attractive part).

Woodworking helps fill some of the void in my mood. I am awed by the output of the people on YouTube and other sites, sometimes by the absolute beauty of the work, and other times by the perfection in function. I try not to be discouraged by their success and keep reminding myself that I have just started taking baby steps in this hobby, so I have a long way to go.

Some of you who have read my blog before know that I write books, also. Well…I write parts of books. I can’t yet say I’ve written an entire book, much less had one published. Will I ever finish one? I have over ten in progress, everything from sci-fi and fantasy, to action thrillers, and even a romance. I don’t know the answer to that question. I hope so, if only for the satisfaction of completing something. 

If I am able to make myself continue posting here, expect a post about woodworking, possibly after I finish my current project, at least one post on this weirdest of election years, maybe another with an excerpt or a character sketch from one of my (incomplete) books, and maybe another “random thoughts” post like this one where I can attempt to unravel my current state of mind, or if things go well, report that I am once again mentally and emotionally in better health.

Not that anyone actually reads this blog…posting here is about the same as writing on my basement wall – no one will see it unless I specifically ask them to take a look.

Who knows? Anything could happen. If over-reaction to the virus doesn’t bankrupt us all, or we aren’t all overcome by murder hornets or assaulted by rioters, things could eventually turn around and 2020 end like any other year…but I’m not holding my breath.


Photo by boris misevic on Unsplash

21 Days of Posts – Day 21 – The Christian Life – Learning and Pruning

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to the last day all you who decided to follow along as I posted for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. For those of you just jumping in, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1 (which it does not), then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks to those who were brave enough to join me.

Day 21!


I did it!

I’ve posted every day for 21 days straight. Yay, me! Now for this last post…

One of the main points of this fast we do every year is to devote more time to study and prayer, or even just contemplation. When we deny ourselves things we normally do not go without, we tend to notice other things, especially if we are giving up items of food. But even if we are just staying off social media, or not continuing a bad habit, or some other act of relinquishing, we hopefully go through the thought process of “what do I do now?”.

What do we do? What do we notice as we stay away from comfortable, familiar things? If we truly take the time to study and pray more, we probably learn things. Devoting more time to the Word of God is never a waste, nor does it fail to eventually reap benefits. Did you add a devotion to your quiet time? Did you read a book or two of the Bible, or dive into a Christian learning book? These weren’t required, of course, but they could have significantly contributed to your relationship with God.

Did you give up a bad habit? Quit eating an unhealthy food? Quit doing something that you knew you shouldn’t be doing, but just didn’t care enough or feel like you had the will or strength to quit? Are you dying to do that thing or eat that food, or has the desire ebbed and now, you could take it or leave it? A fast is a great way for us to prune things out of our life that aren’t good for us. If you did desist from a habit or food, I hope that you are able to toss it away for good, if that was your goal.

We as humans don’t like to be uncomfortable. We generally like familiar things, creature comforts, and unregimented use of our time. When we fast, we purposefully make ourselves uncomfortable. It is in the discomfort that we should look for an anchor, and I can think of no better anchor than our God. He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, so he will be able to help you, knows exactly what you need, and will never leave you. What more could we ask for in a time of discomfort, whether purposeful, as in a fast, or when the unexpected happens, as when tragedy strikes?

As Christians, we should constantly be going through cycles of learning and pruning, as we strive to be closer to God and to develop those connections mentioned in yesterday’s post. Those connections are critical, as is our learning and pruning process. The more we do to take full advantage of these cycles, the closer our relationship with God will be, and the more fulfilling our life will be, even if it has been stripped of our comforts and familiarity.

Thank you so much for reading to (the very) end! It has been very gratifying to post for 21 consecutive days, even if no one reads any of it.

I will be posting more regularly in the future, at least once a week, so if you are interested, come back by and check out what is in my head. If I have time tomorrow, I will post a conclusion and summary of my takeaway of these past 21 days, maybe in the evening after the celebratory worship service.


Photo Credit – Photo by Kamil Szumotalski on Unsplash

21 Days of Posts – Day 20 – Connections Between People

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.

Welcome to Day 20! In this post I want to talk about connections, mostly connections between people.

Most humans crave connection to other humans. I say most, not all, because there are people out there who would rather connect with their dog, or cat, or pet python than deal with the chaos of connecting to other people. Connecting to other people can be messy and complicated, as everyone brings their own baggage into a relationship, any kind of relationship. It doesn’t always have to be messy, but more times than not, messy is the operative description.

We crave connection with other people for a variety of reasons. Security. Looking for a kindred spirit. Someone to share experiences with. Love. Some things in life are just better shared with other people. Food. Music. Excitement. Laughter. Pain. Sorrow. Heartache. All of these are generally better when shared with other people.

But how do we make these connections in the first place? I could copy and paste both previous lists right here and be mostly right again. Shared likes, shared dislikes, pain, trauma-all are ways that we connect. Some experiences are more binding than others. If all we ever did with our friends was go out to eat or to a concert, we would develop connections with them, but not as deeply as if we were to experience intense joy or deep sorrow with them. Intensity of experience factors in heavily when we discuss the strength of our connections with others.

Another key component of making strong connections is dealing with unexpected circumstances. This can be as joyous as playing a new game for the first time with a group of friends, or as tragic as losing a loved one, family or friend. When unexpected things happen, bonds are formed that are tough to break. Ask anyone who goes through a traumatic experience with a group. Ask a military veteran how deep the bonds with his or her unit are, especially if they’ve seen combat.

Connections between people make the world go ’round. The saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is so true in so many circumstances. We find that unfair at times, but just as “luck favors the prepared”, so too can we say “luck favors the connected”. People get jobs and find opportunities all the time because of who they know.

High-dollar, luxury item salesmen know the power of connection all too well. If they can make a connection with a potential customer, that customer is more likely to decide they really do need that giant TV, extravagant boat, higher-priced car, or totally useless memorabilia item. Not making a  connection will tend to result in no sale unless the customer had decided what they wanted before they walked into the store.

Not every connection we make is going to be life-changing or even cause us to think twice, but there are three connections we all should make that WILL make a difference in our lives. You know what they are…connection to God, connection to people, and connection to purpose. Sound familiar? I hope so. How are your three connections doing? What do you need to do today, tomorrow, next week, or next month to make those connections stronger?

Thanks for reading to the end! Only one more blog post to go! Join me tomorrow for one last post in this series, then please follow me as I continue to post throughout my journey to complete a book. That series will most likely be weekly, not daily, and will be interspersed with other posts on various topics. More details to follow!


Photo Credit – Photo by Mario Purisic on Unsplash


21 Days of Posts – Day 17 – Contributing Talents to the Church

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.

Welcome to Day 17! This post is about contributing talents to the church. It’s just a few thoughts that have been rattling around in my big, empty head for a while.

This post is about talents. That sounds redundant, but I want it to be clear that I’m not referring to spiritual gifts. Those may or may not line up with talents. Spiritual gifts are generally separated into the following cubicles – prophecy, teaching, service, wisdom, faith, distinguishing of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpreting tongues. Other gifts that are listed at times include administration, mercy, and miracles (I selfishly kind of want that gift). These are NOT what I refer to in this post.

I mean talents, like singing, playing musical instruments, drawing, painting, crafting, writing, speaking, acting, and more. These talents could be natural, or learned, or both. Between talents and spiritual gifts, a church member can generally find their niche in the body of the church. I wrote about that yesterday. Not all talents are directly or obviously applicable to the needs of the church. The ability of a church member to make really beautiful pens from turning wood is not a weekly need of the church to fulfill its responsibilities. However, when those pens are donated and sold and those funds are made available to the church, that talent both enriches and is enriched by the furthering of the church mission.

Other talents are obviously useful. The talented members of the worship team, from the singers and instrumentalists on stage to the technical wizards who make the sound, video and lights all work together, are an obvious asset to the church. The giving of the member’s time and talents enhances the worship experience, bringing the congregation as close to the throne of God as possible every Sunday morning. The teachers and leaders who are in each classroom every Sunday employ their talent to teach and reach others, which ties in neatly with the spiritual gift of teaching. Without them, there would be no real connection between members, as it is impossible to develop close connections in a large worship service. Connections require smaller groups, more intimate conversations, and the building of trust and respect.

The church would be very inefficient, possibly even dying, without the diverse talents of its members, who contribute to the mission of the church and help to keep everything running smoothly for those who are unaware of all that goes on behind the scenes and in front of everyone to make church happen. If you are not yet contributing your talents to the church, I challenge you to consider how you might. What do you enjoy doing? I would bet that there is a job that needs done in the church where your skills and talents would be useful. Pray today for God to show you what that is, or if you already know, that He give you the resolve, or the courage, to contribute that talent to the church. You will be blessed if you do.

Thanks for reading to the end! Tomorrow’s post will be another peek into my musical tastes and the following day another insight into my writing style. We’ll finish the 21 days with an exploration into connections between people, and another look at the Christian life.

Photo Credit – Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

21 Days of Posts – Day 16 – The Church as a Body

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.

Day 16 – Only a few days left of this fast. I hope it is progressing well for everyone.

Today’s post concerns my thoughts about the church as a body. Many of us are familiar with the passage in 1st Corinthians, chapter 12, where the church is described as a body. The main point of that passage is that the church must be in unity to be effective, and the diversity of the church members and their spiritual gifts is what makes the church strong and effective.

The comparison starts at verse 12, but the specifics start at verse 15. The absurdity of disparate body parts assuming they are not useful to, or even a part of the body highlights the various roles congregation members play in the work of the church. The cleaning crew is as important as the worship team, which is as important as the various group leaders, who are as important as the deacons and elders. Each one contributes to the body of the church to spread the Gospel of Christ to everyone around them.

Each and every part is important and just as God created our human bodies with many parts that each contribute to our continuing to live, so are the different parts of the church body so very important. Without eyes, the body can’t see; with no teachers, the church can’t teach. With no foot, the physical body is handicapped; with no cleaning crew, the church is rendered uninviting and unable to minister to the community, therefore, handicapped. Everyone can’t be up on stage leading worship to empty seats. Well, they could, but that would be weird…

The church body needs all of its parts to function effectively and in the words of our current study, have a maximum impact on the world around it. This assumes that all parts of the body are healthy, and performing their jobs to the best of their ability. This places some responsibility on the members of the church to find where they fit into the diverse body of the church and to contribute effectively.

I think this analogy is perfect, which is probably why it is included in our current Bible. It’s not the only message Paul had for the Corinthians, but it was an important one. The Corinthians were dealing with the conflict between the temporary “now” and the eternal. They were unsure how to deal with the current “now” and were unsure of their purpose, to some extent. Paul assured them that the work they were doing was important and was of eternal significance.

The passage about the body is preceded in chapter 12 by an explanation of spiritual gifts, and a reminding that not all are gifted the same way. Each person is gifted by God to be able to contribute to the body of the church in different ways, which leads right into the explanation about unity and diversity in the church body. This simple, but powerful analogy is still referenced today as a way to maintain unity in the church and make it effective. It is intimately connected to the first part of the next chapter, Paul’s exposition on love and how necessary it is. That is a blog post for another day…

Thanks for reading to the end! Tomorrow’s post will continue in this thread and talk about contributing talents to the church.


Photo Credit – Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash