Insociable Media

In the age of social media,
Our convictions are certain
It doesn’t matter what happened
Or who may be hurtin’

We can honor people
Who do nothing great
Or quickly crucify those
Who make a mistake.

Circumstances don’t matter
We’re so quick to judge
We don’t need all the facts
Video alone is proof enough

We’re judges and juries
We know exactly why
That thing happened.
Our views cannot be denied

No one wants to take it
Everyone else’s fault
That’s why we can’t make it

Hate is all around us
The Internet just made it faster
Alert everyone you know
About each human disaster!

People are jaded and cynical
It’s so commonplace
We point out others’ failures
And leave no room for grace

It’s easy to condemn
Where you’ve never been
And pass on blame
To whomever you shame

There are wrongs in this world
That much is true
But when quick to judge,
What if it were you?

Wanna Know What I Do For A Living?

Most people who know me don’t really know what my job is, unless I work or worked with them, so the simple answer I always give when people ask is “data entry and check processing.” (Sounds super exciting, huh?) But the more complicated answer is that I don’t really know how to explain it to people who don’t already know what I do.

1. I’m not always good at explaining things, even if I do understand them myself.

I can extrapolate information and solve problems; just don’t ask me to explain what I know or how I figured it out. (Even if I explain something innumerable times, people still don’t get it.)

2. I work with somewhat confidential information and don’t want to reveal anything I’m not supposed to.

That can make it difficult to tell people if/when I do see something interesting/funny that pertains to the work itself.

3. There are details so specific to what I do that I didn’t know about them until I was where I am.

Sure I could probably try to go into some of those specifics, but you’d really have to want to know. Otherwise, I might bore or confuse you with details (see #1). Besides, when my friend who helped get me this job explained what he did, I imagined it so much different than reality, and I don’t think he necessarily explained it poorly.

4. We’re not open to the public.

Dealing with the public may not always be great, but many places you can go into and see exactly what people do there; nobody has to tell you what is supposed to happen. I don’t work in one of those places. In fact, whatever I work with stays on site, and I almost never have any sort of direct dealings with any of our clients or their representatives (only if someone is touring the facility during my shift). If I’m not producing anything specific and no one really interacts with me from the outside world, I don’t really have anything to show as an example of what I do.

5. Sometimes I’m not really sure what I do myself.

Of course I know what I do directly and on a daily basis, but if I wanted to take a step back and look at any sort of big picture, I would have no idea what I was looking at or for. I’ve also been where I am long enough to have developed some sort of skills, but I’m not even sure how to quantify whatever skills I may have developed during my time there. (I am working on a “What have I learned?” list, but that’s for another time and is not exactly skill-based.)

So many times I hear people talk about their jobs, and I understand what they do. I may not want to do what they do or fully understand all the details of what goes on, but at least I can have somewhat of a grasp. My job is not one of those jobs, but I don’t really know how to explain what I do either, other than “data entry and check processing.”

ABC’s of Worry

As you
Become more like
Christ, your
Development should become more
Evident in your life.
Faithfully you’ll begin to let
God control everything, as
He is supposed to.

If you
Letting him do
Mighty works in you, there’s
No telling what can
Occur in your life.

Perhaps you’ll
Quit worrying about things that don’t matter,
Remembering there’s a plan for your life, even when things
Spiral seemingly out of control.

Trust is so important to
Understanding the
Very nature of all God has in store, but if you just
Worry, you’ll miss everything around you and only
Yourself, making it hard to catch some

Getting Old

(To the tune of “Let It Go”)

The hair is white on my head top tonight
Not a dark one to be seen
Reflection in the mirror
Tells me I’m not seventeen.

And now I’m wondering why I came into this room
Not really sure, I’ll remember soon

My hearing’s gone; it’s hard to see
Growing old’s not what I thought it’d be
I’ve lost my mind, and who are you?
Cause I don’t know!

Getting old, getting old
I’m not so young anymore
Getting old, getting old
Turn up the heat. It’s cold!

I don’t know
What you’re trying to say
My hearing’s gone,
And I can’t seem to find my hearing aid!

It’s funny how my eyesight
Makes everything look small
And the glasses on my forehead
I can’t seem to find at all!

It’s time like these I miss my youth
The best that I can hope to do
Is not forget discounts for me. Stuff’s free!

Getting old, getting old
I am not so young and spry
Getting old, getting old
New things are hard to try

Tried to stand
But then I fell
Balance is gone!

My hip was fractured when I fell onto the ground
Went to the hospital and wore one of those patient gowns
My doctor says that I will not heal very fast
I’ve also thrown my back,
I really miss my past!

Getting old, getting old
Waking up at the crack of dawn
Getting old, getting old
I know it won’t be long!

One more thing
I should probably say
My memory’s gone.
Who are all of you people anyway!?

Romans Abbreviated

The Gospel, God’s righteousness communicated
By creation, God’s glory demonstrated
By suppressed truth, man’s sin condemnated
By Christ’s blood, God’s wrath satiated
By faith, God’s holiness imputated
By His Spirit, Christ’s life and death emulated
By Israel, God’s promises illuminated
By mercy, God’s character applicated
In the end, God’s faithfulness vindicated
PS. Paul’s people commendated

Why Are People Afraid of Change?

Why do people hate change? Because humans are scared, selfish creatures by nature, but the truth is we don’t really hate change. Yet something about change really bothers us. Okay, let me go back to the beginning to start over.

The Bible and creation tells us that God’s glory is the grand purpose of our existence. We exist to glorify Him, but something changed in the fall when sin entered the picture. A long time ago, Adam and Eve lived in harmony with God the Creator, but then the man and woman ate fruit that God had told them not to eat, and suddenly that harmony was broken. Humans became afraid and selfish. They played the Blame Game Family Edition (patent pending), then God kicked them out of paradise, but they and their offspring (that’s us) remained selfish. Change happened anyway.

Fast forward to what this has to do with anything.

The church I am a part of has been going through transition, as it is currently going through a somewhat major leadership change after having lost another crucial leader recently. Part of the change affects me directly. Part of me is happy; part of me is sad. Frankly, I’m not always fond of change, but change is nothing new to me. People come, people go. Leaders come, leaders go. That’s just life, and we can choose to accept and adapt or sit in a corner and pout about life not going the way we think it should. While nobody is exactly leaving for this next phase of transition, it’s still a major change, since our young adults pastor Jon is moving to a different role and Kevin our college director will be moving into Jon’s role. I’ve known these guys in their respective roles since I met them nearly two years ago. Because this is somewhat of a big deal, someone might ask the question “why are people so afraid of change?” A valid question perhaps, and one I’ve been kind of pondering since learning of news of this transition and hearing what Jon and Kevin each had to say in regards to this role change and even touching on this question. In fact, they each said something that strikes at the very heart of the question.

So what if I told you we as humans aren’t scared of change itself, but we’re actually scared of what it represents? Change happens every day, but nobody notices or cares. You change your clothes (I hope). You change lanes while driving. You change positions: sit down, lie down, and stand up (good boy). You change the channel because you get bored of or disagree with whatever is on Internet-o-vision. Without really thinking about it, we as humans make subtle changes, but changes nonetheless, on a regular basis. Yet when major change happens, it can rock our world. It can make us, break us, or just simply shake us. But why? What is so scary about major changes when minor changes don’t seem to phase us whatsoever?

When major changes happen, it reminds us of this one simple truth we often like to forget. We are not actually in control of what’s going on around us; we are not in control of this massive thing called the universe or even life itself. Little changes don’t scare us, because we have a sense of control, and we know how some of our mostly-innocuous decisions will or won’t affect us or maybe even people around us. Don’t eat, and you go hungry; decide to eat, and you won’t. Go to work, get paid. Simple, right? But when a huge, potentially life-altering decision comes up, we fear the unknown and suddenly catch a case of “what-if-itis.” What if this? What if that? “What if people don’t like me? What if they think I’m boring? What if she rejects me? Will anyone remember me when I’m gone? What if I lose my job and can’t provide for my family anymore? What if it’s terminal? What if the world inexplicably implodes because I move to Canada to run a bird sanctuary? What if my baby could’ve grown up to be a time-traveling rocket scientist but instead ends up in prison for embezzling money all because I didn’t take that lucrative job offer in order to pay top dollar for her primary education?” Maybe a bit extreme, but we can conjure up any sort of “what if?” when we’re afraid (or just imaginative) and realize that we in fact don’t control outcomes the way we may have convinced ourselves we do.

In addressing this issue of fear earlier this week, Jon reminded us that through this transition and any change really, God is in control, and everything is going to be okay regardless of the outcome. Yes, this is a major change, and as he pointed out, we don’t know how it will play out next year, the year after, or even ten years down the road, but we don’t have to. We and our finite understanding and frail humanity are not in control, but an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, loving God is in charge of this universe, and that’s a good thing. You know why? Because not only are we afraid of the unknown, but we the human race are inherently selfish. And that’s a bad thing.

Change makes us afraid because it reminds us we’re not in control, but it can also be a wake-up call to tell us something equally important. The universe we do not control does not revolve around us either, but we don’t like to be reminded that we’re not the center of reality. When something good happens, it’s easy to think how wonderful I must be to earn God’s favor, and when bad strikes, it’s just as easy to wonder what I did to deserve this. Why would anyone think like this? Because we’re selfish. I’m selfish. You’re selfish. We the offspring of Adam and Eve are selfish creatures.

Going back to the transition, this selfishness is something that Kevin touched on in talking about his role in ministry; he said that there are times he’s ready to go serve others, and other times he’s not. I’m sure it’s true for any one of us who is honest enough to admit it, even if we do like to help others. This selfishness is the part of me that says, “Jon has been my leader since I came to this church, so I don’t want him to go somewhere else, even if it just to a different role in a different room around the corner. I don’t care about your happiness or if this change could make things better; I’m comfortable, and that’s what matters most.” Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I have no doubt Kevin will do great in his new leadership role, and I’m happy he’s shouldering this responsibility, so my point is not that I wouldn’t want to follow him because he’s not Jon. In fact, I will stand by and support Kevin in his new role (except when I’m feeling selfish of course). At the same time, I have enjoyed people being where they are and would’ve kept it that way, but that’s because I’m selfish. When change doesn’t happen, it can be so easy to get comfortable or even complacent and forget that this life is not even about me. As change happens, my selfish desire to keep things as they have been is something I have to move past; besides, I’ve made changes in my own life because I didn’t like how things were.

So why do people hate change? They don’t, yet they do. The answer is a lot simpler than people are afraid of change. The reality is they just don’t like to be reminded that they’re not ultimately in control and that life doesn’t revolve around them. But if we aren’t willing to accept change, we will never grow.

Life is full of change. Change is inevitable. The only constant is change.

Growth is change. Stagnation is the anti-change, which leads to death. That too is a diaper