Archive for the ‘Rambling’ Category

Light bulbs, Luxury, People Hurting and an Inspirational Story

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Do Light Bulbs Shine Brighter in the Dark?

Of course not, light bulbs shine just as bright regardless of where they’re located.

And this is a silly question, but think, “If you were a light bulb, would you prefer to be in a miner’s headlamp or the headlight of a riding mower?”

Don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to be in the miner’s lamp: lighting up creepy recesses in a dark mine. There my light would be useful. Headlights on riding mowers aren’t near as useful. Who mows their lawn in the dark anyways? We usually cut grass in the daylight. And during the day a headlight is not necessary… and only barely visible.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Though our lights as Christians should be shining regardless of our circumstances, practically, some places need light more than others.

What got me thinking about “shining lights” was the article: 20 Years Old and Running an Orphanage. Katie’s self-sacrifice is inspiring to me. The fact she’s helping people is undeniable; through her good deeds her light is shining brightly.

With a church building on nearly every corner, does America have more than enough light to go around? I may have used to think so, but have since seen enough enclaves of darkness here even in the good old U.S. to be convinced otherwise. Even so, finding physical need here in America is like finding loose change in the couch. It’s there, but you have to look for it. At least in comparison to places like Haiti, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

Though light bulbs may shine with unwavering intensity regardless of location, I think us Christians are more chameleon. For us it’s true that, “Out of sight, out of mind.” We tend to only rise to challenges directly in our line of vision. What about the 24,000 children under the age of five who die every day?

When we aren’t literally faced with the stark reality of a starving child on our doorstep, we easily rationalize extravagances such as spending $700 on upgrading our Jeep (like I just did), buying new books on Amazon rather than checking out used ones from the library (something I do), or eating expensively and unhealthily when we could easily do otherwise (me again). All this rather than store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. All this rather than help people who have nothing, not even hope.

Obviously, not everyone is called to the slums of Calcutta. Job wasn’t, neither was Samson, Solomon, or Samuel… yet God had a unique plan for each of these men. He can use us wherever we are.

Nevertheless, all this raises questions.

First, “Where is my light shining today?”

Photo Credit: Poor Kid / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Can Guys and Girls be Just Friends?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Friends Laughing

This question has been on my mind recently so I’m going to take a stab at answering it. Although I should be working on school instead. I have an assignment due tomorrow morning which I’ve hardly started yet so will keep this post short.

Ok, disclaimer: I’m not backing up my thoughts here with Bible verses.

Regarding the question in the title of this post, the answer at first glance might seem like an obvious “yes.” And I would agree, guys and girls CAN be just friends – but I would suggest perhaps best in particular settings, like in the context of healthy groups.

Let me reword the question differently and see what you think: “Can a guy and a girl who are both single, both adults, both dedicated Christians, both of similar age who share similar interests, hobbies, and religious convictions ‘hang out’ with each other exclusively, regularly communicating with each other, nurturing a ‘special’ relationship while sharing personal struggles, successes, and desires all while both maintaining a purely platonic friendship?”

Maybe, but in my experience it’s difficult for one or the other to not start wanting more.

This e-how article lists specific steps guys and girls can follow to be just friends. Check these out: (emphasis added)

  • Step 2 – Discuss your friendship. Don’t let the topic of your existing friendship be something you avoid like the plague.
  • Step 4 – Be a friend, but not too good a friend. You might end up giving mixed signals that will not be good for you or him/her.
  • Step 5 – Spend time with your friend, but not too much time. The two of you have other friends that you can spend time with.
  • Step 10 – Watch out for them and be protective, but not overly so. Stand up for them, especially in the face of nasty gossip. However, point out flaws and weakness directly to them. Only a friend can do that.
  • Step 11 – Remember birthdays, nothing more. Little things can lead people on.

    Only birthdays? Not Christmas? Is it ok to comment if they get a haircut? Just not too positively.

    The e-how article continues with some “tips and warnings” :

  • Do not lead them on.
  • Do not flirt with them.
  • Do not act possessive of them.
  • Do not give mixed signals.
  • Do not be “touchy-feely”.

    To me, this advice seems wishy-washy and vague. Don’t lead them on? How do we define that? Be friends, but not too good of a friend? Spend time, but not too much time? These raise the questions, “How good is too good and how much is too much?”

    Can it become like walking on a tight rope? I think so.

    Regarding Step #2 above (“discuss your friendship”), let me comment that with my guy friends we rarely (probably never) “discuss our friendship.” We “avoid it like the plague.” Discussion is superflous because our friendship’s are based on the similar interests we have, not on each other. Thus, the friendships are what they are.

    I think this e-how article illustrates how tricky it can get trying to keep guy-girl relationships “just friends”.

    Here’s another thought from here which may be relevant:

    “Will your libido silence while spending pleasant time and having fun and sharing interests and activities, attitudes and values with just a friend of the opposite SEX?”

    Photo Credit: Having a good laugh
  • Mental Health & Weighted Jackets

    Thursday, June 18th, 2009

    I learned in this education class I’m currently taking that children suffering from certain mental issues (such as autism) can benefit from wearing a “weighted vest” or sleeping under a “weighted blanket.” This gives them what is called Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation (DPTS).

    Ok, got it: Autistic kids can find comfort in the touch stimulus provided by weighted clothing and blankets.

    Now read this about autism:

    “Autistic children and adults don’t like being touched, they might not like certain textures or sounds, they might cover their ears at very loud noises, they tend to blank out certain things…” (What is Autism?)

    Isn’t it interesting how those suffering from autism frequently are uncomfortable with human touch and yet still benefit from the touch stimulus of a weighted jacket or blanket?

    I got to thinking, “Isn’t that how I frequently am toward God?” Recoiling from being touched and molded by the master creator of the universe? The one who molded me into existence? And don’t I frequently try finding fulfillment in things of this world: in hobbies, in gaining accolades from others, in relationships with people who will disappoint, in being a good person?

    Yet how many times do these “replacements” leave me cold and empty inside? God is the only one who can breathe warmth and joy and fulfillment into my being. His Holy Spirit can produce the Fruits of the Spirit in my life. He can and will do that. That is, if I only allow him to “touch” me.

    Photo Credit: publik15