Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lessons from Summer

Next Monday, where I live, school starts. Summer is unofficially over. Yeah, right, tell that to the weather. I mean, where exactly in NC are the portals to hell still open? :D

So, what are some things I learned on Summer Vacation?

1. It's good to look up long lost friends. I've been in contact with a friend in Atlanta for a couple of years now. He's seriously addicted to drugs; I've offered to fetch him and bring him back to his family up here, but he won't do it. On the other hand, I've been praying for him since I found him last year. God has moved...

He's now living in a real apartment. Considering he'd lost everything and was living in the no-tell motel for a weekly fee, that's a good thing. He has a job now too, and he has a roommate that helps out. Also, a local church is ministering to them and helping them move along the road to recovery. I assume, since the church isn't liberal or anything really unorthodox in their beliefs, they are sharing the Gospel with them too. Mark seems open. His roommate doesn't, but we all hope that will change.

Pray for Mark and his roommate. Pray God will open their hearts. They each have a long way to go. They are living in a safer place now, well safer than the "notel," but they could do better. The last time I visited, I saw that Mark had circled the name of an addiction recovery program in the area. Winter may be hard for them, as Mark walks several miles to work right now because gas is, you know, a zillion bucks a gallon.

2. Apropos 1, it's easy to blog. It's harder to minister face-to-face. Guys, and Gals, get out of your safety zone. Find somebody to whom you can minister. If that means you take a blogging vacation, do it. It's totally worth it. Granted, your work on a blog can affect many people, and you don't often know who, but on the other hand, it's a good thing to get out of the house and off the computer and give arms and legs to the Gospel - not just your intellect and fingers.

3. Learn to do online evangelism and apologetics in locations other than the blogs. You know, a lot of the Village Atheists don't bother reading what we write here and elsewhere. The same for many Mormons and others. Find someplace other than the blogs and places like the CARM boards to write.

Two of my favorites are (1) and (2) I'd encourage the other nerds here, and you know who you are, to join one or both of these and interact apologetically and evangelistically in the Misc Forum and The Neutral Zone (you have to sign up and check a box in your CP to see that one) in the former, and The Tenth Planet in the latter. There are lots of atheists and skeptics at Trekbbs (not mention Arminians and others with whom you can debate theology) and lots of Mormons and atheists at OG. At both, Christians are a distinct minority. You'll have to filter out the mockery, but if you can interact with some of the people we have on our blogs, you'll be more than able to handle that.

If you have any other suggestions for such places, please post them in the combox here.

4. Go to the Gym. One of the reasons I've not posted much in the past few months is because I decided to dedicate this year to the body. It's not just a matter of being out of shape or vanity (okay, well, yeah, I'll confess a little vanity is involved, I mean, to look as good as I do it takes lots and lots of maintenance ;) ), but because in the past 2 years, I've had two surguries around my ear, removing most of one of them because of a cancer tumor that was touching the skull when they opened up my head, and then last year, I had a terrible back injury and could barely walk from February to late September/early October. Ergo, I decided at the end of last year that I would get myself back into the gym and get myself in shape. It's also an exercise in self-discipline. I recommend you try it. Your body is God's temple, and there is a unity between your soul and your body. I've known too many Christians who get all spiritual and intellectual and act like it's okay to let the body go. Look, I'm not saying, "if you've got it flaunt it" (like the girl last night who almost wore a pair of shorts), but I am saying, "You'd better hold onto it as long as you can." Stay healthy. You don't have to get as buffed as I am ;), but you'd better exercise, particularly if, like me you live with chronic illness. I need the lean body mass in order to survive, literally.

5. The Gym can also be a good place for evangelism and apologetics. Just last night, I overheard two students at a local university discussing canonics and the differences between the Protestant and Catholic rules of faith. Now, don't you know that the next time I see them, I'll find a way to open up a discussion with them.

6. If your grandparents are still living, collect their stories before they are gone. My Grandma is 88, soon to turn 89. She's losing her memory. This year, I've been sitting with her while when my grandfather has to leave the house for a substantial length of time. I've heard more about her childhood than she has ever chosen to disclose before. I plan to pass as many of these stories down to the next generation in my family as I possibly can. This, by the way, is the way we honor our parents.

7. Finally, it doesn't hurt to let your hair down and go dancing. (Okay, so I'm bald, anyway, but...). "Back in the day" I used to love to get lost in the music on a dancefloor all by myself. I plan to do that again after Labor Day. Why? Because I think this song in particular is a lot of fun, and I want to dance to it. So call me shallow...get over it.

8. The new Battlestar Galactica really is the best show nobody is watching. Okay, so I'm a nerd, I admit it, but this series really has gotten my attention. If you've not watched, I recommend renting the first season from Netflix to get started. Next January, the last half of Season 4 ends, and with it, the series. Watch it.


  1. Good luck. I've worked out for over 10 years (I started in school).

    It never gets "fun" (at least for me), but if you do it long enough it becomes a habit and you go out of guilt and routine.

    All that sweat, huffing and puffing ... blah.

  2. I was following along until I looked at the youtube video you linked to. Good luck.

  3. Ooops, wrong version. I've changed the link.

    "Back in the day" I knew some of the best DJ's in the country, literally some of the best. Hopefully, one of them will be spinning when I go out after Labor Day. All I want is that one song.

  4. Gene regarding point number 7. I'm reminded of the old Baptist joke about the youth pastor caught in flagrante delicto with the minister's wife by the head deacon. When queried as to what they were doing the youth pastor confessed to his adultery to which the deacon said "Oh thank goodness I thought for the minute you were dancing.