To write or not to write…Is that even a question?

For me it is not. Writing is how I best express my thoughts. Writing gives me control over the final edit to, hopefully, make the finished product the best I can make it. Writing is the form of communication that works best for me.

That being said, writing is just one form of communication. Others include speaking, body language, listening and sign language. If I had to rank myself on the first four here is how they would rank for me from best to worst – writing, listening, speaking, body language. I know nothing about sign language at all.

Writing

Writing allows me, although I sometimes don’t take advantage, the option to edit, delete, rewrite and add to what I probably thought was pretty good to start with. It allows me to potentially stick my foot in my mouth (replace foot with pen or word processor) less often. I should be able to catch these errors in grammar, spelling and judgment and edit them to make them more palatable for the reader. Do I always do this? Of course not, but with writing I do have that option.

Speaking

When speaking I cannot take back what I said (edit it) so the edit option is not really available. I do have a filter I can use but once words pass the filter and the lips they are out and cannot be un-said. I can try to explain what was said wrong or offensive with more talking but that normally just digs a bigger hole. That is why I will normally not be the most talkative person in any group setting.

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln says,

That is one of my favorite quotes.

Body Language

I have never been accused of wearing my emotions on my sleeve. I am often accused of not wearing them at all.

Emotions are part of body language but not all body language is expressed by emotions. I do try to pay attention and communicate that to the person speaking. Body language is expressed in many ways such as smiling, nodding, crossing your arms, leaning forward in your seat, or leaning back and reclining. I recognize body language is an important part of communication and it does communicate whether you want it to or not. I do try to make myself aware of this form of communication but I often fail.

Listening

Listening is the least used but most important part of communication from my perspective. If there is no one to listen, the speaker is just talking to themselves. Many speakers don’t really have a problem with this as they enjoy hearing themselves talk but there is really no communication taking place when that happens.

Listening is often thought of as being a passive activity. However, it really is an active activity that you have to consciously focus on and work at to be master it. When involved in a conversation most people are multi-tasking, listening with one ear and thinking of what they are going to say in response to words they haven’t even heard yet. Listening with one ear, trying to think ahead and predict what the speaker is going to say, and then formulating a response all at the same time does not work very well.

Listening also provides people like me topics to write about.

2 Ears 1 Mouth

I am sure you have all heard the saying, God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth so that means He intended for you to listen twice as much as you talk. I think we would all be better off if we put this into practice and really listened to what is being said. If there is silence for a few seconds or even longer before you speak there is nothing wrong with that. It shows you were listening and now you are processing what you heard and formulating a response. This shows respect to the speaker and will have most believing you are the best conversationalist in the room.

Try it the next chance you get. You just might learn something.

Until next time…

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What is it? Where did it come from? Who wrote it?

It is only natural for anyone to have questions about the Bible if you have not grown up with it and learned about it in addition to reading it as I did. I will forever be grateful to my parents for affording me that opportunity. I will tell them that when I see them again.

If your primary knowledge of the Bible is what you have read about it or heard someone else say about it then your knowledge of the Bible is weak and probably not accurate and definitely not complete. That last one puts you in the same boat as all of us. None of us have a complete knowledge of all the Bible contains. Continue reading What is it? Where did it come from? Who wrote it?

Doing wrong anyway

The internet stopped working a few minutes ago. As much as we have come to depend on the internet that might seem like an issue and if it continues for an extended period of time it might be. However, since I cannot waste time there now I decided to write so I am treating this as a blessing in disguise.

What about you? Are you dependent or even addicted to the internet and all its many bells, whistles, and distractions? How does this occurrence, if it does happen to you from time to time as well, affect you?

I know that I spend too much time “on the internet” browsing Facebook, twitter, checking email so this is just one more reminder to me that I need to limit the time I spend there just as I need to limit the time I watch TV, another time vacuum.

I know I am much more productive when I leave the TV off, close my browser, or at least the Facebook and twitter tabs and shut down my email program so why don’t I do it?

This reminds me of Paul in Romans where he describes the internal battle going on inside of him between knowing what is right to do and what is wrong but doing wrong anyway. His battle is much larger in that it is the one we all face between good and evil but I do see similarities.

The scripture I referred to is Romans 7:15-20 which says, For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

If you want a picture of this passage and you have seen The Lord of the Rings, think Smeagol/Gollum

Gollum
Gollum (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

and how his personality changes between good and evil. I believe that paints a very vivid picture of this battle we all face.

I know it is the best thing to do and will help me achieve so much more and be much more productive in whatever I am doing. I have heard the studies that the higher one rises in leadership the less TV they watch. There is a direct correlation. The internet is different but not that much. There are a lot of good activities and information available on the internet. There are good reasons to spend some time there to keep up with friends, news, and issues that are important to me. But, as in most things, too much is not good. It is bad.

I don’t have any grand illusions that me writing this will magically solve this issue for me. I suspect I will still wrestle with it as Paul was wrestling with not doing what he knew was right. It is not really a sin or is it?

 We all get the same 24 hours each day.

If you were looking for a grand conclusion that resolves this conundrum I don’t have one to offer. Many of the words and thoughts I post here will not have a solution. They are not designed to. They are designed to share some of my thoughts and feelings and maybe get you to think yourself. This may or may not be an issue for you. I know it is for me. I am going to try to improve and be a better steward of my time. We will all be held accountable one day for what we did with the time God gave us.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please post them in the comments and let me know how you manage this yourself if you have. Do you think this is a sin? Let me know.

Until next time…

Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 3/11/2014

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Confused Yet Confident

We-Are-Enterprise-LogoConfused

It has been 18 days since the announcement the 9th grade would be moving to the high school next year and one week since the school board meeting, and then the post-board meeting. I attended both and am still confused as to why now.

After the shock wore off from the original decision I wanted to wait to learn more of the reasons this decision was made before commenting. The shock was that I had taken Dr. Wright at her word that she was not going to come in and make changes initially until she learned more about the system. In my mind, 43 days on the job seems rather quick to making a decision of this magnitude so I was surprised. Continue reading Confused Yet Confident