Friday, September 23, 2005
It is official, Compass is closing September 30th.
Tomorrow (Saturday the 24th) I will be having a sale to sell off all my remaining components and stock. All my on-site service clients have been notified, I just need to send a letter out to all the others.
All of my time recently has been spent trying to make sure I tie up all the loose ends in closing Compass. There are many loose ends and commitments to live up to, I really want to make sure I finish well and don't have a bunch of customers upset with me. There has been lots of support and sincere concern for my well-being, which is just a reflection of the great relationships I have formed over these last 5 years.
I have been at peace about finding a job after everything is done and haven't really been searching. People have been very critical of me for this saying that I have 5 people to look after I can't leave finding a job to chance. Not to sound niave but the whole time I have figured that since I God has asked me to close my business so he must have a plan for my next step. The more I repeated this the dumber I felt and started doubting.
I did pass out a couple resumes though and I get a first and second interview at a particular business. The first interview went great, the second I thought I bombed and I never heard back from them. Sometime last week I was having trouble sleeping. It may have been something I ate, I am not sure but somewhere around 5am I had a vision that I would work at this business and in the vision I became the top sales person within 3 months.
I wasn't sure what to think about this, was it God or was I just hallucinating. This wasn't a normal thing for me to have a vision like this and since the timing seemed to be bang on I as I have been praying for direction I decided it was God. In faith I went to go see manager again, just to remind him I am still here and eager to work. Our brief meeting went well and he said he would get back to me by last Friday with a yes or a no. Friday came and went and so did the weekend, then the week without a phone call. So what was that all about God? Did I hear you? I was sure that was you but no phone call means no job, no job means vision was just indigestion. :(
Oh well, let it rest, I got enough other stuff on my plate anyways.
Phone call comes today, I start on Tuesday. How do you like them apples?
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
I doubt that Jesus thought that his time in the desert would be easy. After all it is the place of testing. It is the point between where you were and where you know God wants you to be. Generally you don't know how large your desert is, your desert journey could last years, for others may only last days. But no matter what the desert is a hard place to be. Physically a desert is dry and hot, so the spiritual parallel would be an uncomfortable place. Maybe it is being in limbo, with no job or income. Or maybe it is just walking out of what you know, a situation that you know is not where God has called you to be but it is comfortable because your immediate needs are being met. But you take courage and walk out of that and into the unknown in obedience to Gods calling. One thing is for sure, when in the desert your destination looks way to far to be reachable and the land from which you came does not look all that bad anymore and is probably quite livable.
Jesus proved through his time of testing in the desert that even though He was God in the flesh, that he was still God over his flesh.
I am sure that even though His desert of testing He had to face before He started His ministry was hard, it was nothing compared to the last desert that He would face which was the desert between the last supper and the cross. This was the ultimate desert that no human could ever face. Every time He fell and got back up, he reaffirmed that He was God over His flesh. And as He died He took the sin of the world upon himself and sunk to the depths of hell and broke the chains of sin and death forever His desert was finally over, and He reached His destination at the right hand of God the Father.
Even though I was not there I imagine there was a victory parade in heaven as Jesus came back and I am sure the words "Well done, good and faithful Son" were heard.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Jesus calls us to this in Mark 8:34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me".
Why would Jesus ask us to pick up our cross? What is the cross? The cross is where death and resurrection occur. Every day I need to deny myself and all my plans, no matter how great they are, no matter how "godly" they sound.
He may lead us to walk out of security and what is familiar to us walk into the unknown. If I believe that He said He will never let me fall then I just may have jump.
Last weekend I made the decision to close the doors on Compass Computer Systems, which is the business that I have been running for the last five years. This has been the greatest death walk that I have had to face to date. If I had been obedient I would have done this sooner but due to other people and circumstances I lost my courage and continued on in the land of the familiar.
Bruce Wilkinson wrote a really neat book called "The Dream Giver". This book follows the life of a character named Ordinary who one night was visited by the Dream Giver and given a dream. But his dream meant that he must leave his homeland of Familiar and venture into the unknown. In the quest of his dream he meets much adversity and has to battle with all his fears. I now understand where Ordinary was going.
This was a hard week for me, I had to confront fears and let down people that I never wanted to disappoint. And to be honest I really don't know where I am going next. I have five people I need to look after in my family and to walk away from something without knowing where the next stop is sounds pretty foolish. Yesterday I was scared and fear had its grip on my soul, but today I am starting to get a little excited. Just look at what God can do now.
Even the sky is not God's limit.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
As many of you know I am into radio control cars as my hobby, it is really fun and I enjoy it a lot. I decided about a month ago I was going to get a new car. After lots of Ebay research I found a great deal and purchased it. I sent off the money order a while ago and recently emailed the seller as I haven't heard from him as to the shipping status. It was then I noticed the location, Violet, LA. I thought LA was Los Angeles but that is a city not a state. Nope that is Loiseianna, hurricane Katrina central. My RC is likely floating down the Mississipi somewhere quite possibly along with my money order (its whereabouts is currently unknown).
As comical as I am making this story it really isn't. The guy I purchased from did email me and he lost everything, their house is completely submerged. I find it incredible how a natural disaster can have effects as far reaching as right here in Canada. Thank you Internet.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Psalm 133 (New Living Translation)
How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the fragrant anointing oil that was poured over Aaron's head,that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life forevermore.
I would like to share just a little bit about what God has put on my heart regarding the relationships of men in the church and my personal journey through the exploration of manhood.
As a boy I desired to connect with my father on a deeper level than he was willing. Either that or the more likely cause was that was that he just didn’t know how. Much of my childhood was spent trying to fit in but failing miserably. I had a couple close friends growing up that I was able to connect with on a mostly superficial level, but it was all I had.
When I reached puberty I realized that women were much more likely than men to go as intimate as I desired. The end result was that I had a lot of girl “friends”. Later in my teen years I found that I could get far more intimate with women than I ever could have imagined, to the point of sin. My desperation for intimacy was a turn off to many, and I ended up looking more like a love sick puppy than a strong man.
After rededicating my life to Christ and falling in love with my wife Sarah I was satisfied, for a while. My wife was able to fill my desire for intimacy for a period of time.
It was around this point in my life that I became a father. And I started to measure and examine my life in a whole new light. All of a sudden Sarah was not able to fill that void in me any longer because she just didn’t know what it meant to be a man (thank goodness). God put a thirst and desire into me for knowledge and wisdom. What is my purpose? How can I be a good father? A good husband? How am I going to lead a family? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MAN………?
How do you answer questions like that? I believe there are a very few lucky guys out there who’s fathers modeled it for them. Others were probably told how to be a man, but without someone to model it, had no idea what it looked like. But I believe the majority of us just don’t know. I don’t think it was that I wanted a summed up paragraph and answer, although that would have been nice. I think it is just that I wanted to find another man who had the same desire as me, so we could try and figure it out together.
I got some very interesting reactions from men over the years that I have attempted to venture down that road with. I got silence, lots of clearing throats and changing the subject, but mostly just avoidance. Of that particular topic, and of me.
Generally among men we have that independence, the one that says “I don’t need nobody, I can do this all myself. After all I am a man”. Just incase you were wondering this is the same reason we cannot stop and ask directions when we get lost. And sometimes we take the same attitude towards our manhood. “Well, I might make some wrong turns but eventually I will figure it out”. Men if this is your attitude then I have to say right now you are in a dangerous place. We have far to precious gifts from God in our children and wives to leave figuring out manhood to chance.
Among Christian men I was able to find a little bit more of the same heart regarding this subject. Some of the guys that I approached at the church I was going to at the time liked the idea but couldn't find the value in actually making time to do it. And so I searched on, finding many dead ends, wrong roads and not a lot of answers.
Today I have two tight brothers who are walking with me on my journey and I walk in peace knowing that I am not alone. We are able to talk about the issues that impact our lives and our abilities to lead our families and we are finding answers and strength in our weakness.
Believe me, I am not standing up here today claiming that I now know what it means to be a man. I believe that just like our spiritual walk with Christ that this is a journey and will be walked out throughout my lifetime. What I do know is this, manhood is a realization that you do not know what you are doing, you do not know what it means to be man. But you have a humble attitude before God and the courage to ask for help.
This picture of the men’s retreat from February gives you a glimpse of the unity that we had. It was an incredible weekend and I think most of our women would agree we came back better men. There is an electricity in the air when men dwell in unity together, and it could be felt there that weekend. Battles were waged on our knees in repentance and crying out to God, “I don’t know how to do this, please help”. That same unity is what we need year round and should not be reserved for large conferences and retreats.
Brotherhood is just one more example of how the body needs to work together. Divided we know only a small part but together we have it all together. You might have a little tidbit to share with me on how to lead my family and I may be able to help you with spending quality time with your kids. Brotherhood takes physical form when you know how to put that new bedroom window in and replace my siding, and I have the expertise to help you with your computer problems.
You single guys, please do not feel like you are not included if your are not married or have children. You can walk this road with us who do have those responsibilities and be truly prepared when you do find that love of your life. And not have to make the same mistakes that some of us have.
My heart just weeps for you men that are struggling in your marriages during this time of testing. Your boats are being rocked all over and you are not sure if you can make it.
Some of you are still together with your spouse, but just barely. Others marriages have actually parted ways and you now feel like you are alone. Let me just assure you this is not God’s design, you were not meant to walk this path alone
I know that I speak for the men of this church when I say that we just want to surround you and love your through this. Hug you when you feel down, be an ear willing to listen to what you are going through, lend a helping hand for the work that needs to get done. But also, and possibly most importantly challenge you to change some of your attitudes and move out of the depths of your despair so you can boldly walk into the light that God wants to shine upon you.
Brotherhood is coming together of men with the purpose to walk this road together. We are standing tall and strong when we are on our knees, together before God. Lower your pride, ask for help. I and your brothers want to walk with you.
Friday, September 02, 2005
My diagnosis process was interesting. I went to my family doctor with some old report cards from elementary school and high school. All of them echoing similar comments "He is a intelligent young man with much promise, he just can't seem to apply himself", "He is so charming and helpful, he just can't seem to get his homework done". I was asked a couple other questions but by the end of our thirty minute interview I was slapped with the label "ADD". With a Ritalin prescription to boot, woo hoo!
Well that was not good enough for me, I needed a better diagnosis than that. Somehow I found out about a program that the University's department of Psychology was running to test adults with ADD (previous to this it was thought that ADD was something you eventually would grow out of so adulthood ADD was cutting edge stuff). I went through several days of rigerous testing with various psycholgy students and at the end I was presented with a thrity page report that verified my label. Wow, I really am screwed up, good to know. Now I have proof!
The best thing that came out of my whole ADD experience was Transitions. Transitions was a program run by the adult education department of SIAST, its intent was to educate about learning disabilities and assist in learning (more so intended for those transitioning from highshool to University or College, but I still qualified). We had the greatest teachers, Marla and Betty who really loved what they were doing and it was reflected in how they treated us. We learned about all the different medications that were available and we learned natural coping techniques. I walked away with a greater knowlegde of learning disabilities, but more importantly I walked away knowing myself better. Which was just what I needed in trying to find my place as a man, father and husband.
I was on Ritalin and the genaric Methelphenidate consistantly for a couple years in around that time. Increased heart rate, lots of persperation, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping were my main side effects physically but thats not all folks. Emotionally it drained everything out of me that made me, me. My wife called me zombie, but boy could I concentrate....on everything.....and nothing. I was a bonified space cowboy.
When I started computer college I was taking my medication but I found that I needed it less and less. I simply just loved what I was doing and concentration was not a problem. So I went offof it and haven't gone back. Although I will admit whenever I meet a speedbump in life I often want to run back to my label so I can use my drugs again and fix me..
My view on ADD and ADHD had taken a major, major turn in the past 6 years. In 2000 we had a son, a son that as he grew up became very active, a son that cannot sit still, a son that if exposed to the school system would definatley be stamped with the rubber stamp of ADHD (we homeschool).
It would take me far to long to get into my current feelings on this topic but I will try and sum it up for you. I believe that ADD\ADHD is a personality type, a personality type that is not tolerated in todays world of busyness. In today's society learning has become "read it, memorize it, spit it out". And only if you can at least half the questions right on a test (showing that you have learned the "read it, memorize it, spit it out" process) have you actually learned andything. There is no tolerance for people that need hands on learning.
Hands on learning is also reffered to as kinisthetic learning. Kinisthetic learners are inconveint when you have a 30 to 1 student\teacher ratio in a class room. Sitting at a desk (for long periods of time) becomes boring because traditional learning is abstract. So ADHDers with move, fidget and generally create problems. ADDers (like me) will create the grandest adventures in there minds and travel to far off galaxies, or make that pink eraser become a grand prix racer, or make that pen a rocket ship, or draw a huge battle scene with tons of little tanks, soldiers and airplanes on the paper that was handed out to write a book report on. When you start to look at the ADD\ADHD symptoms, they seem to corolate with the various personality type weaknesses.
So what is an educational institution to do?
These trouble makers will disturb the rest of the class, our test scores will lower and so will out funding, what can we do??????
Hmmmm, well I know a drug that will settle them down. Lets give them a lable, we'll make it a really serious sounding label that makes it sound like there is something reallty wrong with them. Something to do with chemicals in the brain, that one always works. Then we will introduce a drug that just so happens to alter these brain chemicals back to where they need to be.
But won't that alter there personalities, make them like zombies?
That doesn't matter, they don't need to have a personality, this is an educational institution for pete's sake, not Canadian Idol. They need to learn the way we can afford to educate them, nod the way they need.
All we gotta do is knock the sharp corners off. Then a square peg fits in a round hole.
Okay, please forgive the fecitiousness of that paragraph, I am talking about medical labels here and not trying to attack out educational system. Take it as a conspiracy theory and leave it at that. As you can see my opinions are rather passionate as well as bias.
I do want to say this though, embrace who God made you. Overecome your personality weaknesses but don't throw the baby out with the bath water, embrace your strenghths. God makes us who we are and He don't make no junk. Sometimes He does puts a boulder in our path, but that boulder is there to make us a better person and build endurance perseverance rather than to completely block our paths. The good work God stared in you he will be faithful to complete it.
If you are interested in finding out your personality type, click here.
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