Saturday, July 06, 2013

Purge Mode

Too.  Much.  Stuff.

Although there are plenty of more pressing tasks on the to-do list, I am distracted by my desire to de-clutter.  The yard needs to be simplified so there's less weeding and work out there.  But mostly I want to thin what's in cupboards, bookshelves, closets, and storage areas.  Flea market at church is in six weeks; hopefully I'll have a good pile for Maggie to hawk while I'm at work that day.

So it was timely to read an article on what clutter does to the mind.  [Hat tip: Cheryl.]  It helps me recognize why it's so hard to declutter; there is a neurological response in the brain which registers pain when getting rid of an object to which you are attached.  The article also shows that there really is stress and problems-with-focus from having too much clutter; it's not just silly me feeling overwhelmed.

I think this also explains one of the reasons vacation can be so relaxing.  If you're away from home there is usually less clutter.  The place you're staying probably has less stuff in the kitchen; you have fewer clothes to choose from; while you're away, housekeeping projects are not piled up demanding your attention.  For me, the escape-from-clutter is probably the most relaxing part of any vacation trip.

Conundrum of the month:  it's so much work to de-clutter.  And it clutters the brain to make de-cluttering decisions.  Uh ... no pain, no gain???

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Skits in Church

So I don't like skits during church.  But is that just my preference, whereas somebody else has a different preference?

I figured it out.  It's not just me and my old-fashioned hang-ups.

Skits are pretending.

They're not real.  People are acting.  Actors pretend to be who they're not.  They say lines written for them instead of engaging in real-life, from-the-heart conversation.

What happens during church must be REAL.  It must be true and honest and live dialogue between God and man.

No show.
No pretend.
Genuine speech.  Speech that accomplishes a transaction.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Business-World Apologies

You've heard non-apology "apologies":  "If anyone was offended by what happened, then I want you all to know that was never the intention, and this has been over-exaggerated." 

Somehow, being in the Church, I always figured that apologizing meant that a person was taking the blame: "My fault, my own fault, my own most grievous fault."

And then you get out in the world.

Something came through at work recently.  We weren't exactly told to read it.  But it was made available, just like other materials, and proposed as suggested reading that would help us deal with customers.  The title was "Help Your Employees Learn to Apologize."  I was stunned.  An apology is NOT "accepting blame."  An apology IS "acknowledging the client's feelings."

So when I'm in a store and they're apologizing to me, it's not my imagination that I sense they're not really apologizing.

At least there are some places that
consider an apology something more 
than mere empathy.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


[Yawn ...]
Folks talk about post-modernism, and I tune out.  Despite hearing people talk about it ad nauseum and what it means for society and for the Church, I just do not understand.  I tend to hear "blah blah blah" when I should be listening.

So when Jonathan Fisk was presenting at the CCA symposium last month, I was shocked to hear a brief explanation that even A Bear Of Very Little Brain can understand. 

First, Pastor Fisk explained that post-modernism is post [that is, after] the age of Reason.  "Modern man" used reason and intellect and thinking.  Post-modernism poo-poos reason.

And here's what that means: 
1.  What I feel and what I experience is what matters.
2.  Therefore, there is no certainty, no objective truth, and no absolutes.

Now that I know this, I'm not completely lost!  And "blah blah blah" actually contains a few words and sentences now that I can grasp!

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Driving home from a visit to Mom, we watched the storms passing behind us or to the south of us. Certainly an interesting weather lesson! But the coolest thing was the rainbow -- the most vibrant one I'd seen in my life. And the fattest.
(after it had already faded quite a bit)

The evening before I'd been reading "Heaven Is for Real," and (whether it's true or not) I thought it was interesting to have read about all the colors in heaven and then to see this glorious rainbow.