Posted in Blog Posts

Sober Judgement

“If I don’t like your face, I can get rid of you.” That was a common statement from a former boss. He constantly told us he wanted us to be contract employees because he liked not having to deal with the union if he wanted to get rid of us. He said that he could just get my employer to replace us whenever he wanted.

Being a contract he certainly was entitled to ask for different employees. It was well within his rights. However, it isn’t his place to say those kind of things to the employees. Sure he was “joking” about it, but the Bible talks a lot about what we say:

Proverbs 12:18 – The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing

Proverbs 26:18-19 – Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

What we say matters. In this case I was at the receiving ends of the words, but I didn’t chose the best of response either. I felt that I couldn’t approach him with genuine concerns and went a round about way through my employer. I went to them because I felt that I had needed protection from him. While I loved the work I did and most of the people I worked with, I couldn’t stay under him. I had talked with my employer about it. I miss the challenge of the work, and my coworkers. Especially the other 2 programmers. So in short I am no longer on that contract. It was mutual, but I wish it wouldn’t have had to be that way. I made my choices knowing the potential consequences of them.

I have spent the last couple of months really evaluating my motivations behind it, and it has caused growth inside me. It took me awhile to really nail down what I wrote above, but its been very freeing for me. I wish that I could have seen this earlier and put the value into my relationships. I would have invested in trying to restore that relationship. A note in and of itself would ring hollow and of self-justification.

On the other side of the coin God has really convicted me of my response to it. While I may not have done anything wrong, I could have done things better. I could have shown initiative and humility. I am here to serve and not be served. I let my anger get the better of me and the Lord hammered me: [Emphasis in bold]

In Romans 12

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Proverbs 13:3 “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”

I wish I would have taken this to heart. I see the same types of sin in myself now. I see that I say things that are not edifying to my children. I have the same type of behavior for them as I received.

I find that as I write these posts God changes my heart and shows me more sin in my life to root out. While writing this God has convicted me with the proverbs verses listed above. How many times have I responded in anger with words that I shouldn’t? How often have I said “I was only joking.” Lord my prayer is that you teach me how to remove this sin from my life. Let me not joke in ways that are demeaning to others. I pray that for the strength, the character, and the wisdom to learn to control my tongue.

Posted in Blog Posts, Debt-Free Journey, Ramblings

Tipping Point

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The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines a tipping point as “the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.”

In life, there are a lot of tipping points, when to end relationships, when you find a new job, when saying no to that cupcake is easier than it was the last time. When we reach a tipping point with something we often make changes in our lives.

I’ve been on the debt reduction journey for a few weeks now, and I have paid off almost $3,000. It involved selling somethings that I didn’t want to sell, but they were holding me back from being the person that I need to be.

So, to back up a few steps, for the last few years God has been working on my heart about collecting way too many things. In my case electronics, mostly. I would feel convicted when I would read about believers selling their things and giving to their brothers and sisters in need.  Then from time to time I would catch a Dave Ramsey program on the radio or hear about how someone would donate this, or donate that.

I always thought that is nice, but I’m a single dad and there is no way I could ever afford to do those types of things. I was barely getting by, or at least so I thought.

As I’ve come to study the Bible more, I have become more convinced that the way I was living was wrong. When I would read about tithing, I would tell myself that’s not for me. I am barely getting by.

Recently, at church, they did a 3-part sermon series on giving. It was all stuff I had heard before, but God had been working on building up a tipping point. Then to top that off my girlfriend is a saver, but she is also extremely generous. God used her to show me what it is like to be able to give without worrying about the money.

God used all those things to really break me, and start opening my heart to doing things his way. I had started all of this, and worked out the details of my debt when a couple of weekends ago, God really broke me on Sunday at church.

One of the church member’s sons had had a heart transplant and wasn’t doing well. The father couldn’t afford to be off work and had to come home and be separate from his son, while his son was in bed in a coma. There was no way he could know if his son would live or die. God really laid it heavily on my heart that I should be able to provide a weeks’ worth of pay for this man so he could go and be with his son.

It broke me. I had to tell God no. I didn’t have the funds to be able to do this. For all the faith I speak of having, I didn’t have the faith to say, “Yes Lord”. It really has been devastating on my heart.

God has done so much for me. He has changed my life for the better in so many amazing ways, and I had the audacity to not trust him to say “Yes” to his prompting.

This realization has been my tipping point. With all that God has taught me, and all that he has walked through with me; I cannot bear the thought of saying “No” to God again.

From this point forward, I will do my best to strive and say, “Yes Lord, I trust you” whenever I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Posted in Blog Posts, Ramblings

A look back to a marriage lost

My youngest turned four on Sunday, and it really made me stop and reflect on the ways that my life has changed.

Five years ago my now ex-wife was having an affair with a man that was her guildmate on World of Warcaft. I’m not certain of all the symantics and lies she told him, but needless to say it wasn’t pretty.

We fought all of the time. She was a slob, and very lazy. I later discovered she didn’t do anything all day because she was sleeping. She had been staying up all night talking to this guy halfway across the country.

In June she tried to get me to hit her by yelling at me and spitting in my face, etc. I ended up saying I just couldn’t fight anymore and our marriage was over.

So she left and took off to her “sisters” in Texas. Needless to say she had just run off to be with this guy she had been talking to online. Shortly after she got down there she discovered she was pregnant. My pastor had also been working on my heart about what the right thing to do was.

So I “convinced” her to come back home. Saving my marriage is what God would want me to do. Coincidentally, I still stand by that this was the right thing for me to do. It allowed me to learn how to truly forgive and make amends. I wouldn’t be who I am now without making that decision.

We received some marital counseling, but we couldn’t ever talk about what she did in Texas. If I tried she would threaten to have an abortion. This was unacceptable to me, so I never did bring it up.

I became a better and much calmer person. When I discovered the affair on her way down to Texas the first time I had went into a fit of rage. God used my pastor to shatter me though. I don’t really have the capacity to stay angry at anyone anymore. It only hurts myself.

So fast forward to February 18, 2013 and here comes our youngest son. I thought our marriage had been restored and everything was swell, but it wasn’t. 6 weeks later she took off with the kids and it was a whole nightmare scenario.

Feel free to check out this post to find out about my pre-divorce attempt at marriage restoration. https://nerdychristian.com/2012/11/20/where-to-begin/

And this post for a more in depth description of what happened:

https://nerdychristian.com/2014/08/08/remnants-of-marriage-and-the-evidence-of-lies/

 

I’ve dated some since the divorce, but nothing has ever really been lasting. The first couple were based off of not wanting to be alone. The subsequent ones I don’t honestly know that I was ever able to trust them enough to be in a good and healthy relationship with them.

There was one girl I went out on a single date with, and it pretty much wrecked me when she stopped responding to me. I was really insecure with myself and was not in a position to have a relationship.

There will be a second part to this post so stay tuned for that.

Posted in Blog Posts

How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

This is pretty accurate.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

When my writing first left the relative safety of WordPress for the great untamed wilds of The Huffington Post, I was elated. The first post hit big and I eagerly sat down that afternoon to read through the rapidly appearing comments.

And for every comment that made me feel good about myself or sorry for someone else, there were two that seemed to be personal attacks. Soon, the excitement I felt about being published was replaced with a sense of discomfort and malaise.

Yet I kept reading. For months, I dutifully read every comment, every review. I carefully weighed each criticism as though it was coming from a known and trusted source.I tried to answer each barbed question and address each complaint. I grew increasing anxious and melancholy.

And then finally there was one comment that broke me open. A stranger claimed that my ex was right to do what…

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