Why

This is why. That feeling that you are feeling right now. That sluggishness, sleepiness, laziness, resistance. You are doing this because of that. Doing this gets you moving and reminds you that you are alive. Doing this is hard. But you do the hard things because they are hard. Because part of you wants you to stay home, stay in bed, stay where you are. You are fighting that person. Every day is a battle, a struggle, and momentum carries you forward. The struggle will not get easier, it will not subside.

The struggle is a part of life. So get up and get after it.

Biblical Leadership

I saw this 2-part question posed in a Facebook group and saved my answer. I thought I would share it here for posterity sake.

1) How does a man fulfill his role as the spiritual head of the house and in so doing provide a spiritual covering and protection over his house and family?

In order to be leaders, I think we first have to take care of ourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:21 talks that we might become the righteousness of God. 1 Timothy 6:11: But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith love, steadfastness, gentleness. Colossians 3:5 says to put to death what is earthly in us: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry. Put it to death! Just all of Colossians 3 is oozing with instruction for righteousness.

Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5 give us further instruction on how we are to treat our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Deuteronomy 6:7 says we shall teach the words of God diligently to our children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

By pursuing righteousness we set an example that our family will naturally follow (as it is God’s design). By loving our wives and children and treating them as scripture describes we create an environment where they feel love and are flooded with the word of God. Practically I feel like this involves leading my family in prayer (always), leading them in the reading of scripture (family devotions), and leading them to church for corporate worship.

2) How are we to be in the world, but not of it, excelling in the pursuit of being a good steward over the talents we have been given and being fruitful and multiplying?

Matthew 6:33 is one of my all time favorite verses. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” By seeking the kingdom of God first, we will not be ‘of the world’. By giving glory to God in all that we do we can walk in the world and not be of it.

Reconsidering Social Media

I realized as I was doing my blog migration that I’ve been social media free for over a year now. I considered it quite an accomplishment. However I recently read a blog titled ‘If we don’t engage online, we cede mindshare to others who will.’ The title pretty much sums it up. In this blog post Scott McLeod points out that by sitting out of social media we give up our voice and we allow others to fill that space.

That thought has weighed heavily on me lately. I have some personal inhibitions about rejoining social networks, mostly surrounding their design as attention stealing services. Do I knowingly join something who’s whole purpose is to steal my attention and sell my data, or do I sit on the sidelines while conversations are happening without me?

I’m not there yet, but I am reconsidering it.

Looking To 2019

Resolutions, no. Goals, meh. Plans, hardly.

As I look ahead to 2019, I’m stepping out with my head up and my eyes out. Fully embracing the moment I’m presently occupying.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:34

2018 EOY Review

I wanted to take a quick second to do a 2018 End of Year Review.

I did not publish any goals for myself this year, and I didn’t write much in general. So therefore I feel like I accomplished all my public goals! In all reality I did get my short term goals completed. I completed my desired races, reaching new distance record when I finished the Dizzy Fifties 50k at Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, AL.

I have some new projects and goals to share, but I will be writing those into a 2019 Planning post to be published soon.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Hello world!

The last time I wrote a post like this was 2015…

Hello from WordPress! In an effort to restart my online writing I plan on migrating my domain and blog to WordPress from my previous Jekyll hosted on GitHub Pages site.

For me this means a few changes:

  • Relying on faithful wordpress skills
  • I may or may not keep using Markdown
  • An effort to publish more consistently

You’ll notice the dates in the posts are quite sparse, and this is because I’ve decided to keep my personal blog personal. I’ve only imported over content with a personal slant to it and I’m leaving my professional writings elsewhere.

Quick Update

I felt like I needed to put an update here. I have not written in a long time, and right now I don’t know when I will write again.

At this current point I’m feeling like just leaving my site up here as a landing page. I suppose I’ve lost interest in the point of writing a blog.

I am still here though and I’m still available via email if you need to reach out to me.

Cheers for now.

Social Media Policy

I’ve done it. I’ve quite social media.

What started out as a time management issue (goodbye Twitter) grew into a privacy statement (goodbye Facebook) and exploded into a philosophy (goodbye Instagram).

For me it has been a transformation and required some serious introspection. I wanted to share a few thoughts I used to eventually cut the social media cord.

Acknowledge Your Weakness

One of the things I struggled with was attempting to control my usage. If I just had more discipline I could control my usage and keep it manageable. I failed at this numerous times. I eventually accepted that I can’t fully control my usage and it was best to cut it cold-turkey. I also heard an interview with David Goggins where he talked about our internal silence being lost in the noise today. I realized that even when I tried to manage my usage I was filling my downtime with social noise. Quitting social media has allowed me to rediscover my internal silence (at least after the kids goto bed).

Examine Your Motives

I always felt that Instagram was the lesser of the evils. I enjoyed viewing pictures of green gardens and outdoor scenery. However that eventually devolved into following pictures of watches, Porsche 911s (beautiful cars btw), and other material goods. While some feeds are flat out advertisements I slowly awakened to the fact that all of the feeds I was following were attempting to influence my purchasing decisions. The subtly of some of it can be amazing. When the thought of quitting all social media crept into my mind I had to stop and ask myself why I had such a hard time giving up Instagram. Why did I have such a hard time letting go? After careful examination and some hard truth I had to accept that I had a problem with materialism. I liked these “things” and they were influencing my thoughts enough that I finally had enough.

Double-Down On IRL

Maintaining real relationships in this day and age is difficult. When so many people are updating their social media feeds, no one feels the need to update people in real life. As I withdrew from social media I realized I would have to make a concerted effort if I wanted to keep in touch with friends. Instead of a passive acknowledgment of something happening in a friend’s life I feel more connected when I get updates in real life.

Quiting social media isn’t for everyone, it is definitely an alternative lifestyle in this modern age. I still keep a finger on some things but only what I can tightly control. I read blogs via RSS and Feedly. I listen to podcasts via Downcast. Though it seems that won’t last, I don’t understand why people feel the need to release a 2+ hour podcast. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I rely more on email now. I feel it is a good direct messaging method. However, nothing beats good ol’ fashioned fellowship.

What I can say, and I strongly urge you to do is that if you’ve felt the desire or the idea has ever crossed your mind then take action. Don’t hesitate.

Control Your Schedule

Lately I have noticed the busy feeling creeping back into my life. It is a feeling of helplessness. I define busyness as a reactionary state which does not allow for creative control of your life. Busyness and productivity are not mutually exclusive. You can be productive and busy, or you can be productive and in control.

When I feel that busyness creeping in, I can almost always trace it back to a decision I recently made to break a few of my own key rules. I’ve developed these personal rules in an attempt to control busyness from overtaking my life.

Group your tasks.

When I have repetitive tasks that come at irregular intervals I make every attempt to make a note of them and complete them together at a set time. Instead of submitting paperwork every time I request comes in, I make a list of my paperwork tasks and I complete all that paperwork in one sitting on Tuesday mornings. This helps me to feel that I’m not constantly submitting these little forms, but instead I can control when I complete those tasks.

Control your workload.

I have a job, specifically an 8-5 with occasional after-hours work requirements. Without a career change I cannot directly control this. While I can talk to my manager if I feel overwhelmed, I rarely find that to be necessary. However I am human and I am singular. We have to be aware of our entire workload, not just what comes in from 8-5. Too many side projects or external obligations can lead to a loss of control over your schedule.

Turn off the notifications.

Turning off my Outlook notifications was probably the single best thing I’ve done for my career. When I set out working on a task I can focus fully on that task until it is complete. The emails can be addresses as soon as I’m done, and if it were important enough they would call. If you keep a phone next to you during work, this should definitely extend to your social media notifications. Or you could just quit social media all together.

Decompress.

Sometimes busyness is just a feeling that can be overcome. When you have a crazy day at work it can help to just unwind. Rock out on the drive home, listen to a podcast, take a walk outside, read a book, write in a journal. By doing something that you choose, you are exerting some control over your schedule and this can change your outlook on an entire day.

I can tell that my recent busyness has come about by failing to control my workload. Too many home projects has led to what feels like a never ending work cycle. I will be making changes to block off down time for things that bring me happiness. I find it unfortunate when people complain about being busy, if you are struggling with busyness try implementing some of these rules, or make up you own.

Happy New Year

Well it’s that time of the year. 2017 has arrived and I’m obliged to write a post apologizing for last years blogging performance. I should also state my grand expectations for the new year. I’ll do better. I promise.

In all honestly I have written as much as I wish. I’m starting to realize the value of writing as a way to relieve stress. I will probably start journaling this year. I’ve been going through some serious internal debate regarding the best outlet for journals. I’ve been looking at DayOneJrnl.sh, and good old fashion pen and paper. We will see where that goes.

I’m also ready to officially call myself a minimalist. I’ve embraced minimalism is all facets of life: material possesions, time and attention, and also digital consumption. I see minimalism at its roots a thought process to think hard about the things that add value to my life, thereby eliminating the things which do not add value. It is definetly a process and if you took a look at my house or office today it wouldn’t scream minimalist. I did throw away a large amount of junk from our attic over the Christmas/New Years holiday. You can expect to see some minimalist related blog posts in the future.

As for things to come I’m strongly considering completely splitting my technical articles into another blog site. I really do hate to clog up my RSS feed with personal blog posts. Going back to wordpress would be good because I can more easily manage media (such as screenshots) within the blog. Though I’ve really started to enjoy the markdown and folder structure of Jekyll/GitHub pages.

Well, Cheers to 2017!