Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Don't Want to Hear It...

...but that's no excuse for having a 3-year-old-just-lost-his-favorite-toy attitude.

None of us like being corrected, or at least I know that I don't. Sometimes correction means that something I've been doing is way out of line and I really to check my heart. But other times it's simply a kind word from a dear friend telling me I need a little course correction. I know that I need others to help me stay on the straight and narrow, even though it's uncomfortable sometimes to face the fact that I've been wrong (though it really shouldn't be surprising, as it happens all the time), be it a huge log in my eye that a Brother is gently pointing out, or merely a speck
For those of you who know me, you know that I tend to over think issues, I can spend days wondering about something someone said, trying to figure out if they were simply being nice, or if they really didn't like my hair. And while it hurts to be told that I'm wrong, in hind sight I am always thankful that they were willing to take my hand and gave me the guidance that I need. But there's one thing that hurts even more than being told "you're wrong": not being told "you're wrong."

When I'm doing something that hurts others, or even simply makes them uncomfortable, like belching at the dinner table for example (though that's not a dining sin that I'm in the habit of committing, just FYI), I'd want to know. But there have been times in my life when there has been something that I was doing that did make others uncomfortable, and it was a while before anyone would tell me.

This happend to me again recently, and needless to say I was a little upset when I finally did find out. I distinctly remember thinking "why didn't they tell me!?!" and I was just starting to get upset when the Lord brought something to mind that my mom told me a year or so ago. In fact, it was shortly after writing this blog post: Would Someone Please Just Tell Me!?!. I even considered titling this entry "Please Just Tell Me!" but I realized that this title would completely miss the point that I apparently still needed to learn.

What my mom had pointed out to me so long ago, and indeed has had occasion to point out several times since (ok, a lot of times, my noggin's pretty think), was that I often don't accept correction with a Christlike attitude. For instance she said that I often argue when others correct me, and I remember getting ready to say "well that's not always true!", and that's when it hit me.  I don't have "ah ha!" moments very often, but I had one then. I had just proven to myself that mom was right (as she usually is).

It's not about others not telling me, it's about me not listening with grace and humility.

I wasn't accepting her correction with enough humility to see that she was right, or enough grace to accept her reproof with thankfulness. The fault lies completely with me. I can't complain that others didn't tell me the hard things, because I hadn't made it safe for them to do so. They weren't making life difficult for me, I was the one making life difficult for them. If I was known to accept correction and reproof with grace and humility, others probably wouldn't hesitate to help me see my flaws.

I think that two of the verses in particular that I quoted in "Would Someone Please Just Tell Me" apply to this situation quite divinely:
Proverbs 15:31: The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. 
Proverbs 15:32: He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 
Getting mad at others when they are trying to guide me is like getting mad at the messenger, it doesn't make the message untrue, but it can drive away even my closest friends. By the grace of God, I need to man up and accept responsibility for my actions, and especially when others come to point me towards Christ. After all, those are the best kinds of friends to have.

By God's grace, and with a little more humility than before,

P.S. This was post 100!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The one thing Christians should keep saying

I don't make it a habit of simply posting links to other blogs (that's what facebook and twitter are for, right?), but given the widespread popularity of the article that this blogpost is critiquing, I thought it worth re-sharing. You've all probably seen the article "The One thing Christians Should Stop Saying" floating around in your various feeds and updates.
I read it a week or so ago, and while I saw Mr. Dannemiller's point, something seemed off, like he was reacting against an improper emphasis, but in doing so swinging too far in the opposite direction. The pendulum is a very easy thing to ride, and Justine does a sound job of pointing out the error and offering correction. Head over to MI Taylor Family's blog and give "One Thing Christians Should Keep Saying" a read, and drop a comment over there if you feel so inclined.


Paul Leavitt Photography

As promised, here's one of the updates that I'd like to update y'all on: I have a website! It has an extremely creative and original title, so clever that no one else on the internet had ever thought of it (so the domain was available)! It's paulleavittphotography.com

Ok, so I suppose it's not super creative, but it does the job, and it's name recognition. Anyway, I'm going to try to be updating it at least once a month with some new photos, and I'm kicking around the idea of starting a blog section of the website to include projects that I've worked on, and possibly tips and tricks. Thoughts?

And just for good measure, here's a a slightly HDR'd photo of the Yaquina Bay Bridge that I took yesterday while on vacation in Newport.

Yaquina Bay Bridge, March 9, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I'm Back!

Four-hundred and seventy days since I last posted. I'd say that's a long enough break.

But It's time to break the silence, and I'm reentering the blogosphere! I'm not entirely sure what the tenor of my blog will be now, by the grace of God, I'm not the same person I was a year and a quarter ago, and hopefully that will be reflected in my writing. But here's one of the main realizations that I had sometime last year, which I think will impact my blogging significantly:

Longer isn't inherently better.

Really, it's not. Now normally I'd be one of the first to say that Twitter, with it's 140 character limit, is dumbing us down, and reducing our attention spans, and that rather than reading what a bunch of twits have tweeted (and I say that in the most loving way), you should be reading a book, and preferably one that's at least 500 pages long. But sometime last year the Lord showed me that I was not only being hypocritical (because I'm not reading any 500+ page books right now either), but that there is a place for short thoughts. I follow a number of blogs, and I must confess that when a post is more than one or two thousand words, I start skimming. Not that there's anything at all wrong with long blog posts, but if I'm going to devote that much time to reading, I should be working through a book, especially since I have often lamented my lack of time for reading books.
It was this perspective, that longer is better, that I think partially contributed to my blogging stasis. I kept waiting until I had a long post to write, but even when I did, I usually didn't have time to sit down and write. So it never happened, and eventually I simply fell out of the habit of writing.
Also contributing to my return is a number of close friends (you know who you are, thanks!) who have all encouraged me to start writing again. I've taken two college writing classes in the last year, and I don't want my new found (though still rough) skills as a writer to deteriorate.

So with their encouragement and new found purpose, I plan on blogging again, and hopefully with more regularity than in times past. There are a couple of other things that have developed in the last couple of months that I'd like to tell you all about, so stay tuned.

In Christ,


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