Frankenstein’s Words

>Frankensteinphoto © 2009 Diego Torres Silvestre | more info (via: Wylio)

Perhaps you are familiar with the tale of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. At its heart it’s a tale of a man playing God, bringing life to lifelessness.

I didn’t do that. But I did make a monster. Have you been there? Thought what you were doing was cool? Had it turn out completely other than you expected?

Aye, there’s the rub: I’m not sure what I expected when I turned my wife onto Words With Friends, but I managed to create a word monster. Here’s a woman who had previously played no games on her iPhone now playing about fifteen at a time!

Like Victor Frankenstein, I feel responsible for her newfound addiction, but like Mr. Furious in the awesomely funny Mystery Men, am strangely impotent in combating it.

Because the truth is: I play, too.

I’m just as hooked!

Nietzsche was right: if one looks long into the Words, the Words look right back!

Is there a “Words With Friends” Anonymous I can call?

How about you? Do you play WwF? If so, what’s your screen name…

No, bad Chad! Must. Stop. Multiplying. Games.

What have you done to break your “addictions?” Or have you?

Life and Art: It Didn’t Start Out This Way

>Dream!photo © 2008 Melody Campbell | more info (via: Wylio)

This isn’t my dream. I fell into it somewhere along the way. Oh, I know how it happened, but it’s not what I always wanted to do. Not by a long shot. Fifty years from now, who’s going to remember “that time” I fixed their computer? I didn’t set out to be a tech, to be so enamored of gizmos, but that’s how it worked out. I imagine any number of things would’ve “worked out” had I gone in a different direction. But I didn’t.

So, yes, I’m good with computers. But my field is transitioning away from support into something else, and I fear I’ll be left behind, a relic of a bygone era. Yet, I’m not sure investing in further training would be the right thing for me, as–thankful as I am to have a well-paying job–it’s not what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I’m struggling to find the significance in it. Yet, to remain has its appeal: a retirement package. And it finances the life I share with my family.

As Jon Acuff has so aptly said, I need to fall in like with a job I don’t love. But this is really a good place to be. There is great potential for meaningful interactions, potential to impact lives with the grace of God.

Maybe it’s a condition brought on by middle age, or perhaps even by the Lord, but I’m trying to find my place in the world. Trying, and floundering a bit. Sure, I have a platform with this blog, but my content is–as my name (“RandomlyChad”) suggests–somewhat random. I’ve been advised to find a focus, search out the posts that I’ve most enjoyed writing, and expend my efforts there. Or as Jackie Chan, as Mr. Han, said in The Karate Kid, “Your focus needs more focus.”

I’m not sure my mind works that way. What I lack in focus, I gain in freedom. I’m free to write about whatever I want. Now his may keep my readership small, but it may be a sacrifice worth making. And coupled with the fact that I do indeed have a day job, I’m not dependent on my writing for income. There’s freedom in that, too: I’m free to say what I want without fear of repercussion. As Acuff has also said, I’m free to “stay dangerous.” I’m not writing for anyone so much as me.

Sure, I’ve guest posted on other blogs, tailored my voice to another’s format, but it’s still my voice. (I’ve learned–the slow, hard way–that there’s no leveling up here: one has to put in the work to earn the trust). Interestingly, my reach seems to be growing organically. And you know what they say: slow and steady wins the race. As much this slowness used to bother me, I appreciate it now; as an introverted soul, it’s much better for me this way. I can adjust to the success as it comes.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever be a “Quitter” in the Acuffian sense, but I have a job that supports my art, and that art in turn brings some support to my life. It explains, illuminates, illustrates, that life. And I’m both blessed, and content, to be in that place.

Thank-you for reading!

What supports your art, and indeed, your life?

Speed Bumps on the "Roamin’s" Road

>petting zoophoto © 2006 stu_spivack | more info (via: Wylio)

Perhaps you are like me, and attend a megachuch. Some are good, some are bad, and some are like going to church at the Gap. Mine is one of the good ones, pastored by a wonderful godly man.

Because of its size, the junior, and senior, high services meet at different times, and so we attend on Saturday evenings. This took some getting used to, but it’s nice having Sundays be our Sabbath day.

Be that as it may, this past Saturday we were graced with a great guest speaker, Robert Barriger, who taught a message based on his book, Honor Found, and a kickin’ illustrated sermon on the Romans Road.

Yes, you read that right: we were treated to two messages on Saturday evening. If you’re a Christian, you know that the Romans Road is a method of explaining God’s plan of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans.

Only the kids sitting near us must’ve misunderstood, and thought it was the Book of “Roamin’s.”

Because his hands were roamin’ all over her! In church! I mean silly me–I thought it was May, not Easter, or Christmas, when they bring out the animals for the pageant, and parade them through the church. Guess I was wrong: ’cause it was a real pettin’ zoo in the pew! If you know what I mean…

The real irony in all this? Because I was so engaged in listening to, and taking notes about, the actual message, I missed out on the far more entertaining visual sermon. It’s a function of my introversion: this ability to focus. I wish my wife had pointed it out to me during service, instead of telling me afterwards. ‘Cause if they’d been adults, how awesome would it have been to say to someone, in church, “Get a room?” As it was, I think I would’ve said “Where are your parents? Did you know it’s not cool snogging during service?”

But I didn’t–because I didn’t know. More’s the pity.

What would you have done in a similar situation? Or what have you done?
Please share in the comments.

Guest Posting today on Adam McHugh’s Blog, the Introverted Church

>How to Care for Introvertsphoto © 2011 Heather T | more info (via: Wylio)

I am so thankful for the connections that the Internet, and blogging, have afforded me. Among those, and indeed the most recent, is with Presbyterian minister, and introvert, Adam McHugh. He is the author of the stellar book, Introverts in the Church. I highly recommend that you check it out.

Recently, Mr. McHugh interviewed author Jason Boyett about the effects his introversion has had on his faith journey. From this came numerous comments from introverted parents; so many, that McHugh, despite not being a parent himself, decided to spend a week hosting a series of guest posts from introverted parents. To which I have the distinct privilege of contributing (from reading this blog, you may be surprised to learn that, in fact, I am an introvert. All I can say is that writing is decidedly different from speaking, and no, I definitely do not wear my heart on my sleeve in real life. This blog is a reflection of my interior life).

Following is a portion of my post:

Coupled with my sinful nature, being an introverted parent leaves me
feeling nothing so much as guilt. I feel guilty when I take time to be by
myself, because it’s not always at an opportune time for my wife, or kids.
But the fact is, at least during the week, I’ve been at my job all day, been
engaging in “functional extroversion.” Though ostensibly my work is with
technology, it’s really in customer service–thus I must be amiable,
friendly, “chatty” throughout the day. I’m no less than exhausted when I get home. I find that I must retreat, must do something to replenish my mental and emotional stores. So it is that, because we have no office in our home, I sequester myself in the bathroom. It’s the one place where, mostly, I
won’t be bothered. This however does not keep my heart from feeling pangs of guilt when my children knock at the door, begging for my attention. It hurts me, it hurts them, but right then I literally have nothing to give. Not a
thing.

Please head over to Adams’s blog, the Introverted Church, to read the rest.

Thank-you so much for reading, and for your support: it has meant the world to me.

God bless,

Chad

Sunday Shares

>Bla-bla List: Share listphoto © 2006 JW_00000 | more info (via: Wylio)

This week, I have by turns been challenged, chastened, inspired, awed, and not a little jealous (in no particular order) of the following:

Caleb Wilde is a funeral director in Pennsylvania, and blogs at Confessions of a Funeral Director. It’s an awesome blog by an introverted guy writing on the intersection of life, death, and eternity (sometimes quite snarkily). Check him out.

Shawn Smucker is one my new favorites; he blogs at ShawnSmucker.com. His post on What My Eastern-Religion-Leaning Friend Taught Me About Being a Christian was particularly challenging to me.

Ben Emerson is currently engaged in one of the most audacious projects I’ve ever encountered: he’s blogging his way through the entire Bible with panache and wit. You can fine him at The Whole Dang Thing.

Andrea Cumbo blogs at AndiLit.com, and her post on Writing Is Not Lonely, But Avoiding It Is truly touched my soul.

Here are three words that may not necessarily compute, but are nonetheless true: Funny. Baptist. Pastor. Who is this? Matt Cannon, who blogs at The Seeking Pastor. He never fails to deliver the funny, while serving up some inspiration (and sometimes some conviction, too). And sometimes he gets all poemy. And it all works!

Best new blog I’ve read is that of Shanda Sargent, who blogs at The Upside Down Pastor’s Wife. Her post on the field is one of my favorites.

You should check all of these out; indeed there are many others–too many for space and time to permit.

My last recommendation is Bryan Allain’s BlogRocket, where I encountered the first four bloggers mentioned here. If you are a blogger looking to grow your platform, the Blog Rocket community is the place to be.

One last thing: Adam McHugh is running a series of guest posts this week on introverted parenting. I believe he’s kicking it off tomorrow with my post regarding my struggles as an introverted father.

Thanks for reading! Happy Lord’s day!

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