Are You Aware?

Today my bride and I made a trip to Sam’s Club. Getting into the parking lot was an experience as we had to wait for cars to move before we could even turn off the street into the parking lot. Once we parked and got inside, my wife said she wanted to look at some fuzzy house slippers to help keep her tootsies warm. Well we tried looking at them, but another lady was standing right in front of the display, and even though we were talking to each other about the house shoes, she was totally oblivious to our presence. We chose to leave and come back later, since it was obviously more important for her to make her choice than let us do likewise.

And this kind of thing happens all the time. I know it’s happened to you before, you walk into your favorite store to pick up a few items, and as you enter the doorway, the person right in front of you stops to look around and decide where they should go first. After almost running smack into them, I always think, “Are you kidding me? I mean come on, you can’t take five more steps and get out of the way of whoever might be behind you?” The trouble is, most of the time these people don’t realize there is anyone behind them, because they are not aware of their surroundings.

Now before you think this is just an old man’s rant about how people disappoint him in every day life, let me say I understand a lot of times why people do things like this, and I’m always gracious to them (at least out loud, inside my mind may be a different story). We live in a society where it’s all about “me” and what “I need”. It’s been going on a long time, ever since Burger King started telling us we could have it “our way”. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of those around us.

I’m not talking about letting people walk all over you, but being aware of the bigger picture. Sometimes this involves me letting someone into traffic instead of forcing them to wait. I mean if I let someone in front of me, does it really take that much time off of my busy schedule? No. So I arrive at my destination thirty seconds later, it will be alright. None of us are truly in that big of a hurry.

I leave at 5:30 AM for work every day. Maybe a minute or two faster or slower, but always around the same time. For a week, there was a pickup who was also leaving at the same time. This particular truck always drove five to ten miles an hour under the posted speed limit; usually because of paying more attention to a cell phone than the signs. I found myself getting aggravated every time I would see the pickup, but then I decided what did it really matter? I mean it caused me to get to work two minutes later than I was accustomed too, but I was still on time, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

If it really bothered me that bad, I could have left five minutes earlier. But allowing this person to get me aggravated, only hurt me, I’m pretty sure they never even knew and it didn’t bother them at all. There was a choice for me to make every morning; get aggravated and say things I probably shouldn’t, get all worked up and make my blood pressure rise, with no resolution anyway, or I could just let it go and stay calm and collected. Well I opted to stay calm and truthfully, didn’t see the truck any more after about a week.

There is an old saying which goes, you can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair. What this means is there are some things which are out of your control, and there is nothing you can do about them, but the things which you can control, these you need to. I couldn’t keep the truck from leaving at the same time as me, but I could control how I would react to it. This is what it really means to be self aware.

Next time you feel the need to get aggravated or upset at something going on in your life, ask yourself, is this a bird flying over my head, or one trying to build a nest. Then fix the situation accordingly. You got this!

For the Kingdom and the King, shalom!

Stop Beating Them Up

I feel I should start this out with a disclaimer. For most of my life, I have been misunderstood more often than not. I’m not a mean person by nature, I just tend to say what I think quite often without really taking into consideration the thoughts and feelings of others. This is not to say I don’t care about them, because I really do, it’s just in my rush to help people a lot of times my abruptness can come across as mean or uncaring. Honestly whenever someone has called me out because of this type of behavior, I’m always amazed at how I’ve been misunderstood.

Having said this, let me start right here from the get go and say, I’m not out to hurt you or make you feel like less than a person, I really am writing today to help you. I believe if you read my post in the spirit in which it is intended and evaluate yourself, you will be able to see some personal growth in your life. What I’m not saying is I know it all and you don’t, I am constantly learning every day and working to improve myself too, so let’s begin.

I won’t make any bones about it, I’m a born again, Jesus believing, Bible reading Christian and I’m not ashamed to admit it. What I am ashamed of is some of the people who also call themselves Christians and their inability to act decent to people; both Christian and sinner alike. You know the type, they are quick to give you a judgmental glance if you don’t do everything exactly like they do, or talk about something in which they disapproves. And I’m not just talking about they way they respond to people who have yet to believe in Jesus, they’re just as bad when they interact with fellow Christians.

There is a story in the Bible about a godly man named Job who entered into a season of his life where bad things were happening all around him; he lost his kids, his money and his health. Some of his friends came to visit, and by the end of their conversation,  everything was his fault and this is why he was in the state he was in. I’ve met too many Christians who are just like Job’s friends. Some situation arises regarding your health, family, finances, or whatever and they are quick to ask you how your prayer life is, or if you are reading your Bible and praying every day? As if it’s something you’re doing or not doing which has caused the situation. Don’t get me wrong, we can allow sin into our lives and the consequences attached to it can hinder our lives, but not everything that happens in our lives is because of what we do or don’t do.

The thing which irritates me more than anything is someone who sees a fellow Christian struggling and then begins to beat them over the head with their Bible. Not in the literal sense, but they quote Scripture as if it were a club, trying to knock some sense into them I guess. And before you blast me, in my younger days I also did this. I’ve since learned to discern what the person needs and then give this to them. Sometimes they need to hear Scripture, other times they just need to be heard. Learning how to understand what they need is a greater gift than knowing everything about the Bible and yet being unable to connect with the person. It’s cliche to say it, but it’s true, “People don’t care what you know until they know you care.”

In Hebrews 4:12 it calls God’s Word a two edged sword. One translation actually says God’s Word is like a surgeon’s scalpel. A scalpel must be used with great skill, it’s not meant to be used as a blunt object, it must be used with finesse, only then will it bring the healing the person needs.  So let’s lay down our clubs and begin to work at truly helping others, by giving them what they need and not what we think they need.

For the King and the Kingdom!

Are You Itchin’ For A Fight?

I never was a fighter; oh, I was a talker alright and it’s a wonder I never got into fights. But as much as I was able to trash-talk, I was even better at talking myself out of a fight. I remember this one time when I was seventeen and had a flat on my car. I drove it to a full service gas station and asked the guy if he could fix my tire while I was at work.  “No problem boss, it’ll be done before you get off of work.” Leaving it with him, I rode on into work with my dad.

It was an uneventful day at the shoe store and as quitting time got closer, I decided to call the mechanic and see if my tire had been fixed. After several rings, he finally picked up and telling him who I was, I asked if my car was ready. He replied no and he had been extraordinarily busy and hadn’t got around to it yet. Not liking what I heard I said, “What kind of inbred so and so can’t get a tire fixed in eight hours?” His reply was, “The kind that is going to kick your butt when he sees you.”

Well there was no booty beating that day, instead, I slunk in apologetically and taking my keys left the gas station never to return again. I learned a valuable lesson that day; some things are better off left unsaid. I wish I could say this has always been the case with me since then, but alas my mouth has gotten me into more trouble than I’d like to admit.

I’ve been thinking about the times we live in and it seems everybody is ready to fight at the drop of the hat; and most times they are the ones dropping the hat. There’s this guy I know who by all appearances lives for the opportunity to fight. All it takes is for someone to just look at him funny and he’s all up in their business, giving them the what for. Whenever I hear him ranting about these people it always makes me scratch my head in wonder.

I guess since my altercation with the mechanic back in my youth, I have tried to live peaceably with all men. It takes a lot for me to lose my cool with someone and want to have words with them now. Honestly for me it’s a control issue. I don’t like to be out of control; mainly because when this happens, stupid things usually are the end result. And when I think about how quickly people are willing to fight instead of working things out, it makes me wonder what is so bad in their lives they go there so fast?

And this is the bottom line about people who are quick to fight; they have some issues they haven’t dealt with, or in some cases don’t even realize they have and it comes out through confrontation. Most situations can be fixed with a little bit of understanding and grace. Funny thing is most of the time people who are unwilling to offer grace are the ones who need it the most. They are too concerned with themselves and the perceived slight they feel is leveled against them that they are unable to see where the other person is coming from.

Sometimes I think people are just having a bad day and really aren’t trying to be hard to get along with. But if you’re itchin’ for a fight, you won’t care what’s going on in the other person’s life, you’ll just see them as someone who is trying to get the best of you. And instead of letting that happen, you will attack first and ask questions later.

I think we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt first; believing the best until proven otherwise. If we’d all do this, then maybe we could make this world a little better place.

Sex

Sex.  This one little word has more power than just about any other.  It has set kingdoms on fire, toppled powerful men and has captured the minds of every boy once entering puberty.  It’s been described as dirty, only to be used for procreating and makes people feel uncomfortable when it is discussed in a group setting.

Before I was married, my knowledge of this subject came mostly from the movies I watched.  Oh, there was that one time when my mom handed me a pamphlet about it.  Can anyone say awkward?  Most of the movies I watched drove home this thought; women are as horny as men, and they want to have sex just as badly as men do.

My actual experience has taught me differently.  Obviously I’m speaking in general terms here, I’m sure there are a few women out there who like sex as much as men, but for the sake of this blog we will assume most women are not this way.

My knowledge about sex when I got married was you slide tab A into slot B as many times as possible until you got a release.  No one ever told me slot B should be experiencing a release as well.  A friend gave me some advice which helped me as a young married man, and continues to this day, he told me, “David, make sure momma gets her cookies before you do.”  What this means is don’t just hop on, finish and then hop off.  If you are not bringing your wife to orgasm every time, then perhaps you need to rethink your strategy here.  Sex should be pleasurable for both of you.

What I’m not going to do is tell you what you should do; sex will be different for every couple.  What works for me and my bride may not work for you and yours.  The main thing here is you should be looking for ways to satisfy her before satisfying yourself.

You should never compare your sex life with other couples, and you really shouldn’t talk about your sex life (in detail) with other guys.  One thing I’ve learned from listening to men talk is they will lie about their sex life.  They will lie about the frequency, what she does and where they do it, usually anything to make themselves look better.

Sex with your wife is a special thing; one which should be only between the two of you.  If you talk about her in front of others, it disrespects her.  And if she happens to be there when you are talking about your sex life with others, it can embarrass her.  The only time you should talk about your sex life is when she has given you permission and you are trying to help another couple.  And then keep it simple; again don’t really go into detail.

A lot of guys who have talked to me tell me their sex life is nonexistent; maybe anniversaries, birthdays, or some other special occasion, which is sad.  I once heard a guy say he bought a years supply of condoms and it was a 12 pack; I thought to myself, “Wow poor guy”.

Maybe your sex life is like this, with a lack of frequency. My first question would be how are you treating your bride.  Are you helping out around the house, or with the kids, or do you roll over at night, nudge her and say, “Hey, wanna do it?”  Don’t be a gorilla, be tender with her and help out around the house.  Take out the trash without being told to, talk nice to her and give her a hug or foot rub without any strings attached.

After she’s had a hard day; send her out to get coffee with some friends while you stay home and take care of the kids for the evening.  When you do these kinds of things, she will notice and it will pay you huge dividends later.

One last thought here, if you have not been doing things like this to love her before having sex with her, don’t expect the first time you do it for her to strip off her clothes and attack you.  It may take time and effort on your part.  Don’t quit just because you don’t see results right away.  She may be watching to see if this is just another ploy for you to get into her pants.

If this is your only motivation for making changes, you will never see a great sex life in your future.  Believe me, a great sex life in marriage is possible, but it does take consistent effort and work from you.  Do this however, and it won’t be long before you’ll be sliding your tab into her slot.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Done Made Me Mad This Morning

Have you ever had one of those days at work? You know the type; you get up and your day is going great and everything, then something happens and the proverbial shit hits the fan. Before you know it, your great day goes to hell in a handbasket and you didn’t even see it coming. Yesterday was one of those days for me, let me tell you about it and what I learned from it.

I seem to have inadvertently made someone angry yesterday morning. Funny thing about it is, I had no clue I’d done anything wrong, or for that matter even what my crime was. 

As I went to the wash bay to find out what the problem was, it was brought to my attention that while I was washing out some pipe we had loaded on a truck earlier, the rust and dirt from inside the pipe had completely covered one of our loaders in the debris.

At the time I was just trying to get my job done and had no clue what had happened. Once I realized what I’d done, I set about to rectify the situation. I’m not sure why I was getting a cussing to go along with it; after all it was just an honest mistake and I jumped right in to rectify the problem.

My first reaction was to rail back and act a fool about this injustice in my life, but instead decided to take it like a man and just fix the situation. 

As I’ve studied on this today; I first decided I would not let someone else’s poor attitude affect mine. I would take the high road so to speak, I didn’t do this thing maliciously, it was just an accident and accidents happen. Secondly, I’ve been working to figure out if I do things like this myself and what I can do to change this behavior too.

The bottom line was I had inconvenienced someone, which had happened because of something I did. I heard them say later in the day, “Dave done made me mad this morning.” which gave me a chuckle. I thought to myself after hearing this, “I didn’t make you mad, the situation presented you an opportunity to get mad and you jumped in with both feet.”

We are all going to have times where things don’t go like we want them to, but what we need to do in those moments is step outside of ourselves and look at the situations for what they are; distractions to get us off of our game and make our days worse. If we will stop, take a breath and face the challenge with a better outlook, it will not only shock those around us who don’t do this, it will cause us to rise to the top and make our days so much better.

No one can make you mad, you may be presented with an opportunity to get mad, but the bottom line is this; if you get mad, it’s because you chose to.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.

 

The Beast Known as Lust

Opening a web browser on his phone and selecting a search engine, Sean typed in the words “”naked girl”, and waited for the images to appear on his handheld device.  Rising up from the cubicle, he looked around the office once more to make sure no one was headed in his direction; satisfied, he sat back down selecting  a picture and looked at the nude image of a voluptuous red headed woman.

After a few moments, he pressed the next button and a flaxen haired beauty appeared spread eagle on a bed revealing all God had given her.  The next twenty minutes was pretty much the same, every few seconds Sean clicking to view another picture or video.  And as he continued viewing the images his desire for these girls grew and his need for sexual release became stronger.

Finally unable to take it any more, he got up from his cubicle and made his way to the men’s room.  Entering one of the stalls and locking it behind him, he took out his phone with one hand, dropped his trousers  with the other and masturbated while looking at more pictures on his phone.

Men since the dawn of time have been captivated by the sight of a naked woman’s body.  There is just something about it which drives us men crazy.  I heard a comedian say once, “If you’ve seen one boob, you want to see the rest of them.”  Go ahead and laugh, it’s funny because you know it’s true.

When I was a boy, you could look at porn if you could find someone’s stash of magazines.  But in today’s technological world all you have to have is a smart phone and you’ve got access to more images than have ever been produced in all the skin magazines made since their beginning back in 1953.

And with the advent of cell phones with internet capability, more men have lust issues than ever before.  Lust is not a new thing either; it has been around since the dawn of time.  And it’s not just bad people who are affected by it either, lust affects us all.

This desire to see a naked woman’s body is not inherently a bad thing, but if it’s not controlled it can be.  The problem is every time you look at pictures of naked women, it decreases the desire for your own wife, or it causes you to place unrealistic expectations on her.  You begin thinking to yourself about how she doesn’t do what the women you see on your phone do.  Or worse, you begin to see her only as a release for your sexual desires instead of your partner in life.

This is not to say if you’re not married you get a pass. If you indulge in porn, you will bring those unrealistic expectations with you into your marriage, and it will not enhance it, it will make it worse.

To be totally honest and transparent with you, wanting to look at porn on my phone is an issue I deal with.  The thing which has helped me steer clear of this however is I figured out what triggers me to want to go there.  And figuring out this trigger has made it easier for me to stay away.

My trigger is whenever my relationship with my bride is not in a good place, or when I’m bored.  Whenever Cheryl and I are not communicating well, or perhaps we’ve had a disagreement about something, this desire to go to porn instead of talking to her emerges.  Or if I’m sitting around not doing anything, it is easy to start randomly surfing the internet with no actual purpose.

Lust can destroy us, if we allow it.  What we have to do is take control of our lives; making the choice to steer clear of lust and all the things which take us there.  Lust in the sexual sense takes away the relationship you have with your wife, it does not increase it.  Put lust in its place, and don’t let it rule over you, and your life will be better for it.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?
 

 

 

 

Lift The Dang Seat Dude!

Here’s something which aggravates me greatly; toilet seats covered in pee. It’s completely inconsiderate of any male to think its okay to splash their urine all over the restroom facilities.  After all, we’re not dogs marking our territory.

There are worse things I guess in the world, but after visiting a public restroom recently and having to spend several minutes cleaning up after someone else before I could even do my business has left me a bit jaded.

I grew up in a household of boys and I’m pretty sure none of the four of us (my dad included in this number) gave lifting the lid much thought.  Mom let me apologize now for all those years of having to clean up after all of us. 

Once I married, it dawned on me my bride probably didn’t appreciate having to clean up after me before she could use the restroom either and I began to make sure to lift the seat and then place it back for her. I’ve been told it is a rude awakening to sit down on a toilet with the seat up and getting your toosh wet. Guys remember this it’ll make your marriage better.

The bottom line is this, it’s just rude to place your needs above those of others.  And when you pee all over the seat because you’re too lazy to lift the seat for your fellow man, maybe you should reconsider your actions. 

Do you think it’s possible the world might be a little bit better and a much more pleasant place to live if the selfish people of the world would just lift the seat first? Perhaps world peace isn’t tied to peeing all over the place, but it’s still something to think about you know.

Well now you know what I think, what do you think?