Wednesday, February 14, 2007


i was having a chatty chat with a friend today and an issue came up that i thought was quite interesting. i guess i will just let you dive into my world a bit and give the exact context of the conversation.
we were talking about Valentine's Day and how it kinda stinks to be single on a holiday that is such an in-your-face, designed-for-couples, let's-kiss-in-public-and-giggle, make-you-want-to-vomit, type of day. out of that, i mentioned that it is getting a little old at this point to not have someone to share these wonderful days with. with each passing holiday, my singleness becomes a little more painful.

now, we can go into the whole spiel about how i should be content with anything, blah, blah, blah. (i think i just "blah, blah, blahed the Bible. whoops.) well, i think i am content, but i think you can be content while still desiring something different than your current state (i.e. Paul's thorn in the flesh.)
-end sidenote-

well, on this day of roses, i found the thorn in my flesh, and i want to remove it. i want to have a girlfriend. call me shallow, call me whatever, but it is true. but this lead my brain to stumble over something else.
i have lacked discipline for a while. i addressed this in my last post. (honestly, i think my loss of desire to be disciplined was a sort of rebellion against God for the life circumstances that I didn’t exactly care for. i realize that this was wrong on many levels and have repented for it.) so, i am now on this personal journey to be a more disciplined person in all areas of my life. during this time of lacking discipline, i have been single and have been praying quite consistently for a relationship to come my way, yet with no results. so i began to wonder what the correlation between my lack of discipline and my lack of relationship was.
i do not view God as One to hold a carrot in front of my face to motivate me to change. (He knows well enough to not use vegetables to lure me, anyway.) i don't know how i feel about the notion of God "punishing" me because i am imperfect or have not reached my goal of being disciplined. but it does make me wonder if sometimes God withholds blessings from us until we are in a place that will allow us to take full advantage of them. the Psalms often use the language of "waiting on the Lord." so, i wonder if God has been withholding the blessing of a relationship from me not to punish or torture me, but because in my undisciplined state, i would have not given my all to my mate or would have approached the relationship in an ungodly way.
that being said, i had another thought immediately follow. i felt compelled to check my motives in changing. after realizing this potential correlation between undisciplined steve and single steve, i want to make sure that i am becoming a more Godly person because i need to be, not so that God will give me a love connection. i do believe that any good change is ultimately good, no matter what the reason. if a guy quits using drugs to impress someone else, even with misguided motivations, quitting the use of drugs in itself is still a good thing. however, in the spiritual realm, i think we are called to more than just making changes for surface reasons. i don't want to become a more Godly person so i will be blessed or have more clout with my prayers, via James 5. i want to become a more Godly person because i know it is what i need and what i am called to be. i want to please God. and the harsh reality is that even pleasing God does not lock me into any better status of having blessings granted or prayers answered (i think Job would agree). so, i have no flashy closing or great wrap-up statement here. i really just wanted to let you inside my brain and hopefully challenge you to the same examination of your motivations for change and obedience to God.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


i love meat. it makes me happy. the smell of meat over a flame just tickles my fancy and actually cooking meat over a flame...well, it makes me feel manly. i feel like a caveman, standing over a fire i created while cooking the game i caught with my spear just after inventing the wheel...argh argh argh (that was a manly grunt, ala Tim Allen).

ok, so i don't kill anything. i go to the grocery store and buy a steak, likely from a corn-fed cow raised specifically to be killed. and i didn't invent the wheel. i can barely change a tire when it blows. actually, i didn't even start the fire (insert Billy Joel reference here), i just lit up a gas grill. also, i am slightly less hairy than a caveman. in fact, i have no leg hair at all. despite all this, just let me have my moment.
-end sidenote-

as i was saying, i just really like meat. i can't think of a time when i purposely excluded meat from my meal. chicken, steak, famous dave's beef brisket, ham, etc, etc. it is a staple for my diet and has been for as long as I can remember.

all that being said, i decided to try something that i realize is not original, nor do i believe it to elevate me to the upper echelon (don’t be impressed, i had to spell check that word) of spirituality. i have decided to only eat meat on tuesdays and thursdays. now, call me a wimp if you will, but without the use of some sort of meat patch or gum (both great ideas in my book) i don't think i could quit cold turkey (mmm...turkey). thus, a compromise. now, i may find it easier than expected and carve out (get it? carve out....) the tuesday/ thursday deal, but i want to make it a challenge i can face for now.
the catalyst behind this is that i have realized i lack discipline. there are a lot of things (learning to play guitar, writing poetry and music, honing my photography skills, reading books, exercising, loosing weight, getting my hair cut) that i want to do, and just don't. maybe i'm too tired from work. maybe i am lazy. whatever the reason, i have avoided some of these things and i want to quit neglecting them. part of the problem is that i have never had to be disciplined. i was the last child, so my parents were soft on me a bit as far as chores and such. (ask my siblings...they will go on for hours about it:) i never cared what girls thought about my appearance, and i wasn't involved in sports, so i had no external motivations to keep me in shape. spiritually, i have always been viewed as a leader, so i have bought into the lie that i am doing enough (that was painful to type, but true). so, this whole meat thing is one step towards learning the art of self-discipline.

if you would be so kind, i ask you to help me with this endeavor in a few ways.
1.) keep me accountable on this. slap the bologna out of my hand if you see it on a day that doesn't start with T.
2.) join with me in this. find something to sacrifice and fast from. be reminded during your time of sacrifice that what you are doing will be a glory to God if you allow it to be. don't just let the sacrifice stand alone, but make a concentrated effort to think about God during this time and to draw closer to Him throughout this experience.
3.) pray for me, because, as i mentioned, i really, really like meat.