TGIF

Yay!  It’s Friday!

This looks to be a nice weekend.  Nothing real exciting, but the wife and I are being all cultural and stuff.  Tomorrow, we host a Bible Study, and Sunday we’re doing the Symphony.  Sheherezade…yummy.  She’s the one that told the stories in 1001 Arabian Nights.   She was a Harem Girl.  Yummm, Harem Girls….

Oops, sorry.  Anyway, it’s a bye week for the Steelers, and I sincerely hope that it will help get them back on track since they seem to have gone off the rails, off the bridge, into the canyon, and down the river with respect to getting this season off to a good start!

Have a good weekend!

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Dies the Fire

I just finished reading Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling.  Set in the same universe as his Nantucket Island series, it posits what happens when an outside event causes all electrical equipment and steam engines to stop working (it also throws Nantucket back in time). This series is set in the rest of the world in the modern day.  Everything is reduced to medieval technology.  The main characters have to learn to adapt to that world.  It’s been a good read and I will definitely read the rest of the series.

One criticism of the book made by others was that he seemed to promote Wicca and downplay Christianity.  I didn’t see any real slamming of the Christian religion, but the whole Wicca thing got tiresome after awhile.  Still, if it had been a fantasy novel using a religion like that, it wouldn’t have bothered me, so I just kinda skimmed those parts.  It IS a fiction book, after all!

Nice Guys

Back before I got married, I used to joke that I had NGB syndrome – “You’re a Really Nice Guy, but….” It’s funny, but it really isn’t if you have it.

I just finished reading a book called No More Christian Nice Guy by Paul Coughlin. Here’s a description from his website:

“His book, No More Christian Nice Guy: When Being Nice—Instead of Good—Hurts Men, Women, and Children, exposes three common forces that encourage passivity in men:

  1. A cultural prejudice that shames men for being men.
  2. A dangerous caricature of Jesus as passive, weak and robotic.
  3. Childhood difficulties that create a passive mindset that are brought into adult life, often undetected.

These forces conspire against men and ruin their lives. The psychology of passivity leads to a life controlled by fear, which shuts down our emotions. When your life is controlled by fear, you can forget about obtaining a purpose-driven life and the abundant life Jesus has to offer. Fear saps you of emotional energy and power, the very qualities necessary for romantic love, successful careers, healthy parenting, and loving God and your neighbor as yourself.

“Nice guys,” he says, are often secretive and manipulative in order to avoid conflict. Christian nice guys are pleasant, not because they care about others, but because they want others to leave them alone. Nice guys are often fearful and selfish, he says.

Our society mistakes niceness for goodness and kindness, and this is a big mistake, he says. Think of the nice people in your life? Do they do anything meaningful? They are far more interested in avoiding conflict than actually being good and helpful to others. And such people aren’t honest. When life has them down, they hide behind a deceptive smile.

No where in this book will men find an excuse to be a jerk, he says.”

I highly recommend this book – be warned that it’s targeted at a Christian audience, of course. There’s a secular book (written previously) by Paul Glover. It’s actually referenced in this book. Anyway, I learned from it – I tend to try to be nice all the time and bury hurts inside, and that causes me to be irritable at times. I need to be more assertive, not aggressive or passive. So we’ll see how it goes!

Update

Ahem….

Yes, well, that was a long break.  Sorry.

Real Life has trumped blogging for awhile.  My son has been a little sick and I’ve been pondering a lot.  Haven’t come to any answers but I’m working on it.

Anyway, Steelers won the first game of the season – Yes!  And Pitt even won too.  Gateway got crushed, though.

I’ll close there, but I plan to update more often from now on.

Holiday

Well, the Steelers lost and there’s nothing more to be said about that.  Mayor O’Connor died, a sad thing for a guy who wanted to be mayor for most of his career.  At least he died doing what he loved.

I’ve been reading voraciously lately, mostly fiction.  James Rollins is quite good.  Chris Well isn’t too bad but I think he’s trying too hard to be edgy.  The Hard Case Crime series is pretty cool, at least the covers are.  Straight pulp, but fun to read.  Now I’m reading The Slumber of Christianity by Ted Dekker.  I’ve read his fiction books and they’ve been fantastic.  This one’s non-fiction, so we’ll see how he is at it.

I’ve also been trying to spend time doing creative stuff, which I haven’t been doing for a long time.  That includes drawing and writing again.  Once we get a house, I’d like to do more craftsy things like woodworking or something.

Well, that’s all for now.  Have a blessed Sabbath!