Focusing on the Bigger Picture

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*Photo by Stephen Bowler (SFB579), Creative Commons

Got up this morning and drove my son out to a friend’s house. His Grandma, who normally watches him, is out of town for the next few days. Our drive was mostly quiet. I can tell that he isn’t used to being in the car for a “long” ride (more than 20 minutes). Being a former Californian, I find this amusing. After getting him all settled, I raced off to work.

Walked into work and was immediately greeted by a co-worker standing in my office. “Your filing system leaves a lot to be desired”, I was gruffly told. Well gee, thanks. He then told me that he was in a bad mood. Moments later my boss intercoms me, wants me to find some pricing book. This book could be anywhere and I hadn’t seen it. In an exasperated/pissed off tone, I was told to find the book! Thankfully five years of working here has given me the office-smarts to know where to start such searches. I found the book in moments, in a stack and in an office that it shouldn’t have been in. Crisis averted.

At home, I hold my 3 year old to a higher standard. He has been told that no matter how tired he is, that does not change the fact that he is to be obedient. I also expect him to put away his toys…so that he can find them later. Hint. Hint.

Last night I came across a verse that came to mind this morning:

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Most often it is easy to focus on what is in front of us. Whether that is a bad situation or even mood, we quickly become consumed in the now. Paul, in 2 Corinthians, reminds us to focus on the eternal and not the temporary things. A good reminder that is hard to live.

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The Red Bow

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The boy and I went on another adventure last night. Once again we fought our way through a backyard filled with scary monsters (re: trees). This time though, we came across a new nemesis, the red bow.

Looks all cute and gigantic during the day.

As we walked past the bow, which had somehow been declared a “monster bow” over the weekend, my son started firing his light-up gun at it. “I shooting the monster!” Bam. BaM. BAM! I just smiled, patted his head, and thought, “good boy”.

Stargazing

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Sundays are always long days for some reason. This past Sunday was no different from any other, except I took my son on an adventure.

The sun had long set when I asked my 3 year old if he wanted to go outside. He had been sitting on the couch playing Learning with the PooYoos on the PS3. He quickly said yes and scrambled to get his shoes on. Wanting to know what we were going to be doing, I told him that we were going on an adventure. So we grabbed our flashlights and headed out into the dark backyard.

Trees transformed into monsters; shadows danced along with the flashlights. We walked around the backyard on our adventure, checking out different nooks and crannies. It was then that I had an idea, so I ran back inside the house and grabbed the iPad.

*Photo by HubbleColor {Zolt}, Creative Commons

Coming back outside, I set a chair out in the middle of the yard and we sat and stared at the sky. I showed him where different planets were thanks to the Star Walk app. The entire time you could almost see the gears in his brain working overtime. He kept asking questions, wanting to know if we could breathe on Mars. He asked me if there were robots on Mars. I told him yes. He grew very concerned when I told him that we had left a robot or two on Mars due to their batteries dying. Later on, when we went back into the house, he asked his Mom how we could get batteries to the robots. Apparently robots are cooler than planets. I should know that.

Failure is OKAY

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A few weeks into a job, I came across a situation that was very foreign to me, verbal abuse. I don’t remember exactly what the task was, but my boss repeatedly told me that I had failed.

“This task is so easy that a third grader could do this.”

Then pointing out the window, “Do you see the Fedex person walking by? This is so easy that they could do this.”

Any sense of college optimism I had jumped out the window in that moment. Sadly, I began to let small repeated moments like those define who I am. Lies from the very pit of Hell itself.

Past failure, if we let it, can quickly become a part of our identity.

Failure is okay. I think that we have to grant ourselves the slack to fail from time-to-time. As long as we are learning from those failures, we are golden. Lies can only be exposed by truth. It is okay to fail because you will.

Shift+Enter and WordPress

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Lately I have been working on redoing some staff bio pages for the church project I am working on. One of the problems I have come across is the way WordPress drops to a new line when you press the enter key.

*Photo by Peter Løvstrøm, Creative Commons

For example, I wanted to put my pastor’s name and then his title below his name:

John Smith

Pastor

Notice that when I press enter it creates a space. This formatting issue has greatly troubled me. Made me think that I was going to have to go into the HTML coding and individually code lines or something. Instead, my good friend that is web design, Scotto, told me to press shift + enter to do single line spacing. Guess what, it works!

John Smith
Pastor

Thanks Scotto!

Assassin’s Creed III: Shifting Emotional Gears

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Note: The following contains spoilers regarding Assassin’s Creed III. Turn back now if you have yet to play this game. You will thank me. I promise.

Three hours into my Assassin’s Creed III play-through, I finally came across the emotional meat needed to sustain my gaming appetite. Up until this point, I had been playing through what I now know was a three sequence long prologue. Using Haytham Kenway as the player’s gateway into the world of ACIII was genius if not jarring. After months of seeing the protagonist Connor’s face splashed across multiple web sites and magazines, my initial reaction to Haytham was a resounding, “huh”. Why am I not playing as the awesome looking assassin on the front cover of the game? Who is “Haytham Kenway”? Time certainly did reveal that all along I was playing as both Connor’s father and as a much hated Templar–plot twist!–.

I was excited to finally play as Connor last night. His story seems to be fueled by revenge, much like Ezio’s story in ACII. How this The Patriot meets Pocahontas/The Last of the Mohicans mash-up plays out remains to be seen. I will be back.

Assassin’s Creed III Impressions

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The adventures of Haytham Kenway continued last night as I dove back into Assassin’s Creed III. During my hour play time I:

  • Accidentally fired my pistol at a British officer walking by (this did not go over well)
  • Recruited some men sympathetic to my cause
  • Killed a slave trader
  • Freed a group of Mohawk Indians
  • Met Pocahontas–I tease! Pocahontas was not a Mohawk Indian–.

Write your own caption in the comments below.

Overall, the game’s story has not been as compelling/coherent as Assassin’s Creed II so far. I am hoping that the story line soon picks up and that my $60 purchase is justified.