Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

February 23, 2017

Day 102 – Monday Bible Study

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:57 pm

Day 102 – Monday Bible Study

Lubbock homes for sale – homes for sale in Lubbock – Corporate HousingLubbock catering  – 3D animation – All of these were certainly on my mind as well as other keyword phrases as the week officially began. I was focused on them and ready to do some work to energize them and gain some more space between these businesses and their competitors. I have to say it is nice that many of the competitors don’t use Search Engine Optimization – makes them so much more vulnerable to getting left behind. And as they fall back and my clients rise up, there is much joy to be had.

I worked hard today and took a long lunch with Melissa at this new super organic and super healthy restaurant called Freshii. It was very good and my conversation with Melissa was great. We were able to nail down our marriage date with the church (the chapel would definitely be ready in June of next year.) So, we picked the first Saturday in June and rejoiced that we had some official plans for our coming together. Melissa told me that she wanted me to take a trip with her to meet her parents who apparently are thrilled with me, even though they don’t know me. I imagine Melissa must have been talking a lot of positive stuff about me. I wanted to ask her what those things might be, but I decided I didn’t need to puff up with pride on this day. Anyway, we parted and as I went back to my work, Melissa went to take more flyers around to let people know about the upcoming Bible Study. We were going to have a dry run tonight – do some short version of it with a few others to see what they think of it. But, Melissa got called in to work this night and I wasn’t going to go into this challenge alone. I don’t know if I was clear earlier, but this Bible Study was going to be held on Monday evenings now – from 7:00 – 8:30 – junk food and sodas provided. And the book we will be studying is Ecclesiastes. Just making sure I make that clear – for myself as well as for any readers. I’m the sort who has to remind myself over and over by putting it on paper – or I totally forget.

Today’s Meditation: This was all about how people do everything to satisfy their own appetites and live meaningless lives to make money that they will not be able to take with them into the eternal realms. It seems that this is the crux of the conversations in Ecclesiastes – people could choose to do godly things but instead choose to chase temporal and useless things. The Bible makes it clear that money is a useful tool for this life, but it also says that money can become the reason why people exist. Green paper and plastic cards feed and clothe us (with God’s help) but it should never be seen as the end all of life. I have found myself giving money more power than it should have in my life at different points and I don’t want to do that again. Sure, it allowed me to buy a really cool house and it allows me to take Melissa out regularly, but it isn’t meaningful.

What do you think about money and it’s proper use?

February 16, 2017

Day 100 – Saturday the following

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:42 pm

Day 100 – Saturday the following

I purposefully chose my meditation for today because I suddenly recalled that I would be leading a Bible study on Ecclesiastes very soon. Chapter two of that book talks about how the author, Solomon, denied himself nothing that his eyes desired. I think this is a crazy hedonistic pursuit that could lead anyone astray and according to other parts of the Bible, it does lead Solomon to leave God behind in favor of the women he brought in during that time. Solomon writes that he was just trying to see if there was any meaning that comes with embracing folly and of course there was not – just like there wasn’t any meaning in anything that he pursued. This whole adventure of his – this whole grabbing up all the fun and folly – made me wonder what he expected to learn from it all. It also makes me think of how my own American culture markets this sort of life to me. I am told to eat, drink and be merry with a big house and an expensive car – to self-actualize – to live life to its fullest. I see it and feel pulled toward its tractor beam very often. I wonder what I would do if I had as much money as Solomon – would I try the same experiment? Would I survive this kind of experiment? Am I surviving this culture’s experiment? I can certainly say I catch myself always wanting more than I already have. That’s not good. I need to think more about the people around me who are truly suffering to stay alive – I rarely do.

As for my time in this short-term furnished housing suite, it was good. Melissa and I spent the day together – we ate at a Mexican food place called Montelongo’s and it was fantastic and then we prepped ourselves for afternoon church with a solid afternoon nap. We got to service early so I could talk to my church architects who were showing off more of their 3D animations today. They were in good spirits because they had just landed another project in Colorado, which happens to be growing by leaps and bounds. It’s in Colorado Springs, which is still known more for its Christian influences than for its marijuana sales. I’m sure this will be overtaken soon enough. But as for now, the church architects were all about this new sanctuary and Family Life Center in the Springs. It was good to see them so excited. They showed me their plans and renderings and it was surely impressive – much larger than the church here.

The church service itself was fairly formulaic (and I mean that in a good way). The worship team introduced a few new songs and brought in two hymns, which was shocking to me. I love hymns and I got me some. Anyway, the preacher followed them up with a rocking sermon about obeying God wholeheartedly rather than part-heartedly. He talked about how so many things vie for our heart’s attention and that we must be vigilant in our refusal of those things. I thought that this was a good lecture, especially after doing my Solomon meditation earlier. Melissa told me what she got out of it after the service was over and that was it.  I did see one of the Pre-K teachers at church again and we talked a bit about their enrollment.  She said that it was all growing very well.  I was happy to hear it.

 

Day over – a good day finished.

February 9, 2017

Day 95– Monday Mountains

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:50 pm

Day 95– Monday Mountains

Ruidoso is a cool place that I hadn’t been to in a decade or more – It’s a few days past Summer and I could feel the perfect weather of the fall season. I could feel release as soon as I entered this place – an extra shot of relaxation hit me – I didn’t know I was carrying so much stress over my Lubbock catering clients and/or my landscaping clients. I guess you have to get away to know where you really stand emotionally – I was thankful to be here and even more thankful to be here with my fiancée Melissa. Still walking with a slight limp, she was radiant and as relaxed as I was – being away from the stresses of the hospital was doing her good. Once we got to the luxury room we both were in awe of the lake view we had from the fourth floor – hand in hand, we stood there and just took a deep breath. This is what happiness feels like – in the center of God’s creation standing beside the one you love.

We ate at a fantastic place called Tina’s that served green chili tamales and the absolute best cinnamon rolls on the planet (I challenge anyone to find one better – this one had fresh bacon stuffed into it – enough said). Melissa had found this place and several other restaurants for us to try in the next day or so. I learned very quickly that we have the same tastes in food – local favorites over chain restaurants – that’s a good thing because we will be eating lots of foods together over our lives. If she liked Cheddar’s and TGIFridays over the restaurants that are local I would probably have to break up with her – or better yet just suffer with most of the rest of America. I did learn a pretty major difference between Melissa and me when we got back to the Inn of the Mountain gods – On the fifth floor, there is a good sized casino – I love to play poker and there was a really cool poker room – I wanted to play and match my skills against the players inside. Melissa was totally cool with that and she even stayed and watched over my shoulder for an hour or so as I gained chips and lost chips – up and down – thrilled and disappointed. Still, she was a trooper, but this was not her idea of a vacation. I learned that she liked to go to the pool and hot tub – I learned that she loved to just sit on the balcony and look out over the lake and into the mountains – I learned that she was big into reading books cover to cover on trips away. I love to go and do. We talked about this difference and we both decided that we would give each other room to do vacation as each of us preferred, with some good compromise built in. I won’t play poker the whole time and she won’t isolate into a deep rest the entire time. I think this was an important discovery – She is a rester and I am a doer – Once we get married we can simply switch up the locations – one for her and then the next for me – and then we can do the compromise trip after those.

Meditation: The book of James talks about how temptation links up with one’s desire and leads to destruction. I don’t want destruction. I want the opposite. But when you desire and are tempted, destruction is much harder to avoid than one would think. I have lived that out a lot in life. And with my desire on full blast around Melissa in a shared hotel room, temptation looms large. Melissa and I talked this over and we agreed that any physical touch had to be in public – no touchy in the room at all or we would end up in sorrow that we had gone too far. Sorry to those who had to be around us as we showed public displays of affection, but it was a good rule. Day two was fantastic overall. God is showing us much grace…

February 8, 2017

Day 94 – A Sunday Jump

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:00 pm

Day 94 – A Sunday Jump

The weather is getting a bit cooler and I am feeling the fall swoop in upon me – Amazingly, the pool still feels warm enough to keep me away from the dreaded Elliptical machines – I prefer to be in the water rather than on dry land swinging my arms and legs to the beat of a Spotify mix – I like the music part but there is just something about treadmill-like equipment that makes me feel like I am stuck in one spot – probably because I am stuck in one spot. Anyway, I swam this morning at my short term furnished apartment to get myself to wake up. It was an extra cool morning swim because Melissa decided to surprise me with her presence. She said she was tired of wondering what my morning workout was like – she jokingly said that if we are going to get married we need to know about our partner’s workout regime. She is a stair climber and a marvelous one to be sure. She went ahead and dove in with me and we both did the same workout. It was sort of fun to have a synchronized swimming partner. Then when we were done, Melissa surprised me again. I was going to just have a normal day of rest apart from my church architects and my Lubbock homes for sale etc., but Melissa had been surreptitiously planning a three-day and two-night getaway to Ruidoso. She was already packed and ready to go and so I excitedly got myself ready. Throw some clothes into a bag and jam together my hygiene products into a bathroom bag – ready to make this four-hour trip to the mountains. I asked her if she was trying to seduce me like Mrs. Robinson, but she denied it and scolded me for comparing her to an older woman.

On the way to Ruidoso, I let Melissa play the DJ with my large stack of compact discs – mostly Britpop and new wave 80’s. It was fun to sing as loud as we could and just let go of the world around us. After two hours of this, Melissa pulled out some cd’s that she said we should listen to so we could improve our relationship – It was a Christian book turned into a cd pack – the book is called The Love Dare and it was a national bestseller. I had heard of it from one of the administrators of the Pre-K school and I was happy that we were going to learn from it.  It was supposed to be all kinds of good. She said that she had read half of it but that she wanted us to go through it together so we could be on the same page (see what I did there). We started it and it was so good that we had to pause the cd time and time again so we could talk about what we were hearing. It was a great learning experience and it was very appropriate because we were about to be sleeping in the same room at the Inn of the Mountain gods – of course separately sleeping in two queen beds, but still in the same room in the dark. This was going to be a challenging temptation to overcome simply because we had been struggling with the right levels of physical touch pre-marriage anyway – now we would battle the temptation together. Anyway, this cd about having and showing the right kind of love was a smart buffer zone as we headed into our own pajama time.

Meditation of the day was about how God would leave the 99 sheep in the pasture just so he could retrieve the one sheep that had wandered away. I was struck by His love for each individual wanderer and the celebration that followed the finding of the sheep. I don’t want to be as dumb as a wandering sheep, but I know that “all we like sheep” end up distant from God at different times. God is a good shepherd.

My Sunday was amazing – and just in case you were wondering, Melissa and I controlled ourselves as we shared our first night together.

February 6, 2017

Day 93 – Saturday smells like Teen Spirit

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 4:29 pm

Day 93 – Saturday smells like Teen Spirit

Hit the pool at my short term furnished apartment space and then had breakfast – then I took more time on my knees to seek God. I asked for Him to open my eyes and my ears so that I could sense whatever He might be calling me into. I know that I don’t spend enough time listening to God – most of the time I am so busy telling Him about what I need and telling Him what other people in my life want/need that I don’t just shut-up and give silence to Him – or even thanksgiving. I have been rescued so many times from dumb decisions – I think some thanksgiving is in order, don’t you?

Ecclesiastes meditation: the author of the book says that he denies himself nothing that his eye desires to see if there is any meaning in folly. And knowing that this author has the bankroll to do whatever he wants to means he is not going to miss much that is available in that time and culture. Cue the hundreds of wives and concubines. Confession: Sometimes I wish I could just go to Vegas and give myself permission to indulge in every hedonistic opportunity available in that town. It’s sad to admit, but I actually have that temptation still. After all of these years of sinning and being forgiven and after being gifted with a girl like Melissa, I still entertain the worst thoughts. I wonder why? Is this just leftover temptation or am I just a wretched man who needs to see that I need a savior on an every day basis. Sometimes I scare myself…

I used this Saturday early afternoon to review the accounts I am still handling. I have been keeping pretty close attention to all of them, but it never hurts to check up on the condition of both new and old accounts. After losing that one client, I don’t want to lose anymore due to my neglect. The ones that concern me the most are the ones seeking to rank better for “church architects” (3D animation) and for “homes for sale in Lubbock.” They aren’t suffering or anything but they have so much strong competition that I don’t want to let them to be overtaken. This is where my competitive side comes in. I want to win with all of my clients because I feel like I owe it to them. They are paying good money for our services and I don’t want someone else beating them.  I am happy that my Lubbock landscaping group is flourishing – I tried out some new methods for them and they are paying off – I will use these new methods across the board and especially for those businesses mentioned above.

Melissa and I went ahead and booked our appointment with supposedly the best premarital counselor in the area. Dr. Johnson is going to put us through the paces and ask us lots of questions to challenge us. I actually look forward to having a third party to mediate between Melissa and I. It’s easy to get blinded by romance and it will be good to have someone on the outside who has years of insight. Maybe he will help us find answers to questions we have about marriage. And maybe he will know what to tell us about how to stay pure until we say “I do.” (That issue gets harder and harder every day – intimacy seems to start with the body and moves to the insides later on – Lord, help us not to blow this.)

That’s all I’ve got to report on today – Oh, I forgot about church – I’ll tell about it next journal.

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