by Tim Howington
I am a thinker. Or at least I think I am. Descartes says, “I think therefore I am”, so I guess I am. I am an engineer at heart, my degree is in computer science engineering (linear thinker, problem solver, logical and sequential). But I am also a bit of a philosopher (love to engage with the abstract and essential life questions like- who am I, where did I come from, where am I going). That combination of engineering and philosophy puts me in a spot to ponder a variety of issues and then come up with some practical solutions.
I love the Bible and theology because it holds real insight to the real issues of the world. I always find it amusing when people discount the Bible as relevant because in my experience it is the only thing that makes sense in real life. I am a self-proclaimed practical theologian which basically means that the part of theology I enjoy is the application of our theological studies in the real world.
But when a problem gets beyond my ability to solve (and that happens more than I care to admit) I begin to freeze. My thoughts become cloudy and even though I keep pondering the situation, if I am unable to come up with a solution my mind begins to panic. My strength of thinking transitions to be my worst nightmare. I now begin to think through the consequences (real and imagined). Unless I begin to focus on truth, I can allow my mind to take me to places that I have no business going. And I begin to lose the battle.
The key to winning the battle for the mind has to do with what we allow our minds to focus on. If we focus on our problems, then we will plant seeds of anxiety that will grow into a real sense of hopelessness. If we focus on what God can do, then our minds will begin to experience contentment. Now I know that our thoughts may not pay the light bill or get us that promotion or fix that fractured relationship. But thinking about the right things keeps our hearts with the right perspective, which affects our attitudes, which allows us to struggle well in times of adversity.
What should we be thinking about? Continue reading “think about such things”
Last night my son exposed me to the biggest star that science has discovered to date. The name of the star is VY Canis Majoris. Before I begin to spew my Astronomical ignorance or steal the thunder from the video we have embedded, let me just say that this star is huge. Even the name, Canis (dog) Majoris (big), implies the girth of this big dog star. The picture shows its size as compared to the earth’s orbit around the sun. I see this and all of a sudden I am struck with the immensity of our God and the finiteness of myself. Our God literally spoke a word and the universe came into play including Canis Majoris. Continue reading “Is Your God Big Enough for Your Money Troubles?”
I have a new necessity in my routine… Shave Butter. Where have you been all my life? The makers of Shave Butter say that I have been “flying blind” all these years in my shaving. And I guess that’s true because I really can’t see my face with the old traditional foams and gels. But Shave Butter is clear and it “transforms the dread of shaving into the joy of softly wiping whiskers off your face”. Lest you think I jest, this stuff is pretty cool. But it adds yet another opportunity for me to express my discontentment. What happens when my $8 container of Shave Butter disappears? Can I ever go back to plain ole gel?
The modern world we live in is full of these kinds of things. We fill our homes, our cars and our lives with things designed to make life easier and then find ourselves cluttered with stuff. Sometimes we dream of the good old days when they didn’t have 17 choices of ketchup like we do in our super-duper markets. Continue reading “What is Modern Day Contentment?”
I remember when my son studied about Johnny Appleseed in his first grade history class. Some think that Johnny was a fabled character who embodies the generous spirit of America. But, he was a real person. He was an entrepreneur type who loved his apple trees and made it his mission to plant nurseries of apple trees all over his part of the country. By the time he got through there were apple orchards all over the place. Johnny was a planter. And he spent his time and effort planting seeds that would blossom into trees that would provide sustenance to millions. Our topic today is not about agriculture but is neurological in nature. The question today is what kinds of seeds are you planting in your mind? What kinds of thoughts are consuming your days? There is a battle going on for the mind and it is being lost at the seed level. We are planting the wrong kind of seeds and therefore we are growing the wrong kind of trees. Continue reading “Managing our Minds in Tough Financial Times”