7 Quick Takes Friday

I’m trying something new, courtesy of Jennifer and a site called conversiondiary.com.  Not sure if I’ll like it, but I like it so far.


I am feeling a bit overwhelmed this week with the potential of entering into two collaborative authoring projects of completely different natures.  I’m excited, because it might help hold my feet to the fire to actually do some more focused writing.  I’m excited, because I enjoy the various people that I’d be working with.  But I’m also overwhelmed at the thought of more focused writing. 

Perhaps I need to be overwhelmed more often. 


As part of one of the aforementioned writing projects, I may be doing some spieling here on the theological concept of vocation.  It’s a classical Christian idea that has really gotten a bad shake in the last 100 years or less.  I hear people talking about trying to determine God’s will for their lives, and to follow God’s will rather than their own.  I hear a lot of angst.  I smell a lot of fear.  I taste a lot of uncertainty on conversational winds like these.  And I hope that with some frank discussion about what it means to be a child of God the Father, redeemed by God the Son and indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, some people might be able to sleep easier at night.


That being said, I really need to get into a better sleep cycle.  Late night writing – particularly on Saturday nights – sets a trend that often will keep me off balance for the next several days.  It doesn’t help that I’m a night owl with a stubborn streak who enjoys the odd hours – until I’m being awoken lovingly by my children in the wee small hours of the morning. 

I’ll go to bed as soon as I finish this entry.  Honest.


Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untruthful
Honesty is hardly every heard, and mostly what I need from you.

– Billy Joel –

Sing it man, sing it.


I hate my blog hosting service, and need to get up the chutzpah (and just the time) to migrate it to another site.  Any recommendations?  Know somebody that could make this awful thing look purty?  Honestly?


I appear to be one of the only male bloggers participating in this “Take 7” gig thus far.  I wonder if I should be questioning my masculinity?  Perhaps if I had a better hosting site, and was getting more sleep, I wouldn’t have these late night feelings of insecurity.  Honestly.

On the plus side, they mostly look like ladies that have a lot in common with my wife – stay at home moms and in several instances, home-schoolers, which we will become in the next week or two.  Woohoo!


I’m not a fan of perpetual uncertainty.  One of the hallmarks of post modernism is this notion that if truth can’t be known absolutely – or at least can’t be communicated absolutely – then the necessity of staking oneself on something pretty much evaporates.  Why go through the hassle of trying to sort through things to find out if there is truth and what it is?  Why not just remain ambivalent?  Why not have warm fuzzy inclinations that you act on in a half-hearted way when it isn’t too hard for you to do so?  Why not write about your uncertainty as though you’d really prefer to be certain, but you have no intention of making the effort to become certain?  Why risk either hot or cold when tepid is kinda comfortable? 

That’s sort of the category that this fits into.  I thought about doing a full-blown blog post on it, but realized there’s not much to respond to.  How do you respond to a non-theist who likes the idea of being a theist but apparently not enough to actually do something about it?  Like punching jell-o, or wrestling Spam, or doing cartwheels in tofu.  Honestly.  Since when is doubt the ideal?  When did Doubting Thomas become the hero instead of the obstinate skeptic or the lovable goob?  “It sure looks a lot like Jesus, and those nail marks and open wound in his side look real enough all right.  But I’m a little late for this progressive dinner I’m supposed to be going to.  I gotta go buy some ice cream or something.  Maybe spumoni.  Nice to see you again Jesus, if that’s really you.  Oh hey, can somebody unlock this door for me?”

4 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday”

  1. Judy Says:

    Cracking up over here on the “purty” problem. You’ll just love my suggestion…really…visit Cutest Blog on the Block (you can say your wife sent you, lol)…lots of free backgrounds and such to make a purty, yet manly place of your own! Do you use blogger? I find it is very “user-friendly”.WELCOME and God bless your family in your homeschooling journey! May you find many joyful, adventurous, challenging, and enriching days ahead!I offer my site: http://www.thebestofhomeschoolfaithandfamilylife.com/ We have some great pages there for those just beginning this awesome venture! I really look forward to your books! The ideas you have hinted at in your post are thought-provoking in and of themselves…let us know when we may find a finished product!I have recently published an e-book entitled “I Surrender” which you can find on the site I’ve linked above for you! And I really hope you’ll sign up for our free monthly newsletter too Paul! Get some sleep!God bless you and your family:)Judy http://benmakesten.blogspot.com/

  2. amy Says:

    Good to see some guys posting on 7 quick takes. But don’t be so harsh on the doubters, dude. Some of us are really trying, all appearances to the contrary. And could they stick another oprah.com link in that article? I’m glad I rid myself of Oprah all those years ago; I really don’t understand the phenomenon that is Oprah Winfrey.

  3. Paul Nelson Says:

    Thanks and welcome, Judy.  I know we’ll be scrambling for advice and insights as we launch our homeschooling effort.  Good grief, just picking a name for the school was traumatic enough – I can’t imagine what the actual educational process is going to be like!Actually, I’m sure it’s going to be great for all involved.  A lot of work, but then nobody gets into the parenting gig thinking it will be a good way to catch a few zzzzzz’s.Though looking around, I sometimes suspect I might be wrong on that assumption

  4. Paul Nelson Says:

    Hello and welcome, Amy!  And thank you – sometimes it’s easy to muddle true doubt and uncertainty for the decision to perpetually live in that state.  We all have moments of doubt, and Thomas was honest in his.  I think it’s instructive to see Jesus’ response to that doubt.  Jesus didn’t berate Thomas for his doubt.  He didn’t mock him.  But what He did was meet Thomas in His doubt, and demand that Thomas make up his mind.  Was Jesus for real or not?  Were those the nail marks or not?  Was Jesus dead and now alive?  Was the kingdom of heaven actually breaking into the world or not?Jesus didn’t judge Thomas for his moment of doubt, for his insistence on thinking things through.  But I think Jesus would have had some harsh words if Thomas had refused to make up his mind, had insisted on remaining in doubt, on not committing himself on the off chance that he might be wrong.  There are strong words to the professional skeptics among us (Revelation 3:14-22 comes to mind).  And from a purely intellectual standpoint, persistent uncertainty coupled with persistent refusal to explore enough to reach some sort of conclusion don’t make sense.  I’m glad that you’re trying, that you’re open, that you’re asking, that you’re seeking, that you’re knocking.  Good things have been promised to those who engage in these activities.  I believe very firmly that God the Holy Spirit will meet you in your uncertainty, lead you to God the Son who acted in space and time and history and geography to remove doubt, and in meeting Him, you will meet God the Father who Created you and has sought after you in whatever lonely places of uncertainty you may have wandered. 

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