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read with as many grains of salt as you think necessary

I have begun to publish my Bible study notes. You can find them here, https://coyotetom.wordpress.com/bible-studies/, if that’s the kind of thing that interests you. I should update them regularly on Mondays, (except for the first Monday of every month).

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2/20/12, accidentally containing 111 words

• Love, Need, and Get are all different, separate things. It’s great when they all come together though. It’s like kids with their parents. It’s like a sinner with God.

• It’s good to stop every once in awhile and just look as far off into the distance as possible.

• We all spend a lot of time trying to impress other people. But most people would rather know someone who’s just nice.

• What happens to us that makes everything less fun when we grow up? My kids love to wash dishes and do yard work. They’re pretty terrible at it, but still.

• It’s hard to work efficiently on Saturdays.

it’s about time

I’ve been waiting for an certain email since New Year’s Eve. It finally came tonight, a rejection notice. I submit short fiction to magazines and websites occasionally. There’s a special folder in my email account where I stick the rejection notices, and a special box on my dresser for the rare physical slips. I’m collecting them. This particular one, though, I’ve been looking forward to this one more than the others. I sent it off out of boredom after spending a week in my mother-in-law’s living room noodling around with it. As time passed and my brain wondered, I became more and more certain that I’d sent the wrong story to the wrong magazine. A lot of the places that I’ve found to submit stories to have a fairly specific genre or style that they’re looking for. The magazine that I sent this one to didn’t publish the kind of story I’d sent them. And as even more time passed, I just wanted to put it up here. So, well, here it is. Within The Circle of His Arms

2/11/12

• Human Studies from Traffic Patterns at Highway 49 and Lime Kiln road: Northbound – People are selfish. Southbound – People are lazy.

• I’m beginning to understand how girls feel about shoes. I’m like that with knives and books. How can you have too many of those?

• I took this picture on 12/4/11:

I took this picture today:

Just based on the difference in bags, that means I’ve roasted a ton and a half of coffee in two months.

• I intend to start posting bible study notes in the near future, (within the next two weeks). Hold me to that, please.

• I’m pretty sure there is a correlation between how much I write, and how mentally stable I’m feeling.

Hacksaw Discipline

Many times over the course of my life, I have experienced times of prosperity. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, some happy, prosperous, fruit-bearing part of me has suddenly been taken away. Sometimes this loss was nothing more than a wave of depression, or an extended season of insomnia. Other times, I lost a more tangible part of life, like a home, or a ministry, or people. Everyone with a pulse knows how that feels: painful, like a tree losing a limb.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. – John 15:1-2 Continue reading

2/5/12

• I keep hearing these commercials on the radio, “Do you want to make a ton of money doing _____?” There have been several different versions of this commercial, all of them advertising seminars to teach people a new trade. What I don’t understand is if there is a ton of money to be made doing _____, then why is this person teaching seminars instead of just _____?

• Don’t tell me you love something if that only takes place when it’s easy.

• I have retained a few Hungarian words in my vocabulary for everyday usage. One of these words is nincs, meaning none. The most typical way this word is used around our house is when our kids ask to eat something we are out of, and I respond with, “Nincs.” Unfortunately, my son loves food so much that he now sincerely believes that nincs is a bad word.

• New tea wrapper story spanning two wrappers: 1, 2. More to come soon.

I have no idea what I’m doing

My very first interaction with a high schooler after it was announced that I was taking over the youth group went like this:
“So, you… uh… got through high school? You survived?”
“Yeah.”
“How’d you do it? What’s the trick? Do you have any advice?”

And if I’d had any lingering doubts over whether or not I was in over my head, (I had none), they immediately disappeared. What’s the trick for getting through high school? How was I supposed to know? Do I have any advice? Not really.

Then, I remembered Jeff Alaways’s tip for how to be a good coffee roaster, I prayed to God, and I opened my mouth to speak. I can’t recall what I said, but I do remember being shocked to hear that my own words were actually a good answer to the questions that had been posed to me. But right now, what you are wondering is what Jeff Alaways had to say about being a coffee roaster. And how does that have anything to do with the youth group? Well, when he told me, I thought, “That’s a good general policy for life.” Here’s what he said:

Continue reading

2/1/12 ah, symmetry

• Looking back over even my short life, I can see how the different people I was friends with made me act differently. When I hung around with complainers, I complained. When I was friends with the proud, I was proud. When I stuck with those who loved God, my love for God grew. It really is true, choosing your friends is one of the most important things you can do.

• The most tiring people for me to talk to are those who always expect me to have something sarcastic and funny to say. The only thing worse are those who lie so often that you can never be sure when they’re telling the truth.

• Recovering from being sick last week has really made me feel old, for some reason.

• Generosity is beautiful. Ingratitude is repulsive.

• It is amazing how food can so easily improve my mood.