Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's just one of those places in life where I feel like I'm spiritually down for the ten count.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I've discovered lately is that we all seem to have answers. Sometimes those answers are not really answers at all, but more like opinions.

As a professional and a believer I am trying to find that balance of ministry and professional growth. It is easy for me to be rather imbalanced concerning the matter. Christ first, indeed. But how do I use my time to maximize my overall effectiveness? I'm not talking about reading books on leadership or engaging any kind of hocus pocus fluff. I'm talking more about learning to do the things that matter. Like being a better writer and communicator for the purpose of serving others. Like managing my time better to also better serve others the Lord has placed in my life.

Bottom line is that the Bible comes first. Nothing can be said or done that contradicts the word of God and still be given quarter in my life. All must point to loving God with ALL my heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving my neighbor as myself. I am starting to think that it does not mean what I think it means. Much of what I do is under the guise of loving God, but is really selfish. I know that. Many wasted hours of nothingness come to mind.

Life is to be enjoyed, for sure, and how much better for the one who has the ability to enjoy his life to just be happy? But I can't get past the fact that while all things are permissible, not all things are beneficial. Also, what I consider "happiness" may not coincide with others' definitions. To me, happiness is chasing storms, and being lost in the wonder of its architecture. Man, I'd chase a squall line, to tell the truth. Nothing but linear junk and lots of wind and rain. But there's nothing like sitting out a major downburst in one's car (or even photographing one from a distance).

If this is what I was made to enjoy on this earth (because truly, the capacity to enjoy this is a gift from God) then I hope that all of my enjoyment flows back to God in praise.

What else makes me happy? Conversation over coffee. A good NON-fiction book (but Jenna's latest novel has definitely won me over for the time being to the value of the story). Knowing (and even the search for) the truth about something. Grasping new knowledge.

I was contemplating the general revelation that God has put on this earth for us. It is to point us to Him, and throughout recorded history we SEE that. Religions are so entwined with the earth and sky. But what is missing? There MUST be that special revelation of God through His Word.

So what am I enjoying most these days? What makes me the most happy (clearly, I reason this, because it is what I have been engaging in)? Standing firm on God's special specific revelation of Himself, looking for the general revelation He has placed in the world He created. The meaning of all things is derived from its author. From the meaning of light to the why parents look like their children.

None of this is situational. I hope that by knowing God more, searching out the truth of Who He is in scripture, I may see more clearly how He has revealed Himself in nature.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I once asked my boss what it meant to be in a recession. His answer was that we would work more for less pay. He was right on both accounts.

My goal: As much as I hate drafting, to be the best draftsman I can be.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

1. For as much as I'm disappointed with Lewis' The Abolition of Man, in that it seems to be a large bit of man-made wisdom and discusses ideas that could be more clearly derived and explained from the Bible, I am ALSO curious about the fact that not too many people DO seem to either have chests OR a standard by which to make any sort of judgment. My main contention with Lewis in this book is his lack of defense of the real truth, the only Truth. Perhaps that is yours, too. He left his readers with guilty consciences and a number of avenues by which to attempt to assuage them. I know it's a philosophy book, but they should probably erase the references to his Christianity from it.

2. I have been reading articles about the benefit of hiring an architect in order to put together a similar summary statement for the brochure I'm designing for the firm. Being fond of old things, I decided to amble through Google books' treasury of architecture magazines from the early 20th century, and I found something strikingly odd. The reason for being an architect has shifted dramatically in the last 100 years. And I began to brood (as I often do) over why this was so (I discovered the bottom line to be money, really) and whether this was "good" for the profession. I haven't found any positive reasons yet.

3. So, what does it mean to be a professional? What does it mean to be a "misfit"? Doctors are regarded as heroes when they defy conventional practice in order to save the life of their patient. Lawyers are regarded as heroes when they risk their neck (and their practice) in order to make a stand for something that is "right". And where are architects? After my (depressing) reading, I think it's safe to say we've already sold out. We're using flowery language about how we can make the world a better place through design, and we're ignoring the fact that we also have a set of professional ethics we're expected to live by to the benefit of our client. If architecture could be a man, he'd be emasculated. While I know this is a result of the fall, it's depressing to go to work in an environment where the only thing that matters is the bottom line and there is no standard of care that is encouraged and modeled.

4. If I were to try to do things differently, I think I'd make more enemies than friends. *sulk*

5. On the flip side, when reading about what it means to be a professional, I am encouraged that there ARE a lot of qualities and values that are comparable to what Christians ought to be doing. Serving. Helping. Exercising compassion. But I'm not quite sure WHOM I should be serving, because the architect/client relationship is so ambiguous. I "serve" Fairfield Residential. It's like showing compassion to an unconscious machine. I can look at it this way, though: "Marcia, you can serve your boss and coworkers". And yes, that is true; I can, I shall, and I must. But I also want to selfishly interject that this is not the reason I went to school to become a "professional." I am a professional to serve the interests of my client with a clear view to what is right and wrong.

6. I'm not knocking Lewis. I think the book came off the shelf at the right time.

7. I have a lot more to pray about now.

8. My bottom line: Titus 2:9-10 Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.