Remote work is a mixed bag. Some aspects are wonderful. The lack of commute and extra flexibility is great. But there are drawbacks. Being remote comes with radical changes to how we communicate. Things that were effortless and unconscious in person become tiresome when we’re remote. And right now, so many of us are trying out this remote experiment together. But as time goes on, maybe the novelty is starting to wear off.
Staring at a blank screen can be scary. And writing is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It takes extended periods of concentration to write anything significant. And that's a rare commodity these days. And even if you manage to beat your attention into submission, the craft of writing is still complex. It can be tough to know where to start. What if my writing turns out to be boring? What if nobody reads it? What if people hate it? Or worse, they start reading and get so bored they quit?
What is art for? What is the point of it? It’s not like food, clothing and shelter. We don’t die without art. At least, not straight away. Take away air, or water, or food, and we die. But we seem to be able to last much longer without art. Art doesn’t appear to be essential for life. In fact, it even seems frivolous at times. Its utility is not obvious. Yet, we humans keep making it. And the better our physical needs are met, the more art we seem to make.
Have you ever visited different types of churches and listened to how they pray? Growing up, I had the privilege of visiting several churches. They were all different. And the people in them prayed with different styles.
Is it OK for a Christian to write fantasy stories? The bible is pretty clear that people should not use magic. Why would it be OK to write about magic? And isn't the whole idea of writing fantasy stories frivolous anyway? Wouldn't our time be better spent serving the poor and telling people about Jesus, or even reading the bible? I would argue that not only is it OK, but if you are a Christian with the inclination to write fantasy stories, it’s helpful if you do.
How to you make yourself do things that you don’t feel like doing? When it’s a cold winter morning and you have to get up in the dark to go to work, how do you make yourself leave the warm bed? If you’ve just started a diet, how do you resist the doughnuts your work colleague decided to share? How do you make yourself strap on the running shoes and go jogging? Doing things you don’t feel like doing is hard work---it takes willpower. But where do you get the motivation?
A friend of mine asked me for some advice before he got married. This was my response.
I really like Star Wars, and I enjoyed The Force Awakens. I think that when you dig below the surface, the ways in which it agrees and disagrees with Christianity are different from what you might expect. In the end, the Star Wars movies are just that: a bunch of movies. But, as I've said before, if we watch in the right way, movies can point us to something deeper and more meaningful—a new and better hope.
Over Easter, our pastor challenged us to live like Jesus is actually risen. Someone I know (quite rightly) asked the question “but what does that look like?” My response is that part of the answer is righteousness, but that might need some explaining.
First of all, I write this to myself as much as anybody. Now, with that said…
I am concerned about how Christianity is perceived by those who don’t call themselves ‘Christian.’ It’s not that Christians are ridiculed in the media (we’ve always been ridiculed), but rather, what people assume I mean when I call myself a Christian is so very different from what I actually mean that I’m almost hesitant to use the word.
These are some notes to myself on how I would like to approach my work, at least, an ideal for who I would like to be as a Christian web developer. I write this mostly to organise my own thoughts, but I am publishing it just in case there are others who might find it helpful.
Why would Christians watch movies at all? They are full of violence and bad language and plenty of other things we try to avoid. They are made by people who have completely different world views than our own, and disagree with most of the beliefs we hold most dear. Why would we fill our heads with all this simply for the sake of entertainment?
Why is communication so difficult?
Sometimes I will talk to somebody, and think that I’m expressing
myself really clearly when I’m not. I seem to make perfect sense. Yet
when I hear what the other person says in response, it is obvious that
they heard something quite different from what I thought I said.