Category Archives: Self-esteem

Realting to personal thoughts and feelings of self-worth, or worthiness.

10 Things Not to Say at an Interview

(photo: "Don't touch the hair of a prospective boss!")

A very long interview reminded me of how stressful they can seem.

With so many people looking for work and too few jobs, it’s no wonder people make mistakes during an interview.

•Don’t let panic strike you, especially if you have a weak bladder.
•Don’t say anything that pops into your head, even if it seems funny.
•A case of the nerves can make you think of super funny things to say that are actually inappropriate, and you might not really realize that until later.
•If you’re nervous, calm yourself with a mantrum (MAUN-trum), but don’t say it out loud, especially while rocking back and forth. Also, settle for decaf. I mean that.

Here are some great things to not say during your interview:

10. “You can’t call my references because they all have died…rather suddenly.”

9. “Why do your eyes tell me I have the job, but they also say, ‘stay away from dairy’?”

8. “You look almost exactly like the pedophile that lives down the street from me. You must be related. Do you know Chester the Child Moles…oh wait, that’s not his real name .”

7. “I’ve said it a thousand times, ‘Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. Hate me because I’m much smarter than you’.”

6. “Oh, I’m sorry; that hair was impossibly long. I didn’t think is was connected.” (based on an actual conversation, but not one of mine)

5. “What is your policy about smoking pot in the office?”

4. “I have this crazy feeling we’ve met. Were you ever a little smellier and homeless?”

3. “Pull my finger. No seriously, this is hilarious.”

2. “Gosh, I haven’t been asked that since my last DUI.”

1. “Oh, yeah, I’m going to love your office, once your gone… and I know what you’re thinking! Of course I’ll repaint it.”

Now it’s your turn: What are some other things not to say?

Get creative!

(Change the channel or take a walk?) “The Show About Me” (part 2)

One of the most common responses people have when they get fed up with the re-runs of living their own small show is that they try to flip to a different channel. That is, they somehow realize a kind of radical change in life is necessary, so they try to re-make themselves.

Perhaps they start a new relationship, change careers, adopt a baby, buy a vehicle or expensive toy, go back to school, get plastic surgery, switch churches, move away, or in some way try to live out a better story. You’ve probably tried it, I know I have.

Maybe a person gets into religion, or he gets away from it. Maybe they start to need anti-depressants or anti-anxeity medication. Some abuse substances or live more dangerously. Something just seems wrong–and one tries to fix it.

Plenty of the time, these efforts do bring some distraction and change, and therefore a certain kind of freedom or renewal is felt (at least for a bit); but down deep, nothing important has changed at all. After a little while, the person still feels frustrated or undone. (Or something else unpleasant.) The channel may have changed, but what is lived out is just a Spin-off of “The Show About Me”. Sadly, very few fully realize that their perceptive, and how they live out reality, is fairly the same even after a massive change. The same troubles will assail them, in some way. However, the baggage gets heavier.

Our Creator is the true center of the Show (not us). The Supreme Being is irresistibly calling out, wooing us, and our thirst deepens.

It’s a fact that when a person is too dehydrated they may actually stop craving what they truly need-water/hydration and replenishment of nutrients. They may feel tired, ill, hungry, or numb, instead of thirsty. In an ironic twist, the person doesn’t desire what will make them healthy again. It’s a perilous situation. Without help, people die this way.

This kind of confusion happens spiritually too. Often, in fact. A common (household) term often used for what turns out to be a spiritual problem like this is most often called a “midlife crisis” or sometimes an “identity crisis.” It’s common for people to get a point where they need to “find themselves,” or re-define themselves, sometimes multiple times throughout one’s life. This “want to” to change is healthy, though many times misread. An identity shift like this may happen once or several times in one’s life where a person tries hard to better one’s circumstances, and find relief.

If you haven’t enter a stage like this yourself, I’m sure you can think of someone who has. For instance, in the last 18 months seven marriages at our church have spun out of control or failed. I believe a misunderstanding of this spiritual opportunity is a big reason why.

What must happen to be truly free, and on a full path to growth? Something more like a walk has to happen rather than a small show we create. A walk with God and changing one’s perspective to surrender to God and “his” Big Show (the authentic one “Reality”) is a path few take, or attempt for all that long. It just isn’t a simple or smooth road. It is a mysterious, sometimes troubling one, where the answers are rarely simple or pat. This is the path of faith (believing in what you can’t see, but still know is quite real). Sometimes changing the channel, multiple times, seems like the only sensible thing to do. The negative part is that we only get more of the same when we do that. It’s still our story we want to control, and our story stays small and frustrating.

As many who have done the enormous personal work to recover from drugs or alcohol can attest, one usually has to hit “rock bottom,” (or be fully ready), before surrender to a new, and bigger Show occurs (a life centered in God’s Reality). It all starts by doing something very rare and counter-intuitive. It’s something we all fear: Losing control and Humbly yielding to the Higher Power, and admitting that without grace, and true dependence on God and others, a better way cannot be possible. Perhaps the scripture comes to mind, …”if you try to save your life, you’ll lose it. But if you lose your life (yourself) for my sake, you will find it…”

In contrast, we wish to be self-made.… yet, only a small show about “me” is self-made. Transformation, growth, and sturdy happiness (joy) comes instead through the bravery of surrender to the greater Reality, and taking the more treacherous but rewarding path that comes with this decision.

In part III installment on this topic, I’ll mention some things that happen once this pivotal choice is made. A person’s attitude and outlook change; and how one orders one’s life undergoes critical and unavoidable development with radical shifts in thinking, acting, and relating to others–for the better! We’re talking here about spiritual formation.

I’ll describe that a bit more, soon, in part III. Check back in the next few days and see.

This is a lot to chew on, especially if this is a new concept, and you’ve never encountered these ideas before. Some people call it “being born again”…. and in a real sense, a new life starts for the person who is ready: A whole new life begins.

…to be continued…

Reflections questions:

Have I been living my own small story?

Have I longed for a richer life, but have really only being encountering re-runs or spin offs of a short-changed Show?

What is stopping me from walking a new life?

What are your responses, insights, or thoughts on this topic?

“The Show About Me”…is just re-runs (part 1)

Life *seems* like a "show about you" b/c you are in every scene and every episode.

If you’re reading because of my column in Schuylkill-News, welcome! (Be sure to join up with S-N on facebook, and get hip to the latest news items and great tips and stories before they hit the newsstands. Tell Amy you enjoy her publication! She needs to know.)

Thanks for reading, and please leave your questions or comments, now or anytime.

Deconstructing the “Show about You”

By default our heads are filled with an odd and faulty knowledge/sense that Life is a Show about ourselves. Each person thinks he/she must be the center of the universe (think: reality lived out), until something, or someone interrupts this notion. Living outside this worldview takes practice, increased maturity, and concerted effort. Cultural norms and money makers do not encourage us to turn the channel from “The Show About Me”.

Sounds like a blanket statement, right? It sounds like I’m saying everyone is a dirty, rotten jerk, and that can’t possibly be true?

Okay, let me back it up and just start with a few questions:

Think about these 5 questions as you read them and answer truthfully (to yourself, or if you feel that sharing will help others, leave your results in the comment section).

1. When you wake up in the morning do you think about the upcoming events in your day, or focus on your feelings?

2. Do thoughts of your past, present, or future occupy your time in your day?

3. Do you endeavor to find pleasure and avoid pain?

4. Do you mentally weigh the personal benefit when making decisions and actions?

5. Do you long for people to think well of you, and you make decisions based on this factor?

Okay, maybe you skimmed those questions.

Maybe you don’t want to do a personal inventory. If you want to move on, and this is getting weird or uncomfortable, you’re headed for a rerun. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Before that happens, please, go back, for one more minute and read and consider the 5 questions. After you’re done,consider your results. If you answered “yes” or “sometimes” at all, you are fairly normal, and you are also living your life as the Main Star of your Show. You perceive reality as something that centers around, basically, _________. <—— (say your name here.)

So what? you say, doesn’t everyone? What’s the big deal?

Well, friends, it’s only a big deal if you want to feel unstuck….If watching the same re-runs of yourself meeting the same sorts of dead ends and disappoints, and having the same insatiable cravings, growing frustrations, and restricted and delayed growth wears on you, then yes, the deal is starting to head into a biggish area.

Seriously, re-runs are really what you get when the season’s over. No one is working anymore, and the networks hope more rehash won’t be too egregious and lame. After two or three times of the same stuff, we usually want something new, something better.

A whole other Reality is going on, and has been long before you, and will long after you. You may have been skimming on the surface of it, but you have to wake up and realize thoroughly that you are not the Star of the Show, and more importantly, it’s not your Show.

‘Ever seen the movie the Matrix? It’s like, but with fewer people wearing sunglasses. …. oh never mind, The Matrix explanation is WAY too long and slippery. You’ll think you’re Neo, and we’ll be back where I started.

There’s a bit more to come:

In a few days, Part II of this reflection will get down deeper. Soon, I’ll also offer mental, spiritual, and emotional (concrete) ways many people have truly shifted their view to a more healthy one. We’re just getting the engine started on this vehicle to a new perspective. Let’s stick together–Meet back here soon.

Always feel free to leave your thoughts, experiences, or comments here. (Just after the tags below this post, it’ll say Leave a Comment. Not to be too obvious, and insult you, but….You click that.)

Or answer some questions:

Any guesses who the Star of the Show is?

What do you think Reality looks like with this different worldview/perspective?

And how would it be lived out? (examples, generalities, etc.)

My first sermon

I hesitate to title the post this way… for a few reasons.

Some of it is just my baggage, plain and simple. Some of it is that if I don’t call it a “sermon”… and I fail, I won’t feel so discouraged. (Yes, I’m being honest, and not just wise cracking today…well, not too much.) Yes, I need prayer, and I’ll thank you for petitioning God for me. I mostly just want to get out of the way, read the Bible, mention a few things, and let God do the piercing/talking to the heart. I don’t have to hold his hand in all this, but I sure do need him to hold mine.

This Sunday, I’ll be speaking for the Sunday morning during the Camp Swatara chapel service. I’ve spoken at retreats, prayer breakfasts, Sunday school classes, small groups, of single or mixed gender, but I haven’t be asked to be a Sunday morning guest preacher until now. And before that starts to mess with my mind, I’m going to deconstruct it, and get reasonable. What will happen is that I’ll be spending a few minutes with my siblings in Jesus. I’ll be sharing some things I’ve learned, and continue to learn, and try, as I thirst and hunger for my Savior. It’s not a gig at all. It’s a whole lot more like a chance to realize acutely how silly I am, and how much I need God’s help.

I’ll be sharing about the richness and power of The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13); and how it tells us so much about God, and so much about how we are invited to be a part of his Bigger Plan, now, and in Kingdom Come.

I made a handout for the children to color, and the adults to use to join with me in prayer at the end.

Together, we’ll get on the same page, and tell God who He is, so we learn it better. We’ll all get on the same page to apprehend how we are a part of his reality and plan, and untwist our independent thinking where we think that it’s somehow the other way around. And hopefully, we’ll see the centerpiece is forgiveness and grace, and the rest of it makes zero sense if that part isn’t the main thrust.

coloring page for my Sermon time (No birds were burnt in the making of this drawing.)

Coloring pg resource found here.

(Nancy Eiesland) ‘The Disabled God’ -How do we define “normal”?

In reality, all of us “healthy” or “normal” people can more aptly call ourselves, “the temporarily able-bodied.”

Theologian, sociologist, and author Nancy Eiesland was wheelchair bound since childhood. She surprised many when she said she hoped to be disabled in heaven. She died at age 44 of congenital lung cancer, but not before she made huge inroads for the Rights and Dignity of the Disabled, and penned a groundbreaking book about understanding disability, and suffering, in light of God, and his nature.

Nancy Eiesland 1965-2009

Article excerpt on Eiesland from the “Scotsman” publication:

By the time of her death, Eiesland had come to believe God was disabled, a view she articulated in her influential 1994 book, The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability. She pointed to the scene described in Luke 24:36-39 in which the risen Jesus invites his disciples to touch his wounds.

“In presenting his impaired body to his startled friends, the resurrected Jesus is revealed as the disabled God,” she wrote. God remains a God the disabled can identify with, she argued – he is not cured and made whole; his injury is part of him, neither a divine punishment nor an opportunity for healing. FULL ARTICLE HERE

Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability

Cultural Context: What do you think about Christian Tattoos?

I’m finishing a paper of the I Corinthians 8:9 verse about being a stumbling block. (It had to do with Paul’s response to the Corinthians’ problem of whether eating meat sacrificed in pagan temples was advisable/allowable.)

The nutshell:

Paul says, it’s not about the food. It’s actually about the care taking of other people who don’t share the same previous experiences, or who have different convictions. The “strong” (so-called by those who wish to be called that) say they have no problems with eating meat of that nature. The new converts, they term, “the weak” are conflicted about eating meat in their former places of worship, etc. Paul advises the “strong ones”.

He says, no one should be forced to accept or do something that goes against their conscience. Knowing God, for who God is, means many things stop being about simply matters of right or wrong. In the end, what matters is that we gracious provide for each other, and we do not burden other believers on amoral issues. He mentions he’ll never eat meat again, if eating will bring someone to ruin, yet he has no problem with eating it himself.

For my paper, I had to come up with a contemporary situation that manifests itself in a similar way. There are plenty of things to choose from. Can you think of any?

I came up with Christians and Tattoos:

So- What you think?

Are tattoos a witness, or a stumbling block?

Both? Neither?

What’s your opinion?

Here is a video of an interview of a Christian tattoo artist that shows the issue from his unique vantage point.

I’m not trendy

I got this as a prom gown hand-me-down.

I had a dream that I was in a candy store, and I was incredibly popular and exquisitely hip, and then I ate a enormous marshmallow.
When I woke up, my pillow was gone.

It all stems from a deprived childhood. Even if I wanted to be trendy, and I tried, I’d fail, miserably. Middle school and high school found me so often in thrift stores, it was downright scandalous. In an era of Benetton, and Jordache, it was social suicide. Oh sure, I tried to hide it. I went to Gabrielle Brothers, where clothing goes to die. I’d pick through the cast-offs to scavenge some name brands, so the girls in gym class wouldn’t give me the “stink eye,” or worse. But, inside I knew it was the shred of facade keeping me from being found out as a trendy fashion horse phony. Only hand-me-downs from a few rich kids could throw them off the scent once in a while. A saving grace perhaps.

No, I couldn’t cope with continual failure, so, I gave that up. Art Majors have a bit of an advantage here. You won’t find that I’m cutting edge. I’m not hip. Tragically or otherwise. Quirky doesn’t cut as hip. But at a mad hatter’s tea party, I’d fit right in.

The Oscars are on tonight, and it’s very important to be cool, hip, fashionable, and cutting edge. But not to be the fool. The pre-Oscar hoopla begins days in advance on television now. Oprah pimped herself to promote the nominees last night on a special show. HYPE HYPE HYPE

It all emphasizes how off beat I am, and maybe I’m not alone. Or…perhaps I am.

I realize people won’t read this blog because I know the latest on Justin Beiber, or because I’m in-like-flin with Glen Beck, (ugh) or because I just got the iPhone S, and I’m a ball of awesome coolness, because I have a app for that.

It might take a while to know what things are about here at this site. Maybe, it’ll be a while, before people can separate the goofiness, from the incised gaze at deeper being; or apprehend how those two realms can, and do intertwine.

Blogs-to be widely read-are supposed to be on the latest news, and on top of everything. They are to be authored by incredibly hip people on their way up in the world.

I apologize about that.

As a consolation, I can still guarantee there are lots of surprises and lateral, creative thinking around here. I hope that helps to soothe the pain.

Thanks for loving me, anyway. Or humoring me.

peace out, yo.