Saturday, February 14, 2009
Singles Awareness Day 2009
It's upon us again.... Singles Awareness Day. This is the day that all of us single people are made fully aware of our single status. Some enjoy this and celebrate this day and others are just painfully reminded that they are alone, typically those of us "Nice Guys" who happen to fit what women say they are looking for only to be left behind those guys that women "can't stand".
I actually have a lot that I don't like about "Valentine's Day" and my main opposition to it is that it's a false holiday. What I mean by that is we are supposed to love one another all the time but yet we have to have a holiday to celebrate this? If you look at many relationships you'll find that Valentine's Day is a day where the fights stop and "love" is put in the air which shows a falsehood as to what the relationship really is based upon. Using this same logic I propose that we declare one day a year as "Golf Day" and that day every man goes out to golf. Sounds like a great idea right? What happens in the month that leads up to that day? Those wives that don't like their husbands going to golf will say "hey, you have golf day coming up, wait till then". Sure, this is a humorous look but the same line of thought seems to sneak it's way into Valentine's Day as well, although in a slightly different manner.
Another horrible thing about the holiday is commercialization. Around Christmas there is always the thought of the Jewish kid that doesn't get to enjoy Christmas like everyone else. That thought wouldn't even exist if Christmas wasn't so commercialized. Everyone's beliefs and feelings are the most important thing but when you commercialize something you end up putting the focus on something else. Society makes Christmas a day when EVERYONE has to give and receive presents and the stresses that go along with that are added to everyone so much to the point that no one seems to remember what Christmas is really celebrating. Because Valentine's Day is such a commercialized holiday, the same thing occurs between couples. Now the pressure is on to find the perfect gift or make the perfect moment happen that it's forgotten about what the holiday is supposed to be celebrating... then you add to that those that are single and made to be left out of the commercialized idea of what the holiday is.
I guess, all in all, there really isn't anything that one can do. Valentine's Day is going to continue to exist and people are going to continue to live the way they live. We can only hope that more people would start to realize the importance of love all year around and stop feeling the pressures that mean this day has to be something different. Sure, love really is in the air on this day -- just not any more than any other day of the year. There's just a little more pressure to be something that you may not really be.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Who Am I?
There was a radio commercial for Levi Jeans that advertised their jeans as being for hard working men.... they started listing hard working, manual labor, jobs and then the last thing in the list they said "... for the man who carries the sleeping baby up the stairs to bed". I swear everytime I heard that line I got chills and my heart skipped a beat. I think it was a way of defining who I am. Ok, so I don't have kids..... but the definition of who you are isn't what is around you and I think this is where people go so far away from what life is meant to be. The car I drive doesnt define who I am (even if who am I influences my purchase of it) nor does the house I live in.
I'm really pulling for Obama in this election but despite what people want to say about me, I'm not pro-choice. Republicans are pro-life so they obviously reflect the best intentions and hold high the miracle that we all are as humans and wouldn't do anything to hurt us. The problem is that it's easier for people to make judgements based on the outward because getting to know the inward takes time and its time that we don't want to waste.... and this is the whole basis for racism of all types. It was so much easier for slave owners to look at the color of their skin and make a judgement based on that rather than actually take the time to get to know those people as human beings. It's easier to attack me and say that I can't be a Christian because I'm liberal or that I can't be liberal because I'm a Christian. It's easier to look at the picture on the book cover and say its a good book or a horrible book rather than take the time to actually read it.
So who am I, really? I'm 27 years old, I am a male, and my mom's name is Kim..... I'm from southwestern PA and I grew up around a family that had a few prejudice thoughts..... I was in a mental hospital once.... I dropped out of high school -- and then out of college. I am a virgin but have been known to really enjoy sexual pleasure. I moved to Florida in 1999 for four months and came back after spending "needless" money because I couldnt stand to be away from my family.... I declared bankruptcy a few years ago... I once punched my sister on the playground in elementary school.
If those things answered your question then you are sadly misled.... but not because any of those things are a lie. All of those things are 100% true and are factual statements that can be proven with various different legal documents or talking to the right people. I can't go back and change any one of those facts but not a single one of those defines who I am.
Think about what you thought of as you read those things. Many of you didn't know some of those facts about me -- some of them were because I never told you for the reason that you might think what you may have just thought. If I say that I was in a mental hospital then obviously I must have something wrong with me mentally and you should relate to me with caution..... thats the easy thing to say, anyway. The harder thing to do is ask why. If you ask why you might have to hear about how I was misdiagnosed with many different mental "conditions" such as depression and anxiety for 6-7 years before we actually realized that I was ADHD -- a condition that is present in many fully functional Americans. You might also have to learn that I checked myself in to the facility because I wanted to find an answer -- not because I *needed* to be there. But all of that is too much work.
Or you might look at the fact that I dropped out of high school and college and that I declared bankruptcy and decide that I am a failure and that I give up. Again, it would be harder to ask why. In that case, you might have to learn that I dropped out of high school after my guidance counselor and my mom discussed that it was a viable and probably the best option for me and that high school was mainly holding me back from accomplishing what I was capable of. You might have to learn that the one year of college that I experienced was crucial in developing who I am as well as the 4 months that I spent in Florida. You might have to dig a little deeper and figure out what the motivations were for each one of these things and you might have to realize that the good outweighed the bad on these things. You might have to realize that the things I did weren't neccesarily the "easy" way out. You might then have to change your views on a lot of things -- not just views about me.
I've heard people say that I'm obviously a virgin because no one wants me and the result is that I'm sexually frustrated..... of course, thats the easy thing to think (and the most uplifting to the person saying it). But if you ask why with the intent of learning you might have to realize that this is one of my core values. You might have to try to understand that its a lot harder for me to keep this commitment than you might think..... and if you said those things about me because you wanted to attack me, you might learn that you've only uplifted me.
"But bankruptcy? Surely there is no excuse for doing that..... Its not what God would want you to do! You just wanted to take the easy way out and not have to pay those debts." No matter what your views are on bankruptcy, its, again, easier to attack me based on what I did rather than to try to figure out what it was that led up to that. You might have to learn that I spent more than 3 years going through no less than 2 credit counseling agencies and continually bringing myself down because the level of debt that I had and the debt/income ratio I had was not something that even the credit counseling agencies were able to reliably assist me with. You might also have to consider the concept of Jubilee in the Bible where every 7 years everyone forgave everyone's debts (that might be another blog entry sometime). Ok, now this one comes with a disclaimer. None of this is meant to justify my action or to make up your mind about whether bankruptcy is good or bad because those are issues of the heart and are truly between you and the Lord. But no matter what the action was, its not fair to judge anyone solely on the action without first understanding the motive of that action.
I'm 27 so I must behave like all other people my age. I'm a guy so I must be an asshole in relationships. I punched my sister as a child so apparently I was born evil. I had uncles around me who said negative things about black people. Oh -- and not only that but I DECIDED that I wanted to be around those uncles. These are just tiny little examples of that outrageous prejudice that goes through our heads every single day and we allow them to go through our head simply because it's easier to let them rather than actually weigh the evidence.
Oh -- one other thing about me. I am known as "BibleBoy" a lot of places. This name came about in middle school when I always had a Bible with me. Everyone started making fun of me by calling me BibleBoy.... but even in 7th grade I was already starting to recognize the fact that I need to be proud of who I was. I was heavily involved in BBSs back in that time (if you don't know, BBSs were basically the pre-internet online communications and were access through dialing a phone number with your computer to access a system on someone else's, typically personal, computer) and I had been going by the handle "Headpin" because I was really into bowling. One night I decided to log on to each and every BBS and change my handle to "BibleBoy". Since BBS systems were local based this is something that all the other computer geeks in my school realized right away. The response was awesome..... "Uhhh.... you know we're making fun of you" .... "Yup, I know". The name stuck and I allowed it to. In 2000 I registered bibleboy.org and that officially was who I was letting myself be known as on the big (then fairly new to most) internet. Eventually other people crept up that were also known as BibleBoy so I had to shorten it to bblboy54..... then time went on and I realized that the name had me tagged as a religious freak. I guess, again, it was a situation where I was being judged based on my nickname rather than who I actually am. I considered changing the name of my blog so that more people would take me a little more seriously. Less than a year ago I realized that the person who I am would never really be taken seriously by someone who does judge a book by it's cover and I decided to stick with the name and if I say something that makes sense then I'd let it be for the benefit of those people who take me seriously no matter what my name is.
Did I answer the question of who I am? I hope not! Who I am is a definition that is always changing. All of us are very dynamic people that are capable of learning and understanding and the more than we learn and understand the more that we are naturally going to change. The facts, figures, and posessions are quite possibly the worst way to judge someone even if they are the easiest way. It's more the motivation of the person that led to those things. In reality, we should all primarily respect everyone for who they are.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Quite frankly, a lot of very strange things have been happening with me recently. I can't say any of them are bad but there is definately something different about me. I really do feel like God is about to push me in some new directions and, while this can sometimes make me nervous, I think it often makes those around me more nervous :) It seems when I hit situations like this it requires a huge leap of faith and is almost always something that defies logic. I often face people that lecture me and tell me how off-course I am.... I face people that run in fear because they want to defend me to the latter but they just aren't able to justify it themselves.... I have people that run away just because they don't want to deal with anything.... What I think the scariest part about this is is the fact that no one is ever really there to support me. Sure, God's in it.... but as far as anyone around me, it's all about second-guessing my actions, my beliefs, my intelligence....
What is really starting to get me is that over these years I've grown used to doing this stuff on my own (don't lecture me - I know God is in it - I'm reffering to physical surroundings) and it seems like I'm just training myself to be alone. I'm not fond of it.... I'm not fond of living in this awesome house by myself. I love where I live and I love helping people and being around people but the situations that I have been led in to and the (no doubt God-given) decissions that I have made have really pushed me away from... well, that's just it - I don't know. The only thing I'm really sure about is that being alone is something that is becomming a part of my life and I don't like it one bit.
I don't know where my life is about to go.... I never really do. I just really hope that maybe this is the change that God does that involves me actually finding someone who cares for me and wants to be around me and help me as much as I help her. There are plenty of people in my life for that I care for whole-heartedly but maybe sometime soon I will find the one that not only will do the same for me but actually DESIRES to do it.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Sometimes God tells us stuff and does stuff that we wouldnt expect. Usually when we are losing our hope, the reminder that there is hope comes in the strangest for.
The strange form tonight was seeing the movie "Evan Almighty" .... Ashley and I went to see it and let me first off say that it is BY far my new favorite movie. I have never laughed so hard in my life..... Despite all the humor, I left the theater crying..... Don't worry -- the chances of you crying about the movie are pretty slim... it really was an excellent movie and everyone should go see it.
The thing is, I have been really questioning my purpose and my worth. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend and he gave me some really solid Biblical advice but at the same time, he really questioned my ability to do something.... something that I was already questioning myself about but something that I really shouldn't have been questioning. While I really appreciated him for caring about me, I left the conversation somewhat hurt. Later that added to a lot of other things that had me really questioning my purpose and whether I really am doing the right thing in certain situations.
--- SPOILER WARNING : Movie ending revealed ---
The basic story line of Evan Almighty is the story of Noah. God commands Evan to build an Ark in -- none other than NoVA. He continually fights it and later is convinced that he just needs to do it. The entire world ridicules him and fellow congressmen get a court order to destroy the ark. Amongst all of this ridicule, Evan expects to see the world destroyed. Kind of reminds me of Jonah. The thing is, God wasn't going to flood the world again.... He promised that by the rainbow. So Evan is standing on his ark telling everyone they need to get in and they dont believe him.... suddenly it starts storming... people get concerned but when the storm ends just 30 seconds later, the laugh at Evan and his family even harder. When the neighboring dam breaks and people are running into his ark, it's a different story.
--- END SPOILER WARNING ---
Immediately I recognized myself being in the position of Noah and of Evan. I know that what I have done and the way I'm handling things is the way God is guiding me to -- or at least my heart is in the right place. I'm also reminded of Abraham and how he was supposed to sacrifice his son to the Lord. Why would God ask Abraham to do something that is clearly against the law and against the commandments God had set? Well, God knew it wasnt going to be follow through because He sent an angel to stop Abraham. God just wanted to test Abraham's faith -- and he passed. But can you imagine his family and friends? They'd be calling the cops... I know I would.
The last week or so I have really felt like I didn't have any meaning in my life... that the things I was doing really didnt mean anything at all. How were my actions going to affect the rest of the world? God reminded me of the chain reaction.... The chain of love.... just like the country song goes.... Little tiny things happen that change the entire course of the world. Maybe you buy flowers for someone that cheers them up and they end up going to hang out instead of staying at home and then have a conversation with someone that later goes on to find the cure for cancer.... Because someone bought flowers, cancer is cured years later. These things happen... they really do. The Acts of Random Kindness that we do create amazing ripple effects -- and we may not even know the full extent of them.
I left Evan Almighty crying because God had reminded me that no matter how small what I'm doing is and no matter how wrong everyone else thinks it is, I am following my heart and I am serving people who need to be served. In those tears, Ashley looks at her watch and goes "oh crap! I forgot the metro quits running ad midnight" .... no worries, I just take her in to DC and drop her off at her apartment. On my way home I make my typical stop at the Sheetz in Harmarket and when I pull in there are at least 8 or 9 cop cars in the lot with lights going, etc.... I go in to get my sweet tea and I half jokingly asked the clerk what you have to do to get the attention of that many cops.... her response is "a double stabbing" .... I was blown away.... just a little bit before I stopped at Sheetz, two people were stabbed in the parking lot. If I didnt have to take Ashley in to DC, would I have been the one to be stabbed? Even if I wasn't the one to be stabbed, how would I have been able to live after witnessing something like that. Maybe its still a little far fetch but the truth is that may well have been the case.
No matter how small we think what we are doing is or how meaningless we feel, we may be creating the ripple effect that really does save the world -- whether we know it or not. God reminded me of this and really did renew my strength by something as simple as a movie.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Monday, April 16, 2007
Today was a huge turning point for me.... but some of the changes happened a few weeks ago when I had a conversation with Tiff.... and there is a reason why I didn't mention that back then. The biggest problem wasn't that I missed Tiff and I wanted to be back with her... the reason why she consumed so much of me was because I wanted to have answers to something that seemed to be a focus of her hiding. What I wanted to know is that she was a good person and that she was, in fact, capable of telling the truth.
I guess it's kind of like the situation of someone dying without you being able to tell them something that was on their heart. All you want is to be able to talk to them and say good bye and exchange anything that either of you feel needs to be exchanged. To me, Tiff died and I never got any closure to anything. It was a long and drawn out battle... years and years and years went by and it destroyed a part of me.... tho hindsight can see that when a part of you is destroyed, it's often to make room for a part of you that is better. I knew Tiff lied to me time after time and I knew that she lied about lying to me as well.... and for the past 2 years I wanted to hear something that would really hurt me but yet, anytime that came up, all I was given was a lie. I wanted to know that it wasn't ALL a lie.... I wanted to know that at least something was real -- but when a lie was put on top of a lie, you can only imagine that everything was a lie. Tiff told me a few weeks ago that she is back with Jim. I now know that she is capable of telling the truth.... and she is capable of being a good person.
See, here's the thing. For the past 2 years, I really honestly never wanted to be back with Tiff but there were a few times that I let it appear to be going in that direction because I felt it was the only way that I could get closure.... I learned about a year and a half ago that Tiff wasn't ANYTHING that I wanted for my future wife.... and I also learned that whether or not she cheated on me in actions with Jim I knew that she did in thoughts and I learned that that was where she was meant to be. Simply put, I knew that Tiff needed to die within my mind but I didnt want her to die with the horrible image that I had.... I wanted her to die in my mind on a good note -- and help me put this bitterness aside.
It's been pretty earth shattering since then. Tiff asked me why I let her tell me the truth and then just wanted to walk away and I told her because it's what was needed... it's what has been needed and was well overdue. I don't want her in my life and I really havent for the past year or so.... I just wanted to have something to hold on to.... and because I did really care for her, I wanted to know that she was ok.
Jesus said that we need to give Him all of our burdens and He will give us rest... and over the past few weeks, a lot of burdens have been lifted from me.... some really huge ones that literally bring tears to my eyes. Finally closing the final chapter on Tiff has been extremely life changing.... and the financial burdens that have arose in the past month or so were miraculously lifted today... and most importantly, the miracles that God has performed has really restored my faith in the fact that He really is taking care of me no matter how bad it may seem at times. Because of that renewed faith I have had a lot of bondage lifted from me.... a lot of the things that I have struggled with seem almost non existent right now... Right now I sit here writting this blog and I realize that the eyes that I see the world through right now are so different than the ones that I saw through 2 or 3 weeks ago... I have dealt with a lot of struggles.... my faith has come close to totally disappearing... but as has always been true in my life, God will let things get messy for a while because I need to learn new lessons and I need to be prepared for "my next mission" ... and whatever the next thing is that God has for me is something that I usually don't know.... but God knows me and He knows when I need just a little something to give me a little boost. The singleness has really been hammering me hard recently... and my faith in ever finding someone special became extremely numb... last week someone asked me to the prom. Yea, there are some things to laugh about there but there is more seriousness to that than it might seem. I do look really young so she wasn't real sure of my age.... but you know, that gave me something to keep holding on to. True, it was something that wouldn't materialize BUT having someone see something in you that would push them to do something that they normally wouldnt do can really make you feel good about yourself.... and it really did remind me that there are girls out there that will find something about me that they don't see in anyone else.... and ultimately I will find a girl that sees something in me that she can't live without and vice versa.
I am really thankful for the fact that I have this blog. I'm thankful for everyone that reads it (even the ones who read it because they are "out to get me").... This blog is my life and the purpose of it is to show both the good and the bad and hopefully it will touch people.... Honestly, if keeping this blog and going through the horrible experiences that I go through ends up helping even just one person -- then it's all worth it. And I really love the people who try to throw salt on my wounds by spreading the news that I made a depressing post or try to say "oh look, Christian boy is hurting" .... actually, its not really salt -- it's more like peroxide... whether it hurts or not it cleans out the wound and makes me stronger -- probably the whole reason why I had the wound in the first place.
Life is all about helping people, loving people, and being honest..... The greatest fruit of the Spirit is Love.... and you can't love people and lie to them or love people and not want to help them.... so I guess it all really does go back to that.... and being honest about the fact that we don't always feel happy is, in my opinion, a very important part of being able to help people.... we really can't help anyone if they have any view that we're not human and have no possibility of understanding what they are going through. Rarely does anyone know exactly what the other person is going through but the people that have been through more can come closer to those who have had the poster "perfect life".
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Tonight we were watching House and Lisa was hanging out on the back of the couch where she likes to be so she can look at everything going on.... tonight she did something that really made me smile.... after being on the back of the couch for a while she crawled down to sit on my shoulder.... which wasn't an easy task for her but she really wanted to be on my shoulder. Not only was it really cool that she wanted to be on my shoulder but that it was something she wanted bad enough to actually work for.
Recently I have really been thinking about a lot of things.... ok, well, I am always thinking about things... but specifically I have been thinking about relationships. Relationships aren't easy and I believe they are designed that way because if everything was easy, we'd have no way of showing what we truly desire. If the slightest bump comes along in a relationship and someone just gives up, then it wasn't a relationship that they truly desired.... If a relationship really is worth something to you, then the hardest struggle that comes along can not keep you from fighting for what you truly desire..... If someone is worth enough to you, then you do all you can to be with that person. You do this because they are something that you truly want.
Love can not be just a breeze because if it is, then there really is no point to it. You can't love someone without truly wanting to be with them or talk to them or at least do something to help them... there is always a want or a desire before love can be born... if you have love without a want or a desire, then it's most likely just a passing thing. You want someone because they have something to offer.... and in the most amazing relationships they have something that only you want.... something that sometimes can't even be explained.
Recently my struggle has been with what it is that I have to offer someone. I love my job for a reason -- because I have knowledge of fish to offer to people. I talk to people every day about what is the best tank set up and what is best for their fish.... And people tell me they come back to our store because they can tell there is a passion behind what I tell them.... and they are right because I do have a real passion for fish. I also have a passion for seeing new technology implemented for people who are really helping others.... and I guess that's why one of the most important things I do is something I do for free -- volunteer at New Life. It's a passion of mine because I know that I am helping people that are really out there ministering to people that are hurting.
But you ask what the struggle is? Simply -- what do I have to offer anyone in a relationship? People can tell me all they want that I'm attractive or that I'm an awesome person to be around but when that ends with those words and there is no desire then what's it really worth? The craziest thing is that the only times that I feel attractive are when people are trying to put me down. Just a little bit ago I posted the comments to a fark post where people really did a lot of putting me down... the truth is that those comments only made me stronger and feel better about myself..... It's a hard thing to explain but it is true.... but I still am left with the question of what do I actually have to offer someone in either a romantic relationship or even just in a friendship? The truth is that I may never really believe that I do have something to offer until someone makes the journey and really fights to be with me. If I'm worth taking risks for I don't want to just hear that I'm worth taking risks for -- I want someone to take those risks.
(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
(C)2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
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