Pet Peeve, I Peeve, You Peeve?

I forget to completely close doors…closets, bedrooms, cabinets, and drawers. It’s something I conditioned myself to intentionally avoid doing having grown up in a very old, creaky house with a mother who slept ever so lightly. I hate loud noises, as my beloved professor of percussion, Tom Morgan, oft proclaimed (#irony). I don’t like disturbing a quiet household…it pains me to imagine robbing rest or comfort from someone by closing a door or slamming a drawer shut.

A number of months ago, for a small group meeting, we used pet peeves as an icebreaker for the evening. We shared what annoys us most, shedding light on all sorts of things that tend to irk us, send our blood pressure up, make us squirm. I noticed some patterns. We really enjoyed tossing bad drivers under the bus (pun intended), commiserating about waiting in long lines, and generally (vehemently) agreeing on the kinds of things that “those people” do to annoy us. It actually showed our tendency to blame others for our temper or insecurity lies just below the surface, but we tried to cover that ugliness with some laughter.

I couldn’t think of anything in particular that annoys me, so I tried to playfully call out my wife on some small issue. I realize now, she could have quickly cited my lack of shutting things as her pet peeve but she kindly attacked third graders at her job instead. However, I hear almost daily a request to close the closet door or shut the cabinets after gathering dinner ingredients. I always think I’m doing awesome when I remember to close the fridge!

I’ve realized that instead of focusing on our pet peeves, continually adding to a seemingly never-ending list of complaints about others or about uncontrollable circumstances, maybe I should try and discover what others see as my most annoying habits. Maybe I could benefit by taking the log out of my own eye (quoting Jesus here) before attempting to convince myself that others are the cause of my problems or that I’m a victim of the day’s challenges.

Of course, this could be a silly exercise. I’ve learned that plodding down the paths of self-help or self-improvement can lead to an existential dead end. I’ve tried to pursue perfection for the sake of security or pride only to find myself more empty than when I started. Perfection is both elusive and ultimately depressing.

But, perhaps this could reveal some serious issues in my behavior. Maybe I could discover some of the hurdles or barriers that turn people off to the life I really could be sharing with them.

Have you ever thought in this way? Have you ever considered that maybe your unawareness, insensitivity, or plain obstinance really bothers others? Have you ever considered that your actions may be failing to show love to those around you?

Why don’t you go ahead and clue me in to things I have done, repeatedly do, or used to consistently do, that peeve you. For me, I’ll call them iPeeves – the things I do that peeve others. This is the internet and Apple is the standard. So, iPeeves. #iPeeves. A wave of owning up to our obstinance and repeated offenses will catch on.

Maybe.

Comment anything that comes to mind, anonymously if preferred. I want to consider these, both silly and serious, and may implement them as resolutions or habits to break/change/mold/improve. Again, this isn’t about the perfection of self, but the loving of others. Starting with my wife and those pesky and loud doors!

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1000 Things

Our church has come up with a task of listing 1000 things we are thankful for, in recognition of God’s great provision. The premise is that all we REALLY need on earth is food and shelter. We all need salvation, too, of course! We are also focusing on changing the language of our homes by actually using ‘need’ and ‘want’ when appropriate.

Last updated: Saturday, November 24th

not listed by importance or priority!

1. Salvation
2. Forgiveness
3. mom, her care and acts of service
4. dad, his support and wisdom
5. Jason
6. Billy
7. Hans
8. Peter
9. my girlfriend, Carly
10. socks
11. shirts, too many really
12. underwears
13. convenient washer/dryer
14. running water
15. hot water
16. cold, purified water
17. a convenient water bottle
18. this laptop
19. ability to express
20. ability to compose
21. drums
22. drumsticks
23. music
24. musicians
25. music school
26. professors
27. counselors
28. teachers
29. custodians
30. trash cans
31. couches
32. my cajon
33. my guitar
34. my phone
35. my music
36. past learning
37. math class
38. social studies wisdom
39. the BIBLE
40. the books in the Bible that give advice
41. the books in the Bible that give comfort
42. the books in the Bible that give hope
43. David, the Psalmist
44. Wordpress
45. Youtube
46. Community
47. Facebook
48. my car
49. my scholarships
50. food, and what I like at that!
51. Smoothies
52. Bananas
53. Almonds
54. mucus relief (compare to the active ingredients of Mucinex)
55. sleep
56. a comfortable and warm bed
57. pillows
58. handkerchiefs
59. running shoes
60. running shoes
61. boots for cold, wet, adverse
62. practice pads
63. The Mars Volta
64. encouraging phrases
65. inspirational books
66. good stories
67. Harry Potter
68. the ability to experience nostalgia
69. pop-sickles
70. poop-sickles (the humor, okay?)
71. humor
72. jokes
73. bill cosby
74. the emperor’s new groove
75. money in the bank
76. automated bill pay
77. sense of hearing
78. aesthetic enjoyment of music and sound
79. sense of taste
80. enjoyment of food
81. preferences and rights to use them
82. America’s freedoms
83. freedom of expression
84. freedom to urinate in my backyard (ya, I know its weird)
85. freedom to write,
86. to sing,
87. to read,
88. to play
89. sense of sight
90. glasses
91. contacts
92. contact solution
93. file cabinets
94. order and organization among chaos
95. the wind in the fall
96. the change of season
97. the varying and never-boring weather of KS
98. friendly Midwesterners
99. travel opportunities
100. wind ensemble
101. orchestra
102. jazz band
103. Washburn University Percussion Collective (the experience and good times)
104. Christian Challenge meetings
105. Doorholders ministry friends
106. The Challenge Band
107. drums at Challenge
108. earplugs
109. headphones
110. mobile music devices
111. good tires
112. closet of dressier attire
113. medicated foot powder
114. protein shakes
115. a scale (to be aware of my health)
116. the ability to walk,
117. to run,
118. to bike,
119. to trampoline,
120. to swim,
121. to bathe,
122. to jump,
123. to roll,
124. to stumble but stabilize myself
125. my bike
126. helmets
127. bike gloves
128. winter gloves
129. work gloves
130. bare feet
131. rain and mist on a windy night
132. the smell of rain
133. house plants
134. fans
135. remotes for fans (seriously America, why aren’t we grateful?!)
136. Halo
137. Pizza
138. homemade bread
139. gardening
140. practice time
141. quiet time with Jesus and His Word
142. the ability to type,
143. to speak,
144. to sing
145. the beauty of each sunrise,
146. sunset,
147. picture-cloud kind of day
148. opera gongs
149. percussion camp
150. band camp
151. drum major camp
152. scholarships
153. business connections
154. teaching opportunities
155. my kids at Shawnee Heights
156. supportive bosses
157. metronomes
158. God’s protection
159. Solitude
160. Silence
161. loud and noisy objects
162. warm baths
163. quick showers
164. sinus rinse
165. home-remedies
166. insurance
167. doctors
168. medicine
169. snacks
170. peanut butter
171. warm home
172. a few places I can call home
173. airplanes
174. buses
175. trains
176. rails-to-trails

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North Star Bible Camp Wrap-Up – 2 months late

Well, greetings to all. It seems two whole months have slipped by since my return from a month in Alaska. I wrote and printed letters to many people who were my supporters and then stumbled in all sorts of ways to not get all of them sent out. That makes it look like I promised a wrap-up and failed. That also makes it look like I didn’t care about your support in the end. Life has been busy in so many varied and exciting ways since returning and I apologize for my failure to make good on my promise…so far. Here is my wrap-up:

Greetings! I hope you have enjoyed your summer season of 2012! I am writing to report back to you about my trip to Willow, Alaska, where seven Washburn University colleagues and I served at North Star Bible Camp. We had a wonderful time working with campers, experiencing God’s creation, and spreading the Good News.

THE THANKS
First, I want to thank you for your support in prayer and/or finance. Our team was very blessed in focus, unity, health, and friendships. Though we were challenged at times, I feel camp was prepared and bolstered by ample prayer and God’s work. We were also blessed to be fully funded, removing stress and distractions from our mission at camp. Thank you so much for what you contributed to make this a great camp!

THE SETUP
Our experience began with three days of training and camp preparation. Our focus was on sharing the Gospel in three parts: mankind’s individual sin (Romans 3:23), Jesus’ loving sacrifice in our place for our sin (Romans 5:8), and the eternally saving response of faith in Jesus (John 1:12). This gave us a very simple framework for talking with kids of varying ages. During training we also got accustomed to camp life, routines, and rules and worked on various projects. I was delegated to bike repair and music preparations. Group meals and evening games built team unity for the weeks to come.
A typical day consisted of a staff prayer meeting, cabin cleanup (for both cleanliness and good-hearted competition!), breakfast, camper devotion time, chapel (worship and message), games, activities, lunch, verse memorization, free time, cabin discussion time, dinner, chapel again, evening games, snacks, and bedtime devotions. The weather was generally cloudy and occasionally rainy – though we had a few sunny days that rivaled a calm and clear 70 degrees anywhere!

THE CAMPS
There were three weeks of camp, beginning with high school. We had an exceptionally low camper to counselor ratio for this week with five campers and three counselors per cabin. This allowed for lots of flexibility to have one-on-one conversations and time for rest. My five high school campers were a mix of ages and maturity and one of them actually made a decision to accept and follow Jesus during his time at camp! The other campers were all open and curious about learning more about God, but a couple headed back home to very discouraging environments.
For middle school week I was the camp photographer. This was a nice break, but I missed out on the unique energy and malleability of this age group. As a staff worker, we had our own devotions and verse memorization, so in addition to following camper activities I also learned about the early Christian church (Acts, chapters 1-8) and became more focused on honoring God daily through studying Ephesians Chapter 5. You can see the media slideshow and other photos on North Star’s Facebook page (bottom).
Elementary week was our final camp. In just the first night these campers were more fun and more challenging than both prior camps combined. We also had more campers. I was surprised that all of my campers already believed in Jesus. However, a couple of them did not behave as though God’s grace was active in their lives through their arguing and competitiveness. Granted, they were young and we did our best to model Christ-like actions while keeping up the light-hearted activities. Thankfully, conflicts were resolved and all the kids were able to benefit from a full week of God’s teaching. These younger kids definitely stole our hearts!

THE TAKE-AWAYS
Camp taught me to build relationships with peers and students with the purest intentions of trust, respect, and service. I gained experience and confidence in sharing or reviewing Gospel with everyone – seekers, stumblers, and “souled out” followers.
Beginning each day with staff prayer was energizing and encouraging because we helped each other focus on God’s mission for every believer (Matthew 28:18-20). We grew very close and I was truly sad to leave. I am inspired to maintain my personal relationship with God, be more intentional in sharing the Gospel in Topeka, and now desire closer relationships with fellow believers.

Thank you again and all glory to God for His work in the lives of the campers and staff!
In Christ Alone,

David Wingerson
Philippians 1:3-6, 9-11

I am glad to talk with you more about this experience! david@wingerson.us | http://wingerson.us | FB: North Star Bible Camp 2012

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