Sunday, June 22, 2008

Online forums

Yeah, I think I'm largely done with online forums.

I've had quite a spate of horrible experiences this last week. I've been told I'm a homophobe and that I attack people over theology (on two separate forums).

I'm a member of quite a number of forums and really enjoy talking to people online and finding out about other people who have the same interests as me but could potentially be on the other side of the world.

The big problem is that communication between people is 80% non-verbal. This means that anything I say online can be drastically misunderstood because you can't see me smiling and holding your arm gently in a display of genuine friendliness (I like touchy-feely conversations).

And I'm getting sick of being misunderstood. It seems like you need to either grow an incredibly thick skin and understand the differences between face-to-face communications vs online communications or just get out.

Complaining isn't really my scene. This post isn't a complaint. It's a vent. A comment on the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, if you will.

I'm unsure of the future of online communications. We operate in relationship with each other. The medium shapes our communication but I'd hate for it to interfere to such a large degree that we are unable to be mutually intelligible anymore.

Hmm.. it's an interesting social linguistic problem. Can the essence of communication be altered by its medium so that normal relational structures are transformed?

Grrr. Arggghh.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Loquat Trees

I've been reading Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees.

The adventures of these missionaries are fascinating but more so the complete overhaul they had to make of their lives and expectations. The ever increasing opportunities for them to learn humility are eye-opening to a proud missionary wannabe like me.

I went on a mission to Azerbaijan in 2002 and there I learnt a lot about who I thought I was and who I really was. The last few years have involved an awful lot of helpful navel gazing that I like to call constructive self reflection. No mushy daily diaries but genuine self-critical thought processes that attempt to assess myself not against others but against the goal of being Christ-like.

Art and craft lay claim to but a minor part of my personality and yet I strive to do so much of it to the detriment of other more important facets of my daily life.

I wonder how much of my art and craft I do to the glory of God or to the glory of self.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Books, books, glorious books.

Sigh. Some days you just want a big hotwater bottle, a huge non-fattening packet of chips and bag of chocolates and a good, historical romance novel. Well - I've got them all except for the non-fattening bit but along with it comes a huge sense of guilt and despondency over study.

It's never ending! Honest to goodness, I've never had a full time job but have been studying full time since I was 5 - and I'm now 24! Straight from my honours year at university to another post-graduate degree down here in Sydney.

Don't hear me wrong - I enjoy learning new things and it's a privilege to study God's Word every day but some days I wish I either was fat and pregnant doing nothing but making baby clothes in preparation for a dull life surrounded by pooing ankle-biters or an equally dull job actually using my degree and making squillions from 9-5 each day.

Both are equally exceedingly unappealing and I don't know how anyone does either of them. I'd much prefer an exam or two over either of those options (even if the child isn't terribly ugly or the job was in the Maldives).



I'll get over this period of dullness. When I look around me though I'd much prefer to be doing what I'm doing in preparation for being useful to God and those around me.

So I guess I'll have to study for that Hebrew test and get cracking on that Old Testament essay on the existence of an Urtext, huh? Mmm... pass me the M&Ms!