bookmark_borderApril 14th, 2023

3 John 1:11 CSB – Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to my walk with Christ. I have these thoughts that seem so contrary to the thoughts that the Bible says I should have. If someone cuts me off in traffic, sometimes the thought is “What a jerk!”, and I have to stop, reprimand myself, and ask God to help me to not react that way. Sometimes I’ll see a situation where a person made some bad choices and make an internal snap judgment about that person which doesn’t give that person any grace at all. I have to again stop, reprimand myself, and ask God to change my attitude.

I think in the verse above, God makes a distinction between a thought and an action. It says “do not imitate what is evil, but what is good”. And then the verse goes on to equate the imitation of a good thing with the actual act of doing a good thing. While yes, we must keep firm control of our thoughts, as long as we aren’t acting on that impulse, we’re not imitating evil. If I were to have screamed out loud “What a jerk!” to the person that cut me off, well, that’s an imitation of evil, which based on the earlier logic, we can equate to doing evil. By keeping my mouth shut and correcting myself, I imitated good (even though my inner monologue didn’t do a good thing) and therefore did good. The same goes for making a snap judgment about the person in the bad situation. If I had gone to that person and made them feel even worse for the choices that they made, or started talking about that person’s poor choices to other people who were not involved in the situation, that would have been an imitation of evil, and hence doing evil. However, since I kept my opinions to myself and reprimanded my thoughts, I did an imitation of good and actually did good.

I say all of that to say this. I think God gives us grace in certain ways to account for our failings as fallen humans. He asks us to imitate good, even if we feel like our thoughts and attitudes aren’t good, because by imitating good, we are doing good. Other people can’t hear our thoughts, and in the context of how an action by us is received by others, they will only ever see the act. I think this should help to address those feelings that you aren’t good enough for Christ because of how your inner self responds to things. So don’t be so hard on yourself.  Yes, there is a HUGE gap between our saved nature and the standard of Christ, but God knows this, accounts for it, and lets us know (in scripture) that he is working on shaping us in a way that those shortcomings will be removed. Sanctification is a process. As we grow closer to Christ, those poor snap reactions that we have will be removed and we’ll be filled with snap reactions of care, empathy, and love.

bookmark_borderCompTIA ITF+ Review

Today, for no other reason than to do it, I took the CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) certification exam. In my version of the exam, I was given 60 minutes to answer 65 questions. I passed, but not with a score I really liked. Passing requires a 650 and the maximum you can get is 900. I passed with a score of 727, which is on the low end. Even though I have more than 20 years of working professionally in the Information Technology field, I did indeed prepare for this exam. I watched a Learning Path on LinkedIn Learning for the exam and took all the practice questions. I didn’t have any trouble at all with the content. Additionally, at some point or another, I’ve passed nearly all of CompTIA’s certification exams, including those that aren’t even offered anymore. I’ve literally worked as a contractor for CompTIA writing exam questions for the A+ exam. I know how this process works intimately, and I feel like I should have done better on the ITF+ exam than I did.

What was the problem, you ask? I think the ITF+ certification exam is too vague. There were quite a few questions that, in my humble opinion, could have multiple legitimate answers based on the context given. When questions aren’t specific, it’s a lot easier to justify answers that the author didn’t intend to be correct. Given the process that CompTIA uses to generate questions, I’m truly shocked at how many questions were so poorly worded. Granted, I’m not the correct audience for the ITF+, and maybe I have the burden of knowing more than the average IT person, but even with that said, I feel like this exam is too difficult and/or incomplete for a non-IT person to understand much less pass. If this is someone’s introduction to the world of Information Technology, this experience would leave me discouraged about being able to have a career in the field.

CompTIA, if you’re reading, this one needs another exam writing workshop. I think the exam objectives are great, but the questions are stale. More context is needed for many of the questions, and there needs to be less focus on the rote memorization of technical terms and more focus on real-world problems and scenarios.

bookmark_borderTheme Park Idea

I have an idea for a theme park and want to see what people think. A lot of it is vague ideas right now. The park is split into five “kingdoms” each represented by a unique color scheme and overall thematic design. Each kingdom will have 2-3 signature shops, restaurants, attractions, and rides, all fitting with the theme of the kingdom. Each kingdom will have strengths and weaknesses economically and militarily.

Park visitors download and install an app. They create an account and create a character. All parties (families, groups of friends, etc) are automagically assigned a kingdom when they arrive at the park. At first, their characters are peasants, but as they explore the land, they gain experience. Experience is gained by riding rides, visiting points of interest, or whatever. As characters level up, they rise in rank from peasant to merchant, to nobility, to royalty. The higher their level, the more ability they have to pick the direction and overall gameplay of their kingdom.

Eventually, by mid-day, each kingdom should have a king/queen/emperor/whatever. That special person (or some sort of mechanism in place to select a new monarch if the initial person stops playing) can choose to attack, align with, or whatever to any other kingdom. Note, if enough of the other players stick together, they can override the monarch and install a new one. The goal is to be the last kingdom standing and has control over all five kingdoms of the park. Eventually, this means it’ll come down to a military challenge. As your character levels up, you can learn various skills and abilities. You can be a soldier, a magician, a healer, whatever. You can also see the strength of your kingdom’s forces at any time via the app. Once it’s time for a fight, all of the people of a particular kingdom must work together to either attack or defend. I think it could be done in a turn-based type of gameplay where you have to make a decision every 15 minutes or so.

If your kingdom is defeated, you can choose to join any of the other remaining kingdoms, until two are left. When it’s down to the last two kingdoms, the losing kingdom will receive nothing. The winning kingdom will receive prizes, like the winning kingdom’s theme in a fireworks show, a 50% discount on a piece of kingdom merch, free food, or whatever. The winners will also receive a token (added to their account) that can be used in future days/games to start their character at level two instead of level one. All players reset at the end of the day. Come back soon!


Last week, my family and I developed Covid symptoms. I immediately took an at-home Covid test and it returned a positive result. We’ve managed to avoid Covid for more than three years, so we were disheartened to find out that it finally caught up with us. My wife and I are both vaccinated and I have had a booster within the last six months. However, while my wife and sons seemed to be moving through the Covid symptoms pretty quickly, I was struggling. I have a history of getting bronchitis when colds/cases of flu don’t heal quickly, and so with that in mind, I went to a clinic within a Walgreens near my house yesterday to have my lungs checked for any signs of inflammation.

During the visit, the person that was treating me asked if I had heard of Paxlovid. It’s an anti-viral treatment for Covid that essentially prevents Covid from reproducing. I had only heard the name of it in passing but didn’t have a lot of information on what it could do for me. The provider mentioned that since I have a recurrent history of chest infections with colds, she could prescribe it to me as I was considered “high risk”. She told me how the drug worked and I agreed to a prescription.

It comes as a five-day course, with three pills in the morning, and three pills in the evening. Two of the three pills prevent the Covid virus from reproducing, and the third pill acts as sort of a preservative to keep the first two pills in your system longer. Frankly, I didn’t expect what happened next. In the time between the first and second doses, my symptoms dramatically decreased. Before taking Paxlovid, my body was really fatigued and I was struggling with even walking in a straight line. I was dizzy, feverish, so so tired, and felt faint most of the time. I had to take frequent breaks and naps just to make it through the day. Within 12 hours of taking my first dose, about 50% of that was gone. I took another dose this morning (the third dose) and 90% of my Covid symptoms are just gone. I’m still coughing a little bit, and have a tiny little headache, but that’s it. I felt well enough this morning that I could go to work (don’t worry, I work remotely). I don’t think I’ve ever taken a drug that had such a dramatic effect on my body and well-being. I’m simply blown away. This is a game-changer for people infected with Covid but it doesn’t seem like anyone is really talking about it. Oh, did I mention it’s free?

Thanks to Pfizer for such a great product. You’ve earned a fan for life.

bookmark_borderMy Huel Adventure

In an effort to be healthier, I’ve invested some time and money into researching things that will not only help me to control portion sizes but also give me as close to complete nutrition as possible, without costing me an arm and a leg. I discovered Huel late last year, and after spending some time reading about other people’s experiences with the various Huel products, I’ve decided to give it a go. I’m nearly two weeks into my Huel journey, and this is how I’m managing it. Also, oddly enough, sometimes I’ll drink a Bang energy drink in the morning, and that seems to act as an appetite suppressant as I don’t get the hunger pangs nearly as bad in the afternoon when I’ve consumed a Bang. Bang is sugar-free and has a few extra things in it that energy drinks like Monster don’t have.

I neglected to take a weight measurement before starting this experiment, however, I’m going to start tracking it next week. I do feel lighter, and I have been sleeping better at night. I’ve also not experienced any post-lunch fatigue that I wrangled with in the past.

  • 6:30 AM – I drink one 50-calorie serving (one scoop) of Huel Daily Greens.
  • 8:00 AM – I drink one 600-calorie (three scoops) Huel Powder v3.0 shake for breakfast.
  • 12:00 PM – I eat one 400-calorie (two scoops) of Huel Hot & Savory for lunch.
  • 5:30 PM – I eat a meal consisting of a protein, starch, and veggie for dinner.

After two weeks, I’m starting to see some nice benefits to this regimen. After drinking Huel Daily Greens, I find that within 20-30 minutes, I’m alert and ready for the day much in the same way caffeine would affect me. I do still supplement caffeine some mornings (our 7-month-old still isn’t sleeping through the night), but I’ve found it a lot easier to get going at first light. I’d say the hardest part about the way I’m doing this is the gap between lunch and dinner. By the time dinner rolls around, I’m famished and need to eat something immediately otherwise I’ll begin to binge eat. Thankfully, my wife is great at preparing meals for us and typically has something ready by the time I get home a little after 5:00 PM.

I’ve also been avoiding eating anything after 7:00 PM so that my body can get into a nice fasting state overnight. The 50-calorie Huel Daily Greens serving that I drink at 6:30 AM does break my fast, however, I figure that by that point, I should have close to 12 hours of fasting, which seems like an agreeable amount.


Were you here
When the land was fresh
With the scent
Of a spring monsoon?

Were you there
When the raindrops fell
With the light
Of the summer moon?

Were you gone
When the leaves were changed
With the chill
Of an autumn gloom?

Were you free
When the snowflakes dropped
With the hush
Of a winter tune?

bookmark_borderBeing Young

For a long time, well into my 30s, I thought I had to act a certain way to be considered a responsible adult. I thought that there were only certain things “responsible adults” did, and anything that didn’t put me squarely into that category shouldn’t be done at all. I was taking my cue from other adults that I was surrounded by, trying to emulate them, but I often found myself dissatisfied with my life. Whenever I would take up an interest in something that was outside the realm of what a “responsible adult” should be interested in, reactions from other adults ranged from mild contempt to outright scorn. It took me a while, but at the ripe old age of 41, I feel secure enough in who I am to say that I wish to reject the notion of the “responsible adult” completely.

While I have family responsibilities, a solid career, and an active social life, those are all the things that are expected of me to a degree. But why end things there? Why can’t I be more than that simply because I want to be a person that I like and respect? Bob Goff, a Christian author, has this whole theology about being whimsical and living in the moment as much as possible, because… well, it’s fun. We only have so much time given to us in this life. Why not spend some of it having fun just for the sake of having fun?

So where does that leave me on my personal journey? Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to learn all the silly little skills that I’ve always wanted to learn, just because they’re fun things to do. On my learning list, I want to learn how to juggle, do some card tricks, play some music on a ukulele, and several other fun things that can be used to create a sense of joy and wonder, for not only myself but others as well. If I can learn things like that well enough that I can confidently “perform” in front of others, that gives me the opportunity to create whimsey all by myself. I heard a quote several years ago that said something to the effect of “If I know how to do things, I can be useful to others.” I think that’s a great way to think about it. If I can have the know-how to make a magical moment for someone else and have a grand time of it myself, that’s a worthy goal, and in that, we both win.

So, in conclusion, be young. Don’t value yourself on the basis of how others estimate your worth. The truth is, those folks are probably trying to mimic other “responsible adults” that are in their sphere and push those expectations onto you. Do the silly things that make you happy. Not everything in life has to be some sort of SMART goal. Some things can be done just for the value that comes with the pleasure of doing something enjoyable. Build that Lego set, climb a tree, or jump in a lake. Make your time count for something greater than your job. Make it count for your family, your community, and yourself. Thanks for reading.