How to Tell If You Are Selfish

 

 

How to Tell if You Are Selfish

 

Finding God’s Will

I once heard a sermon on cassette tape (yes, THAT long ago).  One part of that sermon really stuck with me over the years.   It was titled, ‘Finding God’s Will’.  I was not expecting much. I figured it was going to be the cliche answer I had heard before.  But it wasn’t.  The answer was to be selfish.  Say WHAT?  Being selfish? Isn’t that the exact opposite of doing God’s will?  Since then I have come to see that the answer is true.

Here’s the idea.  God (if you believe in God, if not, then genetics, universe, earth mother, whatever you want) gave you a set of desires. Things you like, things you enjoy, things you want to do.  The traditional idea of God’s will visualizes you denying all these things to go do something sacrificial and ‘important’.

 

Simplicity

But the truth is God (or whatever) didn’t give you your desires and interests just to force you to deny them. They were given to you to use. They are what drives you forward.  As simple as it sounds, God’s will is to do whatever you want to do.  All that needs to be asked is are you doing something immoral or unethical while pursuing this activity you love. And how do you know if you are or not? Easy enough – Are you inflicting pain or suffering on another, either directly or indirectly? If not, then it’s God’s will.

 

Behave Yourself!

What does this have to do with the drawing above?  The world wants you to behave. It wants you to fit in and do what you are told.  Those who have power over you can often want to mold you into who they want you to be.  They want you to do what they want you to do not what you want to do.  And they might easily tell you that who you want to be is not ok. It’s not good enough, or Godly enough, or important enough.  It’s too out there, it’s too frivolous, it’s too degrading, it’s too embarrassing.

 

Courage

But they don’t get to decide that for you, you get to decide it.  Of course you have to have the courage to stand up and say ‘This is what I want to do.’ and do it.  Some never get that courage and lead lives others have designed for them, often under the illusion that they are doing God’s will.

What do you think of this idea?

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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish author and playwright

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Jade at Starbucks

 

Another day at Starbucks waiting for my car to be fixed.

 

Jade at Starbucks

Jade at Starbucks

 

My car door handle fell off last week. Very strange. One part actually broke, the other part just became dislodged and I couldn’t put it back in properly.  I brought it to the dealer so they could put on the new part I had already ordered and reinstall the handle properly.  While the did that I went to Starbucks to have a mocha and draw.

This woman was studying and I took advantage of her stillness to draw her while I had a cherry oat bar and drank my coffee. While I was in the middle of drawing it I posted the picture as part of my ‘Where Am I?’ series I do on social media.  

 

jade-at-starbucks-2014_linedrawingonly

 

Of course, someone guessed right away that it was Starbucks based on the color of the napkin.  Someone else guessed Greece, which would have been nice. Another guessed ‘Night Trips’ which is a ‘Gentlemans Club’ in Tulsa, which would have been interesting.  

Later the woman got up to leave and took the opportunity to show her the drawing. She was very excited to have been drawn and took a picture of it. I then took a photo of her holding up the drawing.  I introduced myself, gave her my card. I found out her name is Jade. 

 

jade-at-starbucks-2014_with-jade

 

Jade left and shortly thereafter she friended me on Instagram, posting the photo she took of the drawing.  I in turn posted this photo. It turns out she is an artist and the drawing inspired her to start drawing during her cafe moments like she used to. That’s exciting and I hope to see the drawings soon!

 

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Drawing and photos by Marty Coleman

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The Blue Woman – A Short Short Story

 

 

bluewoman_sm

 

The Blue Woman

Prologue

She born in 1977 in rural west Texas.  When she was born her lips were blue and her father exclaimed, “Well, HELLO Blue!” and the nickname stuck.  Her real name was Trinity Amelia Forsyth. No one ever called her Trinity except for the youth pastor at her church growing up, and he was creepy and did bad things so she didn’t like it.

Chapter One

When Blue was 35 years old she became depressed.  She wanted children but her husband’s sperm count was so low (as was his libido) that after 10 years of marriage she was still without children.  Her husband didn’t believe in women working outside the home, because that would mean they would likely have a man in authority over her, and the bible said only the husband should be over the wife.  She sold makeup and hair products out of her house and made enough money to afford cable TV.

Chapter Two

She had a ladies bible study she went to every Wednesday at 10am.  They were reading through the entire old testament, focusing on the characteristics of an obedient woman.  It had grown from just 5 ladies to now over 20.  She had hoped after the last year’s curriculum of studying the heroic men of the scripture, they would do something more contemporary, maybe a study of how to deal with the stresses of modern life as a Christian.  She was more depressed by this not happening than she at first realized.

Chapter Three

One day in the summer of 2013 Blue asked the bible study leader if they could talk after the study was over.  She smiled at her and said of course.  The leader was the Pastor’s wife.  Her name was Millicent but everyone called her Milly.  She had perfect skin and always smelled wonderful. Blue had known her for 10 years but had never had any deep conversations with her.  She hadn’t had deep conversations with many people because it was very seldom her husband allowed her to be alone with others.  It wasn’t that he didn’t trust her he said, but that he didn’t trust others. He wanted to make sure no alien or strange ideas were given to her.  She once had to go get her tires rotated and had a conversation with a man in the waiting room. She told her husband about the conversation and he got very angry at her, slapping her and telling her how dangerous that was.  She was slapped and hit for many reasons over the years.

Chapter Four

While she waited to have the conversation, Milly escorted the rest of the ladies to the front door and said her goodbyes. They all looked at Blue as they went out with an expression of pity that was very familiar to her.  She had seen it often over the past 10 years. Mostly at church, but also at the dollar store where she did a lot of her shopping and the hair salon.

Milly came back in the room and sat down in the straight back chair next to Blue.  Milly had great posture, always sitting up straight and keeping her chest up.  Blue once thought it was her way of showing off her figure without having to show any flesh but then she felt bad thinking Milly would be so shallow and vain like her and decided she was just trained right as a child.

Chapter Five

Blue asked Milly if she had ever been depressed.  Milly looked at her through her colored contacts and said, “Yes Blue, I have been depressed.  It was when I was 21 and I didn’t have a boyfriend since junior year in high school.  I remember being so sad.  But my daddy told me to pray for a husband even harder and it would happen. Sure enough it did and once Billy found me and took me as his bride I haven’t been depressed ever since.  Of course, having 5 kids and leading all you ladies doesn’t give me any time to be depressed even if I wanted to be!  Why do you ask Blue?”

Blue explained to her that she was afraid she would never have children.  Milly responded confidently, “You will have children Blue. I just know it. First thing we need to do is pray for that, right now.” Milly led a very fast and adamant prayer pleading with God to give Blue a baby.  She even asked that it happen that very night.   She then said, “Blue, you need to go home and get your self ready so when your husband comes home he won’t be able to resist you.  I bet you anything if you can do that, tonight you are going to make a baby!”

Chapter Six

In the strangest of ways that conversation was the turning point in Blue’s life.  While Milly expected Blue to heed her bible study leader’s helpful guidance and go home to get the house clean, get herself showered and pretty for her husband, that is not what happened.  What really happened was Blue found herself unexpectedly laughing inside at the absurdity of the whole idea. She knew her husband would never have sex with her, no matter what she did. She knew he hadn’t been able to get or sustain an erection for over 2 years, probably due to his excessive drinking and weight gain.  He got much more excited about yelling at her and hitting her than he ever did having sex with her.

Chapter Seven

Instead of going straight home Blue did the one thing she had always been afraid to do growing up in west Texas.  She was teased and laughed at for not learning how to do it.  After the bible study she drove to the All-Texas Gun Range in the neighboring town and signed up for lessons.

She didn’t tell her husband, and she made sure to always to have all the clothes she wore to the gun range off and in the wash before he came home, just in case there was a gun powder smell on them. She also made sure to shower.  She made sure to always go to the Piggly Wiggly supermarket and get some groceries when she went so he wouldn’t question her mileage on her car, which he always checked.

Epilogue

Six months later her husband died in hunting accident when he was accidentally shot by a hunter.  The hunter and his friends swore they never saw him and couldn’t imagine how they hit him. But it was found out he did not have his orange vest on for some reason and with his camo outfit on could barely be seen. The hunter was exonerated of any wrong doing but insisted to anyone who would listen that he did not shoot him.

After his death, Blue moved to Louisiana to live and help with an elderly aunt. She started using her given name, Trinity, and got a job at a makeup counter in a department store.  She was the number one saleswoman 3 years running.  She adopted twins, a boy and a girl, and never got married again.

The End

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Drawing and story by Marty Coleman

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The Grandson – Otis Martin Coleman Patzner

 

It’s happened again! I am a grandfather.  My daughter, Chelsea, gave birth to my first grandson.  Otis Martin Coleman Patzner was born 7/27/14 at 10:41pm in Santa Rosa, California.  He was a healthy 8 lbs, 7 oz. This is just over a year after Rebekah gave birth to Vivian, my first granddaughter, so we are adding to the family at a spry pace and Linda and I couldn’t be happier!

And if you ask if I am happy they stuck my name right smack dab in the middle of his, Papa Marty says, Damn straight I am!

 

thegrandson-otis_7-27-14_sm

 

Both Chelsea and Otis’ father, Graham Patzner, are creative musicians, and both come from creative family lineage so I have no doubt Otis is going to follow that creative thread in some way. It might not be guitar, but it will be something!

 

Five Dangerous Things I Did – Enjoying Life #4

 

It’s no secret, today is #4 of our ‘Enjoying Life’ series!

 

Enjoying Life #4

 

Five Dangerous Things I Did as a Teenager that I Enjoyed 

Taking my small boat out alone after midnight for a rendezvous with 3 European women, 2 Swedish, 1 Finnish, who were anchored out on a boat in a nearby cove.  My buddies and I had met them earlier that day while water skiing.  Nobody really believed me when I told them what happened, but it did. Kids, if you are reading this, don’t do this.

Hitchhiking from Connecticut to Ohio during my freshman year of college with my roommate.  We promised the young couple who picked us up and who were eloping to Florida (or something like that) a joint or two if they took us all the way to the campus, which they did and we did.  We were two days late and didn’t think it all that important to tell anyone where we were. Our friends and family weren’t happy about that but we had fun.  Kids, if you are reading this, don’t do this.

Streaking (running naked, a fad in the 70s) across my college campus in the snow in the middle of the night and getting stuck behind a grove of trees with 3 friends when a performance let out at the local theatre and the cars exited on the road we had to cross to get back to the dorm. We were stuck for about 10 minutes and it was COLD! Kids, if you are reading this, don’t do this.

Taking the air conditioner out of my girlfriend’s bedroom window from the outside so I could sneak in and having to run like hell when I almost got caught by her father.  I guess I could trace my running career to that night if I really want to. Kids, if you are reading this, don’t do this.

Driving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for spring break with a friend.  Our parents were out of town and we didn’t think it necessary to tell them we were going. We meant to go to Florida but the car broke down in South Carolina so we spent our break in a Burger King parking lot near the beach. Luckily, we knew some girls who were staying in Myrtle Beach so we hung out with them for most of the week.  The car (an old Rambler my dad got for $200.00) was toast by the time we got home and had to be junked. Kids, if you are reading this, don’t do this.

What dangerous things did you do when you were a teenager?

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Drawing and remembrance by Marty Coleman

Quote by Frederich Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900, German writer and philosopher

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The secret of reaping the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously