Packed 1440 minutes

I had an interesting last 24 hours.  Yesterday, I got home from work after a ten minute bike ride. (It usually takes me 12 minutes). The sky was overcast so I debated whether or not to go to my church to caulk windows. I decided that the time of supper and weather would dictate my decision.  I also decided I was going to go on a 6 mile run late last night. About 5 o’clock, C and G came over and started the movie, “Facing the Giants”. It’s a good movie, but we were interrupted around 6:50 to eat our steaks and green beans, among other things.

When dinner was finished it really was too late to be going to church to work and there was still about an hour left of the movie. So I decided to stick around and go do windows tonight. The movie got done and we talked for a while, texting one of C’s friends from college. About 10 o’clock, I left to go on my run, my brother J having shown up and restarted the movie.

I ran 6 miles in 41 minutes and change. The first three miles were faster and I kinda dropped off in the middle, around 27th and Cornhusker. I thought about writing a screenplay or organizing a fun run, where the proceeds would go to a project at church or the Peoples City Mission or something along those lines.  As the run drew on, I began to picture the time on the stove back at home reading 11:38, forty minutes after I had left. I wanted to see it and pushed myself for speed.

This morning, I went out to bike to work to find its rear tire completely flat. It wasn’t what I’d hoped for, but J had been driving to work for weeks so I hitched a ride with him. I had made a lunch and brought my backpack full of my bible and my book. I read my bible for the ten minutes before I had to clock in and set my mind on being Godly throughout my workday.

An hour into work, I receive a text from C and instead of painting baseboards, I labor through a series of messages. It is good and has highlighted an otherwise monotonous day of scraping old paint off doorjams and repainting them. I write an outline of what happens next in my story during lunch and get back to work.

Now, my feet and legs hurt from running and standing to paint the 9ft tall doors but I will nevertheless go to church this evening to caulk the windows, not because I should, but because God has iven me the ability and knowledge to do that and serving Him in that way is what I’m called to.

At some point, I’ll finish my dialogue on maturity, but what’s left is only deductions that I’ve made in looking at the foundations of maturity I discussed in part 1. A site will go up as soon as I can figure it out with my book for some of you to read through. And a screenplay is not an unheard of thing for the future.

JA Menter

“Greatness is determined not by what power one wields but by what power one choses not to wield.”

Maturity, Part 1

“Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind…” Phil 3:15a  ”

So…what is that maturity that Paul was talking about?  Being a words kind of guy, I looked up the words ‘mature’ and ‘maturity’ in Webster’s 1828 dictionary.  The definition of ‘mature’ (adj) that caught my eye was this: completed; prepared; ready. The only question would be prepared and ready for what?

Romans 8:29 says that we are ‘predestined to be conformed into the image of His Son’.  The end result of maturity is a perfect reflection of Jesus Christ, but the process by which that occurs is called, in biblical terms, santification, which means to cleanse or purify.  Ephesians 5:26-27 says, “…that He might sanctify her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she might be holy and without blemish.”

Then, if maturation and sanctification are the same thing, than what does the end product look like?  To examine this, I looked at Jesus’s life on earth as an example.  Nowhere is His life and purpose better described than in Phil 2:5-8. It reads, “Let this mind (sometimes translated attitude) be in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being in the appearance of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

There are four things that I see in that brief look at Christ-Humility, Selflessness, Bond-Servanthood, and Obedience.  These things were characteristics of His attitude, just as they should be evident in our attitudes.

First, Selflessness-though He was God, He laid down His rights as God to take the form of man; He made Himself of no reputation. Too often we forget that as a Christian, we have no rights. Jesus said if a man asks you for your cloak to give him your tunic as well, or walk the extra mile. Philippians 2:3-4 says “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others.”

Second, he took the form of a bondservant.  Bondservants are servants that choose to serve a master, not because of duty but because of love for the master and a desire to serve him.  Paul called himself a bondservant of Christ in his letter to the Church at Phillipi. Jesus served his disciples at the Lord’s Supper when he washed their feet. He came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Third, he was obedient, even to death on a cross. This obedience was not done out of a sense of duty but rather love. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.”(John 14:15)  Jesus was obedient in service to the Father and gave His life as a ransom for you and I. Again, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)

Lastly, Jesus had humility. This can’t be much more obvious than it already is. Each of the other points also deal with humility, which is why I believe it is the driving thing behind the maturing process, “For God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (Proverbs 3:34) Humility is foundational to the life of a believer, just as it was to the life of Christ.

So then, in a practical sense, what does all this look like?  Paul talks about these things in his epistles, first as abstract concepts that stem from our understanding of God and His work in us, then as practical outward shows of His work in us. (Romans 12; Gal 5:22-25; Eph 4-6; Phil 3-4; Col 3-4; etc)

The sweet thing about all this is that, although we have a part to play in this process of sanctification, God is the one that causes the growth. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13) “And He who began a good work in you will carry it out to complete until the day of Christ.” (Phil 1:6) “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly await for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Phil 3:20-21)

Work all week; Party all weekend

My supervisor, Gerry (Pronounced like Gary) says “It’s almost Friday!” almost every Monday morning as a joke. We really have 32 hours of work before we can even rest up for the final 8 hours of our Friday to usher in the weekend. Friday, of course, is the beginning of the weekend in most people’s minds and is either the hardest day of the work week or the easiest. This last Friday qualified as the former.
First, it was overcast when it was time to clock in, weather conditions that always meant we had an incredibly long day of waiting for drywall mud or piant of any sort to dry. July 18 was no different. Our project for the day was to repaint an apartment at the university’s Park Apartment Complex (Park) on 43rd and Holdrege streets.
We’d been working at Love Memorial Hall all week, slaving in the creepy rooms hot with disuse and on a tiny black ribbon on the hallways of Burr. This was one last gasp before a much needed relaxing weekend.
When we got to Park, the apartment was dusty and cluttered with the remnants of the remodeling the project crew had done. We took about thirty minutes to clean up, while one of my coworkers took “before” pictures on his camera phone. The apartment was particularly bad, with dust in the AC ventilation and base needing primer and holes in the drywall at random places. We went to work methodically painting what needed to be painted.
Usually, I’m in a fairly good mood, even on a Friday, but that day, I had a giant knot in my throat and a pit in my stomach. There were things I’d resolved to do the night before that weighed heavily on me. I sent a text over first break, which came not a moment too soon, but the rest of the day was almost unbearable.
I really don’t remember a whole lot about what we did, only that I couldn’t wait for the 28,800 seconds to tick by so I could bike twelve minutes to get home and start my weekend of relaxation.
Almost immediately when I got home, a number of my family headed off to a restaurant to have a party before my sister, Rebekah, leaves for Mexico and my other sister goes back to Columbus for a PA rotation. We go and have a great time, but I’m still thinking about the thing I’d resolved to do the night before.
Opportunity comes and I fulfill that resolution better than how I’d milled over it all day. I felt like a dumptruck load of bricks was lifted from my shoulders and I could breathe again. At ten-thirty, sleep finds me quickly.
Saturday morning, I wake up earlier than I normally do to go to a men’s breakfast at church and I wanted to finish some painting there too, but I had slept like a doll so I should’ve been fine, Right? Maybe!
The Men’s meeting was excellent and I started sanding drywall mud and applying primer. My cousin, Joe, called me at eleven but I couldn’t answer because my phone was almost dead. That noon at home, I’m told that Joe is coming over shortly. I am excited of course because I hadn’t seen him since early June.
Before I knew it, a party had been planned for the evening to celebrate the groundbreaking of our new addition. (As if we really needed a reason to get together with friends).
Sunday, a speaker from the Grace children’s home came give us a report of how things were going at the home. He was a sophomore in college and we invited him out to Golden Coral. Partying again! by three o’clock, I was quite wiped out. I enjoy talking to people and conversing about things, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming. Answering questions in the spur of the moment when I’d much rather think about it a little while and give an answer that’s concise and to the point.
The bunch of us watch a movie and talk afterward. By this point, I’d recooperated from giving answers all the time and was back to my old self, absorbing the conversation and throwing thoughts out as I deemed them pertinent. Many topics and three nerf wars later, it was time to ready myself for another work week.

Today, We were in an appartment on Vine street. The previous tenant had not taken very good care of it during his ten year stay and a lot needed to be done. The Park apartment from Friday was clean and niche free compared to the disaster we had on our hands. Already exhausted from partying all weekend, I was tempted to be discouraged about what the week had in store for us, instead I buckled down and set to work.
We got more things done than I had hoped and it looks like apartments normally do when we first go in to touch them up. (I wish we’d taken before & after pictures of this one instead of at Park!)
So my weekend consisted of a lot of partying and the bookends were disaster areas at work. Who could tell what the next wek will bring!

JA Menter
“Attitude reflects maturity and humility is its foundation.”

“Hot” or Beautiful

At work today, my co-workers were discussing what female celebrities were on their top 5 “hot” list.  The conversation drew on for maybe a half an hour as each of the four weighed in with their opinions. Then K jumped in with, “I really don’t have a top 5 ‘Hot’ list.  I don’t really use that word; I use ‘beautiful’.”  As I listened in while I painted, I recalled the distinction that I had defined in an essay I wrote last semester.  I think K was trying to get at the same things I had in my essay.


The term “hot” has been misused to describe nearly every girl that walks the planet earth.  The word “beautiful” has taken a backseat in society to the realm of being “hot”.  But what so do these words really mean in this context?

First, the word “hot” when describing females takes much the same meaning as “stud” for males.  Being “hot” means that one lays it all out there and many times it’s all out there.  This is characterized by decorating oneself and selling the mask as a con artist would sell their scam.  Frankly, this shouldn’t fool, but too often it does.  It grabs for attention, searching the surface of human interaction for something to gratify its vanity NOW.  It consists too often of superficially sexual relationships.

The word “beautiful” in this context could be used to describe completely the opposite side.  A woman considered beautiful needn’t decorate herself because that is not what she relies upon to recommend herself.  There is no reason to wear a mask because they distract from the audience she desires.  In this case, there is no scam.  This beautiful woman doesn’t seek attention but rather friendship with roots deeper than just the changing surface, into the bedrock of the mind and intelligence.

This distinction creates a polarization for the contrast of female behavior and a spectrum of beauty.  What is important in all of this is something often overlooked—the heart motive. 

Having these qualities of beauty tell a lot about what the woman wants in her man.  That man must be in love, not with her outer beauty—although he will—but with her, her mind and soul.  She wants something stronger than attraction, which is here today and gone tomorrow.

These women slip under the radar because they do not follow the culture’s set of rules.  Society as a whole has dumbed this down and placed emphasis on the instant gratification of a human’s unmistakably evil, sinful desires so much that few can discern the difference because they have become falsely synonymous.


As far as this goes, I think that most guys really want a woman that falls into the “beautiful” category, even if they make it seem like they don’t care.  It’s really misfortunate that many women feel that pressure to be “hot”, and I think the reason lies in the mistaken idea that guys actually like women like that.  It is more than time that we stand up and say that they don’t have to be anorexic and wear eighty layers of makeup to get our attention; They only need to possess something more than what is visible.


Those of you that have already figured this out, I give you a standing ovation, and hope this encourages your heart.  You are noticed and it’s not because of things seen but the things unseen.


 Joshua Menter


“The Lord saves the mountain of strength!”


Getting started!

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of bloging and now will give it a try.  As much as this is a production of my thoughts, I hope they are genuine and sincere. 

Since I’m new to this, I hope people can give me tips along the way.  I can’t go any further without giving credit to my sisters R and C, for their support on this new endeavor.


Joshua Menter

“The Lord saves the mountain of strength!”