Thursday, June 01, 2006

Beck's Interview

You have probably seen this on other sites; now it's on mine. Here's how it works.
1. Leave me a comment saying, "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to those questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.

The following interview questions were given to me as a result of a comment on this post on Beck's blog:

1. What family traditions did you enjoy most during your childhood (and/or later on)?

I would have to say that the family tradition I enjoyed most as a child, and also value most looking back on my childhood was an open Bible. My father would read to us stories from the Bible all the time growing up. He used to read to us at the dinner table, whenever he was home for dinner: sometimes he would just read, sometimes he would read and comment on each verse, and sometimes he would read, and we would talk about it afterwards (or sometimes during). It was always okay for us to ask questions, or to share what we enjoyed, or to disagree with or clarify something that he had said. We would have these scavenger hunts where he would hide pieces of paper with a reference on them throughout the house and yard. He would read us the first verse, and it would be a clue as to where the next one was hidden.

2. How do you calm yourself down when you're upset/angry about something (situational/relational/etc.)?

I think about it logically. Seriously: I'm like a Vulcan. Sometimes it is logical to be angry about something: being upset is a different matter ("upset", to me, means that you have lost control of your actions to your emotions; hence your personal balance has been overturned). There is nothing wrong, however, with acting on your emotions when they are warranted: it is the right thing to do. To think about something logically is to reflect on it from a wider point of view: emotions are one informational input to this logical question. Sometimes my emotional responses are more perceptive to the reality of the situation than my conscious observation: therefore it is of great benefit to think about what it is that has caused my emotions, and then determine the proper action to take in response. The most difficult times to calm myself down are when I feel truly vulnerable. The best and most complete point of view is the way God sees things.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. ~Psalm 127:2
It is an inexpressable comfort to know that no matter what happens to me, no matter how bad I just screwed things up in my own self-will, I have a Father who loves me and he will bend the past, present and future of the universe around me in order to lead me in the path of maximum blessing from where I am at that very moment. Sometimes it means I need to be humbled: perhaps I must suffer the consequences of my actions, perhaps He will grow me through sharing in the sufferings of Christ for righteousness. Whatever comes my way, I know this from scripture and experience: it passed through His hands first, and there is One who I can go to who has gone before me and overcome it all.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. ~1 John 4:18
3. When is the most mentally productive window of your day and do you make the most of this time?

The most mentally productive window of the day for me is from 11:30PM to whenever it is I finally convince myself that I really do need to get some sleep to be conscious the next day. I'm what's known as a "night owl." Some of my deepest discussions; my best writing; most enjoyable times spent with friends discussing about the universe, theology, and love; my most intimate times with God; have taken place in the wee hours of the morning after staying up past a reasonable person's bedtime. I don't really have a routine for making the most of my time, in any sense of the expression. Mostly, I just have to get on a roll: build enough momentum without distractions. The evening is a good time for this, because it doesn't have a set end time, so you don't have a clock ticking down (except the next morning's alarm clock, but that's why God invented the snooze button). If I don't have a time limit, I feel more free to become completely absorbed in whatever it is I happen to be doing. Most of my longer and deeper blog posts have been published after midnight.

4. Where do you see yourself in 6 months? (answer any way you like)

Oh, the places I could go with this question. Read on.

In six months, if it is what the Lord has for me, I will be in the beginning stages of the construction of my first house. The reason it will probably take so long to start is that King County's bureaucracy is notoriously slow at getting building plans approved. There is hope of an earlier start, however: my builder told me that since this is simply an undeveloped plat in a developed neighborhood, things are a lot simpler and should move more quickly.

In six months, I see myself dating someone. Someone very particular. Why do I think this, you might ask? Because we are dating now, and if I did not see myself with her in six months, then we would not be dating. Do you remember this post? Read the last paragraph. That was written on April 19th. On the 24th, after BSF, I asked her for her number, and we went out for the first time on the 29th. The Lord has blessed the two of us so much in this past month! It's been amazing to reflect back on our pasts and see the Lord preserving and protecting us in the same ways. I knew God had women like this because I know my mother and my sisters. I also know that I don't deserve one: but it's not going to freak me out if God gives her to me: he is after all in the business of giving me blessings I don't deserve. This might all be very distressing if I didn't also know that along with every gift He gives, He also supplies the power to live up to what I have been given.

No, I'm not yet sure that she's "the one," though I do believe that God has one picked out for me. He'll let us both know of his plan in time. Meanwhile, I will treat her with honor and purity, and wait on the Lord to show us what comes next. If in the end we are not meant for each other, God's plans are hardly going to be frustrated by such a course of action.

So, why wasn't this plastered all over my blog from the very beginning? Hey, it's me! Don't you know I'm the soul of discretion?

Why am I posting this now? Well, it was bound to come out sooner or later, and that was such a leading question: I figure if you read this far into my posts then you deserve to be thrown a bone every now and then.

I don't believe anyone should ever think they need to read my blog in order to find out how I feel about them: they should know that already, and if I mention them on my blog, what I say should reinforce it. I also don't feel comfortable announcing things that I'm still processing, or things that affect someone else's privacy, though I have been known to slip from time to time.

5. Why did you move to WA?

There was this guy, and he called me up and said that he would pay me to write software. How cool is that! The job offer was the main reason, but I don't know if I would have been willing to come up here with all the wetness and darkness had the Lord not taken steps to prepare me for the journey. You know those times in your life when you think, "I have no clue what God is doing in my life." Yeah, those are the times you look back on later, and say "I can see exactly what God was doing with me then." because those are the times he causes you to grow.

California is a really nice place to live. The weather is awesome, and my family is all there. Need I say more?

So, if you're God and you have to get Tim away from the beach, and his friends and family, and all the nice things in Southern California, what do you do? Well, you start by removing some of these things from him, but not in a mean way; don't yank them out of his hands at once: just tug them far enough away that he is willing to let go. Then make sure that he is amply supported in the place where you're taking him. Give him something worthwhile to do that he can use later: he doesn't have to understand why: remember, he needs to learn to trust you more.

You know that job he has in Long Beach? Yeah, that's going to have to move out to the Mojave Desert. It's close enough that he can come back to all these things every other weekend or so, but far enough away that he can't depend on them. He'll need a bit of stability and lots of love, so let's get his empty-nester parents up there to Tehachapi. Keep in mind that we're preparing him for a specific place tailored to his growth in Washington, so we need to get him used to a small assembly, but make it a spiritually dynamic one: remember how you moved the Peter and Elizabeth up to Tehachapi earlier? They're your ace in the hole at this assembly, really show them off. Now we have to set the stage in Washington:

Tim knows a lot of people from the area, but as far as close friends, he's a bit short. The Tonns and the Klassens are your key assets here, along with each of the other families in the Newcastle and Tacoma assemblies. In fact, why don't we throw in the Kerrs just for good measure. Really work in all their hearts to produce love and care for him. Also, a good trick with Tim to really get him to feel at home is to get him to interact with the kids: that won't take too much work, though. Of course, he'll need a ministry while he's up there: but then you've had that in mind for quite some time: the singing up there is in pretty bad shape too, why don't you see what we can do to work something out. Keep him in the word, and keep him challenged and stimulated to growth: you've got just the recipe for that: BSF and a roommate on a much different, though by your infinite wisdom and design, convergent path to Christ-likeness.

That's not even the half of it, though.

it would be nice if you answered before tuesday, which is when we leave for israel, so i can read your answers before i forget about it.... =)

This didn't happen, but hopefully you'll find my responses worth the wait.

one more question about myers briggs. what personality type is your father? if i recall correctly, your mom and i are the same: INTJ. when sarah was here for the wedding, she observed something in josh and my relationship that reminded her of your parents so i was just curious. as near as we can tell, josh is usually an ENTP but on some characteristics he's pretty borderline.

My mom and you do not have the same type, but you and Sarah do. My mom and dad are ISTJ and ESFP respectively. The following is highly speculative in nature: Sarah may have been referring to the fact that my parents' types are perfect compliments: both concrete, but opposite in other respects, whereas (and here is where I'm really speculating) she may have noticed that Josh is an ENFP, which would be the compliment type to an INTJ. Josh doesn't strike me as an NT, though I readily admit to not knowing him as well as you would, you being married to him and all.

To think of the difference between NT and NF, think of the difference between me and Josh (my brother) (INTP/INFP) or Anna and Sarah (ENFJ/INTJ). Not that all differences in personality can be accounted for using types, but they can be a useful tool. For a good reference ENTP, one need look no further than Caleb.

Sarah seems to have dropped off the face of the blogosphere. Perhaps if enough of us prod and poke at her, she'll return and address this pressing matter in a comment or some such.

It's too bad about his borderline personality disorder, though. That must be tough.

CONGRATULATIONS on the property. when does escrow close and/or you start mortgage payments? were you able to do it in one loan (buy and build) or did you have to get another one to build? i really hope all goes well and i really hope it doesn't rain while they frame your house. that can set things back so much. when will it be all completed? 2007? 2008? i'm a fan of the bumped out window on the first floor; is it a window seat? are their vaulted ceilings? and so on and so forth.

Thank you. Escrow is set to close on July 28th. (Barbecue, anyone?) I'm going for a single construction loan including land, which will convert to a mortgage when the house is complete. While under construction, I will pay interest-only (it's a higher rate than the final loan) on what has been drawn from the loan account. At this point, I'm looking at getting an interest-only loan, because I intend to sell the house after a few years (like, say, 2). I plan on renting out the rest of the rooms while I'm living there, because otherwise I have no idea what I would do with all that space, and rent money is a nice way to pay a house payment. I can pretty much count on it raining during construction: that's just the way things are up here. The builder said it would take about 6 months from start to finish to build the house.

As for the architectural details: the builder told me when we went to visit the lot that it would work quite well to put in a daylight basement. It would be unfinished, but I could take care of that. The only question is, would it add significantly to the resale value? I'm not here to build my dream home, at least not yet. I'm looking at putting 9ft ceilings on the bottom floor with 10ft in the living and dining rooms, and a vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom upstairs. I'm also told that I simply "must" put in a secret passage that opens behind a bookcase.


  1. I'm all for a secret passage. That's an excellent idea!

    Most interesting post, Tim.

    I'm game.

    "Interview me", please.

  2. You know, Washington DOES have beaches. It is the most wonderfully diverse state, and the darkness and rain make the light and sunshine all the more enjoyable when they do come. Could we appreciate the warm weather so much if we didn't have all the cold weather here? It gets darker in the winter here, true, but in the summer we have much longer days than California has. (By the way, God lives in Washington.)

    I almost lived in California this year. I was going to go to Laguna Beach and spend a year in discipleship with my mum's friend (John Fischer's wife, Marti). It took a long time to make that descision because I don't like the California weather, and too much sunshine (for my fair skin! I can be in the sun for 10 minutes and end up burnt). Somehow those plans fell through but even just making that decision had prepared me for other things. God knows how to make things work, eh? Every single little detail; it amazes me.

  3. OK so I wasn't expecting you to post my whole email but thank you for your answers just the same! Very good. I can see why you would tend to classify my Josh as an NF because I would tend to too, some of the time. But then I also see a very NT side of him other times. So he's complicated which is perfect because it'll take all my life to figure him out. Maybe.
    And I think I'm getting more "extrovertedish" as I get older, but not at all as much as Josh is.

  4. Ah yes, I am around. I've updated my blog.

    I've gotten rusty on my Myers-Briggs types. I recently thought a girl who is an SJ was an SP, just because she's an E. Silly me.

  5. Still waiting for my interview here... ;)

  6. As far as the secret room thing, you know about web sites such as


    But like they say, with something as cool as this, how can you keep it a secret?

    We had a laundry chute between the main floor and the basement. We hung a rope ladder in there and the kids would climb up and down.