About Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes a 7-year-old beagle and a 5-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, dog boarding, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

Fidget spinner craze

Fisher spinners are the new craze until something else comes along. My niece’s have them. My neighbors kids have them. Adults have them. They’re everywhere! Here’s a video I made with one of my niece’s and her fidget spunner.

Advertisements

Being punished by God

Do you ever feel like you’re being punished by God? I had one of those experiences recently, and I’m so glad it didn’t last long. In those couple of days one thing I found interesting is that I had anger towards God. And that, my friends, is me admitting I’m not very spiritually mature. To think about it another way, try remembering when one of your parents grounded you. More times that not, we were instantly mad at our parents, right? Forget whatever we did wrong, that was totally beside the point! How dare mom or dad discipline us and RUIN OUR LIVES!!!!!!!
rain

“I turned my back on everything that was true.”

That’s the same way I acted when I felt like I was being punished by God. I was all like, “Wassup with that, God?” “Why me?” “Why don’t you care?” And God was all like, “Read the Bible!” “Isaiah 58.” “Chump!” OK, OK, not in those exact words but I opened up to Isaiah 58 and yowza, a scolding. A brief recap: God’s people were wondering why He didn’t seem to care about them (this happened quite a bit with them). They did this or that thinking it’s what God wanted. But He called them out on it, with beautiful clarity and insight. That’s the first half of the chapter, anyway. It goes on to offer what God desired from them, and for them. It’s sweet, actually, and very encouraging. After reading that chapter, I saw my attitude for what it really was: sour, unjustified, and immature.

“Left to myself I realize / I am the maker of my own demise.”

I was upset with God when I should’ve been upset with myself. What I blamed Him for was actually just a consequence of my own shortcoming. And while He may have allowed it to happen, feeling like punishment to me, it might have simply been Him using the consequences as discipline. Like if you’re a parent, maybe you did’t save your child from getting suspended when they got caught skipping school or whatever. Know what I mean? They reaped (rept? rooped?) what they had sown. It’s a chance for them to learn something, even if it’s the hard way.

Father-and-Son-Holding-Hands

“Some people gotta learn the hardway.”

This experience was a low moment, but I hope I never forget it because man, God is so good. He hung with me through it and even had a blessing for me on the other side. Totally unfair. A blessing. I was all like, “Really?” and God was all like, “Really.”

Not in those exact words. 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

10 more signs a Christian guy is into you

via-quickmeme.com_A while back I published my first lighthearted and completely unreliable post for how to tell a Christian guy is into you (click here for that list). Well, it’s time for another. Just as lighthearted. Just as unreliable. Enjoy!

10. You comment that his man-bun reminds you of Samson from the Bible. He responds by flexing for you.

9. He invites you on a coffee date… to the coffeeshop in the east quadrant of your mega church.

8. He uses this lame-o line: I’d be pretty bad at mission work, ’cause you’re the only “miss” I’d have my “i on”.

7. He says he’d totally “leave and cleave” for you.

6. He doesn’t want you to be a MISSionary. He wants you to be a MRSionary.

5. He brings two sets of ear plugs when the two of you attend the contemporary worship service.

4. He loves that you’re learning Greek but he still wants to French with you.

3. He wants to stomp grapes with you just so he can wash your feet.

2. He tells you he has a sensitive side, which includes being seeker-sensitive.

1. He says you put the ‘angel‘ in evangelical.

Bonus! If you’re itching for a beach vacation, here are 10 signs you’re ready for one.

 

All the jobs I’ve had with my brother

The other day I was thinking about how a lot of the jobs I’ve had are thanks to, and were right along side, members of my family. Probably because we’re both guys and only a year and a half apart, it was my brother that I worked with mostly. Going all the way
back to 4th grade, I remember helping him deliver newspapers when we lived in Fort Adams; military housing in Newport, Rhode Island.

Paper or plastic, ma’am?
wdMy first real job, though, was bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie in Miami, Florida… once the area recovered from Hurricane Andrew, that is. Who was bagging there, too? Yep, my bro. The dynamic duo at your service! I have a few memories from this job. The one that stands out most was this lady that came through the line, you had to keep an eye on her, for sure. Even thinking about it now, all the fear I had in the moment rushes back. I think she just had some sort of mental disorder but here’s what she would do: grab something from a nearby shelf (like a candy bar next to the register), throw it on the ground and step on it. At one point, she had a loaf of bread in her hand. Tossed it down, stepped directly in the middle of it. I couldn’t believe it. She did this with a few other things, too. Weird stuff, man.

We gotta wake up at what time????
hardeesFast forward a couple of years and my brother and I were spending the summer in Monticello, Florida. Our dad was starting a new job in New York, so he went up early, before the rest of us moved there from Florida. My mom was spending time in Tallahassee with her parents. So there we were living with my dad’s parents in a house they built off of South Mulberry Street. Well, about a block away was a Hardee’s. We both got jobs making biscuits on the weekend. We only worked a couple days a week, but just knowing we had to wake up at 4am both days was enough to ruin the entire week. But it was pretty awesome to have grandparents that woke up with us, made us breakfast, and drove us the 1 block to get there. And our boss was funny, in a “does he think we’re curing cancer?” kind of way. One time a batch of biscuits came out overcooked. Lost the batch. Boss proceeded to punch the wall. Classic.

You’ve got to scalp ’em Seminoles!
Two years later we were both students at Florida State and he helped me get a job at the Leach Center, where he was already working. We both worked there for the remainder of our college careers. This job reinforced the importance of being on time. They didn’t have much tolerance for being late, I’ll say that! We both made a lot of good friends there, some we are still friends with today. And by the way, if you’re ever trying to use someone else’s ID to sneak in somewhere, at least make sure you kinda sorta possibly look like them! College kids, man, you’d think they’d be a little smarter 😉Leach New Inside

It’s where, now?
Another place we both worked was a summer camp in Lampe, Missouri. It’s called Kanakuk. I know, I know, I just said a few words you may not have heard before. But Lampe is about an hour south of Branson and Kanakuk is pronounced can-uh-cuck. An amazing place for kids to learn sports taught by college athletes and at the same time, grow in your relationship with God. No, I was not a college athlete. Unless you count being intramural champs, baaabbaaayyy! DSC09261My brother and I both count Kanakuk as a big influence on our lives, from the people we met and worked with there, to shaping our outlook on life and faith.

We’ve also worked together on various video projects over the years. One might be a workout video, another a sports highlight reel. Here’s one we made recently of his son, my nephew, playing football.

So I’ll finish by saying that of all the things my brother is great at (sports, public speaking, being a brother, friend, etc), he’s also been a great co-worker. And he’s got an amazing younger brother, too!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

So you’re a newlywed, huh?

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.22.49 AMI was chatting with a friend recently about someone she knows who’s getting married. We covered some of the details most people love knowing about when it comes to weddings: location, the couple, the excitement of the families. It’s great when two people love each other, and side note, if you’re a girl wondering if a guy might be interested in you, check out another post of mine: 10 Signs He’s Into You.

My friend mentioned that the two people getting married aren’t Christians and neither go to church, which is why their wedding is taking place somewhere other than a church and not officiated by a pastor. We sort of left it as hoping for the best for the couple and that their marriage will last. I enjoyed the conversation but always wonder why I come up with my best comments well after any particular topic is over.

In this case, I didn’t have much to say in the moment about the folks getting married not being Christians. But if I could do it over, I’d say something about all of us, no matter where we are now, started somewhere. We all have a story and sometimes a relationship with God starts at a young age, sometimes not. Sometimes it never starts at all. My hope for these soon-to-be newlyweds is that in the process of getting married, and being married, that God reveals Himself to them. After all, marriage is spoken about a lot in the Bible and I believe God holds it in very high regard.

Another hope: just don’t screw it up! I say that playfully, yet reflecting on how mankind has pretty much screwed up everything at some point or another. God has given us so many good things, marriage included, and we’ve managed to pervert all of it. And that goes for Christ-followers, too. Here’s the thing about that, by the way. At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat. People who call themselves Christians aren’t any better than anyone else. Like it says in the Old Testament, “We all like sheep have gone astray.” We’re all looking for an answer. We’re all seeking peace, happiness, and something to worship.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.23.01 AMSo I still definitely hope for the best for my friend’s friends who are getting married. I hope it’ll last, that they positively wreck the statistics of divorce. And especially, I hope somehow they’re willing and able to understand a little more about God through their marriage. And if/when they have kids, they get another glimpse into the character of God, as it’s revealed through a parent’s love for their children.

Maybe you can’t exactly relate to getting married, being a newlywed or even becoming a parent. Hey, I certainly can’t! But we can all relate to one key take-away:

Whatever you’re doing, just don’t screw it up. 🙂
Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.22.36 AM-Out of the Wilderness

PS. All of these stunning photos were taken by amazing photographer Joe Hendricks. More incredible wedding photos can be seen on his website, along with breathtaking landscape photos (available for purchase)! Click here, you won’t be sorry!

5 reasons drivers can’t just chhiiiilllllllllllll

If you live in a big city (think Atlanta, NYC, Los Angeles, etc), you probably already know exactly how this blog is gonna go. Traffic is the worst, right? Afternoon rush hour has turned into afternoon rush afternoon here in Nashville. Especially if you throw rain into the mix, or, ya know, just the threat of gentle spring shower. FREAK OUT!
Fangirl GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
And don’t try to pick up bread and milk at a grocery story, because the shelves will already be empty! But there’s more to the traffic problem and no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than just precipitation. Here in Nashville, we have the problems a lot of growing cities have: construction (some say the state bird is the crane), school zones, plus area population growing by more than 100 people per day.

crane

Cranes, cranes, and more cranes! (credit: Nathan Morgan – Nashville Business Journal)

My top 5 reasons traffic is the way it is…

Bumper to Bumper the avenue was packed.
-Vanilla Ice

1. Construction. If you visit downtown Nashville anytime between 8am and forever, you’re going to get stuck behind 30 cars, a dump truck, and a lane that’s closed off.

2. Population growth. As mentioned, the population is growing by over 100 a day. Most are folks moving here, so I guess some are babies being born. They don’t account for the bad traffic, but give it 16 years and watch out.

3. Weather. Lots of this makes lots of traffic.

4. Hello road rage. People are angry. When bottlenecks, slowdowns, and stupidity happen on the road, people get mad. Mad people make quick decisions. This often leads to mistakes. I give you, Exhibit A. Watch the dark sports car in the far left lane. This accident was caused by a dump truck abruptly slowing down for no apparent reason.
People making decisions out of sheer rage can often lead to even more traffic problems. This also leads directly into the next cause…

5. People think rules don’t apply to them.

These drivers might not directly cause bad traffic, but when their driving leads to wrecks, police involvement, or when they cut ahead of people, traffic is affected.

So here are the takeaways:
1. Everyone just needs to chhillllllllllll. It’s all gonna be OK.

2. Stop moving to Nashville. It’s not that great and the traffic is horrible. 😉

3. If you live in a city or town where traffic gets bad, leave earlier than you originally planned.

-Out of the Wilderness

Who was your first crush? Mine was…

In reality, this post will most likely be about music. But I’m just going to keep on typing and see where it goes. So you had a crush, did ya? Well, who was it? Mine was an icon of the 80s and she’s still around, though she’s probably in her 80s now.

Before the big reveal, it was a song called “Iko, Iko” that’s sort of led to this post. The song (originally from the 60s) has been performed by a billion and a half people since then, including this fun and charming take from Sia:

Sia’s version of the song was used for a dance routine by my 11-year-old niece which reminded me to look up the song on Spotify. Well, I couldn’t find the Sia version… dadgum it! On the bright side, the billion and a half other versions are on Spotify, even one by my first crush… Cyndi Lauper. She made me want to swing from the chandelier.

Then it dawned on me why I like Sia. She reminds me of Cyndi. Their voices on “Iko, Iko” sound very much alike and something could also be said about their style choices, too. Time after time, their look is spunky, they like creative and colorful costuming. All things I gravitate towards. What can I say? I like girls who just want to have fun. They’re the greatest.

Sooo I’ve shown my true colors so why don’t you do the same? Who was your first crush and why?

-Out of the Wilderness