Benjamin Eckstein

Ben married his high school sweetheart, Megan, and has four beautiful daughters. Ben is a veteran, a science teacher, a bird watcher, an avid procrastinator, and is fluent in sarcasm.

Saint Paris, Ohio 10 posts

The Whole Heart

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart... Psalm 138:1 (ESV) Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, and this year the usual traditions that my family observes are being slightly interrupted due to one reason or another. This interruption gave me just enough space to begin thinking about Thanksgiving in general. It's called "Thanksgiving," but I can't really name one significant way in which I actually "give thanks." What does it even mean to give thanks? Albert Einstein is often credited with saying some version of the quote that "if you can't explain [something] simply, you don't understand it well enough." This quote hit home today as I tried to teach my daughters how to be thankful. They were...

Same-Sex Marriage and the Church: An Itch I Needed to Scratch.

Ever had an itch that you really needed to scratch and either couldn't reach, or felt reluctant to scratch because you thought it wouldn't bring relief? That feeling, in my opinion, is one of the most annoying feelings one can experience, much like the hiccups or the pins and needles sensation from leaning awkwardly on a limb. Ever since I began blogging on Not At The Dinner Table, I have had an intellectual itch that I have been somewhat reluctant to scratch. It seems like it was so long ago now, but it was only a little over a year ago that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states must allow same-sex marriage. Do you remember 16...

Fear: The Mind-Killer

As the tell-tale signs of a crisp fall begin to make the shortening days of rural Ohio more enjoyable, I am eagerly anticipating the joys of Winter. Winter is my least favorite of the four seasons, so I must focus on the things that make Winter enjoyable for me. I love playing Fox in the Henhouse in the snow with my kids just like my Grandmother did with her kids and my dad did with his. I enjoy using the snowblower to clear the sidewalks on my street. As a high school science teacher, I enjoy the occasional snow day off from school as much as any student. What I really look forward to doing during Winter is curling up...

The Kobayashi Maru: The Answer is "C"

Kobayashi Maru. Two words that you may not be familiar with unless, like me, you are a fan of science fiction movies. Specifically, Star Trek. The Kobayashi Maru is a test that Star Fleet cadets take during their training. The basic scenario is that a civilian ship is stranded in a neutral, or "no fly," zone inside of Klingon territory. The captain of the ship must try to find a way to rescue the crew of the stranded ship, but risks starting a war with the Klingons if they enter the neutral zone. If you saw either Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) or Star Trek (2009), then you know that The Kobayashi Maru is unbeatable. James T....

I Am Contemplating Suicide...And You Should Too

Have you ever felt like a Magic 8-Ball has a better idea about what is going on than you do? Generally, my answer to that would be "Never!" However, when it comes to suicide, self-harm, depression, and anxiety I must admit that a Magic 8-Ball truly has more answers than I do. I have spent the past 32 years bouncing through life by the seat of my pants and loving every minute of it. I've always been able to maintain an attitude, or belief, that everything would be all right. When I find myself in a tough spot, I buckle down and work hard to get out of it. When something doesn't go my way, I shrug it off and...