Time for a vacation…

August 6, 2008

Well, it’s been too many years since I’ve taken more than a day or two; or a long weekend, off.

So this year the Mrs. and I are packing up the truck with our kids, a bunch of outdoors stuff, and driving up the hill, to Big Bear Lake, CA

Even if there IS internet up there, you’d find me skinned alive and hanging from a tree if I try and USE it (well, at least until my wife starts jonesing to check her email; then ALL BETS ARE OFF! J)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to at least of couple of those days to be actual peace and quiet; so I can “Be still and know He is God…”

I’m also looking forward to reading some more of my buddy Catherine Martin’s books.

If you ever need help finding quiet time with your Creator, you need to visit Cath’s website and read her blog!

I guarantee that reading ANYTHING this woman of God has written will change the way you think about having quiet time with the God of the universe. (And if you’re NOT spending time daily with He who created the air that you breath, she’ll walk with you, virtually hand-in-hand, and show you step-by-step how to begin a “radical intimacy with God.”

See y’all in a couple of weeks!

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Saying ‘good bye’ to a friend

July 25, 2008

I don’t know about you, but some of us in IT often refer to ourselves as ‘firemen’ and talk about ‘putting out all the little fires,’ and we grumble and complain how that keeps us from getting to a place of being more proactive
and less reactive.

I’ve been in paid ministry for nearly eight years now; always in tech, the last five focused primarily on information technology.

And prior to that, I spent most of my off-work time (I was a Domestic Water Serviceworker for 14yrs) trying to figure out ways to use the gift God had given me working with computers to help people in ministry figure out ways to spend less time at the mundane tasks and more time doing ministry.

Up until around the mid 1990’s, I couldn’t figure out why God had given me such an affinity towards computers; certainly I didn’t foresee today’s incredible reliance upon technology as having much to do with doing ministry—outside of getting paperwork processed more efficiently and databases to help track people and events—for if I did, I think I would have been more keenly focused on their eventual effect in peoples everyday lives instead of on my Quake skills!

But then again, we are rarely able to glimpse the BIG PICTURE that God has for His creation; occasionally we are blessed, in hindsight, when we realize how a series of apparently nonrelated events, over a long period of time, all culminate into a present situation to bless another. (see Romans 8:28)

Today I lost another friend to cancer.

Tragically she was only 21, and up until a few months ago, full of life, living every moment for the Lord. And her life had an eternal impact on all those around her. Even her battle with cancer brought people closer to God.

Her family was with her every step of the way…her friends, prayer warriors all over the world were praying for her healing; and God chose to bring her Home, the ultimate healing some would say.

So what does any of this have to do with “Church IT” you ask?

Besides the times Lindsey ran PowerPoint for me during CLASS events, nothing really.

Except that I know that she “fought the good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18)…”ran the race to win” (1 Corinthians 9:24) will all her soul and all her might (Matthew 22:37) lived to be an example to all of us who do anything for His Kingdom.

For me that means I need to be a ‘fireman’ sometimes…and I need to do that without grumbling and complaining; without regret because I’m not doing what *I* think is more important, and I always need to do it with the love of Christ.

I’ll miss you Lindsey; my heart is sadden by your passing…yet I breath in joy from the knowledge that I’ll see you again someday, when the Lord chooses to heal me eternally.

Thank you for finishing well…I can hear the Lord even now saying to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…enter into my presence and Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:21)

Lindsey Sowles: born February 3rd, 1987; entered into the Lord’s Presence July 24th, 2008


IT – Life in the Fast Lane

July 16, 2008

It really is incredible how quickly time blazes by in a typical work day.

I’m sure it was just barely Friday morning when I got out of bed this morning; I was a bit shocked to see it’s past noon on WEDNESDAY already!

Looking over our Helpdesk requests I can see why…nearly 30 requests in three days in the “I need help NOW!” category; that’s more than one hit an hour for one person to troubleshoot, research, repair and document the work. And actually, put like that, it seems like a fairly nice even workload. Unfortunately, the reality of things is that on Monday, when much of the staff is on one of their only days off (1/3rd + off on Mondays; 4/5th‘s off Fridays) was fairly ‘quiet’ and the day was spent checking out weekend issues and email from the previous three days.

Then came Tuesday.

15 calls from 8am to 5pm; all of them fairly urgent from directors and above. (People moving in their offices, new hires starting NOW, mostly “I waited until the last second to tell you about this, and now I NEED it NOW…” calls. And look…it’s really 2.5 days since it’s lunch time (which usually comes and goes for me and the IT staff; we nibble and zip off to the next ‘fire,’ rarely TAKING a lunch time.) And here is where I need to be careful, and understood…I’m not complaining about any of this; just noting it.

I have been offered jobs in my skill set that pay two to four times what I make now; much better benefits, time off, etc…but I love what I do here. And God brought me here from a $75k / yr job so that I could be of USE to Him and His ministry here at Southwest…cuz I sure wasn’t making this kind of impact for Christ before. And THAT is worth more than a higher salary any day.

Back to the topic at hand…and a word from a wise guy…I MEAN someone who has some wisdom to share LOL.

Tony Dye posted today about “Saying ‘No'” in the midst of the craziness of a construction project at Perimeter Church and I’ll have to agree with him that sometimes it’s hard to let one thing go in order to do a better thing; but we all need to take a step back, look to our Father for His ‘task list’ for us, and work on that.

There’s always enough time to do the Father’s business if we’re looking to His timeclock and not our own; I just wish I could remember to punch the RIGHT timeclock more often! J


Windows Complete PC Backup – Part II

June 13, 2008

Done!

Well, actually I was ‘done’ with the image restoration awhile ago…took less than 30 minutes to both image and then restore; adding 5 or 6 minutes to unpack the other system and set up ontop of the other system (phyically stacked them and used the monitor from the first system and the new bluetooth KB&M for the newer Dell)

So far the only hiccup — that I presumed was likely to happen — was that when I changed the name of the new system, I had to plug the network cable in so it could authorize my actions as a system administrator on the domain…and that instantly changed the original system in ADS to the new name. So now I’m going back in to rejoin the first system…stand by.

Ok, Active Directory recognized the change and I now have BOTH computers, with distinct names, in service! The next hurdle I’m concerned about is the licensing on each unit…but I’m hoping that these being OEM units from Dell will cover that (same license # for all).

Right now I’m pretty stoked about the three or four hours I just banked on this one project!

I’ll write more on this later, after both of these systems have been running simultaneously on the domain/network for at least a week and let you know what, if any, quirks or problems I run into.