Listen to Quiet Time author LIVE!

August 22, 2008

Catherine Martin, world-wide published author, and full time Quiet Time advocate, is going to be LIVE online, and on the radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Monday, August 25, 2008, 6 am Pacific Time.

You can find more info at this site à
Mid Morning Bible Study


If you want to keep up with where Catherine lands next or just here an encouraging word, be sure to put her on your Twitter follow list: catherinemartin

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August Rainstorm – Vacation Day 1

August 7, 2008

This is amazing! I awoke this morning to the sound of thunder in the desert…in August!

I grabbed my laptop and camera and snapped a few shots of this unusual event as it just doesn’t rain much EVER in the desert, let alone in August! (Although some of the worst flooding in the deserts history has occurred in the summer months)

The sky is partly clear, partly beautiful blue and part ominously gray. And the temperature is nearly 100 degrees to boot!

 

And I think the pools already raised an inch in a very short, but furious, downpour!

 

There’s a lone bird, that struggled against the sudden wind, which landed on the power lines behind my house…lines and poles that are normally filled with pigeons and doves, but are strangely void of movement, except this small sparrow, that is now hanging on for dear life!

And while I can’t SEE any lightening, the thunderous booms echoing in the sky tell of its appearances.

Wow! What a way to start my first day of vacation…guess mowing is out of the question for now, heh.

I wonder what this sudden and violent downpour will do to the lodge in Big Bear that we are heading to tomorrow morning?

Lord, thank You for the rain – we really need it – and thank You for reminding me what an awesome Presence you can manifest in our tiny little chunk of the world!


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!


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


Read On: Life Changing Veggies in Phil Vischer’s Autobiography

July 8, 2008

I just finished reading a book that a good friend gave to me last week (you know, one of those “you’re going to love this book because I did…” offerings you get nine a week of?) that I once I picked it up in earnest, I couldn’t put it down!

The funny thing is that I really doubted that this persons taste in literature and mine would be able to find common ground – The Bible not included of course – as she is a couple decades older than I am and hates to read – again, the Bible not included.

But then she said the magic words…”It was too techie for me, so most of it went over my head, except at the end.”

So she handed me a paperback copy of “Me, Myself, & Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables,” Phil Vischer’s autobiography about how he created VeggieTales, BigIdea Productions and how he handled its ultimate downfall and bankruptcy…one look at the cover and I laughed and said “Ok, I’ll give this a shot, as soon as I can.”

I now have only two regrets: (1) That I waited over a week to crack it open; and, (2) that I’m finished reading it.

Publishers Weekly hit the mark saying “Hilarious even when describing his headlong plunge into bankruptcy.”

Not wanting to “give to much away,” let me just say this in the hopes that you too might latch onto a copy of this book and then spread it around to friends and family: Until I read this autobiography of the rise and fall of the VeggieTales creator, Phil Vischer, I had no idea that either VeggieTales or Big Idea Productions was ever in any kind of financial trouble, nor that the company was no longer owned by its founder and being run, by 2003, by a media outfit that had bought the company in a bankruptcy sale!

Reading this book I found the answer to several other deep thinking questions as well…like, who is the voice of Larry the Cucumber?

And of Bob the Tomato?

Just what kind of a nutcase could think up all those wonderfully quirky, absolutely uplifting and morally encouraging videos?

Anyway, it goes without saying…EVERYONE should read this…it’s about business and how to, how not to, approach and run a company.

It’s about a little boy who becomes enthralled with Walt Disney and animation after his first trip through Disneyland.

It’s about heart, courage, drive, ambition, unparalleled success, and yes, utter failure…but it doesn’t leave you at that point with a “oh well, life goes on…” ending.

In the end, God, whom Phil was sure he was doing all these ‘good works’ for; the same God who stood by and did nothing to save Phil’s dream, finally gets Phil’s attention. And you’ve just GOT TO read what happens then!

So, what’s any of this have to do with IT and technology?

Well, it could be all the ‘cool stuff’ that Phil discovers from 1980 to 2003, how technology changed his life, made his dream come true, outfitted his business.

Or it could be about how important it is to keep current on trends, be fiscally sound in your decisions.

About how to, and how not to, pick your business partners, leaders and co workers and employees; the benefits of solid training…’cuz it’s all in there.

But hey, I say, read because you’ll be fascinated by living the dream vicariously through Phil; laughing, shouting, cheering, even crying…and only Uber Geeks can interact with a BOOK that way.

So how about it? Are you Uber enough for this book? Get a copy and find out.

Until next time…


A quiet Friday afternoon at work

June 27, 2008

I love Fridays at work.

Most of the staff here at Southwest work weekends and even six days a week; but Friday is the universal “Day off” around here…just me, a couple of facilities people, the receptionist, the occassional staffer popping in to get something or catch up on something…

In other words, it’s a great day to get caught up on paperwork, email, continual education, move a project a couple of steps closer to completion, stuff like that.

Today I took care of a dozen “loose ends” in the Helpdesk workload (read: smoldering fires), got most of the way through my 200 unread email from this week (ok, so I’ve got 68 still in there…they’re all ‘newsletters/news feeds’ that I skim for gems anyway; right click + delete…done!) and set up several projects for next week.

All in all, a good day…not a GREAT day, like I usually have, ‘cuz my buddy, and boss, went in for knee surgery this monring and it’s just not the same without him to bounce ideas off of, share a cup of coffee, plan the next step of whatever with. (I know you’ll be fine bro…but I miss ya already!)

**Sigh!** — Time to go home already! Have a great weekend all!