rick & 1j13
Friday, August 30, 2002
Everybody's working for the weekend...

Well, still employed. Whew. It's a good company, and I know the economy's crap these days, but there's got to be a better way to build an enterprise on ideas and still retain the flesh & blood holders/users of those ideas. In a market economy, where the demand runs supply more often than not, letting people go can't be in the best interests of growing the company, can it? I mean, I know you bring "revenue" up, but the real value of the companies going through this stuff every week is severely stunted.

On a lighter note... no wait, still raining. We need it, and it matches the restful, peaceful, ohmigod this week is over mood I'm in.

Everybody's going off the deep end...
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Long time no "e"...

It has been a busy week. Considering that some of us might not have jobs at the end of the week, it's also been a wee bit stressful. I stayed up 'til about 11:30 last night working on some output for a customer, got into the office by 7am this morning, and pretty much stayed on the phone with them until around 2pm. When I left at five (about an hour before "normal") it felt like I'd been there all day... well, you know.

I started re-reading FINAL QUEST last night. Man. Slay me.

The email list ain't going so swift these days. Not alot of conversation, and I find myself re-hashing alot of thoughts I've had/shared before. Not an original thought in the bunch. Sigh

But I'll be back.
Saturday, August 24, 2002

This is one of the best articles I've read in some time. Maybe because it seems alot like me. I didn't have such a traumatic event (involving a car accident) as the author did, and I don't want to belittle it or him in any way by tritely saying, "I understand." However, my own dark night of the soul has brought me to a place of cynicism, too. It's a place where I can only avoid my own failings, not feel pretentious enough to point out yours.

It's in the music I choose to listen to, in the books I choose to read, in the movies I choose to watch. I started looking for a depth that seemed to be missing from the church. But I find myself looking for a depth that's been missing from me.

I've been drawn to the lives of Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton, stories like Tan's Foreign Bodies and Farrington's The Monk Downstairs (just started that one), CDs like Busted Stuff by DMB and soundtracks - good, instumental, moving your heart soundtracks. The depth I'm looking for is outside of me, and inside of me at the same time. And I'm learning that only God - *only* God, and absolutely nothing else - is deep enough for that longing. He's showing me that He is all there is, that there is nothing else - and is that Enough for me?

It is. Living it out is the journey, isn't it?
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
It's a beautiful day in the nieghborhood...

It's officially over - even with the crick in my neck and full sinuses from Hades, I refuse to feel bad today. Cough/sneeze/hack-hack. Work wasn't too bad - enough to keep me busy, a little email about LAYOFFS coming August 30th, etc etc and so forth. I just want to be productive tonight after a day like that:
* Pick up supper - DONE
* Clean up house - cleaning crew coming tomorrow, you know
* Read - make time to sit away from the TV and just soak in: FOUR SOULS or LEADERSHIP: CREATIVITY...
* Let Vicki get her nails done - woo hoo

Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
Ok, not-so-crappy today.

Stayed home from work, getting some rest and vegging through the rest of this flu thing. What else is there to do - NOTHING on television around here. We've got digital cable - at least it takes you a half hour to go through the channels and discover that yep, there's nothing on - and then you can go through again, right?

It's Vicki's BIRTHDAY - woo hoo! We're making Mommy a cake tonight and watching Tarzan & Jane on DisneyDVD. I'm hoping to lift her spirits, hoping that she's not down for getting older but feeling good about us growing and moving on through life, you know? She puts up with alot from me, and I want to make sure this evening is calm and supportive and motivating for my blushing young bride.

Well, off to squeeze in a little nap before the rugrats and the Queen get home.

Thinking of Vicki on her birthday. Feeling much better, actually.
Monday, August 19, 2002
I feel like crap.

Yesterday was good - Sundays are always busy, but invigorating in a laid back worshipping God kinda way. But as the day went on, I just got a little more of a case of the cruds, and this morning, I feel rotten. Body aches, stuffed head, tummy junk - eeewww. I know - TMI. Cammi's sick, too - she'll go to the pediatrician, and I'll go to work. Got too much to do, to much due today to stay home and whine.

I'll have to write on that one sometime: what a parent goes through when the kids are sick. You love them, you hurt for them, you would do anything for them, and you can't wait for them to take their naps.

Pastor Mike spoke from 1 Peter 2 again yesterday (a series the past few weeks) on God's plans for building a spiritual house. Ties in with Paul's "salvation by grace," as well as tying in James' "showing faith by works" writing. It's all so wrapped up - if I have to manufacture the attitude or the outward works, then the heart is not right. But if the heart is right, the natural outflow of the thing will be godliness, won't it? Good stuff.

Still feel like crap - but I'll take a shower & go to work. At least I won't stink.
Saturday, August 17, 2002
If the economy's so bad, why was the mall so full?

Went to the mall tonight, shopping for Vicki's birthday. Trace picked something out from the Disney store, and Cammi made her selections from Bath & Body Works. What am I going to get my blushing bride for her 34th birthday? No clue (though I did get Frank Peretti's #2 in the Veritas series at Books-A-Million). But I'm wrapping the kids presents tonight, ready for the bday party tomorrow after church.

After wrapping (I suck at wrapping, but there are no handy-dandy gift bags around when you need them), up to bed to watch the rest of the Panthers-Cowboys exhibition game while reading Rick Joyner's THE FINAL QUEST. Woo hoo.

The economy might be bad, but our common sense might be worse.
Know what starts sibling rivalry?

Well, it's Saturday - the one day a week when the kids get to hang out with their parents, gleaning from them the richness of their lives and the depth of knowledge and experience from their personas.

NAAAH. It's been kinda hard today, keeping the 6-yr-old inside whe he can't play on the PC until tonight (grounded) and with the Gamecube sitting at someone else's house (let youth group borrow it for a lock-in). The 4-yr-old at least got to go with her mom to the craft fair at the coliseum, but she's a little stir-crazy in the house, too. Why inside? Thunderstorms - big one passed through a little while ago. If the weather improves, we can go to the birthday party at Finlay Park downtown @ 7pm.

MOVIE UPDATE: Thoroughly enjoyed A BEAUTIFUL MIND last night. Vicki said it was paced a little slow for her tastes, but we both agreed that is was a great story. I have only seen one of the other Best Picture nominees from last year (LOTR1), but I think this one was probably well-suited to win it all. Next on our Netflix queue: TARZAN & JANE, CLOCKSTOPPERS, LOTR1, and SERENDIPITY.

If I get more time on the PC tonight, I'm going to try to add current reading, current listening and recent movies/DVD to this blog. It'll at least keep me focused on staying in less than five books at once, and give some direction for updating more than "oh yeah, here's another opinion," you know? Meanwhile, I'm back to the digital cable television and HEY ARNOLD! on Nickelodeon. Woo hoo. All that and a birthday party, too...

Second kid.
Friday, August 16, 2002
Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away...

Remember when I was looking for something to do at work yesterday? Not any more. STOP. I've got plenty, thanks. Lots to do, lots to do. Even have some to cart home for weekend duty. Gotta love it - feast or famine around here. Famine is no good because your job could be gone any minute. Feast is no good because you'll have too much to do, too little time to do it, everyone wanting stuff at the exact same time, and when it's all done or at least going at a safe but hectic pace, your job could *still* be gone any minute.

Still trying to rightly divide what the pastor said last night: the Spirit & the Word work together, can't have one without the other, God breathed life into the man, Jesus breathed into the disciples, here's how it happens in you, if it's not happening in you... I followed alright, and I think I got the gist, but where was he going with it? Am I not spending enough time just reading my bible, soaking it in and living it out? Probably, and God's drawing me to Himself in ways that are creating that real and constant hunger for Him in the bible, you know? So I'm not dense, just looking for what the practical app was for all that. I'll get back to it when I talk to him.

Tonight: A BEAUTIFUL MIND on DVD, while the kids watch SCOOBY DOO & THE ALIEN INVADERS downstairs. As close as we're going to get to a date night this weekend, me thinks.

O I believe in yesterday.
Thursday, August 15, 2002
Having fun yet?

Well, I "found" enough to do. Might've saved my job today. Woo hoo. J/K, but it is a little stressed out around here. People who don't cuss cussin', not as many big happy smiles, very little laughter, etc. Anyway...

Off to CWO tonight for fun and frivolity. Meeting with pastors, hopefully. Then CWOBC Orientation for the Fall '02 semester. I think I'm in for the Leadership Theology course (I know - you envy me, don't you?). I've also got to get my mind around what "gatherings" might look like in the future. Small groups for bible study? for prayer? just cuz? It's hard to build relationship amongst people who seem to not understand what true fellowship/intimacy might be. Right now, I'm leaning towards doing a book discussion kind of thing, where we can meet maybe once every week or two, read a chapter or so each time, maybe have online correspondence/conversation going for the 'tween times. We'll see.

And for this blog - hmmm... needs more links, huh? I mean, that's one of the reasons I think lots of us are drawn to the web, it's non-linear approach to life, the universe and everything (42, by the way). If the church is ever going to move forward and be a guiding force in the culture, rather than a reactionary entity, we're going to have to be more open about tangent thoughts and chasing bunnies, aren't we?

Not yet. But I'll let you know when it starts.
Can't complain. Nobody to listen.

If things weren't stressful enough with talks of the RIF, today I come to work and get questioned about hours spent over the last few weeks, billable vs. non-bill. I spent time looking for a solution, with very little outside help, finding that others were also experiencing the same thing, and then putting code in to at least alleviate, if not completely solve, the problem. However, we're trying to keep billable stuff up and non-billable stuff down, so some of those hours might be more reflective of my own "leanring curve," they might not apply to the customer anyway... I understand it all, but I don't like to be questioned like that, you know? Anyway, now I'm bugged out about putting any of my hours today to that account.

After fumbling through that, I needed to find work. Got it - some billable, some not. All that and mandatory overtime means that I got to eat my yummy chicken salad sandwiches at my desk in order to keep working and get my more-than-full nine hours in today.

Talked to the pastor - he wanted me to check out the website for Redemption World Outreach. I'm not a big fan of website-as-brochure, but for our needs something like that would probably work. Most of our folks don't surf the waves or the web, so there's not much of a need to provide anything other than a few bells and whistles and some updated information.

Back to the grind. HTH.
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Where is my mind?

Tonight, I want it to be focused on God. But as so often happens, it's on myself. My failure, my sin, my lack of faith. You know, because you do it, too. If you're not completely focused on yourself, you're focused on yourself focusing on God, and that's self-aimed, too, isn't it? What's real love if I find myself using people? What's "unconditional" mean if I find myself placing expectations and conditions on God Himself?

My mind dives deep into these murky waters, and I've got to be honest - darkness is there with the light, and faith is nestled in with fear. The complement each other and hold each other back. I'm on a pace that's looking at the difference between BEING and BECOMING, and that's wondering why we would want to separate the two. Why can't I revel in who I AM, as well as look forward to who I AM TO BE? There's something in there for me, and I know there's something there for others, too.

It's late, 11:14est, the news is on - and my mind is sleepy. Adding a counter - I hope. G'night.
Okay, I've checked this thing out. Woo hoo. Don't know if I like the template layout, though.

It's a humid Wednesday evening in Cayce, SC - suburb of the capital, right in the middle of the state. We're kinda in a lowlying plain, so there's no good breeze to move things around. Too far from the beach, too far from the mountains for any of those good breezes to be any good, we're pretty much in the armpit of the south. Work was long today - and with possible layoffs (RIF, "reduction in force" for the politcally correct CEOs in our audience) always around the corner, there's just a little too much stress these days. Mandatory overtime doesn't help. You used to be able to work an extra hour each night to get off around lunchtime on Friday. Now, you've got to work an extra hour each night just to get off at FIVE on Friday. Geez. Tonight's a school night - Tracer's playing Tarzan Untamed on the G-cube, and Cammi's upstairs watching Hey Arnold! on Nick. Vicki's run an errand to the CVS down the street, and I'm just blogging my life away.

Do I really need another outlet?

Perhaps. At least, apart from the 1J13 List and the NKOC List, I might be able to just... well, just flow without caring who's reading, if anyone's reading, or what anyone might think.

Should I take some time to "intro" myself? Nyaaah. I know me, or at least I think I do. And anyone who just happens by will be better off getting to know me "now" more than just the "up to now" parts of the story. The only thing I feel like I "owe" the reader is to say that I was inspired to this by Andrew Jones and an article he wrote (series on pomo christianity) for TheOoze. Since I've dabbled in the literary ways myself - been published in the editorial sections of The State newspaper and in Christianity Today, thankyouverymuch - and since I've gotten my feet wet in writing "original" content for the aforementioned email lists, I at least feel quasi-qualified to diverisify, and possibly simplify, my attempts at writing & journaling... whew, by opening this blog.

Thanks for playing. Have a nice day.

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