Friday, December 26, 2008

What did YOU get for Christmas?!

Well, I haven't posted on here in a long while. It's not because I haven't wanted to, it's simply because there hasn't been much to say. I spent almost all of late November and December sick and working almost non-stop. 

Sick, because this is the time of year when we get busy and I don't get the rest I need; my immune system isn't the best in the world (a lymph node infection and then a serious bout with pneumonia will do that to you) and that combined with all the viruses going around and sinus junk and lack of rest can make for a miserable month.

I already knew that I would be working a little more than normal this month, but I decided to work even more so that I could take a couple extra days off around Christmas without using vacation time. Good plan, but it's made for a long month.

So there I am, the Saturday before Christmas, finishing my shopping. I had already helped my dad clean out his shop that morning and moved a brand-new washing machine into the house. I was as sick as I had been all month, but I knew this was the best chance for me to get done with my shopping. I'm a notorious late shopper usually anyway, but I at least knew what I was looking for. Whether I'd find it or not was a different story.

What I was looking for was a gold heart necklace with a garnet in the middle. The garnet was for two reasons: it is Kellie's birthstone and it would be our new baby's birthstone. However, try as I might, I could not find one anywhere. So Dude and I are wandering through the mall Saturday night when I decided to go to Zales. I still can't find the necklace I'm looking for, but I found a very pretty white gold and diamond one.

While at the mall, I also decided to buy an ornament. I kept wanting to buy a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, but kept stopping because the baby wouldn't be born until after Christmas! So I settled on a Winnie the Pooh storytelling one. I then quickly finished up my shopping and went home. I was so tired I was asleep by 7:30! I woke up for a while in the middle of the night, but still, I was asleep very early.

The reason for all of this became apparent the next day, 12/21/08. Kellie had been mentioning that she was having unusually strong Braxton-Hicks contractions, and I was beginning to suspect that they might actually be real ones. However, we got up and went to church like normal. I even asked Dude in the middle of service to keep an eye on Kellie because she was still having them and I had to sing on the worship team. We even went out to lunch, just like normal.

Well, needless to say, the contractions were real, and when I finally smelled the coffee and understood that we were having a baby, I was very surprised. Kellie was not due until January 7th, so this was three weeks early. However, everything went very well and Daniel Stephen Sapp made his debut at 6:28 pm!

It has been a crazy week since then. I have tried three times to put this blog post up. I have been trying to attach more pictures to it, but to no avail. Not only am I having trouble putting the pictures in the specific places in the blog that I want them to be, but now I can't even get the pictures to upload at all. 

We are trying to get into something like a routine with sleep and all, but I pity Kellie when I have to go back to work. It's going to be quite a task to keep track of an almost 4 year old with a newborn! But I'm committed to doing whatever I can to help.

So I got probably the best Christmas present I can think of! And I got to back to the store and buy that "Baby's First Christmas" ornament that I had been looking at just a couple of days before. And Kellie's necklace was perfect! As is Daniel Stephen! Praise the Lord!

Monday, November 17, 2008

When in doubt, punt

Well, I pondered some of the technical issues that I am having with the podcast, and decided to stop trying to have the best podcast in the world and instead just have a podcast. It kinda goes back to a session I was in at Echo earlier this year when Shawn Wood talked about what he calls "The Excellence Myth." He said that sometimes we worship excellence and not only does it provide us with an idol, but it also keeps us from doing that which is effective. 

So maybe I was spending a little too much time trying to figure out how to efficiently make and enhanced podcast, because it was keeping us from having a podcast at all. And I can always make an enhanced podcast later. I was able to add the sound from a video we played to one of the podcasts, though! I also need to track down once and for all the source of that buzz in the recordings. I'm pretty sure it's the jack through which the computer records the audio, but I'd sure like to get rid of it.

Anyway, we are doing a little bit of a retreat tonight and tomorrow. It's time to plan out '09, and I'm really excited! However, I'm feeling a little under the weather this morning, so I might have a cold while we do this. Also, I'll be away from my friend the interweb until Tuesday night! Whatever will I do without Facebook, MySpace, and the news and blogs I follow? I might even have to (::shudder::) interact with other people! 

Oh well, this is me signing off.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Technobabble, without the cool beats

Well, I'm just a little frustrated. 

I produce a podcast. (You see it there, just to your right, in the column on the side of the page? Check it out!) I didn't realize how much would go into it, so I feel terminally behind in getting episodes online. It's not that it's a huge deal, it's just that I like to do things well and there are some things I'd like to do that I'm running into speed bumps trying to do. For instance, GarageBand won't let me export a podcast with artwork as an MP3 file, only as an AAC file. Why, I don't know. However, I can't upload an AAC file to our hosting service, Podbean. 

Now, I'd like to do all kinds of cool things to enhance the podcast, such as having artwork or certain images or Scriptures appear on an iPod's screen at certain times. However, it wouldn't do me much good to attach those images if I couldn't upload the file to the interweb. 

It's not that I think these things are hard, it's just that I don't have any training for them, so I have to teach myself. I know how to do these things in theory, just not in practice. Anyone who'd like to help would be much appreciated!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Here's an idea:

What do you think? Isn't it time to stop trying to find meaning and quality family time in what is bought, and instead in what is given? What if instead of buying gifts we gave our hearts?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The roof is on fire!

You gotta love hard work. 

I mean, the kind that feels back-breaking. The I-know-I'm-going-to-feel-this-tomorrow work. There's just something healthy about it, the way you can see your work, know when you are done. There isn't as much middle ground, not a whole lot of gray area. It's either done or not. 

We at Westwood had the opportunity to do something that had been in the works for a little over a year. The idea was first discussed on the way back from Catalyst '07, when we decided on the theme for this year, which is Giving and Living (or Live and Give, as it's become). The idea was to close the doors of the church one Sunday and serve instead. Actually serving as a worship service (Romans 12:1).

As with all such ideas, it went through several iterations before the actual Sunday. We had a breakfast and small service at the building, ending at the time normal services begin. Then we all went out to serve. There were many different projects, but the main one was the roofing of a house. 

Now, I actually like roofing. I helped a neighbor's family roof her house when I was a young teenager. It's something I find kinda fun. I don't know why; it probably has something to do with swinging a hammer and being off the ground. The problem is that I'm not used to hard work like this!

We actually started Saturday morning, stripping the roof of the old shingles, tar paper, and nails. I had to go to work for a few hours that afternoon, but I was able to come back to help put the last of the new tar paper back on. We started back at 7:30 Sunday morning, and were just beginning to lay shingles when some of us left to do the short service at the building. We came back and laid shingles all afternoon, until it was too dark to see. Man, that's hard work. I've got blisters and sore muscles and cuts and sore muscles and torn-up shoes and more sore muscles! We had quite a few people but almost all of us were (are) novices. I laid shingles with just a hammer and nails and then did it with a nail gun. I laid shingles vertically and horizontally. I laid them in teams and by myself. I hung a leg off the roof and wouldn't go near one edge. I do have one request: I wish they made nails in different flavors. I would always hold a couple in my mouth and wish they'd make them in Skittles flavors. I know you're not supposed to hold nails in your mouth, but I have small hands - it's difficult to hold nails and nail at the same time for me. Anyway, some people had to go back today to finish up. I was able to head back this afternoon for the last little bits. I even think I was the last one off of the roof. 

It sure is nice to see a job finished.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is there an Echo in here?

Well, I had a status update on Facebook a few days back that said I needed to be blogging or podcasting, but instead I was watching the Dodgers and Cowboys (one on my computer, the other on the living room TV). Well, I'm watching the Dodgers again (they're winning, by the way) but I'm going to blog anyway. I made a new podcast yesterday. 

It has been a little tough to write new blog posts lately. I haven't really had the time to sit down, collect my thoughts and write something I felt would be worth reading. But we're going to do this a little more off the cuff tonight. 

First off, I'm terribly excited because it looks like the Dodgers are going to the playoffs. And their team is just good enough to make the World Series this year. Granted, they are not the best team, but they can definitely beat anyone on any given night, and everything seems to be coming together at the right time. Also, if the Tampa Bay Rays make the playoffs, I might try to go to one of their playoff games. I've never been to an October baseball game so I'd really like to go. Los Angeles isn't really an option, so I'll go to Tampa Bay, where Kellie and I saw a game on our honeymoon.

Matt and I went to a conference in Dallas last month called Echo. It was slightly different than I expected, but it was really good. I think that Matt and I were both getting things out of the conference, but I think we really were challenged and encouraged by the last session. We went to different ones - the one I went to was called Church 2.0 . It was based off of a book that will be coming out soon of the same name, and was a discussion of how the Church can use Web 2.0 technologies to benefit the Body of Christ. It was extremely informative, and encouraged me not to discount some avenues simply because they exist in a virtual world. I jokingly told others after that session that I wanted to be the "online pastor" for Westwood. 

Some interesting thoughts from that session:
1. Online, user-generated content is basically a contract. A blog or podcast should be updated regularly if you want people to read or listen to it. The idea that it was rude to not blog on a regular basis was rather paradigm-shifting for me; I never would have thought of a blog as a social contract. 
2. With Web 2.0's move toward web-based applications, most of what is used in the user-created web atmosphere is done with free applications. So creating content in Web 2.0 is not costly in money, just in time.
3. The term "Online Missionary" was used. Initially I thought of this as someone using the web to reach people in other countries. However, it was defined further as Christians reaching others on the web, regardless of their physical location. This really put words around a feeling that I have had for some time - the idea of living missionally online. This is why I like the idea of an "Online Pastor" - that someone could actually lead others to Jesus through how they act online. Your Facebook page could have an affect on someone else's life! I'm all for transparency and honesty, but we should also be purposeful in what we do in our social communities online, so that even on our MySpace page God is glorified.

Just some thoughts for now. Good night, and go Dodgers!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where is the time going?

Well, I've only got about 6 different ideas that I'm working on for blogs right now. Updates on trips, pregnancy, and just some general ideas. Unfortunately, it's finding the time to blog that's been difficult lately. Hopefully I'll be able to dedicate some time to it soon. I am also hoping to post a review of each of the "major" presidential candidates convention speeches. Anyone who knows me knows that I love politics, so I might as well share some of my feelings about that up here. But first I've got to watch both of them! 

Do check out the link to the podcast that I produce. It is for my church, Westwood Church in Albany, Ga. I'm also considering sprucing things up by adding some pictures - maybe even a video or two! Hopefully nothing too crazy, though.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hey, Preacher Man!

I had an interesting experience about a month ago. I preached my first sermon. I guess with all the speaking I have done, that was one I'd missed somehow. Anyway, the opportunity sort of fell into my lap, and it's something I've always wanted to do, so I was glad to take it.

Everyone was much more than kind about it - so many people told me that I did well. And I say that not to pat myself on the back, just as appreciation for others appreciating what I did. After putting a lot of work into something, it's very nice to hear that others think it was worth it.

The funny thing is that I didn't feel especially nervous, probably because I'm used to talking in front of people, especially these people. However, the nerves I did feel came from the fact that speaking is much different than just talking for a couple of minutes. I had the floor all to myself for 25 minutes, and I couldn't just stumble my way through some random thoughts.

The sermon is online now, and after listening to it, it is funny to me how much I tried to cram in to 25 minutes. I had times myself the day before and realized that I was running too long, but trusted myself to be nervous enough to do it quickly. It still was pretty funny to hear myself almost rushing through some points. But I did realize that my first point actually had three sub-points; something I didn't even realize as I was writing it! Anyway, I definitely had a good time and was thankful for the opportunity - I hope God was happy with the result. It's something I'd like to do again if I had the chance.

P.S. It was quite funny that a friend of mine in the audience said (just loud enough for me to hear) "No pressure!" just as I started - way to make me feel more comfortable!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

CT Scan

Well, I had a CT Scan for my head a few weeks back. I hit my head on the metal side of a venthood at work and was feeling pretty bad, so the doctor told me to get one. The interesting thing about that is I've hit my head so many times that I've always wondered what a CT scan would reveal.

I have had several head injuries that were at least mild concussion level. I once fell out of a barn and landed on my head. I was once knocked unconcious during a self-defense class (believe it or not, I was helping train in the class - some people learn too well!). I was kicked in the face during a sparring match and suffered a broken cheekbone and my worst concussion; three weeks later I cracked the back of my head against a wooden armrest. After that one, I really started noticing funny things, like memory loss.

Well, with this latest one, I went to the ER after I hit my head and the doctor pretty much just sent me on my way after completely ignoring my symptoms (thank you, hospital that is not Phoebe in Albany, GA). But the next day I felt absolutely horrible. So a CT scan.

Good news - the brain scan was negative! The (other) doctor said that everything was normal. I had once been told by a doctor in passing that I should studiously avoid any activity that could lead to more head injuries. She even said that more could potentially be fatal! Well, no need to worry about that now. Even though I am suffering from post-concussion syndrome (ahhh, headaches, I missed y'all), I don't have to limit my activities to the less-than-dangerous. As long as I don't get blistering headaches from something, I'm free!

So, you know what this means, right? Hello, sparring!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

9 months

Wow, time flies. It's been 9 months since I've updated this thing! And it's not like it's been a boring 9 months. It has been busy, especially with work. I've been kinda burying myself sometimes in both work and the church. And with a new baby on the way, 9 months is a good theme for this post.

That's right, we have a new baby on the way! I am kinda hoping for a girl this time. Since our first child (DJ) is a boy, I'd like to complete the set ;-) Because we didn't find out if DJ was a boy or girl until he was born, we had both boy and girl names picked out. We are not planning on finding out the sex of this baby either. So the only name we had to decide on was a boy's name. So, if the baby is a girl her name will be Christianne Marie Sapp, and if the baby is a boy his name will be Daniel Stephen Sapp. Also, because we don't want to call our baby an "it", we have a nickname for him or her. We called DJ "Kiddo" while Kellie was pregnant with him, and this baby we are calling "Scoot." I was called "Scooter" a lot as a kid (of course), and Kellie's parents called her "Scoot" as a kid, so the nickname just fit.

Anyway, Scoot is due sometime in January, so I guess I'll update progress! And some cool things have happened lately; I plan on writing a few more posts soon.