Thursday, December 24, 2009

As promised...

A video blog(s) about the remodeling of our new kitchen.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

::throws up hands::

I've been trying to upload videos of our kitchen remodeling project, but it's not going well. My internet provider, who shall go nameless (but is the same company that provides the cell service for my iPhone), has not made me very happy lately. It took a week just to get internet after they promised it, and now it doesn't want to let me upload videos. I shall valiantly press forward and find a way anyway.



On a complete side note, it's been a crazy month. I don't know why that surprises me anymore - it's always crazy in December!
Our worship team sang in a couple programs, which is fun but time-consuming and stressful to prepare for. And it didn't help that I've been fighting a cold for a week now.
We weren't sure how big a Christmas we were going to be able to do because of the house purchase, but that all worked out, so now we've been trying to get everything ready for Daniel's birthday and Christmas and an open house I (accidentally) volunteered us for.

The nice part is that it seems like work is actually calming down. I'm training a new employee who is catching on very quick and that will let me focus on some more specific projects. And I'm getting some extra time off because of the holidays, which isn't something I'm really used to, so that will be VERY nice.


This has also been a nice season for me to remember how far we've come in a year.
A year ago this week we were finishing getting ready for Christmas, blissfully unaware of the present we would get. We even went to church that morning, and then out to eat after church, convinced that Kellie was having a "false" labor. That afternoon I was holding my newborn son.

It has been a year of challenges. Kellie has had some postpartum emotions that I don't think either of us anticipated or really knew how to deal with. Daniel had colic, which is an experience that has got to be trying to even the best parents. Daniel burnt his hands a few months ago and it just broke our hearts.

And yet his smile is something I'll never fail to joy in.
His sense of humor gets me every time.
The way he lights up when we clap for him is humbling; it reminds us of the impact and influence we have over these young ones.

There are characteristics of his, though, that I need to watch, and make sure that I focus on the positive side.
His determination is awe-inspiring, but can be frustrating.
He has a constant need to explore (even more so than is normal - he would set out on an Arctic expedition right now), which means we have to watch for danger EVERYWHERE.
His passion is captivating, but can turn to anger very quickly.

This is the best job in the world.

Kellie and I did not want to know the sex of our babies before we had them. It just seemed like a fun surprise to us. Yet for some reason we thought we were having a girl this time. So when I was handed Daniel I just remember breaking out into the biggest smile, because I knew that God had a reason for giving us another son, and I just remember reveling in that moment. It was a great surprise and a great Christmas present!

And so it has been a month of remembering for me. Remembering where I was a year ago, and how much has changed since then.
I interviewed for a job on the other side of the country.
I later changed jobs (but stayed here).
We went from tag-teaming one kid to man coverage with two.
We bought a house(!).

It's been a good year.


P.S. Daniel took his first step on Sunday, and then just took off walking tonight!
P.P.S. We won a really cool contest, and I'll tell you more about that soon! (sing with me: "Just keep swimming...")

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Upgrade, upgrade...

I am recording video of our renovations at the new house. I plan on posting them as video blogs of before, during, and after videos of certain projects. I missed the beginning of one project, but I'm doing pretty well with another one. So keep a weather eye out for those...

On a completely different note, a friend on mine just bought me Apple's new Magic Mouse. Needless to say, I'm loving it. I love Apple's products anyway, but anytime they release something that is more intuitive I wonder how I did without it. I just like being able to scroll anywhere on the mouse. As Eddie Izzard (the comedian) would say, "I do not have techno-fear, I have techno-joy!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pay the bills

I paid our bills yesterday. Thanks goodness it's not a stressful event the way it used to be. We have been trying to live debt-free for a couple years now and it's wonderful. Now, this year has not been the debt-free success we wanted it to be, but we're not in deep and we're getting out soon.

But there's one bill I just picked up that I don't mind paying at all - as a matter of fact, I look forward to it. And even though we just closed on our first home yesterday, I'm not talking about that bill (especially since we haven't seen it yet - first payment's due in January). We recently started sponsoring a child through Compassion International and I couldn't be happier. Every time I write the check I feel like I will be making a tangible difference in a person's (in this case, a 4-year old boy's) life. We decided to sponsor him because we decided that if we lived near him, DJ and he would be friends. Maybe we'll soon be able to sponsor a child Daniel's age.

I say all of this to say: if you didn't owe money for debts, what bills could you pay that you would love to? Would you set aside money to help needy people you come across or hear about? Would you sponsor children in other countries who are going hungry? Would you pay for Bible translations? Would you dig wells so that others could have clean water?

What would you do?

Now - what are you going to do to free yourself and your finances to the point that they are usable to God?

P.S. I'm not saying I've got this right yet, but it's something I'm working on.
P.P.S. It's just $38 to sponsor a child with Compassion. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I cannot describe the joy I get out of watching my sons grow.

I was fascinated by watching DJ learn object permanence: the fact that just because you cannot see something does not mean that is has ceased to exist.
Daniel picked that up so quickly it was almost scary.

I was talking with a co-worker the other day about how when other people look at my kids, they remark on how similar they are. And yet, when I look at them, I marvel at how different they are.

When DJ was a baby, he could take or leave toys. He wanted someone around at all times. He wanted to look at someone's face more than play with a toy. Daniel has wanted to have something in his hands constantly. He is very tactile. Of course the problem with that is he wants to put everything in his mouth!

DJ is very extroverted, but if he gets his feelings hurt, he gets very sad very quickly. Daniel lashes out if his feeling are hurt - he wants you to feel his pain (usually in an auditory way!). DJ gets in your face. Daniel will hit you in the face.

DJ is verbose, especially for his age. He is a talker. Daniel is a doer. And he likes to solve problems. They are both very smart, but they show it in different areas. It was amazing for me to watch DJ teach himself the alphabet at 2 with a toy; and again I watched in amazement as Daniel figured out how a puzzle worked just by looking at it.

I love my sons.

It is also very interesting to me to see human nature in ones so young. Daniel and I took a walk last night, and he was more interested in the loud cars in the distance than the beautiful woods around us. Isn't that just like us? We spend our time, energy, and attention on passing noisemakers instead of the quiet beauty that surrounds us.


How do we teach? What moments do we use to instruct? How do I explain to them that the world will fill up their eyes with bright shiny toys and their ears with loud noises, but none of those will be fulfilling? They are all like pretty cars that speed by on a highway. The true beauty is in the muted colors of the fall forest. The prettiest sounds are softly sung by the birds.

God whispers.

Do we listen?

"Be still, and know that I am God"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home, Sweet Home




Well, we're finally taking the plunge.

We're buying a house!

My wife has been asking me about buying for more than a year. I didn't think we could afford it until she proved me wrong. Guess I should have listened!

Anyway, we have been looking for a couple months now, but we kept coming back to one that we really liked. To be honest, we kept coming back to two th
at we really liked. I liked one better and Kellie liked one better.

The funny thing is, I've always gotten "feelings" about houses. Whenever I walk into a house I can tell if I'll live there. I don't know how, I try not to listen to it, I try to be fair about other places, but somehow I know. I just feel at home and can immediately see us and our stuff there.

Well, the house I liked better was the one I was more comfortable in. So I really thought about it before talking to Kellie about it, because I wanted to listen to her opini
on and not just make a HUGE decision based on my feelings alone. But this house would also end up being cheaper, as well.

Long story short, when I finally decided to share my thoughts with her, she was fine with it. So we put in an offer the next day and it was accept
ed the day after that! We put in what we considered to be a fair offer but expected it to at least be countered. I really think that God is helping us in this effort. Anyway, I'll share a few photos and leave it at that! We're super excited about moving into a house of our own in a gorgeous part of town. May God bless us and our house, that all may be used for His glory and renown. Amen.


Friday, September 11, 2009

busy, busy, busy

I haven't posted up here in over a month. And it's not because nothing is happening, it's just that this is one of the things I have trouble remembering to do. A lot of times I have plenty of thoughts I'd like to get down, but by the time I get home I've forgotten them.

So I'm going to be trying a couple new things. One is (perhaps) recording some video blogs. I have a small video machine and I have an iPhone 3G(S) that records video, so if I have a stray thought that's rant-worthy I'm going to try to record it.

I'm also trying to remember to take my notebook with me wherever I go so I can write. Now, you need to understand - I'm not a writer. I don't think I'm very good at it. My style of writing isn't especially poetic or lyrical or even Twitter-ific. When I blog I tend to get all my thoughts on a subject out as quickly as possible. As vulgar as this may sound, my type of writing should be described as cathartic, because it's more like vomiting via written word. There is just something I have to get out, and I type until it's out. I rarely edit what I write; that was something I had to learn in English class and I still did it sparingly. I just type (or write) until there's nothing left. It amazes me that some people seem (to me) to write as an artist doodles - they just do it for fun. I can't do that. So if I take my notebook with me, it's more to take notes on my thoughts and maybe record a certain phrase that I know will spur me to pontificate (I keep using that word lately, I don't know why. Although it could have something to do with the fact that I started wondering the other day if the etymology of it comes from "pontiff.").

Anyway, I do like to keep up with things that are going on and wish I did a better job. I also wish that Blogger had an iPhone app that made it much easier, like WordPress does. Then I would just blog from airplanes and airports and cars and lunch and all the interesting places that I've gotten to go to this year.

So here's to keeping up. Now I just need to start working out, too!


P.S. I may need to post on Detroit - went there a couple weeks ago and really thought it was interesting!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Here, on the edge...

I've been challenged by several people I know and some I just follow this year. I keep hearing stories of those who have made wholesale changes in their lives, stepping out in faith to do what they feel they've been called to. The challenging part, though, is that by definition "stepping out in faith" means you cannot see what will be catching your foot.

A blogger I follow left what I would consider a great job to do something he has always wanted to do. He's created a new story, and he's trusting that God will bless it and others through it, but he just doesn't know.

I don't like not knowing.

(A small caveat: I am not trying to describe my story as a leap of faith like Ben Arment's. Mine is more of a small step of faith, but I feel it's significant to me.)

I was really good at my job. I could do just about anything there without a terrible amount of effort. I was good with goals, good at motivating people, good at the actual tasks, careful (and care-full) about the process, and good at training others.

And I was bored.

God provided me with several job offers this year. What is interesting, looking back, is the opportunities that each decision afforded.

I could have stayed right where I was, doing the same thing I had done for years. This is undoubtedly what I would have done years ago. Something I have discovered about myself over the last few years, and my friends have know for much longer, is that I am scared of change. Extremely afraid of change. Like, didn't go to college because I'm afraid of change. This choice would have required no faith and would have involved no growth.

I could have accepted a job offer to be the regional manager for a restaurant chain in the area. This offer came with a pretty good sum of money, as well. The problem is that even though there was money, there weren't many benefits. And the other problem is that it felt too safe for me. I knew I could do this job, and do it well. But this step would require little faith and have involved little growth.

I accepted a job with a plant near my city. While the overall idea of the job, which is inventory and purchasing, is very familiar to me, the rest would be brand new. It would be challenging. I would know almost nobody there and have to prove myself, and quickly. This step has required no small amount of faith and is involving growth.

There was a fourth choice, though. I could have accepted a youth ministry position for less money than I was making at my last job on the other side of the country. I loved the kids there and was really excited about going, and thought for a little bit that I was, but ended up turning it down. I just thought it was a bad decision for my family. That step would have required a LOT of faith and surely would have involved a lot of growth.

Let there be no doubt: I know God would have taken care of us if we had gone to New Mexico. Even if that was not what He wanted me to do, I know He still would have taken care of us. That's not to say it wouldn't have been hard (because we're not promised a comfortable life), but we would have had all we needed. I just wonder if that job offer was a test of my faith.

And I'm thankful that God provided me with options. I don't think it was a "pass" or "fail" test of faith, I think God is trying to show me that He needs me to trust Him. And I'm grateful that I still took a choice that requires me having more faith than I'm used to.

I've just come to realize that my success really has nothing to do with me.

I will always work as hard as I can - that's just who I am. But I've prayed a lot lately for God's help in doing a good job, because I'm now in a position where I don't know it all. As a matter of fact, I don't know much at all! And so I am acutely aware that when I succeed it is not because of me. I am doing everything I can to succeed, but God is providing the success. And so I am having to trust that even though I am trying to learn and do at the same time, God will make what I do good, and that if He does let me fail, it's for my own good.

I don't seem able to write a short blog post, and this is no exception, but if you've made it this far, I want you to understand something. I am a FIRM believer in Colossians 3:23-24: "23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." It is freeing to realize that if I act and work at my job as if the only one I am responsible to is God Himself, then I don't have to worry about what men think about me. If God decides that I keep my job, then I will keep it. If God decides that I lose my job, then I will lose it. Either way, He will take care of me. I don't have to be worried about my reputation or making a name for myself or covering up my mistakes. I'll let God worry about that. I'll just work hard and try to make Him proud.

So while I may not have taken a leap of faith, I have taken a few steps. And while it's scary at times, it's fun too. Thank God.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Mile, One Verse

I always excited when someone is passionate about bringing God to others. I can remember a friend of mine coming back from a Passion Conference on fire about a particular issue. Did you know that there are 200 million people who do not have the Bible in their language? It is the calling of One Verse to bring the Bible to all those people who don't have it. Only $26 will fund the translation of one verse of the Bible into one of these last languages.

What else do you know that comes in sets of 26? Marathons!

My friend also likes to run marathons and do triathlons. So he has joined Team One Verse, a running group devoted to raising money for Bible translation. As someone who believes very strongly that God often speaks to us through His Word, it means a lot to provide that Word to those who do not have it. My friend The Tri Runner is asking for whatever sponsorship you can provide for his performance in the Augusta Triathlon towards One Verse. You can click here to sponsor him. Please consider giving whatever you can to help him out. Make a sacrifice to help make a difference across the world. Thanks!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Power of Positive Thinking

I am becoming more and more convinced about some theories I have. And some recent goings-on have added relief to those thoughts.

I see too many people who invest their time, energy, and emotion into others' failure. From my perspective it's quite sad, but that's not to say that I don't understand where they're coming from. They've been hurt (whether actual or perceived doesn't matter) or abandoned or passed over, etc. and want retribution. And so they plot ways to make life hard for their "enemies." They keep tabs on them in hopes that they can rejoice in failure. And so often they dig themselves a deeper hole if and when that person succeeds instead of fails.

The problem is that others' pain is never enough to sate your pain.

The desire for revenge is just like lust, anger, materialism, or any emotion that is completely indulged - it is never-ending. More is never enough.

What happens is that the person succeeds and they grow more bitter. Or the person suffers a minor setback and it's not enough.

I can't live like that. I've grown tired of investing in other people's failure. I've grown tired of investing emotional energy in someone else's discontent. I'd much rather invest my time, energy, and emotion into my own success. I've been trying to think of people I know who have been consumed with negative emotions towards someone else and I can't think of one who went on the become a success in whatever it was they were doing. It takes too much time to try to plot the downfall of, think of the perfect snide comment for, or just to sit and stew over that person who annoyed you, or got your promotion, or didn't fulfill your every wish. Meanwhile, the person your angry with is too busy avoiding pitfalls, being nice, and proactively getting ahead in life. It's like the guy who got mad that I backed out of a parking space and got in the drive-thru ahead of him last night. He's cussing and fussing and pointing and mouthing off in his car and I'm getting a great laugh just looking at him!

That's one reason I think God tells us to forgive - to actually let go and cut the cord on our hate.

All of that negative energy spent on someone else (or yourself!) doesn't get anyone anywhere. It's just entrenchment. Besides, don't you believe that God has your best waiting for you? If God wanted you to get your every wish he wouldn't be looking out for your best interests, now would He? Maybe someone else got the promotion so that you wouldn't fail in that job. Maybe God has something else entirely in store for you. Maybe He knows you're not ready. Why prove that last point right by stewing about it for days, or weeks, or even longer? Why not swallow that pride and get to work improving yourself instead of trying to degrade someone else?

I do not think you can succeed if you are invested in others' failure. Your attention is divided. Let it go and move on to more important things. Wish them well and then you'll be able to rejoice when they succeed and work towards your own success.

Wouldn't you rather enjoy life than wallow in misery? Put on some music and sing - loudly. Watch your favorite movie. Go on a picnic. Smile. Pray.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wow...

Today was an interesting day. 

I think I'm getting better at the parts of the job that I have been trained in. There are still some aspects that I really haven't had time to get trained in yet, but that'll come. I'm actually concerned that some of what I've been trained in this week was superfluous; I don't think it's part of what will be my normal job duties. 

So anyway, I'm literally walking back to my desk to put up my stuff and leave when I get a message that one of the big guys needs me to call him. So I do and he needs a lot of information. And it's not necessarily information I can get quickly. Hmmm. So it kept me there a little later than planned. I hope I can get it all together before he asks me again! Anyway, just a peek into what's been happening. At least now I have a desk and a phone!

Today also started off as one of those days in which everything takes longer than it should. So I knew something was up when I finished inventory unusually early. Shoulda seen this coming!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Poem

Robert Frost (1874–1963).  Mountain Interval.  1920.
 
1. The Road Not Taken
 
 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.        20
 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is it Mostly Sunny or Partly Cloudy?

I've always liked to think that our best character traits are the way that we are most like God.

For instance, we have all heard of people who "have the patience of a saint." I believe that they actually have the patience of God. Love, mercy, compassion, reason, creativity, even things like perceptiveness and discernment. If we are made in God's image, then what part of Him do you look like? Maybe these are the gifts of The Holy Spirit; maybe they're God's personal stamp on you that He placed there when He looked at you and said "It is good!" God gave us these traits out of Himself and when we are operating out of them, we are acting out of our true selves.

It may be mine that I tend to look at people out of a sense of eternal optimism. Which is probably why I get so disappointed when those I know act exactly how I thought they would, but not how I had hoped they would. I'd like to think of this as a good part of my character, that I am always hoping that someone will operate out of the best of themselves, that they will choose the wiser path, that they will bloom. I also try to encourage others to live up to their best, and I get very emotional when I see them accomplish it, or at least take the next step. But it seems to be so rare. Much more often people don't choose to stretch for the better or best they can be, but instead do what they're used to. I'm as guilty of it as anybody: the desire to be comfortable overwhelms the desire to work at being better. 

I like to think that God is the same way. He hopes the best for us every day. Maybe the only way God can love us after the things we do is because He's optimistic. He knows how He made us and what we can be if we will walk and talk with Him. Jeremiah 29:11:  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 
Trust Him, for 
       God is not a man, that He should lie, 
       nor a son of man, that He should change his mind. 
       Does He speak and then not act? 
       Does He promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)

My heart is let down whenever someone doesn't live up to the best of themselves. When they choose to be petty instead of great. When they choose to follow the crowd instead of blazing a new trail. When they chase what they want instead of what they need. When they don't have courage to back up their convictions and life choices, but instead look for opportunities to escape them. 

My heart hurts worst when I do these same things.

These are choices, even if the worse option is easier to choose than the better. Just because a choice is easy doesn't make it the right one; God often works in a way we would consider paradoxical, so the difficult choice sometimes is the right one (and ends up being easier in the long run). Make God happy today. Be everything you and He know you can be. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Beginning is The End is The Beginning...

I finished my first week at my new job. What a crazy week! The first couple days were mostly orientation stuff, just filling out paperwork and getting to know people. I started to get my feet wet during the last couple days, and it's exciting already! Even though I will still be training for a couple weeks, a few responsibilities have been pushed my way so that I can start getting used to it. 

I had to be there at 6 am Thursday and Friday, so I'm getting some practice getting up EARLY. It hasn't been that bad, as long as I monitor what time I go to bed the night before. And Friday I stayed up a little late after getting up at 4 am because I could sleep in the next morning. I need to be there at 5:30 Monday, so slowly I'm working my way to the time I'll most likely have to come in once I'm done training, which will probably be about 4:30 or 5 in the morning! While that's really early in the morning, it shouldn't be too bad because I'll be off mid-afternoon and have the weekends off. So plenty of time to rest.

It was a weird experience, my last two days at Zaxby's. Most of my jobs have ended without me needing to put in a notice (such as the job in which my boss was a crook and couldn't guarantee my paycheck would be good), so this is only the second time I've really worked out a notice longer than a week. It was an interesting transition, not just from my standpoint, but also watching them move me out and get used to the idea of not having me around. I have probably had more influence at Zaxby's than any other place I have ever been, so in a way it was bittersweet. Many of the people who work there I hired. Most of the managers were trained by me. The three managers at each store who I had had the most influence over I worked with on my last days. We reminisced some and I tried to leave each with a piece of advice. I will miss the people I worked around, even if I don't necessarily miss the environment. I was SO ready to get out of the restaurant business. So I'll miss the people, but some of us are going to definitely keep in touch and I'm sure we'll see each other often. They're my friends and not just because we worked together. So anyways, it's a time of new beginnings (sorry for the Smashing Pumpkins song title at the beginning)! Hopefully I'll be able to report that we as a family are moving soon!

Monday, June 1, 2009

btw...

I really should give some credit to those whom it is due. The picture that adorns the top of my blog was taken by a friend of ours who does AWESOME photography. Look her up!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Praise You in this storm...

WOW.

I took a group from our church to go see Hillsong United this past Wednesday. They have become probably my favorite worship band over the last couple years. Their album "United We Stand" is great from beginning to end. And then last year they released an album whose cover was simply this image:


I love that. It can be the simplest in iconography, but there is a lot of depth to the image as well. We Americans are used to seeing "I ♥ NY" or whatever else. But this is much simpler. "I Love" - period. And at the center of the heart is Jesus, the reason for that love. I bought the t-shirt at the concert, by the way ;).

Anyway, Hillsong United usually do not play very many shows in the USA, so I was thrilled when I saw that they were coming to Atlanta. So they get kicked off and obviously we're having a great time. Then the youth pastor from Hillsong Church gets up to talk and I'm loving it. Then things got really going.

You see, I loved the stage production that night. The lighting is good, but it takes some of the focus off of the band, which enables the audience to focus on God. I think that's a great decision. Besides, God had His own light show planned.

Right after the guy gets done talking it starts raining. We're sitting on the last row of seats that are (barely) covered by the pavilion. Didn't matter, 'cause we were gonna get wet. The rain keeps getting harder and harder and yet no one seemed to care. The rain even was coming under the pavilion and getting on stage, and yet the band came back out and kept playing (I don't know why I expected them to quit). So within a few minutes we're soaked but having a great time. Near the end they sang one of their new songs, "Your Name High" and the place went nuts. It was an amazing experience, and one I think I'll treasure for a long time. The energy was amazing and you could feel The Holy Spirit there. I don't know why the fact that it was raining made it so much more powerful, but I'm not sure I'll ever have another concert worship experience quite like it.


P.S. This is one of the best-sounding live bands ever. The End.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And so...

I am ending my time with Zaxby's.

It has been 5 years. Originally, I had started there hoping to get some management experience that would help me in a career. I have gotten that and so much more. 5 years is longer than I have ever worked at one job, and I feel that it was the right time for a change. 

I have not been looking for a new job so much as I have been entertaining offers. I have interviewed for 2 youth minister positions that did not work out, and I had pretty much despaired of finding something else after that. It is kinda neat how God works things out, though, isn't it?

I had a deal for a car almost drop into my lap last month. Good car, reliable, great mpg, great condition, good mileage, and VERY affordable. It turns out that I would need it for my new job, which is about 35 miles from my house. I was not certain that I would be able to go to this job, but it appears to be just what we need! 

And so while I will not be getting into vocational ministry, I will still be able to work at Westwood while also bettering my family's situation. 

Thank you, Father!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Georgia Aquarium






We were able to take a trip to the Georgia Aquarium a couple weeks ago. That was fun! It was a family trip, but we often pick places that we know DJ will love. As anyone who knows us can attest, he is fascinated with marine life and talks incessantly  about it. I was really excited about seeing the whale sharks, as they are examples of the largest fish in the world. In the video I made sure to put in the moment that we first saw them. There is a large window that is oriented towards the central area of the building so that it catches your attention. We were standing there before we entered the exhibit when we first saw the whale sharks. One went by and I caught it on camera and I thought it was huge. Then the BIG one went by and it is ginormous! I caught the last half of it on the tape. I hope you enjoy the video (if you can make it all the way through!).

video

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Doors

Well, I received an answer. And the answer was no. That was ok, but I had to take a couple days to get over the disappointment. I was pretty hopeful that I would be able to get out of a job that is not very stimulating anymore and doesn't look like it's ever going to pay better, but that wasn't up to me. 

One of the funny things about this job hunting process has been that now two different places have told me that they like me, but apparently can't afford me. It's not like I can just up and move for any amount of money - I do have a family that I have to support. I guess I should stop complaining; it's just frustrating, especially when it felt like if the last opportunity had simply told me what they were offering early on I could have not wasted a month waiting.

Anyway, so I am staying at Zaxby's for the foreseeable. There is another dream that I'd like to chase, but it's a much more difficult one. Most people are going to laugh when I tell them what it is. I don't think that anyone doubts that I can do the job, they just doubt whether I could get to the job. But it would be something I well and truly love. 

There's only one problem: it looks like someone that I probably could not compete with will also be in the running. This is where I usually get pretty depressed, because we've all heard the saying "When God closes a door He opens a window." Well this time it feels as if the window is being shut as the door is. Once again, that would be frustrating, but if God doesn't want that dream for me then so be it. 

I just want to be able to chase my dreams and not keep thinking that I waited too long to do so. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Very interesting...

So I'm poking around the internet last night and went to a blog that I've not been to in a while. It's interesting because a friend of mine and I have been discussing Lent for a couple of weeks. I haven't given anything up for Lent in a while, but we were discussing various things to fast from during the season leading up to Easter.

We come from a religious heritage that doesn't practice Lent, which I think actually gives me a greater appreciation for it. When I was dating Kellie and visited the Methodist congregation that she attended, I remember really liking the fact that they recited the Apostles' Creed. I think it had meaning for me that it didn't for those who attended all the time because I hadn't grown up saying it. Lent (when I actually do it) has a greater meaning for me because I choose to do it, not I have to.

That's not to say that I've never fasted, because I have. I just had never done it for the 40 days leading up to Easter. I love the discipline of fasting. I think it focuses you in a way that few other things can. You take an integral part of your life and sacrifice it for time with God. If you fast from food, then every time you are hungry you intentionally devote yourself to prayer instead. It is a way of saying that you need spiritual food more than physical food. I have heard of many other types of fasting, but I prefer fasting from food. It feels very pure to me. 

However, Anne's fast is so interesting to me that I wish I had thought of it. She is fasting from blogging, Facebook, and Twitter. Wow. Talk about something that could be sacrificed for more time with God! I know God will bless her immensely through this, but I was struck by how hard that would be for me. I am constantly on Facebook, whether it's at a computer or on my iPhone. I just started Twittering. And I'm always trying to think of something interesting to blog about. Could you imagine if every time you wanted to check your Facebook you prayed instead? How much time would you be spending with God each day? What could you talk about? 

The great thing about a fast like hers is that it challenges you to ask where your priorities really are.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Taaaake C!

Why does God take "C"?

Let me explain: I'm in the middle of making a very hard decision. It really should be simple, but just isn't. And in my own over-analytical way, I've probably made it even more maddeningly complex than it should be. But that's just Being Scott Sapp. Welcome to my world.

There have been times in my life (and this is one of them) that I have asked God very specific questions and also asked for a yes or no answer. A or B.

And God answers "C".

I have no idea what "C" means. It wasn't in my original question. It's not so much frustrating as it is confusing. I wonder if God doesn't care; not in a detached way, but in a way that says "Just make a decision - I'll bless you either way!" And sometimes I wonder if it's a test of faith.

Should I sacrifice my goals to do what I would love, or do I play it safe and hope it works out better than the chance I could have taken?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cool song, cooler video

I saw this on a blog that I follow. This is one of those times that I like the song, but the video is so amazing that I can't get it out of my head. Really good filmmaking.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thoughts on being 30

Well, I turned 30 this past Sunday. Wow. There are times I stop and think, "I'm 30 years old, am married and have 2 kids - when did all this happen?!" Time goes by so quickly.

However, that sure beats waking up at 30 and wondering why I don't have a family!
Or not waking up at 30 at all.

I read a quote on Myspace the other day that said "I plan on living forever. So far, so good!"

It is funny how we as humans are creatures of habit. Out brains are designed so as to filter out repetitive sounds and such so that we can focus, but it's amazing how we filter out life sometimes to just "get by". We get into habits, or ruts, or just put our life on cruise control and next thing you know another year has gone by and we haven't done much except get up and go to work. 

Maybe that's my New Year Resolution - to use my time more wisely. I feel like I made a good start last year, but I still have a lot of growing to do. 
I want to spend more time with my family. 
I want to take more pictures. 
I want to teach DJ baseball.
I want to chase my dreams - or at least whichever one seems more reachable.

By the way (and I know this whole post has been random), here is a website I found this morning that is advertising itself as The Best Job Ever. I think I'm going to apply!