Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Morning

This is an unusual Saturday morning for me. Normally, my weekend begins on Friday morning after completing the Thursday night/Friday morning midshift. This week, so that I could have a long weekend last weekend and so that a co-worker could have the Friday night/Saturday morning mid off, I traded shifts and worked the additional mid at the end of the week.

I stopped at Starbucks on the way home and then stopped to visit with some friends at an Estate Sale. It was quite nice to visit with Pastor Joseph and his wife Kaye. It's been a little while since we've talked and it makes me think that I need to have a lunch with Joseph or perhaps have them over to dinner sometime soon. I always enjoy talking with Joseph. He is a unique individual.

One wouldn't normally look at a man that is legally blind and say that God favors him. Nor would you see a man that now walks with a cane or a pronounced limp and count him as one that has been blessed abundantly. His childhood was not a good one. He ran away from home and was on his own as a young teen. Born blind in one eye, he lost sight in his other, regained it for a time only to lose it again. Somehow, this displaced Montana cowboy was guided to Evangel College (now Evangel University) in Springfield, MO and managed to get scholarships and grants to secure an undergraduate degree.

In spite of his tremendous education (I believe that he now hold four Doctorate degrees--I don't even know if that's the right way to say that!), he is as humble a man as I know and very easy to talk with. I consider myself blessed to be numbered among his many friends.

Check out his website and you'll see that he is an author, play-write, teacher, actor, pastor, and much more. I encourage you to consider his books for your personal reading (I like I'm Not Really Blind, I just Can't See the best.) and if you are ever considering the Ozarks as a relaxing getaway, you need to look into the Serenity View Lodge Bed and Breakfast.

All-in-all, my short visit this morning was a grand way to start the weekend. Now for a little sleep and the weekend can continue sometime around noon!


Just a note about the statement "He is a unique individual."

I had to change this from my original "He is a very unique individual."

I recently read that since the "uni" in unique means one and that since unique means one of a kind; very unique is an improper phrase. Some thing can be somewhat unique (meaning that there are few like it) but nothing can be very unique.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Just Waiting...

This morning finds me waiting for the American Red Cross Apheresis Center to open for my 8 o'clock appointment. There is now a standing joke about one of the nurses calling the police on me. I generally donate after working a mid-shift. Often I will park in the parking lot and sleep in my car while waiting for them to open. One morning, one of the employees saw me in my car, didn't recognize me through the tinted windows, tapped lightly on the window and when I didn't respond, she called 911.

I woke up a few minutes before the police and ambulance arrived and went inside to wait. That's when she realized that I was the one in the car. I'm sure that the police and paramedics got a little bit of a laugh out of it. I know that it made me one of the more memorable donors and am reminded of it each time I come donate after working a mid-shift.

Listening to NPR as I wait this morning--it was 60 years ago today that North Korea invaded South Korea. Sad that we continue to have issues with North Korea today. Just yesterday I was feeling very badly for the North Korean soccer team that performed so poorly at the World Cup. In an unusual move, the North Korean government allowed the live broadcast of the game. I wonder what awaits the players that "embarrassed" their country with such a dismal performance.

Also on this date--only one year ago--Michael Jackson died. Apparently, death was a good financial move for Michael. Not only did the incredible spending stop, the assets of old music, memorabilia, etc., have skyrocketed.

Listening to the news reminds me of how great my life is. The Gulf oil spill is causing problems for the locals in Louisiana. The drug violence in Mexico is spreading. The military structure in the Middle East is in flux after inappropriate comments by a loose lipped General. Here I only have to deal with minor issues. I have a nice home, a good job, a great family. Life is good.

I know of many that are dealing with joblessness, health issues, financial crisis...I wish that I could do more to help them. I almost feel bad that I have so much going on. I'm glad that I'm able to do occasional free (or close to free) magic shows for seniors or kids. I did that Wednesday afternoon. It was fun and not my usual venue. Not only is it good for my audience, it allows me to work on different things and prepare for doing more magic when I retire from the ATC gig.

Well, it is time to take care of the pre-donation paper work. Have a good day. Do something for somebody else today. Offer encouragement, help, a smile or kind word. Donate blood, platelets, food, money, time. Give of what you have--even if you have little. You'll be glad that you did.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Catching up

Looking at the date of my last post and the date on the calendar for today, it has been 20 days since my last post. Coincidentally, that is also about the same amount of time that I have been without my HP Mini netbook.

You may recall that I damaged the LCD screen when my Mini fell to the floor. HP informed me that the minimum repair cost would be $250 and that I could buy a new mini for $279. I was checking into the new ones, looking at a iPad, and trying to figure out what I was going to do. A friend suggested that I might consider replacing the screen myself.

What?! Me?! I am a total computer moron. I do little "manly" stuff when it comes to home repair/maintenance, less when it comes to cars, and none--let me repeat, NONE--when it comes to computers. But, considering the options and the expense, I decided that I'd at least price a new screen. HP wanted about $110 and I found them elsewhere from $59-79. The main problem that I was facing was that there appeared to be a number of different screens that might work. I decided to order one from a local shop so that I would have some place to go if I ran into any problems--it was $85.

When it came in, I set about taking the old screen out. I was hoping that it would be as simple as removing a few screws and then unplugging the old screen, plugging in the new one, and re-assembling. It probably would have been except (there's always an "except") it wasn't the right screen. So...I took it back, along with the original and had them reorder it. For whatever reason, it took almost two weeks for the correct one to arrive--yesterday. As unbelievable as it might seem--I, Mr. Tech gadget moron--put it all back together and am blogging away on my netbook at this very moment!

I'll try to get caught up over the next few days. For now, the lawn beckons me. Then a few hours sleep before returning to the radar room for another midshift.


Friday, June 04, 2010

C. S. I.

It's early in the morning on the day of Hopedale's Children's Camp. I am a little bit anxious about camp this year. While I really do like the "Who Are You?" theme and the crime scene approach, I'm afraid that I'm moving in a little bit different direction than the lesson time is going to be directing the kids.

We have a very good Children's Department and a volunteer staff that understands how kids learn as well as any professional staff. I'm looking forward to the lessons and the skits as much as the kids are. It may seem strange that I don't know what the lessons are or what the skits will be like. I do that on purpose. I don't want the message during worship to be based on the skits. I know the theme and will work with that. Usually, it all comes together quite nicely.

This year...I don't know. I have been given a summary of the skits since I've been asked to talk to the kids about trusting Jesus as Savior at the end of the final skit. Right now, I'm not sure how I'm going to reconcile the two different approaches to this "investigation" in a way that will make sense to the kids, honor The Word, and give glory to God.

Our Children's director asked me how many years I've been serving as Camp Pastor. It's been a few...I think 9 of the last 10 years. Maybe it's time for somebody a little younger to serve as Camp Pastor. Our Children's Director has changed (younger). Our worship team has changed (also younger). Our camp sites have changed. I'm just know?

The TriCounty camp has changed over the past couple of years and I have had a diminished role each year...and that's okay with me. It really is about the kids getting to know more about our God.

In any case, today will be a long day. I had hoped to grab a couple of hours of sleep after the midshift before needing to be at the church at noon, but I just learned of a worker's meeting at 10. By the time I get to the feed store and take care of the horse, finish getting my things together for camp and make it to the meeting...well, it looks like maybe 11 o'clockish tonight before sleep. No big deal...unless, of course, I turn into the grumpy old guy! Not a chance!

Enjoy the weekend.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Kid's Camps

School is out and it's time for summer camps! I can't believe it's been almost four years since I wrote this post on kids! Maybe I'm mellowing as I approach 50 or maybe the little buggers are just wearing me down, but they really don't seem as bad as they used to be. This year(as always), I'm really looking forward to the upcoming camps.

Friday begins the Children's camp for Hopedale Baptist Church. I know that we're expecting 60+ kids (3rd-6th graders, I think) and we'll be there through Monday morning. This year our theme is "Who Are You?" We'll be taking a CSI approach at looking at our character as Christians and our relationship to God through His Son, Jesus.

Monday afternoon the kids arrive for the TriCounty Association camp. That will go on through Thursday night. Once again, the young adults at Sports Crusaders will be at camp with us.

Then on Monday, June 14, I'll drive across the state to spend an evening with the girls at the Mineral Area Association Girl's Camp.

It will be a busy couple of weeks. For those of you that are prayer minded, remember me over the next few weeks. Work is still apart of my schedule (the first to camps are close enough to drive back and forth--working a couple of day shifts and midnight shifts), as well as my annual MWT on the 10th of June. (That's always a blast!)

I hope that your June is as fun packed as mine.