Monday, August 30, 2004

It's raining here right now...

just normal summer afternoon/evening Central Florida thunderstorms. No big deal actually- a lightning strike here, a brief tornado there- just your run-of-the-mill weather. And Florida is generally wonderful; after living through seven winters in Illinois I would be hard pressed to give up the pleasure of a January evening in shorts & shirt sleeves. However...

As most of you are aware we had a major hurricane pass through just a short time ago. Lots of damage, loss of life. There are areas, the places that were worst hit, that still don't have power back. Not many, and I am not trying to criticize anyone- It's just a fact of life that hurricanes can do amazing amounts of damage.

And today my family began to take a serious look at Hurricane Frances. It's not supposed to be here until Saturday, but if you looked at the projected path you'd see where it black line crosses the right coast of Florida? That's just a few miles south of me.

The problem is, as we were reminded with Charlie, that no matter how good the science is (and it's pretty darn good these days), there's still no way to absolutely tell were that great mass of water & heat is going. Charlie was expected to hit the Tampa area. Thousands of people evacuated to Central Florida, Orlando. Charlie decided to jig at the last minute, and Tampa got through with very little trouble. But all those people that went to O-town walked into the path of a major hurricane.

SO, the problem is deciding what to do. We could leave- close up the house, pack a few things and go, um, ha-ha. Yeah. Well, I've got two kids in Tallahassee. So north & west. That's far enough inland that we should be fairly safe.

But nobody will know for sure until the last minute. And to me, strictly my personal opinion, that makes the whole thing a crap shoot. If I lived on a barrier island, yes, I'd get the heck off of it and get inland. But I'm about five miles inland, with pretty good drainage. There's always the potential of wind damage. But there's the potential of wind damage almost every evening this time of year.

As I write this there is a family crisis going on. Another storm, right here, right now. So my priorities are taking a jig, and I'm going a different way than previously forecast. Ciao-

Saturday, August 28, 2004

It's all about the money...

Or so it appears. Google says they're going to pay me to put a search bar & some ads on my blog. Could I get rich off of this drivel?

In far more important news- a new ministry of Faith Fellowship Church is getting ready to go. And the website is up & running as of this evening. The web content is still a bit thin, & there's lots of polishing to do, but Body Builders now exists in cyberspace.

A bunch of us have been preparing for this for quite awhile. Ministry of this type has been on my heart for 12+ years, with lots of stops & starts along the way. There was a time, 9 or 10 years ago, when I wanted to got into a ministry training program in south Florida. There's not much I've ever wanted more in my life than I wanted that. And God very clearly & very definitely said, "NO."

Which really hurt. I mean, God's supposed to put His desires in my heart, to become mine, right(I'm not interested in arguing theology with anybody today, so don't waste your time)? And what could possibly be wrong with wanting to help people that are hurting?

Well, timing for one thing. Turns out God's timetable did not coincide with mine. The next several years were...interesting. And if you know me & mine, you understand. So when a good friend asked about a year ago if I would pray about being involved in this, I wasn't interested. The years between "I want this more than anything," and the present, left me with no desire to minister to anybody, no confidence that I could, and unconvinced that I had anything to offer.

Basically, I agreed to pray only out of respect for my friend. And it took some time to get to the point where I thought it was a possibility, and some more time to begin to get excited about the idea. And now, with our Sept. 21st kick-off date fast approaching, I'm feeling unprepared, & ill-equipped, but willing. And I suspect that's the important part.

Fortunately we are not going in as teachers, but simply facilitators. As Reid says- I'm just trying to tell another hungry person where to find bread.

One of the things that has really scared me, and still concerns me, is what kind and how much of a commitment I'm supposed to make to someone. Don't misunderstand- I know very well that I can't fix a person. That's God's domain, entirely. But, well, let me try to explain it this way- I once heard a person, a leader of a support ministry, say "We will walk with you through this, whatever it takes." But they didn't. They maybe went as far as they could handle, & maybe as far as God meant them to go. But in saying they would stay, whatever it takes, & then not doing so, they wounded someone, pretty significantly.

I suppose the lesson from that is to be sure I only commit to what God wants- there are times when you have to let people go- but that was a tough way to learn.

But enough for tonight. I've been in front of this keyboard for about 7 hours today, & it's past my bedtime. So goodnight one & all, & I'll let you know when, if, the google bucks start rolling in- Hmm...

(By the way- if you read this and wondered why it's all one big block- if it still is- apparently blogger is messing with my formatting again. Don't know what the deal is, I usually write in paragraphs...and the search bar appears to have magically appeared at the top of the page...where's my MONEY?)

Friday, August 13, 2004

And now for something completely different...

I'm trying to figure out picasa & hello, the software blogger is pushing for posting pics on blogger (google will soon rule the world). And I wanted to show how I played with some pictures in PaintShopPro. I enjoy doing but it's a lot of work sometimes. Posted by Hello <- That little icon shows up when I post the pictures, which I do from my computer. Now I like the ease of doing this, & I don't have to upload to picturebucket or wherever and then link into my blog. But I don't have as much control over size (I think). And sometimes I want the first sight of a pic to be BIG- for the impact. And I'm not sure why I only seem to be using the left side of the page...and I'm not sure I want to put in the time & energy to figure it all out.

Here's the thing, see- there's a lot of things I like to do, and a lot of things I want to try. And then there's a lot of things I need to do, to support the things I want to do. Like work. And then there's all the stuff that goes with being a productive & acceptable member of society- not even gonna' get into that list, although that's what's really been on my mind lately. I'm learning (or trying to learn, or being taught, or whatever your particular theological spin prefers) to live my life for God rather than for what I think everybody arounds me wants. Sounds pretty basic, but it's not so for me. For instance, that's why I haven't written anything here for so long. I got to a point where I felt like I had to write something, but either didn't have the time or the inclination to do so. Then I felt like I had to do something, and the worse that got the more I resented the whole thing.

Now I know that's all kind of absurd, but it's my life & there's a lot of absurdity here. Sooo- I'm not saying I will and I'm not saying I won't- but I'm not walking away from this yet. And if you're still here, go look at the rest of the pictures- that's what this was supposed to be about, anyway. (Edited just a bit- I think I rambled but I don't care. Why in the world would anybody read this mess anyway? This post brought to you by Bet you didn't know I like bluegrass, huh? My daughter bought me the sound track to O Brother Where Art Thou? Good stuff...) (Oh yeah- if you click on the pics you'll get a bigger version-who's storing these things anyway?)(Oh, and...aww never mind!)

This is my first revision- I actually put these in reverse order of what I wanted, & right now you're reading my thoughts in reverse order 'cause I'm editing them backwards. Don't be confused though; I'll do that for all of us.

This is the original- Posted by Hello I took out streetlights, power lines, & a sign, & cropped the parking lot. This is late afternoon- for those of you that know the area, it's taken from the parking lot at Wickham & Aurora, in front of the auto parts store-

Monday, August 02, 2004