A postmodern journey of faith...


On Starting Over...

You know, I'm really not that scared anymore. Maybe part of it is that I realize the inevitability of our relocation and new life. The wheels are set in motion, and it's really too late to stop them now. Not that I really want to stop them, mind you. Change is never easy, and change for the sake of change is just plain dumb.

But this isn't that.

For me, this move is more about starting my family. "What?" you ask. "Don't you already have a family? Doesn't four kids qualify as a 'family'?" Well, yes. It exists, but I've not really been part of it. I've been the sometimes-benevolent dictator of the home--the final authority. But "being there" is not something that's come as a part of that process. I'm too tired. I'm too busy. I'm too...occupied. The cobbler's children have no shoes. The preacher's children have no dad. It's not that I sacrifice them for the ministry--it's just that I have to work so much to stay "in the ministry" that we lose so much of what makes us a family. Yeah, there were other alternatives. We chose Illinois. Why? It seemed right...and my kids need a dad.

So, we're going to move out there and get a job. What stops this from happening again? It's simple, really. My reason for working changes. No longer will I work to support my ministry, as I've done for many years. I will work to support my family. I will work to afford vacations and fun...and to support ministry. Yes, we'll still do ministry. But it won't be my primary reason for being. My reasons will change. I will be...
  • A child of God. His son.
  • A husband to my wife. Yes, honey, we will date. :-)
  • A be-there dad for my kids.
  • A friend. This is something I've never been good at. My thanks goes out to all of my friends over the years that I've totally neglected. I love all of you and miss you all--thank you for sticking with me even when I was a lousy friend in return.
  • A life-minister of the Gospel. When you nail down a definition for that, let me know. For now, I'm just going to try doing it.
So, that's why I'm moving to Illinois. And I'm not scared anymore because all that stuff sounds like an immense amount of fun. And doing ministry because I want to...the idea just thrills me to no end. No paycheck. No board. Just Jesus, the community, and me.

Yeah, I'm liking that.

On Getting Warped...

I've long harbored sick fantasies of becoming an OS/2 user...like for about 12 years now. Yeah, that's pretty warped...no pun intended. (If you don't get it, you don't need to.) Well, a few days ago I came across a copy and thought, "Finally, here's my chance!"

As the story goes, OS/2 was designed to be the successor to the original DOS. It started out with Microsoft in bed with IBM to make it happen. Someplace along the line, MS decided they'd had enough and got out. Maybe it was the money.

After using OS/2 for a couple of days, I suspect it was more than the money.

OS/2 is a bizarre combination of usability features that make good sense and being completely unusable for all but the most seasoned of users. It's easy to see why Windows won, especially with the advent of Windows 95. Yes, to be sure, Microsoft took a lot of great ideas from OS/2. But also to be sure, Microsoft added a great deal of value to that just previously wasn't there. As the story goes, what was to become OS/2 ended up becoming Windows NT. And if you know anything about the lineage of Windows, long down the line, Windows NT became Windows XP. Techincally, XP is like NT version 5.5 or something like that.

So, at the end of the day, I'm still a Windows user. It does everything I need it to with a minimum of hassle. Heck, I had problems even installing software in OS/2. Granted VMWARE emulation adds a little twist--but I had OS/2 freeze up on me about as many times in 2 days as I've had Windows freeze up in the last two years. And all I was trying to do was browse files!

Anyway, it's late and I need to get to bed.


Insomnia, Transition, and Legacy Software

It's about 6 AM on Sunday morning. And I haven't had a wink of sleep since 10:45 last night. I'd go get some now, but I'm afraid it would make things worse. You know how it is sometimes when it's better that you don't sleep at all? Still, I'm sitting here struggling with IBS cramps, having just finished my work for this morning. Why didn't I sleep? Well, I started out just not being able to, but ended up just working pretty solidly. Saturday was a waste of a day. I couldn't get up until noon, was still exhausted, and just couldn't get focused on anything until late. I hate not going to bed with my wife, but I guess that's just the way it's going to be until after the transition.

Ah, yes. The transition.

Three weeks now until I'm done at Citibank. And two more Sundays at New Hope. (I'll work at Citibank for 5 days beyond my time at New Hope.) Then, our schedule gets a little fuzzy. At some point, we'll visit some family in Montana, and then...it's off to Illinois. We'll be in Normal with our friends/family, the Beaty's, for probably 8-12 weeks, I figure. I need to find stable employment before we can apply to Rural Development for a house loan. We were looking at Rantoul, but are now thinking perhaps that closer to Normal is a good thing. And we're looking more at a rural home. We'd like to begin breeding Newfoundlands here in a year or two, and so the country would be a better place for us. Eventually, I'd like to get into freelance programming so I can work from home.

What about the ministry?

Funny you should ask. We're just not sure what's going to happen. It's on hold for now until I get clear marching orders. Well, that's not totally true--because we'll continue to minister wherever we are, but I just won't be an official "pastor." Happy (the pastor at the Vineyard in Urbana) has indicated that he'd like to see us get involved with small group ministry, so I'll have to get ahold of Jim Egli once we get there to see what opportunities exist.

Of course, we need a house first.

Details, details...

Things to pray about:
- My health. I'll be just barely surviving this next three weeks. I'm in rough shape, physically. I'm very tired and just can't do anymore without supernatural intervention.
- My wife. For the reasons above, she's having to bear a heavier load than I care to see her bear.
- Housing. The Lord has the right thing, in His time. Who knows what our little communal experiment might bear?
- Transportation. We've run up a horrible bill at the mechanic, and the van's not fixed. We are having some kind of obscure fuel problem. I'm going to call him again on Monday to see if he's made any progress in deciphering what could be wrong, and maybe seeing what can be done to cut down our exorbitant bill.
- Time. We still need to seriously get packing. There's just been no time.

BUT, in the answered prayer department:
Shaianne took another hard blow to her nose--and I *know* it was broken again on Monday. Tuesday was Independence Day, so we could do little with it, but I was praying and really engaging my faith. I was disappointed that it wasn't "all better" on Tuesday morning...but we didn't give up. Finally, after a wild-goose chase on Wednesday (long story...), she got to see the doctor on Friday morning. Guess what? It wasn't broken! I'm completely convinced that prayer did the trick, becuase by Friday the nose was no longer crooked!

In other news, let me tell you about the environment in which I am typing this lengthy post (written earlier):

Ok, so this is about as basic as it gets. There's something delightfully nostalgic about typing this document in Word for DOS, even though I never really used it. I was a WordPerfect devotee, myself. In fact, I should see if my old WordPerfet 5.1 disks even work.

Ok, so I just downloaded a copy of WP 5.1, and you know what? Ironically, I like Word better now. Who'd've thunk it? I suppose it all has to do with familiarity. I was familiar with WP 5.1 back in the day, so I didn't want to change. Today, I hate the totally keyboard driven interface of WordPerfect--and needing a template to remember anything.

This is nice, though, because it could keep me from becoming very distracted whilst writing. I may just have to give it a try. I mean, the thing is that one can even shut off all of the screen clutter and just leave the writing area. That's really nice. What you end up with is just your text, nothing more. Heck, one can even just off the scroll bar, but I'm not sure why. Horizontally, that makes sense. But the vertical bar is rather nice for document navigation.

The other nice thing? This won't crash. Really. It's rock-solid. It just does what it's supposed to do, and no more. What more can you ask for?

Oh, WYSIWYG editing? That's for wimps.

OK, so I'm using this as a basic text editor. Like it matters to me.

Time to go shower and look presentable. And eat breakfast. Ohhh...this will be such a long day.