Sunday, May 30, 2004

Worship - its a lifestyle thing

In Christian lingo, "Worship" or especially "Praise and Worship" generally refers to the time when we are playing music and singing at the beginning of a service. Well it is much more than that, it is worshipping God... but to keep things simple I'll just say it usually refers to the "music" portion of the service.

But if you speak to pretty much anyone about worship, who is into worship, or a "praise and worship team", etc., inevitably the phrase "Worship is much more than just playing music on Sunday (or whenever), it is a lifestyle." Teresa has been teaching on worship lately, and God has been giving her some really incredible stuff to talk about. The Thursday before last was pretty cool. To paraphrase:
So all week, I've been like, "God... what do you want me to speak about this week" and I've been getting nothing! I've probably prayed more than I have ever have. And nothing. I've been doing word studies on worship, and nothing. So today [which would be Thursday] I'm cleaning Pastor Joe's house, and I'm scrubbing the toilet, and all of a sudden I hear God say, clear as can be, "This is worship". WHAT??? "This is worship". And so I start thinking about it and I realize that what He is saying is that SERVING IS A FORM OF WORSHIP! And so that's what we, as a worship team, are going to start doing. We are going to start serving.
And she went on to talk about how ministries in the church really need to come together, and we need to start serving each other, etc. Roger and Rachel have taken over as the youth directors, and they need their new office painted. (Pastor Rick had it super man colors, which was cool, but not for everyone). So she said the next Thursday, instead of practice, we were going to prime the walls for them. Given the size of our team, it wouldn't take much time, but it would really bless them.
And it did. They haven't seen it yet ('cuz they are out of town), but they were so surprised that the worship team would want to do something like that for them. And it was great fun. It wasn't hard work or anything (so many people, we didn't do all that much work), and we all went and have pie/coffee afterward. It was just a good time of hanging out, fellowshipping, etc.
As as Teresa said, God will honor this so much. "Seek first the kingdom of God", "You'll reap what you sow", "God will honor you when you do something for someone else", all those principles. Rather than viewing it as we are missing a practice, view it as we are doing something for God, and He'll reward us so much more when we do practice. Its just a God thing.
Teresa is so psyched about this stuff. And for good reason. It is sooo cool. So many times a worship team can get to a place of "we are a worship team and we do music", and not do anything else. Serving is just going to rock. And its just a cool indicating of where we are going as a team and as a church.

More subtle template changes

When looking at Jaime's comment on a post, I noticed that the "Previous Posts" and "Links" were showing up, but not the "Archives". I moved them all to the same area so they only show up on the main or archive pages. Also moved the text that dicusses that you should be using Mozilla. Just some minor cleanup.

To get it to show up I had to republish the entire blog (so it would show up on past comment pages)... So, all pages now reflect my current template.

Working in the yard

Went out for lunch yesterday with with Tina, Jaime, Erika and Michael, then went to Lowes and bought some planets, fencing, etc. Spent the afteroon updating the planters with some new flowers/bushes and building some 2ft fencing to go around them.

Vinyl fencing is pretty cool. Looks like wood (for the most part) and is very easy to work with. I got a section mostly made for one planter, and will complete it and the 2nd one either today or tomorrow. Michael planted all the plants in the backyard while I was doing that, and the girls worked in the planters out front.

I went out front two times for stuff while they were doing this. One time there was much squeling and "Daddy... come get these bugs!" They were pulling up the bricks around the planters and pulling the grass between them. Under the bricks were ants, either carrying larve or something. Freaked the girls out. The next time I came out front, they were sitting around a planter, singing Disney songs, gentling pulling grass and throwing it in the air. They crack me up.

After we were all done we went to A&W and had hot dogs and root beer. All in all a very good day and got some yard work done.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

That could have been embarassing

So, just got out of the shower. Thinking about mushing and wikis, and how they coudl tie together. So I'm heading toward the computer to jot down some thoughts. I'm leaving my room, zipping up my pants ('cuz hey... I've got stuff to write down, so way waste time - just head to the computer), w/o a shirt on. As I step out of the door I realize that Erika has spent the night.

Yeah, fully clothed might be a good idea.

Friday, May 28, 2004

A moment in the life

Yeah, soI know I'm always reflecting on things. Its just that lots of stuff seems... well if not interesting, at least "hmm..." to me. Maybe a sign of my age...

I'm working, and reading a bit of a MUSH programming manual (just to see what its like) and I check my gmail account. A quick mail from Elizabeth asking for a Spanish Rice recipe. I reply that I don't have one, but I bet Tif does. So I call Tif on my cell, she gives me the recipe over the phone, and we talk about dragons and mushing a bit (I jumped onto PernMUSH this morning and paged her - very cool) while I'm walking down to the cafe. I grab some lunch, come back up, fire off an email to Elizabeth with the receipe and then blog it.

Sometimes I just think about the technology involved. Me talking with Tif on Pern, then Elizabeth asking me on-line for a recipe, me calling Tif on my cell while walking around, then emailing Elizabeth back. I know we take a lot of this for granted, but every once in a while I think back to when I was in high school... and I just kind of marvel at what is possible now.


Spent a little time MUSHing this morning. Well not so much mushing as just getting on the MUSH and looking around. Some cool stuff. Then I got to work and Tif said she'd be on and told me how to page her... so I did! She squelled and we talked for a few minutes before I had to get serious about work.

How FUN! I'm going to have to get into it a bit... Well, speaking of work...

God/Jesus Private Jokes

So in bible study this morning we were discussing the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew. Jesus gets done feeding 5K, sends the disciples across the lake in a boat, dismisses the crowd and goes up on the mountian side for some quite time with his dad. Later he walks out across the water, approaches the boat, and freaks out the disciples.

As we are discussing this I start chuckeling on the inside. How much sense of humor did Jesus have? He must had a pretty good one, right? I can just imagine the conversation before he heads out across the lake.

God: Ok, we'll you need to get going. Its getting pretty storming out there.
Jesus: Should I meet them on the other side or what?
God: No, just walk out there and get in the boat.
Jesus: Oh man, that is going to totally freak them out. I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they see me coming across the water.

OK. So maybe that isn't the way it really happened... but thats the kind of things that go through my head. :-)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Ista Weyr

Ista Weyr is one of the original Weyrs on Pern. Tif has currently joined the ranks of the unemployed (getting ready for their vacationing they'll be doing this fall, etc.) and has much more time to be on-line. One of the things she does is PernMUSH, and Ista is the Weyr she has chosen to join.

Cool stuff. I'll have to take a closer look when I get more time. I've read all the Pern books and have passed my love of Dragons on to my kids. Cool. :-)

Aside: To add the Pern link above, I goggled Pern and then followed that link. As I scrolled down thread started falling on my screen. It totally creeped me out. How bizzare... to someone unfamiliar with Pern, it would have just seemed like little worms or something. But it really creeped me out. I guess Pern is in my blood more than I knew!

Writing Browswer independent code

Well my "Links", "Previous Posts" and "Archives" now show up if you are using Mozilla or if you are using IE. Because they always display in IE (since it doesn't support the latest CSS techniques), I moved them from the top back to the sidebar. If they were at the top, they'd cover up part of my blog entries and the profile. Moving them back to the sidebar got them out of the way. So, not ideally where I'd like them... but works for the main two browsers... which is the best design.

Thanks again to Eric Shepherd's Tulipe design on cssZenGarden. Looking at that showed me how to create the drop-downs in the first place, and then looking at it again showed me how I could write the css so it would support both Mozilla and IE.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Another way to let guest know it is time to leave.

MightyGirl wrote, Don’t Be Rude: When Guests Outstay Their Welcome, an article on how to let guests know it is time to leave. Last night we were over at Miller's for "LOTR: Return of the King" and it finished up about 11:30. JJ reminded me of that article as we were cleaning up and getting ready to leave:

JJ: Good night everyone!
Me: Are you going to bed?
JJ: No. You are leaving.

Little kids have a great way with words. :-)

Stupid browser differences

So Tif sends me mail and says, "Hey... what's up with your blog? I tried to go to archives and it isn't working. I thought you said "Links", "Previous Posts" and "Archives" were drop downs. They act just like text."

Hmm... works fine for me with Mozilla. So I bring up IE and sure enough, my blog doesn't look near as cool and worse yet none of my drop-downs work. :-(

I don't have time to figure this out right now... so, if you really want an archive you can type it in. They follow the same format: __01_worship-junky_archive.html. For instance, last months would be
And the good thing about going an archived blog is that it uses my old template, so you won't have the dropdown problem.

Sorry about this...

Things seen at lunch

Browsing blogs while I'm eating lunch. Still getting over the flu (man, what a killer - something like 10 or 11 days now!). I'm eating Japanese, because bland seems to work well. Miso and Edamame... with a CA roll thrown in just to see how it works.

Anyway, browsing and seeing a number of interesting things:
  • CDC BMI calculator - yikes... 30.1
  • Harvard - The Way We Eat Now - according to this a BMI of > 30 is obese... Hey, I've lost weight during the flu, I'm sure I'm "just" overweight now. :-( (Make a mental note to get serious on diet).
  • Jeffery Veen discusses pork chops - Hmm... pork chops, those sound good. (Don't forget - DIET)
  • Context, not Navigation - interesting on a number of levels, as a blog designer, web designer, and as a cognative scientist.

Lawmaker tones down anti-Gmail bill | CNET

Technology lobbyists said the changes appear to be a win for Google, since the revised version reverses key aspects of the original. But most agreed that if the bill becomes law, it will be bad news for technology companies operating in the state.
Cool for Google, but I still think this is probably unnecessary and just publicity by a politician, but I could be wrong.

Gmail ads

This morning while reading a junk mail post in gmail on "It must be a red-neck day", which had a joke about a bride being 14, one of the gmail ads pointed to TeenVote. I thought this was interesting because:
  • I wonder what technology goes from a joke about a 14 year old bride to a teenage voting site
  • I had no idea someone was trying to get the voting age lowered.

Learn something new every day. Thanks gmail!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

ACM MemberNet - Turing Award Honors Alan Kay as Pioneer of Personal Computers

He is also one of the founders of SmallTalk.

NYTimes: Correction

bmay posted the following correction from the NYTimes. I found it funny...
An article last Wednesday about South Africa's wine industry referred incorrectly to Thabani Cellars, a winery there. It is not minority-owned. (As a black man, the owner, Jabulani Ntshangase, belongs to the country's majority.)

Monday, May 24, 2004

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get up in the morning...

So I'm at work and I had a discuss with my manager on Friday about getting a kit out. (He wanted it out ASAP and wanted to know where we were with getting some of the bugs in). One of the developer's is working a ton of "cleanup" stuff, so he has a number of bugs he is working (some for the next kit, some for a later kit) as well as some new functionality he is putting in. All pretty small stuff, but a number of things at once. So, this weekend I sent him mail with a subject of "Task priority" - outlining the order in which I'd like him to get his tasks done. (Work the bugs for the kit that is going out immediately first, etc.)

Me: How are things going?
Him: Good, I'm working on testing xxx, I've almost got it done.
Me: Cool. Did you get that mail from me on task priority?
Him: Yeah... but I'm finishing up all this other stuff before I read it. But I did mark it as important and unread so I'd make sure and read it later.
Me: inward groan. Ok... but you might want to read it first, since it outlines the order in which I'd like you to work your tasks.

Ya know... sometimes you just have to look at things as great blog material, laugh, and go on with your day. ;-)

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Personal space

So I'm walking along and this woman is walking on the other side of the street. As we get about 1/2 way down a block she angles across the street and comes up on the sidewalk in front of me. She is walking fast, but I'm walking a little faster, so I'm gradually come up on her. We get to the corner and I'm right behind her, she angles across the street, heading left, and I'm right behind her. (This is about 3 houses from my house, so I'm cutting across to head into my yard). We walk about 15 more feet, she stops and turns:

Her: Why don't you just go past me
Me: awkwardlyExcuse me. Sorry
Her: No problem

If you don't want someone to walk behind you... don't move in front of them! I get how she feels... I'm a guy, walking about 4 feet behind her, and she is a woman alone. But I wasn't invading her space, she was invading mine. Just felt kind of awkward.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Why yes, I am

Me: Hey, I posted on my profile that you are married to, Brian "TheHammer" O'Grady!
Tif: Yeah, I read that. You are *way* too impressed with what my husband does for a living. ;-)

Why yes... yes I am. Defending our country. Teaching other young pilots how to do that so they are safe. Putting his life on the line. What's not to be impressed about?

New neighbors

Getting back from my walk I noticed the new next door neighbor dragging some stuff out to the trash (which is right next to our community set of mailboxes). Introduced myself - yeah... I've really been coming out of my intravert shell. Not tons, but hey... I introduced myself to a *total stranger*. Our new neighbors are Marie (Maria?) and her husband Maurice. (Yeah... just like in Joker by Steve Miller). They have two greyhounds (Tina will think that is extremly cool).

Perhaps not all that noteworthy... but hey, if I blog in there is *some* chance I'll remember their names, and if not... I always know where to find them. And yeah, I am just that bad at remembering names...

Water restrictions?

While walking this morning I took a picture of some wildflowers. Also was noticing how green some of the lawns are (which isn't THAT uncommon this early in the year). Then I noticed some houses had their sprinklers going.... Today is Friday. We are under water restrictions here in the Springs and even numbered addresses can only water on Wed and Sun. Not sure about odd numbered addresses. Checked, yeah, even number.

I guess the deal is the first time you get caught it is a warning, then a $50 fine, then $100, then they restrict your water somehow? Hey, I like a green lawn as much as the next person, but I just don't get "cheating" on watering your lawn...

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Close, but no cigar

Well I got my laptop to connect to the Panera network, once. But when it brings up its first web page with "Click OK on the button below to get online", there was no button. The page didn't fully load. And from there I couldn't get things to reinitialize.

So... I was close. I was on the network, I was receiving a strong signal at 11.5 Mb, but I just couldn't get online. I'm going to have to do some reading and try again.

We got to DIA an hour before Tif's plane left (small airline, so that shouldn't have been a problem) and I made my way back to town. Now here at work. It was great having her around for 3 weeks, even if we were all sick part of the time and didn't get to do all the cooking we wanted to do, or sushi. But next time. She'll be back for a week or so around August 1st... to see VAN HALEN (YAH!), and visit. What a kid. She rocks.

Geek experiement

Being the Geek that I am... and having a daughter who is a geek as well... or at least thinks geeky things are cool. (Quick aside: Tif, when she was probably 16 or so, telling me about standing in the card aisle, cracking up about a Dilbert card. She puts it back, the guy next to her picks it up, looks at it, looks at her straight faced and sets it back down. "Some people just don't get it Dad.")

Today, if I have time, I'm going to try a geek experiment. Tif is leaving today :-(, and I'm taking her up to DIA :-) (good ride together). We'll be stopping at Panera Bread for breakfast. Some of their locations have hotspots. Turns out ours does... a quick pic of Tif, jump on the web, upload the pic, and volia! A live pic sitting in a restaurant drinking Chia Lattes and eating pastry. So, later this morning there will either be a picture of Tif, or later me explaining the problems I'm ran into. Hopefully it will all go smooth... HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?

Notes From My Walkf (NFMY)

I've been going for a 30 minute walk every morning. Missed the last few because I was sick. This morning was the first one back. I'm going to start a new "series" in my blogging on Notes From My Walk. Maybe not every day. (Is there that much that *I* find interesting? Don't know). I'm going to take my camera too. Sometimes I'll post here, or if I've snapped a pic, I'll post on my photo blog, like I did today.

But there is good news

Hmm... rereading that previous post, it could seem a little dreary. While there are tough times, there are actually some great times as well. Like I said, there are some incredibly awesome/supportive people, worship has never been better, and there are new ministries starting with people that are totally on fire. As always, God is on the throne and He will being in those He has called to minister to this body. We'll continue to "fight the good fight" and things will be better than ever. They always are!


We went to a graudation party last night for Bobby, David and Zack. As promised I'm going to post pictures from that over next serval (or longer) days. It was a good time. Good food, good conversation, and fun watching the youth (and some adults - but not me) play football.

Blowing off steam

One of the worst things about being the husband of a female pastor, and a Christian, is my inability to protect her from other people. In a past life (a Christian way of saying "before I was born again) a cook at a pizza place where we both worked called Tina a name that made her very upset. I was working behind the bar, found out, strode across the restaurant, grabbed the guy, picked him and slammed him into the wall and told him he better NEVER say anything like that to my wife again. That was the last time we every say him. He quit his job and never came back. But that was then...

For those that don't know, our church is undergoing a tough time. The youth pastor is leaving and for some reason this has created a minor church split. I'm not sure of the definition of a church split, but a number of people are also picking this time to leave and our going with the youth pastor. While that is hard for those on pastoral staff, hey people are going to do what they are going to do, and there isn't a lot you can do about it. So you just wish them well, bless them for all they've done in the church (because some of them are in leadership, have attended for years, etc.) and let them go on their way.

But several people have taken this opportunity, out of the blue, to just slam the heck out of Tina. Well all along some people have slammed her, because she is a strong woman. Some people don't like strong women. Some people don't like a woman being a pastor. Some people don't like someone in control who will call them on issues, etc. But hey, that's all part of the job. When God calls you to do something, you just grin and do it - regardless of the price. But some people have been friends with her. Have treated her like their pastor. People with issues. People that needed pastoring. And because of her call she has pastored them. Putting their problems before her families need. (Which is all part of the calling on our entire family). Has spent hours with them, counseling, talking, etc. Hasn't minded when they call on her day off, in the middle of the night, whatever. And that is cool. But now all of a sudden, out of the blue, with no change on Tina's part, some of these people decide she is some evil person. Confronting her for no reason and telling her all the evil/mean/bad things she has done. And saying, "You will NEVER be MY pastor" and "I will NEVER call you PASTOR."

And the awful thing is, the reasons they give are gossip, lies and slander... and sometimes not directly attributed to her. The church did this and the church did that... and being on staff and knowing the processes, business rules and goings on, I know most of them to be outright lies, some of them to be half-truths, and a few to be based on a perception of the truth. And these are people who were close to Tina, in that she poured her life into them and they spent a lot of time with her.

And the overall feeling after the initial shock and getting ticked, is that it isn't their fault. These are great people. After listening to their reasons, the things that have them so upset, etc.; you realize that someone has been really pouring garbage into their lives. Someone has really been filling them with lies and gossip to have them so upset. To get them to believe, contrary to everything they have said in the past and the way they have behaved.

And as a Christian and a Pastor there isn't much she can do about it. And as her husband there isn't anything I can do about it. In the past when this kind of thing has happened to her at church, when someone slandered her and told lies, and I knew who the person was, I was tempted to call them up and just chew them out. But God must be maturing me. Flying off the handle isn't what Tina would want, it isn't what Pastor Joe would want. And it certainly isn't what Jesus would want. Jesus was accused of all kinds of things He never did. He was slandered and gossiped about. And He said if we followed Him, it would happen to us as well. And as He took it, that is how we are supposed to take it. But He also said it is hardest when it comes from a brother, a fellow Christian, someone you are close to. And besides, this time I don't know where it is coming from. Sure, I know the people getting upset, but other than not handling the lies and gossip well, they aren't really at fault. Its the people behind it that are really at fault and who knows who that is.

Its amazing that our kids, pastor's kids, are not bitter against the church. I've seen many pastor's kids who are. Its a sign of their strong relationship with God, and their maturity, that our kids understand that this isn't about God, and it really isn't about the church. As a Christian you learn early to keep your eye on God, not on man... well you learn it or you leave the church. It is unfortunate, but it is the way it is. We are just all humans. With human problems. Being a Christian doesn't always make us "better", although it should. It really just means we have accepted Jesus as Lord, and IF we listen to Him, it gives us the grace to handle our issues in a godly way.

So... in these times I choose to walk in His grace. To just love my wife, support her through this, not slam anyone up against a way and tell them to NEVER talk that way to my wife again. But instead just pray that He will give her peace and help her to deal with some of the people He has called her to shepherd. And then to focus on all the awesome people He has called to be part of this church. All the people that would do whatever it takes to support her and who are always there for her. And to just blog about it in an attempt to blow off some steam.

Is God alive? Definitely. He has certainly changed my life and how I handle things...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Open House tonight

Busy first day back (after being sick for two days). Hardly had time to think. Trying to get some "real" work done plus consulting with numerous people who had issues while I was gone and weren't sure how to fix them. Seems like that is all back on track...

David, Zack and Bobby's open house is tonight. Should be cool. I've got the digital camera charged so I'll be taking some pictures. Also, Tif is leaving tomorrow :-(, and she has been her almost 3 weeks and no pictures... so I'll get some of her as well. I'll post the best ones over the coming days.

Photos - at last

I've always wanted to have a photoblog. Now that Hello and Blogger has made it so easy, I've started WorshipJunky Photos. Nothing spectacular... but somewhere to drop my pics of people, food, and random "art" ;-). I'm going to try and post on a regular basis. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Wow - how easy is that?

So, I'm about to go lay down and I figure I'll read a few blogs real quick. I bring up evhead and I notice a picture. Cool, he's had pictures before. I keep thinking I want to set up a photo-blog. I'd do it on Blogger, but they don't offer free image uploads (and I'm all into free). So usually I post them on my web-site, which is a bit of a pain. Edit the picture, get it sized for the web, upload it to my web site, then post a link on Blogger. Not impossible... but a bit of a pain.

Anyway, so I'm looking at ev's photo and I notice this little icon next to it. So I click on it...
What is Hello? No uploading. No awkward attachments. Chat and view pictures instantly. Hello is always FREE.
And then I notice "Post pictures to your blog. Hello + Blogger". So I click on that and see:
How much does this cost?
Through our partnership with Google, we are offering all Blogspot members free image hosting.

So I created a user name and password, downloaded Hello, brought it up, typed in my blog address... and now I've got pictures on my Blog!

This is SO easy. Seriously, if you use Blogger (and most of you that blog and read this do), you should DEFINATELY try it out.

I am constantly amazed at all the free stuff out there. Very cool.

Alan and Melissa's wedding. That's me in the background... no not the cute girl (that's Jaime). The other person in the background. Posted by Hello

Cyber church: Now God goes online

Story about the Church of Fools, a UK Methodist on-line church. Not having much luck surfing it from home, but I'll have to check it out later. Looks interesting.

Dropdowns - almost there

My blog is currently a running commentary on my ability to understand CSS.

I still have the flu, but mostly all that remains is a headache. This makes it a little difficult to concentrate on work, but not too difficult to play with CSS.

I now have dropdrowns for all my lists: Links, Previous Posts and Archives. Very cool. (Well very cool that I got it to work, I'm not sure if it is a good blog design or not, but I like it).

I'm still not done... but maybe done for now. There were a few things I couldn't figure out. One was the positioning of my sidebar lists up in the header area. I got them working using position: absolute;, but the problem with that is as a person changes the size of their browser window, the dropdowns move. I'd perfer them to be stationary. That is possible using postion: relative;; but for some reason I could get them to move into the header doing that. So... I stuck with what works best, even if it isn't perfect. Also, I had some padding between each dropdown box, so that they weren't smashed together. In preview it worked just fine. But when I saved and then redisplayed the blog, it didn't. Don't know whats up with that.

Right now the rest of the changes would all be image stuff, like rounding corners, making the dropdown boxes use a image so the box looks cooler, making the dropdown list transparent to some degree, etc. But all of that takes images, and currently I don't have a good place to store them... plus I'm not a graphic artist so have no way to create them. Maybe someday.

In any case, it was a learning experience and certainly fun. (Yup, as a geek this is what I feel is fun. Learning new technologies, etc.) Cool stuff. :-)

Monday, May 17, 2004

CSS a little at a time

Well I figured out how to get my Previous Posts and Archives lists to not show up until you position the cursor somewhere over the sidebox. Ideally each one would show up, individually, when you position over the title. I saw that on cssZenGarden/Tulip - but can't quite figure out the CSS tags on the template to get it to happen. But I'm closer.

I know it may make it hard to see the archives (unless you have a scrolling mouse), because if you move over to scroll the bar, the list disappears. But I'm sure I'll figrue it out, eventually. So, for now, I'm leave the code a bit closer than it was before.

Brings back the memories

Defective-Yeti's recent post had me cracking up. (Warning: It contains profanity in the last line) That story SO MUCH reminded me of growing up in Montana. I wasn't a computer geek at the time (because there were NO computers), but I did play "play by mail" games, because there was no one around to play with. Enough said. Anyway, strongly relating to Defective-Yeti, it was sometimes a bizarre world working on the pipe line, oil rigs, and seismograph crews. - Bishop: Bar communion for abortion-rights voters - May 14, 2004

While I don't understand how someone who is Catholic can be pro-choice, I'm not sure how a bishop can enforce that anyone who votes for such a candidate doesn't get communion.
A Colorado [Springs] Bishop, in one of strongest stands yet taken by a U.S. Roman Catholic church leader, says communion should be denied to people who vote for candidates supporting such issues as abortion rights, gay marriage, euthanasia and stem cell research.

That was a little weird

Saturday night I was leaving the youth service and walking across the parking lot and one of the kids that was also going to their car yelled over at me, "Goodnight Pastor James!" I started laughing and yelled back "Goodnight."

Pastor James. Kind of freaked me out. Not in a bad way... That is the 2nd time someone has called me Pastor in the last few weeks. Maybe its a one flesh thing (since Tina is a pastor). And I have been taking on more pastoral staff duties. Still... I never thought I'd hear someone call me pastor. LOL

The worlds largest cities

Includes figures for both cities and urban areas. For instance Denver proper versus Aurora, Littleton, etc. NY city has a population of 8,008,00, whereas it has an uraban population of 21,199,000 (which is the largest urban area).

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Template change

Yeah... so what else is new huh? I liked the "rounded" template, which I'm still basically using - I just had to get rid of the rounded corners. I finally figured out how they were doing that. They have images which are the "rounded" part that match the background color. So... gray background, gray "rounded corner" on a dark red title, and you've got a dark red title with rounded corners. But when I changed my background color, then I had a dark peach title, on a peach background, with a gray corner... Didn't look so good.

I'm basically using the color scheme I had before - which was from the flames. I picked those because of "WorshipJunky" - on fire, flames... Doesn't look much like flames now, but *someday* maybe I'll draw some stuff, get somewhere that can host the images, and display them. Just messing with it a bit at a time.

I don't think I'll try and republish more than the index. So, the "current" page will look one way, and the old pages will look another. But that's ok for now.

Fusion Worship - the second time around

Yeah, I know the name has changed from Fusion back to Fuel, but to me the youth worship team will always be Fusion Worship - 'cuz that is where it all started.

As many of you know (if you follow the other Fueler's blogs at all), Pastor Rick has stepped down. I won't go into the reasons, background, or any of that. But it means there is a change coming in the youth ministry (of course). And due to those changes, I'm stepping back into youth for a while. I'm pretty psyched about it. Yeah, it basically means working 7 days a week again... but with all that has been going on, I've been kind of doing that anyway. My role as "pastoral staff" has really kicked up lately.

So last Tuesday we got together with the youth leaders (both adults and students) and let them know that Roger and Rachel will be taking over as the youth directors. (Woo hoo... cool stuff). The pastoral staff had met with them and their enthusiasm, vision, ideas, etc. are just awesome. Although they have lots of experience (5 years on staff at WYAM, 2 years at CBC, 3 years at Impact, etc.), they've never been in charge before. They are more than up for the task, but it does mean lots of new challenges and responsilities, so I'll be helping out with the youth worship for a while. Not in the same position I was before (youth worship director). Bobby has been doing that, and now that he has graduated and is stepping down, Michael will be handling that. My role is more of a... consultant, advisor... adult to talk to - servant.

Due to lots of rumors I got together with the two youth worship teams on Tuesday after the meeting with everyone, just to touch base. Is everyone staying, are some people leaving, how does everyone feel? It was TOTALLY encouraging. Although there had been lots of rumors, most of them turned out to be false. (Which is the way it always is with rumors, gossip, etc.) Bobby is leaving, which was planned for months - because he is graduating. Bobby, the awesome guy that he is, offered to stay for a while if we needed him, but he really wanted to move on. He's going to CBC in the fall, needs to look for work, get other things going, etc. Michael can handle stuff, so Bobby's last time with youth will be next week. Found out that Scott and Dono are leaving and going with Rick. Drag, but hey, everyone has to follow their heart. And Weston stepped down as the drummer, which isn't too surprising since his parents had left the church quite some time ago. But everyone else on the two teams are staying - which is awesome. On top of that, we are joining jv and varsity back together for the summer, so we'll be able to join the two teams. Its going to be great.

One of the rumors was "half the worship team is leaving and they'll go back to CDs." Which was so much a laugh, given I knew that if Michael was the ONLY one left (and I knew that wouldn't be the case), he'd do it himself... Which he proved last night. :-)

Last night there were some "transition issues". Some people thought jv was already done (but hadn't been announced to the kids). Other's knew that Roger was going to talk to the middle school kids last night and let them know the groups were combining, speak some life into them, tell them his vision, etc. So that they knew we were there for them and not abandoning them. (Always a good thing in transitions!). Well because of the mixed message that got passed around the leaders, no sound guys showed up. Although there are people that can run sound, there was no official people, and so no keys to unlock the stuff and turn on the board, etc.. So... no sound, no worship. Right? Wrong!

Michael and I are discussing it and all of a sudden he says, "The sound system!" (Lightbulb). Of course! Hey... we did worship in Costa Rica with a portable sound system that plugs in. We raced down to Children's Church (where it is stored), grabbed it, set it up, and he had a mic, his guitar and effects. Hey... if we could do it in CR, we can do it here. :-)

That is the awesome thing about our student led youth ministry. There hearts are all about serving... and if there is someone in charge, and some adults around to help out when/if they need it, they'll get it done.

Tina had called me at 6:00 as I was leaving work to let me know there was a snag at church and I needed to stop by to see if I could help. (The whole - is there service or not issue). Since I was brining food home for Jaime and Tif (and myself), I just stayed at youth until Roger showed up and the service got going. When I left at 7:15, Michael was doing worship and all was going well.

So, some people are going, but others are staying. And the ones staying are excited and on fire... and as Michael showed last night, they have a "Lets make this happen" attitude. God isn't looking for the most qualified. He isn't looking for the most skilled. He is looking for those that are going to do it. No matter what. That are going to press ahead and carry out the vision He has placed in them.

I'm psyched to be involved in it again. It may just be for the summer - but for however long it is, its good to be involved with the youth again. Nichole came up to me after Tuesday's meeting and said, "I'm so glad you are coming back, even if for just a while". Wow... me too. I love these guys. Their hearts and willingness to serve are SO awesome. And their ownership of "our ministry".

Its great to be back.

Old Hardware

Spent quite to much time this morning getting my old hardware (monitor and keyboard) hoooked up to my laptop. I'm not sure I had to download new drivers for my NEC monitor... but it wasn't display well at all. So I downloaded some and then finally realized that I needed to set the resolution to 1024 x 768. Once size for my home monitor, one for my work monitor (1280 x 1024) and one for my laptop (1400 x 1050).

Resolutions come a long way since 800 x 640. :-)

And for some reason my old keyboard would not respond at all. So I just stole the one off the home computer (I'm sure Jaime will be happy about that!). I'll have to put it back when I'm done. I've got some newer spare keyboards at work, I guess I'll swap out my acient IBM for a newer Compact keyboard. Should work.

Friday, May 14, 2004

My baby passes another milestone

Jaime just go her driver's license. I'm happy for her, but also a little sad...

Republished entire blog

I've been having trouble getting my entire blog republished. It kept timing out. But I got it done today! Very cool - because now my new template will show up on all the pages.

Basement Damp proofing Delta-FL Solution for concrete, flooring, wet foundations ...

While I was in the doctor's office on Tuesday I was reading Handyman's Journal...

OK... now that you've stopped laughing I'll continue.

So, I was reading the journal and I came across an article that discussed carpeting your basement and discussed Delta-FL. Looked pretty cool. I might have to seriously look into that when we remodel the basement.

BTW: Doctor's visit when very well. I was there to get a lump in my mouth looked at "it's nothing", have some skin tags removed (anyone ever seen the Friend's episode?) "I can do that right now", and also have my blood pressure checked. "Its down and you've lost 1.5 pounds in the last week!"

All in all a very good visit.

Music soothes the...

So its been a hard week. I usually don't post too much stress/frusturating/etc topics. But its been hard. Church issues, work issues, life issues. Some high points and some low.

Anyhow, last night was worship practice and it was great. Teresa has been teaching lately and she is awesome. She's been trying to explain worship, and what shes says describes it so much better than I could ever. Very cool. She says what I feel. Last night she was talking about "doing worship with excellence" and how many times muscians/singers strive for excellence, because "we are supposed to do all things with excellence before the Lord."

She made two very good points.
  1. In the new testemant God is refered to as our Father.
  2. Excellence in worship is a heart thing, not a skill thing

Just as when your child (or even teen) comes to you with some treasure/gift/thing-they-made, and are so happy, so excited to give you this gift that they made; and you are so happy to recieve it. Not because it is *perfect*. Not because it is the *best thing ever*. But because it comes from their *heart*. Because they took the time to do it. Because they put *love* into it. That is how our Father is when we bring our gift of worship to him, from our heart, not from performance.

First we learn what it is to worship. In doing so, if we have any calling or skill in the area, it will improve. Naturally, because we spend so much time at it. First we learn to worship, then we perfect the musical side of it.

Yeah... my feelings exactly. Like I said before, I'm so excited about the direction we are heading!

Anyway... a tough week, but then worship practice last night. The teaching was awesome and the worship was awesome. Bobby was leading in some free praise and I was playing the tambourine. I kept thing, I should go to the Djembe, but it felt a little awkward, didn't want to stop, etc. But I kept feeling it. Then Teresa looks over and me and says, "Take it James." Confirmation is a cool thing. Bobby dropped out (which left me hanging with nothing to follow - yikes), but I yelled at him, "Bring it back up. Keep going. I need you to play off of", and he brought it back up... and all was good.

Cool stuff.


So I go read the irc log this morning and read, "MgrGeek - thanks for the motorin", and immediately Sister Christian starts playing in my head. Hmm... context seems out of place. I read it again. Ah, MOTRIN. Makes more sense. For some (like me), a song might fix a headache. But not for everyone.

Looks like things are working

So I've got my new laptop, which seems pretty nice, and I've got the main apps I used loaded. All my data seems to have made it, so things are looking pretty good. Spent all of yesterday transfering/loading data, reinstalling applications, setting network connections, etc.

Still have a few secondary apps to load, but I'll get those done today.

They didn't have our replicator ports, or USB connectors for mouse/keyboard, so I'm using the touchpad for a mouse (which isn't automatic for me), but besides that all seems good.

Applications in order of loading
  • Exceed: so I could run X
  • Cygwin: so I could scp my data
  • Mozilla: cuz apparently most everything I do now is driver based: Wiki, ChatZilla, browsing
  • Mozex: so I more easily edit in the Wiki
  • TextPad: so I had a good editor to hook into Mozex
  • Outlook: once I got my data, then put back my address book/mail folders. Yeah, I'm still using Outlook and haven't gone to Mozilla for mail... yet.
  • MailWasher: to filter all the SPAM.
  • Entrust, etc. so I could VPN
And that's about it. Today I'll load Rational Rose for modeling and RCS to CM the model. And I think I'll have my primary/secondary apps all loaded.

Then I'll just need to load WinAmp, etc.

Thursday, May 13, 2004 - Giant African snails seized from schools - Apr 27, 2004

The size of a person's hand!

My profile picture

So, I experimented with putting a profile picture out there. Not the greatest picture... but not surprisingly I don't take that many pictures of myself. This one was taken in Cozumel early this year, right after snorkeling. So, I'm wet, etc.

Got the picture on the web, hooked into my profile, etc. But when it comes up I noticed that Anglefire replaces it with their own text. :-(

Hmm... after looking at this again, I realized that it is totally hosed. At first my picture was on my complete profile, and it was here for a minute and then updated with the angelfire text. But now it seems that it has been totally replaced. Drag.

That kind of thing works ok if you are posting a large page, but not so well for this kind of thing. Just moving me closer to getting my own web site. (I never move too fast, in case you haven't figured that out by now).

BTW: Editting from my home computer (which I hardly every use). Will be picking my new laptop up around 9:00 AM...

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Here goes nothin

OK... so the deal is that we zip up all the data we have, copy it to another machine, and then wipe our drives clean. I think I've got everything I've saved for the last 9 years saved. I'm transfering it now, and the network is being a little slow. So, I'm closing out all my apps and just doing the copy. Once done..... I boot up a disk that will wipe my hard-drive clean. Then tomorrow I get a new laptop, copy my files back over, reinstall all my apps, and see if I'm missing something...

Hopefully I'll be back on tomorrow morning with at least a "initially it seems ok". Sometimes it takes a week or two to find out for sure.

"See ya" tomorrow... hopefully.

My Links and CSS

So, after Elizabeth pointed me to the cssZenGarden, and I studied my new blogger template some... a few lightbulbs began to go on. I had messed with by BlogRoller CSS code quite a bit to get the colors I wanted... but that only looked good on my old template. When my new template, I really didn't want a table effect, but wasn't sure how to turn that off. So, I looked at the other sidebar CSS template code, looked at the Blogroller CSS code and figured it out! So now my "Links" looks just like the other lists. I'm happy.

Geeks... happy with small technical accomplishments. :-) But hey, that is how you start learning!

PC Refresh

My PC is getting refreshed (I'm getting a new PC) today. I have to turn it in at 4:00 PM and then pick up my new one tomorrow at (sometime in the morning). Cool in that it is a new machine, WiFi, 40 gig hard drive, DVD/CD-RW, 512M memory, etc. But it means I have to move everything off my old machine and get ready to transfer it to the new one tomorrow. So... I'll basically be down for most of today and early tomorrow. At least in theory.


Elizabeth say my new blog template, and passed along a link to the cssZenGarden. A place that showcases what can be done with CSS code. Wow. Some very cool stuff. Especially the comic one, in terms of how different a page can be laid out. I'm going to have to look into it and see what I can do.

Michael, since you are interested in graphic design and web-based design, you should definately take a look!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Take your meds, take your meds....

Yeah... so I have a Dr. appt today and they are going to check my BP to make sure my medicine is doing its job. So of course I forgot to take it this morning.

Man... I've got so much going on lately I'm lucky I can remember the most simple tasks...

Microsoft patents new Apple

Apple tree that is. Now will there be a Linux apple tree?

Monday, May 10, 2004

MCI Posts $388 Mln Loss, 7,500 Jobs Cut,

Yeah, well that isn't good news. But we'll just keep on keeping-on.

Update: And now its on CNN. They did say,
An MCI spokesman said it was not clear where the 7,500 new positions to be cut would come from.
So far, I haven't heard who is getting hit either, but you have to figure IT will get its share. I don't think we'll know for a while...

'Critical' Buffer Overflow Found in Eudora

Security hole found in Eudora (a free mail package). Figured I'd pass it along, in case any readers use Eudora.

Danish trawler scoops up German sub in its nets

Nice catch!

New template

OK... so I changed my template. I need to add some stuff, like BlogRolling and my old side-bar by hand, but that will come later. This at least should fix my comments and help me to start taking advantage of the new Blogger functionality.

Update: I'm having some trouble getting blogger to republish my "entire blog", and because of that, I'm having issue problems. I think I can just publish one blog and have the new template updated... Anyway, looks like things will be a bit "weird" for a while.

Another patent

Just got notified that we got another patent accepted. That makes 3 now. How cool! :-)

New Blogger Problems

Well the new blogger has some very cool features. One of them is comments. Blogger now supports comments directly! And it looks like they work pretty cool, have some nice features with them, etc. Unfortunately I'm having trouble getting them working. I'm thinking it might have something to do with my current template (which is pretty old). I may have to upgrade my template.

Anyway, for now I've turned off HaloScan comments and therefore have no comments. Also, my formatting is slightly messed up for some reason (indentation). I tried fixing it from home and republishing... but I keep getting timeout issues. So, I guess it will just have to wait until lunch-time today.

And besides comments they have a lot of other cool new features as well. I'm sure I'll be taking advantage of them all, when I get some time!

Check back this afternoon... Maybe things will look better!

Saturday, May 08, 2004


We've been discussing worship quite a bit lately on the worship team. Appropriate don't you think? Anyway, we've been discussing free praise, flowing with the spirit, or whatever you want to call it. Its when you just feel the Holy Spirit moving in a certain direction and you go with it.

To those of us that have gone there, that's what it is all about. That's why we worship. To worship God and get to that placw where we just flow with Him. Not following what we know to do, but following what we feel. If you've never experienced it, it is hard to understand. And interestingly enough, there are a lot of people on worship teams who have never exprienced it. So, it makes it hard to just say, "go with the flow", "follow the spirit", etc... 'Cuz they have no idea what you are talking about.

I was thinking about that this week, while I was out on one of my 30 minute walks. Thinking about that, and thinking about when I've been on a team, worshipping, and all of a sudden you feel it. You know you are about to go somewhere... and all of a sudden it stops. The band doesn't want to go there, the worship leader cuts it off, whatever. Kind of knocks the wind out of you. So, I was thinking about all of that and I came up with an analogy.

Say you are climbing mountains. Could be 14erns... or maybe you are just going on a good climb. A long hike through the woods. Up into the beautiful mountain valleys. Places to just get away from it all. Well... you are part of a team that is going to lead a hike for quite a few people and you have a leader. Before you take a lot of people on the hike, you do some practice runs. The leader, the rest of the guides including you. You follow the trail and it is really beautiful. You just can't believe it. Nice meadows, streams, beautiful flowers, etc. You get to where you are really good, and then you start leading other people.

Its really cool... but you know there is something more. You sense there is something besides the normal path. Maybe over the hill there are some really cool flowers you've never seen before. Maybe around that one bend, where the trail forks, and the other path gets all misty... Maybe it is leading to an awesome waterfall... You just know there is more.

Well one day you are wondering down the path, just looking at the ground and the flowers. You've done it so many times, you can do it w/o even thinking. And you're thinking about how there must be more... and all of a sudden you notice you are on a different trail. You look ahead and the leader is following a new trail. You can't see where it goes, but you are excited to find out. You look back, and some of the guides are following you... but others aren't. What if the leader doesn't know where he is going? (He does). What if we get lost (We won't). We've never done this before, we should still to the trail (No we should go where our heart is leading us).

That's how worship is... Sometimes you just know the Holy Spirit wants to go a different direction. You can feel it. You can hear the angles singing. You know there is something better... and you start to go there. Sometimes a team will go, and sometimes they will turn around. Its a matter of experience and a matter of trust.

Once you've gone there. Once you've seen that "new waterfall", those "beautiful flowers", you want to see them again. And not just them, but whatever else is out there. But you have to trust that what He has for you is better than what you are experiencing now. And that He only has the best for you. Once you've been there, once you've trusted Him... it gets easier. And it just keeps getting easier, because now you KNOW and you've been there.

I'm very encouraged lately. We are going there... It make take a little while. Some people may have to go to a new level of trust. But its starting to happen. Each trip we take, we wonder up a new trail a little bit more. Even if we turn around... I know that soon, we'll just keep going.

I can't wait!

Friday, May 07, 2004

blogspot problems

My blog was empty again and I had to go to blogger and tell it to republish my latest. That's twice in a short period of time...

Speculation Swirls Around Sprint

How ironic. At one time we tried to buy Sprint. Now the rumors are they will try and buy us. Cool... more data/network for Sheriff to protect. :-)

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Govn't conspriacy theory

Wow... read the following on randompixel. If true... wow. Didn't confirm it, it could be an urban legend. If I get time I'll look into it...
Hey, another interesting piece of trivia: Did you know that there used to be forms in Baskin Robbins that kids could fill out with their birthday and address, and when their birthday came close, they'd get a coupon in the mail for a free cone? And then when they turned 18 they'd get a notice from the government telling them they had to register for the draft. True story. I know some folks who 'made up' a kid to get ice cream, and the 'kid' got a selective service registration letter.

Geek: mozex

If you're using Mozilla, and you do much text box editing (such as using a wiki, etc.), then mozex is for you! Very cool that I can launch TextPad rather than just using the default Mozilla editor.

The OC

Wow... great ending on "The OC" last night. Well not great from a "what is going on? How can this happen?" point of view, but great from a story-line/drama point of view. At least imo. Congrats to the writters. Now if they just bring it all back together well in the beginning of next season. I DON'T want to see the first episode neatly bring everything back together... it should take longer than that.


Wow... church, work, life. All very busy lately. I just got caught up on blogs. (As an aside... Vicky, if you read this, it appears that your blog is not showing up. The link shows no data. Do a "publish latest" and it should show up again). In general, if I'm really busy, I don't post. Takes though. Usually a higher priority is reading other blogs, takes much less thought.... anyway, caught up "a bit", so several short posts coming.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Sometimes it just disappears

Checked my blog this morning and it was coming up empty. Went to Blogger and told it to republish the latest and it came back. If anyone tried it sometime yesterday and it was gone, I guess that was it. I've had archives disappear before. Not sure why, but at least stuff can be republished.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Lost one person

The rumors were true. We lost one person. Doesn't effect me from a work point of view directly (different group, outside my area of responsibility, etc.), but it does effect me indirectly. One of the people on my team is working for two teams, split time, and all work that the laid off person was doing was dropped in his lap.

Early on lay-offs are a means of getting rid of problem people. It is very hard to fire someone in a large company, so managers traditionally get rid of them during lay-offs. As you shrink more and more, you start cutting into productive people who are good. I'm in no position to know the internals, decisions, etc. of why pepole are now getting laid off... But we are a highly visible group, do excellent work, and have requests to do more work from the highest people in the company. We are over worked as it is and can't get done what we need to. I hate when we get included in the layoffs. It feels very arbitrary...

Sigh. On the good side, we've bit hit very lightly compared to many other groups. Our management fights hard for that, and it is a testiment to them, and to the work we do, that it is so. So, we hold on to that and continue on.

Well, I've got work I have to get done before the girls wake up (all *3* of them! :-)), so I better go.