projecting, part 2

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My regular readers (all two of them :-)) will remember my frustration a few days ago over trying to get projector bids, and my excitement at the thought that we might finally get a projector set up for our church. Well I finally got the bid from National Projector, and then at the elders meeting yesterday they approved my plan to accept the bid from Shepherd Multimedia. So, today I will be ordering a Hitachi CP-X885W projector (3500 lumens strong) and a long-throw lens.

And there was much rejoicing. Maybe I’ll get time next week to install it; more likely it’ll get installed during Memorial Day weekend. Can’t wait to hear the buzz in the sanctuary when folks notice it for the first time…

making music, family style

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OK, I’m excited. I just finished talking to my brother Andrew. He is almost 19, has been playing on the worship team at his church (Richland Center Fellowship, Richland Center, Wisconsin) for a while now, and has the opportunity to lead the worship service in a couple weeks… on the Sunday that the rest of the family is going to be visiting!

We have a musical family. Dad was a music education major, Mom minored in voice, and all of us 5 kids play at least 1 instrument, some of us several. We did occasional special music and such growing up, and I really miss the chances to do stuff with them. We know so much of the same music that it’s ridiculous.

Quick picture to paint: we’re all home at Christmastime, and I’m sitting in the living room just goofing around on my guitar with Caedmon’s Call’s Hands of the Potter. My brother Aaron (age 21) is working on installing a cat door in the porch door, I didn’t even think he’s paying attention, and as I get to the chorus, he just kicks in singing the backup part. It was way too cool.

Anyhow, Aaron is off in Panama doing missions, but Ryan (age 25) and Andrew and I will all be around on that Sunday, and the plan is that we will all help out with the worship time, playing and singing. This is exciting for multiple reasons; first, to get to play music with those guys again is a treat. Second, I’m the worship leader of a church of 150 or so rather subdued worshippers (God’s “frozen chosen” :-)). We’ll be leading at a church of 400 or so more energetic types. Thirdly (and maybe this should be first, priority-wise), I get to help encourage Andrew in his quest to head down a similar path as I’ve gone down, to use his musical talents as a worship leader. That will be the best part, for sure.

I suppose I should get back to work now, but excitement like this needs someplace to be poured out, even if it is just to a window in WordPress. πŸ™‚

“energy dependence”

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Another day, another NRO column to comment on. Today it’s Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren arguing on the “myths” of energy independence. They have some interesting views on the subject, noting that:

1) it’s a global marketplace, so the amount of oil we import vs the amount of oil we produce doesn’t affect the price – only the global quantity on the market affects the price

and,

2) it wouldn’t be wise to totally cut ourselves off from the foriegn oil market, because a limited domestic production is easier for terrorists to strike than a distributed (global) production.

Now, they’re good libertarians from the Cato Institute, so their answer is to quit subsidizing the fuel situation, and just let the free market play itself out. I’m not so sure I agree with this; part of me would like to see a “Manhattan Project”-style effort to develop a usable alternative fuel system. But their comments about the global oil market make the article worth a read.

“energy dependence”

Posted on

Another day, another NRO column to comment on. Today it’s Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren arguing on the “myths” of energy independence. They have some interesting views on the subject, noting that:

1) it’s a global marketplace, so the amount of oil we import vs the amount of oil we produce doesn’t affect the price – only the global quantity on the market affects the price

and,

2) it wouldn’t be wise to totally cut ourselves off from the foriegn oil market, because a limited domestic production is easier for terrorists to strike than a distributed (global) production.

Now, they’re good libertarians from the Cato Institute, so their answer is to quit subsidizing the fuel situation, and just let the free market play itself out. I’m not so sure I agree with this; part of me would like to see a “Manhattan Project”-style effort to develop a usable alternative fuel system. But their comments about the global oil market make the article worth a read.

“energy dependence”

Posted on

Another day, another NRO column to comment on. Today it’s Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren arguing on the “myths” of energy independence. They have some interesting views on the subject, noting that:

1) it’s a global marketplace, so the amount of oil we import vs the amount of oil we produce doesn’t affect the price – only the global quantity on the market affects the price

and,

2) it wouldn’t be wise to totally cut ourselves off from the foriegn oil market, because a limited domestic production is easier for terrorists to strike than a distributed (global) production.

Now, they’re good libertarians from the Cato Institute, so their answer is to quit subsidizing the fuel situation, and just let the free market play itself out. I’m not so sure I agree with this; part of me would like to see a “Manhattan Project”-style effort to develop a usable alternative fuel system. But their comments about the global oil market make the article worth a read.

projecting

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My latest quest on the technology front is the purchase of a LCD projector for my church. We’ve been using the typical grade-school-style overhead projector and transparencies for years, and it’s way past time to upgrade. We’ve had this project in mind for about the last 4 years at church, but for one reason or another (budget, other projects coming up, opposition from internal sources) it’s always gotten pushed to the back burner. This year it’s in the budget, everybody’s on board, and so it’s finally going to get done.

I initially (last year) got a useful bid from a guy at National Projector,but of course this year when I went back to them to get an updated bid, the guy has left the company. The new guy I talked to excitedly took my information and sent me the generic marketing material, but has yet to get back to me with a simple bid for the equipment I need. Come on, dude, your job is sales… and you can’t get a bid for a projector and lens out in a week?

My next experience is with a guy from Shepherd Multimedia. In contrast with the guy at National, a nice guy there at Shepherd completed and sent me two bids the same day I requested them. Not only that, but I can get the projecter and lens I want for just less than I budgeted. That means no hassles with setting up special giving or getting more budget money approved… woohoo!

I’ll be checking for competitive pricing for the next few days, but unless I find a tremendously better deal I’ll likely be ordering next week, and then installing shortly after that. I find myself just a little bit excited. πŸ™‚

softball starts tonight!

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Our first softball game of the season is tonight. I’m soooo much looking forward to it. It’ll be nasty conditions for playing – probably 50 degrees and a 20 mph wind. But that’s not the point – it’s just great to be out playing.

I’ll have the additional fun of getting to umpire the early game – in our league it’s recreational enough that we don’t have paid umps, instead each team that plays the early game supplies somebody to ump for the late game, and vice versa. I enjoy the umping at least as much as the playing…. weird.

Hopefully Laura doesn’t freeze tonight out with us; if she’s getting cold, it’ll be up to me to keep track of her so Becky can keep playing. The joys of spring softball in Iowa – we had flurries here this morning! πŸ™‚

Pictures!

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OK, not too much to report from the weekend; still didn’t get any of the projects done – it was too cold. On Sunday we had an ordination service for a friend from church; it’s fun to see somebody pointed in the direction of full-time service, wondering where they’ll end up. Godspeed, Sam.

My only other purpose for this post was to share a couple pictures snapped over the weekend. They are (admittedly) on the goofy side – but then I guess, so am I… at least I was this weekend. The cute little girl is my daughter Laura, and the guy with the goofy look on his face is me… I don’t always look that stupid, I promise… πŸ™‚ I wasn’t really mugging for the camera; I was mugging for Laura, trying to get her to laugh, and Becky managed to snap the shutter at just the wrong moment. πŸ™‚

Laura\'s blank stare

Laura and me - not my most intelligent pose

zzzzzzzzz…..

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OK, so it’s Friday afternoon, and I’m bored. I’ve hit the end of the task list for work today, and nobody else has updated their blogs to give me something to read… so I post this whiny entry with the knowledge that in 30 minutes my weekend will begin. I guess I’ll make it. πŸ™‚

Tonight we’re going to our favorite coffeehouse, Brewed Awakenings to hear a friend perform. He’s a heck of a singer, doesn’t do any originals, but covers everybody from Dylan and the Beatles to John Denver to James Taylor to Crash Test Dummies… good times.

Then Saturday will be a work day at home, maybe I’ll get done last weekend’s projects… then Sunday is typical church stuff, and the Monday starts the softball season! I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks. Sounds like it’ll be chilly for the first game (in the 50’s) but that just makes it more fun.

Well that’s all for now… have a great weekend!

a worthwhile life

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I was reading this story this morning in the Cedar Rapids Gazette (my local newspaper). The story is about the rediscovery, in northern Arkansas, of the thought-to-be-extinct Ivory Billed Woodpecker. This woodpecker sounds like a truly magnificent bird; it has a three-foot wingspan, and stands nearly 2 feet tall. But the thing that astonished me was the quote in the second sentence of the story. Here’s the lead:

Iowa conservationists and bird enthusiasts, like their counterparts worldwide, beamed with joy Thursday at the news that the magnificent ivory-billed woodpecker, long believed to be extinct, has been rediscovered in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas.

β€˜β€˜This makes me think my life has been worthwhile,’’ said Leslee Spraggins, director of the Nature Conservancy in Iowa, who helped preserve portions of the Big Woods as director of the Nature Conservancy in Arkansas from 1993 to 2000.

The realization that her efforts likely contributed to the survival of a species thought to have vanished brought tears to her eyes, said Spraggins, 50, of Dubuque.

“This makes me think my life has been worthwhile.” Because they found a bird? In the woods? In Arkansas? I have nothing against said bird (see paragraph 1 of this post), or said woods, or said state, but a 50-year-old woman who find her life suddenly worthwhile because it has been found? This saddens me. Birds are magnificent creatures. And there is much to be said for nature conservancy; we need to be good stewards of the earth that we’re entrusted with. But they’re just birds.

It seems to me that rather than having some event suddenly make my life worthwhile when I’m 50 (some 22 years hence), I’d like to think through right now the things that would make my life worthwhile, so that I can pursue those things in the upcoming years. And as I make that list, I want them to be things of eternal significance, not just things that are going to burn at the end of time. So what would make my life “worthwhile”? Let me rephrase that. My life is already “worthwhile” because I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even if none of the thing I list happen, life has been worth living. But what are the things that will cause me to look back from age 50, or 60, or 70, with gratitude and say “Ahhh, it’s been a long road, but that makes it worth it all…”? Here’s just a few.

  • Seeing my child(ren) become mature believers who will in turn raise up godly children of their own.
  • Experiencing the joys of a marriage that has lasted 30, 40, 50 years.
  • Seeing new believers in the church because of my ministry; and seeing believers encouraged and challenged by my life.
  • Seeing leadership raised up in the Church to carry on ministry long after I’m gone.

This is just a short list, and I’m finding it challenging even as I’m writing it. These are goals that are long in the making… but they are achieved only one day at a time.