Moving week….

We are in the midst of moving this week…. so I will be back in August once we get settled with some new posts.

 

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

The New Normal in less than 45 days

So much has happened, most of which I have written about in greater detail in my journal that I keep in my Day One Journal

April 7th I found out along with 14 others that our jobs were being moved from MN to Dallas, TX.  and we had 30 days to find something else within the company or take severance.  First time for everything, needless to say I was stressed, but knew that God was in control even though I was not!

April 13th – celebrated my birthday

April 14th – April 19th – flew to CA for a Six Sigma Conference – was a finalist for the Greenbelt Leadership Award – did not win, but was very thankful just to make it as a finalist and got a free trip to CA which allowed me some time to go see my Dad after the festivities had concluded.

May 2014 – able to secure a new position doing essentially the same thing as before, but it will require us to move to Dallas, TX.  We had explored this option last year but it did not work out for us.  Now circumstances have changed and we are in a better position to take on this move.

June 2014 – secured a place to live in the Dallas area and making preparations to move.

July 2014 – leave MN for TX

Even though I am glad that I was able to find a job, it was hard to go back to the office to work knowing that 14 other people were not as fortunate as I was to be able to find another job and to keep working without interruption.  That is the human side to these types of scenarios.  Now, the new normal will start to take hold.

I have lived in MN for almost 12 years.  God has been very good to me.  I came here 12 years ago, single and younger.  I am leaving now 12 years later, married, two children, and two seminary degrees and still working for the same company that I started with when I first moved to MN.  Life has been very good in MN (except for last winter)

It is going to be a definite adjustment moving to TX in many ways.  I will be glad that I wont have to pay anymore MN State Income Tax.  I will definitely miss our church that has been an integral part of our lives for these 12 years.  I will miss the Christian school that has played a vital role in the life of our son.  I will miss the friends that we have made over the years.  Facebook helps bridge the gap but can never take the place of in-person fellowship and conversation.

Instead of -30 and -40 we will be experiencing 100 and 110 F, so we are trading extremes.  I grew up in Southern CA so I am used to the 100 and 110 F, but it will be an adjustment for my wife and children. I won’t miss the hour-long commutes that should only take 15 mins when there is 5 inches of snow on the ground.  I wont miss having to get up earlier to scrape the snow and ice off of my car.

We have lived in the same place for the last 7.5 years that we have called home.  It isn’t perfect but it has been our home for a long while.  It is familiar, we know all the sounds and noises and where everything is.  Now we will be moving to a new area with new sounds and noises and what we take for granted now (being close to Trader Joe’s, Costco, Target) will be a new adjustment learning where the Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Target are in our new community.

I found out that it is okay to grieve a little when going through these changes but not to let that grief and emotion paralyze and control you so you can’t move forward.  I have found that even though I have said that change is okay, that this change is going to be a lot harder than I realized.  I have been worried about my wife and kids and how they will make the adjustment and I was not addressing my own concerns.

With all of that… please pray for us as we make this transition at the end of July.  We will be looking for a new school for our son (Christian schools so far have been very cost-prohibitive in DFW, any suggestions are welcome in the comments or via email) We will be looking for a new church home – this one greatly concerns me because in this area, we have seen the extremes both theologically and musically.  We know we wont find something exactly like our current church, but we would like it to be somewhat close musically.  One of the biggest adjustments will be not being as close to my in-laws.  Right now they are two hours away and have been a great help to us over the years with many things.  That will be an adjustment.  We will be closer when they are in FL for the winter.

Another big concern is that I will leave behind a friend who was like a brother to me and was a big catalyst in me moving to MN 12 years ago.  Unfortunately, he cut the ties on our friendship over three years ago and there has been no avenue for reconciliation.  This person is still a friend and has been so for over 30 years, but they have decided to take a different direction in their life.

Tomorrow, I will probably preach my last sermon for a while.  I have been very privileged to be able to provide pulpit supply in the MN, WI, IA areas over the last 10 years in various ministries.  When I came to MN, it was two years after I had left FL before I received an opportunity to preach.  Now that we are going to TX, it is like starting over again.

We are thankful and grateful for the opportunity and at the same time there will be some tears shed and that is ok.  Please pray for us as we make preparations for this transition.

Thanks for reading and as always comments are welcome!

 

People familiar with the matter say…

I have an article here in front of me from the Wall Street Journal, dated March 24, 2014, regarding the potential deal between Apple and Comcast.  This article was of particular interest to me because I am an Apple stockholder and a user of all things Apple (iPhone 5, iPad mini and MacBookPro).  I also am a Comcast subscriber, not by choice but because there is no competition in our area for cable.

As I was reading this article with interest, I came across the following phrases at least eight different times in the article

people familiar with the matter say

the people familiar with the matter say

said one person familiar with the talks

this person said

one person familiar with the talks

I understand about freedom of the press and the right to protect one’s sources. What I am trying to understand is if this story made the front page of the Wall Street Journal, then why were people afraid of being quoted? It made me wonder if no one could be directly quoted, then would this fall under mere speculation or a rumor mill?  I know that news like this between two publicly traded companies can affect both companies’ stock prices.  I also wondered about fact checking.  How can facts be checked when there are no sources?

Hopefully a journalist or two or three will read this article and enlighten me!  Comments are always appreciated.

On a side note, I recently started subscribing to the Wall Street Journal and I enjoy reading it.  I do recognize some of the liberal slants/biases. I appreciate the broad spectrum of articles and that it is not just another boring financial paper.

Miscellaneous Musings After a Brief Absence

In no particular order..

I apologize for not writing here recently.  I have been doing a lot more journaling which I think has been a good thing for me, but what I am writing is not for a widespread audience.  I would encourage you to get in the habit of journaling.  I try to write everyday if possible, if not then at least every couple of days.  If you wait too long, then details might be fuzzy.  Not only is it a good practice/discipline, you can leave behind something for your family.  I think this became evident to me when my mother passed away in 2006 and we do not have much outside of photographs.  I have her Bible which she marked up and made copious notes in, but not much else.  I wish had some of her recipes for some of my favorite meals from my childhood and she told a lot of good stories about relatives and family members from years gone by.  I personally use Day One for Mac and I have it on my iPad mini and iPhone to jot things down as necessary to trigger what to write on later that evening.  The hardest part is getting started, once you get started then it starts to flow and you find yourself writing a lot more than you thought you would and about things that you wouldn’t have thought about.

My son and I were having a discussion the other day about the planets and I realized a few things that I had never thought about before, see if you agree:

  • The Bible says nothing else about the existence of any other planets, other than earth.  I am not saying that they don’t exist, but interesting that there is no mention of anything other than the earth, sun and moon
  • With the exception of the earth, all of the other planet names are of Greek or Roman deity (Mars, Venus, Jupiter, etc.)

I am preaching intermittently in Iowa, but I am glad to be home more often.

More later….

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Do we really need another McDonalds?

This is more of a local interest story for those living in the West Metro suburbs of Minneapolis, MN

Many of you may have noticed the construction that is taking place rather rapidly on Hwy 55 in Plymouth, MN near Medicine Lake Dr. where they are building a new McDonalds across from the The Waters and adjacent to Fourth Baptist Church.  Not that I or anyone else can do anything about it, but it does beg the question:  Do we really need another McDonalds?

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The reason why I ask the question is because if you were to travel two miles west on Hwy 55 near Northwest Blvd, there is a McDonalds near the WestHealth complex (still in Plymouth)and if you travel east two miles on Hwy 55 and then turn left on Winnetka there is another McDonalds (in Golden Valley).  So why are they building another one in between the two locations?  From a business perspective, I am not sure this makes sense putting another location this close to two other ones, unless they are intending on closing either of the locations that I mentioned.  That does not appear to be the case at this point.

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I guess this is one of those things that makes you go hmmmm…

I am not a big fan of McDonalds except for their Egg McMuffins at breakfast and they have really good french fries.  Not my first choice for dining options.  I wondered why they didn’t put in a Panera Bread here instead of McDonalds.  The only thing that will happen in this area is that traffic will increase exponentially during breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I can imagine that it will be convenient for people living at The Waters and for those attending worship services at Fourth Baptist Church on Sundays and Wednesdays… With Fourth Baptist Christian School nearby, wonder if that will drive some traffic to the new McDonalds? I am not quite sure when they are scheduled to open, but I can see that they are working six days a week to get everything ready for opening.

Any ideas?

 

Photos courtesy of Terry Lange – taken November 23, 2013.

Taking issue with Malcolm Gladwell

Recently, I was able to download a sample portion of Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath.  I was interested to read this book because in our Men’s Bible Study we are studying the life of David and I wanted to read someone else’s perspective on this well-known Bible story.  I was flying home from Dallas last Friday and decided to read the sample portion that I had downloaded.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Photo courtesy of books.google.com

I was enjoying reading the immense detail as I started in the introduction and then I got to page 10 in the Introduction and when I read this statement:

What matters next is a matter of legend”

I was absolutely appalled.  Here is a well-known author who is writing on a well-known Old Testament Biblical Narrative and he undermines the rest of the book by negating the core Biblical account of the entire story.  After I read that phrase, I went back and re-read it to make sure that I wasn’t overreacting and I read it right.  At that point, I went to my Bible to see what Gladwell was calling legend.

Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him.  But there was no sword in the hand of David.  (I Samuel 17:49-50 NKJV)

I do not see how this could be considered legend when the Bible is very specific regarding the events that took place at this point.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, but after reading this one phrase that undermines the Biblical narrative, I am not so sure that I would be impressed with the rest of the book. I might end up downloading the rest of the book some day, but right now I am not in a hurry to do so.

I would love to engage Malcolm Gladwell in a discussion regarding this phrase, but I seriously doubt he will even see this posting.