Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Success

Okay, so God has showed off big time. I spent part of my quiet time this evening praying about my dissertation and data analysis. I have been struggling mightily with it and wasn't getting anywhere. I gave it up to Him and prayed for diligence in study and work. He answered quickly.

After fighting with a lack of knowledge and a brain that didn't want to recall what it had learned at some point, I broke down this afternoon and searched barnesandnoble.com for a self-help manual. They had one in stock in Hoover so I drove over there after work and picked it up. It has made a tremendous difference! I have a dataset that is read by my analysis program and got two small analysis features run. I still have LOTS to do in this phase but I don't feel so stupid anymore. I will keep plugging away at it and by Monday, should have a program that is well on its way to finishing the simple analysis. Thank you Lord for quickly answered prayers!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Long Week and A Busted Bracket

This was an amazingly long week and I don't know why. Weird in a sense. Lots of stuff going on at work - prepping for Easter and all. We need lots of volunteers to make Easter run smoothly and we've changed the way we recruit volunteers. Problem is, we waited too late to make a wholesale change so we're having to play catch-up. I have no doubt we'll have enough volunteers to make it work (we have awesome volunteers) but it'll be a crazy couple of weeks in the meantime. We haven't even begun to think about Secret Church on Good Friday. We're pretending it isn't happening. :-)

Lots of prep work for my Hospice trip has also been going on this week. Lots of reading and getting amazingly frustrated about the lack of action on the problem in so many countries. Not for a lack of a desire to do something - it's a problem created by Western governments and drug companies. Not sure what the answer is, I just know how things are handled right now ain't the answer. I'm also saddened that it's taken the Western Church this long to get mobilized to address HIV/AIDS. For so long we let it be a moral issue and we neglected the parts of Scripture that tell us to serve not judge. I'm convinced that we Christians (me included) in the developed will have to answer before God regarding our inaction in the developing world. We're making progress but things are so bad in so many areas that more effort is needed.

I'm also tired because my data analysis isn't working like I want it to and that frustrates the crap out of me. I can't get past one step and I got help from one of my committee members but it still isn't working. The really frustrating part is that I'm so close and it's one measly step that is holding everything up. I've found some online help so hopefully tomorrow morning when I'm not so tired, I can get over this hump.

As for the busted bracket, I'm referring to mine. I had Memphis winning it all and dang if they didn't go and lose and lose badly last night. It was UGLY. I quit watching. I didn't really like Memphis all that much and now I have even more reason not to like them. I knew I should've gone with a Big East team. Oh well, there's always next year.

Off to make dinner...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ever Have One of "Those" Days?

I had a yucky day at work today. Nothing major happened, I just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and the feeling lasted all freakin' day. I was just in a foul mood. Didn't snap at anyone so that's good, I just had no desire to be there, no desire to work and didn't really care. I did get stuff done so that's a plus and tomorrow is a new day so that's another plus.

I did have a great evening. I got to spend it with my best friend (other than Sarah) Wendy. We have been friends since college and have been through thick and thin together. She is a relatively new mom so I got to see her little one too. He's definitely a cutie. It was great to go to dinner and get to visit and catch up. We're also going to get together again on Saturday to spend more time together than we can on a work night. We have so much in common that we can be apart for months and get together and it's like we never separated. It was a nice way to end an otherwise crappy day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun With Government Bueracrats

I can honestly say that I have never had an experience with government ineptness like I'm having right now. I am trying to get a no-cost (key phrase, NO COST) extension on my grant to finish up my project. The original letter was sent to the agency in charge on October 30th by UPS next-day air. We have the proof it was delivered and signed for. There is some evidence a government bueracrat read it and then sat on it. For months. I called in early December and they promised it by Dec. 19th. That day came and went and no approval letter. I then went to the next person on my list. She assured me it was approved and we should be getting the letter soon. Well, still no letter.

Fast forward to last week. We've been assigned to a new government bueracrat and she says "this is a highly irregular request and we'll see." She's also promising a "complete investigation" of what happened. Yeah, right.

We have a full e-mail to send to her tomorrow that has documentation of all our steps and hopefully they will see the light and just freakin' approve the extension. I could understand a little better if we didn't have a good excuse or we had waited until now to request it. But no, this was requested in OCTOBER (original contact was early Sept.). That's five months ago. Only in government could you be so inept at your job and actually get paid for it. What really burns me is that this is my (and your) tax dollars at work.

And this is the group you want managing health care? Seriously!?

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Who knew!? After such a bad day, I went to check my standing in the Yahoo! pool I'm in and I'm in first (thanks to Siena's 2OT win). Of course, it won't last but it is fun while it lasts. :-)

March Madness & Badness

This is one of my favorite times of year but man it can be frustrating. My brackets are a mess after today's sessions. I had a good day yesterday, picking 14 of 16 games right. Today, not so good. I didn't miss a ton more games but the games I did miss have next round and beyond implications. I've already lost two sweet sixteen teams and may lose an elite eight team if FSU manages to lose. It has absolutely no bearing on anything important but I still like to see more green on my bracket than red. Plus, I like beating the guys in my bracket pool on Yahoo! :-)

I love watching basketball and CBS is making life great tonight. They are going back and forth between Siena/OSU and WI/FSU. Both are in OT; Siena/OSU is in double OT. Every time there is a break in one game, CBS switches to the other. Since I don't have a dog in either fight, it's cool as a fan. Almost feels like a sports bar. :-) I remember watching March Madness with friends at a place called PT's in Homewood. It was wonderful; big screens everywhere, friends to enjoy the games with and games from noon to close to midnight. It was worth the lack of sleep. Man, college life was better than the working world in that respect.

I think next year, I'll pick all 12 seeds. I was so happy yesterday to have finally picked a 12/5 upset and darn if the 12 seeds I DIDN'T pick have managed to win today. With FSU losing, three of the four 12 seeds have won. If I'd gone with 12 seeds, I'd only have lost one game rather than three. UGH!

Well, FSU just lost so I've lost three sweet 16's and one elite eight. The only silver lining is that I don't have money riding on my brackets.

Signing off for now to see if Siena can pull it out...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Long Day (Prayer Request)

We had a long day on staff today. One of our children's ministry faith trainers, Chris Greene, died this morning of a massive heart attack. He was only 39 and leaves behind a widow and three young children. While I didn't know Chris personally, I do know the children's ministry staff and tried to be supportive to them today. Needless to say, none of us understand God's timing in this. Chris was a man who loved the Lord, his family and sharing God's Word with children. He will be sorely missed.

Please be in prayer for his family as they adjust to life without him. Please be in prayer for our pastor as he preaches the funeral on Saturday and our children's ministry staff as they tell the children on Sunday and try to answer the unanswerable questions. Many of the children are out of town on Spring Break trips with their families and Sunday will be a long, hard day. Pray that God will be glorified in our response to this situation as a church.

Biloxi '09

I'm back from Biloxi and we had a great time. I'm tired but it's a good tired. We have been blessed with an awesome set of kids in our student ministry. They love the Lord and sharing their faith. They are also incredibly hard workers. I heard no complaining out of this group even though it wasn't the most organized of trips and the Worship was much different than they were used to.

I am thrilled that God has given me the opportunity to work with these kids and see the growth as they mature and continue to give their lives to Christ. As one of our student ministers put it "For our kids, it's not a question of if they'll go or when. For them, it's a question of should I go to Asia or Latin America this summer." Such a different viewpoint from many kids.

I'll put pictures out there when I get them downloaded and then uploaded to the site.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Random Thoughts

A little randomness for your Friday afteroon enjoyment...

I'm off to Biloxi on Sunday for a few days of mission work with our youth. I'm super excited because 1) I love mission work and 2) I have a GREAT group. I'm sure all the groups are awesome but I have a really good group of kids. We should have a fun time in Biloxi. I can give a few status updates because I downloaded the Facebook app on my Blackberry.

This is such a fun time of year for this rabid sports fan. It's championship week on ESPN so it's all basketball almost all the time. SEC tourney, ACC tourney, Pac-10 tourney, Big East tourney, they are ALL playing right now. Then next Thursday starts the absolute best weekend in sports, the opening weekend of March Madness. I remember in college we would go to our earliest classes and then head to PT's sports bar in Homewood to watch the rest of the action, staying until well into the night. I wish I had a group of friends that liked basketball as much as I do. Oh well, I'll enjoy it by myself. :-)

To add to the sports enjoyment, by the time March Madness ends in early April, baseball season will be starting. I doubt the Braves will have a stellar, playoff type year but hey, it's still baseball. Have I mentioned lately I'm a sports nut?

Back to work...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Too Funny Not to Share

I stole this from another blog (www.pulpit-pimps.org). It's just too good not to share:

Heresy Hillbillies
(Sung to the tune of Beverly Hillbillies)

Come and listen to a story ’bout a boy named Joel
Keepin’ sheeple happy was his one and only goal
Didn’t need no trainin’ from no fancy Bible school,
To build a congregation of unScriptural fools
(Sheeple that is, darkened souls, Bible free )

Well the first thing you know old Joel’s a millionaire
With just a winning smile and a crop of wavy hair
Don’t know if a Moslem goes to Heaven or to Hell
But he sure do know his way around shampoo and gel.
(Whitening gels, glistening teeth )

Well now it’s time to say goodbye to Joel’s trophy wife
Time to let them get on back to living their best life,
You’re all invited back again to their locality
To have a heaping helpin’ of their happy heresy
(Heresy Hillbillies, that’s what they call ‘em now, nice folks.)

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

For those who feel like I do, that Joel Osteen is a charlatan who is leading people down a dangerous path, they will see the humor in this. But, we should as Christ-followers, fall to our knees and pray for Joel and those like him who are making the Gospel say what they want it to in order to appeal to a mass audience. It saddens me that the simple concept of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone can be so screwed up by man.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Well, I finally broke down and did it...I joined Facebook. Of course it look me lots longer than most people because of my interesting last name. Facebook denied me the first time I tried and when I e-mailed them and asked for permission, I got some long e-mail back asking for every bit of info. under the sun. Well, I don't have time for that. So, I waited for a few months and tried again. Got rejected again but this time got a helpful person who opened the account and sent me a username and password. Now, I'm in the "club."

Of course, I don't promise to be the most avid Facebook person and I'll have to get my 7th grade girls to show me how to best use the stinkin' site but at least I have a spot. I like my blog better but I do think Facebook will help keep me connected if I end up moving in a few months.

On that note, be praying for me. I e-mailed today for more information on two jobs with the TO Nation. As most of you know, I'd move there tomorrow if a job was available. I know that doesn't make everyone happy but God has drawn my heart there and I am praying He leads me out there.

Now I'm off to bed to read because I'm cold and my bed is warm. Of course, I'll have to fight the cat...

Sunday, March 1, 2009


It finally snowed in Alabama in amounts that could be measured in inches! It's been ages since we got snow that actually amounted to anything. While I didn't get out and play in it, it was absolutely beautiful. We had to call the kids inside so we could start large group time this morning. They were having a ball throwing snowballs at each other, the windows, brave teachers and anyone else who happened by. It's amazing how snow can make even the most "mature" teachers frolic like little kids. The only thing that would have made the day better is if it had lasted into the evening and we could get a snow day out of it. Oh well, maybe next year...

Here are some of the pictures from today:

Back Patio:

Cars Covered in Snow:

View off Back Patio:

Breezeway View:

Some From Church:

This poor tree must be so confused. Don't know if it shows up but it was fully bloomed...