2008: My personal year in review

December 31, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Admin, Job Search, Life, Religion, Work, Young Adult, Youth 

Good riddance.

It’s not that the year was all bad.  Some of it was really very good.  It’s just that the bad outweighed the good.  Most of this was due to one very bad thing.

This was a particularly bad year.  I’m not going to go into details, but you should assume that life at my former employer wasn’t particularly fun before August.  In August, I was laid off from a job that I’d held for 13 1/2 of the last 15 years.  It only helps slightly that this employer ultimately filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November.

And if that wasn’t enough – the economy tanked at the same time.  The cause of the company’s failure wasn’t solely the economy, but it was a big part of it.  Jobs just plain dried up from September through early December.  There are signs that things are easing now.

If it weren’t for positive things and positive people in the rest of my life, I don’t know how I would have handled this.

The good:
I LOVE my youth group.  The young men and women that I work with more or less every week are all wonderful, and I learned a lot about myself, them, life and God over the last year.  Sunday afternoon/evening is the high point of my week.

The summer trip to the Montreat Youth Conference was one of the top 10 experiences of my life.  I truly feel that God spoke to me that week in some fashion.  I know that my faith deepened, and that the same happened to most if not all of the group from our church that went on the trip.  I also feel that I grew outside of the religious aspects.  (Of course, this high leaves me wondering where God is in my life now, when things are not so good.)  The biggest thing that I learned this year – while I care a lot about our youth, they care about me too.

Putting together the Moderator Meet and Greet event in April was a lot of fun as well as being a lot of work.  I met a lot of new and wonderful people.  The event was well attended, and I hear that it helped commissioners make a decision at General Assembly.

Meeting in person and working online with other church leaders has been mostly positive.  I’m amazed at how strong the online Presbyterian-and-beyond religious community is.  I’ve felt support when I needed it and given and watched it flow the other way when others needed it.

Serving as a deacon has been rewarding.  This is work that I know that I can do and do well, and that is relatively easy, and that aids the church.  That’s sort of the point, isn’t it?  I just have to be careful not to schedule myself too heavily (like the Sunday that I had coffee service AND served communion AND agreed to set up tables for a later event).

For female who are willing to have babies, hysterectomy or endometrial ablation cialis generic pills can’t be accepted usually. Ginseng is in use for centuries and is one of his biggest fears and that can lead to a more dangerous form of emotional and mental depression. levitra discount They offer Female cialis generico 5mg sexual dysfunction treatment with the help of neurons when the man is sexually invigorated. There is nothing worse than being on a safer side you davidfraymusic.com purchase cheap levitra should consult a doctor. My committee studying hospitality, visitor and community issues for the church has nearly completed its work.  We have identified 19 issues and more than 19 suggestions for how to change/fix/handle those issues.  We present to the Session in February.  The team has worked hard and learned a lot.

Serving as the new webmaster for the church’s website and weekly e-mailed newsletter has been a growth experience for me.  It has forced me to learn new technical skills and also to generate a little content independently.

The bad:
The worst has to have been the controversy over my blog in March/April/May/June of this year.  I don’t know if people realize it, but the church was about 12 hours from losing me in April – the only things keeping me were the facts that Youth Sunday and the Moderator Meet and Greet were imminent responsibilities of mine.  This event only took 2nd to the loss of my job in how poorly I felt while in the middle of it.

I am also continually dismayed by the negative tones in some conversations/fights/battle-royales in the church community over the hot button issues of today.  Those of us within the church fight harder and with less love than we do with our colleagues in other denominations or religions, even though the points of disagreement are far smaller and unimportant.

Home life continues to be solid.  Carolyn and I have ridden out the very rough patches of the 2nd half of the year with no negative effect on our relationship.  Most of this is due to Carolyn’s very conservative nature when it comes to money, and the strong planning ability that both of us have.  She continues to be supportive at a very difficult time in my life and it has brought us if anything closer together.

The cats are still fine.  They turn 13 tomorrow.  Isaac is still suffering from a bit of arthritis in his hips, but the daily Cosequin is helping.  Both of them still have a fair amount of kitten left and still go running around like crazy animals occasionally.  Albert has had no recurrence of his kidney issues.

The house is fine.  We have had to put off a bit of home repair work (mainly fixing the fireplace chimney that failed a while back) for economic reasons.  Nothing important is wrong, and we continue to love living here.  It’s a great neighborhood – not too noisy, not too quiet, and plenty of kids running around.
My car has had a rough year.  I was rear-ended in July and minor damage was done to my rear bumper.  It was fixed pretty quickly, but it took about 4-5 months before the insurance companies paid my deductible.  Here’s a tip – no matter how late you are, don’t pass on the right on a one-lane on-ramp.


No major changes.  On the Montreat trip I lost a number of pounds due to the stairmaster-like qualities of the village of Montreat (to get anywhere you have to walk down a big hill and up a big hill).  The emotional strain of being out of work took off some more.  I’ve managed to end the year a net 10 pounds down.  Otherwise, my health remains the same.

I’m hoping that 2009 will be a combination of the continuance of good things, and an end to the bad things that are happening now.  I see new hope in the elections of both our PC(USA) Moderator and the new President of the USA.  It remains to be seen if that hope turns into a better reality for the country, church, and me.

Happy New Year!

The Church and Stewardship II

September 18, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Religion 

Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville held it’s Ark Sunday.

The sermon touched on stewardship and giving of your time and money.  Unfortunately, the pastor used actual numbers in his sermon, referencing the “person making $100,000 who gives only $50 per week”.  Any time the pastor starts talking about hard numbers in a sermon he’s certain to annoy people.  I’m a bit irked by that remark myself.  My wife and I have decided that our goal is to tithe to charity as a whole, and that donations to the church are a part of that.  So are donations to the church camp, American Diabetes Association, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, etc.  And let’s not forget that we are giving to TWO churches since she is Catholic and a regular attender at her parish.  But enough about tithing.

After the service, we were all invited to cross over to the Ark.  Fellowship Hall was decorated like an ark, with “stalls” for each of the 5-6 church mission area (Youth, Adult Education, Mission, Music and Worship, and two others I can’t remember) to present their information.  The stalls also had snack food at each.  Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and lots of salads and fixings were served.  There was a Bounce House (inflatable bounce thing) for the kids and a balloon artist.  The whole room was decorated with animals from beanie babies up to big inflatable alligators.

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I came into this Sunday looking to talk to people about where I could volunteer my time.  Unfortunately, the folks in the “stalls” were working harder pushing their snacks than looking for volunteers.  I hope I’ll get more information through the New Member process.

Carolyn and I also talked to a few folks that we’d already met.  Carolyn kept asking whether or not the painted monkeys were designed to look like her.  They really did!  I don’t think these folks quite know how to take Carolyn, but they haven’t really seen me full force either.

Amazon and Books

March 25, 2004 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Admin 

Over on the right-hand side of the page, you will now see a list of books and an Amazon.com link.

Typepad allows it’s users to automatically link to Amazon.com when posting a list of books. They also allow us to use an Amazon.com Associates program ID to get credit when one of you clicks on the link and buys something.

As of yesterday, I am a participant in the Amazon.com Associates Program. I get a little commission when you click one of the links on this page and buy something from them (or in a few other circumstances).
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So, if you were planning to buy a book (or anything else) from Amazon.com and you want to help me pay for this site, please consider coming here first and then clicking the link on the right. No pressure, and I probably won’t mention the program again. Thank you if you choose to do so.

NOTE:  This was on an older incarnation of this blog and no longer exists.