Sunday, August 8, 2010

Doing Scary Things

Photo by Oddstock
These are a few of the scariest things
I've become more aware of how I procrastinate on doing things just because I'm afraid. Why? Usually I delay doing things because I don't totally foresee the outcome. I'm afraid of making the wrong choice. I'm not sure which way is the "right" way to do it.

So I put off doing anything. I ignore that something needs to be decided or acted on. I'll wait until another day.

The Antidote
I've found that I have to remind myself of the saying I've heard "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing poorly." Now, I know I can do almost anything poorly. So I give myself permission to do it poorly and I do it. I usually end up with a pretty good result. The other thing I remember is that "If I'm not happy with the decision I've made, next time I can make a different decision."

How have you handled those things that you would rather not face?

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Forgotten Productivity Tool

The Telephone

How many times have I gotten into an e-mail flurry back and forth with one other person?

How many times have I also CCed people who "might" be interested?

My  wise boss (who is one of the unfortunate recipients of the "might be" CCs) has "encouraged" me to PICK UP THE PHONE and call the person rather than e-mail back and forth.

Since practicing this discipline, my productivity has gone up.

What is your favorite productivity tool and why?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Copyright, Fair Use, and Trust

An Awesome Service

This past Sunday our church had an opening song that was great. An ensemble of ten very talented vocalists sang the Queen version of "Somebody to Love." They did a fantastic job! I knew ahead of time how wonderful it would be so I showed up with my new camcorder. I got a fairly good capture of the performance.

Of course, I uploaded my capture of the performance to YouTube as any good video pirate does...

I bought a new DVD the other day. I was excited that I got it "fresh off the presses." I told some friends about it. One friend wanted to borrow it so I loaned it to him "to watch." He gave it back a week later.

Later I found out that he had ripped a copy to his laptop's hard drive. He then used it as a part of one of his programs. I asked him why did he copy it and his reply was that he was "planning" to buy it.

I felt I had trusted him to not break copyright law by copying the the disk but he had. I felt my trust in him was betrayed.


Now, our church is Very Particular about copyright. They go to great lengths to protect copyrights. They pay much to the appropriate authorities to use and broadcast rights for the music that they do.

Once I processed what my friend had done, I realized that I had not been much different from my friend. I had broken my church's implied trust. I couldn't be angry with my friend when I had acted similarly.

I took down the YouTube video.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Love and War - Eldredge

This is a great book. John and Staci Eldredge have written an incredible description of what their marriage went though and they are now letting us in on how our marriages can be better.

They sum up the whole book on p.92:

"Pressed to choose our "top three things that would most help your marriage," we would come down to this list: 

  1. Find life in God.
  2. Deal with your brokenness.
  3. Learn to shut down the spiritual attacks that come against your marriage.
Practice this and nothing else, and you will be amazed at the freedom, love, and joy that will begin to flow."

I think I have never heard wiser advice. 

Get this book. You will not be the same after reading it. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Small Group Retreat

Our first retreat
We got together and spent the weekend together at a friend's house. We had put together an agenda for the weekend together. We developed a mixture of activities that included a John Eldredge video and a Nooma video and guy-fun things.

We ate well by cooking all our own meals. We shot pistols and rifles at a helpless milk jug. We explored the surrounding cities. And we talked. We talked about the videos, we talked about our journeys. We talked about our walks with God. We had a great weekend together.

Has your small group ever gone on a retreat? How was it?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Traditions

Sunrise Service

Today some friends and I climbed Stone Mountain to attend the Easter Sunrise service. The weather was amazing. The temperature when I left the house was 60F/15C and the wind was reasonable. The service was good. We made the mistake of parking our blanket right in front of one of the speakers. But the message was good and the songs were ancient.

But we had a good time together and went to eat afterward at the Original Pancake House restaurant on Memorial Drive.

This is the second year I've gone and I think going to this service will become a new Patrick tradition.

Easter Tradition

 Each Easter I get a chocolate Easter bunny. I always eat the ears first. Always.

What are your Easter traditions?

Sunday, March 28, 2010


To the Accountant!

I'd like to say the taxes are "done" but I've done my part. The accountant, who has saved us more than his fee for many years, has to do his part. I didn't get them to him before his guaranteed date of readiness, so they may not be filed by the 15th and I may have to file an extension. But, I'm glad I got them out of my hair for now.

The hardest part for me is getting all of the volunteer miles together. Since we itemize deductions, each mile spent as a volunteer adds up to a significant deduction.

Are yours done? What's the hardest part of getting them done for you?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stella my friend

I've got a friend named "Stella"

She's my GPS and I've named her Stella because she tells me where to go. I don't know how I got around with out my GPS. It is such remarkable technology. Stella and I get along fine.

Do you own a GPS? Do you always follow where it says to go?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

God's Geeks

Wycliffe Bible Translators

Wycliffe has people spread around the world working to bring the Bible to every known language. From Wycliffe's site:
Wycliffe works all around the world. Currently our efforts serve languages spoken in more than 90 countries. The majority of the remaining translation needs represent minority languages—relatively small people groups, many of which struggle to maintain their identity in the shadow of majority culture. Often these groups have no written language of their own, and many struggle to gain the literacy skills they need to prosper in the majority culture.

The benefits of translation and literacy for these minority language groups are many. They include better health as a result of access to medical information, economic growth due to the acquisition of marketable skills, and the preservation of culture thanks to a written history. Most importantly, Bible translation brings people closer to God Himself—the One who transforms hearts.

Techie Missionary?

I've been seeking whether God would help use my techie skills to help in the effort to bring the Bible to those who still need it. I went to a Check IT Out conference a few weeks ago with a friend. We learned how important technology is to the translation effort. I feel a tug on my heart. While Wycliffe uses much technology in doing translation work, most of the time the work and expertise in translation is not necessary the same skills as the technology that helps that work. They need techies to come along side of the linguists to help in the work.

Next Step

I'm going this week to spend a day at Wycliffe HQ in Orlando, FL. I will be talking with a number of people about my possible role with Wycliffe. It will be a quick trip but I'll get to see some good friends while I'm there.

Pray for my journey and my possible calling. Thanks!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

God's Chisel

"Thank you Sir, May I have Another!"
[Omega Fraternity Pledge (Kevin Bacon) in the movie classic Animal House]

This period of singleness is giving God a great opportunity - and He's taking it. God is using this as a time of growth for me. I think The Skit Guys skit God's Chisel very accurately portraits the process I'm feeling. I feel He is opening up deep wounds and bringing some healing that will make me more into the person he wants me to be. And it is tough.