Happy Birthday, Girl!
Happy Birthday, Girl!
Don’t you hate when things just don’t work right?
Or at least not as advertised, eh?
I had that happen right here at CREEations. This past week I finally upgraded to the latest version of WordPress. Only it didn’t work quite as planned.
Got a lovely error message when I tried to access the control panel and I was completely locked out. No fun.
I didn’t have a chance to mess with it until tonight.
Then wouldn’t you know there were, um, complications reverting back to the previous version so that I could try the upgrade again. What I thought would take an hour or so took more than 4 just to get back to the place I was earlier in the week.
I’ll try the whole update thing again. Later.
On the off chance that you commented here in the last few days, I’m afraid your comment has been deleted when I reverted back to the previous working version. Sorry about that.
We’ll try to get it right next time.
For now I’m going to catch some shut eye. It’s been a long week.
I know summer has truly made its arrival here in Savannah when I wake up first thing in the morning and the windows are covered with condensation outside.
It is going to be a steamy day.
I’ve got too much to do today and not enough hours to get it done.
For some reason Isaiah 40:31 is kicking around in my brain:
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Here’s to finding new strength!
What a tremendous couple of weeks it’s been!
SOBCon was a smashing success by nearly every metric. I told our team when we first started kicking around the idea for the conference that the only real measure of success would be if we decided to do another conference after it was all over.
By that measure we succeeded. We’ve already had our first planning meeting for SOBCon ’08.
In fact, since I’ve been on the road, the good folks over at The High Calling have brought me aboard as a High Calling Contributer.
That will kind of bias my upcoming review of the site a bit biased. But I’ll find all the other sites who have reviewed it and give y’all some links so you can get some other views on it. 🙂
Mark and I are also working with Vernon Lun (AKA The Idea Dude) co-founder of theGoodBlogs to bring together some good blogs for a new Christianity category over at theGoodBlogs. So if you are interested in being a part of that project, just give me a shout. Holler at my work email, chris [at] successcreeations [dot] com (making the obvious adjustments for proper email format.)
Then here in Wisconsin Gorgeous and I had a massive rummage sale to finish cleaning out my father-in-law’s house this week.
All I can say on that score is that I was exposed to a whole new world of rummage sale madness. We managed to unload nearly an entire house full of
junk stuff in one day simply by dragging it out into the driveway/yard and posting a “Garage Sale” sign at the curb.
It was insane!
If I hadn’t been so swampped helping Gorgeous manage the chaos, I’d have had the presence of mind to snap some photos. As it was we finished the day thoroughly exhausted. We had a ton less
junk stuff and several hundred dollars more to our credit.
Now we’ve got just a few things left, mostly those that we intended to keep and take back to Savannah anyway. We’ve got a little U-Haul reserved. We’ll load it up tomorrow and get on the road with a Southerly heading bright and shiny early Sunday morning.
Two (more) days on the road and we’ll be in Savannah once again (finally!)
Gorgeous and I are both ready to be home for a bit!
It has been a wild ride the last couple of months. I’m trying to remember the last time life was boring…. Can’t seem to remember.
And that isn’t the half of it. Trust me.
But all’s well because in spite of the drama I’m still breathing. 🙂
And this morning Gorgeous and I are getting on a plane for Chicago and SOBCon ’07. It is time to do something fun.
We’ll be meeting relationship bloggers from all over, spending time in a wonderful hotel, and just generally having a great time.
I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.
If you are there, look me up. I’ll be running around helping take care of those pesky last minute details that inevitably come up with an event like this. But I really do want to meet you. So just stop me, introduce yourself and say hey.
And here’s to hoping that the drama will settle out a titch when we get back to Savannah.
I was recently invited to participate in a beta preview of a new faith based website called The High Calling. The site is designed to help followers of Jesus Christ bridge the gap between their religion and their work.
Marcus Goodyear was kind enough to send me an invitation. He also asked if I’d be willing to review the site and I am glad to do it, especially when you figure Mark is already an active blogger over at Good Word Editing.
So over the next few days I’ll be writing about the site here. I thought about just doing one long review of the site. But I think it will be better to break it up in smaller chunks. So let’s get started.
There is definitely a huge need for some serious help in connecting faith with work. There are far too many Christians who lead ineffective lives because they so thoroughly compartmentalize their lives away not realizing that all facets of our lives are interconnected.
As a quick example, my current primary employment is in the maritime industry. As a result I spend a lot of time down on the docks. And since I’m at the mercy of the ships, my schedule is far from 9-5.
Yesterday was Sunday and I had to go out to a ship in the morning. If things went well, the plan was to take care of my business then head out to church. Before I went up to the ship I needed to attend, I stopped by one of the offices to gather some paperwork.
On my way out of the building I ran across another guy I know who is a client of ours. The way he was dressed got my attention. He usually has wears jeans and a polo shirt, which is sort of the unofficial uniform of the management types at the ports. It’s what I usually wear too.
But yesterday this guy had on dress clothes and a tie. Because it was Sunday morning I’m guessing he had a similar plan to mine, only his church doesn’t have as casual a dress code as the one I go to.
What took me back is that I would have never pegged this guy as a church-goer. Often you can tell. Unfortunately too often it is because the person is obnoxious about their religion.
But I’ve had it happen before. There are several rough types I work with and around on the docks that spend most Sunday mornings sitting in a pew somewhere. Then they come back and are exactly the same in the workplace as everyone else. The only way you’d know is if you happened to notice they were dressed differently when they stopped by the office on a Sunday morning.
It made me wonder how I’m perceived out there.
And it is confirmation to me that we need a site like The High Calling.
(I never made it to church yesterday myself, by the way. There were complications when I got to the ship. The Captain was yelling at a government official. Fortunately for all concerned the Captain noticed the guy from Homeland Security had a gun and backed down. But it slowed everything down for me and I missed church. Some days are like that.)
Like I said, over the next few days I’ll be talking specifics about the site and mention both things I like about it, and things they might consider doing even better. If the idea getting better at connecting your faith with your daily work appeals to you, you might consider going ahead and sign up to become a member of TheHighCalling.org .
If you are interested in getting more feedback on the High Calling site, check out these folks who are also participating in the tour:
L. L. Barkat
Every Square Inch
Chalres Foster Johnson
I had a shattering realization Friday that this former New York boy may have indeed truly become southern.
Trust me, the thought is probably at least as frightening for me as it is for my local neighbors here in Savannah.
Most folks know I have more than a bit of a sweet tooth. I come by it naturally from my mom who likes her treats. Gorgeous was excited when she met a man who liked chocolate even more than she did.
And Gorgeous will vouch for the fact that Dr. Pepper has long been my soft drink of choice. She’s a diet Coke girl, but I prefer something with a little more zip.
Since I’m on the road so much and at all hours, it is not unusual for me to grab a snack when I stop for gas. And lately I’ve taken to grabbing a Moon Pie and a Dr. Pepper, mostly because I like them and because it’s a cheap snack combo.
I never really thought anything of it until Friday.
I was driving back from Jacksonville up I-95 late Friday afternoon and I hadn’t had much of a lunch so I was a little peckish. I had to stop in the little coastal town of St. Mary’s, Georgia to tank up with gas. Gas is cheaper in Georgia than Florida, so I try to make sure I refuel north of the line.
Anyway, as I was staring into the cooler at the sodas, I decided to mix it up a little and I grabbed a Vanilla Cherry Dr. Pepper instead of a regular one. I’d paid for my gas at the pump so I only had to count out a couple dollars to pay for my snack.
But as the lady at the Flash Foods where I stopped rang it up she informed me, “That’s a Vanilla Cherry Dr. Pepper, you know. Is that what you want?”
I assured her I’d intentionally grabbed that flavor of soda. But I couldn’t shake the question.
Why would she ask me that?
Then it dawned on me. That particular snack combo is a distinctly Southern thing.
I’ve become Southern by personal preference and didn’t even realize it. And it only took me 20 years! Sheesh!
It is amazing how our entire perspective can be changed in a moment sometimes.
This morning started out with a discovery that really got me excited in an incredibly self-centered petty sort of way. I saw that I’ve finally risen to the top of the Chris Cree’s on the internet.
Call me the King of Chris Cree’s. Of all the Chris Cree’s out there I come up first.
It was an ego stroke that left me feeling pretty good. I let out a Homeresque “Whoo-Hoo!” and went about my day, all happy like. Because, after all, it’s all about me, isn’t it.
Then about mid morning the reality of life caught up with me and completely refocused my attention back to those things that are important by completely upending my perspective.
I just came back into the office after enjoying a few moments of absolutely perfect sunny 70 degree weather while taking care of some business out at the port when I was told of the phone call.
Tina, our secretary at the job I go to every day died during the night.
She had been sick for a while. When Gorgeous and I were on vacation over New Years she had gone into ICU at the hospital for a bit. She hadn’t been back to work since.
She was home by the time we got back in town and the reports were that she was having good days and some rough days was was steadily improving. Apparently the doctors were a bit puzzled, said she had some sort of lung infection that wasn’t responding to treatment.
They said it wasn’t cancer, but it sure treated her like cancer. She was steadily loosing what little weight she had to begin with. Then this past Friday they said she’d gone back into ICU, she was having trouble breathing again.
I was shocked to find out that Tina was only about 3 years older than me. I’d worked with her for years and assumed she was 10+ years older than that. I know that part of her problem was that she made some unhealthy choices, smoking heavily and a diet that was mostly snack foods.
Even so it doesn’t feel right to see a person like that leave this world so early. How will her young daughter understand it? What other changes are in store for her husband?
The part that makes me angry is that I failed her as a friend. Didn’t once visit her in the hospital. I let the petty busyness of life, things like the concern for Google ranking, distract me from an important thing.
“Oh, there’ll be time for that. Later.”
In my distraction I blew right through later into Too Late.
When you get right down to it, the only things in this world that really matter are the relationships with other people that we have. Good, bad or indifferent.
We can choose to be a friend. Or we can let ourselves get distracted with all the busyness and skip over the important parts.
Just like Tina choosing her diet or smoking habits, the choice of how we relate to people – whether we prioritize them above the “stuff” we think is so important – is completely up to us.
Choose more wisely than I have over the last few months.
But God said to him, â€˜You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ — Luke 12:20
You’d think I’d learn by now. I mean it’s not that complicated, really.
It all started because Gorgeous said I needed to start thinking about getting healthier. She was right, as usual. I’ll be cresting the big 4-0 this year and I’m finally beginning to recognize my own physical mortality.
So we started adjusting our diet a bit. More fresh plant life and fewer burgers. Cutting back on the fast food in general. Even though I’m pretty much a convenience eater, that part was pretty easy.
Then we set our sights a little closer to our cravings and said we’d cut back on the deserts and sweets. Used to be we’d never consider sharing a desert at a restaurant. Now it’s kinda fun.
A couple weeks ago the whole healthier diet thing took a painful turn for me. I like coffee. Lots of coffee. Historically I’ve consumed mass quantities of the stimulating beverage every day. But I know it can’t be good for me.
So I’m working on a consumption reduction program where coffee is concerned.
One ingredient in my new healthier beverage program is to start each day with a cup of caffeine free tea. Sometimes I have a steamy cup of something that promises to “detoxify” me. Hey, I figure after nearly 40 years of consuming junk I could stand for some detoxifying.
And that is what brings me to my apparent learning disorder.
I am very much a creature of habit, especially first thing in the morning. I don’t really wake up all that quickly so routines help me get functioning more smoothly. My morning rituals are designed to help clear the cobwebs out while still moving in the forward direction.
And it seems I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a dumb rut. Each morning I get to my desk, fire up my computer, and set my mug down with that first cup of tea, bag in, still steeping.
The hard part comes in getting the dang tea back out of the cup before I start drinking. I typically don’t have a plate at my desk. There’s too much clutter to find a place to set one nearby. So once I fish it out with a spoon I want to make sure I get most of the water out of the bag so I don’t start staining my desk top, or the clutter that it would have to soak through to get to the desk.
That means I get my fingers down and dirty squeezing out the bag.
The problem I run into is that water is hot. Every morning. On my fingertips.
You’d think after the 17th morning or so of doing this that I would come up with a better way. But each morning I do a little hot finger dance at my desk, grumble, amazed at my own apparent inability to learn and change or overcome such a simple small obstacle in my day.
Yet I seem to insist on nearly burning my fingertips day after day. Why is that?
I mean I don’t think I’m stupid. Am I?
Eventually I figure I’ll come up with something. If you’ve got any ideas, I’m open. I know I’m trainable.
It has been a crazy week for me (and it’s only Tuesday morning!) We are short handed at work.
Corporate sent one of our guys to help out in the New Orleans office, which puts us 25% down on our staffing here in Savannah.
And then yesterday we had one guy in Jacksonville, and another in Brunswick which left me to cover everything going on in the port of Savannah all alone. (Whew!)
Oh, and today is the last day of the month and since we work on a monthly billing cycle I have a ton of paperwork to do.
Bundle all that with my shift in focus over to SuccessCREEations and posting here will be a little less than what y’all have become accustomed to.
That’s OK. There’ll be plenty to see over at SC until I can get back on a more regular schedule.
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