Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Final post (at least for this blog)

I'm sure this post isn't really necessary, considering the obviousness of my not having posted for months. No sense being in the blogosphere if you don't post at least somewhat regularly.

I was blessed during the time I interacted with many of the people here, and I pray that I will be able to do so again some time in the future.

I have thought about starting another (different) blog, but I want to make sure it's something I will hold to for a while. I did post here for about 8 months before trailing off. I wonder how many bloggers come and go after a short while.

Well, until we meet again, I thank you all for reading and participating, and I pray that any of my posts on your sites were a blessing as well.

Jeff

Friday, July 28, 2006

Long time gone; coming back slowly but surely

Hi all,

It's been busy for my wife and myself these past several months since we've been preparing to move and find jobs here in Texas. We are now temporarily living in a hotel while our home is being built. We hope it will be finished before the end of August. So far it's looking great. Y'all come on down and we'll have a great time!

I'm going to try and answer some currently unanswered comments, but please forgive me if I don't get to all of them. I'm going to try to write at least something on a weekly basis.

God bless you all, and I look forward to slowly but surely catching up on your blogs as well.

Jeff

Friday, February 17, 2006

Quick update

It's been so busy lately. We sold our home, and have staked a claim on property in Texas. I figure we'll need to be out of our current place some time near the end of April. We'll rent for a while in a place near where we live now before heading down some time in the summer. So in the next several weeks we'll have to get all of our stuff out of our place and put some in storage and get rid of some.

Because of the move--the busy-ness of the coming weeks and the shortness of time until we leave for Texas--my wife, Kim, and I are slowly backing out of our ministry responsibilities. I'm also still looking for employment in Texas--nothing for sure yet. Thankfully I have made some connections with people in upper management, who are letting others know about my job hunt. For the past 18 months or so, Kim and I have felt assured this is God's will, so we know He won't lead us astray. He may not work on our timetable, but He's never late. Kim is pretty much assured of employment, so I'm thankful for that. My position with my current company is by no means assured. There have been several downsizings since I've been in my current division, and from what I can see I'm very near to being the next one out whenever another downsizing occurs. So I'll most definitely need to find another job one way or the other. It doesn't look good for my current company--there are very few job openings of any kind available in the whole country, and nothing for my skills. Oh well. God has known this day would come.

We also have made slow but sure progress in our adoption paperwork. The dossier is a threatening pile of to-dos, but we know we have to take it one step at a time.

Our ongoing challenge with our medical insurance continues. I don't know how many hours I've spent on the phone trying to straighten things out. And each time it seems to be fixed, either something else happens with that situation or another problem develops with a different medical issue.

I do want to keep this blog going, and believe I will once things settle down a bit. Many thanks to those of you who still stop in every now and then to see how it's going or to say hello. God bless you, and God willing I'll be back.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Moving to Texas

I realize my posting has been scant of late, but my wife and I have been very busy. I didn't want to write about our move to Texas until we told our family and other loved ones. But now I think it's safe to spill the beans. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I met with a real estate agent she knows, and we decided that now was a good time to put our home on the market. We plan to move some time in early to mid-summer, so please keep that in your prayers. For much of what would have been our free time we were cleaning and organizing and doing some minor repairs.

We are flying out to Kim's (my wife) sister and brother-in-law in Texas to visit and look at the available properties. We also will be meeting with a design team.

This year is also busy because we will be finalizing our adoption of Sarah Joy and flying to China to pick her up.

I will certainly fill you in with more details in the coming days and weeks.

Please keep this in your prayers. I apologize for not keeping up with the bloggers I usually visit quite regularly. For the next several months I might need to post and read other blogs less (I'll try for at least once per week), but once we get everything settled I hope to be blogging more regularly.

Be well and may the Lord bless you.

Jeff

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resolved: Make resolutions happen

For those of you who have not yet become jaded by New Year's resolutions, just give it some time. The excitement of the calendar rolling over to January will one day become a knowing sigh that sounds something like, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Twice? Ha!!! I can't count how many times I "vowed" to make the new year one that would lead people to write about how great of a person I was.

Oh, I was something special for a few days or even weeks. But once it no longer felt like a new year, the old Jeff started creeping back. Perhaps some of my resolutions stuck, but not necessarily because I kept thinking of them as resolutions. They simply became a part of me. Within a few weeks of New Year's Day, I probably couldn't remember what resolutions I made (maybe I need to resolve to be better organized so I can find my resolutions, eh?).

So why do resolutions so often go by the wayside, and how can we do better at making them stick? Here are some of my thoughts; please feel free to add yours:

First, I think we need to do away with the idea that somehow New Year's Day is the best day to resolve to do anything. If we see something about ourselves that needs changing, do something about it now. If I've waited until the new year, how resolved could I possibly be about addressing that issue in the first place?

We also need to always keep in mind M. Scott Peck's obvious but often forgotten truth: "Life is difficult." I don't know about you, but I tend to make resolutions when I feel excited about doing new things, but once the euphoria wears off and the challenges come, I'm ready to say "later." More often than not I will probably not feel like doing many of the things that have the potential to turn my life around, but I'll usually feel better afterward for having done them. In fact, even getting started makes me feel more motivated to do that thing than sitting there waiting for the motivation to hit me.

And perhaps we resolve to change too much too soon. I tend to create large lists of things I want to change about myself, and then I look at it and think, "It's too much." So I do nothing. Or I make half-hearted stabs. I think in the future I'll look at a handful of things that matter most in my life, and address them. At least I'll be a little better than I was by year's end. Hey, it beats setting lofty goals that I come nowhere near meeting.

Finally (at least for now), it might help me to visualize the potential outcomes based on doing/not doing what I resolve. What will I look and feel like in 20 years if I don't eat better and exercise more? How much joy will my wife experience if I write her more notes and cards?

I'll have to think through a handful of things I want to accomplish during 2006, and then pray for wisdom, courage, and strength to carry them out. May each of us be a little bit better come January 1, 2007. God bless you all.


,

The tragedy of miscommunication


If you know how to Google the news stories about the mining tragedy in West Virginia, and put them in chronological order, you'll see a cacophony of fact and opinion rolled into what's purported to be news. As most of us now know, 12 of 13 miners have died, with the one survivor in critical condition. Of course, I'm not a reporter, so I'm just going by the latest I've read on this.

Many of those who call themselves journalists have shamed (even further?) the profession by printing an unsubstantiated report of the miner's survival. However the miscommunication occurred, that it somehow "became" fact spread across internet sites and newspaper covers shows the poor quality of fact-checking seen in our mainstream media. Let's hope the weeklies at least get it right.

God help those families who were celebrating what they thought was the miraculous recovery of their loved ones, only to find out later they were terribly misinformed. I can't imagine the tremendous letdown they felt, going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. We may never know for sure who said what where and to whom. What matters is that a severe disservice was done to these families and to the honor of journalistic integrity and professionalism.

And may that one miner who is the true and verified miracle find speedy recovery.



The attached picture can be found at http://apnews.myway.com/

Friday, December 23, 2005

Santa's real priority


Have a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas, all!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas gift: Healed relationships

My wife and I were recently discussing a relationship I have, barely, with somebody I would like to be closer with. Since I felt he hadn't pursued spending time with me (I feel I'm usually the one who initiates communication and plans to get together), I decided to let it remain at the status quo. After all, I thought, why bother? Does he feel that things are fine the way they are? Maybe he's not aware of how I feel. But my wife is challenging me to not leave it at that. She suggested I wish him a Merry Christmas, and then see if he initiates something in the near future. It needs to be a two-way street.

Part of the reason I've balked at moving forward is because it's scary. Will he accuse me of putting him down, saying "So you think I don't care? How could you?" Will he say, "I don't know what you mean. Things are fine between us." Will the initial moments of communication be so awkward that I'll wonder if it's so much easier to give up and say, "Well, I tried, but that's just the way it is"?

I'm sure I could have done better in our relationship. We need to talk about it and find out where we are, why we are there, where we want to go, and how best to get there. If it's not meant to be, then that's how it will have to be. But I shouldn't leave so many questions hanging.

Initially, I was frustrated that my wife brought it up. I wanted her to commiserate with my pouting. But she has always been one who, though she loves me as I am, cares enough to want me to make the best out of life. She wants me to have the best relationships possible. I am a much better person because of her prayers, support, and encouragement. And tough love. Sometimes even us adults need tough love.

Please pray for me during this time, that I will have the words to say, the proper timing, and the love and courage with which to say them. And if you are in a similar situation, let me know and I'll pray for you too.