Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Day 2

I'm pretty busy with lots of training and a pretty intense schedule for the next two weeks here at Discovery. Not a lot of time to blog :) But wanted to say that I'm going to enjoy this job. There's a lot to learn. It's a little nerve-wracking and a little like standing on the edge of a cliff knowing that you are going to have to jump and realizing that you have on your parasailing gear, but having never done this before, a little uncertain if it is going to work. I trust the principle of the parasail, but have to really jump to see that it works and to learn how to make it the time of my life.

I like my cube. It's a little bare. Any suggestions on how to improve it are welcome!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


A poem from Street Sense - written by vendor David Harris

It's a sorry excuse for religion,
I know,
we light the crucifix of gasoline
and climb into the flames

we charge admission to our immolation

We use to think we were dangerous
with frightening ideas,
huffing the glory of our ageless wisdom.

At twenty-three and twenty-four
you're the withered hag,
I, the wizened geezer-
teens on inline skates
laugh at our daring
to think we're cool

The sixteen-year-old suicidal poet
was in vogue one year
I played my role with great panache-
you were stunning as my muse
decked-out in gothic threads;
but our moment in the sun
flickered like a butane spark
and now, we live lives
of therapy
and bills.

It's a sorry excuse for religion
but on our Sunday mornings
we trudge to our church of melancholy
on our knees among our towers
of "modern rock" CD's
I, the toothless soothsayer,
you, the skeletal crone,
we relive the thirty seconds
of meaning in our lives

A Great Read

If you hang around downtown DC, you may occasionally notice street vendors selling a newspaper called Street Sense. It is by the homeless about the homeless and the $1.00 it costs to purchase provides income for the homeless vendor selling the paper. They receive $0.75 of every paper sold.

I have purchased a few papers over the past couple years and they are a great read on a topic that I don't know that much about nor am I very involved in. This is not a whiny paper, but an interesting factual paper. There are several pieces that I find fascinating, particularly the articles, photos, poems, and serial stories written by the vendors themselves.

This weeks issue was one of the best I've seen.

I encourage you to check out the paper. Subscribe to it and have it delivered to your home. Purchase a paper from a local vendor. It's worth it.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

There Is No Such Thing As Coincidence

This past Sunday, my church had its annual Baptism by the Bay (Chesapeake). About 12 people were baptized including my pastor's dad which was pretty cool. We played games like marshmallow and water balloon toss and tug of war. Then a big picnic, some praise and worship on the beach and the baptism.

I was struck that each person getting baptized had a different story and different path to all arrive at this same point: making a public profession that they are a follower of Christ.

This was the first year that I was able to attend the Baptism By the Bay in the four years I've attended the church. I always see the videos and get emotional at the awesome dedication and excitement and commitment exhibited.

When I got home I pulled out my own baptism in the bay pictures. I couldn't remember how old I was when I was baptized. I checked the date on the back and it said July 1986. Exactly 20 years I was also baptized in the bay. God remembered and made it possible for me to be at this years baptism. Kind of like an anniversary. God is amazing!

My dad is in the striped shirt, my mom is standing just behind him. The guy in the flowered shirt is our pastor at the time.

Blast From The Past

Here are some pictures of me and my friend Alana (and her younger sister Angie in one of them) when we lived across the street from each other and were best friends. She just got married on July 8 and I saw her for the first time in 15 years. These pictures were taken 1986/1987. We met when were about 9 years old. In the pics we are 10-11. I'll post the recent ones later so you can compare :)

What a Day!

Checked my email this morning and there were lots of posts from people in my Foreign Service yahoo group saying that results were avaiable online. I went to the site, downloaded my results letter and found out that I had passed the Foreign Service Written Exam! I was pretty excited and a little in shock. Step 1 of 550 (or something like that) completed.

I also received an email from a college friend of mine that I recently reconnected with and the words he spoke and encouraged me with and the topics the email covered were exactly the right thing. Praise God for faithful servants who listen to His voice and His heart and are obedient in following Him. I wish him peace, protection, and boldness as he heads to Israel in a few days. He does not go alone, but with all the power and glory of His heavenly Father and the angels accompanying him. Pray for him that where his feet go, the Spirit of God will be felt and manifested in the hearts and lives of the people.

Earlier this week, I was praying for the situation in the Middle East that the living water available from the throne of God will pour out into that region quenching the fires in the hearts of men and in the streets. I don't normally speak such things on this blog, but I believe and know that in situations like this when I feel helpless and frustrated by what is right and what is wrong and what should be done, I can only fall on my knees and ask God to reign supreme in these situations. My friend and the church group he is going with are ambassadors of peace both for the region and the souls of those they meet.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Frustration with lists

I've noticed lately that as I drive home or ride the metro to work or walk the dog or do any number of things that I'm always thinking of my list of things that need to get done. These are all good and fun things and activities and events that I want to get involved with. But I'm finding myself checking them off in my head or writing them on an imaginary list in an effort to accomplish them and move on to the next task.

I need to stop and realize that they are part of life. They are good things and I don't need to check them off to enjoy the life that I am living with them. I have several Bible study groups that I'm part of this summer as well as kids ministry on Sunday and other fun events. Instead of enjoying them and thinking of them as life, I'm thinking of them as items on a list that need to be checked off in order to get to the life part of living. Life is now, not in the future, but now. I'm not sure how to quit this line of thinking. Any ideas?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Big Sky Country

I had some pictures posted on this earlier and Blogger wouldn't let me publish it. I have uploaded some pics on My Flickr Photos to at least satisfy some of your cravings for some awesome shots of my vacation. I'll try again later to update the blog with some additional pictures.

Flying into Missoula, Montana on July 4th was awesome. We could see the fireworks exploding below us and because we were so high up, they were like shorts bursts of light, almost staccato like. As we dropped closer to ground the fireworks resembled camera flashes in a stadium. Pretty awesome. In the distance, over one of the towns, there were some storm clouds occasionally being lit by lightining inside of them. I thought they were God's fireworks because He didn't want to miss out on the fun. Seeing the tiny fireworks popping as we flew over, I imagined that this must be what God sees when He looks down on earth. These tiny little poppings and little people running all over the place. Everything in miniature. That's how big He is and yet He is small enough to live inside us and spend time with each of us every day. Pretty incredible.

Big sky country is all about water. Most people think mountains and big wide open spaces and there's that too, but I will always remember the water. Everywhere I went you heard a river rushing, a waterfall falling, a stream trickling, a lake being. Turquoise in color and clear as gin as one tourist magazine put it and it was true. There was also an amazing amount of wildlife. I saw deer, hoary marmots, a bald eagle, osprey, hawks, columbian ground squirrels, wild goats, cutthroat trout, and lots of interesting bugs.

I spent one night camping in Glacier National Park and then hiked about 10 miles or so the next day, through the woods, over snow fields, down mountain sides, next to rivers and lakes. Later I went whitewater rafting through a gorge over class III rapids. AWESOME!

The reason I was in Montana was for my friend Alana's wedding. We met when we were nine years old or so and haven't seen each other in about 15 years. It was a great homecoming. We lived across the street from each other for about four years and were absolute best friends. I will post some pictures of us back then. We were really cute! I was able to meet her fiance Chase and his wonderful and crazy family from West Virginia. They had friends fly in from all over the country which was so amazing and really added to the special day. It was wonderful to see her and her sister and reconnect again as adults. I hope it won't be another 15 years before we get to see each other again. One of my favorite parts of the wedding was the fact that Alana's mom and dad both walked her down the aisle. They divorced when she was very young and it was so great to see them come together again because of the love for their daughter. I also loved having Chase's grandfather perform the ceremony. He is a minister (maybe retired) and has married just about everyone in the family. What special touches to wonderful day. Of course the food, dancing, drinking, and general merriment (till 3am) made it a day to celebrate.

My one regret was that I didn't get to see a grizzly bear...unless you count the stuffed one in the airport. I'm looking forward to getting back to Montana and spending even more time with Alana, Chase and the great outdoors. Thanks for such a wonderful time Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Mmmmmmmwwwwwwoooooooaaaaaahhhhh!!!! (the Overman kiss)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sunburnt, exhausted, refreshed

I'm heading home from Montana tonight. It has been a great trip and I have lots of pictures and stories to share. Thanks to everyone for their good wishes about the new job. All the new people I met out here were really impressed to hear about where I was working. It was fun saying "I accepted a job at the Discovery Channel" and hearing how excited everyone was. Several people told me about the programs they had just seen on TV or listened to on the radio and how they really liked that channel. I even met a teacher from Florida who uses the products that I'll be training others on! She loves it and gave me suggestions for improvement and comments on what she really likes about it. Do you think I can bill the hour I talked with her about it? Haven't signed the paperwork officially yet and already on the job :)

So I'll post more later. I've got to pack up my stuff and head out to a final lunch with the newlyweds. Write to you from the big city!

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Big Day

Today is a big ball of stress day for lots of good reasons.

1. I have officially accepted a position at Discovery Communications, Inc. (best known for the network side ie Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, TLC, etc.) I will be working in the Education Division training teachers on an education product that enables them to integrate video into their curriculuum and still meet state standards. I'm super excited about this job and give a huge shout out to my friend Christy for greasing the wheels and helping me get my foot in the door. The location is closer to home, the pay is better, the benefits are great and the opportunities are limitless.

Part of today's stress was telling my current boss I was leaving in three weeks. She was not happy to say the least. Ah well.

2. I am going on vacation tomorrow to MONTANA! I am so excited. I have wanted to visit this state for years and finally my dream is coming true. One of my oldest friends is getting married in Missoula this weekend and that is the reason for the happy occasion. We met when we were about 8-9 years old and I haven't seen her or her family in something like 15 years. It's going to be a great homecoming of sorts, a celebration of this new phase in her life, and a time filled with some serious Western adventuring.

Here's hoping I see a grizzly - from a safe distance of course!

3. I finally have my official Maryland registration for my car. It took seven trips or so to the Motor Vehicle Administration, almost $1000 for repairs and fees, and several months to accomplish this illustrious task. With a Master's degree, years of work experience, a cheerful demeanor, and a tendency to obsess over details, I figured this would have been a simple task. Alas, beauracracy reigns and I pin a first class ribbon on the system. Be warned and know that there are NO shortcuts in the state of Maryland!

HAPPY 4th of July!