Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yep, still here!

Life's been crazy. I'll break it down briefly by category:


I resigned my position as a Director of two departments at the end of the year, but didn't quit the company. Since then I've been job searching as much as possible while still doing odd jobs and projects at the office.

Now the Chairman has changed directions and wants me to take over three departments, two of which I'll be building from scratch. All of this is exciting, but the fundamentals of the business are still extremely weak and we'll probably be bankrupt in a year or so, which is why I resigned my position in the first place.

For now, though, I have some job security while I continue the search. And I get to be extremely challenged and under pressure (which I have to admit, is when I perform best) during my day job.

Family health

I had the worst flu of my life last month, with five days of high fever and at least two weeks of lethargy and weakness. Wouldn't be surprised at all if it was a swine flu variant.

Two of the kids also got the flu, and one of them got strep throat on top of it. All three kids have had ear infections already this year, and we're on our sixth or seventh dose of antibiotics since January. If there's a race to reaching our extremly high health insurance deductible, I think we'll win. And this week Jamie's lingering cold has progressed to the point where she's lost her voice.

Two weeks ago we hosted a party at our house for some fellow church families -- 12 kids running around outside while I grilled pork tenderloin. Samantha tried a trick on her bike and... didn't quite make it. Busted up some of her teeth, with one dangling by a thread and another chipped in half. Unfortunately all of them are adult teeth, and grew in less than a year ago. Fortunately she's been spared from implants or root canals so far, and we may end up dodging most of those things and only needing some cosmetic work.

My grammy has been sick and it's brought home the beautiful truth that I am a mid-30s male with all four of his granpdarents still alive. They are so dear to me, and I know that eventually it will be their time to move on. That gets more real as time passes, and I'm quite inexperienced at handling that kind of loss. It's a part of life I've mostly dodged so far.


Jamie and I had that meeting with the financial team, and shared our concerns that the church would sit on money or fund administrative things while acute needs went unmet in our community.

Last week, an elder stood up in front of the whole congregation and announced the decision that they would spend the contingency fund (set aside for a replacement air conditioner when our 12-year-old unit inevitably breaks down) on the community needs. And if the air conditioner dies, we'll find a way to fund it if it's really important. The church clapped and cheered at the news.

The bible class group I taught for about six months (about 50 people, mostly retired/elderly) has shifted topics and is taking on the issue of science and faith. It's a huge interest of mine and this is the first time our church has focused on the science part, without forcing a literal bible interpretation.

It's being taught by the following, all members our our little 50-person group:
-- Former CEO of BP Amoco Canada and BP Amoco Eurasia. He's a PhD geophysicist.
-- Another geophysicist, this one an expert in carbon dating and fossils, who will talk to us about the Cambrian explosion
-- A mathematician and astronomer who was on the Apollo 11 team, and was responsible for all the formulas that got the module from earth orbit to the moon, and back. He showed us his notes and scribbles, and had an amazing model of the rocket that he disassembled piece-by-piece to recreate the mission.
-- A bioengineer who will talk us through some of the amazing ways organisms work

We live in Houston, Texas, which in a way can be called a scientific center of the world. Science has three core disciplines: 1) Mathematics/physics 2) Biology 3) Earth science. And here locally we have 1) NASA 2) The world's leading medical center 3) America's leading oil/gas industry.

You can't live here and have any influence whatsoever in the community if you teach 12th Century science as the only biblically-accurate option. I love the fact our church is taking this on and giving a voice to those of us who not only believe in an old earth and universe, but have used that model to expand our appreciation and love for God.

Life's moving pretty fast. I'm still around though, if only to comment on your own blogs more often that I write here. But eventually I'll have another burst of posts, like I always do.