Saturday, August 30, 2008

Technology....opening a crack at a time

I am part of a support group for those who are technologically illiterate. I begin each meeting in the following way:
"hi, I am Bob, and I am laughed at, mocked and derided for not knowing how to do anything more than type in word processing."

The other person in the group--my face reflected in the mirror, says the same thing but only backwards.

My family has tried to get me into the 20th century--the 21st is just a bit too advanced right now.

Over the last week and a half, I have gotten passwords for: EBay, PayPal, Facebook, blogging, bank checking, accessing my DNA, and one for keeping track of all my passwords [now numbered at about 43 if you include the password for the passwords!].

I am getting rid of about 1,000 books and it was recommended that I get into EBay. Sounds simple for those who know how to use computers, know how to price items and know how to sell and package things. After I got onto EBay and then listed my first books, all manner of people gave all types of advice. The recommendations have now been--before I put something into EBay--do the following:

1. Check out the following websites first:
2. Drive to all the bookstores within a 50 mile radius to see how they have priced books.
3. Put all the information into a computer [yeah, right!!!] and let it average out the price at which to sell the books.
4. After figuring out my time, my gas plus assorted fees and packaging and mailing I should lose only $3.94 per book--WOW--that is so much easier than sticking up a handmade garage sale sign and getting people to come and look at the books and buy them for a quarter.

On Friday, I was introduced to the world of Facebook. I am a relatively structured person who likes to manage his time but this has opened up a brand new world. Now, not only will I get things through AOL that I have a hard time checking, but I will get items from hundreds [thousands! millions!] of people with all manner of things for me to note and read and make response to.

I am figuring between trying to sell things on EBay, keeping track of the world of facebook and doing mundane things and sleep--I will only have a deficit in time of about 2.3 hours a day.

So, let's summarize--I will lose about $4,000 dollars by using EBay and will lose one night's sleep every 10 days by keeping track of all the wonderful technology out there. Here is what I don't quite understand:

"with all of these advantages, I just can't understand why I didn't get involved with this stuff sooner!!!!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A view from the pew--an introduction

I have had the incredible privilege of functioning as a full-time vocational minister for over 25 years. Currently, I am in between full-time positions with the decision made to get involved now in a local church until we find ourselves working somewhere else.

Consequently, I am now on the other side of the pulpit.
Instead of standing behind it--I am looking at it.
Instead of "controlling" the clock and what else happens--I am at the "mercy" of the pastor who is up front.
Instead of knowing what is next--I am one of the curious onlookers wondering how the service will "go" today.

It is with this introduction in mind that I set out to write observations from the pew. Having been UP THERE--what does it now feel like to be DOWN HERE?

I must also include this disclaimer of sorts. No pastor in any church gets it right all the time. I certainly didn't. Hence, these thoughts are meant to be general statements from church experiences throughout time triggered by where I sit now.