What does not define me

Now that I have been at this new job for a few weeks I am confronted with a couple of questions,  questions I like to ask.

What am I doing?  That is a simple question and one that I am still working out.  I am managing a group of people who monitor Sony’s network and facilitate communication across different parts of the organization.  You might wonder, “What exactly does all that mean?”  I am still sorting through some of those technical details.

The more important question is, “Why am I doing it?”  That is something that has caused me to think a lot more.  It is a whole lot different on many levels from being a volunteer missionary in Africa.  However it brings up one very big point.

I am not defined by what I do.  What I do should be defined by who I am.  And who am I?  I am a child of the Most High. That remains, no matter what my vocation.  I can be a missionary in Africa, or I can be a ditch digger in California (something I actually enjoy in my free time…), either way, I am still God’s adopted son and I am still requested to serve Him. My real job is to work for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

I know this can be used as an excuse to do anything, that is not my point. My point is to ask you, “Why are you doing it?” If you are digging ditches, great.  If you are managing a company, great.  If you are doing whatever, great.  It is never about what you are doing, but why. Do the most with what God gives you. (Matt 25:14-29) It also makes me think of Joseph.

What is the most?  Well that is another post that has been in draft form since September of 2008.  I hope to get to it soon.

For the nerds only

My friend posted a comment on the last post asking some questions about the map and the track.  I found a really cool website that does a bunch of analysis on the GPS track.  Here is the PDF output of the track from that ride.

A couple of updates

We learned this Sunday that the last of the injured from the bus accident had returned home.  She had a rod put in place of her shattered femur at the AIC hospital in Kijabe.  She made it back up to the Nyahururu area safely.  Thank you for your prayers and those who helped pay for her surgery and other expenses the church incurred in the process.  God is good.

I got a report from Pastor Edward of the church in Soweto where I taught the last computer class.  We helped fund the certificates they gave out at an Inductive Bible Study seminar they gave near Voi.  They do these as outreaches to different parts of Kenya to teach pastors how to study the Bible.  All the money we have is by God’s grace and your support, so it was really you putting the smiles on these faces.  Well, some of them are smiling, Kenyans do not often smile in pictures, even when they are happy.

The other picture is from our computer class.  I really had fun doing that.  I feel very privileged to be able to use my skills for His Kingdom.

Second Day at Soweto

I finished up the “Computers for Pastors” class in Soweto on Saturday.  We spent the whole day covering the World Wide Web and Email.

I had a lot of fun showing them the blueletterbible.org, especially using the Greek to read through John 21.

He said to him the third time, “Simon, [son] of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

On the first reading, you completely miss the meaning.  Why was Peter grieved?  The English makes it seem like it is because Jesus asked three times, however if you go through the Greek, even without knowing what each word means, you will catch a lot more.  If you look at v.15 and v.16 you will see that each time Jesus asks He uses agapaeo and Peter answers with phileo.  Then in v.17 Jesus changes the question.  That is what grieved Peter.

Seeing the ease with which they could access so much information really opened some of their eyes.  I could see how excited they were.  Especially Pastor Edward, who is the head of the Bible school, he is studying for his masters.  Cybercafes are everywhere, and while none of these pastors have a lot of money, they are not out of reach for a few hours per week.

We also covered email, and I walked each student though setting up an webmail account, then logging in and sending me an email.  I tried to respond quickly to each one, so they could see a reply.  Below are my favorites of the ones I received.

Continue reading

Computer Class in Soweto

Wednesday I did the first of 2 days at the Bible School in Soweto teaching “Computers for Pastors.”  There were 13 students, and I hope they all make it back for Saturday.  Once again, the response to anyone having using a computer before was very small.  However, there are some really bright people there, and they are learning fast.

They do not have electricity there, so we had to run a generator for the whole time.  At our first break, there was an announcement in Swahili that everyone had to pay 50 shillings to help pay for fuel.  They must have thought I would not have understood because I got a strange look and then some laughter when I gave them my 50 shillings.  Fuel is back up close to 90 shillings per liter (about $4.55  per gallon).

I am looking forward to Saturday.

Uganda Pictures

dsc02122I took a trip quite a while ago to Uganda and I finally got around to posting the pictures.  Sorry it took so long.

Unfortunately I did not have my camera out at all the best times like when we were 3 men on a motorcycle (which did not seem odd at the time).  I also did not get any pictures in Kampala, but it is a very neat city, especially if you are not in a hurry.  The whole downtown is so impacted with motorcycle and minivan share taxis.

Most of the pictures are of the house I stayed in near Entebbe and the AIM Air office there.

First week at “work”

I finished off my first week at work last week and it was an interesting time.  I have not been to “work” for over 2 months and it felt nice to sit at a computer and hammer out some things. IT is completely different now.  Not only am I in Africa where many things work differently, but I am working for a missions organization where there is no profit motive.  That changes everything around.  It is going to take me a while to figure it all out, not technically, but spiritually.

We finished off the week by going back up to Harvesters in Karuri where I was priviledged to preach.  I guess I am getting more accustomed to being here, I did not even have a watch or a clock and no one commented on how short it was (anything under 75 minutes is considered a short message, especially  outside Nairobi). I had been preparing a message, but Saturday night it did not seem to be the right one.  So I started with a different one sort of feeling lost, but after worship and hearing from the visitors to the church I knew God had given me the right one.

After church we were able to have lunch with the translator and his wife and the wife of another Pastor who was preaching at Umoja.  It was a special time because the house we ate in was partly paid for by the sale of our house in La Mesa over a year ago.

Mungu ni mwema, wakati wote. (God is good all the time)

The Wonders Of The Internet Part II

I was perusing my access logs on my webserver and I came across this gem. Someone searched Google for “how does broccoli reproduce?” In itself and odd question. Even more interestingly, they were directed to my blog.

[Edit] I should also note, the request came from Dubai, UAE.

Coming Of Age In Information Saturation

There is always a lot of talk about how each generation is different than the last. “Back in my day…” “In the old Corps…” and the like. I do, however, believe that my generation (and I’m probably close to the leading edge of it) is growing up in a very different environment regarding information.

The internet, talk radio, cable news, everyone writes books, the internet (yes, I meant it twice), are all newer forms of information that are bombarding us every day. No one is exempt from these influences, but we are all influenced differently depending on our age. I grew up at a time when all this information was hitting the scene right as I was formulating the majority of my world view. People younger than myself are going to be hit with it even more.

What is the end result? I do not know. However, I do believe that it is having a polarizing affect on people. Back in the day, the more limited amount of information was usually closer to the mainstream (where ever that might be on a particular issue). Because so much information is now availble there is no moderating factor. Things can be as whacked out as they like. On top of this, there is no arbiter of information. It is often difficult to assign value to different sources of information. So some completely far out idea seems as valuable as one that is closer to the real truth.

Just as every generation faces new challenges, this one is now.