Final Uganda Meeting Before We Leave in Two Weeks

We had our last full team meeting today before we leave for Uganda in two weeks. This meeting was all about soccer, and we played and/or practiced with the team, in conditions that have to be much like we will see in Uganda, 95*F and 100% humidity. Since soccer is such a big sport, as far as the rest of the world goes, this team was put together with soccer in mind, and has several very talented coaches, and then there’s the rest of us. The rest of us, me being one, are the ones hoping not to be trounced by 10 year old Ugandan kids on the soccer field.

As it gets closer and closer to our departure I seem to have more and more questions rolling around in my mind, but none that really need answering. I’m excited to see how God is going to use our team, how He is going to use our individual gifts to impact those we come into contact with throughout the entire trip. Brian (team lead) put it to us like this today. We are not going over there to continue the western transactional mission field of old where we show up and try to hand over the prosperity gospel to someone. We are going as partners in Christ, to come alongside other Christian brothers and sisters, to worship with them, to do what our scripture commands, to love one another (John 13:34).

I’m not sure what that looks like at this point, but that’s fine. I’m preparing best I can and not going with any specific expectation other than for God to be there, come along side us, and guide us. We are walking where others have prepared a way, and in this case literally, we follow a team leaving tomorrow who arrive back about the time we leave.

I’m taking a book along I bought back in 2009 and just haven’t had time to read yet called The Life and Diary of David Brainerd. Brainerd was an early American missionary to the American Indians in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania and someone Jonathan Edwards often wrote about as an example of a true, selfless, missionary for Christ. While I don’t really consider our lives similar in almost any way, I do hope to learn more about the history of those who went before us.

As always, I am still trying to raise support for the trip. You can always make an online donation to the church here, even $10 helps. Thanks!

Dagger Kayaks on the Apostle Islands and Columbia River

My wife and I in days past were quite active paddlers. We spent about 5 or so years kayaking all around the country in between conventions (our work), and because we were always traveling we were able to kayak in some really neat places. Just to name a few, we went out to the caves in Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands, the slot canyons at Lake Powell in Arizona, coastal surf in the North Carolina Outer Banks, rivers and lakes from Ohio to New York, and out to the great Columbia river in Oregon. Only problem, for me, was I never did like my particular kayak (the Dagger Cortez 16.5), for various reasons, but I never could get comfortable on a long paddle.

Since then we have tried to find different outdoor activities that we could both enjoy together, but never really found anything we both equally liked (other than sailing, which we might do again some day), so we decided to go back to kayaking, but with shorter, lighter, smaller, less expensive, kayaks we can just throw in the back of the truck and take to the nearest body of water (like Chewacla which is only a few miles away). Anyway, below are some of our previous paddling trips, wish we had time to go back to some of these great places.

These below were all shot with film so they are a little grainy, HDR high res images are in order soon.

Photo of the Cross at Ground Zero Not Soon Forgotten

We were in Philadelphia Pennsylvania that day, but not long after we happen to be in New York and I snapped this shot of the cross in the steel beams still standing at ground zero. At this point they had the streets cleared and fabric fencing around almost everything, but through a few holes in the fence you could just make out this cross. It was a sight no one could forget.

We haven’t been back since, but someday we will go back to visit the memorial. Each year the anniversary comes and the world still continues to change, sometimes in such dramatic fashion, but September 11th always seems to be such a surreal day.

Top 5 Tips to Help Your Job Search in this Economy

In my ongoing pursuit of the perfect full time employer I have compiled more information than I could possibly have imagined a few years ago.  I could probably write an HR book called HR, the Good the Bad, the Ugly but I am sure someone else has beat me to it.  After writing a post about a recent interview I decided to put down a few quick tips I learned just in case someone else out there is also looking for that perfect match.

The Match-Making Job Market of 2010 Is Fluid

Today is a different market than even just five years ago.  Potential employers are doing more with less, and are in no hurry to bring on a new hire that may or may not be an exact match with the company’s existing culture.  As a potential employee, I am also just as picky when it comes to looking at a potential employer.  I don’t just want any job, I want a good match, but in 2010 it’s more like online dating or match-making than job hunting.  Don’t just automatically jump on the first offer, really look at what kind of match you are with the company culture, business model, and their clients.

Flooding the Market with Resumes Doesn’t Work, Be Creative

I have sent in hundreds of resumes, made countless followup calls, gone out of my way to not be in the way when needed, met tons of new people, offered to move to all over California (my native land), Texas, Florida (wife’s preference), New York, Wisconsin, Montana (those two were a stretch), Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky.  Yet, it’s the end of another week of meeting new people, making new connections, learning new companies, and waiting.  One thing I have learned, flooding the market with resumes doesn’t work.

If you want to be seen, you need to do something creative and unique.  Don’t just do the same old thing that everyone else does, that doesn’t do any good at all.  Find a unique way to stand out to the HR person or hiring manager.  For an example of what I did this week see this video I did for How I Can Save Your Business Money.

Become a Major League Scout in Your Search

You need to seek out new prospects like a scout looks at potential minor league players.  Traditional job sites like Monster have been almost worthless to me.  Today, employers will post on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, craigslist, and on their own websites.  Where are the creative companies posting their new positions?  Don’t limit yourself to finding a great job by only looking on the traditional websites.

Do Your Own Research, Don’t Just Skim the Surface

When you do get an Interview, phone or otherwise, do you know more about the company than the HR person?  Impossible?  Not at all, and many times I have known far more about the details of a company than even their own employees do.  Do your own research, and dig deep.  A good example is to look at the company on LinkedIn.  Look at their current employees on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook (are they happy with their job), their former employees (why did they leave, where are they now), and all the associated websites you can find.

Keep in mind your potential employer is doing the same research on you.  Don’t give them a stupid reason like a photo on Facebook to hire someone else.

Don’t Try To Hide, Control Your Internet Footprint

If you are on Facebook and you hide your account from a potential employer they will probably wonder what you are trying to hide, and if there is good reason, perhaps fixing that first would be a good idea.  I have created a one stop shop on Google where potential employers could find out every thing there is to know about me (, professionally and personally, and from there they can find their website of choice without having to give them 10 different places to look.  You can still be publically seen and control your private information, just use common sense.

What are your favorite job search tips?

Auburn to NIT Quarter Final Beats Tulsa :: Friday Feet

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Tonight Auburn beat Tulsa in round two of the NIT advancing to the quarter final on Tuesday night against Virginia Tech or Baylor.  This is the first time Auburn has ever made it to the quarter final round in the NIT and on Tuesday they will play for their chance to go to New York to play in the NIT semi-final and final game.  The Tigers right now seem to be playing with great confidence which hopefully will carry them through to the next game.

Below are some photos of the game (and also my post for Friday Feet).  One set is a sequence of shots when DeWayne Reed broke free and slammed the ball bringing the crowd alive.  It was a great win for Auburn, best of luck on Tuesday.

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

Photos of Auburn vs Tulsa in the NIT

The Economy, Big 3 Auto Bailout, and the Church // Part 3

This is the last and final, part 3 of this particular topic.  If you missed the previous two posts, check them out at part 1 and part 2.

The Church: A Response to a Bad Economy?

I spend a good bit of my day running around on the Internet, and many places I stop are with people of faith, churches, organizations and groups trying to raise funds, in a “bad economy”.  There are usually two responses.  One (to me) Biblical, and one not.  One based on fear, the other based on belief.  One worried about their 401k balance, the other excited to see a time when the need for the church among the un-churched is growing.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

What happened just after September 11th 2001?  People ran to the church.  Some because they were scared, some because they didn’t know where else to turn, some came back after a long time away, but the number of people attending church (doesn’t mean it was meaningful by the way) went up dramatically.  What makes hitting people where it really counts (in their 401k’s) any different as far as possibilities within the church to help others?

I took this photo below at “Ground Zero” a few months after the terrorist attacks on New York city.  They still had not torn down the last few damaged buildings that are outside the photo here, and this “cross” was still standing as well.  It was incredible to me to see a cross, carved out of mangled steel, standing above all the mess that was ground zero.  It was an unreal time of horror, terror, and despair in our country, and yet, Jesus didn’t change, the world did.

Cross on I-40 in Oklahoma

My church at the time in 2001 (a 35,000 member church) was trying to decide if they should start a $40 million building campaign in the middle of the 911 economic turmoil.  They decided to follow God and not the economy and great things were done.  Why should the church back down when times are bad?  Be responsible yes, but fearful????

People are scared, people are fearful.  Why?  Uncertainty.  If we are Believers… why are we living in fear and uncertainty?  Because we can’t buy the normal $500-$1000 of Christmas presents this year?  We have the most certain thing in the world.  A risen Savior.

Cross from the Twin Towers Wreckage

If you like the cross as a symbol you need to drive out I-40, past Amarillo, past Oklahoma City, and look at one of the largest crosses I have personally ever seen (first photo above).  It is a magnificant symbol right on the interstate for all to see.  We should be like this cross on I-40 in Oklahoma.  Big, bold, tall, ready to reach out and help those who are hurting and searching.  We should be excited to be in these “times”, they are new times of new opportunities.  As the Church, let’s not watch this opportunity pass us by and wonder why we didn’t make use of this special time in our history.