Thursday, July 22

Living in the center of Gods will

Its not always easy living in the center of God's will, but it sure can be interesting.

About two months ago, there was an announcement in the bulletin that they were looking for cousilors to go to AICM camp and spend a week with the kids. For some reason I started thinking to myself that I should go. Two weeks later, Greg was at all the services to meet with anyone who was interested. So I went and talked to him, and gave him my contact information.

Well a few weeks later, I had not heard from him yet, and there weren't any further notices about it. After digging around a bit trying to find Greg's number, I finally got ahold of him and check on what was happening. Well, he had lost my number, and got my email address scrambled (he was typing in "wod" instead of "wool"), so after straightening that out, I had the first details about the camp.

He also asked me if I had any hobbies that I could share with the kids. Hmmm. Well, I like to melt things and blow things up. I could do that with the kids. Greg wasn't too excited to have the kids blowing things up (not even little fire crackers), so we talked about melting things. It started out small: the camp already has a gas welder, so I could do demo's at let each kid try it. But then I got to thinking. Maybe I could borrow some stuff and bring it.

First on my list was MIG welders, because they're small and MIG welding is really easy. I had borrowed one from the school before for a week, so I gave Mr. Hess a call and told him I'd like to borrow some stuff for camp. He asked what I wanted and I said, "oh, just anything in the shop not nailed down." I ended up with three MIG welders because that's what would fit in the back of the car and a bunch of other gear like jackets, helmets, gloves, hand tools, etc.

Now my favorate type of welding is TIG, but the school doesn't have any TIG machines that weigh less than 700 pounds, and I didn't think I could get a sychrowave in the back of the van anyway. The local Airgas had a nice portable demo unit though, so after working up the courage I called up and asked them if I could borrow it. The guy on the phone went and asked the manager after I explained what I was trying to do, but the manager wasn't going to do it. However the guy suggested that I call Miller directly and see if they could do something, and he gave me the direct number for Mick Peterson. I gave Mick a call, and caught him in his car and so he scribbled down some details on a loose piece of paper and I promised to send him more details in an email.

I wasn't sure if he was going to get it as I flubbed the email address a couple times (I thought his name was Nick not Mick), but it must have, because the next morning I got a call from the manager over at Airgas again. He wanted to know what I wanted, and what I was trying to do again. I told him I was looking for a portable stick/TIG machine, promised to give him a credit card to cover it (in case I disappeared), and then he told me to come get it. Of course, with another stick/TIG machine I as going to need some welding rod for it, a torch and extra torch parts, and more helmets & such.

Now for TIG you need gas, and for nice MIG welds CO2 or C25 (CO2 + Argon). I offered to rent the tanks, but they were included in the deal. The only other thing would be some scrap metal for the kids to weld together into something (I have no idea what however).

Total out of pocket so far? $0. Value of the equipment and material I have so far? About $8,000. Hopefully we don't break or loose anything, I'll be able to stay in my budget of nothing. Now I just have to make another list of all the stuff I need to take from my own stash of parts (more hand tools, magnets, grinders, saws, etc.) It sounds like this is going to be an adventure.

Information on the camp & indian culture
the kids at camp.

Monday, July 19

Taking notes, paying attention, taking action

I was sitting in church this week and the pastor took some time at the beginning to ask each of us to pray for some items. So I pulled out my pen and paper and got ready to write them down. My wife pointed out that the list was already in the bulletin, but I wrote them down myself anyways for a couple of reasons.
  • When I write something down, I remember it better
  • I can capture the idea in my own words and not miss anything
  • I'm more likely to keep a list that I've made than a handout
  • I have to pay more attention if I'm actively trying to capture what's being said
So I made the list and brought it home, and it ended up on my desk where I've looked at it every day since. I've even prayed about the items on the list. They are:
  • Pray for growth Summer is typically when people move to Flagstaff, and we get a lot of visitors and new members during this time. I am also praying for more people to join our home group.
  • Financial Faithfulness The church has taken on a number of commitments that has stretched our resources pretty tight. The congregation has been faithful so far this year, but there's not much room for error, and our church is big enough that we're talking some serious numbers.
  • New Times They're going to change the times for Saturday services, and that always causes some ripples in operations. Jim asked the congregation, "raise your hand if you like change," and about seven of us raised our hands (yes I'm one of the nuts). The rest have an uncomfortable period of adjustment to go through.

    I have to be careful about how I answer these questions though. The last time Jim asked a question like that, it was, "How many people could live on 1/4 of your current salary?" I answered yes, and God decided to test me on it. It hasn't been pleasant. Course now I'll probably get my salary back and he'll move on to testing me on change. May you live in interesting times.

  • Getting people to go on Saturday Along with the new times, the staff is trying to get more people to come to the Saturday services which have a little less than half of the people that go to each service on Sunday. See the point on change above for the challenge.
  • Rain Flagstaff needs the water and the forest is currently at very high fire danger. Rains would be good.
  • How am I to accomplish the extraordinary purpose God has for my life
This last one is actually a multi-parter since most of us in the audience are still trying to figure out our special purpose. (And no, I'm not talking about the one Steve Martin discovers in the Jerk.) Jim is pretty determined that each of us determine what we are supposed to be doing, and get moving on doing it. I don't have a real sense on how others are progressing on this task though. I have a few ideas, but I definitely need to nail more of it down.