Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Time Has Come say fair's fair; To pay the rent now; to pay our share.

Why a Midnight Oil song is running through my head I cannot be certain.

I can say this. We have been paying a lot of money out recently at Ojai UMC. The time has come to clean up some of the things that are starting to deteriorate.

My predecessor did a great job of ensuring the financial solvency of the church. He took some cuts to his own ability to do ministry, as evidenced by the new computers in the office, and a new one for the pastor as the former pastor did not have a "church" computer.

Additionally, we have been enduring some repairs over at the parsonage for termites, and now for some leaky bathroom fixtures. We already replaced the tub in one bathroom, and this week we have been repairing the floor outside the shower in the master bathroom.

Makes for a lot of work and some continual questions about spending money, and whether we really need to do this. But, let me tell you, when the A/C in the fellowship hall goes out or the fire alarm at the preschool goes off unnecessarily running the kids out from the classrooms, it is time to pay up and do ministry with the best possible scenario.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that we have a new copier in the office, from which we can print, scan, fax and yes, it even copies too. We have new office computers. Thank God for the network security of Macs and the ease of importing older files from Microsoft Office...minus the pesky Publisher...that makes it harder and more frustrating for church secretaries, let me tell you.

For now, life is improving by the day, and we are getting a little more up-to-date, and finding ways to scrimp and save where we can, without cutting corners, and making this a church to be proud of for who we are and who we want to become...which we are still working out the vision to define.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Conference Preparations

This week I have been working on Christian Educators Fellowship/ Preaching from the Center Conference 2008.

I have sorted through workshops and prepared A/V requests for several of our presenters.

Many have asked for PowerPoint set-ups. I hope and pray they do not use these methods of presentation.

Find more Digital art videos at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New additions

With the advent of a new school year, the time has come for a partial return of the Camphouses to Claremont School of Theology. 
Comfortable sleeping and seating is imperative, and the stuff at the house is not the best to transport for extended stay - at least in the sleeping arena. The furniture at the house is second hand to start with, and I have had it for 10 years. So we went out to Living Spaces Furniture to find some appropriately comfortable and durable furniture for our investment.
This was happiness making. I offer you some similar items that have now found their way to the Claremont crash pad.
Time to kick back, relax and do some reading and writing.


Thursday, September 04, 2008


I never realized just how attached I am to a computer for doing my work and my job, even as a pastor. I stay in touch locally with brief emails, chat and notetaking. I stay connected to national interests, as well as conference business. I do my writing primarily on the computer. That started when I realized I could type faster than I could print, and could read it when I finished. Plus, the time to cut and paste and locate the appropriate research materials is so much easier online.

So, when I arrived at Ojai UMC I was told that we had dial-up internet, on a computer purchased in 2001, running windows 98, and office 2003.  I found that it could not run a flash drive, even with an USB port. Simply trying to find the drivers was too much, and since the internet connection was dial-up it could not download the drivers. We lost several documents to crashes during my first month on the job, and could not load others that were vital (like the labels for the church newsletter). What's more, is that the pastor was not afforded even this computer...this belonged to the secretary, and the pastor had none.

Immediately I was on alert and pushing for a computer and internet. Mind you, I got a little derailed by the termite incident. Once the house was back to working order, I had gotten a little sleep, and started the road to visitation with the church folks, I got back into the push for new computers.

We have already committed to DSL service, and have a networking solution established, though it needs to be installed. We have a new copier on its way, to help alleviate the clutter of printer, copier, scanner, fax, and separate items for the other computer we are getting for the pastor. We have gotten rid of extra papers, files and sorted even more trash out of the office, just to help make our workspace more comfortable and encouraging for doing the job in the office.

Now, I find out that the decision I have made for new computers is going to lead to one more waiting period - to ensure the best choice possible. It seems that we are right on the verge...

We selected Mac solutions for our new office computers, for the definite plusses of increased speed of running programs, more intuitive user interface, decreased network vulnerability, decreased risk of crashes, better longevity, and the ease of converting Windows-based programs into use on the Mac.

But, the catch to all this is that Apple is making its latest announcement on Tuesday...leading to the rumor mill that maybe the MacBook may be facing a major upgrade, and worth waiting to see what emerges from the Apple minds in this release. This may amount to nothing more than rumor this time out, but if it is true then, maybe, just maybe, we will be right on the curve. 

How exciting!!

Monday, September 01, 2008


mell-anck-O-lee as we used to call it in College seems to have struck again.

I don't entirely know what "it" is that has got me this time, as seems to be the usual for me. When I hit this place in life it seems something is wrong, but I don't know what it is just yet.

I have to puzzle it through. I used to shoot baskets for hours in front of my house growing up. I would play sports as an adult, but with no hoop in the yard, very few things organized, and a dissipating desire to organize others to do something just for my mental state, I just don't. I wind up sitting, pacing restlessly around the house, doing odd chores, or otherwise just feeling out-of-sorts.

I realize the term melancholy most often refers to a sadness or depression, but for me I use the more pensive definition to aid me in my understanding.

Now, on with the day to try and find some balance, some working space, and some downtime. Maybe even to get some shopping for the little one done.