Archived news items from August 2000
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.
Just got a request in the mail from one of my former students:
Update your homepage, you can say something like 5 of your previous comp sci III students ended up at high-tech companies this summer making more than 11 bucks an hour. (5 that I can think of.) Robbie and Karl ended up at ARL workin' for UT. Lloyd and I ended up at IBM (i just ran into lloyd) and Nick at that place he's working at.
So there you go. ARL is Applied Research Laboratories at the University of Texas at Austin. Nick works for DuPont Photomasks, Inc.
I've had moderately good luck scaring off students; I think I'm only about four or five over at the moment. Of course, I still need to have a few schedules changed so that each class only has 24 students (though my overall numbers are close to perfect, I still have some classes which are overfull and some which are several students under). But I'm no longer as panicked about that.
The art is done for the CD and it has been sent off for duplication. Supposedly we'll get a proof of the packaging materials some time tomorrow. Then I imagine it won't take long once we give them the go-ahead.
I think I've done the last of my summer spending binge. I bought a Shure Green Bullet harmonica microphone along with some new harmonicas (replacing some broken ones) and other odds and ends. I got a chance to sit down with the mic and a chorus and distortion pedal. It sounds very nice. Has a good crunchy, fat tone.
I also recently bought Third Day's Time and Audio Adrenaline's Underdog. They are both excellent and I highly recommend them.
Today was the first day of classes. So far I've got way too many students enrolled in my classes, as usual. So hopefully fifteen or so kids will drop of their own accord so I don't have to remove anyone against their will.
I also actually had a conference period today, much to my surprise. I think I'll have some CS-3 kids trickle in to that period over the next week or so, but for now it's just me. So I had a chance to update the new Ghost image then, and was able to ghost it down to all the machines during lunch. (D lunch, by the way!)
Now much else to report. The art for the CD is done, I think, and I hope to get everything bundled tonight and mailed off for duplication in the morning. Which puts it getting back to us before the first of September, if all goes well.
Well, the transition is over. I am officially no longer the worship leader at Lakeline Church. Today we had a "pass the torch" service and Brian interviewed Bob so everyone got to hear about his experience, his passion for worship and such. We both led worship (me at the beginning, him at the end) and things went excellently. The staff also surprised me with a generous cash gift.
I got a chance to explain to everyone why I chose to no longer be the worship leader. I wrote out my "valedictory" beforehand and what I actually said pretty much sticks to the plan, so I can repost it here for those who weren't able to hear it live.
On August 10, 1997, fresh out of college, I began my first Sunday as worship leader at Lakeline. At that time, there was only one other person on the praise team, and Lakeline averaged 40 in attendance each week. Since that time, the worship team has grown to over a dozen and the crowd has grown to as many as two hundred adults in both services.
Today, three years later, I am stepping aside. Though I will continue to play and sing, it's time for someone else to do the leading. A lot of people have asked me why. Though a full explanation, in all its glory, would take me ten minutes, I think I can sum it up in three words: God wants more.
God wants more than two hundred adults in here. God wants more than a dozen people involved in leading worship through song. And what God wants for Lakeline is more than I have.
- More musical ability. My only formal training is in the French horn. There are many things musically which could happen in a church this size but don't because I just don't have the skills.
- More leadership ability. Though the worship team would never say this to my face because they like me, I am NOT VERY GOOD at managing people or at planning things in advance. I've gotten better over the years, but for the worship team to have the vision and discipline they need to take things to the next level, we need someone who is a stronger leader than I.
- More time. In addition to leading worship part-time, my full-time job is teaching high school students at Leander High School. I strongly considered quitting teaching to become the full-time worship leader at Lakeline, but after weeks of praying and thinking, I believe that God wants me to teach, to show the public schools what it means to follow God passionately. When Lakeline has someone who can devote all their time to music, you'll begin to see things happen which I couldn't do just because I've been too busy.
Now, those are the practical reasons, but there's a spiritual reason as well: because I believe it is God's will. At first there was a little bit of panic at the thought of letting someone else take over. "But the worship team is my baby," I thought. But it's not my baby. It's GOD'S baby. God gave me musical ability. God gave me the experience, desire and opportunity to work as a worship leader. God provided talented musicians to help me out. It is God's work, not mine. I just happened to be the tool God used to accomplish His will.
If you hear nothing else I say, hear this: Grow your relationship with God enough so you're able to determine what He wants you to do. Then do it with all your might. Following God's plan, even if it isn't what *you* were planning, will bring you joy and blessings, and will build character. This is not to say every minute of it will be fun or without pain, but the end is worth the cost.
I've said enough. I'm ready to follow for a while.
To the worship team: I appreciate all of you and the sacrifice of time you have made to create worship which is pleasing to God. I really couldn't have done it without you.
To the church: Thank you for all you've given me. God has richly blessed me with friends like you, and you made this job so much easier than it could have been.
Worship God with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind, and love on one another. Thank you.
So there you have it. In other news, I got a 19" monitor, which officially much makes my computer much cooler than it was three months ago. It is a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 900u, which has a Diamontron flat screen and a built-in USB hub on the base. I got it used from a friend of mine, who incidentally sold me my last monitor, which I bought from him used in 1995.
I hope to get the CD mailed off this week, which means we should have it no later than the first of September.
The church is done (except for minor tweaking) with Phase II of the expansion. The painting got done, the carpet did come in on Thursday and everything looked great this morning. What a difference! But since I spent at least ten hours a day all last week working up at the church it's time to get a nap.
Oh, and I start back at school tomorrow. The kids don't arrive until Thursday, so I've got some time, but I think I'm going to have to really hustle to get my classroom in order by then.
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