An End and a Beginning
Yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of my ordination as a pastor (and, likewise, my eighth anniversary serving at Grace PCA in St. Charles). I am grateful for what has transpired since then both in the amazing ways God let me watch Him work at Grace and the other ministry opportunities that He opened up along the way that fit next to my work at Grace, most recently through FaithTree, since I have always been part-time at the church.
I nearly overlooked my ordination anniversary in the midst of ongoing transitions, some details of which I want to share below. There is a meeting on Sunday at the very same church to accept my resignation. Unfortunately, when the meeting was moved to 5:00 p.m. a couple of days ago, it ended up in conflict with a longstanding ministry commitment I had made and so I will not be able to be there to share this in person; I’m sharing it now so that my Grace family could hear it from me.
A Letter on My Last Day at Lindenwood
My Dear Friends,
Sadly, this is my last day as University Chaplain of Lindenwood University. As I depart, I wanted to reach out to you to say goodbye before I go. In doing so, I want to thank you for the blessing it has been to be your chaplain. For those whom I taught, it was a supreme honor to be your professor and for those whom I worked with, it was a joy to be your colleague. I have loved this university since I first set foot on it as a college freshman over 13 years ago and all of you who have made it what it has been will be sorely missed.
Though I will no longer be at Lindenwood, my prayers continue to be with you, and it would be a delight to continue to hear how the Lord is working in your lives. I invite you to stay in touch via Facebook (Timothy R. Butler), Twitter (@trbutler) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I too would appreciate your prayers as I seek to discern where God is calling me next.
As a conclusion, I have one final video to share, a retrospective of the Chaplain's Office that was formed as part of my proposal to become Lindenwood's chaplain and the events God allowed us to start in it. Please join me in rejoicing in what God has done here at Lindenwood. Many of these events included you and I hope you enjoy getting to see how what you served and participated in came together into something beautiful.
As I end my time as your chaplain, let me close with these words from Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” May the peace of Christ be with you all.
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
When you've been blogging for ten years, one's blog tells something about one's life. I happened to be trying to look up something today and ended up on Archive.org's Wayback Machine. On a whim, I typed in asisaid.com and went on a stroll down memory lane. While I can view any of the posts from asisaid's 10+ years of history directly on this site, there is something interesting about seeing them in their original form, complete with whatever now dated looking theme I had on the site at that time the post originally appeared. I found myself reminded of old blogging and real world friends I have lost touch with, and others that I have not. I also found it interesting seeing what it was I was contemplating then that no longer seems important contrasted with matters that I am still thinking about, working on or otherwise processing.
Some might suggest (and, perhaps, for good reason) that the archiving of everything that goes online can be a curse. If one is careless in what one places online, it certainly will prove to be. On the other hand, with a dab of commonsense applied, services such as the Wayback Machine actually show the value of the archival abilities of the digital age: the ability for everything to exist in something of a virtual time capsule, available for us to learn from and enjoy.
Two Years Ago
Two years ago, I walked into a strange church and sat down for a Sunday service — the first time in my life I was the “visitor looking for a church.” For many people, that may be a normal enough experience, but as a lifelong member of another church, I felt a bit odd being on the other side of the visitor equation. Two days prior, I had sat in that same church's office, talking with the two pastors about what the church was like.
In both settings, as unfamiliar as the church and its people were, it felt welcoming. Something felt right about it. And so it still does. I'm glad to say that church is now my church and those unfamiliar people are now my church family.
God had quite a blessing in mind, though I did not know it, on that day two years ago.
One TechCrunch Writer Apparently Reads OFB
Update Below. I suppose, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but still, imagine my surprise when I saw almost a direct quotation of what I wrote in an OFB story on 4G that appeared early this morning blended into a TechCrunch story on 4G posted by Rip Empson this evening (without any citation, mind you). Here are the key paragraphs from the two stories, mine on the left (emphasis on the particularly parallel parts is mine):
OFB: The ShowdownThe first matter complicating the search for the perfect 4G service is that there is not one thing meant by the term 4G. Sprint (along with partner Clear) and Verizon come closest to adhering to the technical standard for 4G with their respective WiMAX and LTE networks. However, most people care more about speed than how that speed is achieved, which led first T-Mobile and then AT&T to start referring to their upgraded 3G networks as 4G as well.
TechCrunch: To 4G or Not to 4G?While 4G is indeed meant to refer (in the big picture) to the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards (as the successor to 3G which arrived in the early 2000s, which succeeded 2G in the '90s, etc.), the answer to this question is complicated by the fact that each carrier seems to be defining 4G in the way that best suits them. Sprint (along with its partner Clear) and Verizon generally get closest to adhering to the technical specification for 4G with WiMAX and LTE, respectively. T-Mobile and AT&T, meanwhile, are stretching the definition to include their upgraded 3G networks, on the (arguably shady) basis that the speeds are faster than traditional 3G networks.
|While it would be easy to fault the latter two companies for muddying the waters in their marketing, in fairness, their marketing actually makes some sense: while AT&T and T-Mobile both use what is technically a suped-up version of their existing 3G standard, HSPA, that technology can go as fast or faster than early 4G implementations. (AT&T is also preparing to launch its own LTE network in addition to its existing network it is presently calling 4G.)|
To put it simply, there are essentially two meanings to 4G today: the technical one and the common one, the latter referring to cellular Internet technologies that can run at speeds competitive with DSL or cable Internet. Ultimately, that is what people generally want out of a 4G network and so, to some extent, the AT&T and T-Mobile are not that far off in their labeling.||
So, it seems that there are really two meanings to 4G today: The technical one and the non-technical one. Essentially, the latter refers to cellular networks that offer web-connectivity speeds competitive with DSL or cable. In the end, that's what we want 4G to represent anyway — mobile speeds that are concurrent with our web surfing capabilities at home or in the office — which is why carriers have started using “network updgrade” synonymously with “4G”.|
Obviously, nothing I wrote was terribly novel, but the parallels between those paragraphs goes way beyond two writers simply talking about the same subject on the same day. I've contacted TechCrunch for comment. I'll update this entry when and if I hear back.
Update: I talked with Rip Empson this evening. He apologized and reworked the beginning of his article to provide attribution to Open for Business. I really appreciated the speed at which he handled this. Thanks, Rip.
Another Semester Gone
It is amazing to me that I have completed another semester of seminary. Semester six of eight. There is something profound to me about that particular number. I think it was the same way in college. Hitting the three quarters mark symbolizes having made it through not just a simple majority, but really the bulk of things.
It is not that suddenly I am getting a false sense of security about seminary. And, as much as it feels good to accomplish things, I find myself of mixed feelings that I am this close to being done. But, in any case, in another year, I will be done with that “project.” It feels like I just started.
Actually, thinking back, maybe that's not odd — some conversations around Christmas finals times in college seem like they were just yesterday (Jason Kettinger can read into this if he wishes). I looked up an e-mail conversation I had with a professor in December 2005 tonight and found myself amazed it was that long ago.
But, here we are about to enter the second decade of the new millennia. And therein lies another interesting observation. The '10's will be the fourth decade in which I have been present for at least a portion.
Time's winged chariot flaps rapidly forward.
No One Would Think to Ask
Here's a fun little meme that I was tagged on via Facebook.
Answer these 30 Things No One Would Think To Ask. Then tag me so I can come and have a look. After that, tag friends who you'd like to answer these questions.
Feel free to answer below or otherwise comment on where you answered the questions.
1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?
I don't think so. I've only been on one or two — I'm a fast learner when it comes to things like establishing I'm not a roller coaster guy.
3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
I really couldn't say.
4. Would you rather sleep with someone else or alone?
I'm happy enough to have my cat lay on my bed. Other than that, I'm unmarried, so I'll say alone.
5. Do you believe in ghosts?
No, if you mean tortured souls unable to escape the earth. But, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Yes, I believe so. I like creative pursuits such as poetry.
7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
To the extent hearing about celebrities is unavoidable, Jolie has always bugged me. But, honestly, I think I will decline to comment.
9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics?
Yes. McCain would have been a better president than Obama. Huckabee would have been a better president than either of them. I'd be a better president than all three of 'em.
10. Do you know how to play poker?
Probably at some point I did. I forget how to play card games if I don't play them frequently.
11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
12. What's your favorite commercial?
Of recent commercials, “Clay.” Otherwise, I'm not sure, 1984 is hard to top.
13. Who was your first love?
A.G. She is still a friend (I saw her last week for the first time in ages, as a matter of fact), and one who might not want to pop up on a Google search in this context, so initials are all you are going to get.
14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run a red light?
15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Yes, probably so.
16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
Yankees, just because of what the Soxs did to us in 2004.
17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
No. Had I, I may not be here today!
18. How often do you remember your dreams?
I probably remember something about them most mornings, but usually only a tidbit or two.
19. What's the one thing on your mind?
20. Do you always wear your seat belt?
21. What talent do you wish you had?
The ability to play musical instruments.
22. Do you like Sushi?
I like my meat cooked, thank you very much.
23. What do you wear to bed?
A t-shirt and pajama bottoms.
24. Do you truly hate anyone?
25. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
26. Do you know anyone in jail?
27. What food do you find disgusting?
Tuna. Blue Cheese. Anything made of brains.
28. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
Probably at some point. I try not to.
29. Have you ever been punched in the face?
Not that I recall. Then again…
30. Do you believe in angels and demons?
Yes and I'd tie that in with number 5.
Spring and Snow
So, I was thinking I ought to take down the snow from this esteemed blog, but I may leave it up just a tad longer. This week has been a delightful showcase of what is to come for the spring with warm weather (warm enough for shorts!) and buds starting to appear on trees. But, this weekend the snow is suppose to return, so the blog snow remains somewhat appropriate.
It is still winter, after all.
I'm not quite sure what I like better, the beauty of a fresh fallen snow (when I have no place to go) or spring with its flowers and trees. I think I am ready for spring, but I am really in no hurry. Every season has its glories!