Don’t call me if it’s broke, go to the Manufacturer!

Not long ago I read an article entitled, ‘When Life Cracks You Up’ by the inspiring author Rachel L. Proctor.

The link is having some issues at the moment or I would post that here. The message I receive is, “Something is amiss…one of the servers is crying out for help…investigating and resolving…blah, blah…”

The gist of the article was that her phone screen had cracked, and as she began to worry about the ramifications of screen leakage, cutting her ear on the glass, cost of repairs, etc. She realized that the protective adhesive cover was doing its job by holding things together and covering the damage, just as God protects us.

The following week after Rachel’s article was published, my Honey and I were blessed with a pastors retreat at Hume Lake Christian Conference Center. Hume is a purposeful place to relax and refresh. The staff is amazing, the food is very good to outstanding (better at some conferences than others), the weather is always accommodating, and cell phones do not work there! And a deafening silence fell over the crowd! 

Not being one who wears a wrist watch very often, my phone is my timekeeper. My protective case was getting worn and tattered and would sometimes catch on my pocket. Most times I was able to hang onto the phone. If it did fall, it was on a soft surface or the case took the brunt. Not so at Hume! My phone did a belly flop directly on the cobble stone walkway. Just like the proverbial ‘butter side down piece of bread’!

My reaction…”Oh man, cracked!”

The words of Rachel’s article were fresh in my head, but I had no protective film on my phone, and this was the third phone I have had since December of last year. (Other technical problems on those phones.) The crack wasn’t all that bad, I’ve seen worse, so I’ll just live with it!

When we got home from Hume my Honey did some account searching and alas, none of our phones were up for renewal. OK, I’ll just live with it, no worries. She even looked up repair centers and buy back programs…not worth the hassle.

Then I took a moment and did a search for DIY repair kits! For just under $60 I was able to get a new and more protective case. And from I received my replacement screen, handy dandy tool kit, and step by step Repair Flowchart!

The kit arrived yesterday and the first step on the Flowchart was to STOP and download the instruction video!!!

My Honey, ever one who encourages, told me when I ordered the kit, “If you can rebuild front gears on a 4X, repack wheel bearings, and figure out so many other things, you can rebuild your phone!” She sometimes forgets I have meat hooks for hands!

The paperwork said to take your time, it should take about 45 minutes, the screws are small keep them organized (small is an understatement!), note the placement of parts as you are disassembling your phone! I got this! Video on laptop, jawbreakers for energy, hands clean, tools laid out, Flowchart set…

Let’s do this!!! It wasn’t that bad, even for a guy with meat hooks that fit better on a wrench than minuscule screws!

I now have an intimate understanding of my phone that did not exist earlier today. I know it literally inside and out. Much like the relationship my Heavenly Father has with me…

To quote my Honey’s favorite passage:

Psalm 139:13-18 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” (emphasis mine)

I thought of this passage as I worked on my phone. I thought of how God knows me so intimately. I thought of how He knows that I am ‘cracked’ and still chooses to use me. I thought of how He will restore me better than new someday. I thought of how, even through my toughest times and now, through my journey with depression, He still has precious thoughts for me!

Don’t worry if you are cracked or struggling…God’s not surprised by it!

Stigma shmigma!

Stigma shmigma!


Held hostage!

Part of this article is a repost, but the daily prompt intrigued me to share how my focus is changing…

I started this blog after being inspired by my wife stepping out and writing, also by a friend of mine, Karl Vaters. I had been thinking about it for a while. My plan was to share musings and thoughts of a small church pastor as well as some random crap thrown in. I did a series on my journey through depression and still cover that from time to time. My direction is changing along with my passion. I will be keeping up on it as technology in our rural area allows…

Technology has been keeping me held hostage the past few days!

I’ve mentioned before that I live in a rural area of California, where we only have two stop lights and not a bunch of street lights (yes, we still have those places here). Well for those of you who live in higher populated areas and have large numbers of cell towers and true high speed internet, you rarely have down time, if ever. Not so where I live!

We have three towers from one carrier, and two from another with a third on the way. I subscribe to the carrier with three towers which is also my internet connection. Since Monday two of the towers have been out and the third has been operating on yellow, whatever that means. All I know is that our calls have sounded like we are in a barrel of water and data has not worked.

I have three email accounts and had to catch up on nearly two hundred emails already today! But that’s not my point for today.

Monday I started to “re-tool” my blog, you may have noticed a new tag line up top. Don’t worry, there will still be the occasional “random crap” that I will be posting, that’s just who I am. When I was ready to publish though, that’s when everything went down, so I’ve been waiting, and waiting

The focus of my articles will be primarily shifting to Suicide Alertness, Intervention, Prevention, and Postvention.

Why the sift? Thanks for asking!

There is a need, and reducing the stigma and taboo of Suicide is a passion for me. There is also very little written from the perspective of a pastor, or “the church” in general. In fact, my honey just got back from a Christian writing convention where she was told by two publisher’s they would not publish a book on the subject of Suicide, no matter how relevant it may be. To that I have to say, “Phooey! It’s happening everywhere, even the church!” (OK, that’s not exactly what I was thinking, but God is at work in my life!)

With my own experience through depression, and having suicidal thoughts throughout my lifetime, even as a pastor, the subject is very relevant for the church to address!

My hope is not to only write about Suicide, but also share links and articles from others on the subject. Maybe even have some guest bloggers weigh in at times.

Either way, I’m looking forward to this new focus. It is coming at just the right time too. Our coffee house will be changing hands in just a few days now (21 or so) and my energies will on the ministry and Suicide Intervention.

Stay tuned! That’s this shepherd’s stance for today!

Derailed by technology…(also praying for Boston)

Good morning all!

I’ll get back on track with my process/journey series tomorrow. Today though, just a quick note on technology!

My phone’s ear receiver began fading out last week. I was able to use my speaker or ear bud, but for regular usage – nothing! So I ran a back up, checked for updates, all the usual stuff I could do on my own – nothing! I called tech support through my carrier, they transferred me to the phones manufacturer…

Bottom line was that I couldn’t be without my phone for 5-6 days, not that I can’t be “unattached” from my phone, it’s used for ministry and I don’t have a reliable back up any more. I also wasn’t going to have them hold $500 out of my account just to send me a replacement, even if it was only for a week.

Now you may be thinking ‘Why a week? Just go to the store!’

I live in a rural area of California where we don’t have a local store. Our closest big city just got a company store late last year. My schedule doesn’t really allow for a quick 120 mile round trip just to exchange a phone, so I made due till yesterday when my honey usually goes after shop supplies. I figured we could go together, have a nice lunch, spend time doing shop stuff, but away from the shop…(that’s another blog for another day!).

So when I did my back up last week I figured all items were saved, as they have been before when I’ve done that. I get the new phone yesterday, plug it into my computer to update…that’s when the derailing occurred!

My apps were there…but nothing else…no music…no contacts…no pictures…

And of course my first thought and reaction was “Oh, no biggie, I’ll just do this and that, it’ll be fine!


AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!! %#@^&*!+*&^%$# was more like it!

So I’m spending my day rebuilding my contact list, reloading pics and music…ya know, the usual clean up after a derailment, only I don’t have to wear a hazmat suit!

There was a time that this could have really sent me over the top (part of the reason for blogging my series on depression)…but in perspective to life in general and what happened yesterday in Boston…

My heart breaks and my prayers are with those whose lives were truly derailed yesterday in Boston!