Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Five: Deep Breath

View of the NOLA skyline while walking at City Park
Holy Week is catching up to me and breathing down my neck.  For this pastor, there are bulletins to get ready, sermons to prep, and details upon details that are still hanging.  Even this week, this congregation is moving ahead with launching a new ministry:  Welcome, Men's Breakfast Fellowship!  This is a challenging week for me to fill the gap between the last church office maven and the next one.  The opportunities to receive God's mercy never cease!

Today, we are prompted to respond to a RevGalBlogPals Friday Five that invites us to breathe:

This week's Friday Five is simply a moment to BREATHE. Stop and tell us five ways that you "catch your breath" and then move on in the work God calls you to do.

Thank you, Deb, for this one.

Here are five ways that I take a deep breath when I need to.  And I need to.
  • Take a walk
  • Phone a loved one
  • Drink herb tea
  • Let the tears come
  • Stop and actually take some deep breaths
My own personal BONUS du jour:  I came into the office very early today.  Unprompted by anything except that I was here early and he knows how much I love coffee, the church custodian, who is a gem of a person, offered to make me a few cups.  That brand of kindness is what makes the tears flow. Thank you, Michael!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Five: Techno-Happy


Today's RevGalBlogPals Friday Five writing prompt is all about technology. RevGalBlogPal Jan is in Washington state visiting relatives in a senior living facility where she will be without her usual electronic devices.

Jan's questions invite us to explore our use of, and desire for, technological devices:

1.  What types of technologies, like cell phones, computers, TVs, etc., do you routinely use? How frequently?
  • Cell phone -- not-the-newest iPhone (with me and in use every day)
  • Computer -- MacBook (almost every day, both at the office and at home)
  • eReader -- KindleTouch (use for reading books, a few games, and preaching sermons)
  • TV -- I don't have one, but watch at times one or two days a week
I am on the computer most often, doing things related to church and ministry -- emails, worship prep, sermon prep, newsletter prep, more emails.

2.  Social media: 
  • Facebook (daily) 
  • Pinterest (daily)
  • Twitter (occasionally) 
  • Linked-In (I'm on there but rarely in there)
  • Social media games (now, only Words With Friends)
  3.  Do you separate online activities between home and work? Or is it all the same everywhere?

There is a lot of online activity involved in getting things done for church, so that's is what I am most often using technology for at work. There are occasional breaks for Facebook and Pinterest.  Facebook does (really!) help me keep up with people in church who are posting there.  We also use our church Facebook page to communicate church things.  I use the internet to keep up with the latest that is going on in New Orleans and in the world.  Most of that happens at work.

At home, there is more "Words With Friends" but there is also a lot of sermon prep and other church-related writing, as well as some other writing that I want to do.  Yeah, work and home are often a lot alike, except for the ready availability of coffee and quilts.

My favorite thing to do at home is to use Skype to keep in touch with my geographically-scattered loved ones.

4. Do you have a smart phone or iPhone?

Yes, I have an iPhone that I have come to depend on.  Let me count the ways: check the email, check the weather, use Mapquest to get where I'm going, find a restaurant or coffee shop, and to google things that I don't know.

5. What do you wish you had -- or do not have -- in relation to these devices?

What I don't have is an iPad or iPad mini (or is it mini iPad?).  I don't know if I want one or how badly I need one or what I would realize I was missing now if I got one.  There is probably something like that in my techno-future.

Bonus: What is the difference between your attitude towards these means of technology and a generation older or younger than you?

In my experience, attitudes toward technology have not been strictly generationally defined.  Younger people are definitely more comfortable with technology and have been invaluable in helping me to stay current and comfortable in the techno-world.  I know 80+ year olds who use email to stay in touch with their friends, and they play Words With Friends (with me!) on their Kindle Fires or iPads.  I also know younger people who are still skeptical about the use of technology and online access in church life.