Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life Changes

Today I accepted a new full-time programmer/analyst position with a wood products company in Eugene, and gave my two-week notice with my current employer.

Roughly three months ago my employer reduced my hours (and pay) by 40%. Otherwise known as a partial layoff. The reason given was dollars. Government budgets are tight everywhere and the particular services I am employed to support are not bringing in the revenue to justify the cost. And I was the last one in my group to be hired... so that made me the first to go.

If you count both of my stints with the ESD... I've worked there for a total of 9 years. By far longer than I've been with any other programming job. Most of the people I work with have been there that whole time. My coworkers have been great. And no matter what else has happened... it's the people I work with that made the ESD a great place to be. I'm definitely going to miss that.

So a new chapter is beginning. I'm moving from a government job back into the private sector. And this is not only a private sector job I'm taking, but it's in a family-owned business. About as far from a government job as I'm likely to get.

I mentioned to my new boss today that I might experience a little "culture shock". But I made sure he knew that I fully intend on stepping up to the plate and doing a good job for them. One of the notable things about my new boss so far... it's obvious that he really *wants* me there. They are totally glad to get me. That's a nice feeling.

Regarding the culture shock... at the ESD we are limited to 40-hour work weeks. At my new job, they are scheduling me for 48-hour weeks right off the bat. I will be one of two programmers... and the other guy typically puts in 50 hours a week. But the job is salary... so 48-hour weeks pay the same as 40-hour ones do.

They don't award sick leave at my new job. They just figure if you're sick, you're sick. I guess with overtime being the norm, they assume you'll make that up and it will still work out in their favor.

They are initially going to have me working four 10-hour days in the office, and one 8-hour day from home each week. In addition to the mandatory overtime, I will have a one-hour commute each way. That's going to make for some long days. Each workday that I'm in the office will be about 12 hours long if you include the commute. I haven't figured out how lunch will factor in. At least I will only have to do that four days a week.

I feel like I'm making a big leap. Not really sure what I'm getting myself into. Not sure how it will all work out. A lot of unknowns. But I have high hopes and a sense of adventure. I am feeling pretty good about a challenge. I think I will probably find out a few things about myself in the process.

My wife has also taken a new job. She has one day left to work on her current job before she starts on with the office of the state fire marshal (part of the state police). I will see if I can get her to blog a little about that.

~Elden

Monday, October 8, 2012

Great C.S. Lewis quote

I posted a portion of this quote on Facebook today. Then I found myself wanting to read the context in which it was written. Well here it is!

“But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away "blindly" so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up your self, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mass exodus...

Preach it brother! This man is calling for all Christians and Bible-believing Jews to end their affiliation with the democratic party. He tells it like it is.

Our wayward selves

I've been reading one of those daily "one-year" Bibles for a number of years. They walk you through the Bible in one year. They give you a little Old Testament, a little New Testament, a little Psalms and a little Proverbs each day.

This really gives one a clear contrast between the Old and New Testaments. The New Testament is full of the love of Christ. All about Him wanting to give us new life.

But the Old Testament seems to paint a very different picture of God. The God of the Old Testament seems to really be a jealous God who is not always that merciful toward His people when they go astray.

So as I read, I've been trying to see some sort of balance between the two seemingly different pictures of God.

Yesterday I ran across this in Jeremiah.
"My wayward children," says the LORD, "come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts." Jeremiah 3:22
This verse comes after a fairly lengthy description of how unfaithful Israel had been to God. In spite of that, God wanted them back.

The neat thing about this is, God appears to be saying that if they return to Him, He will essentially help them to be less wayward.

Even though I may not want to do what is right all the time, I would like to want to. I think that as we turn to God, He helps us want to.

~Elden