Waiting

Waiting – It’s the hardest part about being out of work. In fact, and I think I’ve said this before, looking for work is harder than working. Yesterday I completed six applications and a couple of emails to potential employers. I have contacts and recommendations from friends that I’ve followed up on, and still I’m sitting here waiting.

While I’m looking internet is unavailable at the house, so here I am almost every day sitting at the library waiting for a reply. Any reply.

Let me be very clear, I’m not complaining. I have found out just how caring friends and family can be when you are struggling. There are also a few other benefits. Without home internet I’ve done more reading of actual paper and ink books than I have in years. I’ve read all of Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series of books except for the last one – Glorious Appearing – which hasn’t been on the shelf the last few times I’ve checked. I also read World Without End by Ken Follett, a follow up to one of may favorite books, Pillars of the Earth. Next I’m waiting for Follett’s Fall of Giants to get back on the shelf.

The other unexpected bonus is TV. Without cable we have hooked up the over the air digital antennas we had. The local stations also broadcast sub-channels, and some of the content there is return to my early years. I’ve been watching Bonanza, Adam-12, and Emergency! It is funny to watch the last two of those and see them go about their jobs without using cell phones.

To be honest, I didn’t have much to say here, but I’m still waiting for an email or phone call, and Emergency! doesn’t come on for a few hours.

Day by Day

My Spiritual Notebook

A Pastor I met over thirty-five years ago, Reverend Bert Williams, had a five minute radio program, also produced in written form, called, “My Spiritual Notebook.” Those brief messages would have been perfect for a blog, if blogs had existed at the time. I’m not a pastor, nor do I believe I’ve been called to act in that capacity, yet I do want to share my Christian journey with all of you here.

Today I want to go back fifty years to when I was nine years-old. My family attended Trinity Protestant Church in Glassboro, NJ. One of the activities for the youth was called simply, “Friday Night Meeting.” It was a time for games, crafts, and Bible study. It was through that ministry that I came to Christ. I remember three ladies in particular – Mrs. Nash, Mrs. Nickerson, and Mrs. Uhl, teaching us and telling us about salvation. It was at one of those meetings when I was about nine years-old that I accepted Christ into my life. My memory being what it is (or maybe isn’t), I may be off slightly on the year, but I clearly remember sitting in a folding wooden chair while one of those three ladies (I’m not exactly sure which one now) explaining the road to salvation and praying with me.

One of the amazing and wonderful things about God’s plan for us is that it is simple enough for even someone young to understand. Young or old, the message and the truth is simple to see. While future posts will explore the ups and downs of my journey, my purpose today is to simply lay out here what was presented to me half a century ago.

The Roman Road

Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.

Romans 3:10-12, and 23
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” … For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT)
The price (or consequence) of sin is death.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)
We receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9-10, and 13
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (NLT)
Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us into a relationship of peace with God.

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (NLT)

Romans 8:1
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Romans 8:38-39
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)

Responding to Romans Road

If you believe Romans Road leads to the path of truth, you can respond by receiving God’s free gift of salvation today. Here’s how to take a personal journey down Romans Road:
Admit you are a sinner.
Understand that as a sinner, you deserve death.
Believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to save you from sin and death.
Repent by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ.
Receive, through faith in Jesus Christ, his free gift of salvation.

One of the byproducts of the situation I discussed yesterday, especially without cable and internet, is that I have plenty of time to read. I have been reading the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye, and I have (for the first time in a long time) made a daily habit of reading the Bible. I will be writing more about all of that in future posts.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Renewal and Redirection

Everyone and everything goes through cycles and periodic change. It’s what life is all about, Poomba. One bad habit of mine (if it is bad) is to announce these changes in my writings here every time they occur. Well, I’m doing it again.

Although I have faced some difficult challenges over the past few years an honest assessment is that choices I have made, good, bad, and indifferent, have impacted my life in ways I didn’t, and don’t want it to go. Change, as I’m discussing here, has to occur. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “if nothing changes, nothing changes,” and I believe that is true. A similar saying is, “if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got,” and who wants that?

Like most bloggers, I started bRight & Early to discuss things that interested me and because I thought (accurately or inaccurately, it doesn’t matter which) that I had something to say about those things. That is still true. Even so, there came a point recently when I thought I would just give it all up and close the blog. For some reason I just can’t do that. Even if no one reads what I put here, or when there are weeks (months?) between posts, I enjoy knowing that I still have this outlet available to me. If I’m not going to close shop – and I’m not – I need to make a few changes.

The biggest changes need to be in my life, but they will be reflected in my posts. Let me start by describing where I am so you (and I) can see where I’m going.

Here is a synopsis of my work situation. A little over a year ago I was laid off from a job I enjoyed. My every intention was to work there until I retired. Unfortunately I didn’t get that option. After several months of looking I took a job with Merlin Entertainments. I liked working there, but there was a serious downside. My position was considered “seasonal” and I had seen others have their hours drastically reduced over time. I knew that my fate would have been the same. In anticipation of that fact, and with a hope for more income, I took a job with Hilton Grand Vacations. It was a mistake. I don’t have anything bad to say about the company, in fact the potential was as I saw it. What I failed to calculate correctly was time it was going to take to achieve the income I was looking for (months rather than weeks), and the cost involved in such a long daily commute.

That cost was significant. One day I realized that I didn’t have enough gas money to get to work, and pay day was still several days off. I had no choice but to quit. Either that, or walk 44 miles each way. So, now I am looking again. I have several very good prospects, two in particular, but currently no income.

Naturally having no income impacts your life in a lot of ways. It changes what you can do and have. There’s been a lot of belt tightening. Eating out is a thing of the past, yet God has never let us miss a meal. We have have given up cable (not the greatest loss), and the internet (that hurts a bit more). We also returned a computer we were purchasing on a rent-to-own plan, a stupid and expensive way to purchase such an item. We are left with two computers, a very good one that has several issues making me wonder how long it’s going to last, and the other we purchased for $25 with a Celeron processor, 1024 M RAM, and Windows XP. That’s the one on which I am writing now. Oh, the “B” key is also missing on the keyboard.

For a while I couldn’t even get online at the library due to a years-old, forgotten lost book. Just a few weeks ago I went to pay off that obligation and happened to do so on a day they were offering amnesty for old fines. Now I can get online for an hour or two a day when I can make it to the library, making job hunting and other online activities, including posting here, a lot easier.

What I am doing for bRight & Early, starting with this post, is writing at home, putting it on a thumb drive, and then copying it to the blog at the library. That sure isn’t going to speed up the posting schedule, but at least it will allow me to post something. My plan is to even write a few posts at a time and then schedule them over time. We’ll see. As I said, I started this site to write about things that interest me. Those things change over time. My focus for now will be on the following areas:

I. My Christian Faith

Of all the things I’ve written about, this is the one I have neglected the most. That’s probably due to the fact that I’ve neglected it way too much in my own life as well. I accepted Christ nearly fifty years ago. It has been a constant part of everything I am and do, even when I have neglected it. What I will be writing about will by my continuing journey and the renewal I am praying and striving for.

II. Growing Older

I am only thirteen months away from turning sixty. You youngsters won’t believe it, but growing older changes things. There are many topics related to this that I can touch on – health, finances, retirement, and many others. One that I hope to write about will be getting in shape when you’re older. Let’s see if I can overcome “lazy”.

III. Conservative Politics

While this has been the primary focus here from the start it will move further down the list of importance. I will still write about political subjects, but the frequency and focus may be less. Of course one of the things that is true about politics is that it interacts with nearly every other aspect of our lives.

IV. Whatever else strikes my fancy

As always, there are things that interest me that don’t fit into any other category. Doesn’t mean I can’t write about them. Odd news, sports, and a host a different subjects could find their way in here.

That’s it. My hope, as it always has been, is that you find something interesting to read and comment on here. Unlike the past, I make no promises regarding the frequency of future posts. Just check in from time to time, and let me know if you see anything interesting.

Now 30% Lighter

No, not me. I’m still a fat old man. The blogroll. One project that I’ve put off, partially because I didn’t want to look and partially because I’m really good at putting things off, was checking and trimming the blogroll links. The results were even more depressing than I would have guessed.

I haven’t completed going through the list, but among those that I have checked so far 30% are either gone altogether or they haven’t updated in over a year. That’s a huge number and I don’t have that long a list.

I’ll have more on this later, but for now it’s off to work. Hope you have a great week.

Ah, New Jersey

I would have to say that loyalty is probably one of my strongest characteristics. For example, I worked for Sunbeam Bread for four months back in the late 70’s; Four months that didn’t end greatly, but still I will choose Sunbeam bread when I have a choice. And then there is my home state of New Jersey – I haven’t lived there since 1977, and still I call it home.

But let’s face it, the good old Garden State can be a little odd. Case in point:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway’s green and yellow signs.

The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over the logo it uses for its two pizza shops and on merchandise sold online. It said in the suit that the company is trying to trade upon the fame of the Garden State Parkway logo to attract customers and potential franchisees.

Let’s break that down a little bit. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority sued a Florida pizza shop over their logo.

Jersey Boardwalk Pizza

Here is the state’s complaint:

New Jersey says that “there is no question” that the logos “were directly copied and appropriated from Plaintiff’s famous Garden State Parkway Logo.” It asked a judge to require the company to stop using the logos and to destroy any merchandise that includes it.

It calls the Garden State Parkway one of the most iconic and well known highways in the country. Its logo includes a green map of the state with a line showing the highway on a yellow background with the words “Garden State Parkway” written in yellow on a green background.

Personally, I love the company’s response.

JoyAnn Kenny, a lawyer with the Red Bank-based firm of Marks & Klein LLP, which represents the company, defended its use of the logo in a letter to turnpike authority lawyers included in the suit. She wrote that there’s no way anyone would confuse a highway and a pizza place 1,300 miles away.

“Given the very distinct difference in the goods and services offered by our respective clients (yours being a governmental agency providing highway maintenance and travel related services exclusively in the state of New Jersey — ours being a franchisor of pizza restaurants providing the opportunity to provide delicious pizza and Italian food to patrons of its licensed restaurants), there is no plausible likelihood of confusion,” she wrote.

I wonder if Governor Christie as visited the Sunshine State recently. That could account for the confusion.

Good Morning – It’s bRight & Early

HGV LogoNot a whole lot to say here, just a short update to my life. I start training for my new job at Hilton Grand Vacations this morning, so I am up bRight & Early and getting ready. But not before coffee and a few minutes of computer time. The good news is that I won’t always have to be up this early, but I’m sort of like a kid on the first day of school – up much earlier than I need to be and anxious to go.

I’m also a little OCD – I’ve checked the weather (76 and clear at the moment, with a predicted high of 92 and a 20% chance of rain) and traffic (Google Maps projects 54 minute drive time). My phone is charged and so is my e-cig. I have a tank filled with Howling Wolf. Now I just have to shave, shower, and head out the door.

Have a great day everyone.

Change

Mike SchmidtI teased the other day that there was news coming. Now I can let you in on that news, but first a little background. When it comes to work I have always thought that it’s better to be Mike Schmidt than Mike Morgan. Schmidt played eighteen years in the majors, all of them for my Phillies. Mike MorganMorgan, on the other hand, played twenty two seasons pitching for twelve different teams.

My view of life growing up was that you got a job and worked for that company until you retire. Now that’s not to say that was something I was taught, observed, or practiced. My dad had four or more jobs that I remember, and he died young. It’s also not the way things have gone in my career. Since leaving college I have held eight different jobs in fields ranging from radio announcer to lab technician to fast food restaurant manager. I have spent that past dozen years in the call center industry, a field I started in for the simple reason that they were hiring when I was looking for a job.

It has often taken a lot of outside force to bring about these career changes. My first post-college job was working as a radio announcer working the overnight shift. Management suggested that I find another line of work because, and this is something I will never forget, I “never get to work until it’s time for you to start, and you leave as soon as your shift is over.” I wasn’t aware that was a bad thing. I must have been young and naive.

I did work for a chemical plant for eighteen and a half years. I enjoyed sixteen of them. That alone should tell you something about my attitude toward sticking with a job. Two plus years of working at a job that you really don’t like is about two years two long. On the other hand not every job change has been at my choosing. I would have been perfectly happy retiring from the job I held at Sykes. I liked workforce management, and I liked the company, but the economic decision was made to ship my position offshore, and I don’t think I would have been able to do the commute. So last fall I found myself, well into my fifties, looking for work. In all of my different job changes this was the first time that I was out of work without something else already lined up.

Legoland FloridaBut I did find job that I have enjoyed. Working for Merlin Entertainments at Legoland Florida has been a real pleasure. They are a great company and the job has been great. The only down side is the money that I find myself making. To be quite frank, I am bringing in now what I was making back in the early 90’s. My ingrained reluctance to change translated to a corresponding reluctance to look. In spite of that something new found me.

I have given Merlin my two week notice and I will be starting a new job with Hilton Grand Vacations at the end of this month. I am excited about this new opportunity and look forward to getting started. My new job has the potential of being more financially rewarding – possibly much more. There’s an upside for the blog as well. It is a late evening position, which is something I’ve always enjoyed. That means that I will have all day to be home and, if I can get back in to the habit, writing more here on bRight & Early.

So, wish me luck and stay tuned. Who knows, I may have more here in the coming weeks.

And that is…the rest of the story.

Support Day by Day 2014

I recently wrote about the changing landscape of the blogosphere, but I failed to mention one of the constants over the years – Day by Day. Chris Muir has been sharing Day by Day since November of 2002.

DayByDay1

Reading about the adventures of Zed, Sam, Jan, Damon and the rest is one of the first things I do every day. There is often more political understanding and social insight in those three panels then in anything you or I will see the rest of the day. Plus it’s fun. On top of that, Chris is one of the good guys. He is extremely generous with his resources and talents, and let’s face it – Day by Day may be one of the last reasons for anyone to stop by here. ;)

Once a year Chris reaches out to his readers asking for support. Well, it’s that time of year. I strongly encourage you to visit Day by Day and make whatever contribution you are able to make. He has a number of levels of rewards you can receive, but the biggest will be the reward of another year of Day by Day.

The Experiment

Earlier today I posted this on Facebook:

Computer situation update: Still out of commission.
Help Jim Get A New Computer update: $0 raised so far!
The good news is, you can still help.

I have 392 friends here on FB, so $1 or $2 from each of you will do the trick.

Of course, some of you may have to kick in $5 to cover those who only have a Facebook account because their children said it would be a great way to keep in touch and last posted on Christmas day 2010.

Come to think of it, you better make it $10 because I know some of those people on my friends list are thinking, “who is this Jim Lynch, and why is he going on and on about a broken computer?”

You know what? I’m thinking that $15 should cover the fact that one or two of those accounts are accidental duplicates created by my less computer savvy friends.

What’s that you say? Some people only check FB occasionally and it would be great to be up and running before Monday’s 24 premier? Good point, make it $25

What am I thinking? Most of my friends are as financially challenged as I am. I guess it’s going to be up to the half dozen of you with money to kick $100 each. Of course if those people are in the “who is Jim Lynch” or “I have a Facebook account?” groups, I’m out of luck.

Yeah, this is going to get me that computer in no time!

MadScientistIt was, at least partially, in jest. But it got me thinking, which is always dangerous. The result is this post and an experiment. In a few minutes I am going to link to this post and write the following:

Those of you who read my last post know about my current computer challenge. It got me thinking, “what if?” So I came up with a little experiment. I’m linking to a post with a donation button and I’m asking those who read this to do one of the following:

  • Click on the link, go to that post and make a donation of $1 or more. ONLY if you do that like this post.
  • If you choose not to make a donation, but want to participate in “The Experiment,” share this post with your Facebook friends (click on the share link).
  • If you do neither or both leave a comment with just the word “neither” or “both”.

I will keep you updated. Who knows, this could actually work.





UPDATES:
5/2 10:00am 30 views on the website page, no likes or shares on Facebook.
5/2 11:00am 33 views on the website page, 0 likes and 0 shares on Facebook.
5/3 08:00am 55 views on the website page, 0 likes and 0 shares on Facebook.
5/3 10:00am 56 views on the website page, 0 likes and 1 share on Facebook.
5/3 12:00pm 86 views on the website page, 0 likes and 1 share on Facebook. 0 Retweets.