Confessions from Birthday #49

ben-white-292680
The rumors are true. Yesterday was my forty ninth birthday. I prefer to think of it as thirty nineteen.
As usual, I was in my annual birthday funk, outwardly appreciating the people who reached out to me with birthday wishes, cards, gifts, and food, but inwardly dreading the thought of getting older.
It’s not just adding a year to my age that’s bothersome, it’s the thought that I have lived another year without fully doing and being what and who I feel I need to be.
Basically, on my birthday, no matter what birthday, I’m usually disappointed with myself and where I am in life. In those times, I usually feel that everyone feels the same way, including the Lord.
But today, finally removed from my day of self torment, I remember His character, I remember His grace, and I remember His love. In Jeremiah 31, the Lord was quoted as saying, I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself. 
His love for us, including me, is everlasting. He has loved me with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31). God so loved me that He sent His only Son. (John 3:16)
God demonstrates His love for me in this, while I was still sinning against Him, Christ died for me. (Romans 5:8)
This is real love-not that I loved God, but that He loved me and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away my sins. (1 John 4:10)
He loves me so very much. He loves you in the same way, with an everlasting love. He loved you so much that He sent His only Son. He demonstrated His love for when Christ died for you while you were yet a sinner. This real love is not because you loved Him, but that He loved you and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away your sins.
However odd it may sound, I can sense Him speaking to you and I by singing the lyrics of this song by the late Fred Rogers:
It’s you I like.
It’s not the things you wear.
It’s not the way you do your hair,
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
Way down deep inside you.
Not the things that hide you.
Not your toys, they’re just beside you.
 
And it you I like,
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings,
whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember,
Even when you’re feeling blue.
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself, it’s you.
It’s you I like.
God doesn’t just like us, He loves us more than we’ll ever know.
He loves us with an everlasting love, even on our birthday.
#photo courtesy of Unsplash

Sound Booth Sabotage

soundboard

“There must be a culprit in the sanctuary,” I thought.

The video equipment had been set up and taken down by the same faithful volunteers for close to a year and a half without any problem. Now, each week, throughout the service, the video system would suddenly lose connection for a second or two and then return to normal. It started happening once every five minutes or so, then the problem grew steadily worse.

Pastors, leaders, technicians, and volunteers were all baffled over the situation. Over the course of several weeks, different teams tried updating the presentation system, double checking the connections, updating the computer, using different computers, checking the multiple adapters, replacing a converter, checking the temperature of the equipment, and checking the stress on the cabling, all to no avail.

In the end, I wondered, “Could someone be sabotaging the system?”

Finally, the entire system was setup during the week by a small group, determined to double check every connection until the issue was discovered. However, when everything was setup, the problem could not be reproduced.

Fortunately, one of the team members received a text message, and the problem occurred. Testing a theory, he sent a text message, and the disconnect happened again. Then, the technicians realized that a phone could simply be placed near certain connection points and the glitch would occur. The team found a thicker, more insulated cable and retested the system, placing cell phones over the cables and sending text messages back and forth.

No glitch.

The culprit in the sanctuary had been found. Unseen frequencies, which had previously not been released for cell phone use, had been steadily increasing in the room as people had updated their phones, thereby causing problems in the wired video equipment.

Crazy, right?

Thank the Lord we were able to purchase higher grade, better insulated cables. We’ve since learned that this will become more of an issue for sound and video systems overtime, so we’re taking steps to make the necessary equipment replacements ahead of time. It’s either that or make everyone check their cell phone at the door and I don’t see that happening.