Daily Archives: 11/08/2006

Reboot Your Life !

Working in the MIS field I am often called on to fix ‘computer problems.’ Many times problems can be solved by ‘rebooting’ the computer. Some times ‘rebooting’ doesn’t fix the problem; however, shutting the computer down completely, then starting it back up, solves the problem.

I often tell users that computers are like people. Sometimes they become confused or need to be repaired.

Yesterday I had a frustrated user, who I advised to reboot their computer. She turned to me and asked if she ‘could reboot’ her life or if she ‘should shut down completely and restart her entire life’ or at least ‘reboot’ certain portions of her life, that she would like to change.

I explain to users that ‘rebooting’ is something like a ‘standing 8 count’ in boxing. The confused computer takes a brief period of time to go through a renewing process. This often works. However, many times it needs to be shut down completely, as in the one minute rest period between rounds. Here, the boxer returns to his corner, sits down on his stool, and is able to collect his thoughts and plan the next part of the contest. At this time, trainers and managers whisper good council in his ear, advising him how to proceed. While he is exhausted from the previous three minutes of the fight, he has a chance to completely regroup his thoughts and renew himself.

As I walked away I thought to myself that it is a shame I’m not a preacher. “Somewhere, there’s a good sermon there.”

Later, I thought more about the incident and realized that I had recently ‘rebooted’ my life. I was like the stunned boxer in the ring. The referee had stepped in and had given me a ‘standing 8 count’ after the death of my father. Confused, weary-eyed, and battle worn, I was given a short ‘time out’ from life and the day to day world. Of course, a few days after the funeral, I needed to reenter the rat race, still reeling from the loss of my Dad. I felt like I was beaten up on by the recent events in my life, with no where to turn for help. Obviously, I knew my wife, family, and friends, were there for me; but, I knew I needed something more.

It was then I decided to return to bible study; to renew my study of the Word; and to return to a more prayerful being. I looked at the life of my Dad; a man who lived and died with grace and dignity. I realized that I exhibited little grace and even less dignity. I realize that I was a poor imitation of the man who gave me life and of the man I loved so very much.

My Dad wasn’t a church goer. He never went to church. He never read the bible. I don’t even know if he prayed. However, he lived his life in an exemplary fashion, one that most devote Christians couldn’t hold a candle to. I never heard him tell an off color joke. He never cursed in public. He was a very quiet man, who collected his thoughts before he spoke, unlike his quick tongued son who would shoot off his mouth without thinking first. He never spoke ill of anyone; unlike his son who constantly wrote negatively about those with different points of views. He exemplified true Christian beliefs in his words and actions, without being a ‘visible’ Christian in church.

I then thought about the co-worker’s comment that she would like to ‘reboot’ certain portions of her life. Wouldn’t we all?

There are certainly things that I would done differently. However, you can’t go back and change the past. You can only learn from the mistakes you’ve done or from things you should have done. You can’t live in the past. Life goes on, with or without, your loved ones.

As I think about my father’s illness, death, and funeral, I am amazed, comforted, and proud of the amount of love and respect everyone had for my Dad. The dozens of daily emails from around the world; the many get well and birthday cards he received; the generosity extended by the Grand Lodge of Maryland and Palestine Lodge; the countless visits by family, friends, and neighbors; and the outpouring of love and support for his family at the funeral was overwhelming. For a very quiet, unassuming, and humble man; he touched the hearts and lives of many people – all in a positive way. For a man who never sought to be a leader; he stood before all of us, showing us how to live righteously. For a man who never preached a sermon, his actions spoke louder than any heard from the pulpit.

My wife comforts me, by saying many of the people showed up out of respect for me, also. She claims that my writings were also meaningful to many and that people listened to what I always wrote about on my personal blog. She said that the Masonic Memorial Service I performed and the eulogy I gave, drew respect and attention and touched the heart of everyone present. Nora believes that I have a true talent with words, both in the written and spoken form. She feels people might not always agree with my views, but are always curious about what I have to say, because of the way I phrase myself.

Tom Overton, my best friend, says that I have a way of breaking anything down into the ‘least common denominator’ or ‘the bottom line’.

Others have said, due to my work within the Masonic Fraternity and the genealogy field, that I have a natural leadership ability, along with outstanding organizational skills.

Maybe I do; maybe I don’t. But, if that is the case, shouldn’t I have been doing more to help a larger number of people?

If I had an ounce of my father’s inner being; using that, along with whatever God given ability I have; I could and should have been doing more.

I can’t go back, ‘reboot’, and relive certain portions of my life again; however, I can change the way I live the rest of my life. I told my Dad that I wanted to be more like him. Now is the time to do just that.

My Thoughts & Beliefs

Prayer1.jpgMost of the previous postings on this blog were originally posted on my personal blog in December, 2005. At that time, I had returned to bible study and had purchased various study aids. Sadly, I only kept up my bible study for less than two months. I then allowed myself to be overtaken and overwhelmed with other activities.

Several of these no longer interest me. I cite most of that to the recent death of my father, Reverdy Lewin Orrell, Jr. who died on 20 October 2006.

I no longer enjoy searching through several hundred editorial cartoons, picking out several to post. Additionally, I no longer enjoy listening to the various conservative talk radio shows. In fact, now, politics leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Over the past year, I spent countless hours plotting, writing, and revising a horror novel. I no longer look forward to writing the final draft and searching for a book publisher, which would probably never be found.

The only thing that really hasn’t changed is my love of genealogy. I still enjoy researching and working on all phases of genealogy, although I’ve yet to really dive back into it over the last few weeks.

I have returned to bible study with renewed enthusiasm. Last year I bought many good study bibles and commentaries that basically just sat on the shelf. That has now changed.

When I use the term ‘bible study’ I am referring to different things. I lump many things together under ‘bible study’ including reading the bible, researching different topics, reading various books, reading the bible, comparing bible translations, listening to sermons and lectures, and even listening to songs. Perhaps this isn’t a truly ‘bible study’ blog; however, that’s what I’m calling it. It also includes quiet time in prayer and reflection. I’ve done quite a bit of that over the past month.

Prayer2.jpgPrayer is one of the most interesting topics I know of. I have several books on prayer and am just starting to read them. Some are classics, like E.M. Bounds books on prayers. I find this to be a fasinating subject, and one that I really haven’t done or explored beforehand. (NOTE: eSword has a feature which allows you to post various prayer requests along with the type of prayer request, etc. It is a nice feature.)

I’ve included two print screens of the prayer feature within the eSword software. As you can see you can list anything you want, including a short description, along with a detailed explanation. You can also print out your prayer requests and assign different codes (types of prayer) to each entry. I like the way this works in eSword.

In addition to studying prayer, I’m going to begin a study of the book of Matthew. Nora bought me several good commentaries on Matthew last year, plus several other commentary collectiions on the entire bible.

I figure Matthew is a good place to start. From there I’ll work through the New Testament, then possibly start the Old Testament, although only the first five books of the Old Testament, plus Proverbs, really seem to interest me.

Software vs. Printed Book

I do quite a bit of work on the computer, both in my job and at home.

There are some fantastic software programs out there which can aid in any field. The area of bible study is one such field. The bible (including many different translations) is available in many different software packages. Some are commercial programs such as Quick Verse; while others are free, such as eSword.

These bible programs often include various commentaries, including many of the well known commentaries.

The Preacher Outline & Sermon Bible (see graphic on right side of blog) is one of my favorite resources. I can’t go as far as to call it a ‘bible’; in my view it is more of a commentary. It does an excellent job of explaining many of the verses and providing thought provoking questions. They also have a product called The Teacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible. Both come in either the KJV or NIV.

This page gives some links to viewing and downloading small sample portions.

I was able to get a 30 day trial subscription to a software based version of this product and put it to the test over the last few days.

While I liked being able to have ‘everything’ right in front of me on the computer, I just didn’t care as much for it, as having the actual books. I must be showing my age. To me, nothing still beats the printed word.

I don’t want to go into all of the different offers for Old Testament, New Testament, and combined offers. Let me keep it simple.

New Testament CD version: $249.95
New Testament 3 vol hardbound version in slipcase: $339.99
New Testament 14 vol softbound version: $429.99
New Testament – 14 vol – Loose Leaf Set – $514.99

Regardless of what you purchase, all of the above contains the same material. The 3 version hardbound in slipcase is the best price for the printed version at $339.99; with the 14 vol softcover set costing $90 more. At $514.99, the 14 vol loose leaf version is the most expensive.

However, from my way of thinking it is the best version to get. Either of the other printed versions are bound; however, with the loose leaf version you can grab your 3 hole punch and add addtional pages of notes.

Years ago, I had one of the books (Romans, I believe), in the loose leaf format. (Don’t ask me where it is now, as I don’t want to get into that!). Last year I bought Acts in the paperback version.

The company website sells each looseleaf volume for $42.99 or the complete set for $514.99

The softbound versions sell for $35.99 each or $429.99 for the entire set.

It is interesting to note that over at the Christian Book Clearinghouse (CBC), they are selling the softbound versions for $18.99 each (only NIV version is available). However, it doesn’t look like they have all the volumes for sale. If they did you could get the 14 volume set for $265.86 which would be a great price – only slightly more than the CD software version.