Friday, June 22, 2007

Who's idea was IM anyway?

This past week at church, I had the privelege of speaking ot the church about my experience on a silent retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani this past April. In the course of the message I believe I mentioned that I am a major gadget nerd. I've been meaning to post a blog about my current favorite gadgets, and have had one in my drafts folder for a while, but inner-procrastinator has kept me from ever getting it done.

Anyhoo... I was talking with Tersie on IM today and it occurred to me that I am also an IM geek, and my IM client is just one of the many "gadgets" in my arsenal of geek weaponry!

When I was in high school, I picked up the nick name "Roogles". If you know me at all, you know that "roogles" has followed me through high school, college, into real life, the web, and just about every other aspect of my life. I do own "", the whole fam has email addresses ( eli, jenn, ellie, and silas ). And in HS I picked up the name "Roogles" for AOL's Instant messenger...

Ah, my first IM account, and the one that has followed me through out the years. Roogles on AIM is still my most used IM account, and the one that I sign into solely if I don't have a multi IM client handy.

When I got into college I started discovering that all of my new found friends had their own IM accounts on a variety of services ( many already on AIM ) but also on Yahoo, MSN, and rarely on ICQ. Being the easy-going, compliant guy that I am I simply signed up for all the services!

Those were the days too... Having four or five different IM clients, all open at the same time, each with anywhere from a few to a ton of "buddies" on my list. Eventually I discovered Trillian ( yes, I was a PC user at the time ), which allowed me to congregate all of my IM services into one handy app, with a long list of buddies all in one place.

When I started working for Horizon ( in 2000 ), ICQ was the IM of choice for inter-office communication so I became a big ICQ user then ( still have my 8 digit ICQ number ).

Since making the move to a Mac in 2002, I have tried a few different multi-IM clients including Fire, Proteus, and finally settling down with Adium.

I am still an IM service junkie... Right now my Adium is setup for AIM, ICQ, .Mac ( Apple's AIM variant ), two yahoo messenger accounts, msn messenger, Gtalk ( Google's Jabber implementation ), and our corporate ( in office ) jabber system.

A grand total of eight IM accounts on seven different services. I have about 325 total "buddies" on my list, which span across all of those services. I tend to have my IM up anytime that I'm online which is almost all day everyday at work and many evenings at home in my recliner.

If I don't already have you on one of those lists and you want to give me a virtual "what's up", let me know and I'll happily add you.

I'm not really sure if there as a point to any of this... Just thought it might be fun to dust off the old blog editor.

drop me an IM some time to say "Hi".


Friday, June 15, 2007

Hiding behind the wall.

In the spring of 1848 fourty-four trappist monks left the Abbey of Melleray in Western France and traveled on foot, by boat, and later by covered wagon to a small farm outside of Bardstown, Kentucky.

Seven times daily, eight counting mass, the brothers gather and pray the Psalms in unison.

This quote by Father Matthew Kelty (one of the monks at Gethsemani) still gives me chills.

"It's bad enough that we make cheese and fruitcake for the Kingdom of God, we do worse that that. We sing. We've been doing it since we got here. They got here late in the afternoon of December 21, 1848. Next day they began. December the 22, and it's never stopped. Day by day, week by week, year by year, until the end. In a wild, sordid, noisy, violent world we sing."

According to the Rule of St Benedict guest are to welcomed at the Abbey and are to be received "as Christ Himself".

On April 30, 2007 Steve and I made our way to Gethsemani to participate in a one week "Silent Retreat".

This coming Sunday (June 17) I will be sharing about our experience at the Abbey, and the impact that it had on me personally.

The following are some random observations, quotes, and things that I plan to bring up on Sunday...

"We don't put up walls to keep the people out, we put up the wall to keep the noise out."
-Brother Christian (GuestMaster)

What would be different if I could make regular time for just me and God?

What am I doing to keep the noise level down in my own life?

The monastic life is made up of three areas
- Prayer
- Work
- Spiritual Reading

If we are to live balanced Christian lives, out here in the real world, how can we expect to do so unless we also have this balance of prayer, "real life", and pursuit of spirituality?

The life of a monk is simply an exaggeration of these three principles, which we all need to keep balanced.

In her book The Abbey of Gethsemani - Place of Peace and Paradox, Dianne Aprile writes...

"Monks are no better at this process, no better at praying and loving, than other other man or woman. But the monastic life gives them the structure, support, and encouragement to keep it up even when they fail. And they do".

And another quote by Brother Christian...

"We don't just pray when we FEEL like it. It is a constant. We put ourselves in God's presence no matter what we feel like."

A couple of my thoughts...

What would it be like if we, as a community of believers, provided for one another such a structure of support, prayer, encouragement, and love (even when fail, and we will) that we lived in God's presence all of the time whether we feel like being there or not?

The last couple of things I'm hoping to do on Sunday are (1) dispell some of the myths about what "silent retreat" actually means... I was there with Steve after all... and (2) share some entries from my journal describing how I felt leading up to, during, and near the end of our time at Gethsemani.

I've rambled long enough this morning... If there are any specific questions, thoughts, anything that you would like to know about our time there, please leave comments below so that I add them to my notes for Sunday.

To Tersie. Yes, I'm a slacker.

First of all, despite rumors to the contrary my blog hasn't been broken. *grin*

I am simply the world's worst procrastinator.

Secondly, I would like to dedicate my next blog (and the message to follow on Sunday) to an amazing lady, who (I hope) hasn't given up on me posting about this one day.

Tersie, thank you for your patience and your prodding me to get this done.

Now... to the good stuff...