first things first


A blog about whatever crosses my mind, ordered by importance.


Automating more work

So I took a look at my blog recently to make sure everything is working, and got a big fat “Your connection is not secure” message. Uh oh! Fortunately I just need to request a new certificate from Let’s Encrypt and install it. I’ve done this before, it’s a 10 minute job. Buuuuuttt… what if I could automate it? If I spend all afternoon on this I’ll save myself 15 minutes of work every 3 months!

TraNet 2017

What a great weekend! This past weekend we went to Cyprus for a conference about reaching leaders and influencers for Christ. The group was about 28 people, including 10 professionals, 4 teachers, two businesswomen and a government worker. It was a great time of learning and inspiring our partners to reach their peers for Christ. One speaker was a bible teacher who took us through the book of Mark, highlighting the disciples’ stories and their leadership journeys.

Continuing Resolve

Lots of stuff has happened this past month! Last I posted I was in the middle of a 2-week break in Dallas. That was a great and relaxing time for me, helped me to prepare mentally and spiritually for these next 7 months in Albania. I saw friends and family and enjoyed plenty of tacos. When I got back it was right back into the swing of things with a seminar the next day.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everybody! I love Christmas time, spending time with family, listening to the Advent messages at church, and especially the Christmas hymns. My favorite is ‘O Holy Night’. It’s my favorite because it speaks of the hope that came into the world when Jesus Christ was born. Hope is an elusive thing. Lots of people lose hope when what they desire becomes impossible, or even worse, when they get exactly what they wanted.

When you eat chili 3 days in a row

We’ve been working on follow up since Momentum Europe. We’ve had some good meetings with people, and had some good conversations. Of course our goal is to help our partners to do that more and more - to have the conversations that lead to Gospel presentations, to encourage them to share with and invite more people, and to build their confidence. To that end we organized a training conference this past weekend.

Momentum Europe

September and October have been pretty slow months, as we plan and gear up for our first big event, Momentum Europe. I’ve been busying myself with a lot of administrative work, but we’ve also had opportunity to begin training our committed believers. Bursting your Bubble In my opinion, our greatest success last year was finding 8 believers who have decided to commit to being part of our ministry. One of the things we asked of them is to commit to be trained in evangelism by our staff.

Taking Control of My Data

One of my projects during my vacation has been to take back control of my data. The question of online privacy is a difficult one, because while there’s some things you can do to improve your privacy, to really own your data takes a lot of effort and learning. For most people, hosting their own services is more headache than it’s worth. There’s a lot of good privacy-conscious services out there if you’re willing to pay, but most people are not willing to pay.

Summer Recap

Well, it’s been a crazy couple months! When I last posted we were about to start Ice and Spice, CRU Albania’s summer camp for high school students. As part of my role on the LLM team, I was also helping out with an International School Project conference for teachers and principals. So I was already a little worn out when Ice and Spice started! But I got energized when my friends arrived from Texas.

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