It’s Raining. It’s Pouring.

The young dog is snoring.

Seriously. He sometimes gets so loud he wakes me up. I digress.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Stephanie and I became involved with the PBCC Jr. High group in late September, early October of this year. I recall the first Sunday Steph decided to go to Sunday school with the group, I told her I didn’t want to go. Then I said I would. Then I said I wouldn’t. Then I said, “OK, I’ll come with you, but I’m just there for this week. Just checking it out.” I’ve loved it ever since. I’ve never been someone who considers himself to have any gift with youth. I’ve never felt called to be a Youth Pastor (and I still don’t, for good cause). But I also never even thought I would fit in and find a place to serve with a group of Jr. High students and their leaders. And yet, I do fit in. I really like these people and these students. What an odd thing to have happened for a guy like me.

As you know, one of the ways I’ve found to help the JH group out is by being their webmaster. i @m +He W38M4S+3r! b0w b3Ph0R3 Me, MoR+@L$! Anyhow, I’ve been working on the site, and it’s coming along pretty well now, so check it out and let me know what you think. The CSS is a bit messy / redundant in places, but it’s working fairly well. I’m proud to say that IE 6 plays quite well with it. IE 5.5 even renders most things perfectly, with the only differences being that it doesn’t center the page correctly (yet?), and the grey background shows behind the blog entries instead of the proper white, in spite of a “clear” statement. But it works fine! It just looks slightly funny. Any help on that will be greatly appreciated.

I was telling Steph the other day that I’m realizing now that I’ve been a little starved for Christian friends. Some people leave the “Bethel Bubble” and stay in the Christian realm their entire lives, or most of their lives. I had a somewhat-rude awakening from that when I moved out here. I went to church for about a year without actually plugging in. I just went and sat and listened, and had brief conversations with people who recognized me or Stephanie, and then we left and that was that. My friends were my coworkers and a few others on the side who also loved Macs and worked where I work, but weren’t in my immediate group. They’re great people, don’t get me wrong… but… for my Christian readers, imagine this for me: suddenly, all your Christian friends are gone. Replace them with cool people who share your 2nd or 3rd favorite interest, but not your 1st. How do you feel? Semi-content? Yeah.

Now that I’m involved with the JH group, I’m actually making friends with some of the other leaders little by little, and it’s caused me to stop and look at my other group of friends out here and realize that there was a hole that none of them could fill. That none of them were supposed to fill. And it’s a rather large hole at that, considering all of my best friends are always ones with which I share a bedrock world-view. I don’t share that with the others. But I do share that with the JH folks, and that’s truly refreshing. And when I discuss music with them, and we touch on Caedmon’s Call, I can explain why I find the depth of theology in their lyrics to be so fascinating, and not get blank stares. That’s a real connection, in my opinion.

I should also mention that the friends I’m referring to don’t read this blog. I can only assume it’s because it’s boring or something. But if they do stumble upon this, I think they’ll understand I’m not slandering them as much as I’m saying that I’m glad I’m “diversifying” (?) my groups of friends a bit. If you love rock climbing, you can’t blame your current group of friends for not suddenly wanting to go out and get serious about climbing rocks. You just have to add new friends who already like it. Same thing.

(Incidentally, one of the people I’ve just met at church strongly recommended Radiohead’s Kid A, so I’m going to have to check that out. He seemed disappointed that I only have OK Computer.That may be a separate entry when it happens. I’ve got questions and opinions about Radiohead that necessitate a new entry. But comments are welcome now!)

17 thoughts on “It’s Raining. It’s Pouring.

  1. Wow, Mr. Random Blog strikes again!;) Not that that’s a bad thing.

    The thing I regretted most (well, a tie with leaving friends behind) about going to grad school is that I couldn’t volunteer with my church’s youth group anymore. It really sucked, because I had only volunteered January through August, and it took a month to get to know most of the people, and to be accepted/trusted enough to have any kind of in depth talk beyond the Simpsons with them. I’m not surprised you and the Hendricks are doing this stuff, because it’s wonderful.

    I also know what you mean about non-Christian friends. I’ve had a very hard time getting myself to church this past year and a half, and the uber liberal, anti-conservative/religion atmosphere I’m in doesn’t help at all either. Good thoughts on this subject as well.

  2. Mmm… Radiohead’s Kid A. Very good background/vibe music. I wrote a pretty funky short story with that album repeating in the background. Gave just the creative jolt I needed.

    And oh yeah, working with youth groups is fun. I don’t know how you survive the junior high, though. Our junior high group has way too much energy for me. I quickly lose patience. I do a lot better with the high schoolers.

    And it is difficult to find those Christian friends and cultivate those relationships. Most of my close friends moved away, though some are still here. It’s taken a while, but I finally did start meeting people at church that I’m getting closer and closer to. It’s really something you have to be intentional about.

  3. Oh, it really was raining and pouring outside when I wrote this, so that part isn’t quite as random as it might seen. Some of the hardest rain I’ve seen in quite some time, actually.

  4. I wasn’t referring to that when I said random, Mr. As for Radiohead, you should without a doubt get The Bends: excellent stuff. Creep is obviously a good song of off Pablo Honey, but I’ve had a consensus from Radiohead fans that it isn’t as good as the rest of their albums: too close to Seattle grunge, or something.

    I like the site, except that shade of green you’ve got going on. A little too close to puke green, or something. Otherwise, it looks great.

  5. Puke green? Actually, it looks closer to “Packer green” to me. Plus, it was taken directly out of the banner picture, so I was really just trying to match.

    Puke green would have more yellow in it, and it would be lighter. Like… rgb(162, 204, 62). Yeah. 🙂

  6. I agree with Josh. It’s much closer to Packer green than Puke green.

    but anyway…isn’t jr. high crazy. I got my minor in early childhood education because then I would never have to teach jr. high. Now I volunteer my time to work with the jr. high girls at church. They are loud, giggly, and completely off task 99% of the time, but the other 1% of the time is totally worth it.

  7. Very nice site Josh! Definitely more Packer green. It definitely has the “Josh Lewis” Stamp on it. My only criticism is that it needs more curves. It’s kinda boxy (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It’s just I find that often a site that catches my eye has some nice curves thrown in. That’s what I tried to do with my Sense of Place site ( I especially like the WINGED MIGRATION site (

    On another note: randomness is in the eye of the beholder. Baer, Chicka, Baer, Baer!!!

  8. You’re very right, Eddie. When you try to go light on graphics and heavy on standards compliance, the look-n-feel you get can come out seeming very boxy. I’m not skilled enough yet to combat this while still adhering to my minimalist senses of image use, etc, but I acknowledge that’s a real problem and I’m curious as to the balance I’ll need to strike to overcome it.

    Zeldman has addressed that very issue in the past, and one of the sites on which he collaborates, called A List Apart, just touched on that issue recently. But I haven’t absorbed all those teachings just yet.

    Thanks for looking at it, and thinking critically to help me grow.

  9. Nah, Packer green is darker, which would be fine. I don’t know WHAT you Wisconsin people have been seeing when you watch the Packers, but that’s not the shade I see on Lambeau or the actual uniforms. Perhaps it just has overtones of puke green for me. At any rate, I don’t like it much, but that’s just me! 😉

    Oh, as for the boxiness, “Boxy Boy” would it help at all to round corners? I have no idea if it would be easy to do programmingwise, but it might make it look a bit less angular.

    As for the jr. high stuff, I’d much rather work with high schoolers. It’s the same problem of teaching jr highers for me. I enjoy their energy, and can (usually) channel it well, but they just can’t get in depth enough for me. The high school and college age types are able to get a bit beyond, which makes it more worthwhile in the fun and serious conversations I have with people of that age.

    I know it’s the opposite for Steph and others, but that’s just me.

  10. Excellent. Thank you Jeff! I think the emulation I’m using doesn’t allow that flash to show for me, but I’ll trust that you’re seeing it.


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