Jockeying for Position

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Jared C. Wilson wrote a piece yesterday titled “The Way to Greatness“. This got me thinking:

Like the disciples, we seem to be always jockeying for position. We are driven to succeed, to prosper, to win. So when someone else gets the promotion at work, someone else gets the recognition at church, someone else gets the trophy at play, we battle resentment. It happens in a million ways, big and small. For some of us, it only takes losing a parking space or the big piece of chicken at dinner to feel slighted.

During a worship service at church recently, a fellow member was given recognition for something artistic he had worked on. In that moment, I felt my heart begin to quicken; I felt jealousy and resentment kick into high gear.

Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

For the past 10 years, I have served my church in the area of web and graphic design. I took on the volunteer position because I saw a need: our church web site was terrible! I knew I could do better. I also knew that I could help the church step up their communication game. So I talked to the pastor, and he was all in.

I served quietly in the background, providing not only web design but graphic design in the way of slides for the worship service. I enjoy finding the perfect blend of font, color, and image to compliment an event.

An example of my work.

A recent example of my work.

A short time ago, I decided it was time to step down. An issue arose that I decided wasn’t worth battling. It was soon after stepping down that I watched my fellow church member be recognized in front of the church for his work.

Like I said, I was jealous! BUT I had to stop myself in that moment. Tell myself to be still. To KNOCK IT OFF. I had to remind myself that I had never served for recognition but only to help church staff communicate at their best. To practice “excellence”, as my church puts it.

We are constantly “jockeying for position”, as Jared C. Wilson writes. That moment, in the church service, was a reminder to myself about the importance of taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). The devil prowls hearts and minds, even in a worship space.

As a kid, there was a song that I listened to that went something like this:

If you want to be great, in God’s kingdom, you have to be a servant of all.

I am thankful to follow a God who continues to lead me onward, upward, and away from my stinky self.

October Projects

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The digital stove is about to boil over with two projects I’ve got going.

.: Graphic Design :. 
First up, designing a billboard! Totally new territory for me. After asking some of my graphic designer friends, working in Adobe Illustrator is going to be the way to go. I have never dabbled in Illustrator before, but I have Photoshop skills, so this will definitely be a learning experience. I’m excited.

If you come across any other useful links, let me know. Also, if you know of a great Illustrator tutorial, shoot me a link in the comments below.

.: Web Design :.
Awhile back, a local print/reproduction company asked me to build a web site for them. This month, I’m finishing the project. Excited to see the results!

What are you working on?

What I’m Learning: About Stress

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In this season of life, I work as an administrative assistant at a local architectural firm. Essentially I spend my time balancing the front office (clients, ordering, etc.) all the while providing assistance to 2 bosses and 7 employees of varying titles. I often find myself being dragged and pulled in opposite directions based upon some sort of cryptic hierarchy of needs. While my position can be stressful, I do enjoy the field I work in.

When I am not at work, I am a:

  • Husband
  • Father
  • Son/Brother
  • Friend
  • Blogger/Writer
  • Bible Study Host/Teacher
  • Video Game Connoisseur

I also spend various evenings and early morning hours devoted to learning the craft of web design. We all need a dream, right?

Something that I have been learning, lately, is not to let other’s stress become my own.

Putting stress within its proper context, is an art that everyone should practice daily. Below are a few examples of deflecting stress:

.: Example A :.

You have designed a web site for a company and have given them the keys. You no longer have anything to do with the site. Soon after, one of their employees comes to you wanting to change a portion of the site. Happy to help, you listen as the employee describes something the site was never built to do. Graciously you smile, tell the employee to check with the companies designated web master, and you move on.

.: Example B :. 

It is 4:30PM on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. Office supplies have dwindled down to the last paperclip. A fellow employee vents to you that they are about to use said paperclip and that you need to go out and get more, stat! In the most professional manner, you assure your co-worker that supplies will be ordered tomorrow. The paperclip crisis, small as it is, has been averted.

Stress isn’t worth it.

Shift+Enter and WordPress

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Lately I have been working on redoing some staff bio pages for the church project I am working on. One of the problems I have come across is the way WordPress drops to a new line when you press the enter key.

*Photo by Peter Løvstrøm, Creative Commons

For example, I wanted to put my pastor’s name and then his title below his name:

John Smith

Pastor

Notice that when I press enter it creates a space. This formatting issue has greatly troubled me. Made me think that I was going to have to go into the HTML coding and individually code lines or something. Instead, my good friend that is web design, Scotto, told me to press shift + enter to do single line spacing. Guess what, it works!

John Smith
Pastor

Thanks Scotto!

Web Design – Tiny Details Matter

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I was at the gas station the other day and I noticed something peculiar about the base of the gas pump. Do you see it in the picture below?

The base of the pump is raised. I’m not sure what the significance of this is but I am sure that there is a reason for this elevated decision– sorry, couldn’t help it–. Details such as this, as I am learning with web design, are the small seemingly insignificant design decisions that make all the difference. Our eyes notice everything, even the smallest pixel that is out of place.