Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do we live in a post-Christian culture?

The first in a series of questions for Jon to answer.;-)

2 comments:

metallicpea said...

We're not there yet but, barring intervention by the Lord, we're well on our way.

Roy Miller said...

If this is a question for Jon to answer, maybe he'll read the comments and travel back in time. A loooooong way back.

It's hard to believe that the last time I saw you was sometime in 1995, I think. Where in the world did 14 years go?

There's too much to put in a blog comment, so I'll try my hand at the relatively quick version.

I moved to North Carolina in 1996. Followed the family down, actually. Dad lost his job as VPMA at Loudoun Hospital in 1993, and he got another job in Concord, NC in late 1995. They moved down just after Christmas that year, right about the time Tim Arnold's oldest daughter was born. I was still with Andersen Consulting at the time, so it was relatively easy to transfer offices and keep my job.

I left the firm in 1999 because I was sick of the work and didn't much like the path forward there. The pay was nice, and the opportunities were real, but I had this silly notion that I wanted to see what else was out there. In retrospect, what a dope I was. Could've been virtually retired by now at 38. Oh, well, live and learn.

When I left the firm, I tried to start a vending business with Dad. It was a...how to put this tactfully...spectacular failure. Great business plan, decent execution, absolutely crummy geographical market. That was a good education, but disappointing and expensive.

As that fizzled out, I found a small software development company near Cary, NC that was using a so-called "agile" software development method called Extreme Programming. It sounded very interesting, and all the guys at the company were Christians, so I joined them for three years. Wrote a couple books while I was there (they're about software development, which I suspect would bore you to tears).

That brings us to 2003, when the owner of the company decided he didn't much like having employees and favored hiring folks as independent contractors. Mom had a bit of a health scare early that year, and I decided it was time to move closer to the family.

Just about that time, a co-worker and I attended a stock market class put on by a guy who used to build tires for a living and now is quite wealthy due to his stock market skill. He's a Christian fellow as well, so I thought God was directing me to pursue that avenue for a while.

I spent the next two years studying, working hard, and losing more money than I had hoped would be the case. As the savings dwindled, I knew I couldn't keep up the slide forever, so I started investigating starting an online business. That experience was another frustration, but I learned a lot about online business and the website/technical stuff involved with it.

I translated that learning into becoming a web copywriter. That might sound foreign, but it's really simple. You know those multi-page direct response junk pieces you get in your mailbox? That's called a sales letter. I write the online version. I'm also a ghostwriter, mostly for business stuff. I'd like to parlay all of that experience into a few websites that give me some recurring income.

I'm still single. When you and Tim got married, I assumed I'd be right behind you. Not to be. I married work for too long. Now I live in a relationship desert, in more ways than one. Fortunately, although I'm losing my hair, I'm still strikingly handsome with a winsome personality. My PC and I are great friends.

At the moment, I rent an upstairs room in my parents' house. Yes, at 38 years old. Stop laughing. I'll likely get my own place later this year or early next.

There you have it. Not very much to show for 14 years of effort, I suppose.

I still get a chuckle when I think about you and Tim becoming pastors. Makes me feel like a schlump!

I'd love to talk to you sometime and hear about your life. Feel free to give me a call. My parents' phone number is 704-795-4778. If I don't answer, just ask for me.