When it comes to consulting for churches and Christian charities, I'm unashamedly a one-trick pony in my advice: Use open source software where possible.
We're moving into our new house today, but we don't have any furniture. I don't think we'll get any for a while, though, because I'm looking for a combined bed/table/chest of drawers/fridge/TV/easy chair. Then we need to get some things around the house done, so I'm trying to find someone who's a plasterer/painter/electrician/plumber/gardener.
So I've been travelling by train a lot recently, and have got very, very frustrated with the UK's insane policy on train fares. Money Saving Expert points out that you can save a lot of money by buying split tickets. For instance, a ticket from Gloucester to Oxford might cost you 29 pounds; but buying two tickets for one journey (Gloucester-Swindon, Swindon-Oxford) will cost you a total of 16.10 - a saving of 45% on exactly the same journey, even using the same trains.
So as you probably know, we're planning a wedding at the end of this month, and these things are full of lots of fun expenses. And most of those expenses are overinflated because, well, it's a wedding. One of the expenses is getting the wedding photos into an album, and wedding albums are sufficiently overinflated that I've started looking at why and how we can do it ourselves. Here are some notes on what I found out.
I take a dim view of IT consultants, particularly having been one, and I am not the only one. Barely a week goes by without a story in the press about yet another government IT scheme failing to meet budget or timelines due to the incompetence of these charlatans; the only surprising thing is that people continue to fall for this when, if you think about it, it should be perfectly obvious that consultants' work is in nobody's interests but their own:
I’ve now been back in the UK almost three weeks, and as my last post implied, have been struggling a bit to define myself. Now things are starting to become a bit clearer. I’m as busy as I was in Japan, but I’m far, far less stressed out: Read more about All the work, none of the responsibility
For all your worship-time projection needs, see Songbee. It's getting better and better, and this version puts it on a footing where it can expand and grow in interesting areas - not just including displaying songs but also Bible verses, web pages, and so on.
I got a lot done today; lots of wedding prep, flight prep, and an awful lot of programming. Unfortunately, I don't have much to show for the programming.
If you've got a friend who's a plumber, is it reasonable to say “Can you just come around and have a look at my sink sometime?” Or maybe you have a friend who's a laywer. Would you say “Can you just defend this case for me when you have a spare moment?” Would you ask a painter friend “Do you think you could pop around and paint the outside of my house for me? I'll make you a cup of tea.”
Moving from a technical profession to a spiritual vocation has been a weird process for me and has brought a few surprises. But there is one particular element that still gets to me every time. It is what I would call the closed nature of the spiritual community rather than the open nature of the technical community.