8/24/2020 (The Master's Thesis)

Structuring for Success:

Church Association Sunday School Management in Depression Era Florida


In the Baptist denomination, volunteers accomplish most church work especially in
Sunday Schools where teacher and superintendent positions were, and still are, unpaid.
During the Depression, Florida Baptists raised money for outreach like post-secondary
education and the orphanage, while Sunday Schools were left either unmanaged, or
supervised by unsalaried staff. According to available literature and primary sources from
the Southern Baptist Convention, the Florida Baptist Witness, and more than twenty local
Baptist Associations, interest in Sunday Schools among Florida Baptists increased,
despite the Depression. This study reviews each association and compares five groupings
of associated churches: those with no management strategy, those with church-level
superintendents, those that took an associational organization approach, those that hired
part-time associational workers, and those with full-time Educational Directors. The
conclusion shows that there was more growth (as judged by the opening of new Sunday
Schools, more attendees, the organization of Vacation Bible School classes, or number of
teachers) as associations became more organized.

Read the entire thing here at Academia.com



Choosing Flexibility and Protection

Either you have a lovely idea for a start-up, or you’ve been working your side-hustle for a while and want to go legitimate and get you (and your business) some protection. However, you aren’t sure whether you should incorporate, form a limited liability company, or do nothing. What do you HAVE to do? What protections, and responsibilities come with the DBA, LLC or Corp process?

I’ve run PDX Loves Signing, LLC since 2009, helped a friend set up (and then shut down) their DBA, and now assist in the running of the Accessible Signed Library, Inc (a non-profit, which has other requirements not mentioned in this article). I’ve used different “DIY” companies to start each, and while I do have a personal favorite, that has more to do with comfort than it does to do with which one is better.

Please read the rest at Medium.



Happiness is Not the End Goal

Some people are just happy. My son is one of those people, blessed by God, Nature, or nature’s god with an outlook on the world that is not only positive but joyful. He doesn’t *exactly* greet the dawn with song, but he does wake, without an alarm clock, at around 6 am, play with whomever is awake (and with the dogs and chickens if no ne else is available) and his first words to me are usually “Good morning Mama, I love you!” This is a child who smiles after neurosurgery, entertains himself through church, and sings to himself while he snuggles up to nap with me, his dad, or his caregiver.

He is a genuinely happy kid. Sure, he cries, or gets frustrated. He becomes angry, even, and acts like a petulant child because, well, he’s ten years old. But there’s never a question in my mind that he’s not only content, pleased, thankful, and excited, but happy.

I have never experienced the elation he feels just because he is awake. The realization came as I was writing about overcoming suicidal ideation for a BiPolar blog, and he was doing homework near my feet. We were listening to Hamilton and something struck his fancy and he started giggling, and I thought, “I don’t think I have *ever* laughed like that. About anything. Ever.”

Please read the rest at Medium.



Anger Is Justifiable, Sensitivity Necessary

Being indignant is very, very easy at this point. I know, because my reflex has become to start spouting facts at my phone, when I wake up to see “Breaking News” splashed across my feed or crawl. This time, it was peeling my eyelids open to see that #45 has started misinterpreting the 14th Amendment in the same way that he misunderstands just about every other piece of information pertinent to his position. He’s a xenophobic, racist, nationalist, and the need to toss back checks on the falsities of his reality seem to be as instinctive as that little bit of throw-up-in-your-mouth that occurs every time you’re reminded that anyone, ever, slept with this man. 

However, that the 14th Amendment protects the rights of Trump's own kids isn’t going to make a dent. He’ll have it start retroactive to just 9/11, or the date he took office, or the first of the year. Nothing will apply to him. He’ll say he was only aiming it at non-citizen immigrants, and then non-residents, and then that the DE-legitimization only applied to those who were unlucky enough to be born to *two* undocumented parents. r one to sit by passively, I worked for a few days in advance with the other two adults in my home to prepare to head out today. I’m disabled and slower than I used to be, and we needed to make sure we had a plan if I needed assistance, and pack my meds so that could keep my hands free

Please Read the Rest at Medium.



Investments as Mobile and Flexible As You

You’re sitting in rush-hour traffic, crawling along at 5mph, when a rider on a motorcycle weaves between you and the car next to you and maneuvers up past the crush of gridlock. When it happens, chances are you think something like, “I want that.” 

You gain freedom as a freelancer or contract worker that you don’t have as a company employee, much in that same way that a biker gains some freedoms denied to drivers. You ditch the baggage of the 40 hour work week, the bulk of the cubicle or time sheet, and the pressure to work with people you absolutely cannot stand. You’ve got a little more wiggle room, and that can be exhilarating.

Please read the Rest at Medium.




Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, and Pissed off Portlanders

Today, my city was descended upon by fascists, for the second time this summer. This time, there were all kinds of panicky think pieces about how the rally was destined to turn violent, it was going to become another Charlottesville, and many on the left were encouraging each other to simply “sit this one out” in order to starve the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer members of the attention they so desperately wanted. As any child who survived middle and high school knows, ignoring a bully until they go away is completely unhelpful advice, but as someone working on my history MA, it gets me grumbling about appeasement, Neville Chamberlain, and WWII.

Never one to sit by passively, I worked for a few days in advance with the other two adults in my home to prepare to head out today. I’m disabled and slower than I used to be, and we needed to make sure we had a plan if I needed assistance, and pack my meds so that could keep my hands free. This is all stuff that went into backpacks on top of the bandages, milk of magnesia, water, handkerchiefs, and everything else we, or other protesters, might need. After all, this wasn’t our first rodeo.

Please read the rest on Medium.





The Essentials of Freelancing

I started my first business in 2009, and it meant I needed to get a smart-phone. Most of my freelance work for this job was coming out of the SLC area in Utah, and I lived in Portland, Oregon, and I was then writing grants/proposals/contracts in about a dozen other states, as well as the business I could pick up on my own. I had no real tech experience to speak of (a little html coding, from which I built my website, and an understanding of how to do video conferences and calls). That, with a functional working knowledge of Microsoft office (save Excel, which still gives me feelings of dread when I open it), was all I had when I started. I proceeded to track invoices, profits and losses, expenses, and learn how to politely excuse myself from social events to take a work call that was from a different time-zone. I lost money the first two years and barely broke even for the next two, but I gained both hard and soft skills that enabled me to find a few more stable gigs. This did mean moving into my car, something that many interpreters/entrepreneurs are familiar with.

I installed a clothing rack, where I hung a suit-jacket and skirt, in case they were necessary, and stored multiple pairs of socks and stockings, as well as dress pants. A few single-color button ups were also kept in there, as well as black undershirts (I learned that I required more than one complete outfit change after I had a child throw up on me at an assignment, and then a bird poop on me right after I changed). Baby wipes, a tide pen, clear nail polish, a sewing kit.all of these were locked in a plastic safe box that was chained into my car. Along with these was an extra bra and shoes, snacks, and blanket and pillow. I’m sure the undergarments and shoes make sense, but I’ve been met with some confusion when the blanket and pillow come up.


Read the rest at Copy Fox Pros



The Opioid Crisis is a PAIN Crisis: My Story is Not Unique

We all know the statistics. 8.3 out of every thousand people are addicted, according to CNN, and that number is climbing. Deaths continue to mount, police forces argue about the use of Narcan, Seattle is looking at opening its first safe injection site, and still, people are suffering and new addictions are popping up daily. It’s a terrifying proposition, especially as the population realizes that people it once thought were “just like them” are now living on the street, addicted to heroin.

So what happens?

Well, in large part, people like me happen. Ten days ago, now, I had surgery to remove a foreign body from my chest, just below my collarbone. As luck would have it, it wasn’t cancer, which is a giant mental weight I am no longer carrying. However, the muscle that was sliced through is, shall we say, load-bearing, and I’m having to be pretty creative to keep the simple act of sitting-up from pulling on the stitches.


Read the rest over at Medium



This was originally published for an online magazine, which then deleted all of its articles, but was picked up by Opposing Viewpoints

When I'm a Mother, I'll Never...

Before I had kids, I knew everything. I knew how I would birth, when my kids would hit their milestones and how I'd nurture and guide them. They'd eat healthy food and would never, ever, watch terrible, repetitive cartoons. I'll wait for the experienced moms to stop laughing before I continue.
      Like many slightly-crunchy Portland moms, I knew I'd have an uncomplicated, drug-free delivery, and that my children would sleep cuddled in my arms. My baby would sleep sweetly in a sling while I continued my classes and did my research to finish my degree, and they'd behave at the doula-owned baby store where I was employed. Then my midwife walked out of my labor, and I had to have an emergency C-section to deliver my daughter. She nursed just fine, but screamed twelve hours a day, and would only fall asleep in a cool, dark room. She came to school with me, but kept trying to take over the class, and once she was mobile, she tried as hard as she could to sneak out of the store and get hit by a car. She didn't talk until she was nearly two and a half, making do with sign and screaming. Still, aside from those few setbacks, a bout of flesh-eating staphylococcus bacteria when she was 18 months old, and some rather severe Obsessive/Compulsive tendencies, I thought we were mastering this whole parenting gig. I figured I'd learned from my mistakes. The next child, would be easy. This time, I was ready.

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