Joe Biden now has a VP choice and she’s not African-American…

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Early on I thought Biden’s running mate would be Amy Klobuchar but as of today, August 11, 2020, Biden’s VP selection is Kamala Harris. Here is why I thought it might be Amy K. Her Democratic debate highlights include a constant push to without telling anyone how to spell Klobuchar.

I’m not saying her hard-to-spell last name is what kept her from the VP spot, but I’m also not NOT saying that. Kamala is a little easier to spell, just remember consonant, vowel, consonant, vowel, and keep going till you have it.

In this post I’ve been careful not to imply Biden has personally selected his VP, because I’m not sure at all that he’s the one making the call. Maybe I’m just being sinister (I’m left-handed, after all), but could there be puppet masters running the show over at the Democratic party? I hope (and based on my friends, I can say I know there are some) Democrats do have good intentions but I think the Democrat politician is different than the Democrat civilian.

So now we have a somewhat familiar player in the game… Kamala Harris. She was born in Oakland, California in 1964 to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. She’ll probably be categorized as the first black woman to run on a major ticket, although it appears as though she’s Indian-Jamaican and as politically incorrect as it is to say, well, American.

How do you feel about the Democratic Vice President selection? Will this help or hurt Biden’s bid for President? Chime in below!

-Out of the Wilderness


My top 5 worship songs – August 2020

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If you’re like me you have a Spotify playlist for almost every occasion. I’ve got four playlists for softball, two for the beach, a Christmas playlist, dancing music, funeral music, two Disney playlists, and more, but the one I’ll highlight today is my worship playlist. The songs range from artists like Phil Wickham, Bethel Music, Andrew Peterson, Shane & Shane, and many more. From this list, I’ve selected my top 5 worship songs for August 2020. Take a look and a listen below, then scroll down to comment with a few of your favorites from this month!

“The Blessing” – Kari Job, Cody Carnes

I first heard this one on a livestream from Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia after visiting the church in person back in March (before everything went online). Side note: come back to this link to read more about my Atlanta road trip, it was awesome.

“My Hallelujah” – Bryan & Katie Torwalt

This one has been a favorite for years… or weeks. Time feels suspended in quarantine, you know? I can’t help but be uplifted and pumped up every time I hear it. The lyrics are like a fight song, a banner, and a comfort backed by a nice drum beat.

“O Praise the Name (Anastasis)” – Hillsong Worship

If this song doesn’t move you, melt your heart, make your adrenaline run faster, and make you want to rise up to any challenge, you’re a robot that should be melted down and sold at an auction for scrap metal.

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God to Thee” – Elvis Presley

I’m sure I came across this during a Sunday morning Gospel session on SiriusXM’s Elvis station and how lucky was I that morning? Aside from the lyrics being gospel, the simple satisfying message to throw earthly things aside, just listen to Elvis’s voice, and especially his passon during the “Nearer My God to Thee” part of the medley. Doesn’t get any better than that, folks.

“Victory Chant” – college campus

I stumbled across this one as I was listening to live performances of “Victory Chant,” and honestly, my best guess is that it’s from the campus of University of Southern California. I like the vibe of the room, the lead worship guy’s voice, and the overall joy in the room.

If you have a second, subscribe to my blog for updates on future posts. I’m posting one a day for the entire 2020 year. Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

Substitute teaching in coronavirus 2020

Once upon a time I was a substitute teacher and let me just tell you, it was HARD! I filled in for all ages, from early elementary all the way up to high school. There are plenty of embarrassing stories I could tell you but I’ll save those for another post. Yesterday I couldn’t help but wonder what will happen in this new Covid-19 world we live in where, at least in America, many teachers are teaching 100% online. Virtual. Livestream. I think it’s going to be a relief for a lot of elementary teachers who no longer have to babysit but now can actually teach (sidenote: this will be a lot harder on parents, but that’s also a post for another day).

What happens when a teacher calls out sick? Are there substitute teachers qualified and up to speed on the new protocols for teaching? I did a little digging and in the years since I was a substitute, it appears the process is a bit more organized. Back then, any sub who was available may or may not receive a phone call the morning they were needed and they’d have to gitty-on-up to the designated school. It was a bit stressful and definitely unpredictable. From what I read while researching, counties have a pool of subs that are potentially ready to jump in as needed.

In a coronavirus world, I think that’s a good start to solving a possibly huge problem. As if the regular teachers and students didn’t already have a lot on their plate with the new online teaching, this could be another hurdle to students learning.

I guess we’ll see what happens as schools open up and navigate through the ups and downs of a roller coaster that’s a lot like Disney’s Space Mountain. You’re on the coaster, but you have no idea where it’s going next.

-Out of the Wilderness

Sooooo…. I have a new phone

The day I got this new LG Stylo 6 was a whirlwind! If you want to read the play-by-play, click here. The background of how I got the phone will add depth to today’s post. I’ve now had the phone for a full day and well, so far so good. I haven’t had time to really dive into the settings and apps and functions of the phone but I’ll do that soon because I love technology.

For the longest time I was keeping a look-out for a new phone because while the Nokia 6.1 was very acceptable, I knew the time was coming where it was going to become more annoying than a phone should be. The first signal was when the phone would randomly change the time of day. Not a big deal, really, but messages and conversations were all screwed up because the phone thought a message was coming in on Monday at 2pm. Reality is that the message just arrived and it’s 8pm Friday. Weird. It could also be detrimental if you have an alarm set for 7am and the phone has the wrong time.

So I knew the end was near. Well, “the end” came a lot sooner than I had planned. That’s the debacle I was in late Thursday night into Friday morning. A couple hours before I normally go to sleep, the phone shut down. When I tried to power it on, it would show the “Google One” screen, then turn off, only to go back to the “Google One” screen seconds later. It was in some kind of cycle I couldn’t fix, turning off and on and off and on endlessly.

Actually the problem started a few hours earlier than this. I was on a jog around the neighborhood and this is the first time the phone shut down for no apparent reason. I was able to get it powered up again, but since that moment, it wasn’t really ever the same.

Fast forward to bed time and the phone was still acting funky. I just let it do its thing, thinking once the battery dies I can charge it and maybe it’ll reset back to normal. Nope. Friday morning, almost full power and still having end-of-life problems. Work plans were already in motion for Friday morning so now I had to scramble to make sure this work coming up wasn’t affected too much by the phone situation. You see, the phone was an integral part of the upcoming work, even down to the very basic part of driving to the location. I needed navigation! Once I was at the work site, I needed the phone’s network to do the job I was assigned to do. Without a phone, there was no accomplishing the work.

Long story short, I went to a Verizon store and made sure to be the first person in line so I could get in and out asap. I don’t like making impulse decisions, and while I have been researching phones for months, I didn’t want to just pick one willy nilly in the store. But I had to. They didn’t have any Motorola’s I liked, so I went with the LG Stylo 6.

In the 24 hours I’ve had the phone, I give it 5 stars simply based on how it saved my work day. Navigation was good, although it DID bring me to some random farm miles away from where I needed to be. I don’t blame LG for that, it’s got to be Google Maps fault on that one. I used the hotspot for an hour or so and it worked flawlessly.

In conclusion, early Friday morning I prayed to God that the situation would be resolved so I could do the work I was assigned to do. As my brother once quoted, “Pray as if it all depends on God, work as if it all depends on you.” Friday felt like one of those days where even after I prayed, I needed a plan. I’m grateful God saw it through, and grateful He gave me the ability to think and act on a variety of solutions, as well as having pretty much a flawless experience at the Verizon store transitioning to a new phone.

-Out of the Wilderness

I never thought I was so dependent on my phone till this happened…

The best way I can share this story is by simply giving you the play-by-play in short segments, sometimes not even full sentences. My life was a 12-hour stretch where a “choose your own adventure” book married a roller coaster. So buckle up, here we go…

Thurs night phone dies. Never recovers. Charge it, nothing. Let battery run out to reset it, nothing. Not a big deal except I need phone for navigation AND need hotspot for work-related work Friday morning. Supposed to have hotspot on by 10am. Fri morning, phone still dead. All options: buy new phone, borrow phone, activate old phone, buy hotspot device, cancel meeting. Buy new phone is best, Verizon doesn’t open till 10am, when meeting starts. Crap. 10am meeting moves to 11am. Get to Verizon at 930am. Wait. At least I’m first in line. Doors open. Updated options: activate old phone, buy new phone, buy hotspot. I want Motorola. I get LG. Directions send me to farm with 1 mile long gravel driveway. Tennessee gravel = I need a Jeep. Arrive at 1110am. Wrong address. Retrace path back down 1 mile long “gravel” driveway. Crap. Arrive at correct location 1130am. New phone IS working and provides Hotspot as required. Me = relieved and yet, still annoyed at predicament causing all the problems.

Work completed. New phone was clutch. Old phone is devil.

Need nap.

-Out of the Wilderness