first things first


A blog about whatever crosses my mind, ordered by importance.


Acts 29

This month, while we’ve been working on the summer project here in Albania, I’ve been reading the book of Acts. I love all the descriptions in the book of Acts of faithful people who were not Apostles. Some of them, like Cornelius the centurion, had been faithful for a very long time, and God answered their prayers powefully. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.

Feeling Like I'm at Hogwarts

I spent some time this week playing with Typescript 2.8’s new features for modeling various complex types. The new syntax that I wanted to play with was the conditional type syntax, T extends U ? X : Y This syntax allows you to express some really crazy type relationships! Some of the most interesting ones have been pre-defined in the Typescript standard lib: Exclude<T, U> – Exclude from T those types that are assignable to U.

Preparing for the Summer

It’s that time again! We’ve begun preparing to go back to Albania this summer! Looking forward to going back I’m so glad that I already had a chance to get back to Albania in December, when we put on a men’s conference for Cornerstone Church of Tirana. That was a great time of fun and fellowship with many of my close Albanian friends. I’ve been keeping in touch with them although it’s been difficult due to the time difference.

Men's Retreat in Albania

When I look back on my experience with Albania, starting from my first trip there in 2013 until now, I can’t help but be amazed at the way God has used this partnership to bring change not only in my life but in the lives of my friends. My key verse for my 2-year stint in Albania was Mark 10:29-30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

Not Done Yet!

Hey Y’all! It’s been a while! I’ve been busy with settling in to my new job and routine with Watermark. It’s a really great place to work and I feel super blessed to have the opportunity to join staff there! But even as I readjust to life in America I’m still looking back to Albania and my next opportunity to go. And the Lord graciously provides! I will be going on a trip in December with Will Noll, Matt Rial, Chris Hyland, and hopefully 1 to 2 others.

Making a static site searchable

My site is getting pretty big now! 50+ posts, plus my journal entries from years past, I have content stretching over 4 years. So I started thinking about ways to add search functionality. And anyone who knows me knows I like to make these kind of things more complicated than they need to be, so with that in mind I had a fun challenge to solve. How do I add search functionality to a static site?

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My journal for the 2017 project is up! photo by Lauren Dean End of the road All good things come to an end, and my STINT in Albania is no different. On 7 August I fly back to Dallas to spend at least 1 year there, with the hope that I’ll return to live in Albania sooner rather than later. At this point I’m holding all my plans loosely.

Big Decision

So, I’ve got an announcement to make. These past several months I’ve been exploring two options for my time after my STINT is up. One area I was exploring was with the Digital Strategies team in Albania, working for Afrim Karoshi. I went to a conference with the Digital Strategies team here in May as part of that exploration. The second area was an open position at Watermark Community Church as a programmer.

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