Nolen Elam… that’s my name! Thanks for visiting!
I updated this page Saturday, 22 August 2015.
This website is a place for me to share a little of who I am and who and what are most important to me.
Named for Nolen, my dad (photo link 1), I’m also called “Ned,” a childhood nickname still used by some of my family, friends and coworkers. Adele, my mom (photo link), gave me my nickname to help distinguish me from my dad. Although I prefer “Nolen,” I understand change is difficult for everyone, including myself, so I accept that some still call me “Ned.”
Other than my dad, I only know of one other Nolen Elam—Nolen, my son. Nolen and I are both named for my dad (photo link 2). Here’s one of my favorite photos of me and Nolen ‣
For those who don’t already know me, I’m from Houston, Texas and now reside in Costa Mesa, California with Karen, my wife. Nolen, my son from a previous marriage, lives in Arizona and Maddy, Karen’s daughter and my stepdaughter, recently moved out and is now attending college. Like all families, we have our issues, but I’m very happy and blessed to have Karen and Nolen and Maddy in my life! Here’s one of my favorite photos of me, Karen and Maddy ‣
I grew up in the City of Spring Valley, Texas (a suburb of Houston) with Adele (my mom), Carl (my step-dad), Bob (my brother) and Susan and Debbie (my two sisters). Don (my other brother) and Susan are still in Texas, Debbie’s in Colorado and Bob’s here in California. Adele, our precious mother, passed on a couple years ago.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed drawing. As a boy, my subjects were usually mechanical objects, like tanks, airplanes and motorcycles. Sometimes I drew living creatures or scenes from nature. We lived in an area with plenty of tall oak trees and pine trees, so trees were often a favorite drawing subject.
Today, with over 36 years of professional experience, I design packaging and labeling for medical devices manufactured by my employer, Baxter Healthcare Corporation. Baxter hired me in 1990 after I worked five years as an independent contractor for Infusion Systems Corporation, a 1980s startup company purchased by Baxter in 1988. Today, 30 years later, we still manufacture the INTERMATE and INFUSOR systems, which are globally-marketed portable, disposable, elastomeric, intravenous infusion devices. My work is personally satisfying, knowing that I directly contribute to products that improve the quality of life for people all over the world. Visit my design page to read more about my career.
As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be a dad someday. My dad passed on when I was young, so naturally being a dad was what I wanted most in life. I remember wondering, “What will my wife be like?” and “What’s it like being a dad?” Thankfully, my dream of becoming a father came true when Nolen was born. Although his mother chose to end our marriage when Nolen was young, he and I only missed one regular visitation in 12 years after the divorce (and that single instance was his mother’s decision). Nolen eventually lived with me for a short time before finishing high school and he has since grown to become a fine young man. I’m very proud of all that Nolen has accomplished and who he is today and what he’s doing with the life he now lives. Blessings to you, Nolen! You’re a good son!
And another vision for my life also developed when I was a young boy: the first time I saw someone standing on a surfboard riding a wave in the Gulf of Mexico at Galveston, Texas, I knew I wanted to ride waves! Ever since that first vision captured my heart, surfing continues to be one of my great passions. Although I don’t surf as often as I did when I was younger, I still enjoy catching a few waves down at “The Point” at San Onofre State Beach, my favorite place to surf locally. Here are a few photos of me at San O’ ‣
In this first photo, I’m luggin’ my 10'6" x 25" Mike Minchonton Custom Surfboard out for a surf at The Point (it weighs 35 pounds!) ‣
In this next photo, I’m riding the Minchonton on a very typical wave at The Point ‣
And here I am crankin’ a big ol’ bottom turn (yes, everything about the Minchonton is big!) ‣
And last, the end of the day ‣
I first learned to surf in the murky, brown waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the beaches of Galveston and Surfside, Texas back in 1969. Years later, after graduating from high school, my love for surfing drew me away from Texas and I moved to California. My mom and I loaded up my powder blue ‘73 Chevy Vega hatchback with all my surfboards, a skateboard, a bicycle and a big box of vinyl records and together we drove to California! My plan was to move in with my brother Bob (who had moved to California a year earlier), attend Orange Coast College, surf as often as I could and find the woman of my dreams! After all these years, I’m still here in California, still surfing (albeit only occasionally) and very happily married to Karen, my beautiful, sweet, precious wife… cheers to you, Karen!
The following image is my favorite photograph of me riding a wave ‣
The photo shown above was taken by professional surf photographer Matt Thomas in November 1992 at a break called “Killers”—a big wave break on one of the tiny “Islas de Todos Santos” (a group of small islands eight miles offshore from Ensenada, Mexico). In this photo, I’m riding a wave that is actually small by Todos standards; it was one of the few waves I rode that day—an easy, makable wave I could see coming early enough to set up and paddle into without having to make a late take-off (successfully riding big waves requires experience that I never attained). The bigger set waves that day were some of the largest I’d ever paddled through—16-18-foot faces with solid 8-to-10-foot backs. While the wave in this photo is small for Killers (maybe 6-8 feet), photographs of Killers breaking 60-70+ feet have been featured in the surfing media. Only a few other rideable surfbreaks on the North American West Coast rival the size of Killers’ waves: Cortes Bank (waves up to 100 feet break over a seamount 100 miles offshore from San Diego), Ghost Tree (a little-known, mysterious break near Monterey that also boasts wave heights of 100 feet) and Mavericks (a hugely popular break near San Francisco that can also break up to 100 feet). Oregon also has a few lesser-known rideable big-wave, offshore reefbreaks that rival its neighbors to the south.
This next photo was also taken the same day as the previous image shown above. The photographer used a telephoto lens to get both shots from about 200 yards away on the island bluffs overlooking the break at Killers ‣
And finally, above all that I’ve shared so far, I saved the best and the most important for last…
Yes, I’m a new creation in Jesus Christ. I was spiritually born-again by God the Holy Spirit in 1996 and I now possess eternal, everlasting life because I believe God is true and what He said is true. By believing Him who sent Christ, God the Father, I was saved by His grace through my faith in the finished work of His only-begotten Son, Yeshua HaMassiach—Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, the Lord Jesus of Nazareth who is Son of God, Son of man, Lord of all and the great God and Savior. He is the one representative for all who believe Him. My personal identification and position is in and with Him. I was crucified with Him. I died with Him. I was buried with Him. I was raised from death with Him. I ascended with Him. And I am now seated together with Christ in heavenly places! Because He accomplished all for me (and all who believe), I am now entitled to say with all who are His, I am in Christ and there is, therefore, no condemnation in me. And not only am I in Christ, but Christ is in me. (Christ lives in me, as he once died for me.) I am now an heir of God among joint-heirs with Christ, who is the Heir of all things!
My theological views are centered in the identification and position truths (the “not I, but Christ” life) taught by Paul, the Apostle, in his church epistles and expounded much later by John Nelson Darby, William Kelly, Lewis Sperry Chafer, William R. Newell and more recently Miles J. Stanford.
Here are a few of my favorite websites ‣
And what about you? Do you believe in the Christ of God? Who do you say Jesus is? The Christ? The Son of the living God? Do you believe and confess the divine glory of the Lord Jesus Christ? Without question, your eternity hinges on how you answer.
My latest endeavor is reading and studying the works of William Kelly on the STEMpublishing.com website. I’m now very close to finishing his Lectures on the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle, to the GALATIANS.
Previously, I finished William Kelly’s Exposition of the Epistle to the HEBREWS (both parts, 1 and 2); Lectures on the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle, to the EPHESIANS (both parts, 1 and 2); Notes on the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle, to the ROMANS (both parts, 1 and 2). Each of these works has profoundly strengthened my faith in and personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Thanks again for visiting!