Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Illinois Man Fined For Piggybacking On Wi-Fi Service - Yahoo! News

I had clipped this article for a blog post a few days ago. My brother picked it up and commented on his blog. So I no longer feel a need to leave my thoughts since he summed up the issue very well.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

INVISIBLE CHILDREN

I finally watched Invisible Children. It is sad that such an atrocity can be going on in the world. It is our responsibilty to love our neighbor, to love these children. Eatch this video. Show this video to your church, to your youth group, to your co-workers, and to your friends. America and Brittan control SOOOOO MUCH of the worlds wealth. I believe we can use that wealth to end such expolitation. Please see the movie, anf join the movement.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Dreams - A Film Exploration

The next time I am preaching from Daniel this movie will most certainly make it into the sermon. It is Called Catch Me Sleeping and is by Mat Bloom.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Google Reader Is Like My Brother's Shoes

Google Reader STINKS!!! No more polite review could be offered. I could have designed a better RSS aggregator using Leggos and Lincoln Logs than they did using all the power and muscle of Google. This Beta is so far below the standard one would expect for Google, the flagship of the internet, it does not even deserve the energy one would expend to give it a thumbs down.

Google needs to take this one offline, go back to drawing board, and come out when the have a better product....

I am off to try Bloglines...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I Am Sneezy Pottysquirt!!!

Kingsjoy has posted the guide to pick your new name from the poplular children's series Captain Underpants. It has been a long time since I have seen this, and I was quite excited to rediscover my "specail name." Hop on over, use the guide and come back w/ comments about your special name.

Thunderbird RSS Reader is Dead

I will spare you the details of my attempts to get my RSS reader working. Needless to say my post yesterday that everything was working again was a too soon stated. So here I am. I am tring Google Reader, as my new homepage. I'll let you know what I think.

Campaign Photos




Photos Of Ella and Anna In Campaign Gear

Click Photo For Full Size

















Password Incorrect!



Now here is a family that needs your political support. It looks like it will be Topinka and Blagojevich against the underdog independent father of two and husband of one. My wife is expecting our third and refused to be in the photo.

I have lots more photos using my usual photo protection password for anyone who wants to see my girls in their lovely campaign T-Shirts.



Enter Password For Photos:





If you don't know the password drop me a line and I will give it to you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Soapbox

My best bud Nate sent this to me via Email. I wanted to post it for all to see.







You might need to right click and choose play.
I think I will add the eradication of SPAM to my campaign platform.

If I Only Had A Hat!

Today is primary election day here in Illinois. I am deeply disturbed by the canidates and their platforms. I studied last night, reading the platforms, ideas, and blogs of the canidates competing on both sides. There is not one canidate I could support. I voted independent, because there was a tax referendum here in town.

So I decided to find an alternative canidate to cast my self behind. Here is the result.



That is right, I have a strong platform, I think independently, and I am deeply committed to education, personal liberty, and justice. These are the values that I think ring throughout the grassroots of America.

So now, If only I had a "war chest" to get this campaign past the logo stage :-)

My Blog Reader is Fixed?

I have had some bad luck with reading Blogs the last week. I am in the middle of the huge project I mentioned back on Friday, and my blog reader has been JACKED. Well I think I got it fixed today, and so I was trying to catch up on old blog posts I had missed over the last week. The Plank
by The New Republic. has a very FUNNY little post that is worth reading.

I should be getting back in the loop in the next few days.

The McPassion

For those of you who thought the Christian buzz around The Passion was weird and creepy. You need to watch The McPassion. This short film Chronicles the humor of the passion with great media tie ins.

Thanks to Marko

1-800-Jesus-Christ

"The age-old question that stalks each generation of man involves the paradox between pain and suffering in the world and the idea of an all-loving god. How can, we wonder (often with tears in our eyes), the God of Love permit to happen the tragedies that mark the pages of our newspapers, the tombstones in our graveyards and the sorrow in the days of our lives? There is no easy answer to this question, just as there is no easy way through life. Perhaps, then, if God does answer our phone call, one short, three-letter question may rise above all others to the surface.

Why?

The Christian God is a god of suffering, nowhere more evident than the death-penalty cross. A homeless outcast, Christ was, as the Gospels say, a 'man of constant sorrow.'' A deep friend has hanging in her Episcopalian office a haunting painting of two men carrying an angel on a stretcher. The angel is bandaged and bleeding; the men have their heads hung low. God aches, the painting seems to say. God is wounded. God suffers. "

2/28/2006 - David Cook: 1-800-Jesus-Christ - Opinion - Chattanoogan.com:

Friday, March 17, 2006

THIS SPACE RESERVED: For A Cool Post

So I have this idea for a post I would write today if I was not SO covered up with this project I am working on. It would be about the SNAKES in my life, and how God is growing me (green references) into the kind of person (or land) where they are driven out.

As far as the project goes. I am working on the COOLEST project ever that I am not at liberty to discuss publicly because of the nature of the work. HOWEVER... if you are a friend, not related to my workplace, and don't know anyone at my work, and want to see a really cool web app I have written in action. IM me and I will show it to you.

We are having friends over this evening for Corned Beef and Cabbage. I must be on a cooking with Guiness kick, because we are using it instead of water as the base for meal.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Follow-Up 1: Combined Recipies

So it was decided after my initial post that Spare Ribs were a no go. So I went back to the drawing board and found Sweet and Spicy Polish Sausage. Now RARELY being one to take a recipie at face value. I decided to make my own variation og the two flavors. It may end up in a BUST, but at least it will have been fun.

The Main Dish:

4 Lbs Smoked Polish Sausage
2 Medium Yellow Onions
½ Cup Spicy Hot Mustard
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Can Pinaapple Tidbits
2 Medium Tomatoes
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Can Beer
1 Can Cola
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper

  • Add Sausage (1/2” slices) – Onion – Pinapples (Reserve Juice) – Tomatos – Peppers and Beer to a HOT Dutch Oven.
  • Add Pineapple Juice – Mustard – Garlic – Brown Sugar - and Cola to a small bowl Mix well and pour over top of sausuage.
  • Cover and Bake at 350º for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

THE SIDE DISH:

3 Cups Self Rising Flour
3 TBS Sugar
1 Can Beer

  • Preheat Oven to 375º
  • Mix all ingredients and Pour into well greased Pan
  • Cook for 1 hour

We will also be serving Baby Red Potatos on the side.

Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes


When it came to what I wanted in my kitchen for Christmas this year it was a Les Cruset DuoFeu. I love to cook and this seemed like a good sound addition to my kitchen.

Unfortunatelly, I have used this far to few times in the 3 months that have passed since then. I did a Goose for my wife and I once and I made a chicken casserolle that was good once too. Other than that the piece has served as a dust collector in our cabinet.

Tonight, my wife is having a young couple over who she is giving a bunch of her old materinity clothes to. Things that she will not wear this pregnancy because they are out of season to her stage I guess. She wanted me to cook. I wanted to cook using my SuoFeu. So I put dutch over recipies into Google and got Byron's Dutch Oven Recipes.

I found a few VERY yummy sounding recipies including a recipie for spare ribs that will be our cusine for tonight.

I am excited and plan on using this site to create more great food.

P.S. - In the intrest of full disclosure, my in laws sent my wife and I money which we combined for the duofeu. She however was also kind enough to get me a 14" All Clad LTD Wok from her. My kitchen needs were well cared for by my sweet wife.

P.P.S. - So as not offend others, who also gave me gifts this past Yultide seaon. I got many additional gifts from other friends and loved ones not mentioned here, as they do not pertain to the kitchen, but all were appreciated.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Boycott of Fed-Ex and Kinkos

Kinko's customer service email is customerrelations@fedexkinkos.com and you need to know it because the people of the world need to warn the company that we will not sit by while they behave like a playground bully.

You can read the whole story or just take the high point from my summary. A security researcher posted a video on the web showing how they EASILY hacked a
Kinko's Express Pay Card and then changed it's value to $50. The research company made one copy and printed a reciept to prove the transaction was legitimate. After failed private attempts to warn Kinkos, finally the company published the video to the internet to get
Kinkos attention regarding their warnings. The result is instead of attacking thanking these "knights in shining armor" and firng entrac the system provider Fedex Kinkos is threating to sue Secure Science for theft, despite the fact they spent only $.20 of the dollar they originally paid.

Fedex Kinkos needs to know that their customer base will not stand for this. Secure Science should be thanked and honored, not made the subject of their legal department crosshairs. I am asking that you take a minute to drop an email to Kinkos letting them know if they continue in this course of action it will result in a loss of business for both their FedEx and Kinkos divisions.

The company did not publish the magical three digit code because they were trying to do Kinkos a favor. If this is how the kind of company they want to be, then I am not not the kind of customer they want to have.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I am A Christian

Kingsjoy posted this up on his site. I find it humorus that I am third to paganism...oooops!

You scored as Christianity. Your views are most similar to those of Christianity. Do more research on Christianity and possibly consider being baptized and accepting Jesus, if you aren't already Christian.

Christianity is the second of the Abrahamic faiths; it follows Judaism and is followed by Islam. It differs in its belief of Jesus, as not a prophet nor historical figure, but as God in human form. The Holy Trinity is the concept that God takes three forms: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (sometimes called Holy Spirit). Jesus taught the idea of instead of seeking revenge, one should love his or her neighbors and enemies. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to save humankind and forgive people's sins.

Christianity


92%

Judaism


54%

Paganism


42%

Buddhism


38%

Hinduism


38%

Islam


29%

Satanism


25%

agnosticism


21%

atheism


0%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

6:00 Minutes of Super Mario

I am posting this so I can show it to my daughter. I made her a lover of video games using Super Mario Brothers on a system from the mall.

Lent: Unable To Keep Up (Day 7)

I desired to post daily during lent with the lessons I was focusing on for that day. I wanted to expose myself to the rigors of daily posting. I am just not up tp that challenge. With a full time job, a small business, and a young family... that is just enough without adding 40 well thought out, well developed post to the mix. I will still try and check in daily with at least my reading for the day, and to post a few developed posts a week.

The Simpsons: Live Action Intro

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lent: Hosea and Moral Expectation (Day 5)

Today in our church service our minister spoke on Hosea. I love Hosea. Several years ago I started to write a musical based on this prophet. After a few days I decided that I should leave the Biblical musicals to Steven Schwartz. During those days however I read and reread the prophet as I prepared a treatment of the book. It was at that time that I first realized the amazing sexual methaphor for love God uses in the old testament. God's love comes from the deepest parts. It is only in the context of these most intense sexual moments that we understand the profound depths of the passion of God.

I want to love people from my deepest parts. I am only just learning to. Learning to love people from our deepest parts immesnsely changes our moral expectations. When I love people, because I am compelled by command the result it a command based love, meaning that those who keep my unstated list of commands will recieve a portion of love in direct porportion to their adherence to my command list. The contrast however is to love the slave picking chocolate in the Congo, to love the the young mother sewing shirts in Honduras, to love the dehydrated villagers in Pakistan, to love the orphan trying to survive a year after the Tsunami killed his parents.

This kind of love transfers the moral expectation from the reciepient to the giver. Deep passionate love comes from the morality of the love giver, not as a result of the moral fortitude of the love reciever. I am compelled to love people by standing up for their rights, and not participating in their exploitation, even when their lives are contrary to the goals, values, and pursuits of my life. This means that the radical Islamic fundamentalist in Pakistan is, to use the words of Jesus, "my neighbor!"

The Love I see God desires is demonstrated in the story of the, "Good Samaritan." Choosing to not wear clothing made by exploitive companies, to not eat chocolate by companies that ignore the slave trade issues, to not drink water that comes from the one clean water source in the area and excludes local residents from gaining access to this clean water, is a demonstration of Hosea love living.

Boycotts and letter writing campaigns aside, the depth of "Passionate Hosea Loves" creeps much closer to home. It is ensuring my budget has a portion to be given for the "poor" in my community. It is participating with my time in organizations that serve the sick and the inprisoned.

Participating in service organizations aside, the depth of "Passionate Hosea Loves" creeps to even more costly levels. It is choosing to treat the "(explicitive deleted)" at work that nobody likes with dignity despite how everyone around is treated by this person. It is seeking to discover the past pain that causes this person to treat others meanly all the time. It is choosing to be avaialable to take the pain of anothers sin so that healing can occur in anothers life.

The moral expectation of Hosea, and of the Good Samaritan rest on my shoulders to love deeply, passionately, and with genuineness.

Then GOD ordered me, "Start all over: Love your wife again,
your wife who's in bed with her latest boyfriend,
your cheating wife.
Love her the way I, GOD, love the Israelite people,
even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy.
I did it. I paid good money to get her back.
It cost me the price of a slave - Hosea 3:1-2

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lent: Patience and Moral Purity (Day 4)

Listen to James 1 focusing on verses 19-20.

Last night a dear friend of our family came over to watch the girls so that my wife and I could go out. After eating we came home spent some time with my daughter and the sitter and then at around 11:00 the sitter had gone home and we wanted to go relax in our room and finish watching season 4 of 24 on DVD so we put the 4 year old to bed.

Soon she was out of bed and standing in our room. She wanted to put on her "nighttime socks" because her feet were cold. This was not a legitimate need, but a typical manipulative ploy used as an excuse for leaving her room and coming into ours. I actually got mad at my wife because she absolutely undercut my authority. I wanted the kid to go back to bed, she encouraged our daughter to come cuddle with her while daddy looked for the missing sock. I spent several minutes searching for the sock and after an unsuccesful endeavor I went to go take the little one back to her bed.

After returning her to her room she whined, cried, and begged to come back to our room. I firmly stood my ground against this request and so toe to toe we argued for about 3 minutes. After that short period of time I had all I could take. I threw my hands in the air, gave her a look of sheer meanness and walked out of the room leaving her crying.

That was losing my temper. I am not a yeller, a screamer, or a hitter. I am a grit my teeth and look at you as if my eyes had the power to disenegrate you. That look means I am out of control. In other situations that look would be followed by cold answers and back handed compliments. It is not a good place for me, and though I don't display it loudly or violently, I am in just as bad a place as the yeller, the screamer, or the hitter.

Patience is an area of great importance to me. I used to have a very "bad temper." I kicked holes in walls, beat a brick wall till my hands bled, destroyed friendships with despicable comments. I have been known to throw things, shatter belongings, and become generally destructive. My junior year of college, as I was coming out of a very bad place spiritually and emotionally I decided I needed to get a handle on these emotions.

I remember sitting in Wes and Rachel's house listening to Rich Mullin's new album. He had a song called "We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are." I had arrived at Wes and Rachel's house because I had not been out of my dorm room in three days and Wes said I could come out willingly, or his wife was coming in to get me out. So I pulled myself together, came out and dragged myself over to their house. I collapsed into a chair in Wes' tacky room and sat as he wanted to play me this new CD.

It was a few tracks into the album when I heard these lyrics,

"We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are" - Rich Mullins


Never in my life had a set lyrics applied to my exact condition so perfectly. I realized how much of my anger was a sign a my weakness. Over time through the strength and healing of the holy spirit I came learned to be self controlled in my anger.

As time passed, I made an intresting observation about my anger. My ability to be patient and disciplined was intimately tied to my moral purity. At times in my life when I was struggling morally I was very impatient and very quick to anger. At other times, when I had my eyes and my mind in correct submission to God, demonstrating patience was not even an effort.

This truth ancedottaly gave me great motivation to remain morally pure, since I had seen the eventual demise of that self destructive path in college and had NO desire ever to travel those roads again. This week, as I began this journey of sacrifice and study I came across a truth that would move this causal observation to a principle of scriptural truth.

I was listening to Max McLean wonderful narration of the first chapter of James when he admonsihed to the church to be "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." This is a verse I knew very well since I had heard it used many times to describe my maternal grandfather. The next verse reminded us that an angry person is not fulfilling God's calling. This I knew to be true, since when I was living in my self deprecating bitter cynicism I was unavailable to love. As he continued it was the next verse that would confirm this truth I had learned in practice, "therefore, get rid of all moral filth..."

I stopped what I was doing, rewound the recording a few seconds, and listened again. I was intrigued. I had read and studied James many times before. I have preached more sermons and taught more classes from the book of James than anyone I know. Yet, I had never seen this truth and yet it is laid out so blatantly, so unapollagetically.

James tell us, "You can not be morally comprised and love the way Jesus loved." Moral comprise erodes our ability to love. Moral comprimise leaves us impetous, angry and self consumed. Moral comprimise jeprodizes our abilty to be Godly parents.

So that brings me back to my daughter's room. Anger pulsing through my veins. I am mad at my daughter. I am mad at my wife. I am not demonstrating love. I am not demonstrating God to my little girl. These words from James reneter my mind. "...be slow to anger." I take a breath. I kiss her and I walk out of the room. I stand in the family room faced with the full implication of the verse.

I look at the question of my moral purity from a new level. I have long since given up those moral comprimises that once consumed my eyes. It has been far to long to number since I have looked at the web pages, the movies, or the books that I measured my moral state by. I took reference of the fact that moral purity was far more encompassing than just the avoidance of illicit imagery. I committed there in my short journey through our house to pursue the kind of purity that frees me to demonstrate the patience that comes only from embracing Godly love.

My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God's sight. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. - James 1:19-21

Autism - Mercury Report Confirmed Statiscally

Acording to a new report in the Journal of American Physican's and Doctors the FDA and CDC will have serious backpedaling to do as result of a 22% drop in new autism cases since the mercury based perservative Thimerosal was removed from most childhood vacines.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Our Valentine's dinner

I took my wife out to Wildfire this evening for valentines day. I know we are nearly a month late, but that is how busy our life has been. This is the first weekend night we have had avaialable to make reservations and get out together with the children having a sitter.

We went to the Wildfire in Schaumburg. I had the crusted filet medallions with a flight of red of wines. The flight featured four wines.

The first wine was the Mirassou Merlot - The smell was inviting and sophisticated. It had a warm and antique feel that I was excited to sample. However only one word came to mind when I tasted it, cheap. This wine was like a shopping trip to the Bombay Company. It appeared to sit comfortably among it's peers but actually was Chinsy and poorly made when compared to an actual fine wine.

The second wine to be reviewed was the Echelon Merlot. It was dark, warm and inviting. This wine was comforting, like spending a day in story telling, great theological debate, and general musings with an old friend. It had an integrity and an intelligence that anyone would desire in a best friend. This wine conveys intimacy and trust to those it is shared with.

The third wine, the Sterling Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon was a smart wine. It felt complete like the tenious plans made by a veteran engineer. This wine was a pleasure to the pallette.

Finally the fourth wine of this wine flight was the Estancia Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was both perky and threating. It had a fun side, yet knew how to be mature when the time called for it. As a person she would be both sophisticated professional and a daring prankster. This person would seem distant and cold at first, yet develop to be a most trusted friend. This wine belongs as a staple table wine in any hospitable home.

Lent: Serpents and Satisfaction (Day 3)

Listen to Numbers 21 focusing on the text from verses 4-8:

In our Bible study at work we are reading through the book of Job. Today we were on chapter 6. Job is begining his response to his friend Eliphaz's comments in chapters 4-5. At this point Job is a desperate man. Having lost his crops, his herds, his home, his health, and most hurtful I believe his children, he is mustering all remaining strength in his destitution not to curse God. In verse 4 Job actually states that his spirit has been poisoned by God; in verse 9 he asks God to crush his body since death has become a welcomed joy.

Job has plenty to trouble his Spirit here. He has plenty to complain about. I know something about complaining. I hear them everyday. One of my coworkers complained today that he was put in jail with a murder this morning simply for driving on expired licensed plates. A manager complained about the number of people more concerned about the arrest than the day's work. I spent my morning complaining that I was wasting my lunch hour today on a trip to have my wife's vehicle emssion tested so that I did not end up in a jail cell.

It's not exclusive to my workplace, in our home the complaints come from all ages, and measure across all sorts of problem. My four year old complains that I will not give her a second helping of Fritos at bed time snack. My 20 month old complains, "Mao!" We are unsure what the word means, but the inflection clairifies it is a serious greivance. My wife constantly reminds me of her cheif complaint, "I HATE pregnancy, and you did this to me you know!." I like the others at our house rattle off disgust with the same distaste and disregard.

It is clear to me that not one of us in my family, not one of my coworkers, not a single person I know seems to live satisfied. Job was not satisfied with the gift of living. I am not satisified with the abundance of blessings I live in. Israel was not satisfied with it's freedom from Egypt.

That is what the bronze serpent was all about. Yesterday, I committed to reread and reexamine the story of the brazen serpent. So, I did. I discovered that Israel was dissatified with the theocracy they were living under. Israel was dissatisfied with the prospect of another meal consisiting of manna and quail. Israel longed for the tasty morsels of food they enjoyed as slaves in Egypt. So a they complained. So they vocalized their disgust at Moses and at the Lord. These people deserved better. This nation deserved more than just the bland living of God's desert provision. The people of Israel desired their tounges, their bodies, their every physical desire to be satisfied on demand. So a plauge came into their community.

Truthfully, the people of this clan called Israel are no different than most people I know. Most people I know are living under the burden of the plauge that result from self indulgence. Most people I know spend their whole lives chasing forbidden fruits that leave them hiding in shame.
Some people I know however, have discovered their self indulgent pursuits are the poison that is killing them on the inside. These people, the ones brave enough to face that truth are looking for something that will take away the pain, the misery, and death caused by the serpent.

In the case of Israel, in the time of this plauge that sight was a bronze serpent lifted on a pole towering in the air. I believe the image was a methaphor for God's ultimate redemptive plan. I believe the bronze snake was an allegory to the sin and the iniquity that the Christ would bear. I believe the image was a prophecy for they death Jesus would die as He was lifted up to be a spectacle.

Israel looked at a bronze snake lifted on nondescript post to recieve the healing of their bodies through the power of the Great Physican. The serpent lifted on the post was not ugly and detestable like the cold blooded invertabrates that slithered through the camp. It was golden in color and sparkled in the desert sun. This serpent was forged from from the offerings given to the Lord, for his glory. The serpent that killed and destroyed still slinked about the camp, but this serpent formed to shame the other's likeness brought life.

Today, we as spiritual Israel look at the Christ, who though he had no sin and though he had no shame bore our sin and our shame on nondescipt wooden cross so that our bodies, our soul, and our spirit might be healed through the power of the Great Physican. The snake, that wiley serpent who first snuck death into the garden, was shamed as Christ was lifted up in beauty bearing his likeness, the sin of the world, as an offering to God.

The perspective of the people changed drastically after the poisonus snakes came in. Before the plauge the people felt that it would take bread, meat, and gourmet spices to satsify their needs. Once the venom of snake bite forced them to stare down gauntlet of physical death, there were no complaints about the petty trivial concerns that had consumed them before. After the poison of the bite, they needed only life to satisfy them.

On my best days, when I am thinking clearly, and seeking the crucified Christ with all my heart I realize that life is all I really need to be satisfied as well. I do not need more things, I do not need more comfort, I need only the bread of life and the cup of the new covenant to satisfy my most true needs.

"More Than Rain
More Than Bread
By Your Hand I'm always fed.

More than Air
More than life
My Every need you satisfy.

You Satisfy
You Satisfy my heart and soul"
-Matt Lundgren

The plauge changed the measure of satisfaction for the people of Israel; no loner was it about their hunger and thirst, but instead it was about their life. The end of the Job's story like Israel's is finding his satisfaction in seeing God. I, when I see the Lord raised on a nondescript post bearing his offering and taking on the likeness of sin, realize that only he can fill me, only he can find my true thirst and satisfy.

Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient along the way, 5and they began to murmur against God and Moses. "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" they complained. "There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this wretched manna!"

So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among them, and many of them were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes." So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to the top of a pole. Those who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!" - Numbers 21:4-8


MSN - News - A Day in Monaghan's 'Lost' Life

Lost was featured on MSN this morning. I thought this quote by the actor playing Charlie is exactly why I like this show so much.

MSN - News - A Day in Monaghan's 'Lost' Life: "'It's like the island is a big mirror, and everyone has to look at their reflection when they're on the island. Each character has to question what they've done or who they are or why they made those decisions. Because of that, it is ultimately a redemption story.'"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Autistic Teen's Hoop Dreams Come True

Every blog should link to this story.

CBS News | Autistic Teen's Hoop Dreams Come True

Watch the crowd in the video when he sinks the last shot.

Lent: Teaching Passover To My Children (Day 2)

Listen to Exodus 12 focusing on the text from verses 24-28:

The message of the passover is a central concept from scripture. It is the story of redemption and restoration. It is the story of the soverign God interveening for the renewal of hope to a hopeless people. Our story, the Christian story, is a story of God's passover as well. Our story, the Christian story, is a story of how God's judgement passed over our homes. Our story, the Christian story, is a story that must be passed on to our children in the mundane of daily living.

Today, my daughter and I were at the clinic. She has an infection in her eyelid and after 10 days on an antibiotic it was still present so the doctor wanted to see her. As we sat in the examination room, waiting for the doctors arrival, she saw the medical symbol on a scale that was in the room. Looking over at me she asked, "What is that monster?" It took me a few questions to discover what "monster" she was looking at. I agreed in my head that the symbol did look a little monsterous, and proceeded to explain what the symbol was.

"That is the brazen serpent," I explained, "It is the symbol for a doctor but it comes from the Bible."

"Where," she asked?

"It is a story of Moses, who delivered God's people from the land of Egypt."

"I know that story," she sighed, knowing there were no "brazen serpents" in it.

"No! No!" I continued, "This story takes place after they had left for Israel..."

I explained how the people of Israel sinned, how they were cursed with a plauge, and how Moses set up the pole with the serpent so that anyone who looked at would be healed of the plauge.

In truth I did not remember the details of the story. I still don't, and after I am done typing this I am going to go read it, and rediscover all the details like what the sin was, what the plauge was, and other parts that may have slipped my mind. What I did remember was how the great physcian was present to send healing. What I did remember is how God's gracious gift of forgiveness and healing was there and present for his people. What I did remember was that God himself was present with his people.

I am humbled by the awesome responsibilty of passing the story of God onto my children. I am unworthy of a task so immense as to teach the truth of God's pursuit for his people to these beloved children. I feel after all these years, that I am just learning myself, about the depth of God, and I am but a toddler trying to pass on that depth which is beyond the minds of adults to my precious babies.

I am thankful for the passover of God's grace. I am thankful for the lamb that was sacrificed so that His blood could bring redemption. I will respond in joy to that gift as I pass on the message of freedom from slavery and abundant living to my girls.

"And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes" - Exodus 12:26-27

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

That's Some Pig

Pinto the pig, resident of Brookfield Zoo and featured celebrity of today's fesitivies celebrating National Pig Day, has his modern artwork is being sold online for auction tommorow at EBay.

According to Groink, National Pig day is an over 30 year old event that helps people to, "remember the good things pigs have brought to us." I am unclear as to what benefits besides ham, pork, bacon, and twinkie filling they are refering to.

This is ongoing proof, that the truth really is strange than fiction: and don't even get me started on the "Edible City"

Lent: Reflections (Day 1)

Since deciding to practice the discipline of lent back in college I try each year to participate in a few things on this first day to set my mind in it's correct place.

Read the Lent entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia over on New Advent (This is an ancient web resource already online back in 1996)
Read Thomas Aquinas' work on Fasting in Summa Theologica.
Decide the nature and scope of my fast to the Lord.
Choose a section of scripture to commit to memory during this period.

This year I found a wonderful post on Fasting and Frugality that I plan on returning to in future years. As I was reading and preparing for my decision making I decided to participate in a daylight fast this year from food and sweetners. I also committed to the memorization of James 1. It is my hope that these acts will combine to give me a more "sacrificial" oriented worldview throughout the year.

- Romans 16:17-19 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

My Daughter's Temper Tantrum

It is currently 11:45 as I begin to write this post. I note that because at 8:00 I sat down to hack around at my computer for a few minutes while I supervised my daughter. As is obvious, I am way ahead of myself. So let me take you back...

Yesterday I picked up my 4 year old from preschool. The teacher asked me if she could speak to me for a minute. I looked down at my child as a look of horror crossed her face. I was informed by her teacher that she had thrown 2 temper tantrums during class that involved stamping her feet, crying, and screaming. I thanked to teacher for letting me know and I took my little girl home.

I talked to my daughter on the way home, and let her know that I would decide on an appropriate punishment before I got home from work in 2 hours. (I skip my lunch and creep out to pick her up) I stayed a little late at work to try and finish a project I was working on and when I got home from work I had printed 7 handwriting pages.

  1. Ms. X,
  2. I am sorry
  3. I was bad
  4. on Monday.
  5. I will act better
  6. from now on.
  7. Sorry, Ella

Each of these pages made her practice each word 5 times. (Additionally she lost her television and computer privilege for two days, but that is irrelevant to the story.) I let her know that we would work on 4 pages on Monday night, and finish the remaining 3 pages on Tuesday night so she could take her letter to Ms. X on Wednesday.

Everything went well and at about 8:00 this evening my daughter and I sat down to complete her remaining 3 sheets. I was going to sit at the computer and add some links from Feedburner to my Blogger Template while she worked. As I completed the Feedburner work, I decided to make a few more template tweaks since she was still on the first of the three pages. She finished her work in about 40 minutes with minimal protest and I had gotten myself in deep.

It seemed harmless enough, the changes I wanted to make.

  1. Take out the double line caused by adding the social bookmarks
  2. Move Google Talk icon down to Contact Me section
  3. Replace Archive List with drop down box
  4. Add new function to estimate reading time
  5. Make comments appear on Main Page

Now I should note that the total time spent on items 2-4 was no more than 20 minutes collectively. The time originally spent on 5 was only about 20 minutes itself. However item 5 complicated the problem existing in item 1 so now I had 4 lines on the bottom of each post.

At this point a developer has a decision to make. Remove code for item 5 and deal with the small problem originally existing in item 1 OR move forward since any problem can be fixed with enough code and enough time. I opted for the latter.

Although my page may look virtually unchanged to you the viewer. The <blogger> section of the page had to be gutted and reassembled. This operation was to involve a delicate balance of Coldfusion - JavaScript - and Blogger Template Tags all working together to create this perfectly functioning and looking page I had in my head.

Time and Code prevailed and you are seeing the result of that work. I am reminded of a quote that hung on my mirror in both high school and college.

You Could have stayed home
you could have gone somewhere else
but instead you decided
to wittiness the result
of countless hours of perspiration
of my passion and more preparation
than most of us will ever know.
All for the sake of a great performance.

May you enjoy the show.