Friday, March 23, 2007

Listening To N.T. Wright

I am in Mundelein listening to N.T. Wright at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. I will update this post with his ideas and themes as he makes good points.

The New Testament knows nothing a a vague going to heaven (as a reward)... Nor does the New Testament know of a vague kingdom (figuratively on earth)...

Heaven and earth were created as the interlocking hubs of God's whole creation

Romans 8 not about a disembodied non spatial eternity but about the remaking of Creation.

As John begins his gospel with words of Genesis 1 ... Jesus resurrection is the 8th day of God's creation.. the new creation being reborn... the coming together of heaven and Earth.

Space - Time - Matter each is to be renewed rather than abandoned.

The age to come was not a platonic a temporal final state .... but instead filled with time... God made time and plenty of it.... We have supposed that time is part of the problem.
Rather we should see TIME itself as being remade along with the new earth and new heaven.

The past in the passover is present again by obedience of God's call to the feast as those redeemed by the blood of the lamb.

If heaven and earth have really overlapped in Jesus and Jesus wanted that overlap to continue through this meal he bequeath to his followers it can only be realized through faith hope and love

Friday, March 16, 2007

Great Post On Skubula

This is a great post:

The word you want to keep your eye on is "σκύβαλα"--pronounced "skubala." Here's a literal translation of the verse.

But indeed I also consider everything to be loss on account of the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I forfeited all things; and I consider them shit so that I may gain Christ...

Yes, you heard me right. Skubala means shit. Not only does it literally mean shit--i.e., human excrement--but it also has the same connotation. It is a vulgar word. Paul would not have said it in mixed company unless he expected a reaction.

Celiac PSA

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My Daughter's Leprechaun Trap

Here is the Leprechaun trap I built for Ella's school. It was an assignment that became an obsession and got a little out of hand. The trap has over $60 worth of supplies in it, and cost over a $100 when you take into account ideas that did not make it into the final product. It was lot of fun to build. The main emphasis of the piece is a radiometer that is designed to attract the leprechaun's attention. There are also jingle bells and gold buttons dangling from the top.

When we were designing it, my daughter and I decided that slime was the only solution for successfully capturing a leprechaun. Since these beasts are nefarious for the ability to escape the trappings of gold collectors, we decided that a slimy sticky mess was only sure footed way to secure the mythical creature.

So here are the pics:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Immigration - A Hard Issue In These Days

I have a real issue with our immigration policy as a country. In a truly free society any person should be free to live anywhere they own or rent despite any need for "citizenship" The problem in a world of Social Security and Medicaid one can not have a truly free society. So rich white people from a xenophobic conservative background and their (also rich & white) "liberal" opponents drive in the $60K SUVs to meetings to debate these matters.

Sometimes though the reality of these debates manages to peek it's way through the political fodder of angels and pin tips. One such example is chronicled by Larry James about his friend Monica. Please read his post.

Great McD Commericial

Mike Todd has this great little video on his blog. I love it because I swear this is the way my 5 year old sees the world around her. Additionally I like to think on my better days, when I not to busy an adult, that I too can enjoy this wonderful vision of the world.

Enjoy the video:

Friday, March 09, 2007

Great Conversation

There is a great conversation going on at the Uprooted Blog. Check it out!

Going Through The Big V

And I Don't Mean Vancouver!!!

It is that time, today is my appointment for that ever important decision to not add any more yungins to our family. I would post pics but I am sure NOBODY wants to see that.

Monday, March 05, 2007

ScrubIT - Good Protection & Free

When you get something for free, Great is asking too much. So I was not disappointed when the ScrubIT DNS service turned out to be good not great. I was expecting a product that would be delivered a fair rating, instead I am relieved to say "No, it was Good!"

Allow me to explain what makes this service good.
  1. A fair balance of blocking and permitting - I have used and paid for some services that feel 2/3 of the internet is bad. Yes it's true people can post inappropriate pictures in Yahoo groups. This is not a reason to block all of Yahoo Groups. The ScubIT folks seem to agree. Blatantly pornographic sites are blocked, while sites like Yahoo Groups, and YouTube where porn slips into a much larger net, are open. This alone earned Scrubit a great deal of satisfaction from my book.
  2. No Impact on Speed - This is HUGE for me. I pay good money to surf the internet at high speed. I do not want to be crippled by proxies and other services that slow my connection down. I had no visible impact on my surfing, and my benchmark and traceroutes had no noticeable speed differences either.
  3. On the border of of necessity but intentionally ignored in my assessment is the need for a third DNS server. I had to code in a dead local address to my Linksys router to keep it from acquiring and therefore assigning a non-protected DNS server to my DHCP nodes. This simple step would offer a great functional improvement.
Now allow me to opine on how I see the future for ScrubIT. Using a modified version of the GPL code for the WRT54G the ScrubIT folks should sell their own firmware. This firmware would add 3 essential processes that would catapult this service past great into the arena of perfect.
  1. Refusing to pass traffic traveling across the TOR network. Since the service is merely a DNS server my queries were passed onto the FreeDNS servers when encrypted with TOR. This meant the average 16 year old tech geek could easily circumvent the security added by mapping these protected DNS servers.
  2. Policy that blocks all traffic on port 53 to servers other than the ScrubIT assigned servers. By encoding this policy into the Firmware itself, it forms a VERY secure bond to the sites protected by the ScubIT servers. The ability to set a policy like this is available on most office routers, it is not however available on the stock Linksys firmware.
  3. Using DDNS to identify registered routers and allow customized DNS filtering based on user preferences. I requested to be included in their Beta of their paid service, however as of today (3 days since requesting) I have not been granted beta access. I assume that their Beta is a software installed on the machine, rather than a service provided at the router level. However by building a customized firmware this service could be moved to the router level and therefore protect ALL NODES on that network.

Overall, this was a very positive experience and I will be leaving their free service in place on my home network. I also would recommend that small step to anyone concerned about a good protection solution for their home network. I will post in the next day or two a step by step tutorial on using ScrubIT with a Linksys router.

UPDATE:03/07/2007 - They are blocking Moviephone a popular site for viewing trailers for upcoming movies. This is the first "false positive" I have come across. If you are a movie fan you should keep this in mind.

UPDATE:03/10/2007 - They have added Blogger to their block list. I am appealing it using their service. That will be a "no deal" for me.

UPDATE:03/13/2007- Blogger is back online through the ScrubIT servers.

2 Great Quotes

Milton from Don't Eat Alone had 2 great quotes on his blog today and connected them with a wonderful parable on his own person struggles with living as Christ in the world:

Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. - Philo of Alexandria

Christ has no body on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the world.
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now. - St. Theresa of Avilia
Stop over at his post to be blessed.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Snoopstick & ScrubIT

2 great products have come out in the recent dates that pair together well for protecting our families from the dangers of online pornography. Whenever I lecture on this subject, I always point out that protection has to be three fold.

1. PUBLIC PLACES & AGREED ON SPACES - All computers should be in locations within the home that are public and shared between multiple members of the family. NO ONE (Dad & Mom) included should be privately using a computer. No closed doors! is the most important line of defense.

2. PROTECT THE MACHINE - Accountability is key in this pursuit. Every family should have software in place that allows parents and the other spouse to see ALL online activity. Monitoring and Filtering is a practice that should be disclosed to all family members. Remember the battle is for the heart and mind and so the family should be together in the discussion.

3. PROTECT THE NETWORK - In addition to filtering and monitoring the computer parents must also be aware that Sony PS3 - Nintendo DS - Nintendo Wii - TiVo and other net connected devices can also be used to surf internet photos. Additionally through the usage of Linux boxes, Live CDS, and other techniques PC filters can all be avoided. I have been discouraged recently since Linksys stopped supporting the abilty to parental control on the router. However I was excited to see there is a new (less end-user friendly) solution.

There is so much more to be said about these issues, but this is not a lecture about internet protection. For that you will need to invite me to come spend a weekend with your church. This is about the Snoopstick and ScrubIT service.

Snoopstick - I don't have one yet so my comments are based on what I read on the site. As soon as I can get one of these cats I will give a more thorough review. Snoopstick looks like a similar product to SpectorPro which I have recommended for some time. The advantages of Snoopstick is it seems to have easier remote access.
One other potential advantage of the Snoopstick over SpectorPro is that the programmers could set it up to require both (mom and dad) USB keys to uninstall and disable the filter. This protects couple who choose to use the configuration from the temptation of disabling the filter for their own addictions. At this time Snoopstick does not contain that functionality, but it would make it a perfect product.

ScrubIT - Since Linksys stopped shipping WRT54Gs with the Parental control option I have been discouraged about the 3rd line of defense in protecting our families. ScrubIT answers those concerns by providing DNS servers that can be set at the router level. The free service has no customization but they are working on a beta that will allow some level of customization. I will try out their DNS servers this weekend on my home network to see if this is a solution to add to my presentation.

I am excited about these new products. I will have more post soon once I am able to use them both.

As always when I am this subject, I want to remind you of the importance of these discussions. I believe in this SO MUCH that I will bring your church a presentation that will look candidly at these issues. In the full weekend we spend time with the parents talking about the spiritual realities and offering practical solutions to these issues. We spend time with your youth group challenging them to understand God's passion for their purity. Finally Sunday morning we can present a presentation about Godly passion and Carnal passion.

The future strength of our churches is based on our acceptance of God's call to true religion. This is an important part of our pursuit of purity.

Why is Blog Not A Spell Check Word Yet?

I sent an email using the word blog several time. My spell check wanted to correct it to log and Blogger to logger. Why is this. I am ready to stand on a soap box and let the spell check writers of the world it is time to accept blog as a legitimate English word.