Archive for February, 2004

One Great Weekend

This weekend is one that I wish didn’t have to end. It started off with a trip to the theater to see The Passion of the Christ on Friday night. The movie was very good, but not perfect. I’m glad that it was made. With all the hype, I expected it to be more violent than it was, even though it was very violent. The fullness of the message that Mel Gibson tried to convey wasn’t realised for me until I had some time to think about, and sleep on, what I’d seen.

Saturday I went with my girlfriend to meet her parents. The day went very well, better than I ever could have expected. Her family is great, and I look forward to spending more time with them in the future. It was her dad’s birthday, which made for a good occation for the meeting. I also spent time with Lager Lover and his now fiancé. He proposed to her late Saturday night after returning home. She said yes! Congrats to them, I am very happy for them and wish them the best.

Today was a goofy day. I hoped to sleep in, go to church, and come home to take a nap. Instead, I got a call that I forgot my cell phone at my girlfriend’s last night, so I went to her place to get it after church. I talked her into getting a treadmill once I got there, and we set off to get one. We ran around looking for the store, but never found it (the one we finally found wasn’t a store, it was their wharehouse.) We’ll have to try again next weekend. After leaving, I met my parents at my apartment, as they drove up to bring me a kitchen table. They stayed about an hour and a half or so and then left.

Overall the weekend went very well. I don’t look forward to getting back to the grind tomorrow.

Even Good Guys Have Bad Days

From The Onion:

Transformer Refuses To Change BackInto Volkswagen
CYBERTRON—Following an intense battle with Megatron and his evil Decepticons Monday, former robot-in-disguise Bumblebee refused to revert to his natural state as a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. “I hid my existence in this world by taking the form of a vehicle! I revealed my true nature when I was called upon to protect earth!” said Bumblebee, a member of Optimus Prime’s heroic Autobots force. “I refuse to change back into a humiliating bubble-shaped compact car!” Bumblebee added that Megatron arrived on earth with one goal: Destruction!

I Wouldn’t Do That

OpenOffice

Last week I extolled the virtues of using Mozilla as an internet browser. I’d like now to recommend another Open Source alternative to using Micro$oft. Open Office is a great office suite that does most of what Microsoft Office does. It will read and write Word Documents and Excel Spreadsheets. It also has a Powerpoint-like slide show program. Unlike Word, it has a built-in feature that allows you to save your files as PDF files, which can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The easiest way to do this on Word is to buy Adobe Acrobat for several hundred dollars.

The down side: I can’t seem to get it to work well on Mac OSX. Bummer, since this is where I need it most. I have Microsoft Office installed on my work computer, but it only allows so many people to be using it at once, and usually someone else is using it, preventing me from using it.

The best thing about Open Office is, like Mozilla, it’s free. You can download it here.

Glad to Know Linux

Ok, I don’t really know Linux, but it sure is nice to have a basic understanding of it. Linux is a form of Unix, and the newest Mac operating system sits on top of FreeBSD, another form of Unix. I was having trouble at work today trying to save some drawing files I was working on that were on another guy’s machine. It was telling me that the folder I was trying to save to was write protected, and would only allow him to save to that folder. On his machine, it was telling him that the folder was open for all to read and write to. We couldn’t get it to work through the normal Mac means. I decided I wasn’t going to fight it all day and went in through the command line on his machine and had it working in under a minute. Without my basic Linux experience, we could have been fighting this little problem all day long.

My Utmost for His Highest

I don’t post the day’s “My Utmost” very often, and don’t think I’ve ever done it two days in a row, but this is an especially good one. I am admittedly very guilty of what it speaks of myself.

INFERIOR MISGIVINGS ABOUT JESUS
Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with. – John 4:11

“I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me really to live it out in the details of my life!” When it comes to facing Jesus Christ on His own merits, our attitude is one
of pious superiority – Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done. Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way in some particular. These misgivings about
Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God – Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after? Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. It is all very well to say “Trust in the Lord,” but a man must live, and Jesus has nothing to draw with – nothing whereby to give us these things. Beware of the pious fraud in you which says – I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself. None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot.

My misgivings arise from the fact that I ransack my own person to find out how He will he able to do it. My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself,
let me bring them to the light and confess them – “Lord, I have had misgivings about Thee, I have not believed in Thy wits apart from my own; I have not believed in Thine almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.”

My Utmost for His Highest

THE DESTITUTION OF SERVICE
Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. – 2 Corinthians 12:15

Natural love expects some return, but Paul says – I do not care whether you love me or not, I am willing to destitute myself completely, not merely for your sakes, but that I may get you to God. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.” Paul’s idea of service is exactly along that line – I do not care with what extravagance I spend myself, and I will do it gladly. It was a joyful thing to Paul.

The ecclesiastical idea of a servant of God is not Jesus Christ’s idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of other men. Jesus Christ out-socialists the socialists. He says that in His Kingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all. The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples’ feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God. Paul delighted to spend him self out for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economical notions – “Suppose God wants me to go there – what about the salary? What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things.” All that is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focuses Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint in his life, viz.: not one who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken bread
and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives.

Do You Know Your Political Spectrum

I used to sympathize with the Democratic Party, having been raised by Democrats who were both raised by Democrats. I’ll even admit, as much as it shames me to say so, that I voted to re-elect Bill Clinton in 1996. To my defense, I didn’t become a Christian until 1999, and I didn’t really grasp the reality of politics until shortly after. I was raised to believe that the Democratic Party championed the cause of the average Joe, and the economically downtrodden. I was taught that Republicans were all greedy rich people elected by greedy rich people. I was amazed to learn that I was taught wrong on both counts. I briefly threw a lot of support to the Republicans, and still occasionally vote Republican, but am proud that I have never voted for a Republican for President, and unless Alan Keyes runs again, I probably won’t in the future. That doesn’t mean that I would ever vote Democrat again though, I’d actually rather remove my own brain with a hand-powered drill and a pair of chop-sticks.

One thing that I learned about the political spectrum that surprised me, and that most people don’t realize, is that while the Nazi’s/Fascists are always regarded as the extreme right-wing, and the Communists are the extreme left-wing, the two are actually very similar and both are far left-wing. The Nazi party is the National Socialist party. They are anti-gun, anti-capitalist, and somewhat anti-religion. They are/were taught as being right-wing because while the Communists are staunchly ant-religion, the Nazi’s allow for some form of religion, as long as the people bend to the will of the State. Both, however, are socialist extremes.

So you didn’t know this, and now you’re going to say “well, the political spectrum is actually a circle. If you go far enough in one direction, you’ll end up coming back on the other side.” This is a mistake that stems from further ignorance. The United States, as it was created 228 years ago, was almost as far to the right as it gets. The Right is defined by its love of Freedom, Capitalism, and personal responsibility. It only works in a society that gets by allowing the people to govern themselves. The Left, on the other hand, transfers power from the people to the government, and sees Capitalism as unfair (or so they say).

An interesting article on the political spectrum can be found here. I don’t agree with it 100%, but it is definitely off in the right direction.

Scariest Verses in all of Scripture

Listening to a commentary on Isaiah at work, I’m reminded of what I think are the scariest verses in all of scripture; found in the 7th chapter of Matthew:

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Will an Amendment Work?

I listened to The Radio Factor a little on the way home for lunch today. O’Reilly was talking about the need for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I agree completely, and have signed petitions showing my support for it that have gone to the desks of all three of my elected representatives in the Legislature. I fear that it will only slow the move toward Sodom, and do little to actually stop it. We already have a government that disregards the first, second, fourth, seventh, ninth, and tenth amendments, and is eroding the fifth, sixth, and eighth; and that’s just the Bill of Rights. What makes anyone think they’d abide by what would be the 28th Amendment?