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Archive for January, 2007

Written January 31st, 2007 with No Comments »

The Top 10 list of The Most Redeeming Films of 2006 is out! It’s a good list, published by Christianity Today. The No.1 spot of 2006 went to The Nativity Story, as well it should. My kids will be thrilled to see Charlotte’s Web at No. 6. They love that movie. Overall, the Top 10 list is a great resource for folk who are looking for family-friendly movies. Also published is a list of films called “The Ones That Got Away”. The Ones That Got Away is a great list of Christianity Today reader choices that did not make the official Top 10 list. Hat tip: CawleyBlog

Written January 30th, 2007 with No Comments »

Real relationships happen in real-time, in real life. The Internet is wonderful for exchanging bits of information and trading the occasional but sterile interaction between faces and expressions never seen, but it is not - and never will be - an authentic alternative for authentic relationships. Should you ever foolishly begin to actually think the opposite, I would suggest a spontaneous unplugging of your machines and the taking of an immediate and real walk out in the real world for a bit. The Internet is fun, but it is just a game. Non-extracurricular activity existing well beyond the exchanging of bits of information and the occasional and faceless interaction swap is really where you will find yourself … and your deepest needs and their solutions. The rest of it is just game. So, don’t eat the myth of Internet relationships. Do grab hold of some of ye’ ole perspective.

Written January 30th, 2007 with No Comments »

I have another new Wordpress 2.1 theme to add to my “Sublunary Series”. The series now includes Stone, Water, Air & Moss. Moss, like all other Sublunary Series themes, aesthetically reflects the name given to it in form and design. You can demo all of the Sublunary Series themes at Praxis247.

A Wordpress 2.1 Theme

Moss will be released for download in a bit (I’m still working on it a bit). Moss, like Stone, Water and Air, is not built for modification. It is intended to be used “as is”. It is completely widget ready. It plugs and plays nice, as far as I can tell.

Moss is XHTML & CSS Standards Compliant; Widget ready; plays nice with Firefox and IE 7; & it is built for use with Wordpress 2.1. Moss also features the latest post, while displaying dated posts below in an very organized but separate display. Enjoy! Download Now!

Written January 30th, 2007 with No Comments »

I have heard it said that waiters and waitresses detest Sunday afternoon shifts because Christians leave lousy tips. This should not be! Christians, of all people, should leave the most ridiculously generous tips! So, how much should you tip your waiter or waitresses? My wife and I always leave a 20 - 25% tip, depending upon the service. We never go below 20%, especially after church, on a Sunday afternoon. If you are a lousy Christian tipper, fret not there is some help. You can start by reading 5 Tips for Good Christian Tipping by Kingdom People: 1. Realize that your waiter/waitress probably knows you are a Christian. 2. Remember what your waiter/waitress is making an hour. 3. Remember that you are not usually a server’s only customer. 4. If you leave a tract, please leave a tip too! 5. Astound the server with your generosity.

Written January 30th, 2007 with No Comments »

A video documenting a son taking his dad to church. Dad hasn’t been to church in over twenty years. This is a big church, folks. Police actually direct traffic, if I heard the son correctly. Too, Dad & son are attending the 4:00 PM Sunday afternoon service. So, dad’s jump back into church is accompanied by a big, big splash. Dad’s final thoughts: “I like it! I want to come back. Only thing is, I don’t want to get the flu. There’s a lot of people. There’s a lot of flu in here somewhere. I liked the service. The music was beautiful.” The video, in all seriousness, challenges us all with the idea of guests in our services. It is something about which we should think long and hard. It’s good to see dad’s and sons going to church together. Lord, keep the flu away from him! Praise the Lord!

Written January 29th, 2007 with No Comments »

I was going to wait & upgrade to Mint Version 2.0 later this week, but I actually just found $19.12 growing mold in my PayPal account. So, I thought I may as well spend the money if it is going to do nothing but lay there all commie-lazy and zero-interest-like (it turns out the $19.12 has actually been laying in there since early October!). So, to make an unnecessarily long story much shorter, I’ll just say this: Lo-Fi is Minty fresh, and sporting the new 2.0 Version style. I’m loving it too! Mint Version 2.0 is well worth the ridiculously reasonable upgrade price. So, get it and become addicted to stats gawking. Too, you will toss a bit of well deserved support toward a great independent developer, Shaun Inman.

The following are a few screens of what is unarguably the prettiest stats tool available today:

Mint Stats 1

Mint Stats 2

Mint Stats 3

Mint Stats 4

Written January 29th, 2007 with No Comments »

HeLives.com has built another great resource for Christians: BibleMap! The motivation for building the site, according to its developers, was to “create a free Bible atlas which harnesses Google Maps … and to help make the living book of the Bible more alive in your life.” BibleMap is in beta at the moment, so don’t expect complete perfection just yet! It is amazing what can be accomplished with Google Maps. Also, you can choose between ESV and KJV translations.

Written January 28th, 2007 with No Comments »

How do I unwind after a very long day and the all of the precious kids are finally sleeping soundly? Teagames, baby. My favorites: TG Motocross, TG Motocross 2, BMX Ghost, 3D Pool, and 9 Ball Pool. I’ve been into Motocross since I was 12 (I even raced PA District 5 a few times!). I also picked up pool in Western Pennsylvanian bars, back in the day.

Written January 28th, 2007 with No Comments »

We are all born naked. We rush youth trying to become old. Then we beat time into delusion in our vain attempts to stay young. We refuse to die with grace and dignity. We prefer crowds to mirrors. We frame discussion in the past or future, forever avoiding the present. We are more ‘other’ than we are ‘ourselves’. We insist on defining ourselves by things we do, rather than who we really are when we are completely alone with the self in the dark.

We are the perpetual man & woman in the Garden of Eden, trembling in fear at the mere sight of our naked selves, and doing our very best to hide the nakedness with ridiculous fig leaves. We don’t fool anyone! We don’t even fool ourselves! God still calls out for us, by name, even though He already knows where we are hiding.

Kim sported fig leaves of her own. She was an honors graduate of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bartlett Marketing Partners, Inc., and a very successful entrepreneur. She wore designer business suits and the most exquisite of fashionable accessories. She also sported just enough blond hair dye to conceal time’s foreboding tracks.

Her fourteen-hour work days concluded with a tired click of her garage door remote and a lovingly ritualistic tucking in of her deep blue 2005 Jaguar XJ. Her Jaguar XJ rested for but a few peaceful hours in an oversized two-bay garage lining the cul-de-sac of a gated community in the Philly suburbs.

In spite of her American success story, Kim found herself struggling with an aging process that couldn’t be halted. She could, of course, continue her attempts to cosmetically hide it from others, but this did not relieve the personal and deep emotional effects time dealt her. She was still completely aware of what was occurring beneath her thinly decorated surface. Her long and stressful work hours helped little, but she could not stop. She needed to work long to buy much. Temporary happiness is, after all, better than zero happiness, or so she rationalized.

Kim also struggled with extreme loneliness. All the money in the world could not change her personal reality. Her parents were gone and she had no brothers or sisters. Sometimes, and in spite of the loneliness, Kim considered her lack of siblings to be a blessing in disguise. Burying one’s parents was difficult enough. She was at least ensured of the impossibility of any repeat performances of the dreaded and expensive event.

She never married. Her career came first, always. Perhaps, this too was for the best. Intimacy was not a virtue in Kim’s world. It was wrought with the danger of investments never returned. In Kim’s world it was better to be alone then to risk being left utterly alone.

So, Kim continued on, moving in place, loosing herself in career and crowd. She refused the mirror, save the regular glances to check her decorative disguise. The illusion was, after all, much more comfortable than the nakedness lurking just beneath the surface of her life. Still, she was not happy. Still, she longed for internal rest & peace. She longed for something to make her whole. She silently cried out for it daily but never …

We are all born naked. It’s true. None of us have to die in such a helpless spiritual condition. In fact, none of us do.

Written January 28th, 2007 with No Comments »

Jack Hayford, in The Beauty of Spiritual Language, writes: “It’s perfectly clear that the apostle Paul - not only a university graduate, but one of history’s most respected thinkers - saw speaking with tongues as desirable and as worthy of respect in devotional exercise. As the man who acknowledgedly is second only to Jesus Himself in securing the global establishment of Christianity, Paul not only expresses gratitude for the continuity and clear significance of such prayer in his own life, but expressly disallows anyone’s discouragement of the same. ‘I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all … Do not forbid [others] to speak with tongues’ (1 Corinthians 14:18,39).” The gift of tongues is an incredible and an undeniably sanctioned New Testament devotional & spiritual practice. I often pray in a spiritual language and can attest to its spiritual benefit and power. Tongues is a wonderful spiritual gift and often accompanies a personal devotional time too deep and intimate for common words. All the gifts of the Body of Christ are amazing, wonderful and equal in importance and corporate necessity. (For more on all of the spiritual gifts, see: 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 12:17-20; 12:28; 12:29-30; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:9-10).