Archive for August, 2012

Every so often I get the urge to get rid of all my proprietary hardware and software and go back to open source. Part of it is probably motivated by a sense of guilt over having these high-priced gadgets. Another part, however is prompted by the restrictions inherent to proprietary tools. The rebel in me doesn’t want to be told what I can and cannot do with my stuff. But also remember the struggles and stress of trying to get open source products to do what I wanted. Eventually this feeling will pass.


Good Birthday Weekend

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Faith, Family, Life

It has been a good Birthday weekend.  I was able to spend Friday morning swimming with my family and friday afternoon preparing to GM a role-playing adventure.

Saturday began by helping M deliver her papers on her new paper route followed by Men’s Bible Study.  We really got serious.  After that M joined me at the Troll’s Den in Kearney for a Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game adventure.  I was a bit worried going in as all my original gaming group have one by one dropped out to the real life stuff.  We, however had three new players to the game yesterday with a full compliment of six adventurers.  Good thing too as they brought the entire Orc tribe down on their heads in the first encounter (always remember to search for traps when entering an enemy’s lair!).  The adventure was fun.  I also picked up my copies of the AD&D 1st Edition reprints.  Beautiful books.

This morning I had the privilege of speaking at 1st Presbyterian in Holdrege.  I am honored that Brother Kirwin trusts me (a Baptist) with is flock.  After church we had some friends over.  My wife made an excellent dinner.  After a nap I played some praise music at home and several of the family joined in, including Lil’ K who made a joyful noise.  In just a few minutes I’m going to lead our church’s Sunday evening prayer meeting.

Thank you, God, for a good weekend, for great family (blood and spiritual), and for another amazing year in Your service.

Sometimes Hate is Good

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Faith, History, Life, Politics

Recently I saw a picture on Facebook which stated, “Don’t hate that which you don’t understand”.  My first thought was, “Don’t assume someone doesn’t understand that which they hate”.  Sometimes hate is justified and the more we know of a thing the more we ought to hate it.  Let me give you two examples, one from history, and one current.

Personally I believe that Nazism in general and the Nazi regime in particular are deserving of our hatred.  Both the philosophy and manifestation of that philosophy either directly committed or caused to be committed unspeakable atrocities, not only against the Jewish people but minorities of all kinds, devout Christians, mentally and physically handicapped, anyone who spoke out, etc.  Hate is an appropriate emotional response and the more one learns about the Nazi regime and the policies they enacted and atrocities committed, the more one’s hatred ought to grow.  This hatred helps to safeguard against such a thing happening again.

Currently in our time we are dealing with a global epidemic (would that then be a pandemic) in Human Trafficking.  Again I would argue that hatred is an appropriate response.  This hatred ought to spur us on to activity.  This is not simply an academic history lesson, but a current concern.  This is something we can and must do something about now.  My sister’s church is actively involved in the fight against human trafficking.  Not simply taking up special offerings and mouthing words of support, they are active in their work to help stop it.  Looking from the outside, I would say that their fight against this evil is second only to their concern for the lost – and the two passions tie together very well.  Not hating this evil leads to complacency and traps people in a living hell.

I absolutely hate that children all over the world are starving to death.  In 2008, nearly 9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday. One third of these deaths were due in some way to hunger and malnutrition.  My hatred for this situation causes me to petition and write letters to various government officials, encouraging them to work to end this.  My hatred for this situation causes me to devote financial resources to supporting children through Compassion International (Word Vision is another great child sponsorship organization).  My hatred for this situation causes me to volunteer time to help pack food with Feed My Starving Children.  My hatred for this situation causes me to try to convince other people to join me on this crusade.

Support is not clicking a “like” button or forwarding an email.  Support means to bear all or a part of the weight of something, to give assistance to something or someone, etc.  It means putting your money, time, energy and other resources where you’re mouth is.

It is good to hate evil.  Do not assume I do not understand that which I hate.  Ignorance is not the only cause of hatred.  Sometimes a healthy dollop of knowledge produces a healthy measure of hatred.

Limiting Technology Creep

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Family, Life

Small steps add up to great distances.  Little things grow to large things.  Having trouble reaching me?  I’m not replying as quickly as I used to?  Be patient.

In an effort to be more focused on the here, to increase productivity and cherish my family more I have taken a rather small step of turning off all push notifications on my phone and tablet.  No longer will my days, meetings, projects, meal times, etc. be interrupted by blings and bloops.  I will check facebook, twitter, texts, and email according to my schedule.  I promise a reply within 24 hours.  If it absolutely cannot wait, one can call me, but even my ringer will be turned off when in meetings, at meal times and when I’m playing with my children.  I will call you back shortly thereafter.

This is one step in creating a more healthy life for myself and my family.

Pain. Mucho Pain.

Posted: August 15, 2012 in Life

The pain in my brain is driving me insane.

Came home yesterday with the start of a migraine.  It went from low-grade to world-class in a few hours despite meds.  I made it through the night in a drugged stupor.  Not exactly restful.  This morning I felt good enough to go to work. I came home early today. Not feeling peachy.

August 14, 2012

Posted: August 14, 2012 in Family, Life

Writing comes in fits and starts. Days, weeks, even months can go by without my writing anything, not even in my personal journal. Suddenly I’ll pick it up again and create three posts in a day. And this state of affairs may continue for a short spell before silence once again falls. This used to bug me. I felt it was a betrayal of some kind (of whom I’m not sure). I’d begin the first post after a long hiatus by apologizing for my absence (for the benefit of the two people who actually read my blog).

I got over it.

I write for me. I’m not sure why I write – some catharsis of some kind I’m sure. If people find something amusing, inspiring, entertaining, or whatever in the organization of these electrons, then shiny. If not – well, I don’t much care.

Today’s writing is probably prompted by the oxycodone in my system. We have four sick people in the house (including myself) topped off by a low-grade migraine. On the plus side, Jenn made for dinner, the best chinese food I have ever tasted in my life! The only reason we stopped eating (okay, the only reason I stopped eating) was because we ran out. We usually have left-overs. It saves money to cook more and eat it for days. Unfortunately Jenn made it too good so there are no left-overs.

Dessert tonight is brought to us by M who made them all by herself without any assistance while Jenn napped. And they have her own special flair. The recipe called for vanilla extract. M couldn’t find the vanilla extract so she used lemon extract. I’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie with lemon extract. It’s not bad, just … different.

Okay, that’s all for now.

A Scripture of Encouragement

Posted: August 6, 2012 in Faith

Today I was read a passage I so badly needed to hear.  2 Corinthians 4

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Tyndale House Publishers. (2007). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (3rd ed.) (2 Co 4:1–18). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.