Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Additions to the Gumm Family

We are so excited to have a new niece and nephew, through the miracle of adoption. You can read about them here:

The BIG day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life Intrudes

Although I love this virtual world, the real world calls all to often. There are many half-written posts sitting on hard drives and thumb drives (or "happy sticks," as I hear they are known in parts of Africa), and I don't know when any of them will meet my satisfaction for posting. Perhaps during the holidays, or after the first of the year.

So Merry Christmas.

And, as our office Christmas letter said this year, "Let each of us pause to remember the incredible grace of God as we celebrate the birth of His Son, Jesus; and that’s what Christmas is all about! Born of a virgin, the incarnate Christ came into the world to save His people from their sins. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind to satisfy a just and holy God."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Coup d'état

I thought this blog needed some Canadian content. See here for a roster sheet of the players.

It seems that the Conservative government will survive until Dec. 8, at which time it will be toppled by a coalition of Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Québecois. Those three opposition parties have formally agreed on the terms of the coup.

Only the Liberals and NDP will be in government officially. The Bloc will remain in opposition, with the proviso that they will always vote with the government on things that matter. And of course the government will make sure that no votes are called on things that the Bloc can't stomach.

Congratulations to Stéphane Dion.

You led your party to its worst showing in the 141 year history of Canada, BUT NOW you get to be Prime Minister.

You were first elected to the House of Commons in the mid-1990's as a staunch federalist, the secret weapon of the federalists in fact, BUT NOW you will head a government that is bound by formal agreement to advance the interests of the separatists.

You campaigned on integrity, BUT NOW you get to steal the government from a party that has almost twice as many seats as you.

You campaigned as a Liberal, BUT NOW you are bringing the NDP to power for the first time ever.

You are bringing down the goverment because they did not bring in an economic stimulation package on your timetable, BUT NOW you will introduce some of the largest regressive corporate tax increases in history.

As Environment Minister you named your dog Kyoto instead of implementing Kyoto, BUT NOW as Prime Minister you will have a large menu of going-nowhere files to name pets after.

As Leader of the Opposition you bewailed the lack of accountability of the government, BUT NOW as Prime Minister you will hand economic oversight to four unelected and unaccountable "wise men"

Ignatieff and Rae forced you out of the leadership of the Liberals, BUT NOW the joke's on them.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper trounced you in the general election, BUT NOW you will get to say, "Silly Stephen, the will of the people does not matter."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just about 30 hours left now...

of NaNoWriMo. My word count stands at 42,000, give or take. I never was able to get the little icon to embed correctly, but you can follow this link to check my progress.

As an aside, I'll just say that blogging is so much easier than fiction.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Textile vs. Markdown

Anyone use either of these schemes? Anyone an advocate for one or the other?

Update: I noticed this Wikipedia article on lightweight markup languages. I'd like one that's easy to use, but the ease of use also needs to be that it can be easily converted by another means. I've experimented with lxtrf and Markdown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

NaNo Soundrack

If I succesfully finish NaNo this year, it will be in no small part to music like this. Hammock, Marconi Union, and a few others who will be familiar favorites to Hearts of Space fans.

They have been my constant companions for the last few days, and will no doubt be there until the end, win or lose.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


About 2 hours and 15 minutes. The two big kids stuck it out with me the whole time. Totally worth it.

May God show us mercy in this election, and may we turn to Him for guidance and strength regardless of the outcome.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Paid $1.88 for gas yesterday

Amazing change.

This has got to be the most volatile consumer gas prices have ever been.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Followup to Syncing Program

I've been meaning to revisit this for awhile now.

I was able to find something that worked for me. It was from [cough] Microsoft [/cough]. It's called SyncToy.

PC Magazine had it listed in their Best Free Software article earlier this year. I'm using version 1, but it has been upgraded to version 2. The software is nothing fancy, you just set up two folders to sync, and pick the type of sync you want, and that's it.

One caution: deleting or moving a folder can have disastrous consequences. Make sure you're careful, or you could inadvertently wipe out a ton of stuff. I always use the preview button, just to make sure of what I'm doing before I hit the final sync.

I mostly use it to sync specific work files to my thumbdrive, and sync that thumbdrive again on the home computer. That's what I was looking for, and SyncToy has worked great for that.

SyncToy is available for free from Microsoft.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Emergency Microsoft Patch

Windows Secrets - an online tech newsletter I subscribe to, just sent an e-mail regarding an emergency Microsoft patch for a virus that could be very damaging.

You can read the contents here. The article includes links to download the patch, and advice on how to install it.

Useful Tools - TClockEx

I was looking for a small clock program that would also show the day and date (because I like to reference all of that when I'm leaving voicemail messages, but I hate having to think about it).

I found this: TClockEx. It actually sits right on top of the Windows clock, so it only takes up a small amount of additional toolbar space. You can customize the font. It offers some other options, like a pop-up calendar, the ability past dates, etc. But I just use it for the clock.

Freeware. You can download from here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

How to Change Firefox Settings for Bookmark Widths

One of the recent upgrades of Firefox seems to have shrunk the width of some of my bookmarks. It appears that there is a fixed column width which expands only when you have a subfolder that is longer than the default.

That's a pain, because most of my bookmarks are long. A simple (but crude) fix is to put a folder into each subfolder in order to widen the column. Anyone know of a better fix?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Off to Homecoming

Well, we're off early this morning for Homecoming at John Brown University. Not only is it my reunion year this year, but I will also be participating in what will almost assuredly be my last public singing performance with the JBU Cathedral Choir as part of the Cathedral Choir Reunion.

To top it all off, my folks and my brother and his family will be there. Should be fun.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fireproof: My Review

I have to admit something. I wasn't going to go see this movie until I saw that Phil Johnson had gone to the premiere and liked it. I can't remember Phil ever making any comments on movies before. I have no idea if we have the same taste in movies, but his was the first one I saw where I felt like there might be a chance I'd like it.

I wasn't disappointed.

I read Dan Phillips' review, after I saw the movie, and it was tempting simply to link to it and be done. But I decided I still wanted to go on record with my own thoughts.

The movie centers around Kirk Cameron's character, Caleb Holt, a captain and fireman whose marriage is quickly dissolving. The opening minutes make it apparent that he is the lion's share of the problem; he's emotionally abusive to his wife Catherine, and he spends his off-hours dreaming about a boat and looking at pornography.

When his wife tells him she's through and wants out, he tells his folks, and his dad challenges him with a book called The Love Dare. This is a 40 day program in the form of a journal.

Caleb reluctantly agrees to try it, and then the real challenges begin. His wife decides that she doesn't love him, starts flirting with a doctor at the hospital where she works as the PR person, and prepares to file for divorce.

I won't give away much of the rest, except to say that Caleb comes face-to-face with his real problem - his sin, and even after he makes peace with God he must face the consequences of his actions to that point.

One of the things I really appreciated about the movie was that it reflected reality. The characters, especially the supporting characters, were regular people. They acted like people would react in a comparable situation. The response to the Gospel is realistic, too; it shows a wide range of reactions to it, including open hostility.

My wife and I both loved the fact that the movie had the Gospel interwoven throughout and it was central to the plot, instead of the movie just being a morality tale with a altar call stuck in at the end.

I'm sure you'll hear many comments about the acting. I thought it was fine, though it reminded me more of TV than a movie. That may be an apt comparison, since in many ways, it is more like a made-for-TV movie rather than a feature film.

That's as much a commentary on what passes for entertainment in the theaters these days as it is on the quality of the acting. Movies have always been an outlet for things you can't see on TV, and when something comes along which doesn't offer filthy language, gratuitous sex, or gruesome violence, it may be impossible for many to view it as anything but a "saccharine-sweet Christian alternative." Ironically, as TV continues to push the envelope, the gap between it and movies keeps shrinking. This may be the best apologetic of any for Fireproof: despite its limitations, it's something you won't see elsewhere in the theaters or anywhere on TV.

There are some intense scenes, such as the one where a young child is rescued from a burning house, and another where the firemen have to move a car off the train track as the train bears down on them. These, along with Kirk's convincing performance as the angry husband, are probably OK for teens, but are too much for younger viewers.

But for everyone else, the movie offers a realistic view of marriage and relationships that don't always go as planned, of the consequences of sin and the difficulty of forgiveness, and it uses a nearly-hopeless marriage to illustrate how God's redeeming love works, both horizontally and vertically.

Go see it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Bailout" No Longer

I wondered how long it would be before they tried to jettison the term "bailout." It's so negative. Now we have an "economic rescue plan."

Was it just me, or were we basically being extorted into supporting this $700 billion dollars of bailout last night?

If you don't do this, you'll lose your job, your house, your business; no one will be able to get loans for anything. Complete financial collapse is imminent, and will surely come upon us without passing this legislation.

It looks like we're going to be hosed. And we're helpless to do anything about it. Bad enough Social Security will soon be bankrupt. Now the government is going to be saddled with a bunch of debt that no one who trades the things thinks are worth buying.

If I trusted in horses, chariots, donkeys or elephants right now, I would be in complete despair. Instead, I trust the Lion of Judah, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Favourite News Site - BBC Monitoring

One of the most interesting web news offerings is from the BBC, from BBC Monitoring.

It describes itself in this way:
BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Centralized access to news from other countries, in English (and translated), is unique among offerings out on the web. If you know of something similar, or better, I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike Coverage

Here's a sampling of live media coverage of Hurricane Ike available on the Web.


KTRK ABC 13 - live video

KHOU - Hurricane page. Also has live video feed, but I couldn't get it to work.

CNN - has 4 live streams that rotate. Stream 2, for example, was broadcasting from Galveston's sea wall earlier. Governor Perry is on there right now.


KUHF - Houston NPR affiliate. Choose the news stream. The homepage also has hurricane information updates.

KTSU - Also a Houston public radio station. Looks like Jazz programming, but currently streaming news.

KIKK - CBS Radio Houston, and affiliated with CNN. It sounds like this is one of several affiliated station carrying a single stream at this point.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Homosexuality and the Bible

Came across this thread on Darrell Bock's blog. It was originally about a trip to Taiwan, but has morphed into a discussion about homosexuality and the Bible. One of the participants, Lynn, has even written an e-book on the subject.

It makes for an interesting read and a caution about what happens when we get our view and beliefs from somewhere other than the Bible. Anyone can fall into this trap, and that is why we must constantly test everything against Scripture. Our responsibility as believers is to make every effort to understand what the Bible says and then conform our lives to that teaching.

I would venture to say that our main problem can be safely summed up in this quote by Mark Twain. "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." It bothers us because it goes against our nature. But it is vital that we let the Spirit convict us and do His work.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Writer's Digest Books - Everyday Biblical Literacy

Writer's Digest Books - Everyday Biblical Literacy

I find it fascinating that anyone recognizes a need for this. But even more fascinating is that it is a secular publisher of books on writing. It leaves me wondering who exactly perceived the need?

I haven't read the book, or even seen any excerpts. If anyone knows anything about it, make sure to drop a note in the comments.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Republican Singing

Word is that John Shillington, the worship minister at North Phoenix Baptist Church, and Ruby Brown, who is a featured soloist on many of the songs there, will be singing tonite at the Republican National Convention.

If you have a chance, they are both worth a listen. Ruby in particular has an incredible God-given talent.

Since we have no cable, I'm going to try C-Span's streaming coverage.

Update: well, it looks like they were on at the very beginning of the coverage yesterday, so I missed them. However, in the age of YouTube, you never actually miss anything at all. Here's the replay, courtesy of NPBC.

Tardis in ASCII

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google Chrome

I've downloaded it. I'm using it to write this post. But other than that, I like Firefox better.

Anyone else tried it yet?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Bonus - President's Weekly Radio Address

I forgot I even had this. I just opened up my Sage RSS reader for the first time in probably 12 months or more saw this amongst the offerings.

The RSS Feed of the President's Weekly Radio Address. Goes back to 2005!

Might be available on iTunes as well.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where We're Headed, or Already There?

I came across this article a year ago, and saved it with a heading "Sneak Preview of Where We're Headed."

Now I'm wondering if we're already there. Europe is notoriously less religious that America (although the UK is less so), but when I read "I'm spiritual, just not religious," it could be a conversation from across the street, not across the pond.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is Customization Worth It?

Some weeks ago, we had a computer monitor go out at work. In order to compensate, we shifted seats around.

I ended up at another desk. I didn't have access to my files (since I'm allergic to putting my stuff on the network - I always leave it on my hard drive), my bookmarks, and WordPerfect, which has several hours worth of customization on the keyboards, appearance, etc. My productivity was, shall we say, less than adequate, because I wasn't at my own desk and didn't have ready access to the tools I rely on daily.

This got me thinking back to the times when I was in a corporate environment. This was an environment where customization was frowned upon, if not downright discouraged, and in many cases it was not even possible since the computers were basically locked down. As I was thinking about this, it made me wonder - is customization worth it? If you tally up all the time it takes to do a decent customization job, tack on the additional time for situations where customization turns out to be a hindrance (like the one I described earlier), does the time saved compensate for it? Or is it even about time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Evil Generation

From Sunday's sermon, some thoughts on revelation.

For the past few weeks, we've been in Luke 11, discussing some of Jesus' sayings. This past week, one of the verses we studied was verse 29. "This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." Our pastor pointed out that, as far as strict outward morality went, that generation was surely one of the better ones. Better than our own generation, for instance.

And certainly better than the generation Jesus references in Ninevah. This is a nation of moral Jews, yet Jesus calls them a "evil generation." So what is Jesus saying here?

His reasoning for this was not a lack of outward morality, but rather their refusal to accept the signs they had already witnessed, and the message they had already received. To understand what he's saying, it's important to consider the contrast Jesus sets up here. To do that, let's look at the book of Jonah.

In verse 2 of the first chapter, God tells Jonah to "Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because their wickedness has confronted me" (HCSB). Of course, Jonah heads in the opposite direction, and personal disaster ensues. But once that is resolved, God tells him a second time "Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you" (Jonah 3:2, HCSB). And what was that message? "In 40 days Nineveh will be overthrown!" (3:4, HCSB). There's no kingdom, no grace, and no gospel; there's not even a command to repent, such as John the Baptist gave. There's just an announcement of judgment.

So the Ninevites respond to this coming judgment by repenting, from the king on down the chain of society. I would characterize this as godly repentance, by the way, because it is a response to the holy and righteous judgment of God. In fact, it is wholly apart from any expectation on the part of the penitent.

The king of Ninevah puts it this way: "Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish" (3:9, ESV). It's the kind of repentance born from the recognition of one's helpless destitution - exactly the kind of repentance a person needs to be saved.

The Jews, on the other hand, had every conceivable advantage over this pagan people, yet they always clamored for one more sign. In contrast, the Ninevites had a simple message - "your sins have found you out," and they repented. This is why Jesus called them the evil generation.

It's an old story, but one we still see. There are many who have been exposed to the Gospel again and again, but who insist on needing one more "proof" before they will believe. It perfectly describes most of the skeptics I've known. And if you ask what evidence would be sufficient, you still won't get an answer.

The "evil generation" Jesus refers to here is the one that never sees enough evidence. It was true during his time, and it is still true today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How Do You Write?

I've posted about how I write. Now it's your turn.

I'm asking an open-ended question that is as broad or narrow as you want to make it.

How do you write?

I'm curious about everything, from the process to the tools.

What do you use to compose your posts? Text editor? Word processor? Blogging client? Which one? Is there anyone who uses pen and paper?

Where do you get your ideas? Do you outline, or just sit down and write? How long does the typical post take from inception to completion? Do you endlessly revise, or is your post close to completion by the time you type it out?

Give me details.

Or, as a guideline, you can work off the questions I answered.

1) What blogging tools do you use?
2) How do you post?
Edit: the "how do you post" question was trying to find out if posts were planned or spur-of-the-moment, or a combination. Wondering who writes posts or series ahead of time, and whose writing is primarily a response to what they have read, see, or are feeling. Sorry that wasn't clear.
3) How do you get your ideas?
4) Who is your target audience?
5) What do you hope to say or accomplish with your blog?

P.S. You can leave your comments here, or better yet, make a post on your blog, and put the link in the comments for this post.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How I Write

Continuing with the mini-theme of writing I've had going on lately, I thought I'd take a couple days to focus on the mechanics of it. Today I'm jotting down some thoughts about how I blog. Next time, I'll turn the questions outward, and see how everyone else does it.


After briefly flirting with word processors of various types, I'm back where I started - text editors and ASCII files. It became too difficult to keep track of various document types over multiple computers. None of the word processors I used did a competent job handling a blog format (which is sort of a hybrid between plain text and HTML).

HTML itself was overkill, because the markup I use is minimal. I'm pretty unimaginative when it comes to formatting - I use mostly italics, with a hint of bold here or there. I add weblinks either using a text clip, or add it in Blogger's editor after I write my post. Pictures are usually the last thing I add. And I'll even use colour, but only on rare occasions. I'm like the kid with the big box of crayons who only uses black.

Normally I'll use a text editor, like TED Notepad, but I do use one word processor: XyWrite. It's a DOS editor from the early 90's which saves using an ASCII text format (sort of a proto-XML). I'm still in search of a free text editor which handles Unicode and will let me use editable macros, but what I use gets the job done for now.

For online composition, I have had some success with the Firefox ScribeFire extension. But I use the "post to draft" option (see next question for more details).


I rarely post anything directly to the blog. After the composition phase is complete, it usually gets posted as a draft, and then I make sure all the formatting is right. I would say close to half of my posts have been done completely away from Blogger's editor. That that number moves up to 2/3rds or more when you start talking about longer posts.

My typical pattern is compose and edit offline, post as draft, add markup, links, and pictures, and then post.


It's pretty simple, actually. I usually just see something, and think "that would make an interesting blog." It can be from something I read or from a discussion I'm having with someone. Many times a point that comes up during one-on-one conversation seems like it would be interesting enough to throw out there for a larger audience.

When I was younger, my dad was always clipping newspaper articles. Some he saved for himself. Certain articles were clipped with certain people in mind. Sort of a way of saying "thinking of you."

I picked up the habit in high school. Later on, as my reading moved more to online stuff, I started sending e-mail links. Blogging was a natural fit. Sort of an online clip repository, where you could link to something and then say "this is interesting" and say what you liked about it.

That's how my blog started. It's kind of grown from there.


J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5 and accomplished screenwriter (as well as writing comic books more recently), once said that his demographic was himself. He said "Basically, I write the story that I would like to see as a viewer."

That's pretty much my approach to blogging. I hope others are interested and read. What writer doesn't hope that? But at the end of the day, I write mostly about what I'm interested in. There are exceptions to this, where I have one person or a small group of people in mind. But those are for specific posts. For the blog as a whole, it's basically what I'd like to read.


As I said, one hope is that others would be interested and read. That's the writer part of me. The father in me hopes that this will serve as a record of some sort, and that there will be something redeeming in it for the next generation.

My expectations are pretty modest. Most weeks my readership is between 20-25 people per day. With rare exceptions, my best weeks have been in the 30s. Big numbers aren't why I write. Honestly, a post that gets a couple of comments is better than one read by bunches of people with no reaction or feedback.

My primary hope and desire is to honor God. After that, it's basically to express myself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kids in Big Church

Promotion day at church. It reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask.

I came across some Worship Wigglebusters from a BuildingChurchLeaders.com e-mail (the original link I had is dead, but I Googled another one). I also found the suggestions Lisa N. @ Deo Volente published awhile back.

Any other ideas or suggestions? The minimum is to keep the kids quiet, but ideally we really would like to see them engaged in what's happening.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blogger's "Dashboard in Beta" - 2 Weeks In

I love the new "Blogger in Beta" Dashboard.

How did I live this long without the ability to publish post-dated posts? No wonder tons of people have switched to those other blog sites where you can do that!

It has already increased my blogging productivity immensely, and I may actually get my drafts whittled down below 200.

Worth trying out if you haven't already.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Classical Improvisation

I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "improvisation," I usually think of jazz music, not classical. But apparently there is a long history of classical improvisation.

That's the theme this week at Performance Today. Yesterday, they featured a piano player named Gabriela Montero improvising a piano riff just from hearing someone on the phone sing a bit of a song. Riff is probably not the right word, since it is classical, but I don't know what else to call it. Amazing stuff!

Click here, and choose Hour 2.

Bonus: the BBC Proms are going on, and while you can hear excerpts on Performance Today, this page will let you listen to the last 7 days of the proms (audio only for those of us outside the UK). More great music! I am bummed I missed the Dr. Who prom, though.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flash Non-Fiction

Flash fiction is a term used for short-short stories. I picked up a book recently called The World's Shortest Stories, which is a collection of short stories just 55 words long, based on the 55 Fiction Concept. 55 words doesn't seem like a lot until you compare it to those who have limited themselves to even shorter lengths, such as the aforementioned 6 word stories.

Here's an example of the concept applied to non-fiction, courtesy of Pyromaniacs. 50 words is a severe limit no matter what you're writing, but particularly in the area of non-fiction. Kudos to the Pyro guys for coming up with posts that are both entertaining and edifying.

If that's not concise enough for you, Abraham Piper tries keeps his posts to 22 words. All I can say is wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Verbal decluttering, indeed.

For the rest of use mere mortals, 800 words is perhaps a more reasonable cutoff (suggested by Andrée Seu in a reprint of a World Magazine article on writing. (HT: JT).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

ChristianAudio.com's Free Audiobook and more

ChristianAudio.com offers a free Christian audiobook each month. This month's selection is Augustine's Confessions. Instructions on how to order are available on the download page.

What I didn't know is that they also have a page where you can browse all of their free offerings. Desiring God has many free sermons there, including Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord of Hosts, a sermon on Isaiah 6 which John Piper preached at the beginning of the year one year about God's glory, and another sermon which is quite timely, given the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, How Then Shall We Run? Olympic Spirituality.

P.S. If you know of any other Olympic sermons or other resources, throw me a link in the comments. The kids are very excited to watch them, and I'd love to capitalize on that excitement in our worship time.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Anniversary Card Blues

Maybe it's my own fault for starting so late, but I the only reason I put it off was because I knew how unpleasant it would be.

The anniversary card search started yesterday online at Dayspring.com. Two pages of e-cards, but only one for spouses! Maybe they don't want to cannibalize their regular business. I would think that, particularly for the harried husband, you could provide at least a couple of options. Even if you don't make any money, there's plenty of goodwill to be gained from helping a guy celebrate his anniversary properly.

I would have gone to the Christian bookstore, but it's miles away, and after my online Dayspring experience, I wasn't sure I'd have any better luck with paper. Besides, I don't know if Dayspring even does blank cards on the inside, and through long experience that's usually what I end up with anyway.

So instead I went to Wal-mart. The last three times I've looked for cards I had limited success. I think I got two of the cheapest ones for graduations (not on purpose, just because I liked them best), a birthday of some type, and another occasion I can't remember that was unsuccessful.

I typically look at the bottom shelf of the cheaper cards, hoping to find a nice looking, appropriately generic-sounding, blank-on-the-inside card. Failing that, I drifted to the middle section where the cards were labeled anniversary, hoping that perhaps I could find something suitable.

One card had a miniature key suspended inside a heart-shaped hole, and said something like "you've had mine all along." Very sentimental, but didn't really fit how my wife & I got together.

Another card had matching underthings hanging on a clothesline (could I really make this stuff up?!) with a statement like "we go better together." Whatever.

I briefly glanced at other cards, but I wasn't going to spend an hour trolling through sappy nonsense in hopes that someone I've never met can express my feelings for my wife better than I can.

Note to greeting card companies: if anyone is listening, give us a nice looking blank card that we can write something to our wives. After being married this long, I'm pretty sure I can figure out something to say to her. I'd actually pay a premium for a card that looked nice but let me say what I'd like to say.

To my darling dearest: I told you I was going to blog about this. Here's what I wanted to say, even if I couldn't find a card to put it in:

14 years and 5 kids later, "I love you" never meant more than it does right now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Helpful Theology Resources

Here are a couple of resources that I hope will be helpful and edifying.

Biblical Training is a web site that focuses on providing free theology teaching via MP3 and some downloadable materials. The site has put together many classes, and has three different levels: New Believers, which is intended for people new to the faith; Foundations, geared toward those lay people who are wanting to get a broad understanding of the faith; and Leadership, which is designed as lay eldership training.

This has been on my list for awhile, but they've recently started to convert their lectures to MP3. For many people who can't afford to be tied to a computer this is a huge boon. They are also trying to make these classes available to overseas people who don't have money for books or to pay someone to teach classes. BTW, Bill Mounce is now the president of Biblical Training (yes, that Bill Mounce).

The other helpful ministry I wanted to highlight was Teaching Resources, which is headed up by Jim Ehrhard, who also happens to be my pastor. Jim edits historical writings (mainly of Puritans) and then sends them out free of charge to any who would like them. He also makes the articles available online. The other part of his ministry is overseas teaching, where he volunteers his time to teach in seminaries and pastoral training centers overseas. Most of the past issues are still available for download from the website (although I don't think the latest couple are there yet). One highlight is the Death of Believers issue, which was published shortly after Jim's wife passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

I should add that both of these ministries would appreciate your prayers, and that financial support is always welcome. Biblical Training recently sent an e-mail that they have used up the majority of their available funds on the most recent class, and are awaiting more funds in order to work on a website overhaul and some other projects. Teaching Resources' policy is to publish an issue only when enough funds are available.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fix for "Several Java virtual machines running in the same process" error

Awhile back, I developed a Java error after I updated Firefox awhile back on my home computer. The error said "Several Java virtual machines running in the same process." I went looking for a solution, and came across this page, which suggests a bunch of stuff, none of which seemed to work (and the page itself didn't even mention Firefox, just IE).

Well, I finally got sick of no Java at home, so earlier this week I kept looking until I found a suggestion in the Sun forums (why they didn't have this on the aforementioned help page, I don't know). It suggests downloading a beta of the Java Runtime Environment. I'm usually cautious with beta downloads, but I don't really get Java that well anyway, and I figured I wouldn't be any worse off, so I followed the link provided to the Java SE Early Access page. I installed "JRE 6 update 10 beta (build 25)," whatever that is, and it fixed the home computer.

I wouldn't have mentioned it except I developed the same problem at work today (don't ask me why it just now started). Downloaded the same beta, and I'm back in business.

Hopefully this will save someone else the hassle.

Again, it's a beta. And I'm no computer expert, so I offer zero warranty. But if you absolutely have to have Java, this may be a fix.

6 Word Stories

Kim recently talked about verbal decluttering. It reminded me of an article I read recently from Wired magazine, where they had writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror write an entire story in just six words.

Here were my favorites.

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
- Eileen Gunn
Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses.
- Richard Powers
Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
- Ken MacLeod
Steve ignores editor's word limit and
- Steven Meretzky  


Help! Trapped in a text adventure!
- Marc Laidlaw

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blogger Dashboard Beta

Blogger is running a beta on the Dashboard, and they've added something I've wanted for a long time - the ability to publish post-dated posts. This is a test post of that very feature.

The only thing I definitely don't like is that the HTML Editor has no buttons or keyboard shortcuts. Hope they fix it. Another issue is that even though you can select the beta dashboard as your default, if you choose to edit posts from your blog, it still takes you back to the old version. Oh, well. Can't have everything.

Anyway, if you're on Blogger, and have been waiting for the functionality that the rest of the blogging world has had for years, give the Dashboard Beta a try.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Water is out AGAIN!

I think it's the fourth time this year. You appreciate having potable water most of the time when you undergo this kind of inconvenience.

Reason #402 to Hate Spellcheck

I rarely use rely on spell check. Here's a perfect example of why, from a draft of a post I'm working on.

If you as a parent do the right things, your children will turn out property.

Yeah. I got a good laugh out of it, but I guess that's 'cause I caught it before it went to print.

Mainly for Charlie

Quoted from this post on Wil Wheaton's blog, edited slightly for content.
Most of all, though, I've been blessed by the incredible generosity of people who had no reason to help and guide me, but did anyway: John Scalzi and Warren Ellis are two who you'd recognize, and the rest of the list could fill a 2 gig flash drive in a single-spaced text file. That I wrote in vi because I couldn't find the text editor in emacs. ...that joke never gets old.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Anyone know what the odds are of having three out of five kids who are left handed?

Monday, July 21, 2008

So Here's the Deal

Week before last, I had three different people mention that I hadn't blogging much. One of them, Dan Phillips, was kind enough to IM me, and we chatted for a bit. That was great.

Another one, my brother, pointed out that even my sister was doing more blogging than I was. I checked. He was right.

I sat down to really think about why that was. Turns out, like most of life, it's complicated, and there isn't an individual cause; it's multi-faceted.

Part of the answer goes back almost two years, to my most productive blogging period, and doesn't reflect too well on me, because was in my previous job. It seems pretty clear that at least some of what I was doing was robbing my earthly master at times.

The new job has required more time and attention from me, because I'm learning new things, and because unlike my previous jobs, I literally don't get paid if I'm not doing the job. That's a pretty powerful motivation - I never realized how much. I may venture into discussing the joys and challenges of self-employment, but for now, suffice it to say that my motivation to perform has never been higher.

I've also poured myself back into reading books. I was spending so much time reading blogs that I had time for little else, and I decided that if I wanted to have any hope of reading even a substantial portion of the books I've collected in my library thus far, I had best get to it.

You can add the fact that I'm a slow writer, and if I don't get something down that I like in the initial draft, it ends up in rewrite purgatory, and it's unlikely it will ever make it back out.

The whole blogging thing had turned into a ruthless treadmill - an endless cycle of half-finished posts and urgent, unimportant replies that were wearing me out.

Through the circumstances above, with other factors added in, I'd found myself with a desperate need to downsize my busyness, and blogging was really the only thing in my life I was prepared to give up and not feel guilty about it.

I considered quitting altogether. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. So instead I scaled back. This was done unconsciously, by the way; it's only now, in retrospect, that I can see it with some clarity.

But I find myself bitten with the bug again. I figured out how to view saved HTML pages from the SD card on the used Treo my brother gave me, so I can save blogs for offline reading.

I've finally decided on the best way to allocate my time, to keep track of my files, and what program(s) to use to complete the task, and that should help with the organization piece of it.

But I'm not quite ready to say "I'm back." Like an older person who becomes seriously ill and then recovers, I'm not sure I'll ever be active to the extent that I was before. But I'll at least try to make it a point to get around to blogs of family and friends, and leave a comment once in awhile, if only to remind you that I'm still around.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Congratulations to Jen & Rob

Just a quick note of congratulations to my sister Jen and her husband Rob (aka Big Mac) on the birth of their first child - a daughter. My daughter is thrilled to have a new girl cousin.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Classic Shows Now Viewable on CBS

In what may be yet another example of the sad state of TV these days, CBS has not only current shows available, but selected classics are available for viewing on its website as well. I cite this as a sad example because, frankly, I'd rather watch Star Trek, MacGyver, or Perry Mason than most shows on any network these days (plus CBS canceled the one show we regularly watched on their network, Moonlight. But more on that another time.)

Update: Also have The Twilight Zone.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hard Drive Cleanup

Apple Computer has almost half a gigabyte of files in the "Installer Cache" of my computer (under All Users\Application Data). They look like leftovers from every installation and update of iTunes, Quicktime, and now Safari that I've done on this computer. Anyone know if it is safe to delete these?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Don't Get It

My sister-in-law sent out this picture under the title "Why men shouldn't own action figures." I don't get it.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dr. Who

Watched my first Doctor Who episode in about 8 years. The last time I saw one I was still living in Phoenix.

The episode was entitled Robot, and was the first Tom Baker episode. I remember beating a path back home after church on Sundays so we could catch the episodes on PBS. I still can't hear the channel chimes of KAET without my brain automatically starting to run the Dr. Who theme right after it.

There are several Dr. Who episodes available for instant play from Netflix, if your internet is fast enough. Mine isn't.

But I'm thankful for that, because this DVD also has extras on it, including an interview with all the main folks involved with creating that first episode of the Tom Baker incarnation, including Elisabeth Sladen and even Tom Baker himself. What a treat!

It almost makes up for the family being away. Almost.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Never, Never, Never Give Up

This past Sunday, our pastor covered the "parable of the soils" found in Luke 8. Out of this, I came away with three reasons why we shouldn't give up on evangelizing people.

1) The sower's job is to sow the seed indiscriminately.

Our pastor told us that parables almost always have something included that is a surprise. It is that element of surprise that we need to pay close attention to, because it is usually central to the parable.

In the case of this parable, the surprise element is that the sower is not picky at all where he sows the seed. He scatters seed on all four of the different soils.

You don't have to be a farmer to know this is odd. Anyone who has every planted a garden or some flowers knows that good soil is the key to growth. I doubt anyone would consider trying to plant a tree in the middle of their driveway, a rose garden on their front porch, or their cherry tomatoes on the sidewalk. Instead, you are going to put these plants in the ground where they will grow.

So this picture may seem a little odd to us at first, even though we can clearly see and acknowledge that it is true. From the picture of this parable, as well as other places in Scripture, it's clear that we are commanded to preach the gospel to everyone. The next two points clarify the first.

2) We must sow the seed this way, because we can't know what kind of soil we are sowing on.

The sower isn't digging furrows, he's casting seed out. If you've ever spread grass seed, then you know that some of it will end up on the driveway, some in the street, some in that one dead spot that seems to kill everything, and some in the yard. The sower doesn't really know where an individual seed goes, and he doesn't care. He won't even know whether some ground is too rocky, too thorny, or just right, because most likely he will be gone by the time that seed actually starts to grow.

For all these reasons, there is no way to know what kind of soil a person is, so we must focus on simply sharing the gospel.

3) God ultimately determines who is saved.

If we were to look at the Apostle Paul (or rather Saul the Pharisee), most likely we would have judged him as the wrong kind of person. The same with many other followers of God throughout the Bible. Ultimately, we are all just dirt trodden down into the hard path that nothing will penetrate. It is God who ultimately turns that hard dirt into soil that is able to grow things. It is God through His Word that turns a heart of stone into a heart of flesh.

So it is up to us, as faithful followers, to go out and spread the seed of the gospel to everyone we meet, regardless of the likelihood of their conversion, trusting God that He will till the soil, and cultivate the life that Peter describes as being "born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, thought the living and abiding word of God."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


These guys are advertising the ability to take your entire desktop (including applications) with you on a thumbdrive. If it operates as advertised, that would be huge.

Anyone know anything about it?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The One Thing Necessary for the Christian Life

One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ, as Christ says in John 11[:25],"I am the Resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live"; and in John 8[:36],"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed"; and in Matt. 4[:4],"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Let us then consider it certain and firmly established that the soul can do without anything except the Word of God and that where the Word of God is missing there is no help at all for the soul. If it has the Word of God it is rich and lacks nothing since it is the Word of life, truth, light, peace, righteousness, salvation, joy, liberty, wisdom, power, grace, glory, and of every incalculable blessing. This is why the prophet in the entire Psalm [119] and in many other places yearns and sighs for the Word of God and uses so many names to describe it.

Martin Luther, Here I Stand

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Christian History - Historic Christian Opposition to Abortion

In about 177 AD, Christian philosopher Athenagoras defends Christianity from three serious charges: atheism, immorality (specifically incest), and cannibalism. His defense, in the form of a letter written to the emperor, is probably best characterized as more philosophical than biblical, but still it stands as a serious defense to the charges of the time.

In this short excerpt, Athenagoras defends Christians from the "tall stories" being told about them by pointing out the how inconsistent it would be to be murderers and yet be unwilling to watch the bloody gladatorial games of the time, and how nonsensical it would be to oppose abortion, only to kill the child once out of the womb.

This excerpt is taken from Christian Classics Ethereal, and the full letter can be found here).

Since this is our character, what man of sound judgment would say that we are murderers? For you cannot eat human flesh until you have killed someone. If their first charge against us is a fiction, so is the second. For if anyone were to ask them if they had seen what they affirm, none of them would be so shameless as to say he had.

Moreover, we have slaves: some of us more, some fewer. We cannot hide anything from them; yet not one of them has made up such tall stories against us. Since they know that we cannot endure to see a man being put to death even justly, who of them would charge us with murder or cannibalism? Who among our accusers is not eager to witness contests of gladiators and wild beasts, especially those organized by you? But we see little difference between watching a man being put to death and killing him. So we have given up such spectacles. How can we commit murder when we will not look at it, lest we should contract the stain of guilt? What reason would we have to commit murder when we say that women who induce abortions are murderers, and will have to give account of it to God? For the same person would not regard the fetus in the womb as a living thing and therefore an object of God's care, and at the same time slay it, once it had come to life. Nor would he refuse to expose infants, on the ground that those who expose them are murderers of children, and at the same time do away with the child he has reared. But we are altogether consistent in our conduct. We obey reason and do not override it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Real Red Letter Bible

The words of Jesus are throughout the Bible, written not in red ink, but in the blood of the Savior.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hard Questions

I was asked these questions by an atheist. Any input would be appreciated, as I'm still trying to synthesize my own thoughts on the subject.

Can an Alzheimer sufferer remember who Jesus was/is? If not, why would God want this? What if someone loses the brain capacity to believe and follow Jesus/God? Do they go to Hell?

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Closer Look at John 3

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16-17, HCSB)

I chose the Holman CSB to quote this familiar passage because it captures the sense better than other versions. It isn't "God sooo loved he world," but rather "this is how God loved the world...". I think Romans 5:8 is a similar idea - pointing to God's specific actions as evidence of how much He loves us.

But it is the next part that really threw me for a loop. Jesus didn't come to condemn the world, but to save it, right? Over the years, I've heard folks use this as justification for all sorts of things, up to even universal salvation.

But it's obvious why Jesus didn't come to condemn...he didn't have to; man was condemned already. After the Fall, man's position became hopeless. That's a hard thing for many people to accept, but the Bible makes it clear from a number of passages that this is the case. For our purposes here, though, we can simply look at the context--the very next verse.

Anyone who believes in Him is not judged, but anyone who does not believe is already judged, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

Already judged! That's why Jesus didn't need to bring a message of judgment. In fact, this amplifies John 3:16, because the only reason the world would need a savior in the first place was if it was in a position where it needed saving.

A final thought. The next time you talk to that unsaved friend or loved one, remember that they are "already judged." That is quite sobering when it comes to evangelism.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Firefox Instability

In that past few weeks, I have noticed that Firefox has started crashing regularly.

Has anyone else had this problem? What's the deal?

Random Question - Microloans

For the 5 or so of you left reading the blog, here's something that's been bugging me for awhile. Microloans.

These things are the new, new thing, and there was even a Nobel Peace prize given out for this idea in 2006. On the surface, they seem like a capitalistic, entrepreneurial invention that encourages private investment - upholding the free market principles that I myself value highly.

But capitalistic as I am, and assuming they really do work (some have doubts), I still question whether these are Biblical. Does such a program violate the commands to "take care of the poor" and "to loan without expecting anything in return?" If so, do we write it off completely, or is there some way to structure the programs in order to have them comply with Biblical principles?

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Just how far does God go to save sinners?

Upcoming: a series based on passages from the gospel of Luke, talking about the lengths Jesus went to reach sinners during his earthly ministry.

Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The first Gummby/Buggy Chess Game

Here is the first (and thus far only) chess game I played against Bugblaster. This was played via e-mail correspondence from March to June 2006.
(Sorry about any confusion - no, we have not had any more babies since #5 in 2006.)

You'll notice that my game falls apart at about move 10. Fortunately for me, the chess server crashed and we had a baby, so I was able to resign without losing too much face.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

One of my favorite songs from the original Acapella Project by GLAD is "And This Is Love." It seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day.

And this is love,
Not that I have first loved you;
And this is love,
That you have first loved me.
And you gave up your life,
One perfect sacrifice;
And this is love,
That you have first loved me.

P.S. I've lost the cassette with this song on it, and an online search didn't yield the lyrics. If anyone has the album, or just knows the rest of the lyrics, and would care to leave them in the comments, I would be much obliged.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


This past week I did something I've never done before: I finished reading through the whole Bible. "Reading" is probably not the best term, since much of it was done in the vehicle via ESV MP3s.

There are a lot of things I could say at this point, but I'll limit it to one. Going through the whole thing after all these years was like going back and reading a novel that you'd previously only read excerpts of or even just Cliff's Notes. You had the main thrust, yet you had missed out on so much. The richness, the depth, the sweep - the sheer grandeur of God's plan, from beginning to end. And even with that, we still only see in a glass darkly.

My advice: do whatever it takes to do it.
Even if it means buying CDs or MP3s to listen (especially helpful for me for Leviticus, Numbers, Isaiah, and Revelation).
Even if it means getting up a bit earlier every day.
And even if it means you don't make it in a year (it's been two since I bought my audio).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Call to Prayer, part 2

Warning: This post contains descriptions of violence. You might want to come back when the kids aren't around. It is posted under the "whatever is true" clause of the Apostle Paul's admonition in Philippians 4, in hopes of being a call to action.

It's not often that we get an e-mail on the church prayer list that is titled "Parental Warning - Disturbing Events Described." In fact, I'm not sure we've ever had one come across quite like that. But we did this week.

John Piper recently preached about abortion, and stated that sometimes we just need the raw facts.
Sometimes you need raw words when that's all you've got, and sometimes you need raw footage if it's available. Because you just can't comprehend it. You just can't believe they're going to do this.
I found that quote applicable in this case as well. This particular update was from some of our missionaries in Kenya. I've slightly edited and reproduced a part of it here to remind all of us that there are larger issues at stake than merely an election - life and death struggles, and ultimately the struggle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.
I just come from praying with a friend. I talked to the lady that helps her around her home. She is a single mother of four children. She lives in one of the slums. She went back home of Friday and found a gang of young men of a tribe that she does not belong with. They told her to pick up her children and run, not look back. They would not allow her to go into the house to take at least one item with her. They gave her the option to either leave with her children alive with nothing on her hands or go back into the house and risk sacrificing one or all of her family members. She took off and sort for shelter with her aunt. As she did this, she witnessed others having their hands chopped off – those were the “fortunate” ones. Others were hacked to death. A child, about the age of 6, was picked up by the rival tribe and throne into a pit latrine (sewer) and they covered the hole. The parents could do nothing but wail helplessly as they saw the last of their son and heard his last cries. She is now living with her aunt and her four children. We thank God that she is working and has something to feed her children with. She is shaken and upset. She cannot stay with her aunt for too long because her aunt does not have much room either. It is now taking her not less than 2 hours to get to work.

We are asking you as a church to pray for her. She is a beautiful woman with a heart that is bigger than life! My friend and I are looking to see how we can help her. We have spent quite some time praying for her and also working toward meeting her needs. I know she is just one story out of MANY but she just stands out right now – would you pray with us and also about how we can stand with her. It is tempting to want to be “god” to the needy right now but even us, we have to take the needs before the Lord and have Him show us where we can come alongside them.

Thank you and the Lord of peace continue to keep you in His perfect peace as you continually stay on Him.
No doubt there are many more stories like this that we never hear about.

If you think of it, pray for those who are in foreign missions, and for those they are trying to reach. Even for the perpetrators of the violence. The more man's wickedness is manifest, the greater the hope provided by the message of the cross. The Gospel is the only solution, even to problems of this magnitude. Especially to problems of this magnitude.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Call to Prayer

My friend Even So asked who people were voting for yesterday on his blog.

I responded with my feelings about candidate Mike Huckabee, which I'll try to publish in the next day or two.

Meanwhile, I told him that I sincerely appreciate the encouragement he gave to pray, because when it comes to certain things, particularly politics, I have a nasty and persistent habit of leaving God out of them. Stupid, but true.

And so, as many people vote today, and throughout the coming weeks (our primary is next Tuesday), let us be in prayer for our country and its leaders.

More on prayer soon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Low-flow Toilets

Here's a little something to start your off your weekend.

I wonder if the genius who invented low-flow toilets considered the possibility that there would be extra flushes needed to actually clear the toilet bowl? We use on average probably 1.3 flushes per potty trip (I won't disgust you with the specifics of that math).

Anyone else experience this travesty of modern techology?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I can make it on my own

as reported by bugblaster...

His daddy wouldn't let this kid drive his equipment anymore so the young fella reckoned he'd strike out on his own and do some work for the guys in the next county.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Can anyone tell me what Cygwin is (beyond what's available on the homepage), along with why and how I might use it?

I've installed the base package, but can't seem to do anything.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spurgeon and the Anglican Catechism

During our sermon today, the pastor told us that it was part of the Anglican catechism on baptism that made Charles Spurgeon become a Baptist. So I looked it up.

It says:

Q. What is Holy Baptism?
A. Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ's Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.

Q. What is the outward and visible sign in Baptism?
A. The outward and visible sign in Baptism is water, in which the person is baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Q. What is the inward and spiritual grace in Baptism?
A. The inward and spiritual grace in Baptism is union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God's family the Church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.

Q. What is required of us at Baptism?
A. It is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Infants, of course, can do none of these things.

To be fair, the Catechism goes on to say this:

Q. Why then are infants baptized?
A. Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God.

Q. How are the promises for infants made and carried out?
A. Promises are made for them by their parents and sponsors, who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him.

But in what way can parents "make a promise" on behalf of their children, to somehow induct them into the citizenship of the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God? Scripture teaches that all of this must come by the faith of the individual. The best any parent can do is promise to provide the most nurturing environment possible for faith to take place.

My point in writing this is not to pick a fight with any paedobaptistic brothers and sisters, but merely to seek to affirm that which Scripture says about our faith.

May all of us seek daily to renounce Satan and the world that he controls, to repent of our sins, and to commit to having Jesus as our Lord, since he is our Savior.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Happy New Year!

I suppose I need to write something for the twenty or so people that Sitemeter tells me read my blog every day.

Of course, if I was a member of the Writer's Guild of America, I could use that as an excuse. But since I'm not, I'll just say that it's been pretty busy the last few weeks. I'll get some pictures up soon, and maybe even a post or two.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 Blog Copyright Page

Blog Copyright & Permissions Page

Site contents © MMV-MMVIII by Matt Gumm.
(Though it may go without saying, the thoughts reflected are my own, not my family, employer, pastor, or anyone else.)

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked as "CEV" are taken from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked "GNT" are taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Scripture quotations marked "HCSB" are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations marked "NASB" are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Scripture marked "TNIV" is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, TODAY'S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society®. Used by permission of International Bible Society®. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Scripture quotations marked "RSV" are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked "NRSV" are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The following translations are in the public domain:

The King James Version of the Bible. Also known as the Authorized Version. Published in 1611.

The English Revised Version of the Bible. Published in 1885. Facsimile obtained from The Digital Christian Library.

The American Standard Version of the Bible. Published in 1901.

The Geneva Bible. Published in 1560. Facsimile obtained from The Digital Christian Library, and spelling has been modernized.

Douay-Rheims Version, Challoner Revision. Published 1749-1752. Electronic text obtained from Project Gutenberg.