Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple Yet Profound

I'm woefully behind on all my blog reading (and writing has slowed to a trickle), yet amidst all of the stuff I find a gem or two that I simply must share.

This one is especially appropriate, because it talks about personal busyness, physical and mental clutter, and the real (simple) solution to it all. "Blessed are the poor in spirit..."

Lens Cleanse: Poor in Spirit or ADD

I'm intrigued by the idea that perhaps we don't let ourselves be poor in spirit and accept help, but rather look to fix our own problems with anything and everything but the one thing that can really fix them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are thinking that the switchover from analog to digital is a good one. I'm just not one of them.

I'll be the first to admit that the picture quality is better. But if I cared about picture quality so much, I wouldn't still be watching VHS tapes, and I would probably have an HD TV, along with cable or satellite. The truth of the matter is, I probably watch too much TV as it is, and it wouldn't kill me to stop. But I'd hate to have no television access, particularly when there are tornados and things like that.

I'm not one of those who waited until the last minute to buy a box; we've had ours for months. But it turns out you have to have more than a converter box to get channels; you've also got to have an antenna. And not just any antenna--the right antenna.

Which brings me to my beef with the switchover. Unfortunately, the government hasn't been altogether, um, complete in their information campaign about digital TV. The literature says that you'll receive the same channels you currently get if you use an antenna or rabbit ears.

That may be true for cities, but not for the rest of us. Most channels don't come in. A couple are mostly watchable, but even those are like watching a RealPlayer video on dialup, the thing starts buffering, and the picture disappears. Or the sound is garbled, like that old fast food restaurant that's too cheap to update their drive-through equipment. And it inevitably happens at the most inopportune moments. "And that's why I tell you that the killer is ... myplxltmged." Or something like that.

So pity us country folks. With analog, we could get most stations, though with varying degrees of quality. With digital, the few stations we get without a fancy antenna are barely watchable because they are so garbled. I'm tempted to just junk the TV and read the piles of books in my house! (Either that, or upgrade my internet and just stream Netflix to my TV.)

In any case, now you know why I for one am for today's delay. My motives aren't that noble, but then, I don't think that the folks pushing the whole DTV initiative have demonstrated pure motives either.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Powell's Books Coupon - today only

$5.00 off any online order. No minimum (nice!).

Use code WELU at checkout. Good until 11:59 PM Pacific Time tonite.

Happy shopping.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

John MacArthur 1st Edition

It is John MacArthur's 40th year at Grace Community Church, and 40 years of Grace to You. Today's radio broadcast was of John MacArthur's first message, entitled "How to Play Church."

And it will come as little surprise to those familiar with him that, barring the youthfulness of the voice and the lesser audio quality, it was a theme and variation of the message he preaches almost every time he speaks. Gospel.

I've always admired his boldness, particularly in public venues. It is interesting to see that he was the same way at the start with his own congregation - speaking to a need he perceived they had.

Here's an excerpt:

And our text is such a warning this morning. Our text is a warning to those who are comfortably entrenched in the church are who think they're comfortably entrenched in the church but who in reality are not. This is not a warning to outside people. This is a warning to us who are involved in the church to be sure that it's real. And I think it only fair to begin our ministry here that we stop and really approach this with a sense of sobriety and earnestness, to understand how we stand in view of God right now as individuals.

I'm sure that in this church right here there are people who come who do not know Jesus Christ in a personal vital way. I am convinced that because of the size of the congregation this morning there are some sitting right here in this audience who have come to church many times but who do not know Jesus Christ. And perhaps they even have religious sensations and perhaps they even have sanctimonious emotions but they do not know Jesus Christ. And it is my conviction that before we as a church can move together as a body, as a unit, we must become a unit and the only way we can ever be united and become one as Christ prayed that we might be is that when we are all are real in Christ. And so I want us to carefully examine our lives this morning.

(You can read or listen to the rest of the message here.)

His first week on the job, and rather than worrying about making nice with the congragation, he makes sure that the Gospel message is front and center for all those who need to hear.

Congratulations, sir, on 40 years of faithful service. May God continue to find you useful to His kingdom.