Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Praise of MarkdownMail

I'm experimenting with cloud access to my documents across 3 computers and the iPhone. As part of this grand experiment, I've cobbled together a complicated network of tools which include Dropbox, Simplenote, and Resophnotes. I'll have more to say about these apps in the future.

(Quick note: the Dropbox link is a referral link. It gets you and me an extra 250MB of storage space. But if you don't want that, use this link instead.)

I've also discovered Markdown, a lightweight markup language intended to help specifically with making writing HTML easier. In conjunction with my network experiment, I decided to start using Markdown in the hopes of increasing the efficiency, portability, and usefulness of many of my documents.

What I didn't have was an easy way to convert Markdown to HTML on my iPhone.

Enter MarkdownMail.

MarkdownMail allows you to use Markdown syntax and then converts it to HTML, which can then be e-mailed. It also includes a built-in web link to the syntax page on the Web (note: just checked, & the pseudo-browser works for previewing web links in your text as well!).

For $1.99, I would have been happy just to use it as a portable Markdown viewer. In fact, that was my intent; I didn't plan on even using the e-mail feature. But I just realized that using the remote blogging feature of Blogger, I could use it for blogging as well, saving the steps of converting the text to HTML, logging on to my Blogger account, creating a new post, and so on.

The word on the street is that MarkdownMail2 is coming, and the price will be going up to $3.99. However, according to the Second Gear Twitter Feed, it will be a free upgrade for existing users.

The app is limited to one message at a time, and you can't save drafts in it. But you could always use a different app to compose, or you could save drafts in your e-mail program.

Even with these limitations, if you use Markdown at all, you will probably find this app useful. In conjunction with a cloud app or as a blogging tool, it's value will be much greater.

Testing Markdownmail

This post written completely in Markdownmail.

If this works, I will be a very happy camper.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Frank Turk on the Local Church

In keeping with my vain attempt to keep a semi-regular posting schedule, I'm putting this out there.

Here's a link to a post from Frank Turk on Saturday. You might have (dis)missed it, given that it was posted on the weekend, talked about the SBC, and was surprisingly TIWIARN in nature.

Except it wasn't. Oh, it had all those elements; but at it's core, there is something else. The main thrust was how the local church needs to be the local church, something that Frank has written about in the past, and is very passionate about.

Read it, and then, if you haven't had a chance yet, check out his video from The Nines. I'll be back (hopefully soon) with more to say about that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Who's Bad?

From Pastor Rob Davis's sermon this past Sunday in Colossians 3:1-4...(full sermon available from our church audio page or at Sermon Audio.

This is important now. Movies are not bad--in and of themselves. Music, is not bad it's a gift from God. Food--not bad. Work, jobs, cars, houses, beaches, not bad. All of those things are good--they're gifts from God.

Can I tell you what's bad? Put your hand up. You're bad! I'm bad! We are sinful. We take good gifts from God and we make them sinful because we make them our god.

...If what you do with God's gifts cause[es] you to sin, then it's not by faith, is it. So what is it? Sin. So you get rid of it. You cut off your hand, you pluck out your eye. That's what we have to do.

But it's not because they're bad it's because you're bad, and if we don't get that, what we'll do is we'll go out of this place, and we'll start living and walking and we'll start doing certain things and think we're good, instead of doing what we're supposed to do and realizing we're bad, and God is good in us through Christ.

P.S. Bonus! The John Piper "Bad" video.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly" Article

Al Mohler tweeted this article on how to write less badly. His favorite line was #5, "Everyone's unwritten work is brilliant."

My favorite was #2, "Set goals based on output, not input." No matter how long it took me to write this post - 10 minutes or 10 hours, the results are the same: my result is one post.

The genius of this simple statement is easily applied to a wide variety of tasks, writing-related and otherwise. Definable goals based on output make a big difference.

I'm sure I'll be revisiting this, oh, about November 1st.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Ye Are Complete In Him" - A Hymn for Sunday

Rebecca has a wonderful tradition of highlighting hymns on Sundays. I came across this one in a public domain hymnbook from Google, searching for "prophet, priest, and king." No idea what the tune is, but it can be sung to O For A Thousand Tongues...

Loved the words, so I thought I'd post it here.

Ye are complete in Him

I've found the pearl of greatest price;
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must for Christ is mine--
Christ shall my song employ.

Christ is my Prophet, Priest, and King:
My Prophet full of light;
My great High Priest before the throne;
My King of heavenly might.

For he indeed is Lord of lords,
And he the King of kings;
He is the Sun of Righteousness,
With healing in his wings.

Christ is my Peace: he died for me,
For me he gave his blood;
And, as my wondrous sacrifice,
Offered himself to God.

Christ Jesus is my All in All,
My comfort and my love;
My life below, and he shall be
My joy and crown above.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Why Buddhism isn't the answer for Tiger Woods

Here’s a snippet of what the Bible says about trying to reform yourself by practicing self-denial.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations- "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (referring to things that all perish as they are used)-according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23, ESV)

These verses speak plainly about man’s ability to reform himself. It doesn’t matter what label these efforts wear - Buddhism, moralism, or legalism, the result is the same. Aceticism looks good—it looks like holiness—but it doesn’t deal with the root issue, the sinful desires which come from the heart. Only God can do that.

Yes, I mentioned Tiger Woods. But whether I’m talking about him, myself, or anyone else, it doesn’t really matter. Human efforts to reform ourselves fall short of perfection, and perfection is not just a goal, it is the standard of righteousness required for entrance into heaven.

Brit Hume got it right - Tiger Woods needs Christianity. So does everyone else.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Again, Mobile Blogging

Think I've finally got it. This is one more time around.

If it works, I will be standing up to do the hot dog dance. Too bad you can't be here to see it.