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Something to think about...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:07 PM

The class is about witnessing to those that are members of the other world religions. Nothing to startling there. What is startling is that the missionary who is speaking at our church is a missionary in the sense of the word we normally think of - that is, he has traveled to a different country to do missions. Only this time, we didn't send him somewhere, he came to us from somewhere.

It's weird. A country that was (and still is) the largest supporter of missionaries in the world, needs missionaries sent to it. It seems the ABF leader is from Kenya where approximately 80% of the population is Christian… more than we have here in the U.S. Sadly, some surveys indicate that fewer than 30% of Americans have Evangelical Christian beliefs.

It seems that what secularizing forces haven't done, the mainline denominations have done for them. The decay in our major denominations, has in effect, snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. A country decidedly Christian by choice, is loosing that Christianity through the very churches that brought it here. How sad.

There isn't much we can do, but if nothing else, we should pray about it. This is a clear and present danger - but with the power of prayer, all things are still possible.

Improved Journal

By | Posted at 2:54 PM

Yes, I've done some more minor adjustments. Nothing terribly noticable mostly - a few design tweaks that probably no one will notice. However, while I was at it, I added XML/RSS headline support to the code too.

Now, if you aren't familar with RSS, its a format pioneered by Netscape and Userland (yes, the same Userland of Radio Userland fame). Awhile back, Netscape wanted a convenient way to include syndicated headlines in their My Netscape site. Well, the predecessor to RSS (RDF) was the creation, and soon lots of sites adopted it. In fact, for a time, any site could be included in My Netscape because of this. My Userland sprung up later on, and they ended up pioneering much of what would become the RSS standard.

Alas, My Netscape moved back to a proprietary system - so now only a select few sites are included in its catalog - and My Userland bit the dust in an effort to move everyone over to Radio Userland. All is not lost though, some sites, such as my company's FaithTree.com still offer portals that use RSS, and places such as Slashdot use RSS headlines too. Finally, many desktop news aggregators such as KNewsTicker (included with KDE) and Radio Userland offer RSS support.

The great thing about RSS is, even though some of the major support is gone, literally thousands of sites still offer channels. In fact, every PHP-Nuke, PostNuke, or Slashcode powered site automatically comes with RSS output support. That includes sites such as Open for Business and LinuxDailyNews.net (bias alert: the first site is owned by my company, the latter is sponsored by it).

Anyway, now Tim's Journal can enter the arena as a proud supporter of this wonderful open format. You can find my RSS file at http://uninetsolutions.com/tbutler/journal/journal.rss.

It works: Come and Comment

By | Posted at 7:00 PM
The result? Well among other things, now you can comment on my entries, should you so desire. Here's the scoop on everything that is new:
  • Full-fledged commenting system with “Remember Me” support (uses cookies to remember your name, location, etc.).
  • MT-style navigation bar inside individual entries, allowing you to easily move chronologically through the journal.
  • Cleaned up front page, which mimics the style used by MT as well as Slashcode, PHP-Nuke, or SAFARI. Basically, it displays the first paragraph or two of the text, and then lets you go to a seperate page to read the rest. Additionally, the “table of contents” has been removed.

I may add a bit more over the next few days. If time permits, I should add XML RSS syndication very soon. Well, enough from me for now… but now that you can, why not comment?

Poem

By | Posted at 4:39 PM

How Can I Live?

I stand mired in this sin
sights fixed on that mornful mount
I see you there, dying for me
I see you there, dying for me
I stand on the mount, how can I see you
as struggle in my sinfulness

As the thunder shakes the sky that day
I can't help but wonder how
How can I live, as I see you die?
How can I live, as you give your life for me?
Lord, you are the one, the only one
Yet you lived on this earth to die for me
And all I can ask is
how can I live when you died for me

All praise to the LORD God almighty, for He is the truth, for he is the first and the last. Thank-you Father for your faithfulness to your children throughout all of history, thank-you for your faithfulness with me.

Geramik

By | Posted at 2:32 PM
So I would understand if you were out of patience And I would understand if I was out of chances

But your mercies are new every morning
So let me wake with the dawn
And when the music is through, or so it seems to be
Let me sing s new song

      —Nichole Nordeman, Mercies New

I haven't posted any screenshots on my screenshot page yet, but my GTK and KDE apps now look very nice together. How? With the ultra-amazing its-about-time-someone-did-this theme known as Geramik. Geramik is a GTK 1.x theme that looks almost the same as KDE's Keramik. But wait… there's more! In addition to looking like KDE's new default widgets, it also does color matching by basing its color on the .kderc's color settings. Thus, while it isn't a great theme for GNOME users, it is amazing for KDE users.

I did a write-up on it here on OfB.

Numbers

By | Posted at 5:32 PM

Kevin Hartwig has another really interesting piece over on the Sakamuyo Network. In it, he notes the over-emphasis of numbers in today's Church. I think he strikes on something that can be expanded to an even larger concept: placing goals ahead of the Gospel and of the Church body.

Too often, it seems, we are so worried about the goal, the means really do seem justified. However, the church should be careful not to alienate or hurt members on the way. At my church, during Stewardship month (November) we often use a plan and sermon series known as We are Family. That's important… we are family, and we shouldn't ignore that fact when working on stuff.

Whether its raising money, or finding new ways to promote the local church, we should insure that our attempts don't tear apart the existing family in an attempt to “adopt” new members. While no one would intentionally do this, it is something that still happens way to often.

Win(in)Modems Work pretty well in Linux....

By | Posted at 6:22 PM

…otherwise you wouldn't be hearing from me right now. :-) My cable modem is
unavailable since I'm getting new carpeting atm, so I went and got the lucent
winmodem driver yesterday. Guess what? It took two minutes (including
download) to install. I got the Mandrake 9.0 Package, installed it, and
started using my modem. No fuss, no muss (I can't upgrade the modem since
this is a laptop, and I don't want to use a PC Card modem).

Anyway, everything is slow at 49kbps, but at least it works…

Jesus is Life, yeah, Oh oh oh oh!

By | Posted at 7:09 PM
I just feel like doing as SCC did at the concert and saying “C'mon everyone - sing along - Jesus is life, yeah, oh, oh, oh!” And then there is this touching song based on Beyond the Gates of Splendor:
And the pain falls like a curtain On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don't know
[…]
God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He's painting
God is God and I am man
So I'll never understand it all
For only God is God

C'mon everyone - “Wake the neighbors, get the word out/Come on…crank up the music…climb a mountain and shout/This is life we've been given made to be lived out/So la la la la live out loud/Live out loud, yeah.”

This might sound like a happy go lucky lyric, but I think it has a deep meaning. We need to live out loud. To make it clear we are God followers, and to worship God because God is God - he knows what's going on even when we don't. We need to have that magnificent obsession.

See I could write a whole meditation all based on the titles of these songs. :-) Seriously though, SCC uses his gift in music to tackle some very serious issues - and we should do the same when listening.

I forgot to mention...

By | Posted at 4:45 PM

…my printer had been acting up, and I wanted to get a scanner, so last weekend I purchased the Hewlett-Packard PSC 2210 multifunction device. Everything works GREAT under Linux, I just love this machine, and recommend it to anyone interested in such a beast.

I wrote a review on Amazon.com, but it hasn't popped on just yet. Once it does, I'll link to it so you can see a bit more detail.

Nichole Nordeman

By | Posted at 7:36 PM

The CD seems a bit Jewel-esque to me for some reason. I'm not exactly sure how, but it has some of the same lyrical qualities, IMO. Anyway, I really like this CD, and am anxious to get some time to sit back and listen through the whole thing again. The CD just flows together beautifully, and I was pleased to see the songs Nordeman did not sing at the concert were just as good as the ones she did. It also survived the fact that hearing the songs in a concert built up my expectations for the CD - yet I was not disappointed at all, infact I was thrilled with the CD.

Anyway, go get this CD. I highly recommend it. Nordeman's songs will definately go on my list of favorites.

You are viewing page 195 of 199.