Monday, March 31, 2008
1. UCLA vs. 1. Memphis
1. North Carolina vs. 1. Kansas
- Any predictions?
Friday, March 28, 2008
Two sisters from Virginia sold this cornflake for $1,350 on eBay.
The winner of the auction, which lasted more than a week, is the owner of a trivia Web site who wants to add the cornflake to a traveling museum."We're starting a collection of pop culture and Americana items," said Monty Kerr of Austin, Texas. "We thought this was a fantastic one."
The entire story is here.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
If you would like to read the whole story, click here.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
If you would like to read more, click here.
Friday, March 21, 2008
"If you don't want my God here, you don't want me here either. God has been too good to me to go and try to sell out to get some money. That's O.K. I will sit in a corner and be broke with the Lord before I will sit there and have them give me millions and sell my soul. It ain't gonna happen."
Read more here
~Does Tyler Perry have a leg to stand on in his complaint?
~Is Hollywood too far gone for folks like Tyler Perry and Kirk Cameron to really make a difference?
~What are your convictions when it comes to watching or listening to media that does not honor God?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
DEAR W.S.: You may not know what you ought to do next -- but God does! And that's why the most important advice I can give you is to urge you to turn to Him and seek His will for your future.
You see, God knows all about you; after all, He made you. He knows your strengths and weaknesses, and He also knows where you will fit in. But He not only knows all about you -- He also loves you, and He wants what is best for you. This is why you don't need to flounder around or take the path that seems easiest, because God wants to guide you to His path. The Bible's promise is for you: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart ... and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
How can you find God's will? First, turn to Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into your life. He wants to make you part of His family, and He wants to guide you by His Spirit. Then ask Him to guide you as you examine your options; make your future a matter of constant prayer. Seek the advice of wise friends also, and be willing to accept new responsibilities and challenges.
In addition, let the Word of God, the Bible, be your guide. One reason God gave it to us was so we could know what kind of people He wants us to be. Put Christ first, and trust Him to guide you one step at a time.
~After reading this, do you feel that you better understand God's will for your life?
~Do you think that we can truly know God's Will for our lives?
~Does God still speak to believers to tell them what to do and when to do it?
~Is there a good way to know if we are living according to God's will?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
After all, he is the inspiration for Jackie Moon's Semi-Pro movie (although, I don't think he ever wrestled a bear).
Ronald Reagan, the former United States president, allegedly told his close aides on a number of occasions that he felt his opponent during the Cold War was a "closet believer".
Mr Reagan held deep religious convictions himself. However, until now Mr Gorbachev has allowed himself to express only pantheistic views, saying in one interview "nature is my god".
You can read more here.
-Is there such a thing as a "Closet Christian"?
-Does this fall into the "If you deny me before man, I will deny you before the Father" category?
-Do you think Mikhail Gorbachev's claim to be a Christian had influence as to how he approached the cold war and the subsequent break up of the Soviet Union?
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
- Who will be in the Final Four?
- Who will be the next champion?
Friday, March 14, 2008
So, I guess the question arises, why are you shutting down? I will be leaving the country for a while and then heading out to NAB to do some software demonstrations for Sony.
I have always wanted to take my wife to Kenya (I went back in 2001) and with the house paid off, no debt and decent income, I can finally do that. We will be based out of RVA and do some traveling from there. If I am able to post any pictures or send an update I will, but I am not making any promises. I should be back in the swing of things come late April. If you want to join back with me here, just subsribe via email and you will be notified when I make another post.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
In regards to that post, Misawa over at Misawa's Musings has fleshed this issue out a bit. I would encourage you to stop by over there and take a look at this thoughts on the matter and offer your own. While you are there, read some of his other posts; he has a knack for putting things.
You can read more here.
Comment on his blog on this one.
From The Simpsons to The Office, Hulu has a solid catalogue of current programs to attract viewers. They're free with limited commercial interruption. You can even find some gems like Arrested Development and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
There's a lot to like about Hulu's layout. It's interface is clean and straightforward, and you can browse for content in a variety of ways including genre, popularity, or by typing in the name of the show you're looking for. You can even add a show to a feed reader and get updates when new episodes or clips of that show are added.
You can read more here.
-Are you going to give it a try?
-If you did, what are your thoughts?
"At about 10 p.m., Luo watched her husband get into bed without cleaning or washing his feet. In a fit of anger and intoxication, she set fire to the sheet he was sleeping in," the report said.
"When he awoke, the two began fighting before a very drunk Wang collapsed. As fire engulfed the bedroom. Luo escaped to the living room, leaving her other half to burn," it added.
You can read more here.
-What is the purpose of marriage?
-What do you think would have saved this man's life and marriage?
-Do you think a proper understanding of the purpose/intent of marriage is makes all the difference in the marriage relationship?
-What of religion? Does it play a role in marriage?
-Should this matter in marriage?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Two sets of parents in Belgium were recently handed five month prison terms for failing to vaccinate their children against polio. Each parent was also fined 4,100 euros ($8,000).
You can read more here.
-Do you think this to be fair?
-Is it an issue of the greater good?
-Should the government be able to force anyone to inject substances into their children where long term effects are unknown (long term as in multiple generations)?
-What would you do in the above situation?
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Officials said Codey Porter died Monday after he was buried in the sandbox over the weekend.
The fifth-grader's brother, Joshua Quantrille, said the children had just finished watching a TV show called "Naruto," that featured one of the characters using a backpack full of sand, sometimes burying people in it.
You can read more here.
-What do you think was the root cause of this death?
-Should the makers of the cartoon be held liable for this situation?
-What should happen to the boys involved in the incident?
-Did Wild E. Coyote and the Road Runner promote violence? Did children act on it?
You can read more and watch the video here.
-After watching the video, what do you think? Scarry?
-Why do you think fear surrounds this person?
-Should we be afraid of things we don't understand?
-If you were the "midget" how would you want to be treated? Should he make more of an effort?
Monday, March 10, 2008
After spending 2 hours and 20+ minutes on the phone with multiple Sprint customer service representatives I was unable to resolve my current issue: namely our bill has an unexpected increase in overage fees on text messages. It has always been 10 cents per text message over our allotted amount until this months bill.
My encounter with Sprint goes like this: I was disconnected while on hold multiple times (1 time after 1 hour and 4 minutes on the phone with a representative I was placed on hold and disconnected). I was told by 3 reps that they could not resolve the issue. One could not access my previous month's statements to verify what I was telling him was true. Another told me my pin was incorrect and placed me on hold for over 22 minutes while I waited to speak to his supervisor. He came back on the line and told me that he could ask me a series of questions to access my account but he could not get the supervisor on the line as he was tied up still with another call. Oddly enough, he said he gathered this information from his supervisor. He stated that the messages were 20 cents and previously 15. There were no 10 cent text message overage charges. I told him that was agreed upon as overage in the retention plan I am currently under. He told me that I was not under a retention plan. I asked to speak to his supervisor and he put me on hold and we were subsequently disconnected.
I finally get through again to a guy (you have to wait on hold before transferred to a real person that speaks English as a secondary or tertiary language) and explain the situation yet again and am told that "we cannot change the pricing of overage". I told him that they did: 10 cents to 20 cents. He said he understood but he cannot change it back to 10 cents. He then proceeded to ask me if there was anything else he could help me with (Please note here that I was asked this question multiple times by a couple of the reps. It was like they were saying "Okay, we can't address the issue you called about so drop it. What else can we do for you?"). I asked him to resolve the issue or transfer me to someone who could. He placed me on hold and we were disconnected. I then called back yet again and, to shorten things, was told the general business dept. could take care of the issue. I was transferred and subsequently disconnected.
I called back and finally got through to the general business department. He was able to pull up my bill, past bills and see the 10 cent/20 cent discrepancy. He stated that due to the current system change/migration, the system seems to think my text message overage should be billed at 20 cents so it "corrected" it to that amount even though the previous agreement was for 10 cents a minute. He then instructed me to call back tomorrow and talk directly with the retention department as he was unable to adjust the amount. So, after 2 hours and 20+ minutes dealing with something I shouldn't have to, I still do not have this resolved and will have to embark on this yet again tomorrow.
I must really enjoy wasting my time as that is all tonight was: a waste of time. I have subsequently emailed Sprint and will be awaiting their response to this whole debacle. I will report back their response.
Background Information: I have been with Sprint since 2001 and rarely have problems with them unless I have to call them. I have, almost without exception, come away from every phone call to Sprint frustrated or just scratching my head in wondering how in the world they get by with calling that customer service.
-How would you handle this situation?
-What would be your next course of action if any?
-Does it increase the level of frustration for you when you have to ask the representative to continually repeat what they are saying because you can't understand what they are saying and you are constantly wondering why they call this customer service? (Just curious).
-What would be proper restitution given the situation at hand?
You can read more here.
You can read the study here.
-Would this increase the chances of finding a litter box in your home?
-If you found great disdain for felines, do you think this statistic would hold true for you?
-What can you do with a cat?
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
"I am a tamer [of men], a cat, an Italian", she told Le Figaro last year.
"I am faithful... to myself. I am monogamous from time to time but I prefer polygamy and polyandry [its female equivalent]."
At the same time, she reinforced old stereotypes that link status and virility, by reportedly declaring: "I want a man with nuclear power."
You can read more here.
-What do you think about the statistics given in the article? Do they suprise you?
-If not a lack of fear of God, what would you contribute the rising numbers to?
-How long before you think that mentality will be the norm for our country?
-What do you think the effects of such "living" are on society as a whole?
The below is an excerpt from a recent post on BJ's blog: Blind Man's Fancy. I am going to add his blog to my sidebar and I would encourage you to visit his site and interact with him. He is a pastor who is seeking to "do" church in a way that lines up with scriptural mandates such as a plurality of leadership, church discipline and he seeks to preach in such a way as to exposit scripture. Spend some time looking around and interact where you feel led.
When Jesus announced his finished work in Jn 19.30 I wonder if he was echoing God's creative work. Was he providing the substance/fulfillment of God's sacramental creation? Was Jesus giving us the hermeneutic by which we interpret Genesis 1-2? Was God's goal in creation more than just biology, ecology and sociology? Might it be that the created order in nature foreshadowed his re-created order in Christ? If so, then Genesis 1-2 are not merely about creationism, but re-creationism. And what Genesis 1-2 are to creation, John's Gospel is to re-creation.
Let's note some interesting elements of John's Gospel. John began "in the beginning" where Christ (the Logos) existed as God and through whom God created the world (1.1-3). Where did God begin his creative activity in Genesis 1.3? With light shining in darkness. Where did John go from his beginning? With Light shining in darkness (1.4-5).You can read more here.
-Do you think this parallel is stretching it or does it fit?
-Have you heard this parallel drawn before?
-What are some other ways in which Christ has been made manifest in the Old Testament unbeknownst to the people of the OT?
-Is it to a Christian's detriment not to spend much time in the Old Testament?
-Can you really understand Christ if you don't understand the Old Testament?
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Senator Clinton: Yes, I do.
Reporter: And, do you believe on the salvation issue -- and this is controversial too -- that belief in Christ is needed for going to heaven?
Senator Clinton: That one I'm a little more open to. I think that it is, as we understand our relationship to God as Christians, it is how we see our way forward, and it is the way. But, ever since I was a little girl, I've asked every Sunday school teacher I've ever had, I asked every theologian I've ever talked with, whether that meant that there was no salvation, there was no heaven for people who did not accept Christ. And, you're well aware that there are a lot of answers to that. There are people who are totally rooted in the fact that, no, that's why there are missionaries, that's why you have to try to convert. And, then there are a lot of other people who are deeply faithful and deeply Christ-centered who say, that's how we understand it and who are we to read God's mind about such a weighty decision as that.
You can read/listen to the audio here. (I encourage you to listen)
-What are your thoughts concerning Hillary's answers?
-What do you think of the audio recording?
-Where do you think she was going with the Sunday School bit?
-Does this change your opinion about her? In what way?
What is an orthodox view of what happens to Christians after death?
The goddess who retired from her post at the request of her family.
Owen on Hebrews 13.17
Does Obama think the Sermon on the Mount supports gay civil unions?
What does D.A. Carson have to say about speaking in tongues?
Piper gives you five reasons to trust the Bible.
Mohler on Evolution and its incompatibility with Christendom.
Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem:
Witnesses said that only one terrorist had entered the building and that he managed to fire 500-600 bullets over the course of 4-10 minutes before he was killed.The gunman entered the library where about 80 people were gathered, witnesses said, and opened fire.
Yitzhak Dadon, a student, said he was armed with a rifle and waited on the roof of a nearby building. "He came out of the library spraying automatic fire ... the terrorist came to the entrance and I shot him twice in the head," he said.
You can read more here.
-What do you think about students having guns on/near school areas?
-Do you think Yitzhak Dadon did the right thing in this case?
-If this had happened in America, what do you think the differences would be? Afterall, schools are gun free zones.
-Should this cause us (Americans) to rethink the issue of guns on campus; especially in light of the recent string of college/school shootings?
Here is an excerpt:
...Luther wrote, "If I can manage it, before I die I will still marry my Katie to spite the devil." Perhaps not the most romantic line in history, but Luther was well on his way to turning in his membership card to the "Bachelor to the Rapture" Club!
Luther didn't believe in long engagements. In fact, he had one of the shortest engagements in history — he proposed to Katherine and they were married that very same day (June 13, 1523). Their marriage not only shocked their friends, but eventually led to the transformation of church and culture.
You can read the rest here.
-Given the mindset of Luther and of Katherine, do you think they would have married save for the providence of God?
-Is it a good thing to look outside of our current culture for wisdom on marriage and love? Do you find yourself gravitating towards the "latest and greatest" author on the subject when you read within the topic?
-What are some things you pulled from reading the article? Was it helpful?
You can read more (and listen to the audio) here.
-Do you think it is beneficial for pastors to have accountability?
-Do you think it is wise for those outside the local body to peer in and offer correction?
-Do you think the benefits of such actions outweigh the possibility of corruption?
-If you are/were a pastor, how would you look upon correction coming from the outside (local body) but inside (Universal Church)
2. What is a world view and should a Christian have a distinctively "Christian" world view?
When you answer, please defend your stance (explain it) on the matters above.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Significantly, the government's decision says nothing about whether vaccines cause autism. Instead, government lawyers concluded only that vaccines aggravated a pre-existing cellular disorder in the child, causing brain damage that included features of autism. Nonetheless, anti-vaccination campaigners are claiming vindication. "It's official," wrote one autism blogger. "The sky has fallen. The fat lady has sung. Pigs are flying."
You can read more here.
-Does this settlement undermine the studies put forth by the government showing no links between autism and the vaccines?
-Do you think this will cause other families to line up expecting payouts due to their children being affected by autism?
-Why do you think this payout occured if there is nothing to link the two together?
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
First seen on Between Two Worlds
-What are your thoughts on the message of the video?
-Do you agree with the speaker?
-Why are we so quick to accept something without checking it against the scriptures we say we believe?
Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.
"As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics," Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.
You can read more here.
-Just because you don't believe something, does that make it not true?
-Just because something seems improbable, does that make it not true?
-What evidence is there that Moses was high?
-What evidence is there that Moses actually heard from God?
-What do you think of Benny Shannon's opinio0n on the matter? Does his personal experience validate his conclusion?
You know, it’s funny that they have signs that say “No mobile phones or pagers allowed. You must turn them off or turn them to silent.” Even with these signs in multiple locations it did not detour the masses. Mobile phone after mobile went off. It is always interesting to hear one sided conversations. You really get a sense of how dumb you sound when talking on one in public. A majority of the conversations started like this: “Hello. Just sitting here in the DMV waiting.” I wonder why they wasted the paper and ink (read: taxpayer money) to print these signs if no one enforces the decree?
A young girl who goes to one of our many private schools showed up with her mother. She constantly was grooming herself in preparation for her license picture. You could tell she was excited. Her number was called. (By the way, what is up with the number system? G109, B269, B267, I412… No consecutive order and no way to anticipate the remainder of your wait. I think they planned it that way.) She had her mother to drive the car around to the side while she filled out some paperwork. The mother came back in and sat down and waited for about 10 minutes. Then it happened. The girl came running back in crying and sobbing looking utterly confused. She could not find her mom. I saw her mom shake her and she got up. She was trying to talk to her mother but whatever was coming out of her mouth was not English. They had to go sign for something and the girl never stopped sobbing. Apparently her 16 years of life on this planet was ruined and there was nothing else to live for. No, not even the driver’s test she could take the very next week.
To round out things a bit there was a lady sitting in the back to the left with two young children. Both children were not happy about the long wait and they were the only ones who would publicly display their contempt for the long lines and wait. Okay, maybe they did not grasp the situation but they did understand they did not want to be there and their mom was making them be there. For two hours they cried, whined, screamed, accused their mother of keeping them there, and demanded that she let them down. And yeah, while this was going on, the man was snoring, the 16 year old was crying and sobbing, several people did not allow the boredom to interfere with their public displays of affection and mobile phones were going off like an operator’s switchboard. Then, on the overhead you would hear: “B547 is now being seen at counter 8”.
What a fun and interesting day. If your DMV is not like this, please go to a bigger city and try to do anything with your license. Please. You have to do it at least once before you leave this world. I was to the point that I was thinking to myself, if my job was to come here everyday for 6 hours and sit and wait and listen and they paid me 1,000 a day, I could not do it. I would have to quit. I wonder if the DMV is a little taste of what a watered down Hell might be like? Hmmm.
-Do you have any interesting stories from the DMV?
-Do you have suggestions for how to increase the efficiency of such a state run place?
-Does my experience seem typical?
-Do you think the DMV employees enjoy their jobs?
-Do you think that since you are legally required to visit the DMV that is why they do not make strides to improve the efficiency of such a place? If you have to go, why improve it?
Monday, March 3, 2008
i read this morning that larry norman died...
its strange he was one of the weirdest people in music. Larry is best known in the genre of Christian rock, a genre that I have fiercely avoided. Not for any denial of my own spiritual beliefs (I consider myself a Christian) but for the sick commercialization that accompanies it. Several of my albums had been partly distributed through that industry and what I witnessed behind the scenes was so traumatic that I pretty much washed my hands.
Larry's music focused on his belief in Jesus but never at the sake of denying reality around him. As Frank Black of the Pixies said recently of Larry "People might think of him as a so-called Christian singer or songwriter or whatever, but he's an individual. He has his own kind of thing going on. He's not all slicko, you know? He's real." Touring with bands like the Who and the Stones Larry's "Jesus talk" eventually wore out its welcome and he found himself in a subculture in LA that became a loose collective of artists who lyrically mingled life with a wonder for God...
Frank Black and Jason Carter filmed Larry in the hospital before his death and he looked pretty bad... ( video link ) but for a better picture of this who this strange man was search the record piles in your local thrift store until you find a edgar winter looking dude in his twenties all bellbottomed and crazyeyed, reaching out for something just beyond his grasp.
You can read more here.
*Of note: I would have never found Robert Deeble's music if it had not been added to the Downstream: A Weathervane Compilation (a "Christian Music" compilation). "Rock a Bye" is included on that album, and Robert Deeble does a duet with Victoria Williams (a guru in both Christian and secular circles). Simply beautiful.
-What are your thoughts concerning "Christian Music"? Christian Music Labels?
-Do you think Robert Deeble brings up a good point concerning the industry?
-If you bothered to click on Deeble's link above, what are your thoughts concerning his lyrics? His musical style?
PortoMedia says its technology can download a standard definition movie in less than a minute. A starter USB kit will cost around $60 (U.S. pricing isn't set), which will provide you with a USB drive, a USB dock, and six movie rentals.
You can read more here.
-Would you pay ~$60 to just be able to start using this service?
-If their kiosks are plentiful and user friendly, do you see Netflix and Blockbuster a thing of the past?
-Do you find the idea of a thumb drive more convenient than say a disc or internet download?
-Do you see any potential setbacks to suing propriatary usb drives for this service?
-Would you rather see these kiosks sitting next to the gas pumps (download while you pump) or in an airport terminal or ______?
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Have you ever wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle? Ever wondered what it was like? I have. Plus, with the rising cost of petrol I decided to find a good fixer-up motorcycle and learn with it and then find what I really wanted in a motorcycle.
So, I found a great deal on a used, running motorcycle. It is a Suzuki GS850. I bought it around 4 months ago for around $400- he needed the money and didn't need the bike) and have rode it several times around my neighborhood trying to get a feel for how it handles and the power it has. It is a big bike but handles well and I feel comfortable on it.
Shortly after I bought the bike, I decided to look for a motorcycle class so I could avoid reinforcing any bad habits I might have utilized while teaching myself. I signed up for them around a month ago and took them this weekend. Two days of classroom and course training from 7.45am to 5pm. Long days but well worth the money and time involved as they provided valuable instruction and made it fun being out there going through obstacle courses and practicing different defensive techniques.
So, if you ever had an inkling to hit the wide-open roads on a motorcycle, I would highly recommend signing up for a motorcycle safety course and not letting anything detour you from getting on a bike. A lot of people "warned" me about the dangers of motorcycles. Point taken, but it is funny that most of those who warned me were people who have never ridden one. Funny how that works. Point: if you are fearful of one, but you think it might be fun, sign up for a course near you and allow your fear to subside and enjoy the ride.
-What are your thoughts about motorcycles?
-Do you think you will ever ride one? Drive one?
-What do you think about the nay sayers who preach the dangers of motorcycles, yet have no first hand knowledge of them?
-Even without first hand knowledge, can they (the nay sayers) still be right?
*Disclaimer: I am not saying they are not dangerous. I am saying that if you know how to use one, understand the risks involved and take them seriously you can minimize the risks associated with riding a motorcycle.