Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Bene Diction has moved again, the new url is http://benedictionblogson.com/. Looks like this will be home for awhile.

From Dave Barry Year in Review

the most poignant quote from all of 2002: ''I want to focus on my salad.''

Yep that's a good one.

Thanks Ian.


Sunday, December 29, 2002

Bene Diction has a new home. http://benediction.webhop.org/. I talked with Bene on the phone today, it was very cool. And I'm not just saying that beacause of some nice things BD said in his first post at the new site.

Update this is now out of date he's moved to http://benedictionblogson.com/.
Bene, if you read this send me an email, I'd love to hear from you. You're in my prayers.


Monday, December 23, 2002

Merry Christmas

The is image is Festival of Lights by John August Swanson, click for a larger image

I'll be away for a bit so the latest WLW results will have to do till I get back.

My to do list for when I get back.

  • fix the blog within a blog bug in WLW
  • add features to track new links and de-links in WLW
  • start collecting latst updated headers from the HTTP protocol ant start creating some aggregate RSS feeds for Mean Dean.
  • deal with the fact that I will have turned 32.
  • get caught up on some overdue posts:

    • Surprised by Joy: CS Lewis as member of tribe Geek.
    • The Bible – a review.


Sunday, December 22, 2002

Richard Bott has written three poems,

Christus Natus est... secundus
Christus Natus est...tertius
Christus natus est...quartus

though I had to punch Christus Natus est into google to before it dawned on me what was going on. Yup I can be dense.

I love the ambiguity of the male character in the secundus poem. Is he a preditor or protector? From this perspective we just don't know. Thought provoking and beautiful, well worth a read.

I'm just a sucker for Canadian pop culture.

What Jones Soda Flavor are you? by: Dannielle Albert. As seen on The Riehl World

I've been a Jones Soda fan since they were just a local drink in Vancouver.

Stryper has a website. stryper.com. I guess their slogan could be: reaching the youth of the 80's today. And yes I used to listent to them.


Saturday, December 21, 2002

Christmas is bitter sweet, it's been that way from the begining.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

Luke 2: 25-35

I'm preparing a Sunday School lesson on this theme, cause I know for most of my class it will be a rough Christmas, two are in families that have split this year, and another's Dad has cancer.


Friday, December 20, 2002

I'm on Vaction! I don't go back to work till next year! now if I can just get my Christmas stuff done.

My wallpaper.


Wednesday, December 18, 2002

It's been a good week for New Brunswick pride, First Bene raves about Brunswick Sheets, and then we find out that Mean Dean likes Moosehead. While I'm on a roll I might as well point out that New Brunswick is home to SABIAN Cymbals as well.


Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
by Tim O'Reilly

Tim shares 7 lessons about Piracy and Online Distribution:

Lesson 1: Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.
Lesson 2: Piracy is progressive taxation
Lesson 3: Customers want to do the right thing, if they can.
Lesson 4: Shoplifting is a bigger threat than piracy.
Lesson 5: File sharing networks don't threaten book, music, or film publishing. They threaten existing publishers.
Lesson 6: "Free" is eventually replaced by a higher-quality paid service
Lesson 7: There's more than one way to do it.

Thanks Karl, well worth the read.

I'm reading, Hudson Taylor in the Early Years, the Growth of a Soul, by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor. It was a gift from my grandparents over 12 years ago, I've just started reading it. First edition was in 1911, the copy I have is from 1940.


Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Dougie was 'gifted' at collecting the offering.

Hmmm, I wonder if that's why I'm on the collection team at church?


Monday, December 16, 2002

Surgery under review after metal object left inside woman
- CBC news

from the story

The retractor is two inches in width and 13 inches in length

ouch. Truth is stranger than urban ledgend.

The Woman and the Dragon

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
-Revelation 12

I wish we used this chapter more at Christmas, it's a nice counterbalance to the sometimes overdone cuteness of Christmas pageants, music and nativity scenes. It places Christ's birth at the very center of the cosmic battle between good and evil.


Friday, December 13, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • The Joy Of Work:
    It's great to have a job that I really enjoy. There's been a lot to do lately (which sort of explains my not posting in a while). But it's been a great blessing to get up and look forward to going to work.
  • Looking Forward To The Holiday:Christmas is great for me. I was pretty Grinchy about it for a long time but then I found my own joy. I don't know how I had forgotten what Christmas was for but I had. I was depressed by the commercialism and the trend away from Christ as the central theme of the season. These things have not really changed or improved but I found a quiet inner joy knowing that He came.
Mike's Walk
  • Hunting For The Supernatural:
    I was feeling down trying to find evidence in my life of late of His power at work in me. Unsatisfied with who I was and how my walk was going, I prayed for quite awhile about it. After a while realized I was trying to twist God's arm to do things in a way that met with my approval instead of recognizing the work He was doing. I was reminded He frequently doesn't show His power in a way that humans understand. What He requires of me is not that I be a spiritual superman but that I do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. It's not about gaining power but about laying down my rights, my strength and my life that He might live in me more fully.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

The image is "The Great Catch" by John August Swanson. It's used on the cover of the Latino Heritage Bible. I just thought it was a fantastic work of art.

Thanks to Rudy and Nydia for introducing me to John August Swanson.


Over-reliance on the system, of course, is characteristic of modernity in its mistaken belief that the perfect programming will yield its perfect result.

when the church is its own worst enemy by Stephen Shields

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

What Ever Happened To Quality? - The Daily Aardvark
Some notes on WLW,

There is a bug that is counting all the links to the multiple blogs at under one entry at http://www.hornes.org/ that meansCogito Ergo Blog gets listed first. I fixed a bug in my duplicate detection code that was excluding some of the blogs at http://www.hornes.org/ so if they get some extra exposure while I fix this bug, I figure I owe them.

The ranking is not my main focus, the name is Who Links Who because that's what I'm interested in. The ranking is a by product and as people can see what links make up that number I expect people to make their own judgment's on what that number is worth.

Yesterday HNBP toped the ranking at 372, because someone added 300+ links on their blog to prove that would send HNBP to the top of the chart. As we say in the software biz "That's not a bug it's a feature." The person in question has removed the 300+ links to HNBP so things should be back to normal with the next run of WLW. I could add code to try and filter out extream cases such as this, but I don't want to focus on the ranking of blogs, it's just not a big deal to me.

I know the title Who Links Who makes our inner Grammar Nazis go nuts. I'm ok with that.

The titles for blogs in WLW come from the entry at blogs4God, if you'd like to update it contact one of the team there. They are all nice people, though Mean Dean may look at you funny if you wear a powder blue helmet.


Tuesday, December 10, 2002

/. poll: Most Deadly Sin?

Jesus in space!

In the Future, We'll All Be Harry Potter

Jakob Nielsen makes some predictions on next generation tech so advanced it will seem like magic. He also takes a shot a poorly designed tech.

Designers who inflict poor usability on the world and its Muggles are wicked wizards indeed.

Watched A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, haven't watched the whole thing in a long time. I was moved, am I a complete sap? Picked up the Sound track yesterday at lunch, it's wonderful. I now have three Christmas CD's that I love.

Christmas - Bruce Cockburn
The Court of a King: A Celtic Christmas Celebration – The Crossing
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Soundtrack

Some nasty name calling over four Canadians who are going to Iraq as volunteer "human shields". What seems to escaped the name callers is that

  • Canada is a free democracy, if some of our people want to act as cannon fodder they are free to do so.
  • A much larger group of American cannon fodder/peace activits that the four Canadians are joining.

Seems to be a case of being American First, thinking latter. And no that doesn't reflect on all Americans, Junk Yard Blog and and Hoystory were able to report the story without trashing Canadians, but Scrapple Face, ETC. and The Concervative Journal fell short of the mark.

- Peace

Sunday, December 08, 2002

If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope today, there must be a reason for it; and I think I know what it is, or what they are, for there are a number of them. One is simply that popular fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the cross rather than the beauty of the one who died on it. The saved man's relation to Christ has been made contractual instead of personal. The "work" of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ. Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification. What he did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me. Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction which we "accept", and the whole thing lacks emotional content. We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his coming, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.

- Excerpt from A. W. Tozer

Small personal connection: when my dad was a young man working in Toronto he spent some time as A. W. Tozer's driver. Mr Tozer had agreed to do some preaching for my dad's church, but only if someone could drive him and my dad volunteered.


Saturday, December 07, 2002

GeekMaids.Com - Creating order out of chaos. Cleaning and Beyond!

I am not making this up.


I think code is like a sonnet
- Alison, Quantum Tea

I think she’s right. Though I can’t remember writing a sonnet, so it’s not like I’m an expert.


Never underestimate the ability of otherwise clear-thinking men to take the most meaningless outward sign of holiness and build a monument to it.

What Would Jesus Hate? by Joe Bob Briggs, Thanks Jordon.


Friday, December 06, 2002

Innocence and Experience, Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets a review by Mike Hertenstein

In my reading of spiritual masters, I have noticed that persons we now view as saintly have a finely calibrated sense of sin. Aware of God's ideal, aspiring to holiness, free of the vanity and defensiveness that blind most people, they live in full awareness of falling short. Thomas Merton makes this point in an odd comparison between Adolf Hitler and Theresa of Avila:

Saint Theresa thinks everybody is the same as she is because we are all sinners. Hitler thinks everybody is different from him, because they are, some of them less pure, some of them less noble, some of them less intelligent, some of them less beautiful, all of them less godlike, all of them less perfect. It is the Hitlers who think they are perfect—because nobody else thinks so. It is the saints who know they are not perfect, although sometimes other people say of them that they are saints: the saints themselves know themselves only as sinners, liable to lose their love and the sight of Christ through a movement of impatience or selfishness or pride.

True saints do not get discouraged over their faults, for they recognize that a person who feels no guilt can never find healing. Paradoxically, neither can a person who wallows in guilt. The sense of guilt only serves its designed purpose if it presses us toward the God who promises forgiveness and restoration.

Philip Yancey, Guilt Good and Bad, The early warning signs.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Been having fun with The Advertising Slogan Generator. Modified a couple to make them fit the blog culture.

  • With A Name Like IdeaJoy, It Has To Be Good.
  • The Best Part of Waking Up is IdeaJoy on your blog roll.
  • IdeaJoy-Fiskin' Good.
  • Come See the Blogger Side of Ideajoy.
  • Doing It Right Before Your IdeaJoy.
  • Any Time, Any Place, IdeaJoy.
  • IdeaJoy Saves Your Soul - um no, but we know someone who can.
  • The Curiously Strong IdeaJoy.
  • Built IdeaJoy Tough.

Behold the Power of Mr. Wright!


Wednesday, December 04, 2002

because you can program well or poorly, and because most of it is creative (in that we don't really know what we're doing when we start out), my view is that we should train developers the way we train creative people like poets and artists

- The Poetry of Programming an interview with Richard Gabriel, Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems
For those of you on the blogs4God list who use frames in your blogs, you'll be glad to know your links are now being counted in Who Links Who. I added the upgrade when Rudy's links to IdeaJoy from UrbanOnRamps.com didn't show up in IdeaJoy's WLW entry. So now I check for frames and parse them as well. There's still some issues to work out, but it's an improvement.


Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Life of St. Francis by Giotto di Bondone is a collection of twenty eight paintings of the good monk's life. Five paintings with selected text about St. Francis are online. The art work is wonderful, and the selections thoughtful. This on a page about: St. Francis, Burning Bright, a program on the life of St. Francis that was broadcast by Ideas.


Stroke the ego

This morning, on the c-train a woman commented that I read good books. I’m reading Surprised by Joy, she mentioned that last time she saw me I was reading the Hobbit, that would have been last year, good memory. On top of that, Rudy Carrasco thinks I’m super cool. Not bad for Tuesday.


Monday, December 02, 2002

Saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Saturday. Reviews abound, so I don't feel a burning need for another one. One thing I do want to share, HP & tCoS gave me a new appreciation of Fellowship of the Rings. Both are adaptations of books too large for one movie. In FotR they dealt with this challenge by chopping out large sections of the book, combining characters and focusing on one or two aspects of the story. By chopping out whole sections what was left was given a great treatment, sometimes even expanding on the book.

In tCos they reduce all of the secondary elements but don't chop much out. We get little glimses of things that didn't add much to the story. Near the beginning Harry takes a wrong turn and ends up in the shady part of Diagon Ally. In the book this moves the story ahead as Harry overhears Draco Malfoy and his father talking. However in the movie, we just get a glimpse of some unsavory Wizzards and Witches, not much of point to the wrong turn. It does show us that Harry still isn't at home in the magical world, but when dealing with so much material you've got to double up, move the story and develop character all at the same time.

The challenge of having too much material won't get easier, the third book is longer than the first two and the goblet of fire is almost twice as long as the third.

Santa Lives Here

or at least his email server does. According to Wired News in Dear Santa: You've Got E-Mail, the best web site for getting email to Santa is EmailSanta.com, based right here in Calgary.


PS in case you're wondering we've told our daughter Santa is a game since she was two.

Friday, November 29, 2002

Dilbert Moment

I want to find out how long it will take, and then I will give you the requirements.
- [Name Withheld], Project Manager

Peter Case has released Ice Water as an mp3. From what could be a sort of "best of" album "THANK YOU ST. JUDE". Only all the songs seem like fresh recordings of his earlier work. If you like folk/blues/rock with smart lyric writing then you need to spend some time with Peter Case.

More then a few bloggers dodged the real question ... when commenting on "What Would Jesus Drive?".
- Karl

Karl's post on the WWJDrive? issue is the best I've seen.

1000.5 km

On the way home from our small group meeting I passed the 1000 km mark. That's

1 000 500 meters
1 cracked bike frame
1 new bike
2 plane trips (to Ontario and Back)
2 bike shops
3 wipeouts on ice, all on the new bike
3 provinces: Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia
6 Municipalities:Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Elora, Calgary
1 Federal park, Mt. Revelstoke. (a 1400 meter drop over 21 km is a blast!)
3 provincial parks: Fish Creek (Alberta), Elora Gorge (Ontario), Mt. Mackenzie Demonstration Forest (BC) (at least I think it's Mt. Mackenzie)
1 damaged handspring visor
1 broken cross
1 lost wedding ring
1 found wedding ring
1 cracked helmet
1 new helmet
10 blog posts (Main ones being June, July, August, November)
~63 hours of ridding. (that's just a rough guess it's hard to average off road and city ridding)

It's been a good ride. 1200 km next year :) 2500 km was my best year, but it will take time to get back to that.


Tuesday, November 26, 2002

A hand written digital clock.


Monday, November 25, 2002

quick links

Flexibility and Complexity

Bill Venners & Martin Fowler discuss " design decay, the cost of flexibility and reusability, four criteria for a simple system, and test-first design of interfaces." I've been a big fan of Bill Benners since I first read his stuff in JavaWorld back in 98. Martin Fowler's Refactoring is a classic. I have an autographed copy :)

The New Convergence
A nice look at the current trend of science being more open to the divine. As seen on Apologia via a link in WLW thanks to Alan K. Henderson's Weblog

Coming soon: Gulf Wars: Episode II, Clone of the Attack.

hmmm I wonder if the opening lines will be. "Mr President, we've found the plans to the death star".


Sunday, November 24, 2002

Found it!

I went back to West Fish Creek today, found where I had wiped out and at the base of the bank, just off the path was my wedding ring! I just took one step off the path and looked down and there it was, sitting on some leaves. I am amazed and very thankful. As both my wife and mother will tell you, I don't do well in the looking department, and that's for stuff in the house like my keys. So I count finding my ring in the park, nine days later, after the snow had melted, a small miracle. Or maybe it was just a huge chunk of common grace (christianese for luck). Either way I am most thankful.


ps 25 km to go...

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Fist Full of Links

Liz Creech gives advice about sex, Nov 21,23 posts. Liz is a prude where perma links are concerned. Link via Wendy

Shut That Bible! - thanks to exclusively Kristen

Karl says he's an Emacs/JDEE/bash/ant user. I'm an jEdit/ant guy myself

Starbucks Spirituality as seen in the Book of Joshua


Thursday, November 21, 2002

There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:

Ants--they aren't strong,
but they store up food for the winter.

Rock badgers -- they aren't powerful,
but they make their homes among the rocky cliffs.

Locusts--they have no king,
but they march like an army in ranks.

Lizards--they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings' palaces.

- Proverbs 30:24-28

The Locusts caught me off gaurd this morning. That they have no king but are organized like an army would make them an emergent system. Emergence is a powerful way of explaining the world and has been quite popular as of late. Jordon recently posted a link to the Nov. 28, 2001 article The emergent new order: how how self-organizing systems are made to order for ants, cities, software and terrorists. Most of the material on emergence I’ve read has been quite hostile to the intelligent design view. Spontaneous Generation in the Exploring Emergence active essay from the MIT Media Laboratory would be an example.

I was surprised to find the chief insight of emergent systems, that organization does not need to be centralized in a 3500 year old religious book of wisdom. What does it mean? I don’t know …


Wednesday, November 20, 2002

I just finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I spent more time thinking about it than actually reading it. Most of the time it was to savor a beautiful scene or thought that she had expressed. Though once in a while it was because she completely lost me. Reading Pilgrim is a vocabulary expanding experience to say the least.

What I enjoyed most about the book is how she takes both the beauty and horror of the natural world and wrestles with them. She spends time with the monarch butterfly and it's amazing migration, and parasites that eat their host from the inside out. She mixes in science, religion, and personal observation with a grace I have not encountered in other works. The pilgrimage through Tinker Creek is a trip worth taking.


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Go Esks!
if Love is sacrifice then let me submit that Faith is risk. Faith without action is dead, only in action can we take risks. It's only when we do something we wouldn't do without faith that our faith is made manifest.

Risk is

  • stepping out of the boat
  • going to a gentile's house
  • forgiving those who have trespassed against us
  • inviting the left out, unpopular to a party
  • raising kids, or in my case kid
  • ....

add to the risk is list in the comments.


Monday, November 18, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • A New Song:
    I wrote a song last weekend and I wanted to share it
    My wife and I both struggle with depression and my Wednesday morning prayer group encouraged me to write a song.
    This is what came out:
    He Collects Your Tears

    I see you struggling with your burden.
    Where will you find comfort? When will it end?

    You wonder how you can continue, how can you go on?
    There is this crushing weight and it's pressing down.


    He collects your tears in a bottle
    A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief
    He's never far from the broken hearted.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.

    They tell you to get up again, but your strength is gone
    Then He gently reminds you that you're not alone,


    He collects your tears in a bottle
    A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief
    He's never far from the broken hearted.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.

    He collects your tears in a bottle
    A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief
    He's never far from the broken hearted.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.

Mike's Walk
  • God's Pen:
    God must have been writing His word on my heart (Hebrews 8:10) because I didn't go out of my way to quote scripture on that song and yet there's quite a bit in it. So let's have a look:
    • He collects your tears in a bottle - Psalms 56:8
      You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
    • A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief - Isaiah 53:3
      He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.
    • He's never far from the broken hearted - Psalms 34:18
      The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
    • Someday He'll wipe away every tear - Revelation 7:17
      For the Lamb who stands in front of the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe away all their tears."

Sunday, November 17, 2002

oh yeah almost forgot, 34 km to go, though I need to get a new helmet before I can do any more.

Things break, yes when we use them,
bones ache, as time goes on...
-Elim Hall

I've had that tune running trough my head today. I've been having trouble with things breaking as of late. Last night was game night, a semi regular event with my circle of friends, we had ~15 guys here last night to play video games and my PS2 went of the Fritz just as we were setting up. Ryan brought his xbox and we had another PS2 that we projected up on the wall, but still how totally frustrating! This is the third PS2 I've had go on me. So the extended warranty in this case is well worth it. The games are great, the controllers rock, but the quality of the disk player has been horrible. Sony can't seem to build a disk player that lasts more than nine months. Grrr...

A week ago, biking to work I hit some ice in fish creek and wiped out. No damage done, I just got up and moved on. When I got to work I found that my Handspring Visor had a permanent grey spot in the middle of the screen. It's been getting worse, like a crack in a windshield that spreads over time.

My worst experience though was on Friday, after a long week I was able to leave work early and decided to do some riding in Fish Creek. I was on some very icy single track I had goten off to walk that section, I slipped and lost my footing, ended up sliding down the bank toward the creek head first on my back. I stopped when my head hit a tree. My bike helmet was cracked, but better it than my head.

It was dark by the time I got home but I feeling lucky to be alive, and no damage done to the new bike. I checked my necklace that I always wear, it has my cross and my wedding ring on it. The the cross and ring we gone, just the leather string was left. It's funny how attached to things we become, in this case the two symbols that remind me of what I care about, of what are important to me were gone.

So to sum up, my neck and back are sore from slamming into a tree, the ring that was a cherished gift from my wife is lost, and with it the wooden cross I wore for the last ten years is gone, and I can't even take out my frustrations by blowing things up in virtual fire fight.

Oh Lord why?


Friday, November 15, 2002

It was my 24th birthday last weekend (nov 9) and one of the gifts I received was a hooded sweatshirt. Pinned to it was a sticker that says crossfader. I had no idea what this meant. At first I thought maybe it was a skate or snowboard company or a band. I still don't what it's referring to. I later discovered that "The DJ mixer crossfader was originally developed as a control for implementing smooth fades from one program source to another". As I thought about the word crossfader I started to think that the Cross, that is supposed to give us hope, does seem to be fading. In a world that is filled with so many other things that we can preoccupy ourselves with, why look to the cross? The cross hasn't faded completely though. It can still be found around the necks of some of out favorite musicians and actors. The cross is no longer the place where Christ was hung to take on the sins of the world. The cross is now a cool piece of jewelry, or a nifty tattoo. However, when you look at the word crossfader in relation to the DJ mixer crossfader it applies to how we should live as Christians. I don't believe that we should flip our "Christian switch" on and off depending on where we are. A lot of us turn on the switch when we go to church or are with our Christian friends and for some reason switch it off afterwards. This shouldn't happen. We should be able to move smoothly from one scenario to another, living as completely sold out Christians.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

could not pass this up.

The final book of Narnia, you're a sometimes disturbing story about the end of the world and the beginning of a new one. Your characters include an evil monkey, a misguided donkey, stubborn dwarves and all the human characters from the previous books. You manage to be heartbreaking and beautiful at once.

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

as seen on My World as it is Sung

if you like puzzel games like Tetris, check out Diamon Mine.


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

More Star Wars Adds

Passage To Alderaan: Ten thousand, all in advance.
Used XP-34 Landspeeder: Two thousand.
Reward To Rescue Princess: More wealth than you can imagine.
That look on her face after you've blown up the Death Star: PRICELESS

- TheForce.Net

you've seen the apple.com/switch ads right? With Tony Hawk and Ellen Feiss.

now checkout darkside.com/switch with Anakin.
Link via Dispatches From Outland

Can a Saul/Paul ad be far behind? jesus.org/switch ?


42 km to go ....


Monday, November 11, 2002

The Dorcus Fund - Ellen is raising money for a Car for the EUS staff in Bosnia.

I want this car to be a blessing and to help further the ministry of EUS. I want Enisa to use it to travel to other university towns, for NeŇ°o to get home to Stolac for the weekend. I want to use it for emergency airport or bus station trips, and for emergency ice cream trips. I want it for taking students to conferences, and for getting to conferences myself. I want to call the car "Dorcas" after its namesake in Acts 9, the woman who was known for helping and "always doing good".

Something to think about.


How to turn off Windows Messenger Service.

Yup I got hit with this type of spam so I just turned off Windows Messenger Service.


Friday, November 08, 2002

Just found out I did not get that contract that I interviewed for last week. So it looks like bench time for me in December.

Mean Dean takes aim at Canada.

only 63 km to go...


Thursday, November 07, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • Reading, birthdays, and music:
    I'm re-reading "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Philip Yancey. I like Philip's honesty as he wrestles with the same questions we never want to admit we ask.
    My family is having a mega-birthday bash this weekend. My mother, grandmother, and I are all November birthdays so we are going to have one giant hoot.
    The music club at my college is moving in some interesting directions. The Christian bunch of us are thinking of putting some modern praise and worship together after the Christmas break. I'm looking forward to it. It's been a long time since I played with other Christians.
Mike's Walk
  • The spirit enters a prayer meeting:
    On Wednesday morning our prayer group met at one of our members new place of work. Gary's new shop had yet to open for business (in fact the contractor had to let us in because Gary didn't have the keys yet). We gathered in a circle and placed our hands on Gary and his family as we prayed. Our prayers turned to singing and our singing turned to joyous fellowship. It was a great time.
    Thank you Jesus for being there and helping us pray and for giving us a glimpse of you.

    The verse that goes with it I found in Job of all places:
    Job 33:26
    "when they pray, God will answer; they will worship God with joy; God will set things right for them again."

According to The Numbers, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is in the black. So far it's made 21,621,641 US$. That covers the 14 000 000 production budget and the 7 000 000 prints and advertising budget. So it looks like Jonah won't sink Big Idea after all.


Wednesday, November 06, 2002

only 84 km to go...

Wendy asks "What can you say to top Buddy Jesus?" Nothing I could say could top that, but have you seen Cheesus?

That's 11" x 20" of pure Velveeta folks. The artist is Jonathan Truch, he's a 2002 grad from the Alberta College of Art & Design.


Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Tonight on IdeaJoy, cool news and a confession.

cool news: I'm the proud owner of a new brodie Kinetic mountain bike. I'd provide a direct like but brodie bikes likes flash, so look under the lightning series. This is a very sweet ride, I rode it for the first time tonight. Winter night riding is fun, cause the ice is much harder to see :) I got a great deal on this bike as it's end of season, and because I cracked the frame on my previous brodie. It had a ten year warranty on the frame and was only 4 years old. brodie would have replaced the frame, but then I'd have a new frame with worn out parts, so I suggested they give me a deal on a bike an they did. For about what I paid for my last bike, I got a much sweeter ride :) The guys at work are jealous.

confession: I still haven't made my 1000 km goal for the year. I last posted about riding back on August 1st. I was at 720 for the year. I'm now at 891 in November. Sad I know, but I have a list of lame excuses:

  • beginning of August was cold and wet, we even had snow!
  • Mid august I was on vacation and did only 30 km that week. Why kill yourself on vacation? And Revelstoke being in the mountains is all hills, so that's like work!
  • End of August I was on the bench, that is not billable, that is doing research from home. I would have ridden from the bed room to the basement, but Kim wouldn't let me. It's not that far any-ways. So yeah I'm lazy, if I'm not going somewhere when I'm ridding I find it way too easy to put off.
  • September – still not billable, and had minor foot surgery, so there was a good 5 weeks where I couldn't bike
  • October - decide it's time to finish of my last 160 km or so, but crack my frame. Actually I'm pretty sure it cracked while I did my big 10 km of off roading in Revelstoke but it wasn't noticeable for awhile.

So that brings me to November with a new bike and as of tonight, 109 kms to go :) Right now we've got some nice weather, hope it holds otherwise I'll be biking in blizzards, cause I'm going to do this before 2003 rolls around.


Sunday, November 03, 2002

My Mom was in town and we all went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding last night. We all laughed. Kim cried. She cries at wedding and movies, so a movie about a wedding, it a sinch she's going to cry. It's nice to see a good movie can still be made on modest budget. 5 million for production, 19 million for prints and advertising. So far it's made ~184 million in the USA.

One of the running jokes in movie is the dad explaining how every word comes from Greek. Asked by one of the kids how the word "kimono" comes from the Greek, he replies that

"kimono" comes from the greek word for winter "kimona", and what do you wear in winter? A robe! hence komono!

That's probably not an exact quote, but you get the idea. This bit was made even funnier for me as I had a Greek taxi driver passionately explain how all technology was really Greek because it had Greek names. Tele being Greek for far, so telephone, television, and telegraph were all Greek.

Being a passionate Canadian I of course need to point out that the star and writer for the movie, Nia Vardalos is a Canadian. Hollywood.com has an interview with Nia Vardalos, which explains how the movie got made.


Friday, November 01, 2002

The image on the left if from the Canadian War Posters web site. In Canada Remembrance Day is November the 11th.


Thursday, October 31, 2002

locdog takes a good look at Halloween, link via Josh Claybourn

Google thinks Jesus is ...

link via Bene Diction.

Mark continues his Muggle Moment ...

Not sure what to say other than:
  • Mark needs to undertand what is and is not allegory
  • Mark should read the books he intends to comment on. It drives me nuts when people who haven't read the Bible comment on it, same goes for "Harry Potter".
  • and yes most non-Xian books won't look to God for the ultimate answer, what a shock. Course that would apply to entertainment, sports, news media as well. So why pick on "Harry Potter"?

    PS Nowheresville USA takes Mark to task for his postion on Halloween, well worth a read.
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2002

    Mike's Spot On The Wall

    • Busy Yet Fun
      It has been very busy at work. I'm working on an e-commerce interface for our college bookstore and there's a lot of work.

      In the evenings I'm reading the Gandalara Cycle. It's a great series that has quite a story around it as well as in it. The original author who began the series contracted meningitis but worked out the plot details with his wife who completed the series after he passed away. In spite of that I find the story quite moving and beautiful.

    Mike's Walk

    Tuesday, October 29, 2002

    Muggles are unfailingly literal, deaf to metaphor, blind to the central reality of what Chesterton calls "the poetical side of man" -- that behind the ordinary facade of atoms and death lurks an enchanted world indeed. The literal-minded critic has no choice but to defend Muggles, since to do otherwise would be to raise the possibility of a world beyond the reliable borders of a strictly literal interpretation of human existence.

    Harry Potter vs the Muggles - Myth, Magic & "Joy"
    By Mike Hertenstein

    I think Mark Byron was having a Muggle Moment.

    Update: A Reply to Mark's comment

    Just to make things clearer for Mark, since I don't think he read the article, his Muggle Moment is along these lines

    understanding poetry and myth primarily as vehicles of doctrine, which [muggles] presume to sift out and graph as one-to-one correspondances, i.e. the Star Wars' Force = Eastern religion, or, to raise our present subject, the magic of Harry Potter connects precisely with dark supernatural powers.

    On the elitism charge:

    Yes, in "Harry Potter" only a few poeple are Wizzards and Witches, but in "Harry Potter" there are good Wizzards and Witches and evil Wizzards and Witches, there are good muggles and evil muggles. In the books being a wizzard doesn't equal having access to God. Mark is trying to make a 1 to 1 map from his world view, that for the most part I share, and the "Harry Potter" world. The aproach just doesn't work. Might as well make the same compairson to the NBA. The NBA is bad cause we all can't be gifted enought to be in the NBA but we all can have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Mark: read the article, and then read Harry Potter.

    Mark read the article, but still misses the point, but as least he gives it good go. A for effort, I'll reply tonight.


    The fear of the LORD leads to life:
    Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

    - Proverbs 19:23

    That's my prayer this morning as I head into an interview with a potential client, oh the joys of consulting.


    Monday, October 28, 2002

    Salon has in interesting article on the History of Halloween: Primeval terror (since 1929)


    Sunday, October 27, 2002

    Why is it that a large number of Christians are afraid of Halloween? Many try to ignore it. Others celebrate it by other names. For instance our church had a "Fall Costume Party" for the kids on Saturday. But we don't seem to engage it. Here are a couple of ideas I posted back in 96 when I was the web slinger for IVCF at the U of A.

    1. Carve a cross in your pumpkin
    2. Go tricker or treating for the Food Bank

    We had a lot of fun with the Food Bank project, though IVCF at the University of Manitoba out did us by raising 3000 pounds of food in one night.

    The nice thing about carving a cross in your pumpkin is it's something anyone can do.

    Know of other good ways to transform Halloween? Let me know in the comments.


    PS Gotta love the WayBackMachine

    Saturday, October 26, 2002

    As many as 100,000 Christians are in concentration camps, enduring regular torture. Executions are common.

    - Saints in Waiting – the Christian Martyrs of North Korea by Martin Roth

    Friday, October 25, 2002

    I love learning something new. Today I learned that as of Oracle 8 you can defer constraints within a transaction until commit is called. That means that within a transaction you can violate the restraints as long as everything is squared away before the changes are committed. The key is defining the restraints with the DEFERRABLE and INITIAL DEFERRED key words. See the ORACLE8 FOR DEVELOPERS PDF file. This is nice compromise between DBA's that never want the rules broken and Weblogic that expects things to happen it's way. Being stuck between a DBA and your appserver is like well this.

    Using Container Managed Persistence (CMP) and Container Managed Relationships (CMR) I found that Weblogic 6.1 sp 3 violates the rule that foreign keys (FK) can't be null. If you let Weblogic auto deploy your tables you will notice it will not create the FK NOT NULL constraint. However if you have a good DBA, and I'm lucky to work with two of them, then you'll be forced to use that constraint to prevent orphaned records. This where deferring the constraint until commit saves your bacon.

    Weblogic wants to create the child record and then update it's FK with the parent id. So it does an insert and then an update followed by a commit. With out a deferred constrain the insert fails. With a deferred constraint everything should be tickety-boo (That's Albertan for just fine). Oh one last detail, DataSources in Weblogic have AutoCommit on by default, so make sure to us a TxDataSource as they have AutoCommit set to false.


    Thursday, October 24, 2002

    Spiritual consumerism is just unsatisfying as material consumerism but it is much harder to detect.
    - from Simplicity and Religious Complexity by Leighton on TheHeresy.com
    The 2003 Demotivators are out. And yes, Jordon beat me to the punch.


    Wednesday, October 23, 2002

    my reading for the train ride home

    Notes on Postmodern Programming
    - James Noble and Robert Biddle

    as seen on /.


    God is with us in everything, not just the things that work out our way.
    Top Ten New Things You Can Do with NIO
    ... cause I know you were wondering.


    Tuesday, October 22, 2002

    Kim and I put together our new futon couch today. We're ok, still married, but do have the matching chair still to do. So please keep us in your prayers.

    Paradox1x has a post on Wal-mart. Bassed on the comments I wonder how many people are aware of the Wal-Mart Employment Practices Class Action Lawsuit.


    Sunday, October 20, 2002

    You know you're Canadian if you feel the urge to preach on the virtues of Robertson screw drivers.


    Saturday, October 19, 2002

    I never post these things, but I'm a sucker for the Muppets.

    Yuoo ere-a zee Svedeesh Cheff!
    Yuoo ere-a a guud cuuk, thuoogh yuoo cun't speek Ingleesh fery vell. Bork Bork Bork!

    link via Patrick Carver.

    Why not a 40 MPG SUV? - By Mark Fischetti, MIT Technology Review  November 2002

    Here's the good news: The Technology exists to build a 40 MPG SUV. The article goes into the geeky details of all the various things that can be done. It's worth a read just from that perspective.

    Here's the bad news: The technology has not moved into production because the United States Congress hasn't changed the MPG regulations in 17 years! Without regulatory pressure, the auto industry has only had market pressure to respond to. In the market individuals have chosen more power at 1985 efficiency levels.

    But isn't that what company's are supposed to do? Give people what they want. Yes! But it's the government's role to look out for the common good, especially for things like clean air. And that hasn't been happening in the US or Canada.

    I spent March – June in Toronto, and in June the air quality plummeted due to smog. The day before I left, it hurt to breathe. Now I do have slight asthma, but it never bothers me in the summer, nor in humid conditions, but the smog was killing me. I don't understand how people survive all summer dealing with days like that. Maybe it's like the frog in the hot water, increase it little by little and you can boil him. For me though it came as quite the shock. If I had to put up with it hurting to breath much longer, I would have been out campaigning to ban cars in the Greater Toronto Area. Yet people in the GTA seem resigned to having painful air to breath.

    There is also a spiritual component to this, consider the words of the prophet Ezekiel

    Is it not enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Is it not enough for you to take the best water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? All that is left for my flock to eat is what you have trampled down. All they have to drink is water that you have fouled.

    Can we admit that painful air and our failure to deal with it is a reflection of our morale decay in a way that Buffy or Harry never could be?


    What does it profit a blog to gain all the links and traffic in the sphere, but lose it's own unique voice?

    Ok so not an exact quote. Bene Diction is looking for Blog Proverbs, fun stuff.


    Friday, October 18, 2002

    Mike's Spot On The Wall
    • Ships That Pass
      I live in Edmonton and was going to celebrate Thanksgiving with Carol's family in Calgary. Meanwhile Dave lives in Calgary and was going to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family in Edmonton.
      It sounds like a bad sitcom script but in spite of it all I not only was able to see Dave for a bit but I worshiped at his church. It was a great service and I also met Steve. (Steve's musical gifts are awesome) Thanks to Dave and Steve for a great worship time.
    Mike's Walk
    • A Thankful Heart
      I normally put a scripture here but with it being Thanksgiving and all I wanted to share this poem that a friend sent me last year.
      I am thankful…
      For the partner who hogs the covers every night,
       because they are not out with someone else.
      For the child who is not cleaning their room, but is watching TV,
       because it means they are at home, and not on the streets.
      For the taxes I pay,
       because it means that I am employed.
      For the mess to clean after a party,
       because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
      For the clothes that fit a little too snug,
       because it means I have enough to eat.
      For my shadow that watches me work,
       because it means I am in the sunshine.
      For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing,
       because it means I have a home.
      For all the complaints I hear about the Government,
       because it means that we have Freedom of Speech.
      For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot,
       because it means I an capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.
      For my huge heating bill,
       because it means I am warm.
      For the lady behind me in Church that sings off key,
       because it means that I can hear.
      For the pile of laundry and ironing,
       because it means I have clothes to wear.
      For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours,
       because it means that I am alive.
    Last night in our small group we were looking at this verse

    Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
    I will give men in exchange for you,
    and people in exchange for your life.

    -Isaiah 43:4

    The question of how all six billion of us could be precious came up. After all we're so common, common things aren't precious. The usual response to this to point out that we're each unquie. But last night I had a different image come to mind. That of the earth hanging in space. In the vastness of the universe we are not common but rare, and for a moment being precious made sense. Could that be the message of the near infinite space that surrounds us, that our value is the inverse of all that emptyness?


    Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    The painting on the left was always part of the worship service at The Freeway when I was there in the spring. I think of it as the Anime Jesus. I know there are other influences, but that is how it strikes me. It’s by Kevin Coghill. Kevin heads up the Visual Art group at The Freeway.

    If you are in or near Hamilton Ontario, drop in on The Infusion - the Freeway's worship gathering. Tell them Big Dave sent you.


    Tuesday, October 15, 2002

    Good afternoon,
    Well Mike and I were down in Calgary for the holidays. Even met two of the blogers. (is that the correct spelling blogers? bloggers?) Anyway There is a digital picture of Mike, myself and Dave all together so if people want to see it I will try to put it up. Dito with other new pictures. Dave said that I am behind on my posts and since a picture is worth a thousand words if I remember to upload a picture a week it counts. :-) So in the future expect me to put up the occational picture and otherwise say hi.

    Monday, October 14, 2002

    Thanksgiving, it's our last good holiday. Christmas is when you get stuff, Boxing Day is about getting the stuff you didn't get for Christmas, and Easter is the hunt for chocolate. In a radical departure, at Thanksgiving we give thanks. Other than the turkey industry, that has the gig down pat, it's still commercial free. In Canada we're even free from the flood of TV specials as our holiday doesn't line up the the US thanksgiving. So I guess you can say I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.


    Thursday, October 10, 2002

    I do not think that we could over-emphasise the influence that the simple and moving story of the Good Samaritan, told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, has had on our culture. It is the story of a man beaten by robbers and left for dead on the road, and then helped by a passing Samaritan. But the problem is, the story has become so well-known to us that we somehow think it expresses some kind of universal truth.

    -Martin Roth Living Our Stories - Reclaiming Our Biblical Heritage
    My review of Jonah will have to wait, but Telford Work has a good review.
    This was on the radio when I woke up this morning.

    Fired medical officer offered job back

    Dr. Swann will take time to think about the offer.


    Wednesday, October 09, 2002

    Just to put the recent Conservatives / Conservationists post in some local context.

    The medical officer of health for the Palliser Health Authority in southeastern Alberta has been fired after publicly supporting the Kyoto Protocol.

    I'm not prepared to get into a debate on the protocol, but the fact that a Doctor would get fired for speaking out on it shows the climate here in Alberta.


    Tuesday, October 08, 2002

    Mike's Spot On The Wall
    • Music In The Air
      I've sent off my song Lead Me to Vision Quest Music. Vision Quest is pretty small but active in the Christian music community.
      I've also joined my colleges music club. They meet tomorrow; we'll see how it goes when I play some gospel blues.
    Mike's Walk
    • The Best Thing In Jonah
      I'm planning to see the Veggie Tales movie. That being said, I wanted to relate the best thing I learned about Jonah, and it has nothing to do with whales or fish neither.
      Jonah 4:2
      So he complained to the LORD about it: "Didn't I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people.

      Jonah understood God's love better than I ever will. He knew God was eager to forgive and wanted Nineveh to know Him and repent.
      I wonder how many people would come to God if they knew how much He wanted to save them and not destroy them? I wonder if we give the world a picture of a God like that?
    I head up the men's ministry for South Meadows Community Church. The formula was in place when I started. We meet once a month for breakfast, one of the guys shares his testimony or a short devotional. I added one thing, we break into pairs and ask each other three questions:

    How is your Bible reading?
    How is your prayer life?
    How can I pray for you this month?

    And I ask the guys to touch base with their prayer partner during the month. Quite basic when you compare it to the Twenty One Questions used by John Wesley with his Holy Club.


    Monday, October 07, 2002

    Why Aren't Conservatives Conservationists?

    Sunday, October 06, 2002

    You are worthy, O Lord our God,
        to receive glory and honor and power.
    For you created everything,
        and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.

    -Revelation 4:11

    Saturday, October 05, 2002

    Jonah Round Up.

    Kim (my wife) asked my if their were any reviews of Big Idea's Jonah, we plan to see it Tuesday . So I went looking. Irony aside, Rotten Tomatoes has a very comprehensive list of reviews. Here's two I found interesting

    Children, Christian or otherwise, deserve to hear the full story of Jonah's despair — in all its agonizing, Catch-22 glory — even if they spend years trying to comprehend it. That's called having an inner life, and it's nothing less than our birthright.
    - Tom Keogh's Review in the Seattle Times

    Umm Tom this is a kids movie, not a an art-house existential flick. Liam seems to get it.

    Occasionally, in the course of reviewing art-house obscurities and slam-bam action flicks, a jaded critic smacks into something truly new. Such is the case with Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. This is the offshoot of a subversive series of made-for-video cartoons that has sneaked into the daycares and underground toddler economy of the country. VeggieTales represents one of those products that previous generations had never imagined: Spiritual V-8 juice.
    - Liam Lacey's review in the Globe and Mail.

    I used Who Links Who to find those blogs in our neighbourhood that link to bigidea.com (this feature isn't public yet) Here's what I found:.

    Rick quotes from sevral reviews. Rick's site looks stangely familiar. The perma link is broken, just look for the Jonah graphic.

    Blithering Idiot lives in area where the film won't open for two weeks, but fills us in on why he's a veggie tales fan.

    The Brothers Judd Blogg gets very excited: quotes extensively from the LA Times Review, share their favorite silly love song, and a ton of Veggie Links.

    Interact plans to see the movie today, it will be his kids first movie.

    The Native Tourist confesses that he likes Veggie Tales "at least in small doses".

    Mark Shea posts his review, in short: Golden Rule for Comedy: Be as morally uplifting as you like, just so you are funny. Jonah is very funny. Go see it. Take your kids. You'll all laugh.

    Hogue Heaven is planning to work the movie into an insentive plan for his kids. How about "the kids get to see the movie when they explain perma links to Dad"?

    Mean Dean submits the movie launch to slashdot. Getting on a story submision picked up by slashdot is rare, but it does happen.

    Relevant Magazine points to Christianity Today's article Big Trouble at Big Idea, Former workers worry that Jonah could sink the company.

    As Steve J. points out in the comments, Mark Riddle of THEOOZE has some thoughts on Jonah and the need for fresh story telling.


    Wednesday, October 02, 2002

    Hello everyone I am Carol, Mike's wife. And since Mike mentioned it and Dave said it would be ok, I'm putting in the picture that won the September Photography contest here in Edmonton. It is of a butterfly so nothing too scary (unless you have a phobia about butterflies)

    Quotes you need to put in context.

    your average Presbyterian/Christian Reformed worshipper is hardly in danger of being overly emotional, unless we categorize somber as an emotion.
    - Russ Reeves

    So I have a crossdresser in the morning class and a kid who got jello down his pants in the afternoon session. Teaching is certainly an adventure!
    - Anna


    Tuesday, October 01, 2002

    Mike's Spot On The Wall
    • Crazy Daze
      I haven't posted lately cause things have been nuts here.
      - I had to return the laptop I was using to my work, which means I have no home computer.
      - My sister in law up and decided to sell her condo that we helped them get into. Which means I had meetings with real estate people, phone calls, and other sundry interruptions.
      - The Christian based group that I volunteer with, Neighbourlink, is looking for a new board of directors. Which means more interruptions.
      - Vision Quest Music Group called and wants to do a professional verison of one of my songs. Which means something I'm sure. (I'll blog more on that as I find out more)
      - And finally my wife and I joined a local photography club. At our fist meeting as members Carol entered a few of her pictures in an open photography contest and won first prize against about 40 other entries, some of them by professionals.
    Mike's Walk
    • Hope From James?
      Usually the last place I would think to look for encouragement when I'm not doing to great spiritually, I found these marvelous gems in James:
      James 1: 2-5
      1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.
      1:3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
      1:4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
      1:5 If you need wisdom - if you want to know what God wants you to do - ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.

      Man, that sure hit me where I was that day.

      And James 4:8-10
      4:8 Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites.
      4:9 Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
      4:10 When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

      By the time I got here I was ready to do just what it said and He, good as His word, lifted me up.

    The good news is that Calgary will be a smoke free city. The bad news is it won't happen till 2008. Visit Smoke Free Calgary for the background on our smoking by-laws.


    I definatley don't want IdeaJoy to be the place for FINDING DIRT ON A CO-WORKER.


    Monday, September 30, 2002

    So much of christiandom is undefined fluff. Thank God for Ajith Fernando.

    This peace, like this joy, is essential to life. It guards us. It guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Here is the key to managing stress: grapple with God until joy and peace in believing returns. Only then can we go to the world and take on the stress we need to absorb, if we are to be his agents in a torn world.


    Angry Christian leaders have no freshness in their spiritual life. Sooner or later the weight of their anger shows in an ineffective, unattractive ministry. We must work at having our lives controlled by joy, not by anger. Angry people cannot be gentle under provocation. Any kind of provocation acts as a switch to release hidden anger.

    from Missionaries For the Right Reasons


    Sunday, September 29, 2002

    Just wanted to welcome Carol Fox (Mike's wife) to IdeaJoy. Carol is a fellow member of Tribe Geek, she's a Lotus Notes developer, fan of fantasy, long time role playing gamer. She's also an award winning photographer, but I'll let her tell that story. I expect Mike to make a longer introduction, but in the mean time - Welcome Carol.


    Friday, September 27, 2002

    Just finished Traitor by Matthew Stover. Traitor is book 13 of the New Jedi Order series set in the Star Wars universe. It's a coming of age book for Jacen Solo, son of Han and Leia Solo. It's the book in the serries I've enjoyed the most for some time. The serries has been at it's best when it's focused on the development of the Solo children from teens to adults.

    The pop-zen sayings get a bit thick at times. But Stover presents Jacen's new world view with enough artistry that you can feel the appeal of the zenish way of seeing things. The requisite amount of Star Wars action and strong character development make book an enjoyable escapist fantasy read.


    read TheForce.Net review of Traitor.

    Thursday, September 26, 2002

    Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
    Matthew 6:25

    I find it ironic that just before going to worship Jesus, millions of Christians ignore what Jesus said and worry about what to wear to church. When I walk into a church, other than my home church, I'm stuck by how carefully people present themselves on Sunday morning. Jen has a couple of posts "ranting" about people who don't take dressing up for Church seriously (rant 1, rant 2). One of my favorite rants is that we don't take not dressing up, seriously enough.

    How is it that we expect people to have special church clothes to honor Jesus when in preparing the way for Jesus, John the Baptist preached:

    John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.
    Luke 3:11

    Jen points out that "your clothing sends a message to people about who you are". And I couldn't agree more. One of the things it says about you, is witch tribe you belong to. I belong to tribe geek. Why does the church send the message that I should look like someone from tribe Gap to worship Jesus?

    And they sang a new song:
    "You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased men for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation.
    Revelation 5:9

    So why are we expected to look like just one tribe on Sunday? The was a picture in the church where I grew up of the graduating class of a mission seminary school, somewhere in Africa. Two rows of beaming black men on fire for the Lord. They looked positively joy filled. But it stuck me as odd they were standing there in polyester suits and ties. So we were helping to spread the Gospel in Africa by training pastors, a great thing. But we were also spreading our culture of pastors wearing suits and ties. I wonder what other cultural baggage we were passing on.

    With due apologies to Sprite, we should be saying to our culture "your image is nothing, it's your thirst for the spirit that matters". Instead church is often the place where people are the most image conscious.