Thursday, October 31, 2002
Not sure what to say other than:
PS Nowheresville USA takes Mark to task for his postion on Halloween, well worth a read.
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
- 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.
- Dealing With Sorrow
Today is a long one but worth it. I warn in advance, some of this is hard teaching and not all of it will aply to where you are, but read it.
I'm often subject to depression. Sometimes it seems so deep I cannot escape it.
Many people in the bible had to deal with it also: David (Ps. 6:6; 13:2; 38:9), Jeremiah (Lam. 1:12), Jesus (Isaiah 53:11). So what can I do about it?
I can remember:
- God sees it
Ps. 10:14; Exodus 3:7
- God regulates the measure of afflictions
Psalms 80:5; Isaiah 9:1; Jeremiah 46:28
- Determines the continuance of
Genesis 15:13,14; Numbers 14:33; Isaiah 10:25; Jeremiah 29:10
- Does not willingly send
- Man is born to
Job 5:6,7; 14:1
- Saints appointed to
1 Thessalonians 3:3
- Consequence of the fall
- Sin produces
Job 4:8; Proverbs 1:31
- Sinners corrected by
Psalms 89:30-32; Isaiah 57:17; Acts 13:10,11
- Always less than deserved
Ezra 9:13; Psalms 103:10
- Good results of:
Genesis 50:20; Exodus 1:11,12; Deuteronomy 8:15,16; Jeremiah 24:5,6; Ezekiel 20:37
- Tempered with mercy
Psalms 78:38,39; 106:43-46; Isaiah 30:18-21; Lamentations 3:32; Micah 7:7-9; Nahum 1:12
- To be expected
John 16:33; Acts 14:22
- Comparatively light
Acts 20:23; 24; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17
Psalms 30:5; 103:9; Isaiah 54:7,8; John 16:20; 1 Peter 1:6; 5:10
- Joy under
Job 5:17; James 5:11
- End in joy and blessedness
Psalms 126:5,6; Isaiah 61:2,3; Matthew 5:4; 1 Peter 4:13,14
- Often arise from the profession of the gospel
Matthew 24:9; John 15:21; 2 Timothy 3:11,12
- Exhibit the love and faithfulness of God
Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalms 119:75; Proverbs 3:12; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:6,7; Revelation 3:19
- I can fight it with the oposite spirit:
- And God will make it better:
Ps. 30:11; Re 7:17
- God sees it
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.
Monday, October 28, 2002
Sunday, October 27, 2002
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
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
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Sunday, October 20, 2002
Saturday, October 19, 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?
Friday, October 18, 2002
- 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.
- 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.
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
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
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
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
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
- 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.
- 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.
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?
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
Sunday, October 06, 2002
Saturday, October 05, 2002
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
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!
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
- 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.
- 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.