Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Corruptible Things

I've been delinquent in making posts here, and I'm not committing to any change.  However, I did want to drop by and mention that I do have new post on my other blog, Corruptible Things.

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Ninja Cat Attacks Computer Programmer"

Since I am a computer programmer, some people assume that I know everything there is to know about computers and that I spend my leisure time studying over technical books. Though this was much closer to the truth a few years ago (enjoying "tinkering" with computers is what led me to a career in programming) and deep study is necessary once in a while for something new at work, I now primarily just "use" computers just like everybody else. I check my email. I read and watch the news. I upload my pictures from my camera. I make a post on my blog (once in a while). And... I watch the video of the ninja cat. I get frustrated and angry when these things don't work. I and my family were inconvenienced last week because our computer's motherboard went out.  I am thankful that I was able to replace it, but I now consider such tasks chores rather than a hobby.

Truth be told, I wonder if we wouldn't be better off without them. Of course there are the obvious evils of the Internet which have ensnared many of us along the way. Those certainly make arguments against technology, but what I'm referring to is a much more subtle problem... subtle like a ninja cat.

Personal computing has evolved into an industry which promises to save us time and make our lives simpler by doing some amazing things for us. In the past couple of days I have spent time online buying Christmas presents, corresponding with friends, paying bills, studying the Bible, researching economics, and watching a video of the ninja cat... and that's probably only the tip of the iceberg. Even now as I list the things I have done, I have the tendency to think, "Wow... that's great that I got all of that done." And it is. Well... sort of.

Don't get me wrong, I am thankful to God for all of the blessings He has given--and so far as we do not abuse His blessings, they remain blessings. However, how much of the time we "save" with our computers is then allocated for other, more worthwhile activities? How often do we curse His blessings? I remember a scene from the movie, Sabrina, where Harrison Ford's millionaire character is trying desperately to impress this the film's leading lady (One might say that he pursues her like a ninja cat). He takes her for a ride in his helicopter and explains that he saves 15 minutes every day by taking the helicopter. Later, he complains of not having time to spend on some leisure activity and she asks, "What happened to the 15 minutes you saved by taking the helicopter?"

Will I again use the Internet for Bible study? Certainly.  Will I continue to check my email? You betcha. Will I shop online again?  Yes, maybe even tonight. Will I post again?  Probably in a few weeks.  Will I also repeat the loss of many hours to the dozens of the other miscellaneous distractions which steal my time like a ninja cat--but were not even important enough for me to remember?

By the way, there are 48 different versions of the ninja cat.  I've limited myself to these six.  Maybe I'll catch the other 42 tomorrow.

Now... tell me you didn't watch all of those ninja cat (that makes seven) videos.

Disclaimer 1: My friends, this was originally intended to be a serious post, but it sneaked away from me like.... like something really sneaky! (I wish I could think of something appropriate to compare it to!)

Disclaimer 2: No, I don't really have anything against the ninja cat (only 40 to go!) in particular.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dirty Me, Dirty Me, I'm Disgusted With Myself

(After dinner, the Taylors and the Darlings sit down to play music)

Andy: Come on, Mr. Darling. What'll it be?
Briscoe: Well, you pick it and I'll jug it.
Andy: How' bout, how ‘bout "Dirty Me, Dirty Me, I'm Disgusted With Myself"?
Briscoe: That one makes me cry.
It makes me cry, too. Today, on a break from work, I was browsing some "deal" sites on the internet. I found what appeared to be a great deal on a 42" LCD TV.

The thought that passed through myself was, "Wow! That's a great deal! We (my wife and I) could get that for ourselves for Christmas!" I clicked the link and arrived at the site, only to be completely disgusted by this image:

I'm no prude, and I do believe with Paul that God has given "us richly all things to enjoy". Yet I saw my own selfishness in the faces of the man and woman in this picture. Look at them? Are these the faces of people who were primarily motivated the 6th chapter of I Timothy?:
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
Willing to share? No, they appear to be speeding away from the only other people around.

Now, I'm not saying that those of you who have a 42" LCD TV are sinning by it--or even that I will never have one. I was blessed only recently by a big-screen viewing of the first of The Lord of the Rings movies where I was ministered to by another brother's willingness to do good works and share his home and time with me and others. If my desire to have a 42" LCD TV is ever so motivated, then perhaps I will reconsider.

To be fair, at least the guy in the picture is showing some kindness to his wife--pushing her around in a shopping card like that. I mean, I've never done that for my wife. And now as I look again, it would appear from the picture that he has passed the TV and is headed for the checkout with a stack of gifts for her!

Dirty me, dirty me. I'm disgusted with myself.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Justice, Freedom, Truth, Change

On this election eve as our President-elect mesmerizes his worshipful adorers with compassionate-and-gracious-sounding words, I am tempted to make a post about the current U.S. political and economic situation (as I sometimes do). I say, "tempted," because I think that doing so at this particular moment would be sinful for me. Sinful--only because I would be doing so at the neglect of something I believe would be more glorifying to the Lord Jesus and more edifying to any of his people who might be reading.

The news of this day was guaranteed to disappoint. Neither of the two possible outcomes was satisfactory, and none of the satisfactory ones were possible. We live in a fallen world, so we should expect this, shouldn't we? And if we expect it, then why is it disappointing?

Most people deeply long for Justice--even Christians. I have often wondered why. Considering the immeasurable benefit of salvation which we have received through mercy, it seems odd that we should have any affection for mercy's antithesis. So why do we?

We long for Freedom. Even for Christians, who have Freedom in Christ from the eternal effects of sin, something is still lacking. Why do we have such a strong desire to be Free?

We yearn for Truth. We would like to be able to believe what we are told. We would like to trust and be trustworthy ourselves. Why is Truth so important to us?

We long for Change. Though the only changes we see seem to be for the worse, we continue to imagine transformations in ourselves and all of those around us.

Why do we do it? Why do we desire these things? I believe and hope, because at the root of it all there is a God-given hunger even in the heart of sinful and unrepentant man for God to be glorified as He ought to be. I hope that we desire for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. I hope that we desire Justice because He is Just and will remake us in His image so that we require no additional mercy. I hope that we desire Freedom because we desire complete and eternal Freedom from our sin and its effects. I hope that we desire Truth because He is Truth and because we are weary of being lied to, and of being liars ourselves.

I hope we long for real Change and to be changed... for His glory.
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Walking on Water

I'm currently reading Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle. If you take a look at the description, it might surprise you that this text would be of interest to me. I don't read much, and when I do I am more likely to read fantasies such as The Chronicles of Narnia, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, or The Wilderking Trilogy (those, often to my children). I also spend some time reading political/economic works like The Revolution: A Manifesto or The Law (see my other blog). I'm even known to pick up a computer programming book now and then. I usually like books which are either fiction or fact, black or white. But this book--written by an artist who is a Christian for other artists who are Christian (if you think it awkward that I didn't just say "Christian artists", then read the book)--is more ethereal than the norm for me.

I was primed to consider this type of book by my friend and pastor, and I was directed specifically to this particular book by a post in The Rabbit Room. I'll not give a full report on the book, but here is a small excerpt that I was affected by tonight. I hope you enjoy it as well.

There's a story of a small village where lived an old clockmaker and repairer. When anything was wrong with any of the clocks or watches in the village, he was able to fix them, to get them working properly again.

When he died, leaving no children and no apprentice, there was no one left in the village who could fix clocks. Soon various clocks and watches began to break down. Those which continued to run often lost or gained time, so they were of little use. A clock might strike midnight at three in the afternoon. So, many of the villagers abandoned their timepieces.

One day, a renowned clockmaker and repairer came through the village, and the people crowded around him and begged him to fix their broken clocks and watches. He spent many hours looking at all the faulty timepieces, and at last announced that he could repair only those whose owners had kept them wound, because they were the only ones which would be able to remember how to keep time.

So, we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust, when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy, when our bodies are in pain.

We may not always be able to make our "clock" run correctly, but at least we can keep it wound so that is will not forget.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Nicolas Cage Button

I don't know how many drafts I've started here and abandoned. Several subjects have moved me to begin a post, but I have failed to go through with publishing any of them. Why is it so difficult to click that button?:

The button is certainly big enough. Due to the bright orange color I have no trouble seeing it. My mouse seems to be working just fine for all other similarly-sized buttons I have clicked to get this far. So why is this particular button giving me so much trouble?

Even now as I write about that button, I am wondering if this attempt will be any more successful than the previous ones. I can almost hear a voice in my head telling me that I am inadequate for this task. What task, you ask? Well... the voice doesn't specify. In particular, I think the voice is referring to the current task. I get the feeling that the owner of the voice would have the same opinion of my abilities toward any task, but he always only talks specifically about the current task. Of course... sometimes the current task is thinking about the next task. Anyway...

Whose voice is that? It sounds a bit like Nicolas Cage. Whoever he is, he has nothing but discouragement for me. And by the sound of it, I bring nothing but disappointment to him.

The good news is that there is another Voice. This Second Voice is a pleasant one. The Owner speaks much more positively regarding my situation and my possibilities of completing this task. Interestingly, He doesn't attempt to persuade me to think that the first voice was lying about my ineptitude. Instead, He calmly acknowledges much of what the first voice said, but then tells me that He will help me. He says that He wants me to complete the task as best I can, but even if I do mess things up He says He will make sure it all turns out alright in the end.

His is certainly a powerful Voice with much authority, yet much peace. I've been hearing Him for many years now and my only regrets are for the times when I didn't trust Him. I am determined that this will not be one of those times.

Now... Where's that big orange button? Take this, Nicolas Cage! [click]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, friends... The purpose of this blog is simply to make note of various issues or items that I have found to be interesting or to have significance to me as a mere Christian.

If that seems rather ambiguous, then this first post has been a success.