Christians – By the Book

Portable Computers … Amazing, if you stop and think about it

by on Apr.27, 2009, under Amazing Life

I am in my fifties and remember a time when nobody had a computer or a calculator.  So yes, I used to use the TRS-80, the Atari 800 (Great Machine, back in the day) and a desktop XT class PC, first with CPM, and then with DOS. Then I used the GEM UI instead of that Windows 2.0 junk.  I was forced to move to Windows 3.1 because some of the software we used required it.

Then I got my first “portable” PC, it was 26lbs and only ran when the cord was plugged in, but at least I could take it with me to a customer’s location, because they didn’t have one, or had none to spare. We booted and ran everything off of 5 1/4″ floppy disks, until I got my 20MB hard disk, WOW! so much space, I could never fill that up!

Boy have times changed.  Now our portable computers weight less than 5lbs and run for 6 hours on a battery.  We can do everything with them and we still complain about Windows. Email, IM, Web browsing and all the standard office apps.

Now our phones can do half of what our notebooks can do. They can do Email, IM, Web browsing and we can even touch our docs and spreadsheets.

We should be amazed, every day!

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Is There Anything Secular for a Christian?

by on Mar.26, 2009, under True Christianity

Sometimes you will hear someone at a church giving announcements say something like this, “here is a secular announcement”.  Dictionary.com defines secular as:

of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.

If everything I do is supposed to be to God’s honor and glory, is there a part of me or my time that I set that aside from this task?

1 Cor 10:31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

If not,  I have to take every thought  captive for Christ and nothing is “secular” to me any more.

II Cor 10: 3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

That means the way I golf, work, fish, farm, pray, talk and think … all of it is to be done to God’s honor.  If we actually did this, I think that would change the way we are as Christians, and the way that Christians are thought of.

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Just say NO, to BailOut Dough!

by on Mar.18, 2009, under Money

With all the hubbub aout AIG and the bonuses that they “may” have to pay to there Exec team, remember the REAL crooks that gave them the money, our President and the swindlers in Congress and the Senate.

You see, the truth is, I don’t care if AIG folds and goes out of business.  That goes for greed happy banks and auto makers that over extend themselves too. Business is self governing in a truly free market.   Its not the job of the congress to bail out people that can’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

If our government could run a business well, then the trains would be on time and the Post Office would out do FedEx and UPS.  Ha!  Medicare would be an example to us all!  It is, of how NOT to do something.

Where in our Constitution does Congress get the right to open our wallets for a private enterprise? NOWHERE!!!  We need to hold our Congress to doing what the Constitution allows it to do, and nothing else. Let the market kill the bad businesses and support the good ones.

Just say NO, to BailOut Dough!

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Apple – Is It an Experience Company???

by on Mar.18, 2009, under Propeller Heads

I was discussing the whole OSX, EULA and Apple products issue with a friend in Ithaca NY.  He is a MacBook and iPhone user.  As we discussed the concept of Apple as a hardware company, he blurted one “Apple’s not a hardware company, its an experience company”.  He went on with his belief that Apple wants you to experience something different.  That is why thy limit the hardware, control the software, DRM management and such.

When I asked him about what he thinks Apple will do with the OSX86 movement, he replied “ignore it, while making valed threats against it”.   He thinks Apple will use it as a seeding grown for moer Mac sales … he maybe right.  I asked about my model of a no support for non-Apple hardware version of OSX and he doesn’t think Apple will take the money and run. At $149 per copy and virtually no support costs, I think Apple is foolish to walk away from this nearly free revenue.  With just a 100,000 unit sales, Apple would net about 15 million in revenue.  If you hit a million users, Apple could be looking at $150 million in revenues, directly from Microsoft’s customer base.  If you get a little silly and 10M users switched, you could get $1.5 Billion in sales.  All of these sales don’t include the possibility of each user buying iWork , iLife and a further Apple hardware product.  This is a large revenue opportunity!

If he is right and Apple is really an experince company, they’ll waste this opportunity too.

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Apple’s OSX and it’s EULA, its a Moral Question.

by on Mar.07, 2009, under Propeller Heads

Back to my complaint against Apple’s EULA that “OSX is only for Apple computers”.  Those of us that work in the technology sector know this is not true, technologically.  It becomes strictly a moral issue.  Is Apple morally right to require Apple hardware and will those that buy the software live by the EULA that Apple requires you to click “I agree” to get the software to install.

If I bought a Macbook and removed OSX and replaced it with any Windows product from WinXP to Win7 Beta, the software would run just fine. People might say I had a very expensive Windows PC, and they would be right. People might look at me a little a little weird as the Windows logo comes across the boot screen, but neither Apple or Microsoft would sue me or demand I stop doing that.

Now enter the reverse model, where I want to buy a copy of OSX and buy a PC that has similar hardware to a Macbook and suddenly the EULA makes it wrong??? I think Apple is wrong.

Apple even includes a couple utilities to do just that in a dual boot style arrangement.  BSD, the basis for OSX is a free operating system, but OSX isn’t???

Maybe someone should check the EULA of BSD and see if any derivitive works have any rules to live by … maybe Apple is violating the BSD rules?

It would be a whole lot simplier if Apple would modify the EULA to say, “if the licensee chooses to install OSX on non-Apple hardware, the licensee waives any support from Apple and waives the right to return the product, except for a failed media replacement.”  Wake up Apple and do the right thing.

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Divorce … Is there a stigma?

by on Mar.05, 2009, under True Christianity

Divorce … its a tough, heart and gut wrenching topic to discuss.

A friend and I were discussing divorce and she made a point that I had not considered much, “Why do people who divorced, because their spouse had willfully committed adultery, get labeled divorced, when they have chosen the Godly path and ended the marriage.”

Mat 5:31-32 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Mar 10:2-12 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. 3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? 4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

The more we talked about these and other verses concerning divorce, the more I could see that the one rightfully putting a spouse away was being marked in with a label, much like the adulterous spouse.  That’s wrong.  The injured spouse, the one not committing adultery, should not be labeled if they choose to divorce.

The cheating spouse must be labeled “divorced”, so faithful Christians will know they cannot remarry.  This serves three purposes:

  1. This gives faithful, unmarried Christians notice not to entangle their hearts with the “Divorced”.
  2. It reminds the church about the sacred value of marriage and divorce.  People need to think twice about both, as well as breaking their word to God and man.
  3. It should let the “injured party” of the marriage return to the marriageable pool of people in the church. Stop labeling these brothers and sisters.

The scriptures give enough guidance to those willing to follow it.

Later we will discuss more about divorce  and the issues surrounding it.

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God is Good … All the Time

by on Mar.02, 2009, under True Christianity

In this down economy, it is easy to get tense, mad or upset and stop looking to God for your direction.  Kind like Peter when he was on the water walking to Jesus.

Mat 14:24-33 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

He started paying attention to the water, the waves and the wind.  We do the same thing, the job, the bills, the economy … Take note of the key points from this scripture in the book of Matthew:

  • God allowed Peter to do something extra ordinary … walk on water.
  • God was right there with Peter, how much safer could Peter be?
  • God reacted quickly to Peter’s cry for help, see verse 31 … “immediately” Jesus moved to help Peter.

We can rest assured that He will do the same for us, even when we don’t see it, Jesus is working to help us.  He is good, like the Father and the Spirit are good.

Mat 19:16-17 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Phi 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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White Lies?

by on Feb.27, 2009, under True Christianity

Last year I saw Today show host “Meridith” admit that she lies, “Little White Lies”, like to her friends asking if an outfit makes them look fat, etc.  As a result, I don’t trust her reporting as much anymore.  How about you … Do you lie?

Is it OK for a Christian to lie? (No, I don’t think Meredith is a Christian.)

Here are a couple of scriptures for you to think about.  There are plenty more on this subject.

Lev 6:2-5 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;
Lev 6:3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
Lev 6:4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
Lev 6:5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

Is there a time when its ok to lie?  NO!!!!!!!!

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Leaving a Wake!

by on Feb.26, 2009, under True Christianity

Do you leave a wake.Do you leave a wake.

John Justin, the preacher of the Puyallup church of Christ, died after 75+ years of life.  I only met John once, spending a wonderful Sunday with him and his wife Ruby.  Ruby passed from this life into the hands of your Lord one year before John.  According to her doctors, Ruby should have died many years ago, but the Lord had work to be done, so there she was at John’s side, a helpmate suitable for John’s needs.

I tried to understand the ending of John’s work here on earth and felt the deep impact that he made on me, in only one afternood.  He told me of his becoming a Christian, at the cost of becoming a target of the famed Orange Men, which he left to follow Christ.  Of his years of service as one that searched the rubble after an Ireland bombing, looking for the injured and the dead.  This strongly parallels John’s work in the Lord, having preached in many churches since coming to the “new world” as a “new man”.

Several years after meeting John, my wife and I were in the Maplewood church of Christ (Minn. MN) and visiting with one of the elders and his wife (Roger and Lois Cronquist).  I mention John’s name in the typical discussions of where we had been recently in our lives and he stopped me, frozen with excitement “Did you say John Justin … I know John Justin, he studied with me and Lois.  He baptized us at that congregation in Colorado”.   We shared more stories and a new relationship through John’s touching both our lives.

Death has the effect on people as to make them take a look at themselves.  It has again made me look at my life again, judging my works and ask several questions of myself.  I will share them here and I ask you to take a look at yourself and pond these same

  • Do I leave the wake of new Christians in my path like John?
  • Do I stake my life on the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • Do I confront evil in the world in the name of Jesus Christ?
  • Do I love everyone I meet, seeking there best and highest good (that they know Jesus Christ)?
  • What can I do now to ensure that I hear the Lord say “well done, thou good and faith servant” to me?

Finally, we found to our surprise that we have a special connection with John.  As a young man, John came to America from Ireland through Toronto Canada.  John’s long time friend from those years is a man named Abby Langford.  The connection is my wife is from the Toronto Canada area and her father (Albert Broome) had a best friend from his boyhood, the man Abby Langford.

So a life like John’s tells us, like Paul’s, that we can persevere to the end, leaving a wake of thankful souls.  Thankful that we met them and thankful that we shared the good news of Jesus Christ with them!

Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Remember to pray for the church in Puyallup, Johns friends and family.  Most important, I pray to be a faithful man and an example, like John.

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When a young man dies …

by on Feb.26, 2009, under True Christianity

A couple of years ago my family and I were reunited with an old friend and his family for the sad purpose of burying their son.  His long fight with Muscular Dystrophy is now over.  The burden of knowing his life would be shorter than most finished.  The pain for his family and friends, deep.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but God was there through it all, for anyone that would look for Him … unfortunately, few did.  So few that God was barely mentioned in the eulogy, as the life of this young man was remembered.

To my shock and disappointment, apparently this young man had not become a Christian.  Neither mom or dad had done the necessary teaching of their own son in the spiritual realm to bring him into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  And they were professing “Christians” when we moved away 8 years prior.  Their own flesh and blood.

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

One must ask, “Why not?”  I believe they were so busy with their lives, their divorce (more on that some other time), remarriage, and themselves that time was not given to their son.  Even knowing his life was going to be cut short did not raise the urgency to teach him the gospel.  Their self focus crowded him out.

So very sad for all of us.

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