Thursday, April 27, 2006

Google Mail Spam (not SPAM®)

You may know that Google's Gmail generates revenue by contextual advertising. So when looking through my spam email filter (not to be confused with the luncheon meat, properly notated as SPAM®) I was amused to find advertisments for SPAM® recipes.

For some reason, that is really funny to me!

Monday, April 24, 2006

S.M.A.R.T. Sunday Sermon

Cathy & I had very nice Sunday. The pastor's message was relevant and encouraged us to be "S.M.A.R.T." in our everyday Christian living. In other words, we should:
Study the Bible & Jesus
Meditate on the Bible & Jesus
Abandon the old self
Renew our minds
Transform into the new self

Cathy & I were joined by our friend Chris & Laura (the one who drew the ducks) for church. Before Cathy managed to invite them to lunch, they invited us to go to Kabuki for Japanese food. Chris & Laura were willing to share this $50 gift certificate they received, and Cathy & I are always willing to help eat sushi! Yes, the food was good, although I admit I still prefer a local sushi place that translates to "Smile-Smile". The company, however, was fantastic. They are a great couple (and they look cute together) and we share very similar interests. We'll be saving seats for them during service.

After that wonderful lunch we caught a nap before heading to the bookstore. We visited a Barnes & Noble where Cathy perused several real estate books and made a purhase. I had tea and alternated between reading homework, researching church visitors and what keeps them coming back, and also some light reading. After an easy dinner at Baja Fresh we retired for a quiet evening at home.

One of these days we'll drive to a Panera Bread, or they'll finally build one closer than 20 miles away from home.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Image Credit: Laura Brown

This is a photo of the whitboard painting our friend Laura did at Cathy's office. Laura is quite talented!

There is a duck which Cathy has named Getrude who nests near Cathy's office every year. A stream is near the office, and Gertrude would guide her ducklings to the stream every Spring.

For the past several years, Cathy has been walking Gertrude to the stream to keep her and the ducklings safe from traffic. Maybe next year we'll get photos of the duckling migration!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Multi-Touch Interaction Research Demo Video

When I saw Minority Report a few years ago I was quite impressed with the display and user interface in that movie. I saw a video of a "bi-manual, multi-point, and multi-user interactions on a graphical interaction surface" at this link. It is, in other words, a giant touch-screen that can take multiple points of input.

The video at the NYU page is better quality, but you can play the Google Video version below. You can also visit the page to see a diagram of the underlying technology. If this works, tablet computers would easily become the norm and I would gladly use the screen instead of a keyboard.

"The Rapture Question Answered: Plain and Simple" by Robert Van Kampen

I read a lot of books, almost entirely of the non-fiction, technology, theology or philosophy genre. Currently, I am reading several books on welcoming people to church, but for my leisure reading I am going through "The Rapture Question Answered: Plain and Simple" by Robert Van Kampen.

Based on what little I have read, I think Van Kampen believes in a "Pre-Wrath" rapture. I read The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church by Marvin J. Rosenthal and I'm not sure I agree with Van Kampen at this point. Nonetheless, I think this read will help me clarify my own position as I just have not taken a stand on eschatology just yet.

As I finish chapters I'll post a comment here to continue my thoughts. This will be an interesting experiment in using my blog for more than static postings.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Church Workaholic & Easter

I am a workaholic. While my lovely wife is helping me manage my tendencies to overwork in my day job, when I am in church I still feel too driven to do as much as I possibly can.
this is an audio post - click to play
I have learned that I can't do everything, and I certainly cannot fix everything. Still, I will do my part to both fulfill my own responsibilities and to enable others to perform their roles.

The Easter service was great; Pastor Mike balanced the needs of believers to celebrate the resurrection with the needs of the unchurched for explanations and understanding of the story of this Resurrection Sunday. I got to greet a lot of new people and have some ideas for the first impressions piece now.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar

From the company whose software is perpetually in beta comes Google Calendar.

I'm going to try it out with the SourceForge Remote Calendars project to see if I can maintain my Google Calendar from Outlook. If I can, then that would solve my problem with having a calendar for work, one for home, one for school and one for church.

Update 3:45 P.M.: Google Calendar is pretty good! You can schedule recurring events, delete only certain occassions from recurrances, and you can make multiple calendars with different colors and display them all in one view.

That is to say, I can create a calendar for church, class, and home and display the ones which I need to see together. I can then import these to my Outlook work calendar using Remote Calendars . This is very cool!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kyle Meyer is born!

My 2nd counsin was born today about 12:30 P.M.!

Kyle Glen Meyer is 8 lb 5oz and 21 inches long. He has a 14" head and a 13.5" chest! Kyle has curly straight dark brown hair.

His mom, Sativa, is recoverying after delivering Kyle by Cesarean Birth and should recover in two to four days (please pray). We'll be visiting soon!! :-)

More photos will be coming...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I Missed Out On A Blessing!

Yesterday it rained, and I left my car lights on. I got a jump but had to leave the car on for at least 30 minutes.

So, last night I stopped into the church to pray and left the car running in the lot. Cathy wanted me home by 8 PM, but it seemed like the right thing to do. It turns out it was an opportunity to serve God.

I was leaving several minutes after 8 when a young lady stopped me. She asked me about the high school ministry, and I told her what little I knew (I'm new). Her cell phone was out of minutes, she didn't have a home phone, so there would be no way to contact her when she left.

She mentioned she was getting baptized on the 16th, and I responded with, "great, here at church?" Her answer was simple, "No, at the LDS church down the street. I just want to make sure it is the right thing to do. I thought I should learn more before I get baptized."

I was behind a counter, looking for a church bulletin when she said that. Conflicting thoughts went through my head... what now? I need to make sure she doesn't leave without hearing the Good News. I asked her to wait and got an elder and told him what I knew as he followed me to meet the girl. "She wandered in...getting baptized...LDS church...wants to know more."

I introduced them and left the building, praying quickly. I thought, "I should tell Cathy I can't come home right now", but then I realized I had told her I would be home at 7, then 7:30, then 8... now it was 8:15, and I still wasn't home. I called her and we prayed together for the girl. I reassured her I was actually on my way home, now.

I'm not sure if I made a mistake in leaving. On the one hand, the girl was in good hands. On the other, I wanted to be there to see that she received the Good News. I had promised my wife I would be home over a hour ago, but then a soul was in the balance of eternity. Then again, she was being told the Gospel, just not by me.

I think that's what it boiled down to... My wife needs my at home, the girl didn't need me to be saved. But I wanted to be the one that led her to the Lord. Where do I draw the line between letting other (capable, intelligent, Spirit-filled) Christians do ministry I can/want to do and fulfilling my obligations to my wife?

The story ends happily for the girl: she became a believer last night and was introduced to those praying in the sanctuary. I hope to meet her on Sunday. I'm just sorry I wasn't there for the whole thing, even though God used me to connect her to the church.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Apple Intel-based Macs Do Windows, Too

No, not an April Fool's joke... Apple's Intel-based Macs will now dual-boot Mac OSX and Windows XP. I can't wait to see the performance comparisons come in, even though Boot Camp (the software that allows WinXP) is still in beta.

Via: Slashdot and TUAW

01:02:03 04/05/06

I was sleeping at 01:02:03 04/05/06... that chronologically unique moment of the universe passed me quietly in my sleep.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Desktop Earth 2.0 Background Generator

I like dynamic desktop backgrounds, so I figured I should share this find: Desktop Earth 2.0.

When the original Desktop Earth came out, I used it on my laptop as a dynamic background. The new version uses higher-resolution images (via Blue Marble) and can overlay actual cloud data (a few hours old). It changes one a schedule, giving you a visual of the sun's coverage at the time.

If you don't want the dynamic background, you can try NASA's Blue Marble web site, or have Desktop Earth Online generate a static background for you.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Taking Communion

Cathy & I took communion today at church. It felt good to be sitting next to her, partaking of the Lord's Supper. I can't remember the last time I took communion before today. Maybe it was January? I missed church on the first Sunday of February (I think?), and March was our Vegas trip.

Observance of the Lord’s Supper is not an option but Jesus' command for the church: “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). I have missed it; there is some benefit to recalling the purpose of a believer's life, of my life. It helps me to refocus, and to appreciate Him and His redemptive work more.

As all believes should, I had to examine myself to be sure that there was no known sin to hinder my fellowship with Christ before participating in the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:28–32). As I have recently been struggling with my behavior and attitude towards other believers, I confessed my failings once again and asked Jesus for His help to change (the sooner the better).

In communion, we "proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" (1 Cor. 11:26). On the one hand, we are to recall Christ's death and remember once again His sacrifice. In this way, the practice is memorial. However, we also do this to look forward to Jesus' return. It is very interesting that the Church is only to practice this ordinance “until He comes” again, and then we won't need the symbols of the bread and wine, for we will be by His side, forever!

We sang "How Great Thou Art" after communion, and we worshipped God together. It was beautiful.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Newsbosy: Devotion

I reallyed liked the Newsboys' Adoration album. I never did find an explanation for the name of the band, but I like their worship album.

Their web site plays tracks from their latest release... I think I would like to get their Devotion release.