Showing posts from January, 2008

Bible reading program

I am only one month into my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program and I am already enjoying it much more than the last program. The one I did last year had me reading a passage in the Torah on Sunday, a passage in an Old Testament history book on Monday, a passage in Poetry on Tuesday, Wisdom on Wednesday, a passage in the prophets on Thursday, a passage in the Gospels/Acts on Friday, and a passage in the Epistles on Saturday. This had me reading the entire Bible but there was no way I could establish any type of continuity and follow the story lines - especially in the OT history books. This year I have a reading program that has me reading a passage in the Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms every day. Although this is not exactly what I was looking for it is much more to my liking than last year's. I guess I am one that would like to read the Bible straight through. I don't need passages in the NT to keep my interest as I am familiar enough with the OT such that the

My heart still beats

After sleeping with the devil you'd love to close the book but you gotta wonder how the baby's gonna look Tale O' the Twister - Chagall Guevara More eloquently (much more) than the assertion that I often make that if I commit good or evil I set into motion things that I cannot control. Yet I sin. How frail I am. Powered by ScribeFire .

He's very patient

From what I know about Satan, he seems to be very patient. He is probably the most patient being in this universe apart from God. It seems that he is more than happy to get a foul ball here, a ground out there, then...there it is...a double! Pretty soon he'll be hitting singles quite regularly with an occasional triple or two. The home run is what he is after, but he is patient. He has my whole life to get it done. I guess that is why the sin that so easily entangles me is such an issue. The more contact I make with the ball the more confident I will be that I could get away with a single here or a double there. Maybe a triple this one time won't be such an issue...maybe. Then it happens and I have gone and done it. There will be no question how I would have arrived at this place. But there would also be no question that his patience was what did me in. I have to be so careful and it takes a lot of energy. But His grace is sufficient for me. And He has covered me with His grace

More less than more

Where the sun shines bright and I don't have to lock my door Where the moon is full and I'm not tired, anymore Where angels carry me along the way Where I can close my eyes at night and pray Where angels sit and watch me while I look up to the sky Where angels carry me along the way - Angels, MxPx So...where to begin on this one... I forgot to put air in my tire over the weekend (we were busy painting the dining room) so I was delayed getting to work this morning. And it seems like it was a good thing I was. Early in my commute this morning I noticed that the yellow lights were flashing above the sign that indicated that I should tune into 1610 AM for traffic information so, right there, I knew things weren't good. The commute was a bit slow North to South which is not unusual and when I got past the accident that was causing the slowdown it was time to merge onto the West to East route. I did just that and noticed another accident on the other side of the expressway...and

A connection maybe?

I would really like to have time to study this, but I am involved in too many other things as it is so I am just going to articulate it and see if there is someone else out there who could shed some light on it. After listening to "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" for one and a half hours straight I noticed something. The way the fiddle and the guitar is played is vaguely similar to the way the various instruments are played on another album I have from the Baltimore Consort called "On the Banks of the Helicon: Early Music of Scotland" especially the songs "Kathren Oggie", "Scotch Cap", and to a lesser extent "I Will Not Go To Bed Till I Suld Die". I think the similarities are too striking to be coincidental and I doubt that the early country music pioneers studied the music of early Scotland and Ireland for their influence, but I could be wrong. Yet, there is an influence there and it can even be picked out by an untrained ear such as

I played this song for a half hour straight

When the work's all done and the sun's settlin' low I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow The kids are asleep so I keep it kinda low Thank God I'm a country boy I'd play "Sally Goodin" all day if I could But the Lord and my wife wouldn't take it very good So I fiddle when I can, work when I should Thank God I'm a country boy Well I got me a fine wife I got me old fiddle When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle Life ain't nothin' but a funny funny riddle Thank God I'm a country boy! Thank God for my iPod. Powered by ScribeFire .

I am really liking TrueCrypt

There have been some recent events at work that have driven me to examine encryption so that sensitive information that I keep on portable hard drives and my laptop is not compromised. With that I thought that I would download, install, and attempt to use TrueCrypt on my Windows (XP) and Linux (Ubuntu 7.10) boxes. It works really well and I even found a nice GUI for the Linux distribution as the command line was frustrating me a fair bit. It looks like the 5.0 version of TrueCrypt is going to be distributed with a GUI so that the second step would be unnecessary. Of course the release date is January 2008 so if the team putting the package together is anything like me it will be out on January 31, 2008 at 11:59:59 pm. Powered by ScribeFire .


When I went to college every idea that I came across (OK, maybe a bit of an overstatement) was treated as though it could be true. I was exposed to thought patterns, philosophies, and paradigms that I had never considered before and I was extremely interested in testing their veracity. That meant that, in my mind, there were no questions that were taboo. No scholarship that was to be stifled. Nothing was unassailable - all of it was on the table. I read and editorial a while back about the Golden Compass in Christianity Today that was extremely thought provoking. The writer urged parents not to restrict their children from reading the books this author had written or, in this case, watching the movie, just because he is anti-God or anti-Christ. Rather, he proposed, we should guide our children into critically examining the book and its portrayal of God, Christianity, and the world around us. He reasoned that, though the book as a story was thoroughly imaginative, the act of God-killing

Thomas at Tidmouth Sheds

We bought a Thomas the Tank Engine set for my boys for Christmas called Thomas at Tidmouth Sheds. It is a really nice set in that it has a remote controlled Thomas and some sheds that he can back into. It would be cool to have other engines that are remote controlled as well (are you listening HIT?). Well, I read some reviews at that mentioned the sheds were uncontrollably hard to set up so I wrote a review mentioning that there were some alternative directions that were very helpful in assembling the sheds. At least one person left a comment that they would like those directions so I scanned them and provided them via this link . If you access the link for the directions you'll have to scroll down a bit and select "Click Here to Download" as there is no preview showing up on the page. I hope this is helpful.

Where are they coming from?

I have a web tracker on my blog that records who has been there and where they are coming from. The vast majority of people seem to get to my blog through a search in Google or another search engine. Here are some of the searches that people have made that have resulted in hits to the blog: i2Workout purgatory sandwich linux synergy client windows server bible family feud for kids resume apt-get install ubuntu 7.10 modem the program java can be found in the following i was made for more than this Mark Dudley blog ubuntu infrared (I feel bad about this one because it serves up no useful information) jet circus blogspot Now if I could just harness this power for good the world would be a better place. Powered by ScribeFire .

Blogging from ScribeFire in Linux

I just installed the new version of ScribeFire and I am writing this post in Firefox running in the latest version of Ubuntu. Hopefully everything will post fine and I will have yet another outlet to this blog. I don't see any reason why it won't work as I was able to create my accounts just fine in both Blogger and Wordpress. Powered by ScribeFire .

Bible Family Feud

Well, last night at the Champions club I decided to try something new and it seemed to work just great. I found a family feud game where I could supply my own questions and answers ( blog entry where game is explained ; game itself ) and gave it a Bible-based flavor. We had 6 teams of 7 kids each (my mistake because I was supposed to have 8 teams) and we had and initial three rounds. Then the two teams with the most points got to slug it out for the crown in the fourth and final round. I had to flip a coin to see who went first and then to see who would go first in the third round where double points were awarded. Here are the category breakdowns for each round: Round 1 Name one the books in the Torah (or Law) Name one of the history books of the Old Testament Name one of the poetry or wisdom books of the Old Testament Round 2 Name something that was created on one of the 7 days of creation Name a letter not written by Paul Name one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit Round 3 Name a perso

Still struggling to say "yes"

I haven't made as much progress as I thought in finding reasons to say "yes" rather than "no". This morning the oldest asked me if I would go outside with him and wait for the bus. I had anticipated getting to work a little early as I am leaving early this afternoon so, in my head, I waffled a bit more than I should have. I wonder if he noticed? I did notice his excitement when the two of us were outside. He likes to wait for the bus outside rather than inside for some reason. All in all I made it a tougher decision than it needed to be. Progress seems to be so slow in my life and it drives me a little nuts. I would love to rehearse for every single circumstance that God may throw my way, but I simply can't. It is hard to prepare for it all. I guess I need to build the kind of character that reacts as God does in every circumstance. The fruit of a life submitted to the Holy Spirit should be what I am after. I would think that a life characterized by that wou

I don't know why I am surprised

I don't know why, but I continue to be amazed at the depth to which relationships have been affected by the fall. I know that every molecule of our being is depraved and in need of regeneration. The Calvinists have it right when they talk of the total depravity of man and the implications it has. But every once and a while I hear of something (or I perpetrate something) that makes me step back and ponder it all over again. Sometimes it merely gives me pause and sometimes it absolutely staggers me. It seems that imperfection piles on imperfection as snow falls on snow and buries that which should have been. The marring of this life (these lives) is all the way down and completely and utterly unredeemable save for the work of One. Truly hopeless and wanting am I so much so that the want was even produced by His Spirit. That I am an instrument at all is a testimony to who He is. That I am useful to Him and in His hands is no small miracle in itself. Thank God for His Son's enflesh

Back to normalcy

It seems like the past month and a half has been brutally abnormal. It may even extend to the beginning of October when we set my parent's 40th wedding anniversary celebration which was more work than we thought it was going to be. But it has been at least since Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. Between shopping, vacations, trips, and assorted snow storms it seems like I am finally on to more normal times. We'll see. On a related note I missed not being with the church last week. I realized that I missed it when we were singing the first songs to open our service and after we had one of the best HighPoint (children's church for pre-school through sixth grade) services I had ever been a part of. I think we are starting to hit our stride with the HighPoint ministry where I am the "story teller". At any rate, it was funny that I only missed being with the church when I actually gathered with it again. I didn't seem to miss it the Sunday we were driving back

I heart decongestants

My head has felt like a water balloon ready to break and I have been caught up in the aftermath of the abuse of pseudoephedrine. Not that I have abused it, but all of the great pseudoephedrine products are behind the pharmacy counter now and are tightly controlled. I have to show my driver's license and sign a book just to get a couple of boxes. Even my beloved Chlortrimeton-D is officially off the shelves never to return. I now need to take a mixture of straight Chlortrimeton and some generic pseudoephedrine to get the deisred effect. Thankfully this is still something I can score pretty easily and it works great for me. I tried the new "PE" decongestants and they did not do much for me. I may give them another try, but only when I have a harder time getting the pseudoephedrine. That having been said, I read an article that basically said the abuse of over the counter medications is on the rise. Growing up as sheltered as I did (not as sheltered as some, but my parents t

Where to begin?

Since getting back from my extended vacation it has, seemingly, been non-stop. Work has been busy and there are about a bazillion things I need to put into place to get the ministries that have been on hiatus over the Christmas break up and running again. Last night we had our first Champions club in close to three weeks so it was good to see the Champs again (although we were a bit down in numbers). I am looking forward to next week when we have the first-ever-edition of Bible Family Feud. It should be good. My wife was excited because we got a new volunteer (and a good one too) to help with the girls club and, as a result, she had three girls during small group time and hold a real conversation with them. I am happy for her because she had a lot of girls in her group in the first 1/3 of the year and that is never a good situation. The adding of the volunteer also opens up the possibility of splitting up the girls and boys in the large group time as well. I also got to jog on Monday a

Puzzled by practicality versus poetry

live like there's no tomorrow love extravagantly lead a life to be followed goodbye ordinary - Goodbye Ordinary, Mercy Me OK, I am a bit puzzled. I have seen and been the recipient of extravagant love and have seen lives that I need to follow. Hopefully I have incorporated aspects of the love and lives into my life to some degree. But living like there is no tomorrow has me puzzled a bit. I mean, beyond the poetry or some vague feeling that I have spent myself when I lay my head on my pillow at night, what does that look like? Does that mean I should have swept and mopped the floor last night as opposed to saving it to do tonight? There is a folder full of checks that I need to process for the church as well laying on the desk. Should that have been taken care of too? I am reading the entire Bible again this year so should I have finished at least Genesis last night or at least tackled the rest of the Sermon on the Mount? Does the fact that I didn't run this morning mean that

Yes, Virginia, I am alive

Yes, this thing that I started in November 2005 is bringing itself into this new year resolution albeit kicking and screaming. We had a great Christmas, New Year's Day, and trip down to New Jersey to see our friend's daughter get married. Reality is hitting me now like orange juice after tooth brushing so I need to sort through some emails and get some status on projects that were put into motion before the break. If it is any solace (and I am sure it is) I will be back regularly blogging soon. We'll have to see how things go today to see if I can get back on before I leave. Powered by ScribeFire .