Saturday, May 30, 2009

Moving at the Speed of ___________?

Tonight, with a couple of minutes left in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, I decided to find out what day the finals start (I found out they start Thursday). Naturally, I used Google, and went to the Wikipedia entry for the NBA finals. Like I said, Cleveland was still playing Orlando, and even though they were down by 18 points, the game still had some time left. Regardless, Wikipedia had already been edited to declare Orlando the winner and spelled out which games would take place in L.A and which would happen in Orlando. I am not sure if I should have been startled or surprised by this (who's to say, anyway?), but I was. Information is moving so fast it is, in a sense, reaching conclusions before we do.

Reading

From Kevin DeYoung-

"I'm convinced it is a sign of God's grace moving within people when they start to read."

Download the full sermon here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

E-Manners

Sad as it might be, many people don't find etiquette and manners regarding laptops, cell phones, and other mobile technology (pagers? remember those?) self-evident. Some of you know who you are, but others might be oblivious. Therefore it is up to you, their annoyed friend, to pass along this article from the New York Times on to them- just don't email it while you're driving.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Where do you live?

If you find yourself unsatisfied with where you live and you are looking for a move, check out this report from Kiplinger ranking the top 10 U.S. cities.

How much time do you spend online?


The iMonk shares some thoughts on the uses and role of the internet (including social networking) in our day-to-day lives. A highlight from the full post-

It’s too much. It’s not community. It’s not socializing. It’s too much. There are things I need to do. Books to read and write. People next door and in hospitals and shut in to talk to. Letters to write. Thoughts to think. Dreams to dream. Music to listen to. (And I can do all of this without taking another two hours of my day to tell you all about it.)
You might remember the Internet Monk from a post that Drudge linked to predicting the coming Evangelical collapse.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day


Thank you to all the men and women in uniform- every sailor, soldier, and marine who protect the safety and integrity of the United States every day. Memorial Day helps to commemorate those who have fallen while in service to their country. We also honor those who are currently serving- noble men and women who put themselves on the line and sacrifice time away from their families for the sake of the rest of the country. For them I am thankful, and I am honored to know some of them as friends.

Kevin DeYoung gives this holiday a theological perspective-

It is always tricky to know how the church should or shouldn’t celebrate patriotic holidays. Certainly, some churches blend church and state in such a way that the kingdom of God morphs into a doctrinally-thin, spiritually nebulous civil religion. But even with this dangers, there are a number of good reasons why Christians should give thanks for Memorial Day.
Read him give his five good reasons here.


Friday, May 22, 2009

You Can Help


We who live in the U.S do not (yet) have to worry about religious persecution. We descend from those who fled persecution and came to the New World in the hope of worshipping how they saw fit. Thanks be to God that they were allowed to worship here freely, and as a result men like Edwards, Whitefield, Watts, and others proclaimed the gospel with boldness.

Unfortunately, in many places in the world today, Christians still face torture, imprisonment, and even death. The church is commanded to remember those who are undergoing persecution (see Hebrews 13:3) but this is too easily forgotten since our lives are filled with too many distractions- from Twitter updates, to fast-food choices, to new music.

Take some time today and learn about the story of Gao Zhisheng, a courageous Chinese Christian who is currently imprisoned for his faith. You can find all the details of his story here, and I would encourage you to take action. Be thankful for the freedom you have, and take a minute today to slow down from your own life and get involved for the sake of a man who needs help.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yes Virginia, There is an Alternative to Google




Google does a great job with most everything. From Google Reader, to Docs, to Calendar and soon to Voice, (plus much, much more- just check out the Labs) they continue to churn out quality products that meet needs. As a search engine, Google is still the default for most people, and for good reason. However, if you are looking for an alternative, try Wolfram Alpha, a new site that will not only give you search results, but help to intelligently analyze the results for you.

At Wolfram you could compare the financial reports from two companies, check the weather record in your area for the last 100 years, complete complex calculus problems, or just about anything else you can think of.

Dogs are great


Dogs make great pets, and good companions. When someone compares dogs to cats, I laugh a little bit, because I can't understand how any comparison exists between a really cute puppy and a kitten. Either way, check out an interesting article from the Seattle Times about how dogs maintain a certain sense of morality and display emotion (cats on the other hand are soulless creatures that are probably here to do the devil's work). So take off your theological hat for a few minutes and read an interesting article about man's best friend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Management

Matt Perman has a great post on management. Below are the highlights. This post brought to mind a great quote by C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory- "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours." People seldom think or act this way in the workplace. How would your day change if your perspective moved in this direction?

Originally posted here.

A common definition of management is getting things done through others.

I don’t like that definition very much because it leaves out the human component. This definition could just as easily apply to machines.

I think a better definition is provided by Stephen Covey: management is developing people through tasks. This brings in the human component. Management is not just about getting things done, but developing people in the process.

The result is, ironically, that you will in turn be able to get even more done in the future, since whenever a manager’s team is productive they are at the same time increasing in their productive capacity.

But that is not why you manage in this way. You manage with this goal in mind because it is the right way to treat people — that is, because you are managing people, not machines.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Sky is Falling- Tweet Everyone!

How much more can we take? Each day we are all bombarded with media letting us know about our impending doom. We must be afraid of everything. Whether it be rogue dictators, new diseases, comets, climate change, or a deranged killer, it seems that we have good cause to be alarmed. Hopefully sociologists in 50 years will be able to look back and decide how this has affected our psyche.

Pre-industrial societies dealt with their own set of fears. Plague, disease, and war all clouded their horizon, only they did not have to hear about it on 24-hour cable news networks, on the internet or through email forwards. However, the pre-industrial man would see these impending disasters as the hand of Providence, and mostly outside of his control. What could a colonial settler do against a hurricane coming up the Atlantic coast? How could a medieval peasant ward off the Black Death? I am sure they did not accept their fate passively, but there was an understanding of their finitude in relation to the rest of the universe. Death was out there, a threatening menace and an enemy to be avoided, but not with the hysterical, Chicken Little mentality common today.

Perhaps our fascination with social networking comes from a desire to revolt against these constant reminders of our own mortality. When we let everyone in our online reality know where we are, what we are doing, seeing, tasting, experiencing, etc.... then we are declaring "I am alive"- just look at this proof. When we do this in the context of a massive electronic pseudo-community, then we are able to be part of something larger than ourselves and declare that we matter. We do not have the tight-knit local community that was common in pre-industrial societies. A town, village, or hamlet could band together to fight off invaders, rebuild after a major storm, or take care of the sick together. How can we deal this impending doom today? Maybe these status updates, tweets, and even blog posts are no more than screams out into the digital void to prove we are alive, and we are all in this together.

Twitter