February 28, 2006

What Would Steve Jobs Do?

engadget recently asked, What would Steve Jobs Do. Here are the results...

FIRST PLACE - Adam K's Apple Tablet

RUNNER UP - omni96's iPod shuffle video

HONORABLE MENTION - Shane P's faux Engadget steveynote coverage (which probably has fewer typos than ours will).

MacBooks and iBooks
William W's MacBook

Andrew's MacBook

Jonas's MacBook

Federico F's MacBaby

Austin's iPad

Stuart's iPad

Wayne's MacBook Tablet

Stuart C's MacBook Tablet

soundboy64's MacBook DSP

Garret G's Touchscreen iBook

Shawn B's PowerBook touch

Sam D iTablet

yazdgerd's iPod hi-fi, Mac mini dock, and iPod video

Joe B iPod yocto

Grant K's iPod DS

Wizard's take on the shuffle

Aaron's iWedge

Matt's iPod talk

Nick C's iPhone

Mac minis
Maxwell A's Mac mini HD

Andrew T's macTendo

Jason's iGame

Andrew M's Ultran Mouse

Andrew F HiFi

Hochi's iWrist

Dan A's PodStudio

John P's BoxedLunch Pro

Gabriel gamXploiter

CK's iCube shuffle

Donald's iMac nano

Wes's OiPPC

Jason A's Mac & Cheese

Stevyn L's MacBook nano

Tim R's iRobot

Original Article

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February 27, 2006

Not Much Gets by Him

Don Knotts 1924 - 2006


The poster that hangs with my other Police memorabilia in my office.

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February 21, 2006

Grace & Truth Paradox: Book Review

Randy Alcorn
Every encounter with Christ was all grace. Every encounter with Christ was all truth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” –John 1:14. We must be in every situation–100% Grace. 100% Truth. ”Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and crushing legalism. Grace without truth breeds deception and moral compromise. Is it possible to embrace both in balance? Jesus did.“ [back cover] Both are completely needed in us so that we can show Christ to our brothers and sisters and to the lost.

What a challenging book. Alcorn’s premise is that we are to show others Christ. And in that ministry, we must love, but true love never lets go of any truth. He says, ”People had only to look at Jesus to see what God is like. People today should only have to look at us to see what Jesus is like. For better or worse, they’ll draw conclusions about Christ from what they see in us. If we fail the grace test, we fail to be Christlike. If we fail the truth test, we fail to be Christlike. If we pass both tests, we’re like Jesus.“ Oh how I need to show off Christ more. In many varying situations with the lost and in the church, I painfully admit to finding myself too little grace, and in others void of truth.

Alcorn lays out the problems. He mentions that we are quick to swing to one side or the other in this delicate pendulum. We are quick to ”love" and give people thier space, but in that, we forfeit the truth. He also decries the angry unloving truth bearers that proudly claim the 100% truth banner. The problem is, the Christ-model is far higher than both of these problems. Christ was the perfect balance of love and law. Christ never threw out love to dispense truth and vice versa. In all of His love, He dispensed all of His truth.

How I needed to see this. It reminded me that yes, every relationship must be toward the goal of the One Truth. If it is not, I am not loving. But along with that, I saw that in order to dispense truth like Christ did, I must be a graceful giver–sacrificing of my time, energy, money, love–in order for a greater channel of truth to be communicated. This book was a challenge to me to enlarge my number of relationships and to expand the depth of them as well. Why? Because Christ sought me...in all His grace and truth. I must seek the lost with that same grace and truth.

This was a great book. I loved every page. It was encouraging. Full of great personal stories and anecdotes. It kept me very interested. Praise the Lord for the challenge to get back to what I am here for—Showing others Christ as He wants Himself shown.

In the end, we don’t need grace or truth. We need grace and truth. And for people to see Jesus in us, they must see both.

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February 18, 2006

Old Design - Circa Summer 2003

Recently, I ran across some old archives with some interesting stuff from my not so distant. Some stuff goes back to high school, but most is college goof-offings. This post will be the first in a running series of my old design stuff.

Funny, yes. Most of this I actually showed to people. Wow.

All of this design was done in the summer of 2003. I had access to a pretty decent G4 with photoshop, illustrator, indesign and an infamous collection of fonts. Almost all was done for Northland Camp where I worked on Program Staff for the summer of 2003. They called me Trailblazer back then.


The Pioneer Village T-Shirt
that never got printed.

The Teen Camp Team Shirts.
Go Blue? I really like the powerpuff girls font on the “trailblazers” shirt. Nothing says go like a techno font and a vector mountain.

The Sports Camp Team Shirts.
Yes that is a turtle with a rocket strapped to his back. I know it’s hard to see due to the eye-straining yellow. Forgive me...by the way, they chose the one with the beakers. So bland. Hah.

The Northland Camp Disc Golf Logo.
This was emblazoned on all the camps disc golf discs. ?? Anyhow, there was a PDGA course that snaked through campus. Imagine that bad boy spinning toward your waiting forehead. The wobbly little half moons on either side of the disc are a little unnerving. The disc seems to be emitting mental energy of some sort. And yes, the font is from Mickey Mouse.

Trader’s Trap
I can’t really remember what this was about, but I think it had something to do with numbers and a trap? Hmm... Do you like the nice text warp ripple effect? I thought it matched the hat nicely. Hat courtesy of the Las Vegas Font Collection from House Industries.

The Western Pacific Express Team Shirt.
Been to the Wilds and never seen this shirt, you say? Yes. That’s because nothing was ever done with it. Another designer left in the mud. I don’t know if I would have bought it anyway though.

...and last but, not least.

The Program Staff Survival Guide Cover.
Amazingly enough, these guys did absolutely nothing with safety or survival. Isn’t it great to manipulate with design? I’m pretty sure I was going through a dirty grimy design stage at the time.

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February 16, 2006

Humilty: True Greatness Book Review


C. J. Mahaney

This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit.–Isaiah 66:2. So needed. So timely. So beautiful. The humble man is layed out perfectly and plainly. A clear definition of what humility is, what pride is, what pride does, and how to daily cultivate humility. C. J. opens up a gorgeous picture of what true greatness is. He delivers the statement that the Greatest One that walked this earth was humble to show us how to be great. It’s done by death. Sacrifice. Pain. And our Savior leads the way in it. This is not society. This is not the norm. “True greatness is attained only by emulating the Savior’s example—and made possible only by the Savior’s sacrifice.” [p. 58]

The more and more that I take in from Soveriegn Grace Ministries, the more I am refreshed. It is such a cold drink of water to hear a humble, honest testimony of the vastness of man’s depravity contrasted with the infinity of God’s greatness. God is doing some serious work in my soul right now over my inabilities. Through messages, this book, examples of godly men, difficulties, I am seeing more and more the truth that God only uses me when I come to the end of self-reliance. When I come to the end of my ability. C. J. expounds that our first step is admitting we need help. Admitting our inability before God’s all-sufficient ability.

One of the most powerful segments of the book deals with what pride means to God. “Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge thier dependance upon Him.” Pride is “contending for supremacy” with God. [p. 31] Ouch. God hates that. He can’t look at it. He doesn’t reward it. It is vile to Him. That’s me. All the time. Doing things God hates. Ouch. God, help me to see the peril of pride that I might love humility with all my heart.

A major deterrent from cultivating humility comes from the all around us. Everything screams to promote self. The world loves to talk about things that are great. Self-exalting skilled people are praised constantly, yet they are farthest from true greatness. Even in my church, not in the leadership, but in the body, it seems that humbling yourself is looked down upon. We get so self-righteous thinking that its not right to talk about where we missed it. We somehow forget that “confessing your faults one to another that ye may be healed,” is in the Bible. It is better to just put up a good looking outside that everyone sees. Vomit. C. J. describes a major problem in churches when discussing with a friend, Jim, why his experience with church was different...why his church split, “Right from the beginning, Covenant Life had...a strong emphasis on humility, especially among the leaders. Jim thought, Nope. That we did not have...When it comes to the values we live by, what will others say about us one day? Will they testify that humility charecterized our lives?” [p. 23] How I need God to work humility in me, that I may be an example to those I touch. It’s time to turn the corner of the norm, self-righteous pride to the truly great, broken humility.

I loved this book. I loved every page. I loved it, but I hated it. The first half of it was a dagger at times, other times it was a sword, other times a big club. Ouch. But amazingly and wonderfully, the end of the book was a wonderful balm for those wounds. C. J. lays out a wonderful plan in the last half of the book. Super practical application of how to work it. Mornings, evenings, words, sports, parenting, trials. It is perfect. His word on sleep was great; I’ve never heard it put that way, but it is so good! Take a chapter a week and try to implement these things and they will go a long way to cultivating humility and weakening pride. How powerful.

Pride takes inumberable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That’s the motive and ultimate purpose of pride—to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification, contending for supremacy with Him. The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to recieve.

No wonder God opposes pride. No wonder He hates pride. Let that truth sink into your thinking.

To learn true humility, we need more than a redefinition of greatness; we need even more than Jesus’ personal example of humble service. What we need is His death.

There is only one thing I know of that crushes me to the ground and humiliates me to the dust, and that is to look at the Son of God, and especially contemplate the cross.


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February 15, 2006

Fan the Flame

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

2 Timothy 1:6

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February 13, 2006

Pettit Week Wrapup


Can you tell I snuck into this picture?We just finished up our church's Friend's Day and Special Meetings. What an amazing time. The Lord was so good last week. Coming into 2006, we did not have a Friend's Day speaker scheduled. Some scheduling mixups left us with nothing for the year. That is, until about 4 weeks ago. Pastor Craig had been praying for quite a few months for something special for this year, and while browsing the Pettit Team website just about 4 weeks ago, we noticed an opening in their schedule. We quickly called Brother Steve and found that they had a cancellation, and were planning to take the week off. We asked them if they would be interested in joining us for that week...preaching and providing music for our Friend's Day and through the rest of the week. They graciously agreed. It is absolutely amazing how God works things out. The Lord opened up a week for us, provided a speaker and gave us a wonderful day and week.

On our Friend's Day Sunday morning, we had over 35 friends with us in the service, including 5 city council members, the city manager, 2 police officers, the high school principal, and neighborhood watch representatives. All in all, it was the third largest attendance in our churches history. There was not an open seat in the auditorium!

The week was great. God really moved in our hearts. After the Friend's Day, Brother Steve directed the rest of his messages toward us, and the Spirit did some serious work. Sunday night's message on How to be a Zero was so powerful for us. The text was 1 Cor. 13, and Brother Steve openend up what it really meant to speak and work and minister without love. I have a lot to work on. He also spoke on the only way to be used of God, by being broken before Him. What is Sin, and how does it affect the believer (1 John 3). And Wednesday, he preached on the preservation and perservearance of the saints, Running the Race, from Hebrews 12:1-2. Just powerful.

The time I got to spend with the team was very valuable. Jeremy Frazor is a constant encouragement and iron-sharpening-iron friend to me. He makes me understand what the scripture means when it says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." He is a great friend.

Praise the Lord, for He alone does amazing wonders!

Click Here to read what Brother Steve said about the week.

Click Here to view pictures from the week.

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February 02, 2006

on free trials

family feud logoI was all excited last night, because for the game for our CrossTraining meeting this week, we were going to play Family Feud. I had it all planned out. I found a great party version on the internet. Players buzz in using the two shift keys and someone types in the answer. It has a spelling fixer like google, and great graphics. It is really easy to use and pretty exciting for a big group. I tried it out, tested it from every angle on my computer in my office, like a good ole youth pastor. (Don't wanna be caught looking like an idiot in front of my teens, I thought.) Excited. My setup was this...I grabbed our laptop downloaded it onto that, and hooked it up to a PC-to-TV converter which displayed the picture on a 27" screen. I attached an extra keyboard and mouse, so the teens wouldn't destroy our new laptop, and we were ready to go. Family Feud. Yehaw.

The teens started getting there. I thought to myself, "Family Feud. Cool."

family feud logoWe started the game off girls vs. guys. The first round went great. "Name countries that begin with the letter B. "Bosnia, Britain, Bolivia, Bahamas - X" everybody was really getting into it.

The guys won the first round, but that doesn't really matter. What happened next was appalling.

About 5 minutes into the second round, the girls are answering thier question. They give an answer, Beth starts typing, and the screen goes black. Bwoo-fizzle. Then up pops on the screen this message, "Your Free Trial has Expired."

A groan falls from the startled crowd, followed by laughter. Great, just great. Amazing. Come to find out, the free trial lasts only about 20 minutes, which is nowhere written or publicized by the company I downloaded it from. I'm thinking, I've used free trials before...30 day trial, 15 day trial, 2 day trial. Nope 20 minutes, if that. Nice.

With some quick thinking in front of a crowd of people (which is always a fun thing, you gotta try it) and a lot of help from my wife and youth staff, we popped out an extreme version of Pictionate. Everybody loved it, and now they have something to look forward in a couple of weeks, the FULL purchased version of Family Feud.

Moral of story: My mistake was this: I just didn't goof off long enough testing the game. Play the game long enough for the free trial to expire, so that you can learn that you need to buy it in order to play it for any reasonable amount of time.

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- we've got pageloads -