These are Mobile Homes… Not Mansions

A video to make you smile on this friday. Watch it. Or Don’t. I don’t care.

 

Habakkuk

I’ve been studying Habakkuk for the past couple weeks. I’d read some, listen to Matt Chandler teach on it. Read over it again. Well, today, I finished up. Going to move back over to the New Testament. Not sure what book yet. Prior to that, I decided to put some takeaways down from the book.

Growing up in a very traditional southern baptist church, I never got the expository style of preaching. Let me explain this a little further.

I didn’t GET it, nor did I get it.

First of all, I just didn’t receive teaching in this manner. I was used to brief overviews of a book from time to time, or we might go through a book in “January Bible Study.” Yep, that one time a year that was earmarked to come to church for 5 days during the same week because we were going to go ‘deep’ into a book of the Bible. Most of the time, we received whatever the pastor felt called to preach. Perhaps it was what he was studying at the time. Perhaps it was topical. I don’t know. All I know is that we didn’t go verse by verse and really dig into what the Word was saying.

But second, I didn’t understand the value in it until recently. I guess it was the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever that first exposed what the definition of Expository Preaching to me. I admit, that I initially pushed back. My argument then was that expository style is good for the most part, but that topical preaching would benefit those in the seats more. I’ve changed a lot.

Matt and the Village Church took 11 services, nearly 11 hours to go through a short 3 chapter book. In the past, I would blow through this tiny book on my way to reading through the Bible goals and not allow enough time to pause in it. Selah? What Selah.

Anyway, I relate to Habakkuk. I see what happens in the world and want God to step in and resolve many of the problems that we see. But God is saying in this book that he is in control. He knows so much better than us because he sees tomorrow like it happened yesterday. Often our complaints and worries to God are WAY over our heads. But it is so difficult in our flesh to just accept that. We try to be problem solvers instead of resting in the faith that we have.

Now this does not mean that we should not take our worries and cares to Him. He wants us to come to Him with our bothers, but we don’t need to be dominated by our worries and cares. We need to go to Him for comfort and assurance. However he doesn’t need our powerpoint presentations to the solutions of the problems. He’s got that under control.

It really is a HEAVY book as Matt puts it. The idea that God will use the Chaldeans to conquer Judah is too much for Habakkuk to take. How could a loving God punish His own people? It is because he can see everything that is and will happen as it has already happened.

 

Evin Crayloa Kan Produse Tipos

My wife and I were doing a little school shopping the other day at Walmart.

While looking at everything, she picked up this item. Have you seen it on the ads on TV?

I’m still not exactly sure how they work, nor why you would want dry erase CRAYONS, but I’m certain that Crayola has the R/D department to justify our society need for this product. Surely they’ve invested MILLIONS into its research and product launch.

My wife immediately caught that in 2 or three places on the packaging it states that there is a “Mitt” inside for use in the erasing process, however the largest bullet point on the back states that there is a “Matt” inside.

My mind races on how much expense went into product development and packaging design. I can only imagine that dozens of eyes had to have looked at the proof of the packaging, right?

I guess my take away is this, even Crayola can screw up. Next time you mess up or flub something, don’t beat yourself up over it.

 

The Problem with Email

(At least my problem with it at the moment)

Here’s the problem that I have with email all of the sudden… I have maybe 10 email addresses, right? However, for the past 5 years I have used one email address for just about everything. My bad. It was my primary and if I signed up for ‘official’ accounts anywhere, I used it. In retrospect that was such a bad practice.

I’ve had the fun experience of changing/updating my accounts everywhere since I no longer use this email address. I can only assume that for a LONG time will I be finding them. I actually started off thinking that I would keep track of all of them as I change, but I realized the vanity in doing that.

What do you do? Do you have a master document that lists all accounts and usernames and passwords somewhere? Do you only keep one throwaway address for spam needs?

Pursuit of God by A.W.Tozer

I recently finished reading Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. It really did make me stop and think at times. It is cool sad interesting to think that it was written in 1948. At first read, it sounds like it was written in recent days.

Here are a few of the areas that I highlighted:

“The Modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word.”

This statement caused me to pause, reread and make sure that I read it correctly. I could not believe that something that I have been chewing on for several months was written in a book in ’48. I haven’t gone out to research Tozer and to find out if this statement gained him some opposition in his day. I can only imagine someone in today’s day saying something like this and getting HAMMERED on blogs and twitter. I think that it is dead on. While the Word is something that we can NOT neglect and discount, and in some circles/so-called churches, it hardly even enters the discussion or gets opened, but I really think that some people I know worship the Word instead of who wrote the Word. Who IS the Word. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want a relationship with paper. My Bible is a medium in which to commune with my God. I know that it is one of if not THE best way to meet him, but not the only way.

Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body is stronger as its members become healthier. The whole Church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and higher life.

Honestly, reading this as a highlighted section on my kindle doesn’t speak volumes to me, but I think the reason I marked it when I did was because too many people view church as a social gathering. When individuals focus on God, those I surround myself with will be like minded and together we will experience what God really wants.

We can get a right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He is. As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy that God is just what He is.

OK, I know for sure that my thoughts on this were based upon the idea that too often, people make God into what the want Him to be. Survey Says… BUZZZ! God has made it very clear who He is and who He is not. He is jealous. He has high standards for us, which is why we need His grace and we can do nothing to pay for the sin in our lives.  Blasphemy is much more than just misuse of God’s name. If you make Him out to be something else, that is just as much blasphemy… which is a very serious offense.

The world is perishing for lack of knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence.

This one I struggled with and still do. In Romans, God says that no one can claim the lack of knowledge of God. Eventually all have knowledge of Him through recognition of His creation. All know Him as God, they just don’t worship Him. I think the problem here is the worship aspect. Those of us who do know Him should be worshiping in spirit and in truth 24/7. The Church when it comes together in worship, fellowship, to hear the Word spoken should be doing it because of its knowledge of who God is…. but too often, we don’t seek His presence when we do. We come to punch a clock. To satisfy the weekly check box. Which continues the circle that those who don’t know God/Christ look at us and see no difference or no desire to learn more about God. They end up having an incorrect view of God and are probably doomed to eternal separation from Him.

I’m glad that I was recommended this book. Amazon has this version for the Kindle that is Free or this one that apparently has pictures and an audiobook version. ooooh

I Grind my Teeth

I recently went to the dentist. It was really pathetic how long it had been in between visits. I will spare you the details, but let’s just say that I had neglected my personal health over the last several years. We guys tend to live like we’re superman and that nothing can happen to us, right? Well, I am not that unhealthy, but I am also not an expert at observing what my body is trying to tell me… Anyway, gentlemen, go to the doctor and dentist.

I’m sitting in the dentist chair. The assistant (not sure of her actual title, but you know, the one who does 96% of the job during your visit before the dentist comes in to say “Hello. Goodbye.”) tells me, “well they’re not actually as bad as they could be after not going to a dentist for 5 years” and then proceeds to clean them up. All in all, I had 3 cavities (to which my kids are dropjaw and can’t believe that their daddy had multiple cavities #facepalm) mostly because some previous fillings were shrinking or chipping. I figured it would be 2 or 3, maybe 4, so that was alright. I figured that I’d hear the “You’re not flossing, are you?” speech. What I wasn’t prepared to hear was this nugget of wisdom for the dentist:

You Grind Your Teeth.

What do you mean I grind my teeth, and how can you say it with such absolute confidence? The dentist obviously saw that expression in my demeanor. He asked me to put my teeth together tip to tip. He held up a mirror and showed me the fact that there was NO space between any of the, in fact there is an impressive perfect line that you can trace and see where the ones that are high and the ones that are low come awesomely together. He also showed where the teeth that should be pointy were beginning to show signs of being ground down.

“So how long do you want to keep your teeth?” asks the dentist, who by the way just met me 2 minute prior.

We talk for a little bit about the fact that I need to get a mouth guard. Great, I think. I know that he is telling me the truth and that this is something that I will need to do. In the end, he prescribes a $600+ dollar guard. After researching it a little online, I will be heading to CVS or Walgreens to pick up a $30 guard that sounds like it will be equally as effective. Yeah, I actually haven’t made the purchase yet, but have every intention too :)

Do you know why I have every intention to do it?

Because I now KNOW that I do it.

Seriously, I grind my teeth ALL THE TIME. I literally found myself in meetings and in the car and in church and watching TV and in the shower and cutting the grass and pulling weeds and putting my girls to bed and going on vacation and blogging and doing google searches on why people grind teeth –> GRINDING MY TEETH!

Literally, I would be in a situation and my teeth would fire off a message to my brain telling me that my jaw has a figure four submission move going on in my mouth. It is CRAZY to all of the sudden realize that you are doing something and HAVE been doing it for years without knowing it, but that is exactly what has been happening.

Well, this got me wondering what else I am doing that I am not aware. I have seen a few things that I need to take note of and address. We often go through this life numb to many of the experiences and influences that we encounter everyday. Some physical, some emotional, some spiritual.

It isn’t worth it to succumb to living life in a constant numbing state. There is so much more to this life than that. We need to take a step back and look at the sky every once in a while, shut up and listen to our creator. He made us wonderful and we tend to fight against His plan for our lives. He knows us much better than we know ourselves.

 

 

 

How I killed my blog, and then brought it back to life

Well, I did something extremely stupid the other day.

I was in the middle of creating a subdomain for a dev site that I was working on… I wanted it to be public so that the group that I was working on the site with could view and contribute on it before we took it live. (See Exhibit #1 problem)

Well, I for some reason was having a database connection problem, and went to delete the subdomain and all files associated with it and start again.

Only I deleted the Main Domain.

CRAP!

I even was stupid enough to read the “Are you SURE you want to perform this action?”

Of course… I know what I am doing.

Wait… What domain did that say I just deleted?!?

Luckily, I had a backup.

Have you backed up your blog yet and all files that come with it.

You should!
(BY THE WAY, I wasn’t so lucky about a month ago when I totally screwed up the custom design that I had sitting on top of  my Standard Theme Install. No backup of those files existed. Hence the hardwood floor look. I am slowly getting back to tweaking this thing back to where it was. I had actually gotten it to a point that I liked it.)

 

Snoring on the Plane

I was on a flight recently from Atlanta to San Diego. Long before we took off the runway, there came a deep rumbling snore from across the aisle and one row back from me. I turned and discovered that the noise was coming from a woman who was oblivious to the people around her. She was OUT. She had some BIG sunglasses on, she had her neck pillow on, and she had ear buds in. The poor women on either side of her looked like they were begging to be saved. They obviously were already seeing this as torture for the next 4 hours. Sure enough, she did not disappoint. While she did momentarily wake up as we took off, she was back in deep REM within minutes.

I of course do what I do on all flights, I put my ear buds in and lost myself in a couple podcasts and the work that I needed to get done. Later though, 1 topic started pinging my subconsciousness.

When did I get to the point of being so Anti-Social on Airplanes?

I mean I may as well be snoring. As soon as we’re above 10,ooo feet and the pilot has decreed it safe for electronic devices, my Macbook is out and I am back at work. Time that people used to use to read books, check out the sky mall magazine… or SLEEP like this lady, has been replaced by more and more work. I can hop onto gogoinflight without skipping a beat. I can VPN into work networks, and be editing web content, creating microsites, creating wireframes, architectures, keyword research, web analytics… Anything that I could be doing from my desk in Norcross.

But what I don’t do is connect with those around me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I TOTALLY understand how awkward it can be when someone in the seat next to you wants to have a conversation and all you want to do is get the guy to shut up, but I don’t even take the time to introduce myself anymore. Typically, I am zone 1 and in the row first as my seat neighbors come in. I usually give the obligatory nod and “hey” but nothing more.

That’s just wrong in my opinion.

What do you think? Do you go out of the way to say hello to those around you? Or… do you just filter out the world and start snoring?

 

 

 

Slow News Week – Thankfully We have the Soup

Just saw this on The Soup. Seriously, does anyone in the media actually do any real reporting anymore:

At 1:30 into the video… we see news at its finest.

How many times have you tried to pour fuel into your outdoor gel pot, only to have it explode in your face, turning you into a screaming ball of flame?

Okay, never.

But still, Good Morning America knows such a tragedy is lurking behind every backyard luau, and has spared no expense in recreating this horrific situation along with the fire department, to keep you aware.

 

OK I had to remove the video embed because E by default has video play. How annoying. Click the link above. Do yourself the favor.

Wishing That Excessive Web Copy Was as Easy to Get Rid Of as Excessive Exclamation Points

Here’s a post that I wrote a while back for work. Recently, it came to mind.

I am someone that hates the overuse of the exclamation point.

First off, it is annoying. Second, it screams at me “I DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE WEB COPY!”

Here’s a classic case of Excessive Exclamation Point Syndrome (EEPS): “We are launching the new campaign for cancer research. Let’s work together for this great cause!!!”

Three Objectives for Web Copy

I recommend that you make your copy as concise, scanable and objective as possible:

Concise: Use about half the word count as you would typically would for other mediums.

• Scanable: Present the copy in a structure that allows for an easy scan by the viewer.

Give me a nice bold header that tells me what you’re trying to tell me. Give me a sentence (perhaps two) that gets right to the point of your page’s subject.

Also, I like bullets. They make it real easy to scan for what I am looking.

Last, I like an obvious call-to-action that clearly identifies what do you want me to do next.

Objective: Get rid of the EEDS. I see right through it.

After landing on your page, I don’t want to filter through the “marketese” that you’re pitching me. I want neutral language that is not boastful and exaggerated fluff.

EEDS Medicine

Recently, I found this cool add-on script created by Ryan McFarland that can be added to Firefox. When you view Web pages with EEDS, it “turns anything more than two exclamation points into just one.” Awesome.

Now if only I could write a script that would remove “fluffy marketese” from Web copy, I’d be rich!!!