myblog -june '12
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Friday, June 29, 2012
i was going to use the term "cognitive dissonance
" in a thread with an atheist guy on my facebook.. and just to make sure i was using the term right, i looked it up, and BLAM! a gift for me, i found this:
Creating and resolving cognitive dissonance can have a powerful impact on students’ motivation for learning. For example, researchers have used the effort justification paradigm to increase students’ enthusiasm for educational activities by offering no external reward for students’ efforts: preschoolers who completed puzzles with the promise of a reward were less interested in the puzzles later, as compared to preschoolers who were offered no reward in the first place. The researchers concluded that students who can attribute their work to an external reward stop working in the absence of that reward, while those who are forced to attribute their work to intrinsic motivation came to find the task genuinely enjoyable.
sooo interesting, right??
in case you missed the implications, think of school children in our highly, HIGHLY liberal society, where kids no longer get rewarded for success, rather, they get rewarded for participation
.. now take what you learned in the paragraph above and apply it. that means that if kids no longer get rewarded for merely "doing" (as opposed to "accomplishing") they will lose interest in doing.. you see what this leads to? a lazy society where "what is there for me to gain by doing this at all?" will be the prime motivating factor. notice that the problem is not that we are not rewarding success.. rather, we are "rewarding" mediocrity.. haha.. oh man, so we are creating a society that will now aim lower
than mediocrity if not "rewarded".. and that they will only aim as high as mediocrity if rewarded at all.. wow. *shakes head in disbelief*
nevermind that we no longer aim to succeed or merely do good for the purpose of doing good (success usually brings the satisfaction of receiving a desired reward, whether it be accolades such as extra letters next to your name (Ph.D., M.A., etc..) or simply copious amounts of money).
this brings me to another quick point.. cuz i really should be sleeping right now.. and that is of how i intend to raise my kids. and its something i have been thinking of for a while now. i intend to not reward my kids (with stuff) when they do what is good, but rather have them aim to do what is good because it honors God. thats it. that should be their motivating factor. i also aim to not spank my children, so they do not fear the punishment more than they fear dishonoring God. ie, i desire, and will aim to raise children who seek to glorify and honor their Holy God as an end to itself. if they misbehave their punishment shall be to know they have dishonored their Creator, and if they behave they will have the joy of knowing they have honored Him.
of course, this doesnt mean that they will run free like wild horses.. if you know me, you know this too. discipline shall be firm but fair. and where there is a lack of discipline and appropriate behavior, there will certainly be consequences. mostly in the form of lost privileges. as in "now you dont get to play anymore". ive noticed children respond most favorably to this kind of discipline. though im not against spanking, i see that you can avoid reaching that point by being a little wiser in the approach in other circumstances.. but like i said, there are certainly situations which call for a good ole smack down. heh. and may i never have to resort to spanking. my parents never really spanked me at all. my dad once tried with a belt, but it was the strangest, most awkward thing ever. i think we both walked away from that more confused than anything else.
in any case, all that to say, i aim to positively reinforce in my kids the desire to seek to walk in holiness for the express purpose of pleasing God, and not in order to escape hellfire.. and i think this is a good goal to aim for
progressively worsening.. calling good evil and evil good.. few good things are left that are called good anymore..
Share a meal with the homeless go to jail KIAH
Houston’s homeless are still hungry, and those who want to feed them are still at odds with City Hall, since City Council approved an ordinance that prevents giving food to the hungry at will.
Seven people, who feel it is their right to share food with the hungry, slapped the city with notice of a lawsuit, requesting the city ditch the ordinance which will take effect July 1st.
The city didn't care to comment, saying the media is simply perpetuating the argument.
Shelby Stewart of Coalition to Defend Civil Rights and Human Dignity says, "I think that if Jesus were here today, and had 5 loaves and 2 fish, he would be in danger of going to jail for following the tenants of his faith.
But for now, if you feel charitable and want to share a meal with someone less fortunate, you can jump through the city's hoops of red tape, or risk getting arrested and have the city feed you in jail.
seriously.. illegal to feed the hungry.. more insanity in a sin-riddled society.. wow.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
you see, its not that theyre against bullying, theyre just against "being" bullied.. theres an important distinction there.. i wonder how many in the "anti-bullying" crowd held this guy accountable for his actions..
im guessing none
Anti Bullying Speaker Curses Christian Teens
As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy assed.”
The speaker was Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project, an anti-bullying campaign that has reached more than 40 million viewers with contributors ranging from President Obama to Hollywood stars. Savage also writes a sex advice column called “Savage Love.”
Savage, and his husband, were also guests at the White House for President Obama’s 2011 LGBT Pride Month reception. He was also invited to a White House anti-bullying conference.
Savage was supposed to be delivering a speech about anti-bullying at the National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. But it turned into an episode of Christian-bashing.
Rick Tuttle, the journalism advisor for Sutter Union High School in California, was among several thousand people in the audience. He said they thought the speech was one thing – but it turned into something else.
“I thought this would be about anti-bullying,” Tuttle told Fox news. “It turned into a pointed attack on Christian beliefs.”
Tuttle said a number of his students were offended by Savage’s remarks – and some decided to leave the auditorium.
“It became hostile,” he said. “It felt hostile as we were sitting in the audience – especially towards Christians who espouse beliefs that he was literally taking on.”
Tuttle said the speech was laced with vulgarities and “sexual innuendo not appropriate for this age group.” At one point, he said Savage told the teenagers about how good his partner looked in a speedo.
The conservative website CitizenLink was the first to report about the controversy. They interviewed a 17-year-old girl who was one of students who walked out of the auditorium.
“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control,’” she told CitizenLink. “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible.”
As the teenagers were walking out, Tuttle said that Savage heckled them and called them pansy-assed.
“You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible,” Savage said as other students hollered and cheered. “It’s funny as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed people react when you push back.”
The executive director of the National Scholastic Press Association provided Fox News with joint statement from the Journalism Education Association that was sent to members – after a number of people complained about Savage’s remarks.
“We appreciate the level of thoughtfulness and deliberation regarding Dan Savage’s keynote address,” the NSPA wrote. “some audience members who felt hurt by his words and tone decided to leave in the middle of his speech, and to this, we want to make our point very clear: While as a journalist it’s important to be able to listen to speech that offends you, these students and advisers had simply reached their tolerance level for what they were willing to hear.”
The NSPA said they did not have a prior transcript of Savage’s speech and that wish “he had stayed more on target for the audience of teen journalists.” They also said it provided a “teachable moment” for students.
As for Savage’s attack on people of faith?
“While some of his earlier comments were so strongly worded that they shook some of our audience members, it is never the intent of JEA or NSPA to let students get hurt during their time at our conventions,” they wrote.
However, not once did the NSPA or the JEA offer any apologies to the students or faculty advisors or anyone else in attendance.
no, and why would they? its not like this was bullying during an anti-bullying speech.. you know, by the speech giver himself
Savage did offer a sarcastic apology “if I hurt anyone’s feelings.”
“But I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.”
Tuttle said that he “felt duped” by the event. “There were Christian schools who went to the conference. To have this happen was disappointing and shocking.”
The NSPA said they should have done a better job preparing schools for what to expect.
For his part, Tuttle said that he will definitely be more cautious about the speakers at future conventions.Tuttle related how Savage told students that for a number of years he was not allowed in schools. He told the students that because it’s gained national acceptance “he’s reveling in the fact that it’s basically a middle finger to all those teachers and administrators who wouldn’t let him have access to those students before.”
But for some of Tuttle’s students – they felt like the anti-bullying activist was in fact – the bully.
i will refrain from posting the actual video here.. i dont really think its necessary.. you can always just look it up on youtube if you really
want to watch it..
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
if you are trying to install your perl pidgin plugins but they are not being detected, you might want to check if perl plugins are enabled.. goto
help > build information
and scroll down to where it says "perl".. there you will see if it is.. if it isnt, you might need to go to your package manager (yum, apt, synaptic) and install pidgin-perl
or some such similar package..
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
a noun or pronoun?? noooo thank you!!
i hope thats the proper way to decline a noun or pronoun..
something piper posted a while ago that we might not notice if we read it ourselves:
"whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. "
-2 Corinthians 4:4
i bet you missed it too.. notice what paul calls it: "the Gospel of the glory of Christ
" pretty awesome, huh? its not just "the Gospel".. or the "Gospel of our salvation".. or some human-centered thing, rather, its the Gospel of the GLORY of Christ! amen!!
sorry the video didnt have any details in the description (or title for that matter, the title is the one i gave it), but it provides a pretty good argument to use with an atheist who says "there is no God".
this guy was invited to a debate in atheist on astronomy in atheist hungary.. this is what he had to say about that experience
about a debate in atheist hungary
+ view video
its certainly not a Bible-centered argument, but it at least opens the door for them to listen to you now, and for you to then go on and be able to present what the Bible actually says to an attentive audience.
Welcome to Pandora Quadrotor Autonomous robots that can Learn
Found this post from a Penn State Engineering Student.
The swarmbots are not controlled directly. They are given a goal with parameters and they figure out how to achieve it. Amazing technology, frightening potential.
+ view video
and whoa, learning
quadrotors that catch things and build things!!:
Quadrotor manuvers done by quadrotors from the GRASP lab and the University of Berkeley California. please view this TED talk as well as it has much more great info about these machines! http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/robots-that-fly-and-cooperate-vijay-kumar-on-ted-com/
+ view video
AirPod - $10,000 car that runs on compressed air!
An amazing affordable auto that runs on air!
AIRPod is the culmination of MDI studies on pollution and urban mobility.
With small size, a tiny price, zero pollution, fun and futuristic design, AIRPod mark a turning point in the range of urban vehicles while renewing the idea of the automobile and transportation. You can drive with a joystick, it only costs one euro per 200 km and leaves no one indifferent in crept in traffic.
+ view video
and then this one is just for funsies:
Opel corsa que vuela
+ view video
did i already blog about this?
hear ye, hear ye!! the difference between thee and the rest of ye:
|plural or formal singular
The word thou is a second person singular pronoun in English. It is now largely archaic, having been replaced in almost all contexts by you. It is used in parts of Northern England and by Scots. Thou is the nominative form; the oblique/objective form is thee (functioning as both accusative and dative), and the possessive is thy or thine. Almost all verbs following thou have the endings -st or -est; e.g., "thou goest".
Originally, thou was simply the singular counterpart to the plural pronoun ye, derived from an ancient Indo-European root. Following a process found in other Indo-European languages, thou was later used to express intimacy, familiarity or even disrespect, while another pronoun, you, the oblique/objective form of ye, was used for formal circumstances. In the 17th century, thou fell into disuse in the standard language but persisted, sometimes in altered form, in regional dialects of England and Scotland, as well as in the language of such religious groups as the Society of Friends. Early English translations of the Bible used thou and never you as the singular second-person pronoun, with the double effect of rescuing thou from complete obscurity and also imbuing it with an air of religious solemnity that is antithetical to its former sense of familiarity or disrespect
and now thou knowest. click here if thou
wantest to learn more
lighting strikes fireworks:
John Lennox - A World Without Atheism -- from Dawkins v. Lennox (2 of 3) Imagine a World Without Religion
(Debate in full)
+ view video
Monday, June 25, 2012
wow, such a heartwrenching story.. and as someone pointed out, these people who falsely accuse others of rape are being greatly detrimental to all those women who are
raped and especially to those who cannot find justice..
High school football star has rape charge dismissed after accuser contacts him on Facebook to say it never happened
Call it bitter sweet. A high school football star who was once one of the most highly sought after athletes in the nation has had a rape charge against him dropped after the woman confessed on Facebook that the rape never happened. Brian Banks, who is now 26-years old, spent six years in prison and broke down crying when the prosecutor moved to have the case dismissed.
“There are no words in any language, no gesture in any culture that can explain or describe what I have been through,” said Banks. “I hope my story brings light to a major flaw in the judicial system.”
Banks was once a football star with dreams of playing in the NFL. He was only 16 when a woman accused him of kidnapping and raping her at school. The woman, Wanetta Gibson, added him as a friend on Facebook and in a message said she wanted to “let bygones be bygones.”
Banks’ attorney, Justin Brooks, said that Gibson and Banks met and she was caught on video admitting that no rape every took place, and that she would help him to clear his record. She was then brought before prosecutors and is now obligated to repay the $1.5 million that her mother was paid by the school for what allegedly happened.
“I will go through with helping you but it’s like at the same time all that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back,” she told Banks.
Banks went to jail in 2002 for the crime, when he was just 16 years old. At the time, he was being heavily recruited by USC and other colleges. He was on his way to fill out college applications when he met up with Gibson and went to a stairwell to make out. He apparently said something she didn’t like, which led to the allegations of kidnapping and rape.
Investigators found no physical evidence of rape. Due to the pressure from his attorney and prosecutors, Banks pleaded no contest to the kidnap and rape charge, after being told that he would get 41 years in prison if he fought the charge and was convicted.
Banks thought he would get just 18 months based on his attorney’s advice, and instead ended up in prison for six years. While in prison, his case was taken on by the California Innocence Project.
“Brian’s story is so compelling, and his case for innocence so clear, we knew we had to take this on,” said Justin Brooks of the Innocence Project. “Brian lost a huge part of his life when he was unjustly sent to prison.”
Banks has had to remain on probation under electronic monitoring and could not get a job after being registered as a sex offender.
“This is a kid who was a superstar,” Brooks added. “He would be playing the NFL now if this hadn’t happened.”
some guy had this to say:
Dr. Boyce: If Someone’s Falsely Accused of Rape, All Liars Should be in Prison
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
There’s nothing like using Facebook to say “I’m sorry for sending you to prison after falsely accusing you of kidnap and rape.”
That’s what happened to Brian Banks, after his accuser friended him on Facebook hoping that he could “let bygones be bygones” on a false rape and kidnapping conviction back in 2002.
After reading this story, I was infuriated. I was angry for Mr. Banks, who was in tears in the courtroom, reflecting on only God-knows-what happened to him after being sent to prison at a young age. He was a football star on his way to play college sports at the highest level when the non-incident took place. Wanetta Gibson (the accuser) ruined Brian’s life, and the system aided and abetted her in a quest to destroy this young man’s future.
Every perpetrator of this crime against justice deserves to be punished, starting with Banks’ accuser. There is word that Wanetta is going to be asked to repay the $1.5 million she was paid by the school district for what she claimed to have happened to her, but her repayment should go far beyond money. She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and deserves a prison sentence no less severe than the time that was going to be given to Mr. Banks when the state chose to believe that he was a rapist.
The second person to pay for what happened to Mr. Banks should be the attorney, judge and prosecutors who coerced him into taking a plea deal. Mr. Banks was told that if he continued to hold on to his “illusion” of innocence and actually fight for his right to a fair trial, he could face up to 41 years. This kind of threat is similar to what was done during the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition, where anyone who proclaimed their innocence was tortured until they admitted guilt. This kind of coercive and unjust bargaining should be disallowed in the justice system altogether.
Finally, Mr. Banks deserves to be financially compensated. No amount of money can make up for what he lost, but about $10 million dollars should help ease the pain at least a little bit. There was no physical evidence whatsoever that Banks committed this rape, so there was no justification for any judge or prosecutor to consider sending him to prison. In that regard, those involved in the decision to destroy this young man’s life should be sent to the very same prison that they were willing to send an innocent human being.
The story of Brian Banks is, unfortunately quite common, particularly among young black males. It has even happened in my own family and the scenario is usually the same: Someone gets into trouble and can’t afford a good attorney. The overworked public defender, without seriously considering the evidence, tries to get the defendant to take a plea deal. Even if he is actually innocent and fights for their right to a fair trial, the defendant is then told that not succumbing to jail or prison time will result in a much harsher sentence. The person doesn’t go to prison because they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; they are incarcerated because public officials are too lazy to actually carry out their commitment to pursuing justice.
What’s saddest about the story of Brian Banks is that he was one of the lucky ones. His accuser was silly enough to confess to her lie on record, and someone cared enough to investigate the situation further. But for every Brian Banks that is exonerated, there are 1,000 other innocent citizens who sit behind bars, away from the people they love. They were never given a fair trial and no one will ever take up their case. These stories will never be told.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
"Build a man a fire, you warm him for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
and heres a really obscure solution to a problem you might face in openoffice calc.
say you imported a bunch of cells from a csv, or for some other reason, you simply end up with a column (or row) full of quoted/escaped numbers.. ie, you cannot do a sum, or otherwise use the numbers for any calculation because when you click on the cell, you realize it has a single quote (') in front of the number (which is not visible unless you click on the cell). but you want to be able to sum the column!! what do you do?
- press "ctrl" and "f" at the same time, to bring up the search and replace dialog
- click on "More Options"
- make sure the box next to "Regular expressions" has a check mark
- in the input box marked "Search for" type:
this will search all characters between the start and end of the string (it seems that the single quote is not an actual part of the cell value)
- in the input box marked "replace with" simply enter
(which i guess means "replace with whatever is matched", thus removing the single quote)
really really obscure way to solve this, huh?
and another one, in firefox, if you want to just middle-click (ie, click the middle button on your mouse.. which is usually also the scrollwheel) to paste a url (link) into a window and go to it directly (and not have to paste it to the address bar, then press enter) just type this in the address bar:
find this value:
and set it to true.. BAM!
another useful programming tip for those searching on google:
if you get this error while running make:
warning: implicit declaration of function `strstr'
warning: implicit declaration of function `strncpy'
warning: implicit declaration of function `strlen'
its probably easily solved by simply adding
to the offending file (the warning should tell you which file it is) or one of the header (.h) files..
Monday, June 18, 2012
how to get thunderbird
to show you the folder size (disk usage of the folder) in the folder properties window: show folder size addon
.. the page is in italian, but if you click on "scarica" it should start the download.. otherwise, you can click on this link
for the most recent (0.2.6) version as of the writing of this post..
theres also this addon that adds the folder size column: Extra Folder Columns Addon
this one is for joelie
Brambles are thorny plants of the genus Rubus, in the rose family (Rosaceae). Bramble fruit is the fruit of any such plant, including the blackberry and raspberry.
In popular UK usage the term primarily refers to the blackberry bush; in Scotland and the north of England it refers to both the blackberry bush and its fruits.
Bramble bushes have a distinctive growth form. They send up long, arching canes that do not flower or set fruit until the second year of growth. Many types of brambles have edible fruit, and many have recurved thorns that dig into clothing and flesh when the victim tries to pull away from them.
Bramble fruits are aggregate fruits. Each small unit is called a drupelet. In some, such as blackberry, the flower receptacle is elongate and part of the ripe fruit, making the blackberry an aggregate-accessory fruit.
craving blackberries or raspberries??
Sunday, June 17, 2012
in case it helps anyone out there in digital-land.. if you get this error:
sh: getcwd() failed: No such file or directory
and have no clue whats going on.. well, its probably due to you running the command from a "working directory" that no longer exists..
as in, you were running this command from a shell, cd'ed to a directory "mydir" in your home, ie, "cd /home/you/mydir" and then using some other program, you either move, delete or rename mydir.. and then run another command (ohh i dont know, perhaps "symlinks
") and you get that error message.. simply type "cd" and then cd to whatever directory you want.. it should now work. simple solutions to simple problems...
[started typing this last night
] unable to sleep (ugh, again) and i find myself researching hinduism
.. let me share a couple of findings with you:
- hinduism is not a single homogeneous religion, but is made up of quite radically different "denominations"
- most hinduistic religions are actually to a large extent monotheistic (yeah, believe it or not).. and what we conceive to be different gods, are actually manifestations of their "supreme being".. (though some groups do indeed classify these as distinct deities of one sort or another..)
- these manifestations can interact with each other.. actually, they can even fight each other!
- interestingly, there is a type of "trinity" concept called "trimurti", (also called the "the hindu triad") which is composed of the 3 personified forms of: brahma the creator, vishnu the preserver, and shiva the destroyer (or transformer). before you start drawing conclusions, no, its not the same concept as the christian concept of the trinity. in the christian concept you have three distinct persons in one single God, the hindu concept has one god in many multifold manifestations (depending of course on the specific denomination, as it could be multiple gods).. of course, this would be more along the lines of the modalist heresy (as believed by TD jakes and the "word of faith" cult), where theres one god, one person, but many "manifestations" or "personifications" of that same, single person.. its basically a denial of the trinity.. ironically enough.
- theres also the concept of "deva"s, which are like semi-deities, or supernatural beings akin to angels/demons in other religions
heres a few other random related facts..
- the "hare krishnas" are a sect of hinduism
- the word "krishna" can mean either "dark blue/black" or the "all attractive" (the one who attracts all to himself)
- it seems george harrison (of the beatles) died a hare krishna (he was a hare krishna when he died, in case the grammar wasnt clear)
all info from wikipedia
Thursday, June 14, 2012
you dont want to find yourself in a situation where Christ faces you and says: "you do not talk that way about my bride!"
for all those of us wondering what that jewish song "hava nagila
" is all about:
[i would generally write the "ḥ" as a "ch".. since thats the sound you must do in german for that.. as in "bach" or the scottish "loch".. which is the same sound as when you say "agh" when you are not happy about something.. ]
|Hava nagila ve-nismeḥa
||הבה נגילה ונשמחה
||Let's rejoice and be happy
|Hava neranenah ve-nismeḥa
||הבה נרננה ונשמחה
||Let's sing and be happy
|Uru, uru aḥim!
||!עורו, עורו אחים
||Awake, awake, brothers!
|Uru aḥim be-lev sameaḥ
||עורו אחים בלב שמח
||Awake brothers with a happy heart
||(repeat line four times)
|Uru aḥim, uru aḥim!
||!עורו אחים, עורו אחים
||Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!
||With a happy heart
Monday, June 11, 2012
in other news.. i was just watching a video of myself (on the day where we showed up as a "surprize" for my brother's birthday).. and man, i can definitely understand why people dont like me.. even /i/ thought i come off as a jerk.. heh.. ugh.. wheres that "stop being a jerk" button?
(which reminds me, ive been typing up a really long, almost "essay" post, in regards to my currently family situation.. its been on the backburner since it doesnt put me in the best of moods to even dwell on it.. but it was actually therapeutic to type a lot of that stuff up.. still upset, but at least, not fuming as i was when i started typing.. like a month ago.. heh)
yaaaay! ok, this definitely deserves a post.. its been, what, 10 years in the making? something like that? ive been "earning" points on a (to remain nameless) website for the last 10 or so years.. and i finally earned enough points to get two $10 walmart gift cards.. hahah.. yeh yeh.. whatever.. you earn points by merely clicking on a lick on each email.. and obviously i wasnt very proactive about it.. and everytime i thought "whoa, i can almost redeem for a gift card!" they would bump up the amount of points required.. (yeah yeah, this was over the course of several years.. but to me it felt like it was done right when i had earned enough points.. so it kept delaying the day.. plus procrastination.. plus plus plus..) and i just wanted to close the account so i wouldnt get all those emails that were cluttering my inbox.. but i also wanted to get something for all my efforts and not lose all those points.. so in the last year or so, ive made an actual push to be more proactive in the email clicking stuff, so, here i am, i finally got my gift cards in the mail, checked them out, balance works, BOOM! as of a few seconds before beginning to type this post, i have now closed the account!! weeeee! celebrate with me!! im $20 richer, and spam freer!! yay! (and notice i tagged this one with "history".. haha.. boooy does it ever feel like history -- and geeze, did i use "proactive" twice in a single post? i must be tired..)
for your edification.. fye:
Separating From Unbelievers by John MacArthur
+ view video
3 Simple Ways to Encourage Your Pastor
by R C Sproul Jr
Pastors are human too. That means, of course, that they sin, but it also means that they have ordinary human needs. While no one joins the ministry in order to receive riches or accolades, honor or power, while shepherds are called to serve others rather than themselves, such doesn’t mean that they are not given to discouragement.
Most of us, most of the time, love our pastor, and are grateful for him. Few of us, however, understand that he needs encouragement. What even fewer of us grasp is how we can be an encouragement to him. Here are three simple ideas.
First, pay attention to his labors. Though we do not have a duty to be at the church every time the doors are open, one thing that discourages pastors is our unwillingness to simply avail ourselves of his gifts. When the pastor labors in his study to prepare a Bible study lesson, or writes a blog post, and the sheep under his care pay no attention, it is discouraging. It says to the pastor, “I do not value what you do for me and my family. Your efforts have no effect because I won’t even be bothered to read, or to listen. I will download the sermons of celebrities that don’t know me. I will read the wisdom of those with book contracts.” It’s not that your pastor is jealous of the gifts of others. It is instead that he is jealous for you and your growth in wisdom. A less gifted man who knows and loves you is far more potent in your life than a more gifted man far, far away.
Second, speak well of him to others. When you speak well to the pastor, if he is prone to discouragement, it might not have the impact you wish it to have. Such kind words can easily be written off as kindness rather than gratitude, as flattery rather than sincerity. But if word comes back to him, and it will, that you have spoken well of him, to others in the church, or even to those in your community, he will have to take your good word to heart. It might also encourage those with whom you speak to have a deeper appreciation for your pastor, and that’s usually a good thing. Of course the one you should be speaking to the most about your pastor is the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Pray with gratitude for the man Christ has given you, and the man will be encouraged.
Third, pursue godliness. Because he loves you, what your pastor wants more than anything else is for you to grow in grace and wisdom, to become more like Jesus. What is most discouraging for him then isn’t how poorly he may be treated, how badly he may be honored, but how poorly his sheep are doing. He is encouraged most, however, when you are doing well. When he sees your wife’s beaming face, he knows it is because you are seeking to be a godly husband and father, and is encouraged. When he sees you turning the other cheek in your relationship with your pew neighbor, he is encouraged to know that the leaven of the kingdom is spreading among his flock. When he sees you visiting the widow and the orphan, he knows you are practicing true religion, and rejoices.
Don’t, in short, tell your pastor how smart he is, nor how brilliant his sermons are. Don’t tell him how funny he is, nor how dignified. Show him how his labor in showing you Jesus is making you more like Him. That is the desire of his heart, because that is the desire of His heart.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar
original article here
On Twitter, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats has compiled nuggets of narrative wisdom she's received working for the animation studio over the years. It's some sage stuff, although there's nothing here about defending yourself from your childhood toys when they inevitably come to life with murder in their hearts. A truly glaring omission.
- You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
- You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
- Trying for theme is important, but you won't see what the story is actually about til you're at the end of it. Now rewrite.
- Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
- Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You'll feel like you're losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
- What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
- Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
- Finish your story, let go even if it's not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
- When you're stuck, make a list of what WOULDN'T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
- Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you've got to recognize it before you can use it.
- Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.
- Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
- Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.
- Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.
- If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
- What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don't succeed? Stack the odds against.
- No work is ever wasted. If it's not working, let go and move on - it'll come back around to be useful later.
- You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
- Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
- Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d'you rearrange them into what you DO like?
- You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write ‘cool'. What would make YOU act that way?
- What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
Friday, June 8, 2012
even more changes.. going nuts over here!
FYI: "outos" in greek, means "in this way".. NOT "so much".. big difference.. john 3:16 says that God loved the world (cosmos) "in this way".. it doesnt say He loved it "so much"
you might not think it makes much of a difference, but people build entire theologies out of this kind of stuff..
Thursday, June 7, 2012
ugh.. ok, so after a lot of annoying work (i love perl, holey, theres really nothing quite like it.. if only php was a bit more like perl, and perl had a few of the awesome benefits of php.. the internet would be a more awesome place..) i have finally added post id's to all the posts on the blog.. yes.. all.. AND, ive also tidied up the code a bit.. all thanks to a moment of curiosity whereby i happened to check and see how the main page fares in the w3c standards.. lets put it this way, of more than a hundred errors (on the first page alone) i managed to trim it down to only like 30 or so.. (including css errors..) a few of those i cant fix (its out of my control, or its not necessary to fix) in any case, all to say, now you can link back to any post.. hopefully soon i can get the post commenting and tag suggestion features up too.. we shall see.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
so, my firefox 3.6.16 was finally showing its age, not being able to handle my 400+ tabs *cough* and making my cpu fan way too noisy, so i decided to go for an upgrade.. and oh man, im definitely liking firefox 12.. but, its not been without its troubles (ugh, technology, always the same story isnt it?) so, heres a quick set of steps that might aid you too in having this process be as simple and hassle free as possible. obviously this is tailored to my needs, but you can improvise, adapt, and overcome as necessary (joelie
will get it)
Install Firefox 12 on Fedora 14 or above
(including centos/rhel 5.8 or above)
and the stuff you will need to "fix":
- browser.tabs.animate = false
- browser.tabs.tabMinWidth (not working, see add-on below for this)
you need to get
- other fixes and tips
- "switch to tab" annoying you? just press the "shift" button and it will switch it back to just the url (youll have to do that every time.. or you can just get the Switch to Tab no more add-on.. )
some other awesome addons you might like:
- TextMarker its a text highlighter for firefox.. you can markup your web pages just like you would your photocopies (or textbooks if youre the destructive type)
and as soon as i can find an adequate solution to my "where in the world is the whitehart theme for firefox 12???" problem (whether i make the update to the theme myself, or find someone who already has..) ill post a link to that too.
BLAM!! you like? (made the menus collapsible.. auto-collapsing, and "smart" uncollapsing).. oh yes, been very productive upping the site a bit.. yes.. "upping"
hahah ahh.. good times, good times: mario tweens
look at the counter (had you ever noticed the counter??) for a (temporary) hint to a change i just (finally) implemented. the hint will be removed in the coming days.. so if its not there, youre toooooo late!
Saturday, June 2, 2012
today is my brother's birthday, since he is back to not talking to me, i guess i will avoid starting yet another mess by saying anything to (or about) him. instead i will be celebrating by fasting for him.. and it might be the start of something here, fasting for people on their birthdays. does that sound like something any of you will be doing as well? just to clarify, when i fast for someone, its a full fast (ie, water-only), midnight to midnight, and usually in favor of someone's salvation. all of which apply to today's fast. in march i usually do a 5-day fast for all the people in my family i want to see saved, so, my brother, my sister, my dad, my grandma, and i usually add someone else in there too, depending on the season.. could be a friend, or someone important in a friend's life. in any case, please keep my brother in your prayers today. thanks.
-click here to read a short bio of insaner-
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