New Updates for Windows Server and XP and Vista OS

Microsoft has announced new updates (Service Packs and Releases) for Windows Server 2003 (Windows Small Business Server 2003 RC1 will be released later in 2008), and Windows XP and Vista.  The XP and Vista Updates will be delivered through automatic updates, so make sure they are turned on.  The major Vista change that will be apparent to end users is the file copy or delete operation.  It will now be faster and the time will be more accurate.  More later on these updates.

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Gifts for Those Who Really Need Them

This year our family has started the tradition of giving gifts to those who are in dire need. Those of us in the US have much more than we need and more than those in other countries. Watch the video and see. Click here to watch.

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Living in the city, there's no sleigh, no stable, no country Christmas. But the song that has been most meaningful to me this year was written by a city-dweller, himself. "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day." The words come from the great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He wrote them on Christmas day 1864, 4 months before the end of the Civil War. He had already lost his first wife who died suddenly while they were touring Europe. His second wife, the mother of his children, died at the age of 44 from a fire in the home in 1861, and his oldest child had recently died from wounds suffered fighting the Civil War. Whether we have suffered such losses or not, every day we hear of others suffering loss in the countries where our military is fighting or here, at home, in hospitals.

So, this year, my heart echoes, with hope, the words of the original poem. May yours do so, also.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet,
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth good will to men.

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the south
And with the sound
The carols drowned

Of peace on earth good will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearthstones of a continent
and made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong
and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail,
the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Note: I found a beautiful rendition of this song on this CD. Joy, Joy

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Kindle--the Green way to Read

A very good thing from Amazon

Amazon Kindle is a revolutionary portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, newspapers, magazines and blogs to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight. And what is the VERY BEST THING about it? There are 2: you can turn pages with a finger--so, on the treadmill, while cooking. . . and second, and even more wonderful: YOU CAN CHANGE THE TEXT SIZE. So make it larger when reading at night when you're tired, smaller when you are fresh. This is a great thing in which no trees were sacrificed and you don't have books you have to throw out in the future.

Kindle customers, no matter where they are in the U.S., can wirelessly shop the Kindle Store and download new content — all without a PC or a WiFi hot spot. Amazon pays for Kindle’s wireless connectivity so there are no monthly wireless bills and no service commitments for customers. The Kindle Store contains over 90,000 books that can be purchased and delivered wirelessly to Kindle, each in less than a minute. Customers can choose from hundreds of top newspapers, magazines and blogs and have their subscriptions auto-delivered wirelessly. All New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases are $9.99, unless marked otherwise. The only negative things I can find about it is that some of the books I want to read are not available and the initial price is a little high. But if you compare it to other ebook readers, it comes out on top.

At 10.3 ounces, Kindle is lighter and thinner than a paperback book, carries two hundred books, and includes built-in access to The New Oxford American Dictionary and wireless access to the Earth’s biggest encyclopedia,

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Gabriella's Cabbage Rolls—the best in the world

From Gabriella: "Here is the cabbage roll recipe. Please study. You do know that it needs to be served with sour cream on the top and fresh French bread--nothing else, only crepes if you want to do dessert."


  1. Place in freezer 1 big or 2 small green cabbages. Leave for several days before thawing.


  2. 3 lbs. Bob Evans Sausage Rolls

    1 lbs. ground beef

    1.5 c. rice

    3 eggs

    Salt, pepper, red paprika to taste

    1 chopped onion

    2 chopped garlic cloves


  3. Mix well all ingredients in large bowl and add 2-3 c. warm water and mix.


  4. 5-6 lbs sauerkraut, drain juice and mix with 1-2 tsp. caraway seeds and 10 bay leaves.


  5. 1-2 lbs smoked ribs or sausage.


  6. Carefully peel leaves off of cabbage and put in several T. of the meat mixture.  Large pan. Place 1/3 sauerkraut on bottom then 1/2 smoked meat and place cabbage rolls on top. Then 1/3 sauerkraut, then cabbage rolls, the rest of the smoked meat, then the last of the sauerkraut. Add water to cover almost to top. Place in 350 oven and cook 3 hours then lower heat to 250 and cook 3 more hours. Before serving add paprika to top of pan.

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What I'm reading?

I'm in the process of of reading 3 books right now. By "in the process" I mean I read one book every day and a little of the others either every day or less frequently. Somehow they all come together.

I decided to start my year after vacation. . . I was like an automaton prior to vacation--could not think, could not reason, just going through the motions of life, not participating.

After vacation I decided I needed to make some changes. My daily reading is The Message: Remix 2.0. This is a contemporary language reading of the Bible. I first liked this style when I read John and found it true to the feeling of the New International Version, but easy to read and insightful. So this is it for this new year starting in the fall. I am currently reading through and experiencing the freeing of the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Something like the freeing we go through when we turn our lives over to Jesus or when we see a part of our life that is less than desireable and give it to him to take care of. It requires a whole change in the way of seeing and doing. New forms, new activities, new environment. . .

I am also sporadically reading the book Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace by Miroslav Volf. I am about 2/3 of the way through and the thing that really struck me was the statement I have known since college or before, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me. . ." When we become followers of Jesus, true followers, in some way it turns out that we have actually been crucified WITH Christ. He was killed in that extremely cruel way and we were too. I don't quite understand this. . . it still has to gel, but Volf explains that we are permeated with sin--its' like ink in water. You can't remove the ink without removing the water. We are the water, sin is the ink. We are not actually removed from the ink, but in some way we were crucified with Christ, so in a way, as Christ fills us, there is less and less sin, or (and this is all my reasoning), the more we are filled with Christ, sin is pushed to a smaller but more concentrated area, so instead of filling us, it's now just popping up in more subtle areas, like, for some of us, pride. But there it is: I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live. Yet, not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.

The other book I am reading is Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John & the Praying Imagination by Eugene Peterson. This is a topical look at the last book of the Bible. It is both refreshing and compelling. Refreshing because it makes me excited to reread it (Revelation) and compelling because it compels me to read it after I've read a chapter of the book. The title comes from a poem by George Herbert from the book Major Poets of the Early 18th Century. In part, the poem reads:

Prayer [is] . .

Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing speare,

The six-dayes world transposing in an houre.

I really liked the beginning of chapter 3.

In the opening words of the Apocalypse, "the revelation of Jesus Christ," the preposition "of" carries a double meaning: the revelation is about Jesus Christ; the revelation comes "by means of" Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is both the content of the revelation and the agent of the revelation. Jesus Christ is the way in which God reveals himself to us; Jesus Christ is also God himself being revealed to us.

And I might add, Jesus Christ is also God himself being revealed through us, perhaps as he pushes away the ink. . . a somewhat scary thought!smile_sad

So I recommend all three of these books, but who knows when I will come to the end of any of them!smile_wink

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Windows Live and Windows Mail--somethings good from Microsoft

Just a note that I have started using Windows Live Writer to compose and publish my blog posts.  So easy!  I love posting offline and publishing later.  So easy to insert hyperlinks, pictures, maps, and probably videos and tables, too, although I haven't tried that.  Also plugins are available for all sorts of things.  I also love the spell checking and the very ease of use.

I am also very happy that Windows Mail is there to replace Outlook Express for my clients still using Outlook Express.  Windows Mail has only 1 downside that I've seen so far--the inability to increase font size for the email list.  This is in Outlook, but no way to do it in Outlook Expre--Oops--Windows Mail.  Please listen Microsoft.  Older clients need larger fonts!

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T.I.A.--This is Africa

I have been keeping up with the posts from an acquaintance of mine who has gone to Tanzania for 5 years.  If you want glimpses into daily life for an American in Africa, read.  Here is the link and a quote that just struck me as funny this morning- It is daily occurrence to witness men “watering the flowers” on the side of the road…what else is one to do when public restrooms don’t exist?

I am doing what I can to pray for her and not just be a hanger on for that trip I probably won't ever take!

Here is a map of where she is, has been and will be.  Dar Es Salaam is the yellow square with the black center on the right.  Ininga, where she is doing her language study, is the little square on the left.

Map image

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It's Been a Long, long time. . .

I know it's been about half a year since I blogged, but I was overwhelmed, burned out, and generally not communicative.  Now I'm working my way out of the "burned out" abyss and rejoining society.  One book, in addition to the Bible, that helped was The Crime of Living Cautiously:  Hearing God's Call to Adventure

I highly recommend this for anyone stressed or burned out.  It is easy to read.  No pressure to do anything; no guilt for not doing or not being or not having something.  It provokes thought, but not thoughts of lack but of hope.  Try it.  It's an inexpensive way to get back on the road to hope.

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Vista--I don't like it and other musings

OK, Vista boots faster, but too many programs just don't work well with it. Even ones that say they've been upgraded for Vista. . . and the Internet Security program I like best still won't work. I get happy feelings when I boot into XP and I'm having 2nd thoughts about installing Vista on my tablet pc.

One of my friends just had a double mastectomy, another long-time Christmas and Easter guest died, others moved a couple of hours away and we haven't seen them since. It's difficult to lose people and difficult for people to lose their body parts, but losing people seems like losing a body part. . . it will never be the same again. And I am ever aware of that. Ihave been experiencing it to some degree since high school and it doesn't get any easier, I just get better at hiding the pain.

I've been listening to Red. It's a wonderfully produced CD. I highly recommend it!

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Vista and BCM

Windows Vista Mobile Device settings are not allowing sync with Business Contact Manager. Perhaps because it's still in Beta. I'll be checking on a workaround.

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New Vista Review

I installed Windows Vista Business Upgrade yesterday and am doing some final configuring today. I am running an AMD Athlon 64 processor, 1 gig DDR memory, Nvidia Gforce 7100 WDM video card, MSI K8N motherboard. I feel like parts of Vista are still in Beta, but most things are working. The install from start to first icon filled screen took 30 minutes. It actually took longer than that but I learned a couple of things.

  1. Unlike XP, you cannot install an upgrade version by booting from the disk. You must install it from inside Windows. And because I tried to install from my current Windows XP Pro with very little space (only 2 Gigs) left on the hard drive, it was unable to install. I could not tell it to put its install files on my huge empty Drive D.
  2. Nor can you just tell it to look for a Windows CD to install. I had to install Windows to my D Drive and then install Vista. So 40 minutes for the Windows XP and 30 minutes for the Vista.
This is a bad solution from Microsoft. Many times I have fixed a Windows 98 install where the computer would not boot into 98 by buying a WinXP upgrade and installing it using the old Win98 disk or with the the upgrade disk seeing the Windows folder on the hard drive. BAD, BAD, MICROSOFT!

Another observation: Even with 1 gig of memory, I am still using 75 to 90 percent of it just by running Outlook 2007 and normal startup programs. Memory usage seems to get worse the longer the computer is on. So I'm recommending 1.5 to 2 gigs of memory to start.

Ease of install: barring the initial problems, install was practically perfect. It installed all hardware automatically except for printers and scanners. It took a couple of boots for everything to work but it did work.

My Dell Axim synced easily with me doing almost nothing. I do not like this Beta synchronization program, however. It doesn't let me know whether it's syncing my business contacts or just what is syncing. And I had no choices. I ended up with duplicate calendar entries for years. I had to buy a program to remove the dupes. As for Business Contact Manager syncing I'll just have to create a new contact and see.

Neither of my printers installed easily. I am using a USB connected Konica Minolta 2300W color laser connected by USB and a Xerox Docuprint P8. I finally got the Konica Minolta to install but the Xerox will not. I use it for everyday printing because black is cheaper. Looks like its new printer time. I can't fault Microsoft for this. This Xerox printer was a little difficult to install in Windows XP; the drivers were written for Windows 2000. And Xerox had problems with this printer.

Nor did Vista detect my scanner, an Epson Perfection 1650. I haven't tried installing it yet manually yet. Oops, it did detect it but didn't know what to do with it. It's in Device Manager with an exclamation point. Another quibble, I have an APC battery backup and Vista thought I was running on battery. I was able to change that, but it's odd.

Software: MS Office 2007 installed perfectly, of course. TurboTax installed perectly but could't find the returns I'd been working on. I'll deal with that later. Adobe Acrobat 8 and Flash Player installed perfectly. Freeware that I use installed well: Password Safe (to store passwords) and AVG Antivirus. I cannot use my preferred Zone Labs Internet Security because it's not available for Vista yet.

I'll post more as I try other things.

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Review: Paul: A Musical Journey

Last night, at the Palace Theatre, I saw Paul: A Musical Journey. It was much better than I expected. True to history in it's general plot, with a musical story line that kept me interested. There was humor and some pathos. You can read more about this musical here . Musically, It was a very good mix of the various types of instrumental music: light jazz, gospel, and R&B. The musicians were strong, and there was good interplay between the instruments and the excellent vocals. The plot moved fluidly from one scene to another with the help of an able narrator. There were a few technical glitches: men's voices tended to overdrive the mics, a couple of lighting problems, and one scene I would have cut because it added nothing (the scene with John Mark and his mother encourging him.) Some of the dramatic effects unintentionally created laughter which was fine because there was light humor throughout. For a humorous look at the Apostle Paul with excellent music and vocals, give this a try. I don't know what it takes to schedule something like this, but but just a quarter page ad in the late fall is not sufficient for something performed in late January. There was a little mention the Thursday prior but nothing on radio stations, TV, billboards, or any place else in the newspaper. So many people missed a worthy performance. If it comes back I will encourage friends to see it.

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Fiction of the Year--2006

I don't often read fiction, but I read a lot of it last year. Below you will find my short list of recommendations. Click on any title to see it at Amazon.

  1. Sutter's Cross by W. Dale Cramer--Absolutely the best fiction I read last year. Well written, excellent character development. If you only read 1 novel, read this one.
  2. Outriders and Trackers by Kathryn Mackel--a series for fantasy lovers--I'm not one, especially, but these books are well-written and drew me in to the plot, the characters, and the situations. I hope never to be in that world, but it gave a glimpse of good reclaiming what was lost.
  3. Shoofly Pie and Chop Shop by Tim Downs--light-hearted forensic mysteries. Just what I needed!
  4. Germ and Comes a Horsman by Robert Liparulo--Thrillers. I'm not sure which one I liked best. Germ started abruptly and perhaps would make a better screenplay than a novel. Comes a Horseman had better character development. But I liked both.

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Xanga Dead

OK, I'm able to log onto my Xanga blog and see it and make changes, but I cannot load it from Firefox or IE. I can load Xanga's web page, but when I try to see my blog page it loads nothing. So, if Xanga's not dead, it's dead to me, and I paid for premium and this is free! Not as many perks and other things, but I can access it from anywhere and so can you.

For this blog, my older blogs are listed on the right. Most were done today, so check them out.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Currently Reading
Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace
By Miroslav Volf
see related
Ok, I'm back. Reading a couple of books that really make me think. .. doesn't hurt to have a house guest that does the same. Our own conception of God may be an idol. Are we trusting Him to give us the desires of our heart? Do we even know what those desires are? He says in Isaiah, My thoughts are not your thoughts and My ways are not your ways. And yet we decide that we know what we want/need and ask Him for it expecting even more wondrous things than we ask and even better than we expect. But what if His way is painful and His thought completely different from yours? Do we even know what the desires of our own hearts? Are we creating an idol-god who gives what we think we should get from the desires we think we understand from our hearts? Or, like Salieri and Mozart, are trying to promise God something in exchange for what we think we deserve, and then feel slighted (at the very least) when someone else gets what we thought we should have gotten or if we never get what we think we deserve. I know everyone has these thoughts. Do you hold what you have lightly waiting for God's next move or are you clutching what you have afraid that you will lose it? Something to think about.

The author of the book I'm reading (and his wife) had the deep desire for children, but infertility kept him and his wife from having any. They tried for years without success and with they pain only other infertile couples why desire children can understand. Then one day they adopted a child, and 4 years later, they were able to adopt another, not the original desires of their hearts as they knew those desires, but a secondary option. Today those two adopted children are the hearts' love and the hearts' desire realized. The author noted that these two particular children would never have been part of their lives, had they not had to suffer through infertility.

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Light Exposing Darkness

A quick note: I have moved my Blog here because Xanga was just not responding, while Blogger Blogs are. . . anyway I have been reading the Pauline Epistles (the letters Paul wrote while in prison) and a couple of things have poppped out at me. OK, it's not just the Pauline Epistles, but the totality of my reading and conversations. . . anyway the 2 things that popped are this:

  1. We are not to be captivated by hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world (Letter to Colossians)
  2. We are to have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done in secret. But everything exposed to light becomes visible. (Letter to Ephesians)
OK, First, if we put on Christ, if we live as he would live, were he living life as us, we wouldn't be captivated by hollow and deceptive philosophy. But, if we aren't vigilant it's easy to be deceived. I'm not talking about hyper-vigilance where we examine everything. . . we wouldn't have time to live! But I have been reading a book about design and truthful communication, Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte . Tufte explains beautifully (no pun, it is a beautiful book) that much of what we see presented in reports, pictures, newspapers, textbooks is designed to obscure truth, at the best, and at the worst, misrepresent.

So read this book. If you are not a statistician or scientist, you might want to skip to then end of some of the sections and read the conclusion. Reading the end of every paragraph will give you a clue. But non-statiscian, non-scientist me is reading every word and thinking. Because as Tufte said, quoting someone else, it is better to be ambiguous than to lie. But read the book for yourself and see how "truth" presented in a common visual manner leads to lies that kill.

Second, a mature person does not need to be afraid of deeds done in darkness. It is good for us to have a healthy fear but not so much fear that we cannot even expose what is being done and be healed. I just read a good example from
a website that helps people with sexual problems

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Problems with Norton Internet Security 2007

Although PC Magazine gave NIS 2007 a great review, I am dis-recommending it. It comes without full features (Spam blocking, parental controls) unless you download them as an add-on from an obscure area of Symantec's website. If you are one of the unfortunate many looking for the download, click on the link on the home page of my website. HOME PAGE

And I put it up so quickly that I haven't yet spaced it properly. Do not click on the ad below it, just the words.

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They say blogging is dying

They say blogging is dying. . . I read it in the newspaper . . . so it must be true! But I communicate better in writing than in speech. By the time I have edited and spoken my speech, the topic has usually changed! So blobbing along, blogging a song, blogging a thought will continue for me!

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I was with someone who kept getting phone calls. Her husband said that it must be one of her many friends. I don't have "many" friends. Perhaps because I'm an introvert. But, I'm frequently looking for ways to do friendship better.

C. S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors, said this:

[W]e picture lovers face to face, but Friends side by side; their eyes look ahead. That is why those pathetic people who simply "want friends" can never make any. The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where the truthful answer to the question Do you see the same truth? would be "I see nothing and I don't care about the truth; I only want a Friend," no Friendship can arise--though Affection of course may. There would be nothing for the Friendship to be about; and Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. C.S. Lewis The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1960), 98.

Perhaps I'm one of those "pathetic people," just wanting friends to have friends, so my phone can ring off the hook. And at least there is some part of me that does want this. The other part of me would be annoyed if the phone rang so often! I really just want a few friends with a friendship about something but not dominoes or white mice or hiking, or music, or books. I want friends that look to the spiritual. . . how to do life, what matters, where do we go and how do we get there. . . . I want to share real life, not the stuff we fill it with until life ends. I want to know the other person so well that I can better love him/her. And I want the other person to know me as well. And yes, we will focus on something and someone beyond us.

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Quick Note

This new blog is just getting started, so things might not look very good!

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Old blogs

I have just moved to Blogger so here are my old Blogs.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Currently Listening
Live at the New Earth
By Waterdeep
Who am I?
see related

Sorry for the long wait!

Well, I meant to blog on a weekly or monthly basis, but time has gotten away from me. . . we've experienced cat deaths, setting up a guardianship for my dad, getting him into a nursing home, and then having him suddenly die about a month later. I don't usually advise people to find an attorney simply by doing a web search, but that's what I did. I searched google using my zip code , found an elderlaw firm nearby, called and made an appointment. . . only to find out that the attorney leads a small group at my church. Don't do what I did ,but in my time of great need , God's provision was evident.

Now we've just buried another cat and we're in the process of fall fix-up (remodeling the bathroom), and fall clean up. . . and of course eagerly anticipating the OSU-Michigan game.

I'll be more insightful soon. . . along with a list of the books that helped me through this time.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Currently Reading
Lords of the Earth
By Don Richardson
see related

Windows Vista update

Yesterday I attended a web seminar on Windows Vista. What I learned:
  • It's a lot of eye-candy.
  • It will make it extremely easy to find anything on your computer. It will search like Google.
  • All versions (6?) will be on the same DVD with the unlock key determining which version you have.
  • Tighter security which makes me happy.
  • Will be released for the Christmas holidays (I think).
  • Microsoft says a minimum of 512 MB of memory. They said 128 for Windows XP and we all knew 512 was best. Does that mean that we'll actually need 1.5 GB? Only time and experimentation will tell.
  • Will it work with existing hardware? I don't know? Will it work with existing software? I don't know. It will all depend on the manufacturer of the hardware and software.
  • Can it boot from a SATA drive? Not without additional drivers.
  • Will it change between now and its final release? Most assuredly.
And just a brief reminder. You should always backup your data before you make changes. I have been working on my webpage, did not backup and it somehow reverted to last June! Oh, well. . .

More to come later.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Currently Reading
Eternity in Their Hearts:Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World
By Don Richardson
see related

Iris Reticulata (Small) Spring is popping up. . . at least the first harbingers. I always thrill to see the iris reticulata start to bloom. I love blue and they are the truest blue of any flower in the garden. I am reading about Joshua's conquests of Palestine? Anyway, it fits right in with the book I just finished because, people of Israel, like me, and probably like people everywhere, just want to sit around and get into a comfortable lifesyle--a settled downness.

The book I just finished reading, Eternity in their Hearts, shows how indiginous people groups have a story, a practice, an item, which prepares them precisely to hear about the one true God when He is presented to them. It really is just filling in lost memories, lost knowledge. I know I don't observe closely enough or listen deeply enough to see a personal story, practice, or item in the lives of the people I meet. And the end of the book challenged me, too, as it points out that Jesus' own Apostles, just stayed in their comfort zone, not venturing out until they were forced. I too often just enjoy sitting and reading a book and privately assenting or disagreeing with its premises. That's easy and comfortable. However, a couple of friends have challenged me to do more. To tell them about the book. To tell them my impressions. A this book has challenged me to leave my comfort zone in a couple of ways. . . but that's just the way God is . . .always pushing me upward and onward. . .

More about the book later.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Currently Reading
By Frank Peretti
see related


Ever have one of those weeks? Where Orange barrels are everywhere? Where you are bone-tired by Wednesday, just plodding through the rest of the minutes, hours, days, hoping for a Saturday sleep-in? And part of that is the rushing. . .pushing. . . from one thing to another, one place to another. Always hampered by those pesky orange barrels.

When I read a particular "Slice" this week, it helped put things into perspective. Read it here:

I have never had siblings. Neither has my husband. I have to look to my friends to think about what it means to have a brother. I always wanted one. There's usually a family resemblance, shared experiences, shared values, shared histories, but perhaps those of you with siblings could go on better than I can. What does it mean to be Jesus' brother or sister, in my case? A lot to think about.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Currently Listening
I Hope You Dance
By Lee Ann Womack
see related


This has been a hard time. My friend's mother died. Another friend's mother died. Our best cat of all time died. And I have been reading in the Bible about sacrifices in my daily readings. The cat, Elroy, who we called El boy, was the last straw. He had spent every day of his life with us. He was the one cat who was always where we were, who had moods like we did, who had unusual interests like we did. The cat most like a person. I just had to add the picture of him sleeping with his mother, Annie, here.

And I had just finished reading a book about death, well heaven, but death is part of it. The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth by Ted Dekker. His only non-fiction. My impressions:

Christians live life ineffectively because we've forgotten our goal: Heaven. Reading Paul's letters, he focuses on the hope of heaven: i.e. being with Jesus. The author of The Slumber started thinking about these issues when his brother died and was writing the book when his doctor discovered a lump in his pancreas. The idea is that life is supposed to be hard, disappointing, non-fulfilling, full of "smashed rainbows," because this is not what we were made for and not our hope. As Paul said, I would rather die and be with Christ, but it is better for me now to be with you. We are made to feel deeply unsatisfied by not being with Christ. I have felt that way for a very long time and am pleased to find that it is normal!
Life is also pleasurable, for our enjoyment. The pleasures are a foretaste, to be deeply enjoyed with the knowledge that they will be even better when we are with Christ Pleasures cannot satisfy because we were not meant to be satisfied here. They should leave us longing for what will satisfy us and that's not here on this earth. Oh, but I wish it could be here and now!

I just finished seeing The Chronicles of Narnia movie. I needed to see it after losing Elboy. I had read the books decades ago and knew the plot, but I just needed to see it to regain hope. And that's what happened. God will renew the earth and us and animals and everything that Satan has taken. I can't wait!

Also worshipping Sunday morning. . . I WILL worship. And watching Cold Case on Sunday night. . . the last song, by Lee Ann Womack, I hope you dance: I will dance! (Note, I downloaded the song from MSN music. . . how wonderful to be able to listen to it over and over again!)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance . .

You get the idea. Choose to live in the presence of death.

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