Archive for July, 2013

Padina’s Story

This is an interview with dramatization of how a young Iranian girl named Padina discovered Jesus Christ. The video is produced by Voice of the Martyrs in association with Iranian Alive Ministries for International Day of Prayer 2011.

Do yourself a favor and take 7 minutes of your time to watch this. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

New Arrival – Now in Technicolor

Sometime around January 22 my wife and I are going to welcome another human being into the world. Yesterday we took its picture. Then I colored it on my tablet.

colored baby sonogram

As an afterthought, under the new (supposedly strict) Texas anti-abortion law this baby could still be killed two weeks from now, a mere month before it would be considered viable outside the womb.

Caffeinated Hummingbird Feeder

WP_20130723_001 (1)This is a Grindmaster Airpot. It has revolutionized my coffee routine. Here’s how: In the background of the picture you can see a Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker. I received this coffee maker as a gift and I like it because it makes coffee made with beans that are ground immediately before being steeped. The problem with this coffee maker is that it has to be cleaned after every use and cleaning it is a lot like cleaning a gun, with the exception of having to oil it once I’m finished. Usually I forget to clean it, so the next day I have to waste paper towels drying the parts after I rinse them, or the grounds will stick in the works instead of going into the basket.  What does this have to do with the Airpot? Well, as soon as I make coffee I pour it in the Airpot. That way I can immediately disassemble the Cuisinart and leave the wet parts in the drain rack to dry. Even better, the coffee isn’t sitting on a burner for 2 hours. This thing keeps coffee hot ALL DAY. Seriously, it’s still quite warm at 6pm. And it doesn’t have that burnt taste from sitting on the burner. This coffee thermos has turned into my own little caffeinated hummingbird feeder which I visit throughout the day for regular sips of hot Eight O’Clock coffee.

If you want one, search for a 2.2L Airpot, lever or push. 2.2L is 74 oz., so it will hold a regular 12 cup pot (72 oz.) with a little room to spare. I purchased mine at a yard sale for 5 dollars, but if you want one new you can buy it online for less than 50 dollars.

A Staggering Dichotomy

Dichotomy: Two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

trevon is murder abortion is a right

In the 20 days of the trial, the lives of approximately 63,000 unborn children in the United States were extinguished – silently, deliberately and legally murdered.1


  1. Based on 2009 rates of abortion. []

A Drunken Sailor and a Sinner

During a stop at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico I  was assigned shore duty. The night before the ship was to get underway I went to the sailor center on base to tell my shipmates to head back to the ship. One sailor was missing, however. This sailor’s alcohol issues had caused trouble for me in the past. During a stay at my home he damaged the interior walls and during a drunken fit he kicked a hole in an acoustic guitar that I had let another sailor borrow. Based on this, I guessed alcohol was involved his disappearance. Sure enough, I found him semi-conscious in a bathroom stall. He had vomited and urinated on himself and the smells of bile and urine combined with the smell of alcohol to make a terrible odor.

I tried to walk him the 3/4 of a mile or so back to the ship, but quickly realized I’d have to hoist him, putting one arm over my shoulder and one hand on his belt. During the long trip back to the ship he would occasionally gain enough lucidity to curse at me for a few moments before lapsing back into a semi-conscious state. When I finally got him to the ship and the BMC took him down to his bunk, I was happy to be rid of him.

Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:3, 6-7

When I carried this sailor back to the ship, I saved him from the wrath of the chain of command. I didn’t bear his punishment for him, I merely moved him from a position of danger to one of relative safety. When I finished, I didn’t want to see him again. I liked him less then than I ever had before. All I wanted to do was change clothes and take a shower. But when Christ died on the cross, he satisfied the just requirements of the holiness of God toward the sins of the world – every sin – past, present, and future.1 Understand this: The sin of mankind is far more horrendous and obnoxious to God than any physical filthiness that has ever existed on human skin. Jesus Christ was not merely exposed to this sin, he became our sin.2  God the Father was required by his very nature to smite his Son with all the wrath that mankind has ever deserved. This is why we who believe are free from sin: Christ died for us. When we identify with him, we receive the benefits of the crucifixion – The removal of “the body of sin.” We are dead to it.

Now that’s a good deal in itself, far better than we ever could have hoped for. But it gets better.

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.  Romans 6:4-5,8

The sacrificial death of Christ freed us from the power of sin. Even better, he was resurrected by the Glory of God to new life. Again, in identifying with him, we also receive new life. I never wanted to see that drunken sailor again and even after he was sober and clean smelling I avoided him as much as possible. God the Son does the opposite. He pursues us, he woos us, he wants us to live with him. Not only that, he compares our relationship to a marriage relationship3 – the most intimate relationship mankind can boast of, a relationship which functions on the closest thing to unconditional love humans can muster. He didn’t just save us from sin, he brought us into his family – to be treated as a bride, a kinsman, as sons and daughters.

I’m glad that God’s ways aren’t my ways, and his thoughts aren’t my thoughts. I’m glad that Jesus Christ, God the Son, wants me to be identified with him. I’m glad that when God the Father looks at me, he sees Jesus Christ, his Son. In him I have died to sin, and in him I live a resurrected life.

  1. 1 John 2:2 – And he himself is the propitiation [satisfying sacrifice] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. []
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. []
  3. Romans 7:4 – Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead… []

Software Pick – Freemake Video Converter

Freemake Video Converter

Freemake Screenshot

This is my go-to software for video conversion. It does almost everything I want. You can create slideshows from pictures, rip Blu-ray and DVDs, convert and save YouTube and other streaming video files, add music,  and join files. I have yet to find a media file it can’t recognize. It even converted video clips in an obscure format from an 6 year old feature phone I had thrown in a box. It supports more than 200 file formats.

On the export side, it can convert to just about any format. It has templates for nearly every style of mobile device, can create HTML5 videos, can burn Blu-ray and DVDs as well as create ISOs, and it can strip audio from YouTube files and save them as MP3s. It will also upload video to YouTube. It supports subtitle files on DVD burns, so if you make a disk from a ripped movie you can get the subtitles back. It also has video editing capabilities.  Lastly, it supports batch processing, and you can put multiple media types in the same batch.

I have two gripes, though. The first is that, while you can add music to a slideshow, you can’t create a slideshow with both video and photos in the same presentation. The second is that the software will change your search settings if you don’t choose “Custom Installation” and uncheck that option. Also, Mac users are out of luck, this is Windows only. Sorry.

You can download Freemake Video Converter here.



Suitable Suitors

Camp BabiesMy wife and I joke about betrothing our daughter Elanor (orange shoes) to our friend’s children. But when I saw this picture I was impacted with a feeling of hope that rather surprised me. I think this is why: When I think about Elanor’s future husband, I think about Job – Kathleen and Rafa’s son, being raised in Mexico as his parents serve the Lord in the squalor and risk of a third world country. I think about Machiah, the red-head in the picture above. His parents are moving to Niger this year in order to spread the gospel to the sprawling masses of Niamey. I think about Marshall, sitting next to Elanor, a boy who is being brought up by a parents who have endured much to conform to the will of their Father. I think about Griffith, born in the decay of Detroit where his parents moved in order to support a faltering assembly. There are many boys like these, and they give me hope for Elanor’s future. We joke about who she will marry but we really have no idea who that man will be. Still, these children remind me that there are God-followers out there, men and women who will do anything to see that their boys grow to love God as their parents do. I hope one day my daughter marries one of them.

Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A

Cow Appreciation Day

My wife hand lettered the signs and purchased the costume from the flea market for one dollar. This cute costume scored us a free meal, but the collective oohs and ahs from the employees was the best reward!

If ever there was a pious myth and a piece of credulous superstition, it is the liberal-rationalist belief that, a few hiccups apart, we are all steadily en route to a finer world.

Music Pick – Bell Canada 2010 Commercial by Darren Fung

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Music Picks

This commercial played in the 2010 Winter Olympics. One thing you’ll notice about my music picks is that I’m a sucker for brass and bells. This one has both, along with some stirring opening strings. Factoid: I remember reading an interview in which the composer Darren Fung said that he disliked the chimes at the end but was told by Bell Canada to put some “sparkle and magic” in the finale.