Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions 2012

Each year at the end of December I prepare a brief list of resolutions for the new year. This list represents areas in my life where there is something that I recognize needs my time and attention. Of course, as I make up this set of resolutions for the upcoming 12 months, I also look back over the finished year's list to see how well I succeeded with my goals. I wish that I could say that I was completely successful at what I set out to do, but there are definitely some areas where I swung and I missed. Perhaps the lesson is that I should make my list easier? Maybe though, I can accept the fact that personal growth is difficult and that things that really matter will take significant and consistent effort.

Now I am no exhibitionist, but though my resolutions are deeply personal to me, perhaps by sharing I can help to encourage someone out there to realize that we all struggle to improve ourselves and success is spotty at best. So, here is my list of 2012 resolutions with a brief commentary for each item.
  1. To start a relationship with the woman of my dreams - I had no dates this year and did not speak to a single woman this year socially. I have zero prospects at any level and am more than discouraged by my progress in this area.
  2. To exercise the whole year - I was very successful and consistent with my exercising this year and my health was quite good.
  3. To make several new friends - I met a couple at my church and we had dinner together a couple of times late this year. I think that this amounts to some small degree of progress.
  4. To grow closer to God - I wanted to be more intentional with my night-time devotional period. For a time I was giving a quick prayer at the T.V. commercial break. I was either half asleep or easily distracted. Now I have settled into a time of quiet and humble approach before bedtime that has been quite satisfying.
  5. To grow closer to my daughter - I have given to my daughter all that she allows me to give. I do the best that I am capable of given who I am and given who she is.
  6. To embrace adventure and living to a higher degree - I can only give myself the lowest possible marks in this area. I have never had skill coming up with my own adventures and no adventures from other sources have come my way. This is both frustrating and demoralizing to me.
  7. To find some degree of happiness and peace - For me happiness and peace have never been conditions that I could work to attain. It seems that they are a by-product of my circumstances and of fate. This past year was a very painful and difficult one for me in so many areas. Happiness and peace were infrequent visitors this year.
Now I will prepare my list of resolutions for 2013 and plan to give my best effort to be successful on each one. Hopefully when I look back at the end of 2013, my success will be mind blowing. The key is to keep trying.

Friday, December 28, 2012


In the kingdom, the emperor rules with absolute power. However, managing the prosperity of the land and its people is under the jurisdiction of the Dragoneyes. Twelve men to match each of the compass points of their corresponding celestial energy dragons. Each Dragoneye mentors an apprentice for 12 years before they take over for their master. Each year a new Dragoneye apprentice is chosen from a group a young boys who have undergone years of extensive training in the arts of magic and sword work. In this land, the privilege and power of the Dragoneye Lords is an honor allowed only to men, much like the leadership of the empire and the armies. Such is the backdrop for the fantasy world created by author Alison Goodman in her very enjoyable novel Eon. Another so-called "young adult" novel that my daughter first read that I latched onto.

The story begins as a group of trainees completes their preparations for the opportunity to be chosen as Dragoneye apprentice for the Rat Dragon. One candidate, however, holds a deep secret. Eona, a girl of 16, especially gifted in dragon magic, is posing as Eon, a 12 year old boy. During the ceremony, new Dragoneye for the Rat Dragon, Lord Ido, moves to consolidate his power and senses Eon as a threat. However, Eon is not selected by the Rat Dragon. It is then that twelfth and most powerful dragon, the Mirror Dragon, which had been missing for over 500 years, returns in a vibrant show of power and selects Eon. Given that there had been no Dragoneye for the Mirror Dragon during its long absence, Eon is immediately elevated to this position. The story then follows the struggles between the powerful and dark Lord Ido and the fledgling and naive Lord Eon.

The other story arc that serves as the backdrop to this conflict involves the royals and courtiers of the palace. The emperor has been in failing health for years and his son, the loyal and noble prince, is preparing to take over. Yet the emperor's brother, who is the commander of the army, sweeps in and lays waste to all in the palace with the help of Lord Ido. Lord Eon and those closest to him barely escape a final dangerous encounter with Ido. There are rumors that the prince has been killed, but there has been no confirmation. If the prince is dead, the kingdom has fallen. Can Eon learn to control his dragon powers? What will happen if folks learn his secret identity? Can the prince be found and the kingdom restored? Just good, old-fashioned story telling. Now onto the second part of the tale in Eona.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog 2012 Recap

This year I have written about 260 posts for this site spanning the gamut from crap to jewel, inane to relevant, amusing to deadly serious. Each represents a part of me, who I am, how I think, and how I see the world around me. I find it interesting that folks that I have never met except through this blog, have shown some real insight into who I am. I continue to enjoy my writing for this site and interacting with my small cadre of regular visitors. I look forward to continuing on into my sixth year of writing Return to Zero as we move into 2013. Today I thought that I would share my top 10 list of my own blogs (in no particular order) for 2012.
  • Unfinished Symphony (Oct. 8) - A tale of works left incomplete.
  • Lovers (Sep. 11) - Ahhh, the magic of love and the glorious memories of passionate moments.
  • Spells (Jul. 26) - About an amazing power that we all have.
  • Superman (Jun. 26) - My loss of superhero status.
  • Combination (Jun. 7) - A grim tale of the slow march from passion to silence.
  • Rabbit Hole (Apr. 20) - A place to hide in the storm.
  • Sound of Silence (Apr. 11) - We hear in the silence a conflict or a peace sensed by no others.
  • Fragile (Mar. 7) - About the weakness we all feel at times.
  • Projected Life (Feb. 7) - Seeking the source of strength for each day, no matter what you face.
  • Midst of a Miracle (Jan. 23) - About living in season and out with faith because we don't see the full picture.
I hope some of these touched you as well. Of course, if you missed them the first time around, these "leftovers" remain as tasty as ever! See you in the 2013 recap.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Books of 2012

At the end of each year I like to look back over the books that I have read. For 2012, I have read about 65 books, entirely dominated by pouring through the catalog of Stephen Lawhead. There were some really good ones that I spent time with. Not only do they keep my mind active, they help me to relax and find some peace. The best books are ones that pull me into another existence entirely and introduce me to new places and people. Intrigue, adventure, fantasy, wisdom, truth. What a great ride! In this post, I share my list of the top 10 "books" for this year in no particular order (actually I could not help myself and listed 11). Note that I use quotations here because I count a series by a given author as just one entry.
  • The Song of Albion series (The Paradise War, The Silver Hand, The Endless Knot), Stephen Lawhead
  • The Martyr's Song series (Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven), Ted Dekker
  • The Pendragon Cycle series (Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur, Pendragon, Grail), Stephen Lawhead
  • The Celtic Crusades (The Iron Lance, The Black Rood, The Mystic Rose), Stephen Lawhead
  • The Dragon King series (In the Hall of the Dragon King, The Warlords of Nin, The Sword and the Flame), Stephen Lawhead
  • Where is God When it Hurts?, Philip Yancey
  • Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
  • Byzantium, Stephen Lawhead
  • The Chiveis series (The Sword, The Gift, The Kingdom), Bryan Litfin
  • The Books of Mortals (Forbidden, Mortal), Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee
  • The Dragoneye series (Eon, Eona), Alison Goodman
I have already started to pick out some books for the first part of 2013. If you have any suggestions, send them along and I will check them out. I keep my list of reads current on my Shelfari page.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

There is far too much negative in this world. Day by day it seems to fully eclipse anything positive. War, terrorism, drugs, politics, posturing, hate speech. The list goes on and on and on to its sickening end. Hopefully today that truth can be set aside, if only for a short time. Hopefully today the celebrations and laughter and wonder and holiness will dwarf all of the darkness. I wish you the merriest of Christmas and pray that you will use what you have to bless others, even those beyond your immediate families. I also take today to give thanks to my online friends and look forward to growing our relationship in the year ahead.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Ahhh Christmas Eve. That spirit of expectation hangs like a wonderfully refreshing mist in the air. You can see it in the eyes of every little boy and girl. Hope. Excitement. The very essence of childhood as it should be. Memories that will fill their hearts and yours for the rest of time. I know that I will see it in my daughter's eyes tomorrow. I pray that all of you can catch a glimpse of your own magic moments as well. I will always cherish the blessing that I have been given to dance this dance with my girl. Peace and blessings to all of you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Sanctuary

Last year I read the book The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker. It was the story of a priest named Danny Hansen, whose upbringing in war-torn Bosnia led him to take the law into his own hands and to bring justice to those who had escaped the judgment that they truly deserved. Along the way, this troubled man met an equally troubled lady named Renee Gilmore. A woman whose life was controlled by drugs and powerful men. These two found each other at the lowest point of their lives and created something beautiful. At the end of the story, Danny took the fall for two murders that Renee committed and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Danny would do anything to protect his Renee.

Dekker's latest novel, The Sanctuary, is a continuation to this story. Danny has served three years in a typical California high security prison when he learns that he is being transferred. This new jail is supposed to be a state-of-the-art correctional facility, constructed to be more than just a place for society's deviants to mark time. It is a new type of institution designed to rehabilitate and restore.

When Danny arrives he is determined to continue following his non-violence pact. He has sworn off his days of brutality and conflict. Yet the prison warden continues to test Danny, placing him in situations where he is expected to fight to save himself. The more he works to avoid these traps, the more he is subjected to brutal treatment by the prisoners and the prison staff. As this is going on, Renee is being lured to the prison by someone who knows about her past and has threatened to kill her and Danny. To protect Danny, she is lead to an ex-policeman who was responsible for arresting the ring-leader of the prisoners. This man agrees to help Renee mainly to protect himself, but he also seems to truly care about Renee as well. Yet upon arriving at the prison, all of Renee's plans quickly unravel and both she and Danny must deal with two madmen and a corrupted prison system. Some men are who they appear to be, and others are not. A tale that I really enjoyed, even more than the first part of the story.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grind My Gears 31

People who use the trite expression, "my bad", really grind my gears. They think that they can accidentally kill a village of orphaned children and a simple utterance of "my bad" then instantly absolves them of all guilt, dirty looks, or punishment. Even for the most aggregious of acts, like cutting me off in traffic or taking the parking space that I clearly saw first or stealing the last buttery-rich scone from the breakfast bar, offering up a "my bad" does nothing to make you any less of a bed-wetting jerk in my mind. I think that in the case of any cretin who utters a "my bad", their punishment should rise to the level of their offense. I haven't fully fleshed out a complete plan in my mind, but at a minimum, a beat down with a stale loaf of pumpernickel bread should automatically be administered by local law enforcement, followed by something like assignment to extended jury duty.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Observations 12

My occasional blog series "Observations" was created to be an outlet to share a variety of topics that pop into my field of view as a result of a condition that many bloggers are afflicted with known as "blogger's eyes". In this state we view the world on the constant look-out for topics on which to write about. Today's blog came about from random odds 'n ends of things that I have noticed over the past few weeks.
  • Whenever I push the trunk release button in my car, the dashboard illuminates the message "Trunk is Ajar". Like a dolt, I always chuckle to myself and say, "No it's not."
  • Every restaurant that I go into these days seems to have flagrant signage with bold and fancy fonts that declare that their foods are gluten free. Does this mean anything to anyone? Is gluten the new MSG?
  • Watching a McDonald's commerical focussing on new Happy Meals that include milk and apple slices, my daughter remarked, "It's kind of sad when you have to leave your home and go out to a fast food place to buy healthy food." Hmmm.
  • Show me a man who claims that he hates leftovers for dinner and I will show you a man who doesn't have to cook for himself.
  • Some yearly traditions really warm the old ticker, like donating a toy for a little boy and a little girl each year to the Toys for Tots drive at work.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Compared to the number 1,450,656,000 (roughly the number of seconds that I have been alive ex utero), the number 1200 seems quite small. Yet today I celebrate the number 1200 as something truly big. From my point of view, I would claim with a straight face that 1200 > 1,450,656,000. With today's post, this humble site now consists of a sizable library of 1200 posts. At one point several years ago, I remember an exchange with one of my online blogging cohorts where we were both thinking that it would be pretty cool to someday get to 1000 posts, a goal that seemed more than lofty. Now, 1000 posts is long since in my rearview mirror. However, I still feel fresh as a daisy. In fact, over the past year I have enjoyed writing and posting as much as I ever have. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of this effort has been the interactions that I have had with visitors to this site. Thanks to all of my online friends for being part of this effort. See you on the march to 1300.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Short Term Memory

In the news, stories of death and destruction come and they go. It seems that just as soon as one horrible tragedy catches our attention, something more important or pertinent quickly washes the event out of our mind. Things like an unexpected warm spell in today's weather, our plans to go to the movies tonight, watching the big game on T.V.. Such short term memory. The problems of others are just fodder to grab headlines. Something to talk about around the water cooler. Here today, gone tomorrow. Well not for everyone.

Gloucester, VA

Two people killed in a tornado (2011).

Yeah, that's a real shame. What's for dinner?

Newtown, CT

27 people gunned down by a deranged individual, 20 elementary school children (2012).

Oh, that breaks my heart. Do you want to do some shopping after work?


316,000 people killed by an earthquake, 300,000 injured, 1,000,000 homeless (2010).

Wow, that's rough. You know there are no building codes in that part of the world?


280,000 people killed by a Tsunami (2004).

Did you see those idiots playing in the ocean as the water went out? I would have been heading for higher ground.

Paraphrasing Joseph Stalin, the death of one is a tragedy, the death of many is a statistic.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Man Called Blessed

The second part of Ted Dekker's Blessed Series is entitled A Man Called Blessed. It picks up 15 years after the end of the first part, Blessed Child. In that story, the young prophet named Caleb had been used of God to show His love and His power to millions of people around the world. Yet as has been demonstrated again and again throughout human history, folks quickly forget the truths that they have seen and they go back to their old ways after only a short time. Now 15 years later, Caleb lives back in his native Ethopia with his adoptive parents Jason and Leiah in the monastery where he was raised. As we find him, the fervor surrounding his childhood has quelled and he lives a quiet, humble existence. During this time, he has slowly lost his reliance on God, and with that, the zeal that drove him into complete dependence on his heavenly Father.

As this story begins, a powerful faction in the Israeli government has diligently been searching for the Ark of the Covenant. They have been given information that the Ark may be hidden in the very monastery in which Caleb lives. With the covert checks and balances amongst the different groups in the Middle East, a group of Arabs follows the Israelis into Ethiopia. While the different commando squads work to get the better of each other, Caleb begins a journey to regain his faith and his relationship with God.

When the Ark of the Covenant is found and transported back to Jerusalem, the Jewish leadership is planning to rebuild Solomon's temple on the Muslim-controlled Temple Mount. They believe this is necessary to fulfill scripture to usher in the second coming of Jesus. Yet these plans have lead to the different armies from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine to be placed into high alert with the ultimate Middle East war on the verge of commencing. At this moment a restored Caleb appears in Jerusalem to show not only the Jewish leadership but also the world, where God's presence on Earth truly lies. This was a wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gone Wrong

Catherine, the British Duchess of Cambridge, was staying at a London hospital recently due to some complications associated with her pregnancy. An Australian radio station called the ward during one of its wacky prank segments. The call was from two of the on-air personalities who were pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The nurse who answered the call somehow believed that they were who they said they were and gave out some confidential personal information before she patched the callers through to the room. This breach of hospital and nursing protocol put the young nurse in the worldwide spotlight that drenched her with criticism. A spotlight ultimately proved too bright and in her shame and embarrassment, she committed suicide.

The British royal couple, William and Catherine, now have this death shadowing what was supposed to be a wonderfully joyous moment in their lives. The two radio DJs are completely soiled by rebuke following the outcome of their sophomoric prank. The young lady's family and friends have lost someone precious to them. How could such a silly goof, of the type that is so common today, that was seeking only to get a few guffaws, turn so ugly and impact so many folks so negatively? This is the very definition of a nightmare. So, I was curious if anyone out there had ever done something in jest that just completely backfired and blew up into something horrible?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Some questions on Christianity ...
  • The Bible indicates that once we get to heaven, we are there for eternity. In the book of Revelation it seems that all the angels do 100% of the time is sit around God's throne and sing his praises. Don't you think that this will all get a bit stale after the first hour or so?

  • I don't have too many folks that I am all that close with on Earth. Will everyone else in Heaven be laughing and chatting it up while I am sitting alone at a table in the corner?

  • I have read many theology books that indicate that we should actively be looking forward to the day Jesus returns. We should approach the possibility that this could happen at any moment with a passion and zeal above anything else that we think about. I don't know about you, but I have lots of other things that require my complete attention (e.g. my job, daughter, chores, sleep, ...) that make this type of expectation wholly unrealistic.

  • In a certain light, I am the sum of all of my faults and weaknesses. If these are stripped away when I get to heaven, who will I be? Who could possibly recognize me at that point? If we are reborn as entirely new creations, will we recognize anyone in heaven?

  • If God/Jesus/Holy Spirit suddenly disappeared completely and forever, do you think Christians would ever come to the conclusion that He was gone? Would they just keep going, doing what they always do and never noticing? How do you know that His disappearance did not happen at some point in the past?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Many folks seem to spend a lot of time actively preparing for their retirement. IRAs, stocks, bonds, investments. Regular meetings with personal account and money managers. Endless hours on the internet tracking and charting, researching and deciding. Blood pressure rising and falling along with the Dow Jones or NASDAQ averages. You can see it on the faces of many the day after the stock market mis-steps or takes a dive, for they wear a certain level of pallid shock like a mask.

Yet to me retirement somehow feels like something that only other people have to deal with. This is an issue that I am pretty disconnected with for the most part and cannot find within me to take all that seriously. Some folks that I have talked to that are struggling to pay their bills or purposefully cutting back on their leisure or travel budgets still work to put as much of their paycheck as possible into their retirement accounts. While, intellectually, I do appreciate the idea of proper planning for tomorrow, doesn't it seem that folks are so busy focusing on their tomorrows that they are missing out on their todays?

I remember being at special celebration times with my daughter when she was young. Often I would be handed the video camera to record the event. I always hated this responsibility. You cannot be present in the moment and enjoy it to its fullest if you have one eye closed and the other is staring intently into a viewer. The investment made in embracing today with both eyes open can often have a much bigger payoff than that of some distant tomorrow that is anything but guaranteed.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A+ America 7

Each year for the last decade or so I have participated in the Toys for Tots program through my workplace. The point of this program, operated by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, is to collect Christmas toy donations and then to distribute them to less fortunate children. In my mind this is one of those charities that most folks can completely relate to. Who hasn't beamed at the spark ignited in their own children's eyes as they open their Christmas presents? Oh those precious smiles and that giddy excitement! I don't think that it takes all that much empathy or heart to then imagine the children of less fortunate families who cannot share in this magic. Too many children will see the holidays pass without any fanfare, celebration, or acknowledgement because of poverty or unemployent or hard times in their family. The idea of providing the seed for even a little bit of laughter and joy is just so appealing to me.

At the end of November the Toys for Tots donation bins are placed in every building on my work site. This serves as my call to action. I also am so pleased that my daughter always asks about the status of the bins and if we can go to the store and get our donations. We like to head to the toy store and get a nice gift for one little boy and for one little girl. We then will stop by work and put our things into the bin together. I love to watch the different bins fill up over the three weeks that the campaign runs. It fills my heart to see the generosity of other folks and to see that they are contributing some really cool looking toys that I know will bring joy to some child. For all of those who contribute and for those who run this program, I say A+ America.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blessed Child

I have read nearly all of the books that author Ted Dekker has written. However, I have avoided reading his Blessed series for reasons that I didn't understand, until recently. For some reason, the book covers creep me out. However, I had the opportunity recently to read the first book in this two-part series called Blessed Child. It turns out that the book is very much in the style of other Dekker works.

The story begins in Ethopia where American relief worker Jason Marker is getting ready to clear out of the country due to instabities caused by warring military factions. Before he leaves, a friend asks him to go to a local monastary and collect a small boy and take him away from the area of hostility. Jason arrives at the monastary as a contingent of troops begins to move in. He barely escapes with the young boy, Caleb, and a Red Cross nurse named Leiah, before the monastary is completed leveled. Jason, Leiah, and Caleb then flee for their lives as they are pursued deep into the heart of the country. On this harrowing trip, Jason and Leiah begin to bond and also begin to see the first signs that there is something very different, very special about Caleb.

The trio leaves Ethopia and arrives in the United States. Following the instructions given to Jason by Caleb's caretaker, the boy is given over to an orphanage run by a Greek Orthodox priest. When this Father Matthews sees that the boy possesses unique powers of healing, the unscrupulous father begins to exploit Caleb for every nickel and dime that he can. Caleb's name begins to become well known as he performs group healings of larger and larger audiences. Yet Caleb, while only 10 years old and completely innocent, does what he does not because of threats from his cruel master, but because of his walk with God and his only purpose to make His name known. The other story arc running throughout this book involves a very popular presidential candidate who has a long history of dirty dealings in Ethopia and has reasons to want to make the boy permanently disappear. An enjoyable read. Now onto the second book in the series, A Man Called Blessed.

Who says that a straightened hand is more powerful than a healed heart?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ill at Ease

How often do you find yourself with a whole day to do with as you please? No work, no chores, no to-do lists, no errands, no commitments. Many folks look forward to days like these to watch a few movies on the T.V. or to enjoy some quiet time to read or catch a nap. They are often circled in red on the calendar to help mark the days in between. Ahhh, lazy days.

Yet I know that in my own life that days such as these may start off with notions of taking it easy and resting my mind and body, but then random thoughts start to burgeon inside my mind:
  • If you pop into work for a few hours, you can get a great head start on that new project.
  • I really should do a load of laundry.
  • I am running out of postage stamps. I should run over to the post office.
  • I should take this opportunity to get a bit of my yard work done.
  • I need to fill up the gas tank in the car.
Then it seems that before I know it the day is mostly past, my body is tired, and I haven't spent even a moment to find some peace and quiet time for myself. Maybe this is because I am a classic type-A personality. Maybe it is because I really am ill at ease.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Back in the middle of the summer I caught my first rumor that pastor Francis Chan was set to release a new book called Multiply in November. I marked it on my calendar as something to look forward to. I have read each of Chan's theology books, Crazy Love, Forgotten God, and Erasing Hell, and found enjoyment in each of them, especially Crazy Love. This new book Multiply was written about the important task given to Christians by Jesus called the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), namely that we are called to make disciples of all people. I think that providing instruction to Christians in this area is a wonderful kernel with which to write a book about. It is a topic that I know many folks struggle with when it comes to formulating a practical plan.

I can't tell you how much I wanted to like this book as I have deep respect for Chan's approach, his theology, and his passion. However, I can say that it was not worth my time. The book contains less than 100 pages that briefly touch on aspects of the importance of discipling in the church. He then devotes 200 pages of pure filler that provides a lite run-through of the Old Testament and New Testament. Where is the discussion on how to attract disciples, how to develop a plan of discipling, and how folks with different spiritual gifts should approach discipling?

I am frustrated that Chan made no attempt to discuss how to attract disciples to teach, as if everyone can just pull them in like the rabbis of old with the command, follow me. I can also assure you that leading a group of folks to train them as disciples is definitely not for everyone. In fact, I think that only a small percentage of folks have the skill set to be successful at this type of leadership work. It takes a degree of wisdom, good communication and listening ability, and a certain amount of charisma. Other folks can make an impact in the process of disciple making through their unique set of skills but more as tertiary players in the process. Said another way, not everyone makes a good teacher.

Chan also put together a series of videos on the Multiply website to go along with each subsection. He was joined in these presentations by fellow pastor David Platt who wrote the book Radical. These videos started off reasonably well, but quickly became repetitive and bland. Very little of practical value was actually said. Books like this one make me feel that an important voice for the church has been commercialized to the point that he is just another of the dozens of homogenized pastors cranking out books, not because they have a carefully crafted message from God but because their editors have given them a deadline. In this case, a great amount of effort on style, but the substance is sorely lacking.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Personal Jesus

Reach out and touch faith
Your own Personal Jesus

Lord, please help me have an enjoyable day at work today.

Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares

I pray that the repair bill for my furnace would not be too high.

Things on your chest
You need to confess

Please let the lines at the supermarket be short so that I can get home to relax.

Lift up the receiver
I'll make you a believer

Lord, please watch over and protect my daughter today.

I will deliver
You know I'm a forgiver

The prayers that I pray are seemingly mostly about me or my daughter. Try as I might to be ever mindful of the needs of others, those supplications are few and far between. Am I praying to the creator of the Universe who has already told me how to pray through the scriptures, or am I praying instead to some genie or magic sky spirit or imaginary friend? Keep your fingers crossed and ask for whatever you want or think you need. Who knows, your numbers might come up.

Reach out and touch faith

Monday, December 3, 2012

Debugging Tools

Computer software developers typically require the use of so-called debugging tools. These high-level software tools are used by programmers to reproduce failures, explore the status of programs, and to search for defects within newly developed software code. They can also be used to provide diagnostics to study program flow to increase speed and efficiency. Such tools are essential to ultimately provide the end user with robust software that operates according to design with optimized reliability, predictability, and efficiency.

I recently sat through a software meeting at work and got to see some of the tricks of the trade. I was amazed at what they have available and how quickly it can help them to pinpoint exactly what line of code is leading to the problem and exactly under what condition the code is failing. Once the offending line or section of code is isolated, they can effect repairs and rewrites. This got me to thinking about the human program. Imagine if there were diagnostics that we could employ to help us not only to identify what coding in our brains is causing us trouble, but also would allow for someone to repair or reoptimize our underlying programming. I don't know about you but I get so tired of struggling with the same issues in my life time and time again, not fully understanding why I am having the troubles that I am and why I can't seem to get past them.