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Separate Eggs with an Empty Water Bottle

I am not one to drink water from plastic bottles, but this might be a good reason to pick one up and keep it in the kitchen when you’re about to make that next batch of Hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict. I have no idea what she’s saying in the video, but it’s very cool and pretty self explanatory if you watch.

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The Inerrant, Infallible Word of God

Many conservative fundamentalist Christians would use my title to describe a book. Ok, maybe not just a book, but THE book. After all, that’s what bible means – book. So when my most conservative friends use this phrase, it is generally used as a way to define the authority with which they view the Bible. In most cases, they go even further to mean a particular English translation of the Bible. If you live in the particular part of Alabama where our family currently resides, with the quantity of very conservatives Churches of Christ, they probably even mean the King James translation in particular.

Many of the liberal Christians I know balk at this phrase. They rebel against it. They reject it. In some cases, they have this reaction because there is some part of the Bible with which they disagree. In other cases, they have been hurt in some way by someone who used the Bible as a club to attempt to get them to submit to God’s will (which usually happens to agree with their will at the time). I hope that some of them react to parts of the Bible where they see conflicting pictures of who God is, and that causes them to think that this book just can’t be that perfect, so they think there is no perfect word of God that hasn’t been offered through some sort of imperfect human filter that has somehow corrupted it.

I want to say clearly and distinctly, I believe in the inerrant, infallible word of God. But I don’t believe it is a book. I believe that word is a person – Jesus of Nazareth, whose story is told in many of the books we have in the Bible. I believe that word has existed since at least the beginning of time. And most of all I believe that Jesus is the unmitigated word of God – unfiltered through any imperfect human being, and we all have access to him (it) through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This does not, however, mean that I believe we should throw out the things the Bible says. It means that any teaching, written or spoken, should be examined through and tested against what we know about Jesus and what he said is important. It means that we should view the Bible as Jesus’ story – that, just as Jesus said, all of scripture points to him, bears witness to him, and is fulfilled by him (not thrown away). It means we should read and listen to the words of the Bible because Jesus studied many of those words, and the ones he didn’t study are the Body of Christ’s attempt to preserve the essence of Jesus’ teachings and bear witness to other teachings that have been revealed through the Holy Spirit since Jesus’ coming.

I know there are uncomfortable things in the Bible. I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that the thought of God commanding the slaughter of every man, woman, child, and animal anywhere gives me pause. I would be lying if I said that any number of the Old Testament laws didn’t seem silly to me. I would be ignoring something that all of my conservative and liberal Christian friends like to fight over, if I didn’t say that the verses thrown around as evidence of God’s disapproval of complete gay love didn’t bother me.

If you are interested in wrestling with these and other difficult issues in the Bible, you could start with giving a listen to a couple of sermon’s I’ve heard recently that I found helpful:

You might want to listen to these more than once. The time was definitely worth it to me.

No matter what you might think about the concept of an inerrant, infallible word of God. I pray these words I’ve written have been helpful to you and that God has somehow spoken through them. I pray they will invite you to read and listen to the words of the Bible, seeing in them the revelation of God’s true word, Jesus Christ. And finally, I pray you will be moved to want to follow him and that you will be blessed.

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I Imported My Previous Blog Posts From Typepad to WordPress

I used a blog service called Typepad way back in the day, and I had some pretty popular posts over there. Some of them were used to find answers to tech questions, which is the primary topic on which I blogged before. So in order to make sure those posts were maintained, I’ve imported them to this site. That’s why you might see posts dated 2005 and earlier. I’ll be slowly going through and removing some of the spam comments that had appeared on those posts, as well.

I was really impressed with how easy the process was, though. In Typepad, I simply went to the Settings tab of the blog, then the Import/Export screen. Click the Export button. Click then download button after Typepad completes the export process. Then, if you are using Google Chrome as your browser, the export file will open in your browser, so right-click and choose save as to save the export file to your computer. See the screenshots below.

After you’ve saved the file, you’ll need to import it into WordPress. I’m currently using WordPress 3.4.1, so if you’re using a different version the interface may look a little different, but the process should be the same. In your WordPress admin interface, choose Tools -> Import. Then click Movable Type and Typepad. Finally, click Choose File to find the file you saved to your computer and then click Upload File and Import. Again, screenshots are provided below for your information.

Click here for Screenshots

After you’ve imported your posts, you may need to go through and moderate comments, as I discovered. The export and import processes includes all comments from the old Typepad blog. In my case, since this was an old blog with popular pages, there were quite a few useless and spammy comments. I’m still removing those. I hope this short walkthrough was helpful!

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Thoughts on Holy Eucharist

Our family has recently made a change in our church membership. We’ve moved from our first real church home as a family, Edgemont United Methodist Church, to a new chapter in our Christian journey at Trinity Episcopal Church as I work on discerning a possible call to the Episcopal priesthood. So far, we’ve been attending the Saturday evening service that is offered as part of the Canterbury ministry at UNA, which is led by the campus chaplain, Callie Plunket-Brewton.

Tonight during the Eucharist, I was struck by two lines in particular from the service. After the priest prays the blessing over the bread and wine, asking God to make them be for us Christ’s body and blood, she prays:

Sanctify us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace…

Later, after we have shared in the Holy Communion, we pray together:

Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart…

In these two short sentences, we are reminded why we share the holy meal – that we might serve; whom we are to serve – namely God (the you in the prayers); how we are to serve – in unity, constancy, and peace, and with gladness and singleness of heart; and we pray for God’s help in the form of strength and courage to accomplish our service.

The first of these prayer fragments reflects three crucial tenets of our service to God. The very word we use to describe the meal we share, Communion, calls to mind the first of these tenets: unity. This blessed Sacrament unites us with brothers and sisters throughout the world today and through time to the beginning of the Church. It has been our constant practice since Jesus instituted it before he died. And when we partake of it in remembrance of Him, we find the peace for which we later pray.

After eat the bread and drink the wine, we pray for strength and courage to serve. I haven’t often thought that it would take strength and courage to serve. Service that is freely offered is rarely refused. How much strength and courage could really be needed? But to serve God with gladness and singleness of heart – that might take some real strength, and to do it in a world that is less and less inclined to look favorably on such a motive could take courage. When we aren’t serving for our own credit, but rather God’s glory, we might need some of that strength and courage. In order to push out all those other motives that prompt us to serve – to make ourselves feel good or look good, or even just to get into heaven, we might need some of that strength and courage. In order to have our heart singly focused on God and not our own desires, I know we will need that strength and courage.

I don’t know why those two lines jumped out at me tonight – maybe it’s because I’ve started on the real path of discernment. Each day I take another step that makes it more real. Each day I question whether or not I want to put my wife and children through the trial of the process and the uncertainty of the whole thing. Each day I wonder if I’ll be able to even get through it all before I’m too old to have enough energy to serve God as He deserves to be served or to have an effective ministry. Those seem like pretty good reasons to me for two little lines in the prayers to speak. Now I just have to really listen.

And so I pray, sanctify me that I may faithfully serve you in unity, constancy, and peace, and send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart. Amen.

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I feel like I am going to be sick

So I am sitting here watching the Katie Couric special on NBC about teens and sex. All I can say is OMFG! This is scary. I can see that I am going to have to have to get a lot more comfortable with the idea of talking to my now 7 year old about sex. I think he isn’t ready yet, but with 14% of 12-14 year olds saying they are sexually active, I am going to have to broach the subject a lot earlier than I had originally thought. I guess the main thing is that I want to make sure he is comfortable enough to talk to me about whatever he is thinking or feeling or has a question.

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Sonicwall VPN Question

So I received the following email from someone asking about a VPN connection between remote offices and a main office:

I have a TZ170 with a static IP (dsl) at my so called corporate office (server resides in this office). The appliance is set for DHCP for the clients that are set up on the inside of the firewall at that corporate office.

All my remote offices have a basic setup with either cable or dsl (no static ip), behind a modem and a dlink router. When more than one person in the same remote office connects to the tz170 at corporate, both clients experience awful delays and disconnections. If only one client connects in that remote office it works great, but as soon as you add another person from the same office that try’s to connect forget it, nothing but problems. Is this because the tz170 is seeing to tunnels coming from the same ip (isp assigned)?

Will purchasing another tz170 for the remote offices solve my problem? Is there an additional configuration that I am missing in the tz170 that will enable me to do this ?

Here is the response I sent:

You are absolutely on the right track. The problem you are having is that more than 1 person from the same public IP address is establishing a tunnel.

There is not a good way to establish a tunnel using a VPN client from more than one client behind a NAT device to the same central VPN device. In this case, the user has a D-Link router as the NAT device. Some devices do a better job of handling the NAT for IPSEC VPN traffic, which is what the Sonicwalls use. The only thing he could try in this case, other than the guaranteed solution of implementing a remote-office VPN gateway device, would be to ensure that the D-Link is upgraded to the latest firmware and has the appropriate IPSEC pass through settings. The most reliable solution, though, would be a VPN appliance to maintain a site-to-site VPN device at each remote office.

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Mobile Accessories for Laptops/PDAs and I would imagine Tablets

So I found this post via Scoble’s link blog asking about a stand for Tablet PC’s. There are a couple of sites that I have used to find things like this, and they have a number of stands for laptops and other devices in cars. The company that makes most of the things that I have found is Arkon Resources, but I have found there stuff being sold through (and bought them through) Your Mobile Desk. If you can’t find them there, then I don’t know who would have it.

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One hell of a blog about the tsunami in Sri Lanka

If you want what I believe is a great example of the proper role of a religious organization in a disaster like this, take a look at the Faithful America weblog. I found them after hearing a discussion on The World on NPR last night. That site has the audio available if you want to listen – it is the January 12 show.

Disaster time, in my opinion, should not equal conversion time. As Christians, we are called to model Jesus’ compassion and show God’s love to those in need, not convince them that it is time to follow him because we are helping them. If they ask what makes us want to help, then we should speak of the very nature of humanity that we believe is derived from God first and then that we feel directly the compassion of Jesus for us in his sacrifice on the cross. I would hope that we would suggest to them that there would be time later to discuss more of the specifics of our faith rather than taking advantage of a vulnerable time in their life. Most importantly, I would hope that we would remind them that MANY religions (and agnostic organizations, too) are helping in the aftermath – it is not solely a Christian value to respond to a human tragedy of this magnitude.

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Problems with Sonicwall Firewall?

Well, I tried to leave this as a comment on Ian’s weblog, but I couldn’t get the comment thing to work, so I figured I would trackback to both of his entries.

I am a Sonicwall Silver Partner, and I believe strongly in the product line. I don’t like to see anyone having configuration problems. I’d be happy to help with the config if there is a problem, not to mention that any newly purchased unit comes with 90 days of support included, so the Sonicwall 800# for support should be able to help, as well.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

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Nonprofit blogging, etc.

So I am working on some ideas for ways in which nonprofits, one in particular with whom I am working, can use blogging and the web. Obviously there are tons of places out there that make that possible, but I thought I would post some links here of various articles and resources I have found so far. I haven’t yet crystalized any thoughts around them, but I am reading all of this and coming up with ideas.

Sites of interest:
Non Profit Web Marketing
Internet Marketing for Non-profit Organizations
Nonprofit Blogging and Content Aggregation
Blogs for .orgs
Social Entrepeneurship and Project Management
BloggerCorps
Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
CivicSpace

Let me know if you have any other ideas of places I should look. I am particularly interested in the idea of creating online communities and using those communities for the purposes of fundraising, information sharing, and overall mission promotion.

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