Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Justified fully

We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only reason for the forgiveness of our sins by God, and the infinite depth of His promise to forget them, is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the result of our personal realization of the atonement by the Cross of Christ, which He has provided for us. -Oswad Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Dec. 8

I've been getting this message from many directions lately, though the first sentence here sums it up quite nicely. We Christians are totally and completely forgiven for our sins because of the work of Christ. How freeing!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Technology Funnies

The latest Swiss Army Knife model.

Oh come on...I'm sure there's some of you that want a real one.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Interesting Verse on Technology

I ran across this verse today:
In Jerusalem [King Uzziah] made engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. - II Chronicles 26:15 (ESV)
Interesting comment on God's perspective on the application of technology for warfare. I say so because this verse is in the "Good Stuff that Uzziah Did" section. It is a good thing for us to design and build more effective devices for warfare. But note that the ones Uzziah commissions are to be put on the towers of the city - for defense and the protection of the people.

The "Bad Stuff" immediately follows this verse, describing his pride in feeling strong. Certainly a warning against trusting in those powerful military devices. And, I think, a lesson for us engineers - design technology for the good of people, yet do not trust in the technology to save you.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Nurturing the Little One

Kristy was out late last night so I had "Stephen duty." I gave him a bath and put him to bed. Our routine is get the passie, read 2-3 books, read a Bible story (from a children's bible), pray, turn out the light, sing a song and rock, and then in to the crib. Lately, we've been doing Jesus Loves Me, and sometimes I am Jesus' Little Lamb (warning, annoying MIDI).

Last night Stephen was a bit fussy and cried for about 10 minutes after I put him down. I went back in and rocked and sang some more. This time, Amazing Grace and Abide in Me did the trick, along with a bit more Jesus Loves Me. I was thinking about how little Stephen really understands of these lyrics, though he certainly enjoys hearing singing. Still, I sing on. Because I love him. I want him to be comforted, so I sing songs that give me comfort. I want to impress on his mind even now these songs of God's grace to us.

I read this recently and it made me think about what I'm doing to work on Stephen's soul (yes, yes, the Holy Spirit working through me, etc.). Will he remember the songs he doesn't even understand? Or will he remember when I lost my temper at him going through the kitchen trash (for the zillionth time that day)? May God give us both His great mercy.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Quick to judge?

It seems there are many who are quick to judge what spiritual causes may have led to hurricane Katrina. Let me offer better words and throughts than any of my own:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." - Luke 13:1-5

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Free Opera Registration

For fellow geeks, Opera is giving away free registration for their browser in honor of their 10th Anniversary. Basically this means you can get rid of the ads in their free version.

Go here to get the registration codes. Be patient, their server is a bit slow now that Slashdot has picked up the story. I suggest you hurry, as it only lasts as long as their "party."

I've been an Opera user in the past, though I've favored Firefox lately. Perhaps this is a good time to go back.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

How Braveheart Should Have Ended

Are you a fan of the movie Braveheart? Do you want to see how it should have ended?

Proceed to either the video or the torrent.

I was laughing so hard I couldn't tell my wife to come see this. So silly it's hilarious.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

We Return to Orbit

As an engineer I took great pleasure in watching the shuttle launch this morning. It was actually an emotional moment for me as I considered the amount of work and expertise that goes in to pulling this off. Huge numbers of people designing each little item on the shuttle, testing those components, making plans and putting all the components together, designing the flight and procedures for contingencies, etc. Not to mention the sheer power and spectacle on display!

As a Christian I must go carefully here. We can take joy in great accomplishments, yet we must remain humble. Going to space is still dangerous, and we've only been to the moon. Yes, I say only and think it very appropriate in comparison with the vastness of the universe. We spend countless raw materials and man hours to launch a vehicle into orbit around our planet. God spoke the universe into existence.

Thus says the LORD:
"Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.
-Isaiah 66:1-2

As an engineer, I can take delight in my work and must humble myself before God, the ultimate engineer.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Hey y'all

I'm actually surprised I have this much Dixie in me. I'm sure calling all carbonated beverages "coke" bumped me up a good bit.

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

40% Dixie

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Hello? Patience?!?!

Why do people care so much about finding out what goes on in the conclave? I mean, it's going to happen, it will take a few days, and then we'll all know who the next pope is. Why try to listen in and find out early? Or try to spy on the discussion and debate?

I'll give you at least one reason: a complete and utter lack of patience and self-control.

This isn't an isolated incident, at least not here in America. Consider how many folks stay up on election night to watch the returns/ predictions/ speculations/ ouiji board pronoucements. The votes will be counted, just give them time! Same for the push to use electronic voting - is there any advantage to these machines except quick voting returns? Consider how often we read a news story like: "next Tuesday, the President will announce X". If he's going to say it next Tuesday, why do we (the public) have to know about it today? (I'll admit the media needs to know so they can be there.)

Is it fed by the current practices of news media? Yup. Is it fed by the Internet's ability to instantly get you info where you are from anywhere? Yup.

Is it most especially fed by our (yes, so many of us in our American+media culture - including me) bottomless pit of desire for new news? I'll be the first to admit that I spend too much time reading on the Internet during the day looking for news - a habit I'm slowly working to break. I'll also be the first to admit that while I loathe the practice, I stayed up and watched the election returns after Nov. 2nd last year.

I sincerely hope the Conclave does achieve a total blackout of media contact - hopefully it will remind us (especially me!) of the virtue of patience.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo

There are many things I do not know about this situation, and rumors seem to abound like the weeds in my backyard. What I do know is that Terri Schiavo was created and lived Imago Dei - in the image of the triune God. Therefore, she had inherent dignity and worth as a person.

If she was indeed a Christian (I don't mean to imply anything - I just don't personally know), may her parents find hope and comfort in knowing where she is now.

Monday, February 28, 2005


"Marriage is great, I highly recommend it."

This was a frequently heard and spoken phrase around the time I and several friends were getting engaged and married. I praise God that I can still agree with it. My wife really put up with a lot lately while I was under the weather - trying to take care of the house, our son, and me, all without my assistance. Not to mention, putting up with me being critical of her work. I'd love to chalk that up to the medication and the illness (which certainly contributed), but the problem is of course my heart. We've recently been reading in Tabletalk about controlling the tongue. The one who can is called a "perfect man" (James 3:2). I am not a perfect man.

We're thankful that we do have a great marriage and quickly forgive each other, but we want to move to actually not sinning in the first place!

Monday, February 21, 2005

More Imitation of Christ

This is from book 3, chapter 54:
"Nature works for its own interest and looks to the profit it can reap from another. Grace does not consider what is useful and advantageous to herself, but rather what is profitable to many. Nature likes to receive honor and reverence, but grace faithfully attributes all honor and glory to God."

I'm thinking about this from my perspective as an academic. Sometimes I feel that the emphasis in research is more in getting more publications for yourself than actually furthering a field of study or improving the world. I can only speak for myself in this, and I do feel that drive to get papers out so my career will advance. Yes, I desire to make work easier (and overcome the physical effects of the fall) but what is my real motivation in planning my research?

And there's the idea of "hot" areas of research. If you're not working on what's "hot," you are less likely to find grants (I presume) and therefore your career won't progress as well.

But what am I to do as a Christian academic? I must keep up with what my field is doing, but I must also build my expertise and apply it where it can bring great usefulness and reward for others. No, I may not get in the best journals with it, but then what do I really ultimately want? Academic fame and prestige? Endowed chair at a big university? Or, do I want to help people, and as many as I can with what I know?

And why must I be so weak and desire things for myself rather than for others?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Pre-Parenting Counseling?

Being a fairly new parent, maybe I'm a johnny-come-lately to this idea. Why don't we offer pre-parenting counseling in the church? My wife and I got some great pre-marital counseling (which was the policy at the PCA church where we wed), and I think our marriage got off to a much better start than we would have otherwise because of it.

Parenting is analogous to marriage in many ways: 1) huge life change, 2) major spiritual committments, 3) can be very stressful, and 4) you know at least a few months in advance before it happens (to name a few). I've regularly felt quite inadequate and perhaps poorly informed of what to expect as a parent. Yes, our extended families and the informal network of folks in our church that we talk to about parenting has been helpful. But, the advantage of structured pre-counseling is that the counselor can cover all the bases and apply those to my wife and me as individuals (and as a particular, unique marriage) BEFORE we even have the child.

Maybe this is actually widely done, but the (very few) PCA churches I've been involved in don't seem to do this.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Oh the irony!

I was reading this passage this morning on the ride to work:

"Gather in, and call home my senses unto Thee; make me to forget all worldy things; grant me to cast away speedily and to scorn all sinful phantoms. Succor me, O Thou eternal Truth, that no vanity may move me. Come to me, Thou heavenly sweetness, and let all impurity flee from before Thy face." - from Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book 3, chapter 48.

I realized I was having to try to concentrate on the book since the bus driver had a hip-hop radio station blaring. I got a good chuckle from that.

I do recommend the book by the way, even though it gets repetitious.

Win Some Books

Study Bible
Drawing for a free ESV Reformation Study Bible and The Holiness of God books.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Exodus 1 & 2

I'm trying to read the Bible through in a year again, but am already behind (of course). Two things struck me strongly today in Exodus 1 & 2.

First, now that I'm a father I see parts of the Bible a bit differently, and more personally. For example, the birth of Christ and the reality of such an event. Today, I was reading Exodus 1 where it says that Moses was set adrift in the Nile when he was 3 months old. My own son is three months old, and I can't imagine having to hide him because the government says to throw him in a river. I can barely imagine what I would feel at seeing my son thrown ina river. In the past, I read over that passage, but the great tragedy and injustice of it slapped me in the face today. But also, the providence of God in delivering Moses is great.

Second, in the ESV, chapter 2 closes with three words: "and God knew." That's in the context of Israel crying out to God in their slavery and suffering. I've had my own little trials of late, mostly in re-organizing our budget and worrying about our financial situation (which, oddly enough, doesn't do it any good). But those words brought great comfort to me...God knows. He knows the situation and how I feel about it. He also knows eternity past and future - He directs it after all as The sovereign. How good it is to know that He does know what we're going through. Like Job, we may not get an answer why, but we can trust that our heavenly Father knows.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Herbert Hoover on Engineering

A quote by Herbert Hoover on the profession of engineering:

"Engineering is a great profession. There is a fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge, through the aid of science, to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs home to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comfort of life. That is the engineer’s high privilege.

"The great liability of the engineer, compared to men of other professions, is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave, like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge, like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned...

"On the other hand, unlike the doctor, his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope. No doubt, as the years go by, the people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew. Or some politician puts his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other peoples’’ money. But the engineer looks back at the unending stream of good."

Quoted from the 1999 Christian Engineering Education Conference

A bit ironic in light of the Hoover Dam!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Deprivation Experiment

My wife and I are trying a little experiment this week. I'm (trying) to give up Internet surfing (i.e., reading FoxNews, Slashdot, and multiple blogs) and she's giving up having the T.V. on randomly. Just for this week. I confess I'm not doing so well. I went to Wikipedia to look up something for work, follow a link or two, and find myself reading up on the Apollo space program (which is absolutely amazing and inspiring to this engineer, by the way).

In fact, making this post might not pass the test. Oh well.

My intention is to cut back on ways that my wife and I spend our time that don't really accomplish much, or at least don't accomplish goals for ourselves and our family. True, I may learn something new from Slashdot, but probably not. I can get my news from the newspaper. I feel like there are so many other things I ought to be doing - especially so many books I want to read.

I am probably (as usual) too hard on her, but I hope that this week will wean us away from all the surfing and make us more thoughtful about how we use our time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Stephen Pictures

Here's Stephen:

He'll be 3 months tomorrow, though this is a picture from about 2 months.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Engineering = Overcoming the Effects of the Fall?

I've often pondered over the idea of how a Christian specifically brings his faith to engineering. If we are to do whatever we do to the glory of God, how does an engineer do this? We can think of some things that should be true for any vocation: honesty and integrity in everything, excellence in performance, etc. But what about engineers specifically?

(not a non-sequiter) I visited my sister's special ed class recently and talked to her students about engineering. My definition of engineering for them was: Engineers design things so people can live better lives. Ultimately that is the goal, right? Yes, efficiency and performance in our designs, but ultimately those are so people can live better lives. Isn't that a noble goal for a Christian?

A major aspect of this for me is to think of engineering as overcoming (some of) the effects of the fall. We design structures to protect us and our things from the elements, methods of communication to overcome separation, better agricultural tools for increased food production, etc. In human factors, we work to design for safety (since we can be hurt and killed) and usability (to overcome frustration and hopefully increase the ease and pleasure of work).

So perhaps that is one specific focus for Christian engineers - working with a view to overcoming the effects of the fall.

I don't even know where to start reading to see if someone else thought of this already (most likely, "nothing new under the sun" and all that).

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Well, I finally gave in and made a blog. I have no plan for what to do with it, but that's not unusual. I've often failed to follow my father's advice of "look before you leap." If you're reading this, I hope you enjoy.