the way i really see it (pt. 2)

# 1 If it’s not what I’m used to it is wrong

Response:  This is mostly a personal pride issue.  Sometimes I assume without much thought or effort that if something isn’t typical it might be wrong.  It’s mostly just me buying into the world’s thoughtless system, which sadly has crept into my life and the church.  All too often I decide first and then think next.  

If I have the Scripture in my heart and fresh in my mind, I can, by the Spirit’s enabling, avoid this attitude.  

Psalm 19:7

The law of the LORD is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure,

making wise the simple

# 2 If they don’t agree with me they must be a liberal

Response:  This was an observation I had mostly about what our culture classifies as liberal or whatever.  I’d consider myself a conservative when it comes to politics, which I think is a reference to the way the I would usually interpret the Constitution of the United States of America.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

The observation is that I believe many people in a the Christian community will throw terms around like liberal or conservative when referring to one’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the Scriptures.  The odd thing is that they are not equal.  One who would “liberally” interpret the Constitution is not always one who would “liberally” interpret the Scriptures.  

Example:  A believer who cares for the poor in the world, cares for social justice, etc would be mis-titled by many evangelicals as a “liberal”.  The truth of the matter is that this one who does care for the poor of the world is actually more of the conservative!

Luke 6:27-36

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

# 3 Not giving to a beggar is actually more helpful, since my greed will help stir up this man/woman’s desire to find a job

Response:  Sadly, my greed has clouded my judgment.  Read the words of our Lord.

Luke 6:30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.  

# 4 It is ok to take liberty with God’s clear commands, much like a lawyer who is interpreting a contract

Response:  “Well, but…” is usually a clue of an incorrect response to anything that is written in the Bible.  When your mind thinks that, you can clue in to the fact that your heart is not interested in obeying God.

#5 Service is pleasing to God as long as it is done well, even if I am not walking in the Spirit and have a hard-heart  

Response:  There is a right way to stack a chair and there is a wrong way to stack a chair.  The end result may look the same in either case, but the heart of the one stacking the chair is the most important.  If you’re more concerned about how things look on the outside, and you forget that God wants your heart, you are serving in a manner that displeases God.  Check your heart!

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.”

# 6 I think that a “liberal” as related social issues is equal to a “liberal” as related to theological issues.  

Response: See the reference #1

# 7 Outside is equal to inside

Response:  

Mark 7:1-8

1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

   “‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

# 8 It is ok for me to practice attitudes of moral superiority to those in the world.

Response:  Mark 9:35 “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”  We should keep in mind that as believers, all of our goodness comes through Jesus’ sacrifice, not on our higher level of living.

# 9 Love all, except for bad drivers, criminals and restaurant employees who serve without a smile.

Response:

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A nd the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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the way i see it (really) part 1

Yes, Starbucks has insipred me. But I am not the only one, just think of how many are benefitting from the Way I See it Series. Anyway here’s one for those of you keeping score at home

The Way I See It # 61

Imagine we are all the same. Imagine we agree about politics, religion and morality. Imagine we like the same types of music, art, food and coffee. Imagine we all look alike. Sound boring? Differences need not divide us. Embrace diversity. Dignity is everyone’s human right.

— Bill Brummel
Documentary filmmaker. His programs focus on human rights issues.

Anyway, Starbucks also places this disclaimer on the bottom of their cups–Please note: The opinions put forth by contributors to The Way I See It do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbucks. (Note 11/15, 7:25–the reference to “The Way I See It #61” was merely an example, and does not necessarily reflect the views of myself. I feel like I needed to clarify this fact)

So I started writing a The Way I See It series, but it seemed to come out not quite as positive and enriching, but I hope it can be serve as a converstation starter for all. This is The Honest Way I See It. Not to be confused with the way I SHOULD see it, but the way I typically see it. This is part one, the way I SHOULD see it is coming in a part 2.

  1. If it’s not what I’m used to it is wrong
  2. If they don’t agree with me they must be a liberal
  3. Not giving to a beggar is actually more helpful, since my greed will help stir up this man/woman’s desire to find a job
  4. It is ok to take liberty with God’s clear commands, much like a lawyer who is interpreting a contract
  5. Service is pleasing to God as long as it is done well, even if I am not walking in the Spirit and have a hard-heart
  6. I think that a “liberal” as related social issues is equal to a “liberal” as related to theological issues.
  7. Outside is equal to inside
  8. It is ok for me to practice attitudes of moral superiority to those in the world.
  9. Love all, except for bad drivers, criminals and restaurant employees who serve without a smile.

Biblical correction to follow in “part 2”

Please note: The opinions put forth by contributor to The Way I See It does ashamedly reflect the views of the contributor.

who in the world is smush parker?

When was the last time a guard playing with Kobe Bryant could average this many points?  Yes, it was only the 4th game of the season, but who in the world is Smush Parker?  An undrafted player who ended up with the Lakers.  

Update (I just read this from Steve Kerr’s Yahoo! Sports Article) you can see that everyone loves Smush Parker:

Perhaps no one stands out more than Smush Parker, who for the time being has answered one of the most asked questions of the preseason: Who will be the Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard?

Parker has provided Phil Jackson with an athletic yet controlled lead guard who can shoot the ball and space the floor in the triangle offense. Through four games, Smush has averaged 18 points and 3.8 assists and committed just five turnovers while shooting a sizzling 60 percent. Not bad for a player who has bounced around the NBA for three seasons without much success. Sometimes it just takes the right opportunity for a player to find a home, and maybe L.A. is the place for Parker.

Positives about Smush
  • Handles the rock
  • Shoots the 3 well
  • Not afraid to slash
  • Is averaging a lot of steals
Negatives about Smush
  • Doesn’t stop guards from getting into the lane, which is fundamental.  He gambles a bit on D.  This tendency leads to a lot of steals, but then is a liability and can produce an extra amount of fouls on the bigs.
  • His name is Smush
Otherwise, I am pleased the Lakers found him, and that Mr. Jackson has been comfortable playing him big minutes.  I am pleasantly surprised with this team.  Now if only we can continue to play the Hawks and the Nuggets we’ll be great.

computer security tips

Many of you all know that I am in the Information Technology field. Those of you who know what this field may include, I am glad, since I really don’t know all of the things IT includes anymore. Nevertheless, we are inundated with technology and we are supposed to know how things should work. Companies that are not primarily technology companies invest SO much time and money in technology research it is mind-bloggling, curiously, it seems that little money is invested in technology security.

This is a topic of interest for me. With more and more information available on the internet, and at the rapid speed technology is introduced I think companies have neglected to educate people about computer security. Basically there are two types of people I regularly encounter. Some of you probably fit into the category of living in online bliss, mostly ignoring computer security altogther. Others of you probably fear all things related to computers, and those in this category probably are fearful of dealing with any critical or financial information online.

If I can communicate one thing to you before you get bored and stop reading, if you’re going to fit into one of these categories, the safest one is the latter. If you don’t have enough time to care, then, don’t do anything of critical importance, especially related to finances, online. Now you should understand that I believe that internet can be leveraged for a plethora of things which are supposed to make your life easier, and I think you should have the same peace of mind I enjoy when it comes to using technology…

Don’t make yourself an easy target!

So for those interested, let me offer some basic computer security tips.

  1. Physical Security. This one of the fundamental things many well intentioned people fail in. You really should limit the access to your devices, especially PDAs, phones, and notebook computers. If you’re like most PDA or notebook owners, you store crucial information on these devices. You really should know where your devices are. They should not be left in hotel rooms or unlocked drawers at work. Also, since these things can be easily stolen, you should have some password protection on these devices.
  2. Antivirus Protection. Having good etiquette about online security but not having antivirus protection is like having the best life jacket in a ship that is sinking. You may survive but you’ll get wet. You should always have updated virus definitions on your computer. It is a nuisance, but you should make sure to keep up with your subscriptions.
  3. IDs. If you’re like most people, you use the same password for everything. The alternative is to have different passwords for everything and then that usually causes a lot of people to store their passwords in a notebook or in a file on their computer. This is a terrible idea. Let me explain-If you use the same username and password for every single thing you do online, you’re asking for trouble. You should try you diversify your password choices. I personally increase the password complexity based on the importance of the function. The way I rate them will be:a. Financial – banking, online bill payments
    b. Email/Communication
    c. Other (an example of this is my “chatta” box on the right. This would fit my criteria for low-security)

    Password complexity tips–You really should use numbers and symbols in your passwords, to make it simple, avoid words that can be found in the dictionary. There are password crack utilities that will literally try every word found in the dictionary.

    User ID tips–Try to use names which might lend themselves to anoymity. Avoid using “firstnamelastname”. Add a number or something to make it more difficult to discern who you are.

    I use a utility by Ultrasoft called Datashield (link: http://www.ultrasoft.com/datashield/) You can find other free utilities or utilities like this that are available for a small fee which offer encrypted password storage. If you store your passwords on your computer, please make sure that it is protected!!!

    Update: I actually now use an application from Agile Web Solutions called 1Password which is really really brilliant. It really has changed the say I use passwords.

  4. Secure Sites. Do not enter any personal information on a site that is not encrypted. You can tell that a site is encrypted by looking at the address. If it is listed as- https, you can be somewhat certain that it is encrypted. You should be concerned of a few things– a) if your information is stored at some site someplace it could be compromised by either an insider or a hacker. b) if your information is compromised during the transmission of data, which could be easily done if you have spyware/malware on your computer. Your identity could be stolen.There’s many more areas of security to explore, but I think these are basics which should help you feel secure from . Take them or leave them, but here’s to safe and secure computing! Please e-mail for more tips, or just ask the next time you see me.

tagged

Well since my friend a_keyhole_glimpse has taken an opportunity to reach out, I should comply.

Below you will find four songs that I am really enjoying right now.

The Waiting, “Hands in the Air” the bridge is simply amazing

Light from my window sill, make my way to the door
I hang my head and still, I know You’re wanting more
Over the threshold now, I move across the yard
All that my will allows, my every step is hard
Now in the garden I carve out six feet of space
There make my will comply, lie down upon my face
Been toe to toe too long, I’m tired of fighting You
I see You were too strong, cause I am black and blue
But now I understand a losers due to win
How every dying man is sure to rise again
So I raise my left hand one, I raise my right hand too
Under the morning sun, my spirit cries to You
Okay, hear what I say
As I raise my hands in surrender today
Right here
Under the sun
Hands in the air, singing Thy will be done

Andrew Peterson, “Lay Me Down” This is so reminicent of a Rich Mullins tune, simple, honest, heart wrenching.  It does not hurt that Mr. Andrew Osenga is singing his uber-high/ very distinct bg vocals.
So when you lay me down to die
I’ll miss my boys, I’ll miss my girls
Lay me down and let me say goodbye to this world
You can lay me anywhere
But just remember this
When you lay me down to die
You lay me down to live
Andrew Osenga, “Early in the Morning”  Mr. Osenga does it again, written in just a few hours this song tackles the rapid passing of time and how we should redeem it.
Early in the morning, time still flies;
minutes, hours lost as treasures.
My tiny baby’s breathing deeper every day,
soon she’ll leave her crib forever
Derek Webb, “King and A Kingdom”  Shockingly true-
So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a King and a Kingdom