Three chapters, five verses

. . . The universe waited expectantly, although the LORD already knew . . .

Between Genesis 3:5 and 3:6 a fork in the road was chosen and trod; a choice and steps that could not be retraced. The entire history of our race has been one of trying to get back those footfalls. Our fig-leaf coverings and hide and seek games with God offer no remedy.

Only he can cover us, and only the golden expanse of the mercy seat sprinkled with his own blood can heal our brokenness and appease the justice and holiness with which he governs the universe.

Thank you Lord for not abandoning us to our self-inflicted catastrophe.

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

– Genesis 3:21

This and that

It’s been a busy but good weekend.

On the Bloo front, I still need to upgrade this blog to the latest version :-) – which is weird, since that should have been one of the first things I did. But so many changes went into Bloo version 1 alpha that certain things (like the themes I have here) have to be rewritten.

I have gotten several kind offers for alpha testing, and I am excited about that – hopefully I’ll have several people setup for that in the next few days. And I continue to see people downloading the software.

Bloo Alpha testers wanted

Tonight I released Bloo version 1.00 alpha build 3. As some of you may know, I’ve been working on a public domain blogging package named “Bloo” for awhile. Currently my solo blog Out of the Bloo and the Bloo Development Blog are two blogs based on this software. Bloo is fully object-oriented and differentiates itself in other important ways from most packages out there. It is also, of course, still in it’s toddlerhood.

Earlier this month I released it into the public domain. I’ve had a dozen or two downloads since then, but haven’t been making too huge a noise as there were some specific features I wanted to add to it before calling for alpha testers. Well, at this point I think I’m ready for some people to load this thing up and take it for a test drive.

You can read more about Bloo at The Bloo Wiki and can get the latest version at the SourceForge Project Page.

What I’m looking for is one of two types of people to alpha test.

Person 1: You are a person who has some webspace of your own that supports PHP and MySql and wouldn’t mind uploading the software, installing it (I have a pretty straightforward install program that comes with it) and kicking the tires. There’s no limit to how many of these kinds of testers I could use. A bonus would be if some of the people in this group are experienced PHP developers with a good handle on Object Oriented concepts and the willingness to learn how Bloo is put together, and the philosophy behind it, as I could use the help. This would probably require me to do some documentation but I need to do that anyway.

Person 2: You aren’t necessarily technical or posessed of webspace, but you are an experienced blogger. I would be willing to setup blogs for 2 or 3 people of this sort under the outofthebloo.com domain. The blog would be, basically, [a name you choose].outofthebloo.com. All I would ask is that you spend some time doing some testing and blogging. I would come up with some specific tasks for you to try.

There is a third type of person as well – someone who has webspace but isn’t keen on installing Bloo themselves. I’d be glad to do that for you.

In short, I’m looking for some people interested in getting involved at the ground level in helping move Bloo along. So, if you’re interested in alpha testing this thing, please let me know! You can write me at supportAToutoftheblooDOTcom and we’ll talk. Of course, the key word here is “alpha” – this software has been working pretty well for me for almost a year, but no doubt there are plenty of gotchas lurking under the surface.

Bloo and the Art of Shower Repair

In case any of my three readers wonder where I’ve been lately:

Life is good. And busy. Jill and I had the GAP class over on Sunday afternoon. That was great! And I’ve been working a lot on the third alpha build of Bloo (and I’m about to put out a call for alpha testers . . . finally). It’s a big one, with some neat features. More on that later.

And then there’s our shower. For background, there’s not a plumb line in our entire house. We love our house but also believe that the day they built it was “take your daughter to work day” and that the builder’s six-year-old progeny built certain parts of it (like the shower). I had to rip the shower apart recently due to a water leak – and this is a custom built shower with a cultured marble frame. I fixed the leak (in theory) but called in a glass company to re-install the shower glass, because I chickened out on doing that part. That was done today – woot! – but between wrestling with the shower, getting the yard looking like spring again, teaching and hanging out with the GAP class, and ongoing Bloo development, I haven’t been making much time to blog.

But all is well. God is good, always, and we’re enjoying His blessings.

I hope you are too.

A quick thought on Psalm 19

Who can discern his errors?

– Psalm 19:12a

Just half of one verse, but what a statement.

The thought hit me tonight that the process of sanctification is often a microcosm of progressive revelation, focused down on the person we know both the best and the least. Ourselves.

Do you notice sins in yourself that you never would have considered to be a problem earlier in your Christian maturity? And hopefully not in the self-flagellating, guilt-ridden frame that we sometimes fall into, like those who have no hope. But rather with the almost detached, spiritual wisdom that comes from God and says “this is not of me”.

May God help me discern my errors, and arise from them.

Smyrna

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) . . .

– Revelation 2:8-9a (ESV)

I’ve been thinking about tribulation lately. I have been blessedly free of it for most of my adult life, which seems strange. And somewhat disconcerting. The biggest opposition I face, in general, is of the level of someone misunderstanding or misrepresenting something I posted.

Don’t get me wrong; I do not strive for tribulation. And I thank God every day for the goodness he has showered on me.

But I also am beginning to understand, I think, why tribulation is good. I may put this into words soon (just not right now – I think I’m too tired to do it justice). So instead I just wanted to point out the virtue of Smyrna, that embattled and poverty stricken little church that Christ honors in the early chapters of the Revelation. Jesus reminds them that he is the one who has died and come back to life.

Knowing this, what on earth can we fear? He is alive, and even death was unable to defeat him. He is the first and last. When you think of it, he is the first and the last Word. There is nothing to fear.

And he blesses little Smyrna, one of the two churches (the other is Philadelphia) of which nothing bad is said in the letters to the churches of Revelation. He sees their poverty, and pronounces them rich! He sees their tribulation. And he honors it.

More on tribulation later (I hope). But I’m inspired by Smyrna, in their poverty glorified and in their tribulation comforted by Jesus Christ himself, who became poor for us and suffered for our good. Praise his name forever!

Extreme Home Makeover

Do you ever watch Extreme Home Makeover?

We watch it sometimes. I really like it – what a heartwarming show! And they are doing some real, if somewhat extravagant, good for people.

Tonight the show was about them building a home for a family who had lost their father. Their father was a pastor.

I was so impressed with the respect that Extreme Home Makeover gave to the faith of this family. It was beautiful.

All

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4:9-11 (ESV)

It’s all him. Our Lord deserves all the honor and praise and glory. This is evidenced by the willing worship of the elders in the throne room, who with joyful abandon cast their precious crowns at his feet.

He is worthy – really, the only one who is worthy. I was pondering this as I prayed over a matter heavy on my heart. Where human hope runs out there is always hope. Because he died and rose again, and on the cross he paid for all of our sins, Indeed he took them upon himself. The torture and passion of that central fact of history and eternity stands, on its own, as the evidence: he is worthy. He is worthy! And in this world of trouble and woe, the worthiness, power, and glory of the Lord remains. Nothing is too hard for him. Not even dying for unworthy creatures like you and me. He can heal anyone, he can raise anyone, he can reconcile anyone – both to himself and to those around them. And while, through human eyes, we often think that he has not worked, it’s just because we only see a small sliver of reality. He went to the cross for his creation, a creation in rebellion against him. He went to the cross and his blood covers the vilest of us in its purifying flow. He came to reconcile, and to make perfect that which seems unredeemable. He is patient, and – in the best way – stubborn, and determined, and powerful, and terrible in his wrath in his zeal for his name and for his children. Even when his children run from him.

He is worthy. And, thought we often hold on tight to them, when we finally see him as he is we will understand how foolish it is to covet our crowns. He alone is worthy, and in the light of his face we will joyfully cast the crowns he himself made for us at his wounded feet.

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Revelation 22:17 (ESV)

Bloo release 1.00.a.002

I will refrain from many more technical/geek posts, but I will ping you with news regarding the development of Bloo as things develop. I won’t wax eloquent about Bloo anymore in this space, as I now have a Bloo Development Blog where I can do that. And there was much rejoicing!

Also, due to a rising clamor, I think I need to explain just what Bloo is, as a vast majority of the three people who still read this blog have been cocking inquisitive snooks at me about what the heck I am blathering on about. Simply put, Bloo is the software I have written that runs this blog. I put it in the Public domain (meaning: I have made the source code publicly available) and have it out in a SourceForge project as well. For more info, check out the Bloo wiki, which is my growing repository of information on all things bloo.

Now, to the latest Bloo news: I released the second alpha build last night. It fixed a few glaring and dumb errors.

Good night all.