Kind of freaking out

Things are going good in the development of Bloo. However, I set the bar pretty high for myself. I’ve architected the Extensions module and I’m pretty happy with the results, but there are a million things left to do to get release candidate 1 out there. I mean, the software works now, but this is my last chance to be able to easily rearchitect things (once people start using** this that gets a lot harder).

But I’m having fun. I’m a nerd.

Looks like a Thursday release!

Watch me for the changes . . .

** of course, it’s a pretty big assumption to assume that’s anywhere near imminent.

Eager hope!

. . . as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

– Philippians 1:20 (ESV)

I’ve posted on this before, but I truly love this verse.

I love the phrase “eager expectation and hope”. The word behind “eager expectation” (apokaradokia) is only used one other place in the NT (Romans 8:19). It’s a word that surges, one that, according to Vines, gives the picture of someone watching with outstretched head (apo – from, kara – the head, dokia – to look, to watch). It is a “strained expectancy”, an eager longing, and contains the idea of focus – the abstraction from anything else that might take our attentions.

Paul knew hope. Which is why he could speak of it so eloquently while chained to a Roman guard – most likely a thoroughly evangelized Roman guard! My guess is that the coterie of imperial guards who had “Paul duty” were a mixed bag vis-a-vis whether they enjoyed it or not. To some, Paul represented a hope beyond endless service to a pagan regime – contagious and enticing hope! To others he was, no doubt, just another misguided fool, gabbling on about his crucified god.

Paul didn’t care. He had hope, and he eagerly awaited Christ’s honoring of himself within Paul’s body. Whether by Paul’s life or death, well, it hardly mattered which to the old apostle. He strained forward, like a sleek and powerful horse straining at the starting gate in eager expectation. He couldn’t wait!

I hope that you have hope today. As God’s children we are not to live as those who have no hope. Thank God.

And I pray that God will glorify himself in you and me today.


I have, on purpose, not been posting much these days. That will change, but I have made getting Bloo release-worthy my primary focus, rather than blogging.

On the Bloo front thing’s are good. I’ve been refactoring (that’s a nerd-term for “rewriting stuff that I wrote stupidly the first time”) and adding functionality. Applying naming conventions. Rewriting event handlers. Creating the Extensions administration module (I’m completely geeked out about this!). Trying to anticipate things that might come up and trying to make Bloo, as a whole, more understandable.

Release date – this week (sometime between February 28 – March 2, come heck or high water).

I’m also working with the magnificent Rob T to redo my sister’s business site. Ads Around Town. If you look at it anytime after Sunday, Feb 26, it will look different, and hopefully better.

Oh, and Sourceforge gave me a project page. Because they rule.

Hope your Sunday is fabulous! project request submitted!

I promise, once Bloo is released into the wild I’m setting up a Developer’s blog so that I will be able to spare you my nerdvana moments regarding the Bloo Software.

But . . . we’re not there yet. So I will be blathering on about this stuff here in this space. Today I took another step toward public release: I have requested a project space for Bloo. I should know in two days whether they think Bloo is worthy.

Here’s the text of the request (on the wiki).

Working feverishly

I have been working feverishly on Bloo version 1.0, which will be the public domain release. I’ll lovingly release it into the wild sometime between February 29-March 2. So I now have a real release date, and not just the 33rd of Neverary date that I’ve been working with to this point. I’ve been doing a lot of code review and refactoring, and the final product will be a lot more stable and extensible I think than what I have now.

If you get a chance, check out my new Wiki. I was using PHPWiki earlier, but it kind of applied a vacuum, so I switched to MediaWiki, which is the same fine software that powers Wikipedia. The documentation will be expanding on the Wiki as time goes by, and hopefully I’ll come up with a better logo too. Anyone want to help on that score?

Wiki software is so cool. [Bill makes that face geeks make when they are thinking of something cool, like Wiki software or the Lord of the Rings].

I had the day off today, which consisted of finishing Blake’s poem, cooking Jill breakfast (my scrambled eggs and bacon are becoming legendary. Well, not really, but I’m getting better), working for awhile on Bloo, fixing a fuel-leak on Andrew’s car, taking Molly a lunch that she sweet-talked me into, looking at the shells Bethany got at Galveston on her weekend adventure, briefly tossing the baseball with Blake, “checking the mail” with Andrew and Jill, and not doing my taxes.

I taught a spiritual gifts class tonight for students. I forgot how much I miss students. Wow.

Our second GAP class went well (at least I got a lot out of it). We’re going through a study of Philippians right now. Double wow.

I’m praying for you every day, multiple times, oh guitar-playing, Chili’s table sharing, Quessadilla-eating, lunch-skipping, paper-writing, Maxima-driving, deep-thinking one. I love you more than you can imagine.

This post is so much like a Livejournal post. I think I’m regressing.

Good night all. God loves you.

Grace to you and peace

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

– Philippians 1:2 (ESV)

“Grace to you and peace”; this was the common epistolary greeting of Paul. I’ve blown through it many times, without realizing its importance.

Greetings in letters in those days held more importants than the greetings of our day – the greeting in most of my emails is “hey!”, for instance. It was quite common for Greek letters of Paul’s day to begin with the word charein, which means “rejoice”, or “greetings”. An example of this can be found in the beginning of the book of James.

Paul diverged from this custom by starting many of his letters with the word charis, or “grace”. It is derived from the same root as charein but carries with it that central theme of the Gospel, the theme of unmerited favor. Grace! The favor of God, undeserved yet purchased for us by the willing shedding of the blood of Jesus.

The common greeting in a Hebrew letter of Paul’s day was shalom, or “peace”. Paul knew the source of peace, the “peace that passes all understanding”. It is grace, from whose fountain peace flows into our lives. So Paul combined these two customs in one: charis umin kai eirene, “Grace to you and peace”.

May you experience both today!


Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

– Philippians 3:14-16 (ESV)


That is what we are called to be. In reading these lines from Philippians 3 I am reminded of the description of the blessed man of Psalm 1:

“Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.”

There is an aspect to this that I hadn’t thought of before tonight. Look at these commands: don’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers. Do everything withough grumbling or complaining. Why? Well, the first answer is, of course, because these actions dishonor the Lord.

But we should also avoid them because they waste time.

When a lamp is lit, it shines. It doesn’t grumble or complain about the lighting, or what it is illuminating, or the fact that its lampshade could use some dusting.

Sitting for a time with the scoffers can be enjoyable; most of us enjoy venting our cynicism and getting our vitriol on now and then. The self-indulgence of perceived hurt carries with it a perverse pleasure. But what a colossal waste of time. I’m reminded of the scene from the movie Gettysburg in which Robert E. Lee scolds general Jeb Stuart for the late arrival of his cavalry to the battlefield. Lee states that Stuart’s honor is being questioned by the other officers. At that Stuart becomes indignant and demands a chance to settle the score with his accusers. Lee will have none of this nonsense, however. “There is no time!” he shouts.

We live in a world that pulls at our cynicism, trying to drag it out of us. These are, indeed, evil days. The natural state of man is to complain, to grumble, to scoff. Yet we are called to have none of that; there is no time! Why delay the shining of the light of Jesus into the darkness? And why let the fog of our sarcasm and bitterness cover it up?

Do everything without grumbling or questioning. That is the command. It may not seem natural, but we are children of God now, called to live blameless lives and to shine the light of hope in this dark, smoky world. May I take this to heart in my own life. It’s incredible, the effort it takes me just to cast a dim glow through the lampshade I have pulled so tightly around myself. Yet for some soul I meet tomorrow there may be no more time.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)

Blessed hope

For the grace of God has appeared,

bringing salvation for all people,

training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,

and to live self-controlled, upright,

and godly lives in the present age,

waiting for our blessed hope,

the appearing of the glory

of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness

and to purify for himself a people

for his own possession

who are zealous for good works.

– Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

I was just thinking about hope. It’s a wonderful thing! I hope to write more cogently and thoughtfully about it in the near future. I hope that you are experiencing hope today.

I will start updating regularly again, soon (I hope!).

Have a great day, blogosphere!

The cell phone

Laura Winner of the webzine Boundless has some interesting – and convicting – thoughts on cell phone usage. I was particularly struck by these paragraphs:

About a year ago, I was standing in line at the drugstore. The gal in front of me was talking on her cell phone. I (naively) assumed that when she got to the front of the line, she would hang up, or at least put her cell phone down. I was wrong. Where her turn came, Cell Phone Gal stayed stuck to her cell phone, paying for her gum, magazines, and lip gloss without so much as a hello to the cashier. It occurred to me that our gal was treating the person, the cashier, like a machine, and treating the machine like a person.

. . .

I am struck by the sad thought that we are no longer ever alone. We have eroded all the space we once had for solitude. I’ve had some of my best conversations with myself, and with God, strolling across campus. Now, when we stroll, we are talking into tiny bits of plastic – and most of what we’re saying is pretty lame. (“Well, I’m about 10 seconds from the library … yep, now I’m walking up the library steps … no, okay, well here I am entering the library, I’ll see you in three seconds.”) Is solitude so scary that we have made it impossible? Solitude is scary, but scarier still is the prospect of a society in which no one has time to be quiet, to be reflective.

Food for thought . . .

[hat tip: Transforming Sermons]