Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thinking Biblically About... Abortion
by J. David Hoke

In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized abortion. Since that time, more than thirty million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out. This is sixteen times the total number of Americans lost in all of our nation’s wars combined. Every day, more than 5,000 unborn lives are aborted in their mother’s wombs.

Today, abortion is legal in all 50 states right up until the time of birth. As we speak, the "Freedom of Choice Act" is now before Congress, which if passed would permit no limits on the killing of unborn babies.

To say that abortion is a controversy is a gross understatement. That people are polarized with this issue is painfully evident. The abortion war has finally begun to live up to its name, sadly, but predictably escalating from hostile words to violent actions. In this year alone, we have seen two abortion doctors shot — one killed. Others are regularly hauled off to jail as they protest in front of clinics. It divides our country.

What can we do? What should we do? With all the rhetoric and slogans surrounding us, what are we to think? Is abortion a moral issue, or just a matter of personal preference? Are there any real answers, or is the issue so confusing that we ought to simply ignore it?

Abortion is certainly one issue about which we need to think biblically. If we do not, we will easily fall prey to the convoluted thinking of our society. Society, however, is not God and has a rather poor record attempting to function in that role. There is no doubt that there are many in society who would like to make their will supreme. If we would preserve truth, we must not let them. We must declare truth based upon God’s Word. Frances Shaeffer said, "If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute." Unless we boldly speak the truth based upon God’s Word, we will be guilty of giving aid to society in its endeavor to become the supreme arbiter of truth.

Read more at Sermons by J. David Hoke
Sola Scriptura

Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church and father of the Protestant Reformation, was publicly rebuking the Catholic Church for its unbiblical teachings. The Catholic Church threatened Martin Luther with excommunication (and death) if he did not recant. Martin Luther's reply was, "Unless therefore I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or by the clearest reasoning, - unless I am persuaded by means of the passages I have quoted, - and unless they thus render my conscience bound by the Word of God, I cannot and will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me! Amen!"


Friday, May 23, 2008

The World’s Easiest Guide To Understanding Retirement Accounts
by Ramit Sethi

I want to be clear about something: I’m sincerely interested in doing less and less work as I go through my life. That’s why I’m always puzzled when I meet people on a career path that will have them working more, not less. That’s like being a real-life Mario Brother, where every progressive level you beat means your life gets harder. Why would you do it?

This is why retirement accounts are one of the best investment tools I’ll write about on this site. I’ll go into the details in a minute, but first let’s dispense with some of the reasons that most of us haven’t done anything about our retirement accounts yet:

  • “Retirement is too far away”
  • “I don’t have any extra money to save right now”
  • “I don’t have time right now
  • ” ” (haven’t thought about it at all)
Read more at I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome
The Abandonment of Sola Scriptura as a Formal Principle
By Bob DeWaay

The February 2008 edition of Christianity Today ran a cover story about evangelicals looking to the ancient Roman Catholic Church in order to find beliefs and practices.1 What was shocking about the article was that both the author of the article and the senior managing editor of CT claim that this trip back to Rome is a good thing. Says Mark Galli the editor, “While the ancient church has captivated the evangelical imagination for some time, it hasn’t been until recently that it’s become an accepted fixture of the evangelical landscape. And this is for the good.”2 Chris Armstrong, the author of the article who promotes the trip back to the ancient church, claims that because the movement is led by such persons as “Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and living and practicing monks and nuns,” that therefore, “they are receiving good guidance on this road from wise teachers.” This he claims shows that, “Christ is guiding the process.”3

Read more at Critical Issues Commentary

Here’s how I set up my financial accounts
by Ramit Sethi

Ok today I’m going to break down how I’ve structured my bank accounts. If only that sounded cooler. Anyway, I have 3 main accounts:

Read more at I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Cook at home, you lazy bastard
by Ramit Sethi

Every time I do a summer internship, I lose my mind and start eating out every day. Then about halfway through the summer, I realize I have no money saved up, only fond memories of that taco truck down the street.

Read more at I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The fool sees only foolishness in God's wisdom

"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool...." Proverbs 28:26

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their own craftiness'; and again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'" 1 Corinthians 3:19-20

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools..." Romans 1:20-22

Read more at Kjos Ministries

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pharaoh's chariots found in Red Sea?
'Physical evidence' of ancient Exodus prompting new look at Old Testament
By Joe Kovacs
© 2008

One of the most famous stories of the Bible is God's parting of the Red Sea to save the Israelites from the Egyptian army and the subsequent drowning of soldiers and horses in hot pursuit.

But is there evidence that such an event did in fact happen – and if so, precisely where did it take place?

The issue is surfacing some 3,500 years after the event is said to have taken place with reports of Egyptian chariot wheels found in the Red Sea, photographs to document it and new books by scientists that could lead to a whole remapping of the Exodus route and a fresh look at ancient biblical accounts.

Read more at World Net Daily

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Help for Workaholics
By: Robert Shannon

Are You At Risk for Workaholism?

When I was assigned the topic of workaholism for this column, I knew immediately who to turn to. My close friend just happens to be a successful senior executive for a Bay Area consulting firm. He's also a consummate workaholic and one of the savviest professionals I know.

"It's how you get ahead that matters," he says. "Working late, putting in the extra time, getting things done, making a difference. It's the quickest way to the top."

For this story, he prefers to remain anonymous. Let's call him "Steve". Despite all Steve's career and financial success, I wouldn't trade places with him. To me, the cost of all that achievement is too high, and the work/life balance is-to put it mildly-out of whack.

Read more at All Pro Dad

75 Skills Every Men Should Be Able to Do
Written By Tom Chiarella

A man can be expert in nothing, but he must be practiced in many things. Skills. You don’t have to master them all at once. You simply have to collect and develop a certain number of skills as the years tick by. People count on you to come through. That’s why you need these, to start.


Friday, May 16, 2008

16 awesome image editing tools

Written by Aviary

One of the most fantastic things about building a suite of tools around a community, instead of the other way around, is that users are always willing to pitch in and help out others with tutorials and forum assistance. It’s our plan to build our applications with a very deep set of community tools, built around forums, wiki-documentation, chat, user-made tutorials and sharable workspaces.

Aviary super star Meowza has already begun paving the way with more than a dozen “photo-phixing” tutorials for other users of Phoenix. Got a specific question on how to make a technique in Phoenix? Ask and ye shall receive.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Marital Interaction
By: Ken Canfield

One of the best things a father can do for his kids is love their mother and build a strong marriage. The effort you put into your marriage is worth it to your children.

Read more at All Pro Dad

Say goodbye to business analysts
By Michael H. Hugos • Published: Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Is there a place for business analysts in IT today? Not if their primary function is just to analyze business needs. As the pace of change accelerates, business people want more than analysis; they want workable solutions to their problems.

Analysis is only part of the job that needs to be done. It can clarify situations and trends, identify problems and make recommendations. But most analysis serves only to educate the business analyst. Business people who live with the situations being analyzed already know 98% of what the analysis will tell them.

Read more at MIS Asia

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Strongest Dad In The World
Article was originally written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

More links to the video and Sport Illustrated page and the Team Hoyt website

Monday, May 12, 2008

Life After the IT Department
By Deb Perelman

If you didn't work in IT, where would you go? What could you do?

Though IT employment is at an all-time high in the U.S.--some 3.8 million employed residents in the U.S. consider themselves IT professionals according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, a record high--and is expected to climb even higher--computer and mathematical sciences jobs expected to grow faster than any other professional occupation through 2016, nearly a 25 percent increase--there are those that work in the field that no longer think it's all it's cracked up to be.

Read more at eWeek Careers

Friday, May 09, 2008

Budget Cutting

What do you do if the government's Expected Family Contribution is just too high or you can't manage the unmet need in your financial aid package? This page provides a few tips on finding the necessary resources.

Read more at Fin Aid
Dump the insurance on your car

Don't squander money on full coverage for an older car. Instead, consider dropping everything but liability insurance and using the savings for your next auto purchase.

If you're paying for collision and comprehensive insurance coverage on an older car, you're probably wasting your money.

Yet many people I talk to are reluctant to drop this coverage, which pays for:

  • The damage you do to your own vehicle when you cause an accident.
  • The loss you suffer when your car is stolen or damaged by something other than a crash (such as a falling tree squashing it flat).

Collision and comprehensive coverage are two of the three major components of car insurance. The third is liability coverage, which pays for the damage you do to other vehicles and people.

Read more at MSN Money

Auto Insurance - When Should You Drop Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?

Lenders require car owners to carry collision and comprehensive insurance coverage on their vehicles as long as there is a lien against them (meaning, while they are being paid off). Then, once the vehicle is paid for, it is usually up to the insured to choose whether or not to carry the extra insurance. I’m blogging about this because our Buick will be paid off in June, which means there will no longer be a lien against it and we will be free to drop our comprehensive coverage and collision insurance.

Read more at All Finance Matters
50 ways to trim your budget

You don't have to give up the things you love to save money. You just have to be willing to look hard. Start with your fixed expenses, then review your discretionary costs.

Lou knows his family is in a vicious cycle with credit cards. He's just not sure how to get out.

Bills and credit card payments eat up most of the Mansfield, Ohio, family's income, leaving them little left over to pay for groceries and other basics. So they wind up charging more.

"My family has about $12,000 in debt to credit card companies," Lou wrote in an e-mail. "We want to stop using these cards and get this fixed. But we are 'bridging the gap' with credit."

Like many families, Lou's clan already has trimmed some of the obvious expenses, such as eating in restaurants. But really getting your budget in line may require rethinking just about everything on which you spend money.

Read more at MSN Money

Easy Savings Tips

The following savings strategies provide advice on how to make it easier to save. You may also find the investment strategies helpful in this regard.

How to Make It Easier to Save

  1. Save early and often. Start saving the day the baby is born, if not earlier, and save as often as you can. The sooner you start, the more you can take advantage of compounding to watch your savings grow. It will also help you get into the habit of saving.

  2. Save as much as you can. If you don't think you can afford to save, start small. You will find that you will adjust your spending habits, and can gradually increase the amount you save. Don't worry too much about starting small, since the compounding of interest over time will help your savings grow. The first step is to get into the habit of saving.

  3. Save regularly. Rather than save money at random intervals, try to save a little every month. The more frequently you can save the better, but at the very least save once a year. If you can save with the same frequency as you receive your paycheck, you will find it easier to get into the habit of saving.
Read more at All Pro Dad
Adobe Photoshop Tip: The Lord of the Rings Tutorial

In the land of MacMerc, in the fires of Mount Dude, the Dark Lord RickMacMerc forged in secret a master Ring tutorial, to control all others. And into this Ring tutorial he poured his custom shape, his layer effects and his methods to bring the Ring to life. "One Ring Tutorial to rule them all." The Tutorial stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and you will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the user is true.

Read more at MacMerc

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Using social networking safely: tips from security pros
By Katherine Walsh • Published: Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Howard Schmidt was reluctant to hop on the social networking bandwagon--a byproduct, he says, of the paranoia he internalizes a security professional. Eventually, though, Schmidt--the one-time cybersecurity adviser to President Bush and itinerant CISO turned consultant--decided the positives outweighed the negatives. He joined not just one social network but three: Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

"My response to those in the security business lamenting the existence of Facebook and MySpace is to ask them if they've ever been on it," says Schmidt.

Read more at MIS Asia

The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities

There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good as or better than their commercial alternatives. This list features our pick of the "best of the best."

Almost all the utilities in this list have featured in past issues of the free monthly newsletter "Support Alert" More freebies are published in each new issue. If you are interested in great utilities and freeware you really should consider subscribing. It's free.

This list is currently being upgraded to a community-based list with different sections of the list maintained and updated by volunteer editors.

Listed below are 46 different freeware categories with our selections of the best products in each category. The list is ordered by program function rather than merit so you'll get the most out of it by browsing down this page at leisure. The pathologically impatient can consult the index below.

Read more at Tech Support Alert

The extend list can be found here

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Selective Boycott of Shell and Caltex

I got an email encourage me to boycott Shell and Caltex and buy Petron. This will supposedly force the price of gasoline to go down to P20 or P30 according to the latest email I got. (Wow, this paragraph is original content :-) I don't want to reproduce that chain email here, but I do want to post a few responses that I got from the Internet validating my suspicion that the email is a hoax. Here they are:

Selective boycott of oil firms will work only if...

By Federico D. Pascual Jr.

BOYCOTT FAILS: What ever happened to the idea broached by disgruntled motorists to boycott Shell and Caltex and buy fuel only from Petron or the small players to force the foreign oil giants losing sales to lower their prices and thereby foment a price war? I have asked around and I want to report that, for whatever reasons, the idea apparently has not caught on. Why would it work when most people are not even aware of the action plan? The boycott proponents were mostly campaigning by email in the Internet. And how many motorists have email and Internet?


The folly of forcing a price war on oil
by Bong Austero

The e-mail that’s currently clogging up networks is yet another hoax entitled Gas Out. It’s a pseudo campaign with a noble objective—to lower prices of oil by forcing a price war with the two major oil companies in the country. It is an e-mail that seems to be generating steam. Friends in the industry have asked me to comment on it since they have noted that many people seem to think that it would work.

It’s one of those pseudo campaigns with a huge potential to hook people in simply because it perpetuates the truism that many people continue to hold sacrosanct: When people come together in unity, nothing is impossible, even slaying a corporate giant. In this particular case, oil companies. Very few are able to resist the temptation to join something so seemingly righteous.

Read more at Manila Standard Today

On boycotts and lower gas prices
posted by Sacha Chua

I received a forwarded e-mail exhorting Filipinos to boycott Shell and Caltex in order to force the two companies to lower their gas prices, and thus affect gas prices everywhere.

Something about that approach strikes me as wrong.

First, it ignores the law of supply and demand. If all the faithful boycotters get their gas from independent gasoline stations (of which there aren't that many, especially along the highways), what's to prevent those gas stations from raising _their_ prices?

Second, it feels like a solution from the wrong side of consumerism. Let me quote a segment from the e-mail:

Read more at Sacha Chua's Wordpress blog

Quick Ways to Trim Your Budget

Looking for some quick and easy ideas on how to trim those extra expenses from your budget? Here are some tips from financial advisor Larry Burkett:

Save on utilities:

Keep the faucet turned off as much as possible while brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Run the dishwasher only when full. Keep the refrigerator turned down to the lower settings. Turn your water heater down. Instead of keeping your thermostat at extreme temperatures, keep your heater or air conditioning at practical levels, then dress accordingly. (Most utility companies recommend keeping your heater below or at 70 degrees and your air at or above 75 degrees in order to save money.) Turn the lights and TV off in rooms when not in use.

More at