WordPress users – favorite widgets/plug-ins?

January 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Admin, Web/Tech, Weblogs 

I know that I have a few WordPress users among my readers.

What are your favorite widgets or plug-ins?  Are there any that you think I should be using?

Presbytalk Grand Opening

January 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Religion, Web/Tech, Weblogs 

I am pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Internet’s newest Presbyterian Discussion Forum:  Presbytalk.

This new forum is intended for discussion and community-building for anyone connected with a Presbyterian church (of any denomination).  The site is free to users.

Come and join us!

Bible Study on Blogs

July 7, 2008 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: Religion, Weblogs 

This post and its comments are the online home for this Bible Study on blogging.  I hope that each of you will contribute.  If you wish to contribute anonymously, just e-mail your words to me and I’ll post them under whatever identification you want (or none).

The basic question that we’re covering is “what does the Bible say about blogging?”  This was prompted by a bit of a dustup that I’ve had with some members and staff of my congregation over things written by me on this blog.  So a sub-question is “Can you or should you ever post negative thoughts or facts about your local church on a blog?”

So far we’ve got two sides to the question (hey, most of us are Presbyterian!):

Post only what builds up the body of Christ – Coming from 1 Corinthians 13, but also from most of Paul’s letters and strong support from the Gospels is the concept that we should blog in love for our fellow humans.  That we should blog only what builds up the body, and avoid that which would cause disruption.

Criticism that is intended to promote right action is valid
– In this case, Galatians 2 is the key, particularly the narratives of the discourse between Paul and the Jerusalem leaders, and Paul’s rebuke of Peter.  Here, it’s clear that speaking truth to power (church leadership) and then writing about it to a larger group of 3rd parties has happened in Scripture.

Overlaying all of this is the injunction in Matthew 18:15-17 – if you have a disagreement, take it to the other party.  If that doesn’t work, take a few friends to the other party.  If that doesn’t work, tell it to the church.  If that doesn’t work, write the other person off.  One question here – in terms of blogs, what is the definition of “the church”?  The local congregation?  The denomination?  The entirety of the Christian blogosphere?  Or all believers in Christ?

Another question is whether or not the rules are different when speaking of people that you see weekly in church vs. the greater church (the denomination).  Can you speak more harshly about those who you disagree with simply because they don’t sit in the same sanctuary with you on Sunday?

I welcome your continued thoughts.  I plan for this post to be the home of this discussion.  Please put your thoughts in comments, or e-mail them to me to be added.  This is a Bible study, so let’s focus on Scripture.


March 20, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Religion, Weblogs 

Meme courtesy of Shawn, originally started by Bruce.

  • in about 25 words each (OK, I can’t do that, but I think I average to about 25), answer the following five questions;
  • tag five presbyterian bloggers and send them a note to let them know they were tagged;
  • be sure to link or send a trackback to this post;

1. What is your earliest memory of being distinctly Presbyterian?

This is a close one.  Being elected as YAD to the Synod of the Northeast from Palisades Presbytery as a high school junior, followed 3 weeks later by ordination as a deacon.

The YAD election was really cool.  Youth from all over the presbytery (one per church participating – about 15-20 total) did a lock-in at a church in the middle of the presbytery.  The youth did a program to determine (today we’d say “discern”) what skills and attitude are important for a representative to General Assembly or Synod.  Then in the morning we would elect 4 youth to represent the presbytery – a GA YAD, a GA alternate, a Synod YAD, a Synod alternate.

This is also one of the saddest memories of my life.  The girl who was elected alternate to GA died in a car/train accident about 4 weeks later – one day before I planned to call her and ask her out on a date.

2. On what issue/question should the PC(USA) spend LESS energy and time?

Attempting to draw a line around the acceptable beliefs (“essential tenets”).  This is religion, not a government computer system.  Gray is acceptable – black and white is not required.

3. On what issue/question should the PC(USA) spend MORE energy and time?

Evangelism and mission in the local community.  We are dwindling in numbers because we think the “church” is a building.  The church is people.  We need to create, execute, and most importantly promote positive messages and actions in our communities.  We need to stop defining who is and isn’t a club member and start being radically inclusive.  It’s time to stop being a club and start being a movement again.

4. If you could have the PC(USA) focus on one passage of scripture for an entire year, what would it be?

Matthew 7:1-5.  Time to stop concentrating on others’ beliefs and start concentrating on our own – and how well we live up to them.

5. If the PC(USA) were an animal what would it be and why?

A starving dog, who has started eating other dogs held captive with it in order to survive.

Extra Credit: Jesus shows up at General Assembly this year, what does he say to the Presbyterian Church (USA)?

“You seem to have a lot of food here; I guess I don’t need to do the loaves and fishes bit.  How do you plan to share your abundance with those who need it?”

I tag:  Cheesehead in Paradise, Search the Sea, St. Casserole, some amusing blog pun, and Unresolved Tensions.

An Apology to Classical Presbyterian

March 26, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Religion, Shoot Yourself in the Foot, Weblogs 

A few weeks ago, Toby Brown on Classical Presbyterian published two articles (Here and Here) regarding his decision to file charges against the Rev. Janet Edwards for her performance of a lesbian civil union and related matters.

In Toby’s comments section, I took him to task for his decision (here, here, here, and here).  I stand by my words regarding the filing of charges in a case where the accuser does not know the defendant, does not have special knowledge of the situation, and where someone else who fits the other criteria is able to file the complaint.  However, I was intemperate in my remarks.

I had an “AHA!” moment regarding this today over at the Truth in Love blog.  I had imputed motives to Toby’s actions.  I do not live inside his head, and there is no hole in the wall behind my cubicle that allows me to inhabit his brain.  I cannot truly speak to his (or anybody else’s) motives for taking an action or making a statement.

Toby – I am sorry for my less than reasonable language.  I am also sorry for assigning a motive (particularly a negative motive) to your action.  I will take steps to avoid a doing either again in the future, though I suspect that I will backslide again at some point.

Mea culpa.

RIP Edloe

July 8, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life, Weblogs 

Last week, I was off the net for a week in a training class with no Internet access.  I’m finally getting caught up and I found THIS.

Edloe was nearly the headliner of Laurence’s 4-cat show.  I will miss him.

Tonight I go home and give treats to Albert and Isaac, and give them extra hugs.

DirecTV and Tivo – did I make a mistake?

January 7, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Television, Weblogs 

Two months ago, I plopped down $1000 for a DirecTV HD Tivo box.  It’s a box that allows me to record 2 programs while watching a recorded program (or watch one and record one) from DirecTV or OTA (Over the Air – broadcast locals) digital source.

Yesterday, DirecTV made several announcements at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  What they amount to is this:

  1. DirecTV is releasing their own DVR (digital video recorder), based on NDS technology and uCentric technology.  This is expected to be similar to what SkyTV has released in Europe – Fox owns SkyTV and DirecTV.  There are not likely going to be any new Tivo boxes from DirecTV.
  2. DirecTV is going to use new satellites and new technology for their HD local channels and a supposed 150 HD channels.  They will be available starting in 6 months after the new satellites launch.  However, these satellites will be using MPEG-4 encoding and a new modulation technique.  That means that ALL existing DirecTV receivers will be unable to view those channels.  DirecTV promises to “convert” all existing HD customers – whatever that means.

So, the question is – what does that mean to me?  Do I now own a $1000 brick?

Misha tries to answer the question in this blog entry.

Personally, I think I blew it with my purchase.

Dead Pool 2005

December 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs, Dead Pool, Life, Television, Weblogs 

Laurence Simon is running the Dead Pool again for 2005.  In order to participate, you have to have a blog (or be willing to make a small contribution) and select 15 identifiable people (not your neighbor – someone whose death will show up in the news) who you think/hope will die in 2005.  The year boundary is marked by the ball in Times Square.

It’s a little late to announce this, but if you can get your list together in the next 34 hours, you can enter by following the instructions at:  Dead Pool

I have made my picks, and will be announcing them in a delayed post to be shown on January 1.

Atlas Line (USA) Really Is A Dirty Shipper

August 2, 2004 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs, Weblogs 

In this article, I posted a link to Chief Wiggles’ site and a problem that they are having with Atlas Line (USA) regarding a shipment of toys for Iraqi children. Later that day I modified the post to say that things were resolved.

Apparently, this wasn’t true. This shipper has failed to get the deposit transferred to the Kuwaiti company holding the shipment, and has started leaving callers on hold when they try to get this resolved. We need your help.

See HERE for Chief Wiggles’ detailed post on the matter.

Then, call and make some noise:

Atlas Line (http://atlas-line.com)
President: Alicia Ludwig

Atlas Line (USA), Inc.
650 Atlanta South Parkway, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30349

Phone: 404-766-4676
Fax: 404-209-8493

I just called, and they refused to put me through to anyone – “they are all in a meeting”. I am supposed to call back in an hour to speak to “Brian”.

Blogger’s House Burns Down

May 25, 2004 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Weblogs 

Jay McCarthy writes about how his house burned down Sunday morning after being struck by lightning.

There was originally a movement to give him money, but in his latest post he tells us thanks, but he really doesn’t need it – he’s covered by insurance and already has an empty grandparent’s house to move to.

Blogging from your backyard while your house burns has to be a first!

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