Wednesday, April 30, 2008

.Mac = ?

Allrighty. I just got a new iMac at home, and am wanting to synchronize the information from my office Mac and my home Mac. So Mac offers these .Mac accounts, for which I signed up with a free 60-day trial.

I was excited about trying this, because I know it can provide an easy way to synchronize stuff, as well as a good way to publish websites. I am thinking of taking my youth group blog and making it into a full web page, which I think would be a good move. Then again, I've so far been unimpressed with iWeb. It is beautiful, as far as the templates are concerned, but I prefer the blogging features available to me on Blogger. With iWeb, you have the option of adding only 1 picture per post, and It's fairly rigid in your options on layout. So part of me is pretty uninclined to go with it, because I can do more with Blogger.

I have really grown to love Macs over the last year, and I don't think I'll ever buy another PC unless some drastic things happen (and they could). It's simple to use. It never crashes. The programs it comes with are fantastic, and they communicate well with each other. Even the PC programs like MS Office on the Mac are better.

But a lot of what .Mac is offering, I can already do using Google applications. I e-mail important documents to myself. I already have all my contacts on Gmail, and don't really have a need to put them all into my local hard drive, or onto an iDisk for that matter. I also use Google calendar, which works just fine. I publish photos of events on Picasa Web, which works every bit as well as the Mac galleries.

I'm trying to justify the expense of .Mac for the very few extra tools it would offer me.

Anyone know of some things I'm not seeing here?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

God only knows where your life can take you

I got to speak at chapel at my alma mater, Ezell-Harding, a few weeks ago. One of the points I made to the kids is that you simply have no idea where you could end up in life. When I was a senior in high school:

- I had no girlfriend, and no prospects.
- I had never been out of the country.
- I thought I was going to be a business major, or maybe an accountant.
- I didn't own a car, as I had spent as much money as possible on guitars and home entertainment equipment.

Exactly 5 years later:
- I was married to a girl from Durango, Mexico
- I had been out of the country to Mexico and Honduras multiple times
- I was a preacher for a church in Rose Bud, Arkansas (which I would have never heard of otherwise).
- I was a home owner, and had a dog and a cat.

I'll never forget the first time I went to visit some of the members at Rose Bud, and I ended up driving on dirt roads for the first time in my life. I was smiling to myself, talking to God, saying, "Where in the world are you taking me? How did I ever end up here?" When we were in Arkansas for the funeral this weekend, on the way to visit the family, we stopped to take some pictures of this road. Rose Bud brought me so many new experiences in so many different ways.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined my life the way it has turned out. I'm confident I will experience a lot more twists and turns as life continues. But it's all been good, and as I look back, I can see that God has been with me the whole way.

We are all shaped by our experiences. The good memories and positive examples give us something to treasure and to strive for. The bad experiences and hurt leave us with scars that persist and affect us. I continue to be amazed at just how much we grew to love the people in Arkansas. They will forever be a part of who I am. Relationships are an amazing gift from God.


Can I embarrass myself a bit? This is my friend Nathan Miller. After we got back from our retreat the other day, we showed up for church Sunday night wearing exactly the same shirt. Not a similar shirt. The same one. Our wives hee-hawed a lot over that one. Now we're always paranoid about what the other one will wear. At least we both have a sense of humor about it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Farewell to a Dear Friend

I've just learned that Wayne Davis passed away at about 2:15 this afternoon. Wayne has been battling with Lou Gehrig's disease for the better part of probably 5 years, though he's only known about it for the last couple of years. He went into a coma last night, and died peacefully this afternoon. This picture is from our going away banquet at the Rose Bud Church of Christ in May of 2007 (there was a Hawaiian theme, if you couldn't tell).

Around March of last year, Wayne and I had a talk, and he let me know that he wanted me to perform his funeral. He was very open about the fact that his condition was terminal, and I've never seen someone face a horrible disease with any more courage than Wayne has.

The last time I spoke to him was about 3 weeks ago. As always, he was cheerful and encouraging. He never passed up an opportunity to let Carolina and me know that he loves us and is proud of us.

He was the quintessential cowboy. He loved horses and the outdoors. He was very indepenent, and I know he was so frustrated as his body had declined and he was no longer able to do most things for himself. For Carolina and I, he and his wife Ruby became our grandparents while we were in Arkansas with no family around. We love them like family. I've had a long time to get used to the idea that Wayne was going to leave us, and even now that I'm living so far away from them, this is still a tough loss. It won't be the same without him around.

He wanted very much for the other people at church to see what it means to face a terminal disease while standing firm on the hope and peace that can only come from God. I'll miss his good nature, his encouragement, and his constant chuckling...he managed to find something joyful in every situation.

For the rest of my life, part of my motivation to stay faithful to God is that I want to see my dear friend and brother Wayne again.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. We'll miss you so much.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lord's Prayer by a 2 Year Old

I'm always impacted by how much children tend to really love singing hymns. Most babies around us at church really perk up during the songs, and it's cute listening to them try to learn the words and the melodies. With that in mind, I thought this was worth passing on:

Monday, April 21, 2008

For all you Tennesseeans out there...

Don't forget that this coming weekend is a Sales Tax Holiday! Here are the terms about what is exempt and what is not. This includes a lot of different items including clothing. I've got my target set on a computer. We currently own 3; all of which run miserably, and two of which need to end up at a dump somewhere. I'm preparing to make the swap all around, and I doubt I'll ever look back. You can spend up to $1,500 on a computer bundle and not have to pay taxes. This is not only for students, but is open to anyone.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Airplane on Google Maps

I was looking up my friend's house on Google Maps, and it just so happens that the instant the satellite was taking the picture, there was an airplane flying over it!

View Larger Map

If you have not tried out the Street View stuff in Google maps, it is INCREDIBLE. Most of Nashville you can look at from a ground-level perspective. Click here, then choose to see the Street view, and you can look all around my church building!