Archive for Techspeak

Loving the earth is not satanic

Canticle-print-smallIn the beginning when god began creating the heavens and the earths manifestations of god’s self of gods love, and god saw that it was good. And god created humans as embodied manifestations of gods consciousness, god’s glory and god’s love. God charged humanity to be stewards of the earth, to love it and care for it.

It should not be a big surprise to us that we as gods image bearers also have a deep love for the creation that we are a part of. We are hardwired to be awed and swept away by god’s creation. The forests and the oceans are part of us, or we are part of them, they are our external lungs and without them we cannot live. At the core of everything we are connected, we are one with all of creation and it’s divine source. All is one. because in the end there is only the divine source and the source is love.

How is it then, that as soon as we express this deep devotion and love for the manifestation of the divine, the Christian tribe quickly labels it as heretical, pagan, new agey and even satanic?

Wouldn’t it be natural for us to join in with saint Francis in the canticle of the sun?

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You;
through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve Him with great humility.

There is a clear connection between our embodied state and our spirituality, this connection needs to be honoured if we are to truly manifest missio dei, god’s dream or god’s kingdom.

Thomas Merton makes this connection clear when he writes:

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.

C.S Lewis also beautifully describes this heavenly music of the spheres in his space trilogy. So can we be still and hear the music of creation humming and drumming deep within us, can we feel the connection to the earth, to the sun, to the moon and stars, to all of creation, without being afraid that we are becoming pantheist, pagan, wiccan, or as some Christian tribes would have it, thereby satanist? Can I honour and love the divine in mother earth, in sister moon, in father sky and in brother wolf, without thinking or worrying about being heretical? All is one with the divine source and I want us all to have the freedom to honour the divine in all. Because loving the earth is our task, it’s in our DNA and it is a sacred connection with the divine source.

Recycling books

It all started with me reading Gaunt’s Ghosts and the omnibus being to big to hold comfortably in one hand. That combined with the fact that Hanna does not like me to read in bed (the light disturbs her) made me get Stanza for the iphone. I didn’t think I would like to read electronically as I have this deep love of books, I love the feel of a new book and the smell of books. As it turns out I love to read books more than I love the physical book, and I am now fully converted to reading electronically.

The complete shift happened when I bought my kindle. E-ink is the best and I love reading on my kindle. I also love having the book available and searcheable on my kindle, on my iPhone and on my Mac, never have cross referencing and prepping been easier. Not to mention how much lighter my bag is.

I also realised that apart from saving my aching shoulders, I am also saving loads of bookshelf space and possibly in the end a few trees as move from paper to digital ink.

Now as I survey my bookshelf I find several books that I wish I could trade in for a kindle version. So I have decided to try the following: If you gift me one of the following books (It is very easy click on the link, buy as a gift, enter my email address as recipient) I will send you the physical book (which in every case costs more than the kindlebook). If it is one of the larger volumes (or if you live outside of the EU) we’ll discuss postage.

Here are the books:

[amazon_link id="B001GCUCHM" target="_blank" ]What Would Jesus Deconstruct?: The Good News of Postmodernism for the Church[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B0010SIPOY" target="_blank" ]Surprised by Hope[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B002U80FU0" target="_blank" ]Free of Charge[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B001DL6G26" target="_blank" ]The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B000SEOC1G" target="_blank" ]The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B001ANYC1E" target="_blank" ]Great Emergence, The: How Christianity Is Changing and Why (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith)[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B00194ESYA" target="_blank" ]The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B000MAHCKO" target="_blank" ]A Generous Orthodoxy: By celebrating strengths of many traditions in the church (and beyond), this book will seek to communicate a 'generous orthodoxy.'[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B003JMFDMG" target="_blank" ]The Resurrection of the Son of God[/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="B001F7B5LA" target="_blank" ]Emergent Manifesto of Hope, An[/amazon_link]

(I know the last one (emergent manifesto)  isn’t in the picture above but the amazon link is the correct book)

Please help me empty my bookshelf and to fill my kindle….

Free Bible Software, anyone?

So here I am with my new Macbook and with a new OS I need to find good solid bible software. I need a good McBible or perhaps it should be called iBible.

I started out with MacSword. I have always loved the Sword project as it is GPL and therefore it comes at no cost. Gnome Sword is easy to use and very versatile but on the mac sadly my NRSV, NIV and Message would not work properly (no surprise as I compiled them from the Biblegateway website). In all fairness I have to say I still loved the layout and serene simplicity of macsword and won’t be removing it from my harddrive anytime soon.

So I decided to go for Accordance. Accordance is much more expensive (especially compared to MacSword at zero cost). As far as I can tell accordance is a brilliant piece of software and I am enjoying it fully and you can read a full review of the software here. Incidently if you make a comment on that article before 5th of December you stand a chance of winning a free copy of accordance introductory library package.

Now if I could only figure out how to put a bible on my new red iPod that my precious wife got for my birthday….

It's MY IPod!

I have a brand new Macbook Pro, I had the older model that I bought just a few weeks before they released the new model. It was a great machine, great specs, great performance. But as the new model came out I got really sad. My machine was still a great machine but not as great as the new one. I called the store and they agreed to replace it and just as a bonus we where going to get the great deal with a free IPod Nano as well.

As this unfolds it turns out it took them two weeks for the macbooks to arrive at the store. And so we are no longer eligeble for the IPod deal. I go to the store disappointed and demand my IPod. The poor fellow in the store try to explain to me that it isn’t that he doesn’t want to give me an IPod, but he can not. I get flustered and in my mind I think I have a right to have a free IPod, after all didn’t everyone else who paid ridiculous amount of money for a mac get one. The Apple representative kindly reminds me that we are allready getting a £400 discount because we are students. I know he is right but I do not want to acknowledge it.

With the same attitude my youngest daughter has when she lies on the floor kicking and screaming to get ice cream just before dinner. I feel had. Why do I never get the good deal? Why do I never win the lottery (but you never play …. THAT’S NOT THE POINT)? I wan’t to scream out: IT’S NOT FAIR!

A quiet voice in my head reminds me of people starving in Africa and homeless people right outside this building of commercialism but the child within screams in outrage and then bargains. Yes, but I am getting a RED IPod that means at least some of the money is given to aids research.

At that outrageously ridiculous argument the card house in my mind crumbles and I let go. I am walking out of the store with a fantastic computer, the best one I have ever owned. Letting go of my silly notion of having my way frees me up to enjoy what I actually have. Letting go of what could have been, lets me just savor what is! Richard Foster calls this the freedom of submission and he states “In the discipline of Submission we are released to drop the matter, forget it. Frankly, most things in life are not nearly as important as we think they are.”1.

  1. Foster, Richard J. The Celebration of Discipline (San Francisco: Harper, 1998) p. 111 []

A cool cat

Almost a year ago I bought my [[cuecat]] through Librarything. Hanna was livid, why would I spend money on a barcode scanner??

As we get ready for our college Collectanea inspection we dusted of our cuecat and scanned in every book in our library into Alexandria, a library program.

Now our whole bookshelf is organised on the computer and also uploaded to Librarything all done in only a day.

A cool cat

Almost a year ago I bought my [[cuecat]] through Librarything. Hanna was livid, why would I spend money on a barcode scanner??

As we get ready for our college Collectanea inspection we dusted of our cuecat and scanned in every book in our library into Alexandria, a library program.

Now our whole bookshelf is organised on the computer and also uploaded to Librarything all done in only a day.

Homeless again….

So it is kind of fitting, we started our mission trip in Latvia 18 months ago living in the backroom of a church and now I am again living in one of the church offices (again thank God that the girls are not here for it, but are enjoying a sunny beach in Croatia).

I loose my bearings when I don’t have my own little space with my own things around me, it becaomes hard to concentrate on those daily things and I can’t seem to find the motivation for much anything.

I’ve played a lot of Frets On Fire in the last few days (Got it set up on my laptop with a USB keyboard to boot). And I started making some Christian songs for FoF. The first one done is [[Audio Adrenaline]] – Man of God wich will be made available for the close commuinity of guitar freaks at “Gitarrhaket“.

Tomorrow I will have the apartment cleared out and hopefully Friday night or Saturday lunch I will be back in the apartement.

iPod shuffle trouble in Feisty and an easy fix!

Yesterday at Hannas request I gave her an apple and a hug for her birthday. It turns out Hannas brand new pink iPod shuffle doesn’t play well in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn despite what a superficial google scan might tell you.

Jump straight to the summary if you are impatient….

I tried to add songs to it with Rythmbox, Banshee, gtkpod, gtkpod-aac all these applications could add songs but none of them played (and yes I first converted my precious ogg files into mp3)

It turns out the device needs to be initialized on a windows machine with iTunes installed, so off I went to hunt for windows machines, luckily I realized that I have not yet formated a windows partition on one of my laptops so I was off to a good start. After that I tried to add songs to the iPod again with these various programs and while I could add songs some songs played and others didn’t and when I removed songs they dissapeared from all the programs but still played in the shuffle. Aaaargh and frustration.

As I was trying to install iTunes in crossover office and realizing that the version that works with crossover is to old for the shuffle I was ready to toss the thing and jump off a cliff when I found this little python script. Thank God for hackers! It is a tiny script that sits on your iPod and when you copied the mp3 files over to your shuffle in any directory you like with any name you want, you just run the script and viola

presto working iPod shuffle.

Summary

  1. Initialize (or restore if you allready have stuff on it) the iPod shuffle in iTunes on a windoze machine
  2. Copy all the music you want in mp3 format (get SoundConverter with ‘apt-get install soundconverter‘ if your files are in other formats) to your iPod shuffle in nautilus
    using any file structure that makes sense to you
  3. Copy in the rebuild-db.py script to the root of your iPod shuffle and double click it in nautilus (and select run)
  4. Eject your iPod shuffle and enjoy your music

iPod shuffle trouble in Feisty and an easy fix!

Yesterday at Hannas request I gave her an apple and a hug for her birthday. It turns out Hannas brand new pink iPod shuffle doesn’t play well in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn despite what a superficial google scan might tell you.

Jump straight to the summary if you are impatient….

I tried to add songs to it with Rythmbox, Banshee, gtkpod, gtkpod-aac all these applications could add songs but none of them played (and yes I first converted my precious ogg files into mp3)

It turns out the device needs to be initialized on a windows machine with iTunes installed, so off I went to hunt for windows machines, luckily I realized that I have not yet formated a windows partition on one of my laptops so I was off to a good start. After that I tried to add songs to the iPod again with these various programs and while I could add songs some songs played and others didn’t and when I removed songs they dissapeared from all the programs but still played in the shuffle. Aaaargh and frustration.

As I was trying to install iTunes in crossover office and realizing that the version that works with crossover is to old for the shuffle I was ready to toss the thing and jump off a cliff when I found this little python script. Thank God for hackers! It is a tiny script that sits on your iPod and when you copied the mp3 files over to your shuffle in any directory you like with any name you want, you just run the script and viola

presto working iPod shuffle.

Summary

  1. Initialize (or restore if you allready have stuff on it) the iPod shuffle in iTunes on a windoze machine
  2. Copy all the music you want in mp3 format (get SoundConverter with ‘apt-get install soundconverter‘ if your files are in other formats) to your iPod shuffle in nautilus
    using any file structure that makes sense to you
  3. Copy in the rebuild-db.py script to the root of your iPod shuffle and double click it in nautilus (and select run)
  4. Eject your iPod shuffle and enjoy your music

iPod shuffle trouble in Feisty and an easy fix!

Yesterday at Hannas request I gave her an apple and a hug for her birthday. It turns out Hannas brand new pink iPod shuffle doesn’t play well in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn despite what a superficial google scan might tell you.

Jump straight to the summary if you are impatient….

I tried to add songs to it with Rythmbox, Banshee, gtkpod, gtkpod-aac all these applications could add songs but none of them played (and yes I first converted my precious ogg files into mp3)

It turns out the device needs to be initialized on a windows machine with iTunes installed, so off I went to hunt for windows machines, luckily I realized that I have not yet formated a windows partition on one of my laptops so I was off to a good start. After that I tried to add songs to the iPod again with these various programs and while I could add songs some songs played and others didn’t and when I removed songs they dissapeared from all the programs but still played in the shuffle. Aaaargh and frustration.

As I was trying to install iTunes in crossover office and realizing that the version that works with crossover is to old for the shuffle I was ready to toss the thing and jump off a cliff when I found this little python script. Thank God for hackers! It is a tiny script that sits on your iPod and when you copied the mp3 files over to your shuffle in any directory you like with any name you want, you just run the script and viola

presto working iPod shuffle.

Summary

  1. Initialize (or restore if you allready have stuff on it) the iPod shuffle in iTunes on a windoze machine
  2. Copy all the music you want in mp3 format (get SoundConverter with ‘apt-get install soundconverter‘ if your files are in other formats) to your iPod shuffle in nautilus
    using any file structure that makes sense to you
  3. Copy in the rebuild-db.py script to the root of your iPod shuffle and double click it in nautilus (and select run)
  4. Eject your iPod shuffle and enjoy your music
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