Friday, August 31, 2007

from IDE to GUI

I have moved on into chapter 3 in my book and I will get to learn about the graphical user interface (GUI), I just finished learning my way around the IDE (Integrated development environment). Learning about Windows has always been intriguing so I am like a kid in a candy store right now. Last night at home I developed from of the sample programs from the book and then I customized it while I was at it.
Even though we haven't got into nested "IF" statements yet, I threw a few in there just to see what would happen. I use If statements in COBOL all the time and I have seem some of the advanced code here go several screens long into nested if else statements, (although I have to admit, I think the evaluate statement would have worked better and taken up a lot less space). When I start getting the knack of it all, I think I will build me not just a checking account register program, but one with a crown envelopes style budget, and some of the other things I wished I had in my current quick books program that I use on my mac. (I have to make sure it works on the mac!!!)
Anyway that will definitely give me a long term hobby, but if I get it coded and bug free, I may have to see about giving it to some of my friends for review and see if there may be any enhancements that would make it better, stronger, faster and more user friendly. Time will tell. I will have to make sure that I embed pictures into the register to make it look more like a real register, and of course I will need to make sure that there are securities measures to keep the data safe from unwanted viewing. But it will be fun just the same.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Visual Basic 2005

As I go through the video's for visual basic 2005, There are several things taht i am starting to recognize that are the same with what I do in cobol programming. So far I am on lesson 3 and some of the coding techniques are quite similar and this should be a great help in learning as well. Like in commenting in a line of code, If you want to put a brief explanation to what a line of code does you would start it with a ' so a comment would look like this: 'This is a comment in a line of code.
In cobol a comment ' starts in column 7 and everything after that is ignored by the compiler and is considered code till the end of the line. If you wish to continue onto the next line, you would use a new comment indicator at column 7 '.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

quote of the day

Ok, I am learning new programing, but even then a quote can come up that can really apply to our Christian walk as well. and here it is. "Any fool can learn from his own mistakes, but a truly wise person can learn from the mistakes of others."
This has got to be the best reason for reading the scriptures that I have heard. Because God wants us to be wise, He shows us not only the successes of the people written about in the Bible, but He shows us their failures as well and that gives us a great object lesson to look at to see why they failed, the contributing factors that lead into the failure and the solution and out come of that failure and how not to let it happen again, and most of all, that God is right there during it all wanting to help you if only you would ask him to.

programing

I have started my journey into a new programing language. With everything running for the most part on Windows (even better on a mac) I think it is time to delve into learning how to write code that will run using the .net framework in a windows environment.
Well what better place to start than with the basics. Visual basics to be exact and Microsoft has made it easy for the novice as well as the advanced programmers who want to learn new languages like C# and Java to learn while on line, at their own pace and with little or no cost to them (which is a great marketing strategy because visual basic's IDE runs in a windows environment and keeps their market share up). I downloaded a trial version of a program called real basic (a Mac version of visual basic) but it expires on a trial in 30 days and that was 45 days ago in which I hadn't had the time to open it once, so back to Pc's I go for now.
Ok for starters and for those who find writing windows programs to be intriguing, start by going HERE. This website is the beginners website for writing in visual basics and its for beginners. This has videos, lessons and actual beginner simple programs you can write yourself to get your feet wet in coding. Keep working your way down the lessons and who knows, you may be the next webmaster for your church, or the next technogeek that writes programs specifically designed for your organization to use to reach people for Christ through the internet, or just by making some pretty cool bible games that can be given away as a free download. Only God knows what your potential can be and what he has planned for you. I am hoping that He gives me the insights and abilities to learn this fast, and be a good, if not great programer for Him and the church in general. So I will keep you all posted on my p! rogress and if there is a way to post some samples, I just may do that as well.
 

Friday, August 24, 2007

Recording your sermons

Many churches record thier sermons on cassette tape and are wondering How do I move to the next level and record my sermons on CD? well, it really is not that difficult at all thanks to a program called Polderbits sound recorder. This is a windows program that runs on your pc and looks like this:


In the source Window you select line-in, and then if you want to parallel your cassette recordings, use a y-connector to tap into the signal going to your cassette recorder and then plug it into your computers line-in jack. you can now adjust the input signal strength using the slider, while your speaker is speaking and record several test recordings and play them back so you can hear if they are over, or under modulated and make adjustments accordingly. Remember the high positioning on the VU meter so that you can adjust it while recording if neccessary.
Now you are ready for the sermon. Press the red button just before the speaker starts and try not to bump the space bar during the recording as this will pause the recording, and don't hit enter either or you will stop the recording. this doesn't apply if you minimoze the program and are using a program like powerpoint to show your sermon notes on monitors for your audiance to view during the teaching. O.K. now the sermon is done and you wonder what to do next? Press the square stop button and the sound editor program is launched this program looks like this:



From here you can divide the sermon into tracks, add equalizer adjustments to it, or just plain save it (recommended to do before editing it). You can save it as a cd quality MP3 and name it with the sermon topic and add the date into the name and put it in a specially created folder for the sermons so that you can find them again fairly easy. You can now take a program like real player or windows media player and open the file in that which you can then use to burn the sermon onto a cd. Get a nice cd labeler and you are all set with only spending a minimal amount of cash to get the whole thing ready to go. If you do podcasting and have limited band width, you can create a smaller file by using the compression quality buttons to adjust the compression and this makes the files a whole lot smaller. (note the quality is also reduced so don't get too carried away). Anyway that is all you need for now to get going on recording your sermons for CD and for podcast. Later on if you want, you can get a direct to cd recorder which works similar to your old cassette recorder, yet records directly to the compact disk. This is a good way to go if you want crystal clear recordings.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hebrews 4

Today, please listen,
      don't turn a deaf ear . . .

 8-11And so this is still a live promise. It wasn't canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn't keep renewing the appointment for "today." The promise of "arrival" and "rest" is still there for God's people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we'll surely rest with God. So let's keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.

 12-13God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it-no matter what.

 

Super Christian

I wonder at times if some people think that the more "Christian stuff" they are displaying, the more "Christian" they are. I am reminded of a friend who is everything like this guy here:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

philippians 4 revisited again

 6-7:Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

On the radio just now, We were reminded to not fret about the things we cannot change, and change the things we can. This is the attribute of a good leader.

 

The value of a journal

I was just reminded on the radio about the value of a journal. It is for logging all the great victories God has given you. When you are feeling a bit discouraged, you can go back and remind yourself of all the good things GOD has done for you. The journal that was given to me by a great friend is a mole skin journal. It has a compartment in the back cover for keeping photos or notes or other things that are small like that. I have in mine pictures of my wife, pictures of my good friends and pictures of my related through marriage friends (a.k.a. in-laws, but friends just the same). These pictures I look at when I feel like the whole world is against me, I can remind myself that I...
1. have a wife who loves me
2. very very good friends
3. I am blessed to have a large family of friends on both sides whom I care about and who care about me and that is a blessing just in itself.
 
Now I have been using the journal as a gripe book, but I am realizing that although it is a good place to vent, its purposes work best when I write my concerns, and then when they are over, I can write what God did with and through me or for me and thus I have something I can look at later to remind myself just how big my God really is and that He loves us even in our weaknesses and distress. and that He is willing to help us, We only need to ask that He help, Believe that He wants to help, and then let Him help, (and don't complain if the help isn't exactly what we expected, because only God knows really what we needed in the first place.)

Philippians 4

Philippians 4 (MSG)

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Meditating on the right things, how hard to remember, but all so so so important. Satan will fill your mind with lies, things like how our past will destroy us, because we did this or that when we were younger and maybe even if we are still stuck in them today, He tries to get us to give up and stop our struggle against him. But the best thing we can do in our lives is to remember what GOD says about us, what GOD has promised us and to remind ourselves about who is more reliable to listen to, GOD or satan. satan is the father of lies so why should we believe him? yet he has us believing all the lies. These four verses could be one of the most important lessons we can learn about how to counter the enemies attacks against us. Worry is our lack of faith in God whereas praying our worries to GOD shows our faith in Him. Negative meditation brings about depression for all we can see is what we do not have, whereby meditation on what GOD has done for us and is doing in and through us brings us great JOY and contentment and that is our greatest weapon against depression that there is. Joy and depression are incompatible with each other.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yikes, old memory's


It was 1991, Kat was pregnant and I was working the night shift. I wanted to keep available as I was driving a truck between 2 shuttle points. So I bought my first cellular phone and it looked similar to this. This antique was analog so people with scanners could listen in on your conversations, but so what. Only a dweeb would talk dirty on one of these anyway. I liked it because the sound was very clear and it was just like talking on a land line, except you were driving.
After the Birth of our child (and a $48,000 surgery on the baby), I upgraded to a very large Nokia handheld. This phone clipped to your belt and that was very cool. It was the size of a cb radio and almost pulled your pants off, but otherwise a pot more handy then the bag phone. I just recently gave my bag phone away to good will, but I still have my supersize (by todays standards) Nokia, it doesn't work, but I just can't part with it. (could be because of how much the dern thing costed) but anyhow, that is about all. I am so glad though that we have gotten away from the purse phones... or have we? Chris' blog shows that they are making a comeback. Hmmm.

Hebrews 12 1-13 from the message paraphrase

Lunch time is upon me and as I sit here and meditate on Hebrews 12, I re-read it using the message paraphrase and here is what it says...

 

Hebrews 12 (The Message)

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race (highlighted by me for point purposes)

 1-3Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

 4-11In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through-all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

   My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline,
      but don't be crushed by it either.
   It's the child he loves that he disciplines;
      the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

 12-13So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

 

So easy to forget just how much God loves us, and that we break his heart every time we do something that is selfish, hurtful to others, or just plain done without much thought as to how it would affect us or others.

Yet God loves us anyway and forgives us and wants us to allow Him to change us into a likeness more like Christ.

 

reading from Sundays message Phillipians 3

Focused on the Goal (msg)
 12-14I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

 15-16So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision-you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.

 17-19Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

 20-21But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

So what is Paul trying to tell us here, as He writes to the believers in Phillipi?

verses 12 -14 are talking about how even Paul does not have it all together, but is moving forward; verses 15-16 admonishes us to keep our own eyes on the goals set before us by the Father, The goal of becoming more and more like Christ daily. (and also He is praying for us that God will clear our blurred vision, because life has a tendency to blur all reality and blind us so that we cant see what God is doing, and dumb us so that we don't understand what He wants.

verses 17-19 compares easy street with dead-end street ( so much for the prosperity gospel), and of course it is comparing the problem many of us have (overeaters like myself) with idiolatry. We give food consumption much more importance than what it should have. It is a common problem I have but need to deal with and that is the always eating, never satisfied problem (maybe even the primary cause in depression, the never satisfied problem) maybe it is because we are starving for the real food that only Jesus can give us.

verses 20-21 remind us that we are citizens of heaven, we long and wait for the arrival of our master who will transform our earthly, sin prone, weak bodies into a new glorious, perfect in every way body, where food is no longer mandatory, but an option, our minds will be able to understand the spiritual things of God, which we are unable to fully comprehend presently. We will be like HIM finally. (Can't wait!!)

So I must forget about the past. Past failures, even past victories, if they are holding me back. Forget about the earthly pleasure that keeps my mind on my needs and away from what I really need and that is more of GOD and less of myself.

 

I must remind Myself that the faith heros in the bible were just ordinary men used by God in extraordinary ways: Hebrews 11...(click on the link if you want to read it!).

Then comes Hebrews 12 and that is where the point gets driven home.

Hebrews 12 (NLT)

God's Discipline Proves His Love

 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won't become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[d] He said,

   "My child,[e] don't make light of the Lord's discipline,
      and don't give up when he corrects you.
 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
      and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."[f]

 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]

 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

 

 

 

Thursday, August 16, 2007

attitudes make the difference

Have been finding myself nursing a negative attitude, and knowing that negative attitudes breed depression, It is time to be done with negativism and start intentionally thinking things the way God would see them, or at least want me to see them. I was just reminded about Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, Son of Abraham. In Genesis we read this...
 

Genesis 45 (NLV)

Joseph Reveals His Identity
   Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, "Out, all of you!" So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. 2 Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh's palace.

 3 "I am Joseph!" he said to his brothers. "Is my father still alive?" But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. 4 "Please, come closer," he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, "I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. 5 But don't be upset, and don't be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. 6 This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.[a] 8 So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser[b] to Pharaoh-the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

So Joseph, sold as a slave by his brothers, accused by Potipher's wife and thrown into prison, and after many years of suffering injustice could still say to his brothers in chapter 50:19-20

19 But Joseph replied, "Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

The trivialities of life that seem to be bumming me out are nothing in comparison with what many others are going through. It is definitly time for an attitude adjustment and to start looking at life in a positive, "what is God wanting me to learn from this and how can I use this for the good of all" attitude.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lessons from Moses

It seems to be quite the topic, Pastor Scott talked about Moses last Sunday, and Turning point is talking about Moses toady as well.
Yet just on the previous radio sermon on before this one we were being (what seemed to be legalistic) warned about Gods unchanging nature and Sodom and Gomorrah etc.
Yet I think the differences are God's Mercy and Grace has never changed, If you sin, God has always made a way of repentance and forgiveness, It is called Grace and God gave us grace through himself in the person of Jesus Christ and it is by the sacrifice He made that we are given the grace to live for God without the fear associated with the "fail and fry" as the legalistic's would give you. Everyone is destined to fail at one time or another, most of the time not by choice but by weakness. We were promised this even in the old testament, and the pharisees should have known this, even today's pharisee would have to agree...

Isaiah 1:18-20 (The Message)

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Let's Argue This Out
18-20"Come. Sit down. Let's argue this out."
This is God's Message:
"If your sins are blood-red,
they'll be snow-white.
If they're red like crimson,
they'll be like wool.
If you'll willingly obey,
you'll feast like kings.
But if you're willful and stubborn,
you'll die like dogs."
That's right. God says so.
So even back in the old testament it has always been a matter of the heart. Who do you serve?, As for me and my house, We will serve the Lord.
The entire Bible is about change. not instant change, but serving God, and letting him slowly change you into the likeness of Christ.
Habakkuk 2:4 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

4 “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.[a]

Monday, August 13, 2007

1 Timothy 1:14-16 (New Living Translation)

1 Timothy 1:14-16 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.

Old things have passed away

Friday was a tough day. Like in Scott's message yesterday, I was stuck in a rut, unable to move forward or backwards or even laterally in my walk with God through Christ. Things had weighed me down and I was burdened by my past, failures to live the so called "Christian life" as it would be described in the "instant perfection after salvation theology", I had become my own worst critic and it is time to start moving forward again. Like the Apostle Paul, I am prone to do things on my own, but have learned that with Christ, It is done, I only need to accept God's authority and leadership and start letting him change me again. Letting go of the past and striving towards the goal that awaits me. I ended up Friday deleting my blog more out of anger and depression than anything else, so if you are looking for any of my old posts, good luck.
Well hopefully I can start blogging more positive now and progress in my journey towards Christ and what He has for me.
Be sure to click on the Orchards link, look for the podcast section and listen to Sunday message in the new series Unstuck.