Monday, September 29, 2008

More on the Alcohol Discussion

Photo by sling@flickr
I just found a good discussion (from this page) between Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Russell Moore on the subject of beverage alcohol. This discussion presents some of the underlying reasons behind the policy of abstinence from beverage alcohol required for all students and faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I'm interested in your opinion, so listen in and please comment!

~ Todd

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Angel Food Ministry

Check out the local news report on how God is meeting our community's needs through our church:

I'll be signing autographs around 9:30 tomorrow morning at the church. :-)


Friday, September 26, 2008

Something to Sing About

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a great day! Thank you to my wonderful and beautiful wife for making the day so special. She is very thoughtful! One of the gifts she gave me was the Come Weary Saints album by Sovereign Grace, and one of the songs that has really captured me is titled "As Long As You Are Glorified." We need to meditate on the words of this song; we need to live thinking like this! Here are the words:

As Long As You Are Glorified

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

Now listen. And worship. And sing!

As Long as You Are Glorified - Sovereign Grace Music

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fathers are Important?

Jason Whitlock, columnist for the Kansas City Star, recently wrote an article about Vince Young, quarterback of the Tennessee Titans. Young, beginning his third year in the league, caved under the weight of adversity Sunday, asking to be removed from the game after throwing a second interception. Since the game on Sunday, Young has apparently been suffering depression, and the Titan's head coach, Jeff Fisher, had to call on the police to locate him.

What makes all this drama interesting is Whitlock's take on the plight of young athletes who lack the intestinal fortitude required to handle the rigors of such a spotlight. He references two negative examples: Young and
Michael Vick. He also contrasts them with Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Unlike Young and Vick, McNabb seems to have adapted to his environment in ways that allow him to excel.

To what does Whitlock credit this difference? The influence of fathers. He argues that the position of quarterback in the NFL (like many other roles in life) requires "thick skin and genuine self-confidence."  "It doesn't take much to crack a man with no real identity, especially if he's grown accustomed to having all his shortcomings rationalized."

Here's the most interesting quote:
It's not about color. It's about fitting the profile of someone who can handle all that goes along with being an NFL quarterback. If I'm an owner, I spend my quarterback dollars on young men who were raised by strong fathers. It wouldn't be an infallible system, but on average I bet I'd hit more winners than if I turned over the leadership of my team to a kid who isn't used to having a strong male authority figure.

This makes me think along a couple of lines.  First, honest evaluation is important and neglected.  Second, being and having a strong male authority figure is important and neglected.  This article makes me want to be a better dad.

What do you think about Whitlock's analysis?

~ Todd

Monday, September 08, 2008

How to: Filter the Internet for Free

Last year I purchased a product, the D-Link DSD-150 SecureSpot Internet Security Adapter, in an attempt to filter out the temptations of unfettered Internet access. The product worked fairly well, but after using it for a year, we were required to pay about $80 to renew. Since we didn't use most of the features, including the anti-virus functionality, we decided to survey our options. So I began a quest to find an alternative.

A software client that monitors and filters web content is one option. There are several free options available. This, however, is not a good fit for my household. Because I work in information technology, I have more than one computer in the house, and I might have a temporary operating system loaded on a workstation at any time. If I am trying to guard myself against sin, I need to close this loophole. So a software client won't work.

Another option that closes this loophole is a hardware based solution. This is exactly what the D-Link adapter provided. I searched for a replacement for this product, and found a few wireless routers that partnered with an filtering service to provide protection. Most of these, however, were older model routers, and I was hesitant to purchase something that was not current technology.

I then stumbled upon a third alternative: This web site provides filtered web browsing for free. For free!?! With no client, how does this work? For those of you who don't know your computer from your hard drive, DNS, or Domain Name System, translates domain names (like to IP (Internet Protocol) addresses (like  Each request for a web site must be translated from a name to a number.  OpenDNS manages this system to block questionable web sites.  The only trick is turning the service on!

OpenDNS provides instructions for enabling their service for your computer or network.  I chose to point all my web traffic to by changing my DNS servers in my router.  My router serves as the central connection for all my network traffic, and all traffic out of my network must pass through my router.  Once the filtering categories are selected on OpenDNS's site, I can have someone password protect my router configuration and the filtering categories.  Now everyone in my house is protected!

You should check it out!


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Meditations on John

I'm going to start posting some thoughts on the gospel of John as I read through the book. I'm going to try to read a paragraph or so each day, recognize something important or significant, and meditate on it throughout the day. I am planning to blog my thoughts in an effort to spark further meditation, as well as to be disciplined.

John 1:1-5

John tells us so much about Jesus in this passage. He existed in the beginning. He was both with God and was God at the same time. Jesus was the means by which everything was made. He was, and is, the origin of all life.

What is amazing to me is that the origin of life loved us to death. He created humanity, watched Adam and Eve crash and burn, sacrificed himself to resurrect us, and now leads us to a perfected, finished humanity. Despite the darkness that attempted to destroy humanity, Jesus is a beacon of light that defeats the darkness.

I think this is an image of hope. "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." The light is still shining.

"Heavenly Father, give us eyes to see the light; help us look to the light and not love the darkness."