Spacegirl Volume 1 by Travis Charest – Available

This beautiful hardcover of the comic strips drawn and written by Travis Charest is available from this guy at USD 20. It is a signed edition that is self-published by Travis. Go get it… and check out the comic at http://groups.msn.com/travischarest/spacegirlcomic.msnw.

Information on ordering is located here: http://groups.msn.com/travischarest/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=1&ID_Message=8859

Excerpts of order information as follows: –

ORDERING INFO:
 
Cost is $20 per copy.  Shipping in the U.S. is $10 for priority mail for up to 3 books.  $1 per book thereafter. 
 
Foreign orders:  $10 for airmail, Priority mail is $20; Express is $30 for first book.  $2 per book thereafter.  Insurance on Express.
 
Please include your name from the group on the orders.
 
Payment would go either to smorger@comcast.net (for Paypal) or checks/money orders (payable either to me or Travis Charest) to:
 
Steven Morger
18A Crest Road
Lafayette, CA  94549
 
I prefer checks/money orders since no Paypal fees.  Books will be shipped in a box to avoid damages.
 
If I’m forgetting anything, let me know.  We have a couple hundred copies set aside for you guys so you should be set.
 
Best, Steve.

The Preacher by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones

An essential truth by the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. I found the book “Preachers and Preaching” to be thoroughly stimulating indeed. Very insightful from the Doctor.

The following excerpt from the Chapter entitled “The Preacher” is worth reading, especially for those who ‘take the pulpit’.


Page 1 & 2


Page 3 & 4


Page 5 & 6


Page 7 & 8

Hearing Loss for iPodders

If you’re using the earbuds that come with an iPod and you turn the volume up to about 90% of maximum and you listen a total of two hours a day, five days a week, our best estimates are that the people who have more sensitive ears will develop a rather significant degree of hearing loss — on the order of 40 decibels (dB). That means the quietest sounds audible are 40 dB loud. Now, this is high-pitched hearing loss, so a person can still hear sounds and understand most speech. The impact is going to be most clearly noted when the background-noise level goes up, when you have to focus on what someone is saying. Then it can really start to impair your ability to communicate.

There you have it… a warning to modern day music mobility! 😛 More from: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1827159,00.html?xid=rss-topstories


Image from Time Online

Bionic Six

I remembered watching this when I was in Standard Two! Come to think of it (after so long), the graphics were really good for the time.

It had a cool premise and a very very cool introduction song! Catchy!

Wow… feel like a kid again. Go on Youtube to watch some of the episodes! It’s really nice.

The main character, ‘Bionic-1’, was a machine-enhanced human being using bionic technology, much like The Six Million Dollar Man. On a vacation in the Himalayas, Bionic-1 and his family were testing out some new ski equipment. They were attacked by aliens and during the battle, in which Jack revealed his abilities to his children for the first time, there was an avalanche and the Bennetts were all buried alive under radioactive snow. All, but Jack (whose bionics made him immune to the radioactivity), were thrown into paralytic comas. Unsure how to save them, Bionic-1 brings the family to Professor Sharp’s lab. Sharp deduces that giving everyone the bionic treatment would cure them of the radioactivity too. Each family member was given a specific bionic power, and they formed a team named Bionic Six.

Sounds like Fantastic Four (with more than 4 members!), and bionic enhancements instead of superpowers from cosmic rays. 🙂

Calvinism at Evangel (It started with that title anyway…)

I’m quite surprised to see a growing number of books at the book shop which are theologically rooted in Calvinism. I have no qualms to use the term Calvinism at all, to cover the 5 main points of the doctrines of Grace, which are derived from Scriptures themselves. In an age of thinking too much about our own self, it is nice to see people going back to the great men of faith who were led by the Spirit and true to the Word.

Many who are young in faith (although they think otherwise due to deficiency in the church) believe that their own interpretation is enough to answer the doctrines of God. Such a low view of the standard of God and a high view of their aptitude. They forget the charge given by Paul to Timothy: 1Ti 6:20-21 – O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”  for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Instead, they try to get novel ideas on doctrines, thinking that it would sustain their practical spiritual life by such intellectual ‘games’.

Sad.

What is prevalent is the lack of knowledge in church history. All they know is generalised second hand accounts. And they take these as evidence to scoff away at what has been handed down and preserved by God to us. They do not know that even before the Roman Catholic church was established, the doctrines of sovereign grace were widely accepted as a distinctive Christian doctrine. In fact, all else (what Arminians hold to) were called heretical.

Sigh.

Anyway, most of these ‘evangelicals’ think they have the aptitude to ‘teach’ a different gospel, on the single ground that ‘they believe’ it is so. They are quick (too quick) dismiss the work of the Spirit in the forefathers. And when pressed with real evidences, their only response is to pick on the human weaknesses of the forefathers, forgetting that by their own condemnation, they put the same measure on their own self.

It is funny to remember at this time Paul’s own struggle with the same type of people in his time – recounted in 2 Corinthians 10:7-11 – people who thought they were at the same level with Paul and ridiculed him because of his own ‘apparent plainess’. These people thought they had the Spirit in them, which showed forth in their ingenuity. But Paul’s simple objection is: the one with the Spirit, who are called to teach, who are called to lead, are those who have undergone many spiritual trials! Let Paul boast in those, for the boast is not worldly, but spiritual, and all glory goes to God alone! Come back to our time – these so called ‘teachers’ of our generation scoff at the Greats of the past, but when you look at their lives, they are remarkably been spared of spiritual hardship. Oh, don’t even begin with how these people would justify their spiritual hardship (I have to juggle with work and family life! I just lost money! I did not get the promotion! I had to decide where to go after this!)… as if theirs were really ‘great’. Paul answers: 2Co 11:23-28  Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one–I am talking like a madman–with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.  (24)  Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.  (25)  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;  (26)  on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;  (27)  in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  (28)  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

That is why, the maxim of going back to the times of great struggles for great faith and doctrine is a biblical principle. Do not go to those periods of time where the Christians are fat in their worldliness… there’s nothing much for you to get there. You’ll end up being fat in worldliness yourself. With compromises after compromises.

Go back to the Reformation. Go back to the Puritans.

Go back to the Church Fathers.

And you’ll see the thread of Sovereign grace running down the years. Then you’ll exclaim with joy that the Lord indeed ensures that His word is preserved true from generation to generation.

🙂

So thank God for more Calvinism at Evangel!

Android, Openmoko, Symbian

I had a closer grasp of the Ipod Touch just last week; it feels good. But I am really cheesed off with its limitations, that are imposed by Apple. For that reason, my hope is still in the Open Source platform. Android and Openmoko has been there for nearly 2 years already. Symbian, the largest user base, courtesy of Nokia users, have gone recently (as of last week) gone ‘open’!

Now, this is what we call a competition.

Sorry folks… I had a really busy week, and it may look like a busier week, this week.

Must Have Browser for Windows Mobile Phones

Opera 9.5 Beta… internet browsing that is even better than your iPhone Safari 😛 (except for the multi-touch support that is).

The features are good and rich (the colours are very crisp clear on my o2 Stealth, which runs on QVGA).

  • Faster
    Speed tests show Opera Mobile 9.5 beta loads Web pages 2.5 times faster than Internet Explorer Mobile.
  • Pan and zoom
    Opera Mobile 9.5 defaults to full Web page viewing and allows users to pan and zoom into their desired content in just a few clicks.
  • Improved user interface
    Opera has completely renovated its user interface. Cleaner and more intuitive, the new UI is designed for quick and easy navigation.
  • Opera Dragonfly
    It’s a developer’s toolkit right on the mobile phone.
  • Improved standards support
    Opera Mobile 9.5 is the most standards compliant browser available. Opera Software remains steadfast in its commitment to make the Web accessible for all.
  • Save pages and/or images
    With a click, simply save your selected content and view it later offline.
  • A true Web experience
    Multitask with tabbed browsing, view content in widescreen, and enjoy small-screen rendering.
  • Rich Web content
    Browse with the full richness of AJAX.
  • Type less and browse more
    Save time with address auto-complete, Password Manager and pop-up handler.
  • History and bookmarks
    Pick up past browsing sessions and bookmark them for next time.
  • Upload contents
    Upload to Web sites such as online mail services or blogs.

It is free for the moment, so test it out! My only quip with it is some of its known bugs (it’s beta!)… the only one that ANNOYS ME to no end, is the inability to retain my custom keyboard choice. My iSkin keyboard (Resco Keyboard) is the BEST… but Opera 9.5 beta keeps changing it back to the Win Mo default keyboard which is ugly and horrible!!!!

As long as I am browsing known sites which does not require me to input characters, it’s the best browsing experience ever… 🙂

Dark Bale Knight

The movie has been generating a lot of expectations from its viral marketing and other marketing campaigns (both online and offline). You know what? It does not fail to deliver your expectations, no matter how high. I believe we have the movie of the year.

Go see it for yourself.

The acting was superb by all the cast members (you won’t even miss Katie Holmes presence). The story is gripping. And yes, Heath Ledger is scary like a real psychopath. Go watch it. Joker has never been so frightening.

The only spoiler bit I’ll give you is this: There are two main villians which the Dark Knight has to contend with this time around.

My personal rating?

10/10.

Yup, go watch it!

Psalm 27:8-9

P.S.
Just tested the “Post on Blog” feature from Google Docs. The following was something that I had to write quickly before losing it from my mind. So, while I was still in the main menu in Gmail, I just clicked on “Documents”, and I have to say that it was a real pleasure using Google’s version of word processor; very lite and simple. The way I like it. Makes me wonder what else I can do with it….. anyway.

 

Psalm 27:8-9

God commands us (the word ‘said’ is a command, not just a message) to “Seek (which is a plural, referring to many people) my face”. So significant this verse is, because God commands everyone to seek Him. Seek His face. And it is noted that the Psalmist is happy to have his heart cry out “Your face, Lord, do I seek”. If we were to take the previous verse as a context (it is not clear whether it relates to the previous v.5-6 or to 8-9) God is calling us to seek Him for answers to their cries. They have to seek His countenance on the matter and not just cry, cry and cry. These would again call us to cast our whole dependency on God, and Him alone. Hard application: how do we seek after Him and know that we have seen Him? It is assumed that the Psalmist finds what he is looking for in the subsequent verses in v.12-13. The answer lies more closely in v.9, that God answers through His help in our very situation (the sovereign Lord and God has all things in His control, and therefore whatever results are not out of His plan. He has done it) and that help is geared (focused) towards our salvation (v.9b) in His Eternal Plan. Which is where v.10 comes in, to show that even our own natural parents, though they have loved us, is unable to ‘help’ us in the right sense, for ultimately, it is our eternal destination and end that is measured to in Seeking and in Finding God.

A Break from Blogging

Time passes without me being aware of it. It’s definitely been an interesting 2 months since my change in career. Many of the changes are still setting in. All I can say is that the luxury of blogging as much as did before (check out the huge history list from the end of 2002 in the old archives) is not one that I have.

It has been an encouraging time for ML and myself. And I am sure it will be so till we breath our very last.

What have I been up to besides work?

On Phones

My new o2 XDA Stealth is worth the RM600 I paid for. The downside is surely the Operating System (OS) itself. They should spruce up the graphics and interface. And if anything is learnt from the new Iphone 3G craze, it’s this: INTERFACE DESIGN matters. Every single time. Having a cool feature is cool on paper (and in the mind of geeks), but having it translated to actual usage by the consumer and user is a whole other thing. Japanese phones in Japan are stocked with technology that the west would go red in their face for, but you know what? They are not gaining headway into the rest of the world, because of UI (User Interface) sloppiness.

Anyway, I have noted that typing on the virtual keypad/keyboard is not easy as it sounds. And screen size makes a huge difference on the usability of the virtual keyboard. I am currently using Touch Pal and Resco’s Keyboard design. The later is much spacier, and makes it more natural for me to type. But still, I suppose there are solid reasons why some people will always prefer the Palm Treos and Blackberries that are still in the market.

On Dispensationalism

It’s interesting when articles like this one comes. The Ninety-Five Theses Against Dispensationalism. The new book by Sam Waldron called “MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto: A Friendly Response” is also one that has been long in awaiting. A short sypnosis of why the book was written reads: At the 2007 Shepherds’ Conference, Pastor John MacArthur delivered a controversial message entitled, “Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist.”  In this book, Dr. Sam Waldron addresses the assertions of MacArthur historically, exegetically and theologically. Although his arguments are rigorous, the entire tenor of the book is level-headed and irenic. This “friendly response” grants modern day Amillennialists the opportunity to thoughtfully engage their Dispensational brethren.

On God’s Word

The centrality of the Word has been made much by Evangelicals due to the past half century headway by the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movements. However, there is a tendency to go to the other extreme and the result is just as bad (if not worse) than what they are trying to battle. Going through the book of Judges and the gospel of Luke, I have observed the stark contrast resulting from such extremes. The former outlines the effect of not having the Word govern the hearts of God’s people. But it is also definite that the latter is no better, even though they bind the people (socially) to the Word of God through force. What we are seeing is a movement where the Word is merely a ‘word’, and no better. The Word is in effect, when it troubles the comforted and comfort the troubled.

On the Gospel

It is true: not every person who goes on the pulpit is a preacher (although in our society, we associate the two too closely). Most are teachers, but few are preachers like Jesus, Peter and Paul. That distinction is really saddening when you consider the implications of not having a preacher in a locality. How can anyone hear AND understand AND respond if there are no preachers of the word? A teacher edifies, but the Spirit unctions a person to preach God’s Word and make it applicable to the depths of a person’s soul. If only it was so easy…

On Leisure

Too much is spent on the worldly things till we forget the spiritual rest that God gives every Lord’s Day. Immersing one into God’s Being and Will is a delightful activity for the young, old and elderly. Unless we do so, it makes our verbal recognition of the priority of the soul in a person moot.

On Time

It is useless to pile huge amounts of books and stocking them, if we are never ever going to read them or immerse in them. It is a waste of money. I will not be buying anymore books until I have read at least a few more. Until then, all the ones I will buy are for presents. Nothing more.

On Humility

Essential component which is the key of the Beatitudes. Christ-like, Christ-given, Sovereign Grace will only produce humility in useless, unbefitting human beings. Strive for it.

On Games

Tennis is on, every Monday and Thursday. Sweating so much that the whole shirt and shorts are soaking wet! Play while the muscles and strength is still there, for tomorrow… we just don’t know how fast time flies.