Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Cr-48 Chrome Notebook - Days 2, 3 & 4

My intention was to post an update every day, but Sunday and Monday have already past and Tuesday is just about gone. So far I am loving my Cr-48! On Sunday I only had to use my Windows laptop once. I started off the day with using the Chrome OS notebook as my primary computer, I was even able to find a site that had a decent Flash stream of the Redskins @ Cowboys game and watched most of the game on the Cr-48. When their stream died in the fourth quarter I did a search for another stream, but could only find one that required the V-Stream Windows plugin, that is when I had to boot up the Windows laptop. Other than that, I was able to do everything else I needed my computer for in the cloud with the Chrome OS notebook.

On Monday it was primarily used for basic Internet stuff like GMail, facebook, twitter, Extremeskins.com, and checking out the news stories about the lunar eclipse. I also did some Cr-48 and ChromeOS research online to find some neat things to do with the browser/OS like all of the "About pages" you can find by typing "about:about" in address bar on Chrome and for the Google Chrome Cr-48 power users, here's a tip: Press Ctrl-Alt-? to display the keyboard shortcuts.

If you were following me on twitter late Monday night, you would have seen that I was passing time waiting for the eclipse by doing what I could to make the Cr-48 battery get down to 0%. When it did, the screen went blank, flashed to a "crosh" screen, then shutdown. When I plugged it back in I saw that the Chrome crash recovery restored all of my tabs I had opened and saw that it showed that it would be 2:20 till a full charge again on the battery.

I also got a Google Chrome sticker sent to me from Google via UPS. I went ahead and applied to the top of the notebook. It looks pretty cool!

On Tuesday I took my Cr-48 to a meeting to use Google Docs to take notes during the meeting. Since there IS a basic file manager I was able to download the doc as a Word document and email it as an attachment.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Cr-48 Chrome Notebook - Day One

I've just about finished my first full day using my Cr-48 Chrome Notebook from Google as my primary computer. I have been able to use it for everything I would have done on my regular computer except for two things. I had to use my other computer twice today.

The first thing I couldn't do with the Cr-48 and had to break out my Windows laptop for was to use GoToMeeting this morning for my M-DAT Conference Call. It doesn't look like they have a linux plugin for GoToMeeting yet. I was able to do a test with DimDim and it works just fine.

The second thing I couldn't do with the Cr-48 and had to use my Ubuntu Desktop for was downloading the pictures off the camera. Actually, I downloaded them straight to my Iomega external NAS, but had to use the Ubuntu system to transfer them over the home network and upload them to my Picasa account.

I have read others who were complaining about Flash not running good on the Cr-48, but I have done several tests on YouTube, NFL.com and other sites and have not had any issues with Flash yet. So minus the two issue I mentioned in this post, everything else I have needed a computer for has be accomplished on the Cr-48, living in the cloud!

My Cr-48 Chrome Notebook - The Arival

You may have heard the announcement from Google on December 7th that Chrome users in the US could apply to test drive a Chrome notebook as part of their "pilot program". Here is what they posted on their site about this new Chrome notebook:

The Cr-48 is the test notebook we designed for the Pilot program. It's the first of its kind.

It's ready when you are, booting in about 10 seconds and resuming from sleep instantly. There’s built-in Wi-Fi and 3G, so you can stay connected everywhere, and a webcam for video chat. The vibrant 12-inch LCD display, full-size keyboard and oversized touchpad let you enjoy the web comfortably. And at just 3.8 pounds with over eight hours of active usage and a week of standby time, it’s easy to take along for the ride

I heard about this announcement during the day on December 7th, and filled out the application to be a part of the "pilot program" later that evening. I didn't know if I would be selected, but like all the others who applied I "patiently" waited and did more research about ChromeOS and the new Chrome notebook (Cr-48) that Google was shipping out to those who were lucky enough to be selected. After 10 days of waiting, I got a call from my wife before I went on my lunch break on Friday, December 17th to let me know that the UPS truck dropped a package off at the house for me. I have found many others, like Engadget who have posted "unboxing" videos, photos and reviews, so I thought I would post my own this weekend as I see if I my new Cr-48 Chrome Notebook can be my primary personal computer.

Here are some photos I took on my lunch break on December 17th of my new notebook:

Friday, July 09, 2010

Relationship Triangle

Here is a diagram that I drew on a napkin for someone once to help explain how every relationship we have here on earth has to be a "relationship triangle" or it won't work. This applies to every relationship; husband & wife, boyfriend & girlfriend, parent & child, brother & sister, etc. No matter how hard you try to get close to each other, you will never get closer than the opposite sides of the wall that divides you. The only way to get truly close to each other is if each person in the relationship is focusing on their personal relationship with God. As you both grow closer to God, you will both grow closer to each other.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My notes from the LIVE SENT/reSYMBOL Workshop

I had a great day at the LIVE SENT/reSYMBOL Workshop with Jason C Dukes and Doug Dees! I really enjoyed hearing them share from not only their books, but from their hearts. I also made some great "Kingdom Connections"! Here are some of my notes from the day:

Live Sent - Jason Dukes (you can order a copy of his book here)

"Live Sent" is a metaphor for making disciples.

Jesus said "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21)

"Church leaders, it's not what you teach, it's what you emphasize."

We need to do more than just say the church is not just a building. We need to emphasize that and live as though the church is PEOPLE and that Jesus intended the church to LIVE SENT.

Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3)

Questions to determine if you are a self-church or a sent-church
  • Do people ask, should I quit my job to surrender to ministry?
  • When people in your church family think of "church" what three words come to mind?
  • Are people in your church family generally retreating from or engaging with the culture around them?
  • When you talk about missions do people think about a distant city, everyday life or both?
  • When discipling is said, do people think of a classroom or daily life?
  • How many people in your church family have friends who are lost, whom they introduce as friends.
Maybe we should invite people to "be the church" instead of inviting them to "come to church".

"Sometimes we are too busy trying to make the bride attractive when we are supposed to be bringing people to the groom, not the bride."

Jesus said we are known by our love through our togetherness, but our togetherness can't be the purpose of the church.

Ekklesia - people who unite around a common purpose.

We should come together around the purpose of "sentness" not the purpose of "togetherness"

What is "make disciples"?
  • lecturing vs. life coaching
  • linear program vs. ongoing process
  • get you ready vs. listen as you go
  • preachers vs. conversationalist

We are reaping what we have sown. So what we are sowing must change.
  • Don't say "church" in connection to certain prepositions like to, in and and from.
  • Don't say "We won't have church tonight because of ___________."
  • Don't spend the largest percentage of your week focused on Sunday morning prep, or 1/168th of your week.
  • Don't create more "church" stuff to take up everyone's time trying to "do church" keeping them from being able to "be the church".
  • Don't emphasize becoming a pastor or missionary as the highest calling.
  • Don't believe that local and global missions will happen if and only if the pastoral team creates and manages it.
  • Don't ever say "They are doing well now that they are back in church."
  • Don't get upset when someone in your church family doesn't show up to your "Sunday morning" gathering because they are out in the community "living sent".

Four Ways to Help "Live Sent"
  1. Pray for wisdom on how to love those I live by and work with.
  2. Connect with them over real life
  3. Serve together locally and globally
  4. Learn and live the ways of Jesus together.
We should be cultivating loving community on our street.

Our Sunday gatherings should be to celebrate the body "living sent" during the previous week and preparing to "live sent" in the upcoming week.

reSymbol - Doug Dees (you can order a copy of his book here)

Note: this session was very interactive so I didn't take as many notes.

Our churches are full of good people doing what they have been taught for many years.

Quit Comparing His Church Parts
Quit Frankensteining His People
Quit Squeezing His Bride

Discipleship: A disciple needs to be increasing in seeking the face of God, exhibiting the characteristics of Christ and following the lead of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Honest Question about "House Church"

One of my friends recently asked me the following question on twitter:

How does a house church not grow into a "Sunday morning church" so to speak?

I think this is a great question that everyone learning to live our Christian lives outside of the walls of the legacy churches should be asking ourselves on a regular basis. This question applies to us whether we call our expression of the Body of Christ a "house church, a "simple church", a "organic church", a "missional community" or even if we choose to avoid any type of label for the way(s) in which we gather with other believers for the purpose of mutual edification and spiritual growth.

Here is how I responded via twitter in four tweets of 140 characters or less:

Many legacy churches started as house churches, they just never called them that & they started w/ the goal of being BIG churches

I like what @felicitydale said on her blog: House churches should be neither independent, nor permanent or they will not multiply

She went on to say: Each house church is a debriefing center and a sending center that sends people out. http://bit.ly/dnzssw

So I guess to answer your question, the best way is to be outward focused and "missional", learning to "live sent" together daily

I thought this question deserved more than a few tweets for a good response, so I thought I would post it here on my blog so I could invite others to join in on the discussion here in the comments. I myself have learned that for those of us who have spent most of our lives in the legacy church it would be very easy to let our "house churches" grow into something more traditional or to find another legacy church full of great brothers and sisters that we can become a member of and worship together within the walls of that legacy church.

But, I have also learned that God has commanded us to make disciples as we are going and "living sent" in the world that God put is in. I have learned that God can work through us much better when we are learning to "be the light" in the darkness, instead of only gathering to shine our lights with other lights. I think the key to not growing into a "Sunday morning church" as the original question is asking is for us to be very intentional about being outward focused and multiplying and not inward focused and simply growing in numbers.

Please join this discussion and share your answers to this question, How does a house church not grow into a "Sunday morning church" so to speak?

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Danger of Christian Sacralism and Statism

This was recently posted on Dave Black's blog, I got his permission to re-post it here:

January 5, 1527, is a date that will always live in infamy for me. On that day Felix Manz perished at the hands of his persecutors.

The Reformation had become splintered and fractured, and the Reformers realized they now had two opponents: Rome and the Radicals. Zwingli, in a letter to Vadian in 1525, noted that the struggle with the Catholic Church was "child's play" when compared with the struggle erupting with the Radicals. As many of you know, I devoted an entire chapter in The Jesus Paradigm to the Anabaptists' views on soteriology and ecclesiology. It is my conviction that a rehabilitation of the positions of the Radical Reformers is long overdue. Whenever we downgrade good works, wherever we make sanctification some kind of appendage to justification, whenever we emphasize more what God does for us than what He does in us, we have become proponents of an unbalanced Christianity. The doctrine of justification by faith is taught in the Scripture, and I rejoice in it! But an emphasis on the forensic and juridical nature of our salvation can easily lead to a light emphasis on the "good works that God has foreordained that we should walk in them." In this regard, Luther's theology was decisively one-sided, and it was his disparagement of good works that caused him to collide with the letter of James.

The Anabaptists assailed this imbalance, as did they did all forms of state coercion. If they were opposed to "christening," it was only because they were opposed to the "Christendom" this practice represented. For this insistence upon a "Believers' Church," separate from the state, Manz was bound and sent to the bottom of the Limmat. Oh yes, there were cries of "Freedom of religion" -- as long as you supported the right religion. And thus the Christian sacralism of Constantine became the Christian sacralism of Luther and later of Calvin.

What amazes me the most is how willingly and joyfully the Anabaptists went to their deaths. Conrad Grebel, a colleague of Manz, wrote, "He that is baptized has been planted into the death of Christ.... True Christians are sheep among wolves, ready for the slaughter." Zwingli, defender of the sword, died on the battlefield, caught between two "Christian" magistrates doing their duty. To me, Manz -- call him a Rottengeist, call him a Winckler, call him what you will -- died a far nobler death.

P.S. The battle against sacralism and Christian statism fought by Grebel and Manz did not end in the sixteenth century. Here are but a few Anabaptistic emphases that I think are still applicable today (taken from chapter 3 of TJP). The Anabaptists believed in:
  • serving instead of ruling
  • suffering instead of inflicting suffering
  • breaking down walls instead of isolationism
  • biblical authority instead of ecclesiastical tradition
  • brotherhood instead of hierarchy
  • the towel instead of the sword
  • the headship of Christ instead of that of any pastor
  • the way of peace instead of "just war"
  • the church as a living organism instead of as a human institution
  • the reign of God instead of a political kingdom
  • the catholicity of the true church instead of sectarianism
  • the power of suffering instead of the cult of power
  • the Bible as a book of the church instead of as a book of scholars
  • loyalty to their heavenly citizenship instead of to the principalities and powers
  • Spirit-orientation instead of forced structures of church life
  • being a "light to the nations" instead of a Christian enclave
  • knowing Christ instead of merely knowing about Him
  • faith that works (in both senses) instead of dead orthodoxy
  • effectual grace as a living reality instead of as a theological dogma
  • every-member ministry instead of clergyism
  • baptism into Christ instead of baptism into a denomination
  • a unity that is lived instead of a unity that is merely extolled
  • welcoming the despised and marginalized instead of ignoring them
  • a hermeneutic of obedience instead of a hermeneutic of knowledge
  • individual conscience instead of theological conformity
  • volunteerism instead of professionalism
  • allegiance to Christ instead of allegiance to the state