Category: Misc.

Battle with Words

Battle with Words

My good friend Scott Lee was looking for a place to publish his occasional, short musings. A proponent of “less is more” – he wanted a venue smaller than a blog of his own but bigger than a status update or Tweet. His writings are in a different style than my own and I welcome the variety. Hope you enjoy.

I could waste your time with a long intro.

Or I could get right down to the point, which is what this post is kind of about.

For me words are starting lose their power.

Every day I read thousands of words. I browse countless articles and blog posts, mostly about technology. But occasionally I’ll stop by a well know ministry related site.

Here’s my confession. After nearly everything I read my action is no more than simply closing my laptop lid. I go unaffected. Unchanged. Is it on purpose or am I just overwhelmed? I don’t know.

Here’s the kicker, I’ve started noticing my online word-handling  affecting my attitude towards the words I read in the Bible. I treat them as having the same weight. Before you stone me let me just say yes, I know in my very being that the words found in the Bible are not  just the penned words of my forefathers. They are words from the Father.

But still I struggle.

What advice do you have for me?
What advice do you have for others like me that read words and discard the message?
Can we, the people flooded by noise be resurrected?

Saying Hello to Amazon Kindle with Special Offers

Saying Hello to Amazon Kindle with Special Offers

For months, I browsed the e-reader market in search of a winner. After carefully examining Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle and a host of other candidates I settled on the Kindle because it had:

  • a lower-price
  • the ability to sync between devices on a book-by-book, page-by-page basis. Meaning, with WhisperSync if I stopped reading on my Kindle at home, I could grab a iPhone or iPod Touch and read on the go, right where I left off.
  • a huge library
  • wi-fi built in
  • a great screen
  • exclusive rights with some publishers. While I can’t say I like it – Amazon signs exclusivity agreements with some publishers. I didn’t want to have the possibility of not getting a title on an e-reader.

In the months leading up to my birthday, Amazon released an additional version of the Kindle with Special Offers.  Save $25 and receive Special Offers periodically on the Kindle. At first glance I was a bit skeptical. But the Special Offers never appear while you read and only appear on the “Home” screen and when the screensaver turns on.

I decided to go with the Special Offers version and save the $25. In just about three days, the Kindle arrived pre-configured with my Amazon account, complete with a “Hello Danny, welcome to Kindle” letter when I powered it on. Not necessary but a nice touch.

As I flipped on the wi-fi, downloaded some sample books and began reading, I noticed the ads on the home screen. The static ad wasn’t obtrusive, but I didn’t really need any summer swim wear from Amazon. Oh well, I saved $25, right?

To my surprise, over the last several weeks, the Special Offers have actually been really good deals. Since I was already planning on purchasing a few books, these deals have been quite “special”.

  • $20 Amazon Credit for $10
  • $10 Amazon Credit if you use a VISA card for any order
  • 1 Kindle book for $1 ( thousands of titles)

I’m not sure if the “Special Offers well” will dry up, but I’m a fan. You get all the benefits of a regular Kindle with additional Special Offers. The ads rotate periodically whenever you connect via wi-fi or USB and again, don’t interrupt the reading of books.

What kind of effect will the Kindle have on my reading? Will I read more? What about printed books? Libraries? It’s too early to tell, but if you’re in the market for an e-reader – the Kindle with Special Offers is definitely a solid choice.

How Long Is Your Piece of the String?

How Long Is Your Piece of the String?

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There is an analogy that if time is represented by an endless piece of string, then your life on earth is but a small, minute, piece of that string.

Much of what we do while we’re alive is focused on our small, minute, piece of the string. We’re constantly asking, ‘What do I want to do with my life?” We chase all sorts of challenges, goals, dreams and aspirations. And while none of those are wrong, I think we need to ask a bigger question.

How do we extend our piece of the string, so that when our life is over it sill ripples across the line? I believe it comes back to a dusty, old word that is rarely used today…legacy. What we do with the years we have  in this life, has the potential to extend way beyond our piece of the string. It’s legacy that is the driving force of our life ripple. Our legacy determines if our life has any significant influence beyond the years we’ve been given.

Chasing all sorts of challenges, goals, dreams and aspirations are fine, but if they’re not done in the context of the bigger question of legacy than our lives truly are a vapor, a small piece of the string.

No matter what we do, none of us can defy the inescapable truth that eventually, in any given moment on any given day, our piece of the string will come to an end. What we can influence however is the potential of our legacy.

There are causes to get behind, projects to pursue, relationships to invest in, seconds, hours, days and years that will be spent. But what are you doing or not doing that will carry the ripple of your life far down the line?

Number 3

Number 3

We are not sparkling wine or champagne connoisseurs.  Nor are big sparkling wine or champagne drinkers. So inevitably on special occasions when family or friends bring the customary bottle there is always left over and it always gets put in the fridge.

In the last 5 years we’ve gone through 2 “wine stoppers” and “wine savers” neither which stop or save anything from going flat.

Recently, a trip to Target gave us “wine stopper/saver” #3. I remained skeptical.

But what I discovered is that #3 was different from all the previous models. #3 was simply simple. No twisting, turning, pulling. No knobs, rubber rings or seals. A few ridges and a metal top did exactly what it was supposed to do…save whatever is inside the bottle from getting out and stopping anything outside from getting in.

I’m not sure how we missed #3 in previous shopping trips. Maybe the allure of “new and improved” or “enhanced design” stole us away. Regardless, we highly recommend the simply simple yet reliable Oxo Steel Wine Stopper.

Save yourself from a few trips to the store, some sparkle-less wine or flat champagne.