Wednesday, September 30

Browsing: Articles

Its a frustrating time.  Politics are polarizing.  There is a lot of lying and half truths being spread on the internet.  This is especially true when there is a lot at stake, as there is when there is a pandemic, or in politics when the opposing sides have dramatically opposed positions. The motivations for lying are pretty basic.  Greed and Pride have been with us since nearly the beginning of time.  Hackers create fake news stories because they know that controversial and inflammatory articles drive traffic and traffic drives ads and that makes them money.  Political parties and their members…

1) The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien 2) The Trials of Apollo, Book Three, The Burning Maze – Rick Riordan 3) Bitterblue – Kristin Cashore 4) White Sands, Volume 2 – Brandon Sanderson 5) Infinity Gauntlet (graphic novel) – Jim Starlin 6) The Delirium Brief – Charles Stross 7-11) Alcatraz vs The Evil Librarians 1 – 5 12) Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3: The Ship of the Dead – Rick Riordan 13) Guardian – A. J. Hartley 14) Brief Cases – Jim Butcher 15) Bilbo’s Last Song – J. R. R. Tolkien 16) The Black…

2017 was a good year for books. I came in at just under 50 for the year. Next year I’d like to have a few more non fiction books in the list.  Here is the list: 1 # No God But One: Allah or Jesus – Nabeel Qureshi – Jan 2 # The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers – Jan 3 # Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asguard – The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan – Jan 4 # Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asguard – The Hammer of the Gods -…

Chicago was beautiful.  The weather was cool, and the wind off the lake did not disappoint.  I checked out the Shedd Aquarium and the beluga whales and dolphins put on a show.  I saw the lake, and the city, and hung out with my nieces and nephew and older brother and his wife, and generally had a really good time. Then I was off towards Saint Joseph, MO to see my other brother and my newest nephew.  I followed the Illinois River and stopped a couple of times to take in the scenery, then crossed over to the Mississippi and…

I’m sitting in a coffee shop downtown, listening to the music playing in the background, and the pleasant murmur of conversation.  Chicago is a cool 69, and not so windy today.  Yesterday’s riding was harder than expected.  I think the toll of the trip had started to catch up to me, so having a couple of days to chill is welcomed.  I’m going to explore the city a bit, then sit down to do some reading and hopefully some writing.

I left the McDonalds and headed west.  I quickly found that US50 was boring and after about an hour of straight road, two lanes either direction, I pulled off and took a detour through Wayne National Forest.  I stuck to smaller roads after that, no more than one lane in either direction. Ohio can be beautiful.  Some rolling hills that eventually flattened out into farm land.  Miles and miles of little houses and farms, surrounded by the new growth of corn, just a foot or so high, shades of green varying from a deep verdant green to lighter greens verging…

I’m sitting in a McDonalds in Philippi, WV.  The sounds of old men talking and catching up about this and that murmur in the background.  One gentleman asks another, “Is your wife still livin?”  Such candor is unexpected, but it makes me smile. :) I spent the night in Blackwater Falls State Park.  The day and night have been clear and dry and the temperature cool.  A fire after setting up camp was welcome as temperatures fell after dark.  I drifted off to sleep to the smell of wood smoke and the gentle sounds of distant campers and crickets. The…

To know God.  That is the full measure and purpose of the Christian life.  We know God in many ways, both by searching out and listening to what He has revealed to us about Himself, and by experiencing Him through relationship, by abiding in Him through obedience, by interacting with Him through prayer. In the last article, we spoke of God’s eternal nature.  In this article I want to talk about His unchanging or immutable nature. The fact that God is unchanging provides the christian with a number of important guarantees, not the least of which is confidence that God’s…

To know God.  That is the full measure and purpose of the Christian life.  We know God in many ways, both by searching out and listening to what He has revealed to us about Himself, and by experiencing Him through relationship, by abiding in Him through obedience, by interacting with Him through prayer. We began this series by asking what God is.  We talked about His triune nature and what each of the three members of the Godhead are.  In this article, we will begin to discuss more of His nature, specifically, how He is eternal and why that matters.

To know God.  That is the full measure and purpose of the Christian life.  We know God in many ways, both by searching out and listening to what He has revealed to us about Himself, and by experiencing Him through relationship, by abiding in Him through obedience, by interacting with Him through prayer. The purpose of the following series of articles is to take a broad view of what God has revealed to us about Himself, to get a more complete picture of His attributes and qualities.  I will attempt to tie together what these mean to us and how…

It has been a long year, this 2016. This election cycle and its results and plenty of painful challenges at work have left me a little ragged and feeling tired and worn out. It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve learned a lot, both from the election and the many conversations that it has provoked, and from the challenges at work that have provided areas of growth I might not have heeded otherwise. And I have been surrounded by a rich group of really good friends and family that have encouraged and counselled me, and for that I am profoundly grateful.…

Psalm 1 has much to offer in the way of perspective on living, and how to be successful.  For the Christian, it distills the basic ethos of our philosophy, to know Him and by knowing to love Him.  The psalm does not promise a specific level of blessing, but rather a way of living that improves life.  Below are my thoughts, broken down by verse. What does it mean to be “blessed”? The Hebrew word (H835) is “esher” and is derived from (H833) “ashar” which means to “be straight”.  When used figuratively, “ashar” means to go forward (because the way…

I’ve been a Christian since 1984, growing up in a loving home with two amazing parents. For as long as I could remember God was as real to me as the sun and the moon. That changed six years ago, when I went through a crisis of faith followed by a series of severe anxiety attacks. Those anxiety attacks taught me some valuable lessons and I wanted to take some time to talk about what happened, to explain some of what I learned about fear, about identity and purpose and how God intends for us to live in relationship with Him

It isn’t enough to ask God to do a thing, like restore your soul or reframe your heart or desire, or to help you do a thing He has asked you to do. Part of making this stuff work is proceeding to act as though He has done it once you have asked. We operate as Christians using faith to confirm the receipt of what we ask for. Ask, then act as though your prayer is answered. for if He has asked it of you, He will follow through.

Her: Everything is still this morning. The cloudy, after-rain sky holds in the moisture & silence like a giant greenhouse :) Me: mmm… that almost sounds like a haiku. :) Me: the cloudy, after rain sky // holds moisture and silence // in the still morning Her: Lol :) didn’t really think abt that :) I love the spicy smell of wooded areas after rain, esp. as the sun comes out & turns the heat on :) Me: yeah. :) its been raining a lot here the last few days. the combination of the smell of rain and the smell of the grill last…

It replicates a part of the Google Now functionality, the part i used most. But since my phone reacted badly to Jelly Bean, i had to go back to ICS and I missed it. You can download the on{x} script from here.  The bitbucket repository with all my on{x} scripts is here.  Just paste the script into your own on the onx.ms website.  You can download the on{x} app here.

The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Mysterious Benedict Society: and the Perilous Journey, The Mysterious Benedict Society: and the Prisoners Dilemma – by Trenton Lee Stewart An excellent series, appropriate for adults as well as children. The Legacy: The Legend of Drizzt, Book VII Starless Night: The Legend of Drizzt, Book VIII Neverwinter: Neverwinter Saga, Book II Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter, Book I (Neverwinter Saga) Road of the Patriarch: The Sellswords, Book III (Forgotten Realms: The Sellswords, Book 3) – by R. A. Salvatore I’m a huge fan of Salvatore.  Always excellent.  I’ve now read nearly all the books in the Drizzt collection.…

So here’s what I’ve read so far:   By Terry Pratchet: Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad What can you say about Pratchet?  He’s amazing, hysterical, wise, funny and insightful. I haven’t read anything by him that I didn’t like, a lot.  I recommend him highly.   By Terry Brooks: The Measure of the Magic, Bearers of the Black Staff I was a little disappointed with Brooks’ latest.  Not as good as his usual, and certainly not as good as his earlier work. By Jim Butcher: Storm Front This is the first novel in a long series.  It was good.  Tight plot and writing.  But I wasn’t in…

I have photo galleries that back to Jan 2001, as walljm.com was a personal site before it was a weblog, but the first post as a blog was Feb 15th, 2002.  I started writing just after graduating college.  Heady days back then, when the blogging community was so small it numbered in the hundreds, and you could track the new posts written on a daily basis on a single page. I’ve grown a lot on this blog, as a writer, a photographer and an individual, slowly loosing juvenile tendencies, slowly getting better as an artist, slowly growing more discerning.  This…

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