Archive for August, 2003

Ahhhh… Nothing like taking some time off to code some html. And of course that means that I’m working on some spiffy new features for my website. This time it’s graphical emoticon auto-conversion. Check out some screenshots from my test server.

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[Third entry in a series on my mission trip to Minnesota.]

Soon after our arrival at camp on Saturday, my group decided that we wanted to invite the others to a campfire one night and have s’mores. When we went into town on Sunday, we picked up all the necessary ingredients, and on Tuesday we decided to have the fire. After dinner, a couple of us went up to the fire circle, and since I was the only Boy Scout present, and an Eagle Scout at that, I ended up with responsibility for the fire.

The first thing that I had to do was decide what kind of wood structure to use. Should it be a teepee? A lean-to? A log cabin? I voiced my assessment that we should do a log cabin, which tends to make a nice campfire. Willy suggested that we do a church. The logs at the fire circle were rather fresh and sappy, so we had to go down to the woodshed to get some nice, dry, dead logs. When we returned with some choice pieces of timber, I constructed a log cabin, while the others filled it with crumpled paper and kindling. To top it all off, and to satisfy Willy, I also added a steeple, thus making the log cabin a church. The paper—actually glossy catalog pages—was a little hard to light, but once the fire got going, it burned wonderfully. I did feel a little guilty about burning down a “church”, but those were some good s’mores!

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What do you think? Is the image below proof that internet advertising has fallen on tough times?

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[Second entry in a series on my mission trip to Minnesota.]

Before our trip to Minnesota, my friend Willy and I were recruited to do four devotionals during the week. These were supposed to be given at our evening worship service back at camp on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. There was no devotional necessary on Wednesday, because that was our half-workday and we’d all be out on the town in the evening. Willy had the idea to do the four chapters of Jonah for our four devotionals, and that worked out really well with our schedule for the week since there is a natural break between chapters 2 and 3 that would line-up with the break on Wednesday. We also decided that Willy would do chapters 1 and 4, and that I would do chapters 2 and 3.

When we got to camp on Saturday, we found out that we had to do a fifth devotional on Sunday. This gave us two options. We could either come up with a fifth devotional immediately, or we would have to mess up our beautiful Jonah schedule and its strategically placed break in the middle. Willy and I both felt that the latter option was quite undesirable, so Willy quickly put together a quick introduction to the Biblical mandate for racial reconciliation for the Sunday devotional, which seemed like an appropriate topic given the nature of our mission trip. Unfortunately, such a controversial topic went over like a ton of bricks, and we should have seen it coming.

On Monday, Willy was ready to start the devotional series on Jonah, however it was decided to cancel the worship service in favor of playing basketball with some of the people the groups had met earlier in the day. Thus, when Tuesday came around, and it was my turn to lead the devotional, I had to do both chapters 1 and 2. Nevertheless, the devotional turned out very well. I got good feedback from my group, and I was told that even the other group, which had been so put off by Willy’s devotional, liked it too. I suppose pointing out the Covenant connection between the Hebrew temple and Christ is less controversial than racial reconciliation.

I was scheduled to give my second devotional on Thursday, but that day we found out that what we had originally been told—that we were to do four devotionals—was actually correct. On Friday we were to go to a special service at the church on the reservation where the pastor would speak, so the four days for the devotionals were actually Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Thus we were left with just one more time slot to do another two chapters of Jonah. Since chapter 4, as the conclusion of the story, was the more important chapter to focus on, Willy, who had prepared for that chapter, took on the job.

Although each of our devotionals on Jonah turned out very well, I was a little disappointed that we had to condense our material from four devotionals into two. During my preparation on chapters 2 and 3, I gained an increased appreciation for Jonah. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to do a deeper presentation someday.

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Ever hear someone describe something as “the greatest thing since sliced bread”? Where was sliced bread invented?

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