Sunday, April 03, 2011

Spring Cleaning My Bookmarks

The other day I did a little spring cleaning with my bookmarks. Switching among several browsers over the last several years...Firefox, Camino, Safari, and now Google Chrome....I was not sure if my bookmarks ever made all the moves.

Which made me ask the question, "are bookmarks now obsolete?"

I've been messing around with the Internet for 15 years now. Remember the Netscape browser?Remember when "bookmarks" were new? People used to actually make webpages and share a list of their bookmarks. Even more fascinating was that other people found other people's bookmarks interesting. Search engines were still in their infancy, so it was hard to just find something let alone something half-interesting. Once you found something, you had to bookmark it or you might never find it again. It was to hard to type in a long URL. But that is not the case anymore. You can type in some words, and you get a choice of URLs, your recent searches, popular searches,'s just not that hard to find things.

Last week while watching an episode of American Idol, I started going through my tough, stringy, bookmarks. You know, bookmarks you didn't take time to name something meaningful, so all you have is a long undecipherable code to who-knows-where. I had folders and folders of these things. Maybe, I thought, there were some hidden gems I had forgotten about. Perhaps, I mused further, I would find some inner peace if I brought this unruly list under my control.

What I ended up doing is deleting whole folders without even opening them. Like chucking a dusty boxes cluttering up my attic. Why on earth, was I holding onto a cache entitled "distance learning?" Would I ever need the links that lead to antique rose listings from 2005?

Ahh, but I was intrigued by my long lost list of bloggers. How many of my virtual friends were still out there? I began clicking on links to see if anyone still existed. I found that there were three categories, people who made it "big" and are now making money with their blogs (a handful), those who have moved their blog (another handful) and those who have vanished (the majority). There were many 404s and sad good-byes to go spend more time living a "real life."

Which made think about writing, and how much I enjoyed writing in my blog so many years ago, and how simple and new it seemed. Now come to find out, Google bought out blogger. I think I knew that, but I just wasn't paying attention....

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

People Jailed in Iran for Being Just Being Christians

This is just so sobering. They were rounded up in the night and taken from their own beds by government officials who broke into their homes. Two mom's were separated from their children. I don't know anything about them, other than they were evangelical Christians.

Please pray for them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Top Ten List of the Most Irritating Phrases

Here's something us homeschool moms need to teach our children. Oxford just published its list of phrases people either use out of context, or just use too much. There are classics like "should of" instead of "should have," as well as the more recent annoying "24/7."

You can read the article in the UK Telegraph newspaper. (Be warned, if you have an older computer like me, this page is slow....I get the spinning wheel of death, aaaargh.)

There are a few phrases that I think are missing, like "outside the box." It's a tired phrase, but I still hear it used. What do you think should be on this list?

The top ten most irritating phrases:

1 - At the end of the day

2 - Fairly unique

3 - I personally

4 - At this moment in time

5 - With all due respect

6 - Absolutely

7 - It's a nightmare

8 - Shouldn't of

9 - 24/7

10 - It's not rocket science

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back to School Nights

Well, I've been busy these past few months. One thing I put on my proverbial plate is a language class at a local community college.

"Why" at the age of 40-something am I taking a language class you may wonder? Maybe I'll answer that in more in another post, but what I put down on my school application that I was doing it to enhance my job skills. I am enhancing my job skills.

Anyhow, it's been fodder for at least a few blog posts.

Now, while I have been in college ministry for the past 20 years, being on a college campus with 20-somethings is not completely strange. In fact, there is something very familiar and comfortable about it.

For one thing, I am about the same age as the professor. Why I bet she has even had a little hot-flash or two, or at least memory lapses due to low estradiol levels that impair brain function. (I'm dying to ask her, but I promise to refrain.)

Another advantage is that I know how to study. It isn't hard. You just do all the homework, and all the extra-credit. If the teacher puts a practice test online, there's a good chance that will be the actual test. When the teacher says, "memorize this by Thursday" or know this vocabulary list by this day--take it seriously. Don't gamble and think, "maybe she'll forget." That is what I used to do when I was younger.

I also don't have the distraction of the boyfriend thing. I already have my husband and children. I am living the dream. The young men in my class could be my own sons. (hint: future blog post subject).

As an older person, I also have the advantage of perspective. Frankly, most of the people sitting around me are still trying to figure out their lives or perhaps put them back together. I don't think they realize that this class is important and that if they were to actually study, it would pay off. If they applied themselves at community college, got straight A's, and were involved in an student group or government on campus, they could get a scholarship to a 4-year college.

On the other hand, at a deeper level, I don't think they know how short their lives really are and that this class really doesn't matter in terms of eternity.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Becoming 508 Compliant For Your Christian Club on Campus, Part 1

Everyone knows blogs fill that need to talk about something that you can't about with anyone with in real life.

For me it is about becoming Section 508 Compliant.

"What?" you are saying, "that is boring. No wonder no one wants to talk to you about it."

True, I won't be talking about it during play dates at the park with the other moms. I'll want to, but I'll probably have better luck talking about canning my peaches. Yet I do think this is a very important issue for those of us in campus ministries on college campuses. Let me explain.....

It all started last month when I checked the university's website to see if our club was linked on their "club" page. What I found, was that our club was listed, but there was no link to our webpage. We contacted the university, and they restored the link, but with this ominous warning: "your link will be removed if you do not become Section 508 Compliant."

My first thought was there was a relation to the sudden flurry of wheelchair accessible sidewalks my city was putting in our neighborhood. There's been a lot of talk about ADA compliancy the last 10 years, but now we are finally seeing some action. Perhaps this 508 thing has to do with people with disabilities having access to the Internet.

A little Google search, and I not only discover Section 508 was signed into law by President Clinton in the late 90's, but there has been all kinds of conferences and consortiums since then to figure out just exactly what it means and how it is to be implemented. Basically it is a law requiring federal websites (and other information technologies) to give equal access to people with disabilities (U.S. Congress and the Justice Department are curiously exempt).

What does that have to do with a link from a California university website? Many states have passed similar laws to give equal access to information and Section 508 is the standard that everyone is adopting. The Accessible Technology Initiative was enacted by the California State University system to bring all CSU schools into compliance.

Therefore, if you have a Christian group on a CSU campus, and you want a link from the official university website--you need to have a Section 508 compliant website. Other university systems, both public and private are sure to follow with similar policies, if they have not already done so.

This summer I'll be re-working our campus website to make it compliant, and I hope to blog about it so others in the same situation can save time in updating their websites.

Next post: Section 508: Who Cares? I've Got More Important Things to Do.

a majority of my "mind time" these days is thinking about the subject of 508 compliancy...and I just need to blow off a little steam by blogging about it a bit. My rationale is that there are others out there like me who are facing the issue, and wondering how to go about it as painlessly as possible.

But I just manage a small website for our campus ministry at Cal Poly Pomona here in California.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Brain Google

I wish I could Google my brain. You know, I forget a name or where I put something....and then I could just type in a search box connected to my brain and bingo!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reading List for Church Youth

I thought this was an interesting topic over at Doctrine Matters on what would be the most important books to have included in your youth program.

Some of the comments had good suggestions, but here is my list:

Humility, C.J. Mahaney
Isn't this the number problem for all of us? I love the way Mahaney handles this topic. Very practical, especially for high schoolers who are immersed in a culture that values everything contrary to the idea of humility.

Living the Cross-Centered Life, by C.J. Mahaney

No explanation needed really, other than it gives them tracks for run on.

Growing Up Christian, by Graustien and Jacobsen
I didn't grow up Christian, so this covers my gaps in raising my kids. Our high schoolers went through this in Sunday school and I am glad they did.

Don't Waste Your Life, by Piper
For high schoolers, this can springboard into just thinking more deeply about life beyond clothes, cars, and gaining independence. The danger will be not to go too deeply where this book goes, and to make it not be too extreme (i.e. living with a wartime mentality might seem like too much for some people--so there would be a temptation to downplay it when teaching it).

When I Don't Desire God, by Piper

This has a DVD series to go with it now. It deals with what many high schoolers are they really desire to live for God?

Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible, by Howard Hendricks
Our high schoolers have been going through this, and it is helpful in teaching them to study the Bible. It's accessible, and it's Hendricks. There is also a DVD set to go with it.

The Jesus of Suburbia: Have We Tamed God to Fit our Lifestyle?, by Mike Erre
Don't you love the title? Or does it make you break out into a sweat? I give a caveat on Chapter 6 which is about doctrine and that he does quote Rob Bell (whom I always confuse with Art Bell), but the rest of the book is thought-provoking and challenging. I think it seeks to show a real Christianity that is not about programs and rituals, but of a real relationship with Jesus of the the Scriptures. Mike shows how being a Christian is not just a veneer we wear on Sundays, but permeates our whole being and affects those around us.

A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, by D.A. Carson
This is a little heavy....I mean talking seriously about prayer to high schoolers? But I think they are capable, and they need to be taught the truth about one of the most neglected of our spiritual disciplines.

Fish Out of Water, by Abby Nye
There are other books on being a Christian in college, but I included this one because it addresses a current snapshot of what a student will face. It is a good way to inoculate a student to uber-liberal professors and hypocritical "Christian" kids who party on the weekends. She gives strategies for facing different situations, as well as encouraging students to take the initiative to share their faith with classmates. My only criticism of the book is that I think Nye sounds a little bitter about her experience and it affects the tone of the book. However, I think this would be good with a small group setting with high schoolers planning on attending either a secular or Christian college.

Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
This would give every high school student some "handles" when they walk into a classroom or in everyday life. What has the church gone through for the Gospel or to bring us the Scriptures in everyday language? What have been the major upheavals and personalities? I took a Church History class after I graduated from college, and how I wished I had known it BEFORE I left high school.

The Attributes of God, by Pink
Just the basics.

I think there are other books that would be good as well--this is just off the top of my head. I also think that it would be good to have the best of the best repeated every two or three years. Another genre of books would be missionary biographies, which can be taught even before high school. Our church went through a series of stories of missionaries with the elementary school-aged children. My own kids would come home and tell me what they were learning.

What would you add or subtract? Any good books on missions? Evangelism? Holiness? I've probably missed some good ones...