Archive for January, 2010

On January, 29, 1950, Roger and Yuvon Boomershine were married in Grand Rapids, MI. The fallout has been great. Today we gather together to recognize their faithfulness.

January 29, 2010

Dear Grandpa and Grandma Boomershine,

Sixty years is no trifle!

And no one should pretend it is. Nor should they think it was easy either.

Kingdoms have been conquered, rebuilt and then lost in less time! Alexander annexed the whole known world in only half that time. You could have walked around the earth 84 times in 60 years! You’ve been married through 12 U.S. Presidents. But then, some things are worth waiting for. Some species of oak don’t begin producing acorns until their 60th year. The pyramids took 60 years to build by hand. It takes a lot of gumption and grace to stay put.

Roger and Yuvon - January 29, 1950

In 1950, the world was vastly different (wasn’t everything still black and white then?). The big wars were over and rebuilding was in full swing. The moon was still unlittered. Sheep were still uncloned. Telephones were anchored to walls. You went to work offering service to the community, showing them how to make a living with the labor of their hands, having turned their swords into printing presses. You were part of what was maybe that last generation of Americans that didn’t have that permanent swath of skepticism slathered all over their faces, the last generation that did not invariably question authority. And you did it all without Google, iPhones, blogs and Facebook which our generation thinks is really impressive.

You dabbled in many, many, many entrepreneurial ventures together. We’ve only been around about one-half your married life, but the first few that come to mind are beauty salons, cookbooks, house renovations, house-flipping, and a retirement community. Who knows how varied it got back when you were young and impulsive!

You two became eight and from eight there are just over 100 of us now (103 at last count)–all carrying your name and likeness in some way. Thank you for handing us a heritage that is not about violence, corruption, and broken paroles. But instead…we like to explore, we love taking drives to nowhere, we enjoy first-rate food at out-of-the-way locations, a lot of us enjoy singing, we enjoying sitting through classes as well as standing in front of them, we are enormously funny, we are far too sarcastic, we put cottage cheese in our chili for goodness sake!, and, most importantly, almost all of us are faithful believers and worshipers of God. We are not perfect, we are quirky, we mess up, but we have found the Gospel true, and we seek to live it and be approved by it.

Thank you for being the doers of it. Thank you for being so welcoming and excited to see us when we walk through the door, even if we just sit and don’t have much to say. Thank you for always being generous and available. Thank you for adoring our kids. It always feels like Grandpa and Grandma’s house when we walk in the door.

Thank you for showing us–showing all of us–what a steady, quiet, day-upon-day, permanent, loving relationship looks like in humble action. We admire and love you for doing it like you’ve been doing it for so many years. We, too, aspire to the joy of a full and happy 60 married years.

We thank God upon our every remembrance of you,

Ryan and Christie Boomershine
Nashville, TN

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Want to get rid of those uninteresting, offensive, repetitive, misleading, irrelevant, ads on FaceBook. You can.

If you have Internet Explorer, it’s tedious and hard. You can click the “X” next to the ad, and manually reject each ad individually. This takes an enormous amount of energy, and you will never win (but you could probably keep up with the Mobsters advertisements with about 30 minutes of clicking per day).

If you use Firefox, which is an immensely safer program and is the world’s most popular web browser, then it is a super-simple process.

1. Go to Tools > Add-ons > click on the Browse All Ad-Ons link >

2. From there you have entered the magnificent world of add-ons. Ways to very easily customize your internet browsing experience. Everything becomes much simpler in your life from this point on.

3. Search for AdBlock Plus (or click here to skip straight to it).

4. Click Add to Firefox, and the program automatically installs and then will ask you to restart Firefox. When it comes back up, you will need to subscribe to the USA filter list. It’s a one-click, free, process. There is no registration. There is no mess. It just runs.

And it will block almost all advertisements, pop-ups and banners on every website you go to NOT JUST FACEBOOK.

A word about add-ons: There are 10,000+ of them. A few dozen of them are truly useful. Some just waste your life. Some of the add-ons I find most useful and use frequently are:

  • Fast Dial
  • AdBlock Plus
  • Shorten URL
  • XMarks
  • ScreenGrab

If you don’t use Firefox. Do so.

There is at least also one other add-on that will block the ads only on FaceBook.

These directions are overkill for some readers (you’ve been using this forever), and some of you think this is too high-tech. If this overwhelms you, please ask for help. Any other recommendations from the pros?

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Had Alfred only delivered his people from the plundering Danes whom he defeated at Edington, then his contribution would have been significant and worthy of rememberance, but he would not have been worthy of the legendary status the the name King Alfred has acquired over the years. He would not have been King Alfred the Great.

Benjamin Merkle’s first book, The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great was released last November and is a great first deposit into the publication pool. I am, after reading it, fully endeared-to and thankful-for the man who was only English king to ever be called “the Great.” This story is a readable, action-packed, probing look at the man who played an enormous role in defending, stabilizing and then civilizing a fragmented kingdom that would later become what we call England, which would later play a crucial role in the democratic and orderly governments of many other major countries, including the one most of my readers call home.

The bulk of the book is the story of Alfred’s attempts to rid his land of innumerable waves of marauding Vikings who pillaged and ravaged wherever they went. They were a formidable and constant enemy to Alfred for almost every bit of his 50 years. But the story of how Alfred turned them to flight was also an evolution of thought (changing the mind and pattern of a nation) and also the story of the value of righteousness and honoring Christ in pattern and traditions. It was no easy process, but in his end, he was honored with this inscription on a statue that stands in Wantage:

Alfred found learning dead and he restored it, education neglected and he revived it, the laws powerless and he gave them force, the church debased and he raised it, the land ravaged by a fearful enemy from which he delivered it. Alfred’s name shall live as long as mankind shall respect the past.

And so, 1,111 years after his death, King Alfred’s name and deeds are remembered again–this time here in Nashville, TN. His name will be promoted on this blog, in my memory, to my 5 little ones and wife, and to those with whom I can muster an opportunity to bring this story to note. The great ring-giver will live on in this way.

(Also, you will love the redemptive story of the man who was called Guthrum.)

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Sin Hoarders

Shannon parallels the A&E show to the situation of her [our] hearts. “But, the more I thought about it….the more I realized that I hoard my sin. I don’t let anyone see the clutter of my heart and the blackness of my sin. I have rotting sin that is so filthy and rancid, yet I don’t smell the nastiness of it. I hold it tight to my chest like it’s a treasure.”

“Ministry isn’t everything. Jesus is.”

Ray Ortlund writes about his father’s last hours.

State by State Abortion Rates and Totals

The numbers are from 2006. A lot more babies are killed every year in a sterile room than by earthquakes.

This Week’s Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us

British Holiday Inns are going to begin offering human bed-warming service to combat icy sheets.

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Our family this week watched the first of the six episodes of Ken Burn’s National Parks: America’s Best Idea. It’s a beautiful and moving history, tribute and call to the value and nature of the National Park System. I’m hungry for more and sure I’ll bring you deeper in as we go. The first disc (“The Scripture of Nature”) begins with this quote by John Muir:

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.”

and ends with this stirring piece that you should spend some time chewing on:

The tendency nowadays to wander in wildernesses is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease. Briskly venturing and roaming, some are … jumping from rock to rock, feeling the life of them, learning the songs of them, panting in whole-souled exercise and rejoicing in deep, long-drawn breaths of pure wildness.

John Muir, Atlantic Monthly, 1898

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  • What happened to the Poe toaster? Poe’s birthday just came and went (his 201st), and his mystery visitor didn’t show up for the first time in 60 years? Hmmm.
  • I like the live version better, but this is another way of hearing Taylor Mali’s Totally, Like, Whatever, You Know? rant.
  • AP and Co. are working hidden away working long hours in a studio in WA St. Here’s proof they aren’t sleeping all day.

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Those who are quick to promise are generally slow to perform. They promise mountains and perform molehills. He who gives you fair words and nothing more feeds you with an empty spoon. People don’t think much a man’s piety when his promises are like pie crust: made to be broken.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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  • Memorize Now – This is a great site I found today to use as an aide to memorizing. I really like it. What!?!! You’re not memorizing anything? Do it! Do it! Do it! Exercise your brain by memorizing. Increase your capacities by stretching yourself! Do it! Need suggestions? Ask. Poems and verses and prose are out there ready to be snared by your mind and heart. Do it!

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Maybe it’s that she is tone-deaf to reason. Sean Hannity strong arms his opponents this way, too.

Here is what would be an interesting discussion about water-boarding interrupted by Amanpour’s loudness. Things get going about 4:30 and continue into part 2.

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  • Interesting read from Wired about the cheats who rose and fell in the world of crime.  Fraud U
  • I do a little rhythmic gymnastics training on the side (some of you may not have known that). This is one of my better students in action with her little, red ball.

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Remember 1995?

This is an absolutely wonderful treasure of a video of Bill Gates on the David Letterman show. I love the skepticism juxtaposed to the vision. Almost all of us were skeptics during that time.

When did you buy your first computer?

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Spread Out

I’ve recently added a personal, finance blog to my Reader.  It has been a big help to the way I think, and I’ve taken some good advice from it in the past two weeks…and I’ve already made measurable money by following his advice (dozens of dollars).

I’m recommending you to Matt Jab’s Debt Free Adventure. I have been relieved of the enormous burden of monthly, credit-type debt already (just in the in the past year or two), but still there is much to glean here, whether you are carrying the burden or not.

I hope you will find it profitable, too.

Probably I should give you a better idea of the array of subscriptions I have on Google Reader…some day.

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From recent web treks:

  • Wii and Netflix are Getting Married! – We’ve been close to unsubscribing to Netflix for a short while. In fact, I almost did this week. It’s a great service, very fast and has lots of options. But it does have horrible customer service and we have a hard time getting our dollar’s worth when we really do want to get 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night. And we got a Wii for our family for Christmas (and love it), but it wasn’t one of those Netflix-ready streaming devices. If we could watch through Wii, at our leisure, this would keep us in. Although…the bulk of the movies in their catalog are not streaming-ready…yet.

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Really. Take one.

Read a great reason why here.

Pack a Gun to Protect Valuables from Airline Theft or Loss

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From Christ is Deeper Still:

A protestor against the Viet Nam war was trudging back and forth through the snow outside a Minnesota corporation.  A passerby asked him, “Why are you out here?  You’ll never change them.”  The young man replied, “I’m not doing this to change them.  I’m doing this to keep them from changing me.”

Whether it’s a natural disaster in Haiti or a human disaster in Washington, we keep on protesting — by doing good.  The disasters are so massive, we wonder about the impact of our efforts.  But our protests keep our own souls alive, even as perhaps we do a little good for others.

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Devastation in Haiti

I hope you are praying.

Here is the CIA Factbook about Haiti, because you don’t know much about it.

Here are photos from The Big Picture of the devastation (some are gruesome).

First Hours

48 Later

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Idea with Heft

We are simple people. You can’t remember ten things at once. Invariably, if you could remember just ONE true thing in the moment of trial, you’d be different. Bible ‘verses’ aren’t magic. But God’s words are revelations of God from God for our redemption. When you actually remember God, you do not sin. The only way we ever sin is by suppressing God, by forgetting, by tuning out his voice, switching channels, and listening to other voices. When you actually remember, you actually change. In fact, remembering is the first change.

— David Powlinson

HT: Take Your Vitamin Z

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Nate Wilson is one of my favorite thinkers. Here are his thoughts on the recent arrival of his new daughter.


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Magnum, Trammell and Whitaker on one screen

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If you purchase an eligible textbook from Amazon, they are offering a three-month trial period of Prime. You know that you know a college student. Ask them what they need.

Prime generally offers unlimited, two-day shipping on items sold by Amazon (directly, not through 3rd parties), with no minimum orders.

Textbooks at Amazon

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Like these Italian police officers did in the 1950s.

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Rut-Ro, Shaggy!

Things are not well on the Narnia set. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was due out in May ’10, but things are looking ugly in the battle of purity. C.S. Lewis would not roll over in his grave…he would be spinning!

‘Narnia’ Drifts from Its Vision

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I am certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidle.

— Florence Nightengale

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Do Not Fear

Good Gospel words from Andrew Peterson (posted on Christmas morning).

Fearless Faith

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What’s New

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Very interesting moving-visual of unemployment.

HT: Ron Kenney

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This is a rougher clip than I am normally willing to post…but you’re a grown-up and can handle it. I don’t think I need to apologize, but maybe I just did. Sometimes is takes hard humor to get us to see how self-absorbed we have become…and how little we think of the Gospel as we go about life.

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