Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad = iRad or iFad? (off topic)

Okay, this is an off topic post, I guess... Yes, I admit to being a tech geek. Who doesn't love a cool electronic gadget? On today's big announcement from Apple, the iPad. (I'm sorry... the name makes all this just too easy!!)

Today's iPad "show"... my thoughts... few words come to mind:

  • iPad - cute name, but i think iSlate would have been cooler. What about iTablet with a whole Moses tie in of biblical proportions? Yes, I get the whole iPod, iPad thing, but the name makes it all too easy to do what I'm about to do...
  • iSad - what I was after realizing there was not "one more thing" and that iPad was all that we were going to get from Apple today (other than a few tweaks of their software). Also iSad = the Kindle and other ebook readers... all about to become extinct with a pretty good price point offered on Apple's version of a "kindle" that has received it's glorified body. :-)
  • iRad - what the iPad could have been if Apple had been a little more forward thinking and listened to the wishes and dreams of users. And believe me there was no lack of wish lists floating around cyberspace on the subject of an Apple tablet. Unfortunately the iPad "show" (IMHO) did not live up to all the hype. I guess we can all dream of the Summer refresh hinted at today.
  • iGlad - AT&T executives, upon receiving yet another reprieve from losing their sweet Apple exclusivity deal with Stevie baby. Did you hear the sigh of relieve coming from AT&T headquarters?
  • iMad - what many of us were after realizing that (1) the 3G version of this thing will be tied (at least for the foreseeable future) to AT&T and (2) the "one more thing" that many of us hoped for was not going to happen - i.e., a refresh of the iPhone line with the option of getting one from Verizon!! Did you hear the groans from all the Verizon customers waiting to get their hands on an iPhone as well as the groans from all those locked into AT&T and tired of horrible service? Huddled masses yearning to be free (from AT&T)! Yes, Mr. Jobs, there's a MAP for that!!!
  • iBad - not offering the thing for less money on a 3G network... what happened to subsidizing the cost of new equipment? Shouldn't you get a break if you sign up for (subpar) 3G service with AT&T? Instead, you'll get to pay more for your iPad if you want 3G connectivity. That makes no sense. Also in the iBad category - not having it available today... how long have we been waiting for this thing? How long have the rumors been circulating? In the Apple hay-day, you'd hear the words, "and it's available TODAY" (instead of 60-90 days after the big event), right before you heard, "and one more thing." I guess those days are over... which brings me back to iSad.
  • iFad? probably not. There are too many addicted to having Apple's latest gizmo for this thing to be a fad. It probably will eventually change the way we use technology and computers and read magazines and newspapers - the latter being 2 things that may go the way of the dinosaur if Apple has it's way. I'll wait until the next refresh at least before being tempted - let them work out the bugs and add a few more cool features. Let the early adopters pay for the R&D and be real time beta testers. Which begs the question, how will they push updates to this thing - I guess via the iTunes store like they do with our iPods.
Alright, that's my two cents worth on this momentous day. After all that hype about their "latest creation" - a big let down - at least for me.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

incurvatus in se

The great reformer, Martin Luther, in the Lectures on Romans (1515–1516) gives the depiction of the sinner as incurvatus in se, “curved in on self”:
“due to original sin, our nature is so curved in upon itself at its deepest levels that it not only bends the best gifts of God toward itself in order to enjoy them (as the moralists and hypocrites make evident), nay, rather, "uses" God in order to obtain them, but it does not even know that, in this wicked, twisted, crooked way, it seeks everything, including God, only for itself. As the prophet Jeremiah says in Jer. 17:9: "The heart of man is crooked and inscrutable; who can know it?" i.e., it is so curved in upon itself that no man, be he ever so holy, can know it (apart from a testing experience). As it says in Ps. 19:12: "Who can discern his errors? Clear thou me from my hidden faults!"

stepping over our wounds

Stepping over Our Wounds

Sometimes we have to "step over" our anger, our jealousy, or our feelings of rejection and move on. The temptation is to get stuck in our negative emotions, poking around in them as if we belong there. Then we become the "offended one," "the forgotten one," or the "discarded one." Yes, we can get attached to these negative identities and even take morbid pleasure in them. It might be good to have a look at these dark feelings and explore where they come from, but there comes a moment to step over them, leave them behind and travel on.
- Nouwen, "Bread for the Journey" (Jan.9)

Monday, January 04, 2010

successfulness and fruitfulness

So many pastors and churches want their ministries to be successful. Perhaps that is the wrong focus. How great to be working toward a fruitful ministry instead. Success passes, but fruit remains (John 15:16).

Another great quote from Nouwen...
Fruits That Grow in Vulnerability

There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another's wounds. Let's remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness.
- Nouwen, Bread for the Journey (Jan. 4)