October 30, 2010

People Are Crazy and Amazing

This is a cool video of amazing things done by humans.

October 28, 2010

The Apostles Had It Rough

I'm glad I'm not an apostle...OH NO. Did I say that out loud? The truth is we are all called to live sacrificially and humbly like the apostles. We are called to live sold out for Christ and to spread the word of God like they did. We are called to be lights is the dark world. But it's too hard for most of us. I know it's too hard for me.

1 Corinthians 4:11-13 is where Paul paints a small picture of the sacrifices he made living for Christ. "To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, as we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered we entreat. We have become, and are still,like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things."

As I break it down point by point, I look at my own life in comparison and find that I'm never hungry or thirsty, i have nice clothes, no one ever beats me up, and I have a nice warm place to live and sleep. My job can be stressful, but nothing like hard manual labor. Also, during Paul's day, Greeks and some in the church at Corinth thought of manual labor for slaves. On top of that, Paul was trying to preach to the world about Christ. I come home at night and relax like a lazy, tired, fool. When reviled, persecuted, or slandered I attack, defend, and return fire on my accuser. I'm pretty good and striking back with force and a great deal of harm. Unfortunately, as I type that there's a level of pride in that. CRAP! Speaking of that word...Paul finishes this section by calling himself "the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." He calls himself the crap or garbage or trash of the world, knowing that's how he is looked at by society and both Jews and gentiles.

So, back to the beginning...I'm glad I'm not an apostle, but we don't face the kind of persecution Paul did. The United States is so politically correct that no one is even allowed to persecute anyone else. But we are not out there preaching and living the way Paul did either. We don't have the passion of Paul, the zeal of the apostles. We are more like the Corinthians, who thought of themselves as kings. It's time to live as Paul.

October 25, 2010

Gaga's Bad Metal Romance?

First of all, the guy in this video is a nerdy old school rocker.  I think I went to HS with someone exactly like him.  But, this is really awesome, and I like Lady Gaga's music.

Makes me want to run or get something to eat.  Heehee.  That's an inside joke.

Also, does he remind anyone of Aaron Copeland?  Again, that's a reference for those in the know.

All We Have Has Been Given To Us

We have nothing that hasn't been given to us. And we should live like that. Instead of thinking highly of ourselves, as though we earned something or deserve something, we should all realize what we have has been given by God. In 1 Corinthians 4:6-8 Paul continues his rebuke toward those who were self-satisfied because they believed they'd reached some level of spiritual greatness(like in 1 Cor. 1:10-17). He asked them this questions, "What do you have that you did not receive?" to point out that God gave them everything they had.

Verse 8-10 is where it gets a little more my style. Paul get's sarcastic with, what the John MacArthur Study Bible calls, false praise. He tells them, "Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!" Paul goes on to call himself a fool and the church at Corinth wise, as though he was mimicking the attitude of the proud Corinthians towards him.

Now, I don't want to pretend that I translated and explained this passage as I usually try. I was a little confused by most of 8-10 because I didn't realize that Paul could be sarcastic. But it makes more sense if it is read this way, and that's why I believe the John MacArthur explanation is valid (that and Johnny Mac is a great expositor of the word and has great men working with him). The point is to be humble in our lives. I know I'm not. I even think that God allowed an error at work to humble me a little because I was getting too arrogant in my own abilities. We need to take this humble path and realize all we have comes from God and Christ crucified.

Praise God for His Son.

October 24, 2010

2011 Volkswagen Touareg

I remember when this thing came out there were lots of jokes about its name.  And, although I still hate the name, the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg would be a great SUV and I'd buy one if it was affordable.  VW has not yet announced the pricing, but the Autoblog link below takes you to a gallery of photos of the all new VW.

October 22, 2010

October 19, 2010

A Message From CHiPs to Germans

Oh my goodness...this chippy is P.Oed.  This is like a warning from a movie.  If you ever saw Super Troopers, this is the type of speeches they gave in that movie.

There is a little graphic language, but it fits the warning. LOL.

BTW, I'm not actually sure it's CHP, but the uniform is close enough.  I choose to believe it is.

The Lord Is The Only Judge

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 is a hard one to understand for me. Paul reminds us that we are the be regarded as "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." He goes on to say that stewards are required to be found trustworthy. And up to this point I understand what he's saying. But then he goes into being judged and judging himself, or I guess the lack of judging of himself that he does. He says it is the Lord who judges. Perhaps (as I write it seems to become more clear) the word judge is talking about the opinion we form about a certain person without even being able to know their heart. On one hand, we may judge someone as "a lost cause"; someone we think would be a waste of time to share Christ with. And on the other hand, we may judge someone as holier than they really are. We do not know the heart.

All of our judgments don't matter. The Lord will come and He will shed light on all the hidden thins in our lives. He will "disclose the purpose of the heart." Only then will we receive our commendation from God. Are you going to be commended? Are you doing something in your life that God can commend you for? Does your life fulfill the great commission?

October 18, 2010

The Wisdom Of This World Is Folly With God

I had a tough week last week. I had to go to Redding Monday and Tuesday, on Wednesday and Thursday my most sound operational branch didn't do so hot in an internal review, and Friday since finding out the results of the review I haven't been able to snap out of the funk I'm in. This all coupled with the fact that I feel my life will never be in order again, I feel like I'm falling into a dark place. I can admit I've never loved people, but I think now I don't even have the ability to fake it. I have no patience, no understanding, and it just keeps getting worse. I pray and plead with God more now than I did in the past. I recognize the sin more and feel it's controlling my life.

So last night I asked God to give me this morning as a refreshing time with Him to start over. And, besides the mosquito flying around in my living room, I'm able to have a quiet time in the Word. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23 is a weird way to gain some peace about the last week, but it's what is next in my study and all parts of God's Word are important. This passage starts out, "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise." Although I don't think I will get a commentary book deal for the way I'm about to apply this to me situation, I think there is some correlation. I believe I'm good at my job. I think of myself as a knowledgeable and efficient employee who makes good decisions in how to perform my tasks. But, this weak performance has taken a lot of the arrogant wind out of my sails. As the "best" operations employee in the district I'm in, I just showed I don't have it all figured out.

I know that God is not pleased with my life. I know that my claim to Christianity is a Sunday morning thing, and that I do no bring glory to the name of God on a regular basis, if ever. I think my job became a source of pride for me and a place where I felt I had things "figured out." But the wisdom of the world is folly to God. Although I don't consider myself wise, I think I thought of myself as really knowledgeable about how to run a branch. And now I think that God is trying to remind me that my pride is in the things of men not the things of God. It is important to work hard and be the best at what we do because it shows we have integrity and we are not lazy, but in the end, our work achievements have no baring on our Spiritual health. We need to be proud to say was we children of God and shine the bright light of salvation in what we do. Our source of pride should come from our relationship with the almighty God. Focus on God. Let the concerns of this world pass by.

Although I'm still really disappointed (and I have to face my boss today and feel like I let her down), I am going to try and focus on things that matter. I am going to work hard at not hating the people who do not do their jobs correctly. I'm going to work on patience and love. I will find a way to stay quieter and calmer than I usually do. I will not get frustrated. I sound like Stuart Smalley with daily affirmations right now. I'm not looking in a mirror though.

October 16, 2010

Google's Self Driving Car

If you haven't heard about this, Google is spending some of it's advertising earnings on technology that is designed to drive your car for you.  ABC News picked up the story and here it is:

I know computers can make calculations faster than we can, and I know a computer can't be easily distracted, but I'm a driver.  I love to drive.  I almost live to drive.  I love driving and being in control of my own vehicle.  Sure, sometimes it would be nice during the stop-n-go traffic commutes to have a car that did the driving for us, but I don't want to completely give up my ability to maneuver my own car.  Still, this is really cool.  The safety behind faster reaction times and the ability of the Google car to travel closer to other cars because of it's better reaction times makes it a pretty good idea, and a technology I can get behind.

October 12, 2010

If I Were CEO...PepsiCo (Updated)

Once again, I've decided to dream. Also, I learned from my Grammar Girl friend that my series should be called, "If I Were CEO" because this is really a fantasy series. Using the word "was" is for things that are or could be, where the use of "were" is for the dream world. You can read or listen to the whole explanation from Grammar Girl here.  And, as you can see, I've changed the title to reflect "were" in this and my past posts in the series.  I figure since this one is going to be on my favorite beverage company, about one of my favorite topic, and contain a list of "if" statements that are easily achievable by Pepsi, I'd work hard to make this a grammatically correct post.  You never know when PepsiCo may follow you, right?

I've been a Pepsi fan since having my first "soda".  I have a specific memory of drinking a Mountain Dew (made by PepsiCo) when my dad was a maintenance/music pastor/landscaper at a church we attended when I was in elementary school.  That means, I've been a fan now for over 20 years.  I also remember being in a contest in Jr. High where I did a blind taste test of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, RC Cola, and PC Cola (the generic brand from Lucky Supermarkets where PC stood for President's Choice not Politically Correct).  I was able to decipher which soda was which just by taste even back then.  I've loved a variety of sodas made and sold by PepsiCo too.  Pepsi, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Vanilla Pepsi, Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi Natural, Mountain Dew, Code Red, Live Wire, White Out, and even Dr. Slice are some of my all time favorites.

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, the first thing I would do is return to real sugar for all the products under the brand.  Yes, this would be more expensive than HFCS, but it would be the start to a move towards more natural ingredients.  I would market the soda that way.  I would provide the research and funding to show that sugar is more easily digested than HFCS.  I would move Pepsi and the other products toward a healthier choice in soda consumption.  Even as I'm writing this, I'm seeing a new line of Sierra Mist Natural commercials that are done exactly the way I would want them to be done.  Go here and click on "see the ads".

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, I would also change all diet formulas to use Stevia instead of the chemical sweetener, Aspartame, currently being used.  Once again, I would show the benefits of a natural ingredient over a chemical one.  These two sweetener changes would instantly give PepsiCo a leg up on the competition because of its health benefits.  The body can deal with natural ingredients much better than chemicals and chemically altered sweeteners.

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, I would bring back the option of glass bottles for all the soda lines.  I would offer this option because there are so many people that feel like glass doesn't leave an after taste.  Also, glass is an environmentally friendly option because it is easy to recycle and doesn't have the same harmful properties of plastics.  I would offer only the 12 oz bottles, similar to those of the Pepsi Natural (pictured below) or current "made in Mexico" style (pictured above) because it could be made to work for all brands and streamline the manufacturing.  I would research using the Pepsi Natural bottle, with the Pepsi Logo stamped in the glass for all brands to bring the company's brands together (similar to GM badges on all their lines, although this may not be a great idea).  I would re-introduce the glass bottle 6-pack at $5.00 per pack.  This price is easily recognized as less than $1 per bottle, but is not so cheap that production costs would make it too expensive to offer.

If I were CEO of PepsiCo, I would introduce an entire line of "Natural" labeled beverages, made with no artificial flavors or ingredients.  I would start by re-introducing Pepsi Natural.  I would market the beverage as the healthier, all natural soda.  And, unlike the first round with Pepsi Natural, I would spend some money on the campaign with TV, radio, and Internet advertisements, very similar to what is being done with the Sierra Mist Natural campaign.  Again, go here and click on "see the ads".  I would look into the Whole Foods/Trader Joe's type stores and work on qualifications for that market as well.  I would move on to a "Natural Mountain Dew", providing real citrus flavors with a natural caffeine and sweetness required by Dew drinkers.  I would go after the Hansens soda line with a whole new line of Sierra Mist Natural flavored soft drinks.  I would introduce all the classic flavors, such as, black cherry, citrus, cranberry, lemon/lime, and others.  I would take Sierra Mist to the natural food stores as an alternative to Hansens.

Finally, I would continue the Refresh Everything campaign.  Pepsi is handing out grants to people that come up with great ideas for the planet, community, environment, education, etc.  This is a great way to let everyday people have a chance to make a difference in the world.  I would also continue the Green Label Art and Green Label Sound.  I would continue the Dew Labs and other social networking programs that let the everyday people feel like they are part of the company.  I know when @pepsi or @mtn_dew retweet something I write on Twitter, or when they ask my opinion in designing a new flavor, I feel like I'm already a part of the company.  I love it.  It builds on my loyalty to the brand...even if my original flavor choice didn't win in the DEWmocracy 2 campaign.  I can admit, I picked the wrong flavor to back and help design (although it would have done better if my ideas were more closely followed, heehee).  I ended up liking White Out more than Distortion anyway.  I love PepsiCo.  I hope they hear me and some of this happens.  But even if they don't, I'll still drink the "Nectar of Life" (my catch phrase for Mountain Dew), and the beverage of choice will always be Pepsi.

Update:  PepsiCo wrote me on Twitter and told me they enjoyed my post.  They also provided some links to some things they are doing along the same lines.  Check out how PepsiCo is changing the way they innovate, here.  And read this about the way they are working toward nutrition and "good for you" products.

October 11, 2010

"I Am Hampton"

This is my shout out to Joe and Heather at my Hampton Hotel.  My job takes me out of town every couple of weeks, and I stay in a Hampton Hotel.  Tonight, Joe and Heather let me play the piano in the lobby for a while, and we talked about our common customer service experiences, both providing service and receiving it.  I noticed on their name badges the the phrase "I am Hampton."  I challenged them to use this phrase with their next customer.  Heather accepted the challenge and worked it into a conversation with the very next customer, telling him, "If there is anything else I can help you with, I am Hampton", (or something like that).  It was so awesome.  It was seamless, as though she says it every time.  The customer even thanked her.  Joe and I were so impressed and we both think Heather deserves a big fat raise for it.

It's a little bit of fun while I'm far away from my family.  Thanks you two.

We Are God's Temple and Where The Spirit Dwells

Yesterday in church, our pastor talked about the Holy Spirit living in us Christians. He explained something I've never thought about from 1 Thessalonians 5:19, "Do not quench the Spirit." Our pastor talked about the fact that we have the Spirit and not Jesus on earth because the Spirit live in all of us. But we can "quench the Spirit" or grieve the Spirit like Ephesians 4:30 says. Sin and selfish desire make it as though the Spirit is silenced. And if we no longer are listening to the Spirit, we are not able to enjoy the benefit of having the Spirit of God dwelling in us, being our conscience and our guide.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 goes a step further and tells us we are "God's temple" where "God's Spirit dwells." We must live as God's temples. We must live holy, blameless lives. Just now, when I wrote the word "blameless" I realized I am not blameless. I get blamed for things too often. I do not separate myself from situations and conversations that are not honoring to God. And, I don't mean that all conversations have to be about showing honor to God. But God is honored when we do our jobs in a professional loving way, that shows the love of God in patience and humility. We are God's temple. We need to only allow actions in our lives that are acceptable to God. Maybe if I think about the appropriateness of something I'm about to do or say in the context of being in church.

The point today is to live with an open heart for the prodding of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and works with our conscience to direct us in everything. We must live as though the God of the universe is with us and in us; that we are a dwelling place for His Spirit and a temple for Him.

October 10, 2010

Rap I Can Handle

I retweeted this a few weeks back from Jimmy Fallon's tweet, but I decided to post this video because I'm so impressed by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's ability to perform this "History of Rap".  JT is pretty talented, but Jimmy holds his own.  Plus, Jimmy is a nerd like me.  He loves tech and other nerd related topics.

Mountain Dew Stole My Description...Sort Of

Anyone who knows me has heard me refer to Mountain Dew as the "nectar of life". Now, MD has stolen that description, modified it to be confusing, and called the new White Out the "nectar of gods". I'm not saying I'm upset, but nectar of gods sounds stupid. My wife even thought it was not really as clear as mine. "Nectar of Life" is my description of the original Mountain Dew; and really, it is.

October 9, 2010

Stop Motion: Wolf vs Pig

This is an amazing video.  Lots of pictures taken and put together with stop motion video.  This must have take a long time.  The other thing to notice is the different angles used.  This had to be planned out ahead of time to have the picture angle match the video angle (or the point of view of the viewer).

October 6, 2010

World's Scariest Job

This is ridiculous.  I would never, ever, ever, do this.  Never.

WARNING: This video may make you sick.

Christ Is The Foundation

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 is an analogy of salvation and the Christian life. True Christianity and salvation is built on one foundation; Christ. And we build on that foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each being tested by fire when Christ returns. If it survives the fire, you will receive a reward.if it burns up, you will suffer loss, though you will be saved.

So I really just re-wrote the analogy, I didn't clarify it. So here goes. After we are saved by the faith in Christ's saving grace, we have a duty to live as saved people, changed by the understanding of grace. We are not saved by our changed lives, but we are responsible for living differently. Sin is going to still be our lives, but it shouldn't BE our lives. We build on our salvation with different levels of Christian living. Some things we do are great and further the kingdom of God. And some things are not good at all, and we add to the confusion about salvation. These things we do, after becoming a Christian, will be tested at the day of judgement. If they are good things the will be stand the test. If they are not, they will fail. Gold, silver, and precious stones will not burn. Wood, hay, and straw will.

This passage ends with Paul restating that these works don't earn someone salvation. Salvation comes from Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Once we believe this, we are saved. Our lives from that point on need to be lived as though we understand the grace we've been given. Ephesians 2:8-9,"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

October 5, 2010

US Bancorp CEO Is Helping Shape Banking For The Future

"U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis has emerged the unassuming and candid national voice of an industry that's been in the public dumpster since the financial crisis began two years ago." says the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, MN.  Read the whole article here.

 This guy ROCKS!  He is running the greatest bank in the country.  Their products and services are top notch.  Their business practices ethical and intelligent.  And their potential for continued success is very high.  If I Were CEO...I couldn't do as good a job as Richard Davis.

Percussion Instruments Are All Around

I love drums. I love music. I love talented people. This is truly amazing.

Why Other Countries Are Often Attractive

This is why I sometimes think other countries rock. No lawsuit.  No attack on the teacher like what would happen here. Everyone just shuts-up and class continues.

Align Yourself With God, Not Man

Sometimes writing is hard because of the distractions of my kids waking up. Sometimes it's hard because I don't understand the passage. And sometimes I just don't have the motivation or a direct application to turn into a learning moment for myself. 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 starts out with something I can relate to, but then Paul takes his meaning in a direction I don't really see applying to anything I do.

In verses 1-3 Paul tells the church a Corinth that he can't address them as spiritual people because there is jealousy ans strife among them. He has to treat them like baby Christians. He uses the analogy of milk vs. solid food. I often think I can't really dive into the meat of the Bible because my life is still such a mess. And sometimes I feel like I reach a deeper understanding of spiritual things.

In verses 4-9 Paul talks about the fact that the people of the church are aligning themselves with, what I'm going to call, cliques. "I follow Paul." "I follow Apollos." The church at Corinth was dealing with these groups of people who thought they were more spiritual than the next. They associated their "holiness" with the men who were involved in their spiritual knowledge. To explain that God is who they should be following, Paul created another analogy. The people of the church are like a field where Paul planted the seed, Apollos watered, but God is responsible for the growth. Because we are called only by the grace, He is responsible for our salvation.

I don't really align myself with anyone these days, unless my love of Pepsi counts (haha). I think at one point in my past I did aligned myself with men who were good spiritual leaders. But their failures as men and leaders, is why God is to be the only one we follow. Mankind fails. God never does. Align yourself with God. Live like Jesus did. Study God's word and let it be your council.

October 4, 2010

The Spiritual Judge But Can Not Be Judged

As Christians, we have the Spirit from God living in us, departing the wisdom of God on us. 1 Corinthians 2:6-14 explains that we have this Spirit that allows us to understand the things of God that the wisdom of this world fines foolish. If the world understood the wisdom of God, Jesus would never have been crucified. This understanding, what God prepared for us, was revealed to us through the Spirit.

Verse 11 says, "For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of the God." Christians have received the Spirit which is from God to understand the things freely given us by God. The things of God are folly to the natural person, but are understood and judged by the spiritual person. But the spiritual person can not be judged because no one can understand the mind of the Lord or instruct Him. These are bold statements about believing in God and in the hope of salvation that comes from the faith in Christ. Although the world may think of the cross and salvation as foolishness, the believers have nothing to fear, because God has designed this truth for us and saved us. No one but the elect can look at our faith and judge. This is not to say they won't make some sort of judgement against us, but their judgement is invalid and meaningless in all reality. We are saved by the one true God, who can not be judged by anyone created.

October 3, 2010

Cherry Coke or Coke Cherry Poll

I don't really drink much of anything from Coca-Cola.  Most of you know I'm a huge Pepsi fan.  But I will admit, the beverage pictured above, I call "Cherry Coke", is very good.  That and Mr. Pibb (officially called Pibb Xtra now, but I will never call it that) are the only two Coca-Cola products I will drink.  And now that McDonald's has switched to Dr. Pepper from Mr. Pibb (at least here in California), I don't even drink Mr. Pibb anymore.

But, what do you call the beverage pictured above?  Because Coca-Cola isn't even sure.  Their website calls it "cherry Coke" (with the "c" in "cherry" lower-case).  But their bottle calls it "Coke Cherry" and "Coca-Cola Cherry" on the same bottle.

What do you call it?

TechyTed Moved

If you follow TechyTed like I do, you'll need to update where you point your browser.  The new URL is:

Audi Quattro Concept...Celebrating 30 Years of Greatness (Updated with Video)

I love Volkswagen and Audi. They both make great cars. This is the concept Audi Quattro to celebrate 30th years of Quattro performance.

There is also a gallery of pictures at Autoblog.

October 1, 2010

Wisdom is Christ Crucified

Man, I'm crazy. My last post was really more of a cry out about being surrounded by non-Christians and how that draws me into sin. I was talking to a Christian friend about this and we both realized our lives have gone significantly sideways because we don't surround ourselves with Christian friends who can encourage us and hold us up. The problem is really the state of our churches today. They are mostly about feeling good, being welcoming, and entertaining the attendees; it's not about accountability, building up of the saints, worshiping God, and sharpening one another.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 explains that sharing Christ is not something we do out of our own wisdom. I think man's wisdom is getting in the way of church and the Christian life today. At least here in the USA, there is a major push today for more and more and more information. We are overwhelmed and flooded with info from so many sources. The Internet has so many different types and services to provide information. Cell phones can give you instant notifications. E-mail, radio, TV, texts, social networks, etc. all provide us with a constant barrage of information. And we seem to be more and more hungry for it. It is our knowledge of things that we confuse with wisdom.

But the wisdom we can have as Christians is like Paul said, "to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." Paul went to Corith in weakness and fear to preach Christ crucified. His message was not in "plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." He spoke about Christ crucified and lived in faith, and allowed God and the Holy Spirit to make the changes in people's hearts. I actually think we over-complicate it because we have to know and understand everything; I know I do. I have to understand everything and how and why it works. Faith in Christ is as simple as understanding our need for salvation from our sins, knowing Christ was crucified to provide that salvation. And...that's it. Faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior is the only way to Heaven and eternal life. I long for that time. No more sin. No more temptations. Being with our God, our Savior.

Here is a final reminder, and one I have to put down because I just had a hard time writing it. We do need to make Jesus our Lord too. This is the part where we let Him rule in our lives. Sin's draw makes this hard. But the account that we will have to make in Heaven is going to happen. We want to be able to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant."(Matt. 25:23)