Needs vs. Wants

So Smooth’s message last weekend was awesome. We were talking some the week before he gave it and our conversation rekindled my soapbox on needs vs. wants. So, what is a need?

There are tons of philosophies on this out there. Everything from Freudian psychology to Christian pop culture (His Needs / Her Needs or more recently the unbiblical concept of a “love tank” in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages) purports there are these unmet needs that people have. Well, I’d like to challenge that. A need is something someone can’t live without. The most obvious physical needs are food, water, and /maybe/ shelter. Not sure on that one. Other than those, everything else is a want.

There is one other very important need that I believe outranks food and water. That is a personal relationship with the God of the universe through His Son Jesus. Without that, we’re all just dead men and women anyway.

Blogging and Baby

So, it’s hard to blog often. I know people who are shutting their blogs down in favor of Twitter or just hanging on Facebook. I’m not doing that with mine. However, I definitely don’t post here as often. That is partly because of my two jobs and this semester’s classes and partly because our baby is due in less than two weeks.

Speaking of that, if you’d like to follow labor, delivery, and such, just follow babycheat on twitter. If you don’t want to sign up for twitter, just text “follow babycheat” to 40404 from your cell phone. Questions about that? Contact me.

Help! My computer won’t work!

I’m helping people with their computers almost constantly. It’s anything from really simple (turn it on) to really complex (hundreds of thousands of files infected with multiple viruses). This has inspired me to write up some preventative measures one can take. First, let’s define terms. These definitions are from Wikipedia.

  • Virus – A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without the permission or knowledge of the owner. The term “virus” is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, adware, and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can only spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB drive. Viruses can increase their chances of spreading to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.
  • Adware – Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware and can be classified as privacy-invasive software.
  • Spyware – Spyware is a type of malware that is installed on computers and that collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user’s personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.

So, a virus is a malicious computer program meant to harm your computer – there are so many of these and you’ve probably never heard of any of them. Adware is software that automatically advertises – common ones include WeatherBug, AOL Instant Messenger, Kazaa, Limewire, and Windows Live Messenger. These aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re really annoying. Spyware is software that grabs information from your computer – Kazaa, Morpheus, AOL Instant Messenger, and Weatherbug are some of the popular ones.
While many of these programs people use, they are intrusive and shouldn’t be used. Most people’s problems come with lesser known ones that install through the browser or email.

  1. Don’t use a PC. – Often this can’t be helped. However, I’ve never had to work on Linux and rarely had to work on Mac OS X for viruses, spyware, or adware.
  2. Don’t use Internet Explorer – Often this can’t be helped either. (Of course, that’s only if you use websites that don’t follow W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards published at http://www.w3.org/ – that’s a tangent, though). Instead, use Firefox, Opera, or Safari. If you must use Internet Explorer, please use the newest version (8) with all patches installed (Never, ever, ever use IE6!). Speaking of patches…
  3. Don’t use Outlook Express – This program really is trash. It tends to execute code within emails and show all pictures. I don’t think Outlook does this, but Outlook Express does. For email, use Thunderbird or webmail – check with your email provider for this. Also, please just use Gmail for your personal email. It will block 99% of your spam for you.
  4. Keep your computer up to date – If on Windows, use Windows Update (or Microsoft Update) and keep everything updated. If on Mac OS X, use Software Update and do the same. If on Linux, you probably already know what to do and you’re probably reading this to help those who don’t use Linux.
  5. Use up-to-date anti-virus software – Often when I’m fixing someone’s 3 year old Dell (or Compaq, Toshiba, or whatever), they think that they can’t have viruses, because Norton is running. A simple double-click on the icon in the taskbar shows me the definitions haven’t been updated in 2.5 years and the subscription ran out 2 years ago. New viruses are created all the time. Therefore, you must update at least weekly. Also, don’t feel like you have to pay for anti-virus. AVG Free works just fine. Schedule a weekly definitions update and a weekly scan. If your computer’s off at the time, either run them manually or make sure it runs later.
  6. Use up-to-date spyware scanning software – Install either Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware Free. Keep them update and run them just like you do your anti-virus software. Period.

Hopefully this has been helpful. Any questions?

A Faith Lived Out

As some of you know, my father-in-law passed away September 4th. We spent a week in Georgia with the family doing all the stuff one does at a time like that. I’m not going to blog about that. Instead, I’m going to blog about the life of Paul Samuel Kitchen, father of my wife.

One of the pastors at the funeral said something that really struck me. He said Paul lived out his faith practically. That definitely is what I remember most about him. To illustrate this, I’ll give some examples.

Heather and I bought a house together right before we got married. She lived in it while I lived at my mom’s. We were determined to finish the master bedroom before we got married (we bought it unfinished). Paul spent many long days working (along with my family and friends) to make that a reality. After Heather and I married and I moved in, we wanted to redo the bathroom. We set our ambitions high and even wanted to move walls, redo wiring, add a jetted tub, remove the tile floor, and more. Well, about halfway through that project, I shattered the bottom third of my kneecap in a kayaking accident (sit on top kayaks and Class 3 rapids don’t always mix). Paul came up nearly daily for as long as it took to finish the project, often working by himself all day as I watched from the adjacent bedroom, highly doped up on Hydrocodone.

In case you’re thinking “Who wouldn’t do that for family?”, that was the norm for him. He would often help people with yard work (he went to his brother’s house every other week), fix plumbing leaks, even help building houses. That was who he was and how he lived his faith. Heck, he spent 26 years pulling people out of burning buildings and wrecked cars and driving firetrucks and ambulances as a Gwinnett County, GA Fireman. He was the first to propose fitness standards for that county’s firemen and after his retirement, he continued to teach children and adults in first aid, fire safety, CPR, and AED.

The reason I’m writing this post is not to build up a man. I’m writing to point out how a man lived out his faith. He didn’t talk about it much, but he didn’t need to. One could sum up his life with a quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (though probably not his): “Preach the Gospel. Use words when necessary.”

Even more fitting (and definitely more biblical) is what James 2:14-26 (especially 2:18) says:

(14) What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? (17) So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (18) But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (19) You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (20) Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? (21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? (22) You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; (23) and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (24) You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (25) And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? (26) For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

The Fall (Season)

So, classes have started back (although I’m doing them online), work is more hours, and I don’t really have any free time. That’s why this blog appears to be abandoned. I really just need to figure out a topic to blog on, and then just do it. Maybe suggestions would be helpful. I’ve been working a lot at Southeastern doing video production stuff. I’ve also been work a lot at Journey on HD upgrades (blu-ray specifically) and getting our new NW campus location up to spec before the grand opening on September 13th. So, questions or comments? Or maybe I should just post more ramblings and musings like this.