Category Archives: Uncategorized

Solar Collector Mk24

A couple months ago I watched “World’s Toughest Fixes” with the kids. The particular episode involved the installation of the boilers at a solar plant in the desert. It got me thinking, I should build a solar death ray at some point. So I went over to Michael’s and picked up a bag of 24 1″ mirrors and opened up my lego box. Today, it was finally sunny enough to conduct the first test. Using a piece of paper to cover groups of mirrors, I aimed the exposed ones into my “boiler”. Once they were all aligned, the Solar Collector Mk24 was fully operational.

And it worked too! I could feel the heat when I put my hand at the focal point, but it was still a little overcast. A few moments later however, the haze cleared and I noticed one piece in the boiler starting to warp.

Next step, to build SC Mk48. Time to head to the Lego store for more parts…


Quote of the Day 20110304

“With each year, we grow less and less able to distinguish between that which is important and that which is trivial, between the lasting and the ephemeral, the vital and the frivolous, the sacred and the secular.”
-Louis Markos

Read more at The Gospel Coalition Blog

Quote of the Day

“People ask me, ‘Why pray if God is sovereign?’ I respond, ‘Why pray if He isn’t?”
- Mike Horton

Ithaca is (falling apart) gorges

Last month there was a major rock fall in the Taughannock State Park, just north of Ithaca, NY. Very impressive!


A very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

This year I was in charge of dessert. Mmmm… Pumpkin cake. Anne was a very good helper mixing the batter.

Piled Higher & Deeper

Many ages ago, in a dark corner of the world, I was a grad student. Unfortunately I did not have the humor of Piled Higher & Deeper to sustain me, and as I read it now I am slightly frightened by the similarities at times. Many of the comics hit very close to home. And then I ran across this one about student unionization and I felt so proud to have contributed (the one part is crossed out correctly as the conservatives had little to do with the defeat of the grad student unionization). I was certainly sponsored by no one. It just did not make sense.

You’re going the wrong way

Level 19

I am sharing an office with a friend and our large white boards would not fit on the available walls, so we improvised by making them vertical. The instant I saw them installed I knew what had to be done. Click the thumbnail for the full size image.

I made it onto the front page of EpicWin!! As of Sept 20 there were 642 thumbs up and 31 thumbs down for it (probably the people who are not thinking with portals).

Update2 (20101004):
915 up, 45 down.

War of Words

Your writing might exhibit more venustation as a result of visiting Save The Words. No need to pull out the odynometer when learning perantique words, but the flash interface may cause some strain.

Duty and Desire

“It is the truth of the gospel, reaffirmed in our hearts daily, that puts desire into our duty. … It is the gospel that motivates us to seek to be in our daily experience what we are in our standing before God.” – Jerry Bridges Respectable Sins

Accepting Counsel

Has this happened to you? Someone comes to you for advice, or to settle a dispute. You carefully consider the situation and tell them your answer (possibly with ample support from scripture). They don’t like the answer, ignore it, and do what they wanted to in the first place.

We live in a culture that does not accept the possibility that we may be wrong. “Have it your way” is the rule of the day. “Everyone is right”. “That is your opinion”. There is always another voice we can listen to that will declare what we want. It is easy to gather a group of followers to side with us against the wisdom of God. Kind of like the saying in statistics, “if you torture the data long enough it will confess to anything”, we can always find a sympathizer if we look long enough or sow enough discord. Ultimately, we do not want the objective truth because it may just conflict with our desires. In regards to dismissing pastoral advice, Deuteronomy 17:9-13 has a very interesting solution.

Some may think it a bit strong to say that “if I don’t listen to my pastor I am rebelling against God”, but scripture is pretty clear on the subject. It is difficult for us to even comprehend the fact that when the apostles told people to obey the civil authorities it was those authorities who were hunting down and killing Christians. How much more so are we to obey the spiritual authorities God has given us. We are not really at liberty to question the creator of the universe why He has chosen our under-shepherds. God, in His providence, has ordained these people to shepherd His people, and that includes us.

Our position of disobedience is on even less solid ground if we elected them to church office. If we have voted them into the positions we are even more responsible to take their advice. By voting for them we have affirmed that they are worthy to be honored, respected, and listened to. Furthermore, most denominations, when installing a leader, will have the members take vows to pray for them, listen and obey them. These are not just vows to the leader or fellow congregants, they are a covenant with God. We break that covenant to our peril.

But what if we know the leader is wrong? Why should we listen to someone if we think their advice is bad? Some will submit out of fear of church discipline, but that is rare these days. Many people will submit out of false humility, secretly praying that God will vindicate themselves. We “rest” knowing that God will hold them accountable (yet somehow forget He will hold us accountable for our sinful attitude). Alas, very few will submit out of true humility in worship of our Savior. The majority maintain a sturdy self-righteous rebellion against submission.

At the core are two issues, a defective view of God’s sovereignty and an unwillingness to submit ourselves to God. We make ourselves to be wiser than God. We do not believe that He is working in this situation, and it is up to us to fix things. We think we know better than Him, revealing the fact that we have already placed something else on the throne of our lives.

Is there any positive to submitting to our leaders? Of course there is! Listening to our leaders is not only the responsibility of a church member, it is also God’s grace and advantage to us. We are freed up to live in faith that God is working all things out to His glory. We do not need to worry, fret, stress over the details because God has chosen faithful people to fulfill His plan. As such, submission is actually a form of worship.

Worship? Accepting a leader’s counsel is worship? That’s right. By submitting to God’s righteousness (and righteous plan) in faith, we offer an acceptable spiritual sacrifice, confessing that God is God, and ascribe the worth due His name.

Well, it is late now, and I must sleep. A lot more could be written, but I hope that gets some of you thinking.