Year of Linux

About a year ago I started using Linux as a trial operating system. I was bogged down with Windows, sick of the space it was taking up and the mess it kept getting itself in. I also liked the idea of Open Source and decided to give Ubuntu a shot.

I’m glad I did.

I started using Kubuntu, purely because I liked the look of KDE more than Gnome. But with bits and pieces happening, and upgrading becoming easier with more Ubuntu packages out there with Gnome, I switched to Gnome for the good part of the year.

By 6 months I had removed Windows completely from my laptop, and took the plunge as a sole linux user. I’ve used openSuse, Fedora and Linux Mint. But none compare to the ease of use that Ubuntu has.

Now, I am using Ubuntu 8.10, but have put KDE 4.1 on it – essentially making it a Kubuntu machine.

The best part of it is… I still love Linux. Even after a year I still love it. The raw power – the ability to do anything you want to your desktop and os – the ease of installing any open source program and more. I love it!

So if you’re wanting a New Years resolution – make “Try Linux” at the top of your list!

Raw God

Stripped bare.

Only the essential element of life.

God.

That’s what it should be about. That’s what everything should be about.

But even Church has got it wrong. Everyone is so focused on what the service should be like, what songs we should sing and how many times we should sing them. There is a complete disregard for God, in His wonder and splendor. We should be humbled when we enter His place. Instead we are so caught up in our own ideas, our own concepts of what “church” should be, that we miss the point completely.

The point is God.

Only God.

I feel there is a distinct lack of that at our church. We are so focused on getting the  new building looking good. So focused on the order of service and whether we will finish by 11:15. Focused on the music and if we’re going to sing one verse and two choruses.
None of these things lead to glorifying God. None of these allow for God to have His way in the service. It does the complete opposite. We have placed God in a box. A box conjured up by man alone. A box made so that we can have control on what things should be and how we want them to be done.

Should we not let God make the box that He wants to be in – if there is a box at all?

So this Christmas, I am despondent. I am disapointed with what church has become. My focus is no longer with church, with music, even with fellowship if any of that comes in the way of my focus on God.

Only God.

Raw God.

Living Christmas

It was my pleasure today to see Christmas in its finest state today.

At church we had it all, from Carols, Candle light and farmyard animals to cap it all off.

But it wasn’t the sight of flickering light.

It wasn’t the smell of hay.

It wasn’t the sound of bells ringing out.

It was the children, who with their biggest smiles running up and down the eisles completely oblivious to the faces of adults trying to shoosh them, frustrated that their own attention had been taken away from the message trying to be shared.

For me, I wanted to join them, having a great time ducking in and out of seats, chasing, enjoying ourselves in the company of Jesus.

For all of you who may attend a Christmas service somewhere in your home town this year, remember the children. Remember the fun. And remember what Christmas is all about.

Jesus.

Canon 350D

Today my Canon EOS 350D arrived in the mail.

A while ago when I got interested in photography and digital cameras were massively expensive, I asked for a film SLR camera for my birthday. A second hand Olympus OM10, which I still cherish to this day.

Since I went digital however, the film days have been over and the OM10 has been sitting on the shelf ever since.

This week I purchased the new DSLR and I fell in love as soon as it arrived. The mechanical chug as it takes the photo I missed so much from the days before digital point and shoot.

I debated for a while whether to go Canon or Nikon. Asking my photographic enthusist friends left a mixed bag, but weighted towards Nikon because they didn’t change their camera fittings, so all the old lenses still work with them. That doesn’t help me, as I don’t have lenses and they can be expensive, even second hand.
In the end the Canon won out.

Specs:

  • 8 Megapixels
  • Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
  • 1x 18-55mm lens
  • 1x 55-200mm lens
  • Shooting modes:
    • Auto
    • Program AE (P)
    • Shutter priority AE (Tv)
    • Aperture priority AE (Av)
    • Manual (M)
    • Auto depth-of-field
    • Portrait
    • Landscape
    • Close-up
    • Sports
    • Night portrait
    • Flash off
  • ISO: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

See dpreview.com for more info.

So with that, I leave you to go and take some more photos and eventually get around to reading the manual!

iYou

Church last night opened my eyes.

It was a sharing service, where people of our youth community get up and share their high’s and low’s of the year, and their hopes and dreams of the next.

If you were there and are reading this, do not read this as an attack on you personally if comments I have made are directly linked to something you said. This is a mere thoughtful recognition of the short comings of today’s society, as opposed to a direct personal attack on any one.

It concerned me at how insular the comments of reflection and hopes were.  Hopes for this church, for the evening service included things like “I hope that the Christian group at Hutt Valley High School goes well next year”… or “I hope that God shows me what he wants me to do next year.” Upon reflecting for the year, one member said that their year had been a bad year

It was interesting to note a cheer go up whenever Hutt High was mentioned.  Maybe 20 people go to Hutt Valley High from our youth group. 25 max. It occurred to me that out 1750 students, 20 isn’t exactly something to cheer about…

Secondly, for the person who is waiting for God to show you what to do next year: God says “Seek and you shall find”. (Matthew 7.7-8). Not “Sit and wait for me to do something for you.”

Thirdly, how can you have an entire year that is “bad”. I’m not denying that people do have tough times and issues – but lets put our self centred western lives in perspective. You might lose your phone. And that might get you really upset and make you depressed.
Some people in the western world have never used a telephone – even ones with wires.
Your boyfriend dumped you?
Some cultures don’t give you a choice on who you date, or who you marry.

This sparked a light inside my heart. It made me realise that many people take who God is for granted. Heck, even I do from time to time. Like He is a magical being waiting to tend to our every need. Whilst a personal relationship with God is important, God is so much more than that.  He is so far beyond tending to our every need. The honour of God has been dissipated. There is no fear. No awe. No respect.

So I made a pledge. To shape my own life into a living testimony to think outside of myself. To think of other’s first. To show God to others. God is love – therefore the way to show God is to show love.  It’s even commanded – “Love other’s as yourself” (Matthew 22.37-40). I want to get away from this self centred way of thinking, way of seeing God and people.

Adding to this I will make a page on my site called “iYou” which will endevour to help people thinking away from themselves and towards others. Hopefully it will be picked up on and regularly checked and even added as content for the Youth website and for other churches to use.

KDE 4.1 – That’s where it’s at!

Yeah baby!

Recently I put KDE 4.1 ontop of my Ubuntu 8.10. I have to say, I’m impressed. After putting on the initial RC’s for KDE 4, I was singularly unimpressed with the limitations on the panels and the pathetically large digital clock on the right hand side. Whilst it was new and funky looking and a huge step away from KDE 3.5, it wasn’t doing it for me. So I switched to Gnome and never looked back.

Until now!

With the release of KDE 4.1 a lot of the bugs have been ironed out and the clock isn’t quite so big! It is close to one of the smoothest and sleakest OS’s I’ve seen and used. More so than Mac. Even down to the login screen, fading to splash screen, fading to desktop seamlessly. It is impressive.

For Ubuntu 8.10 users:
Add to Sources:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
deb  intrepid main

Then update the repo’s

sudo apt-get update

Then just need to install it!

sudo aptitude install kubuntu-kde4-desktop

If you get stuck, head on over to UbuntuGeek : http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-install-kde-41-on-ubuntu-810-intrepid-ibex.html