Signs, Listening, and Free Will

Today ended up being quite a refreshing day, leaving me quite relaxed about the future, while at the same time leaving many questions open about which signs I’m missing and how I haven’t listened very well over the past few months.

In Sunday School this morning, we discussed Numbers 22-24, where Balaam misses the signs that his donkey is saving his life by avoiding the sword of the angel of God.  It wasn’t until God opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel and make his donkey talk before Balaam realizes the signs that he had missed.

This, of course, led to an in-depth discussion on free will and predestination.  We had an amazing analogy for free will, but at this moment, I can’t remember it.  I still think about CS Lewis’ analogy to our stories from Mere Christianity, where he describes our lives as a book that we only get to see one page at a time, making our choices and living in the moment.  God, being infinite, can step back from the page and look at the whole volume.

He knows how it ends and He can use us in each place we are.  That is incredibly comforting.  Where does it lead me?  I’m feeling more pulled in one direction.  I won’t say what that is now, but I need to start talking to people and setting things up.  I have so many interesting ideas in my head that I need to start formulating and taking risks on.

I know there is much more to say on the topic, but I’m going to have to hold the conclusion until tomorrow.  I do, however welcome any comments on signs and listening to God.

I’m Still Yours

This song has been on my mind quite a bit lately, ever since I found it while coming back from Colorado.  It’s off Kutless’ worship CD, and it just really hits me:  “When my life is not what I expected/The plans I made have failed/When there’s nothing left to steal me away/Will You be enough for me?”  But, “I’m still Yours.”  God is always there, and He’s bigger than my plans.  That is very comforting and reassuring in all the craziness right now.

If You washed away my vanity
If You took away my words
If all my world was swept away
Would You be enough for me?
Would my beating heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives and takes away

If You take it all
This life You’ve given
Still my heart will sing to You

When my life is not what I expected
The plans I made have failed
When there’s nothing left to steal me away
Will You be enough for me?
Will my broken heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives
And takes away

If You take it all
This life You’ve given
Still my heart
Will sing to You

Even if You take it all away
You’ll never let me go
Take it all away
But I still know

That I’m Yours
I’m still Yours

Oh, I’m Yours
I’m still Yours
I’m still Yours

-Kutless, I’m Still Yours

Opt Out

Dear Apple, you say that I’m not using iOS 4… So, does that mean I’m using the other multitasking iPhone OS software that you released recently, or do you just want to ensure that I cannot opt out of data-mining ads that get information from my history?

Apple gives way to Opera for iPhone

So, after much waiting, Apple has approved Opera for the iPhone.  This is monumental, since all applications that duplicate the functionality of native Apple applications are not allowed in the App Store.  Well, except we have Bing that does maps like the built-in Google Maps.  But, the Google Voice App has not been approved, most likely because it duplicates the phone/SMS applications.  So, what about Opera?  It’s a big step: the first non-Safari browser on iPhone.  Supposedly faster.  Well, I think it’s great to have the competition, and Opera on the Mac is amazing, but I’m less than impressed comparing Opera to Safari for iPhone.  I think this one was a safe bet on Apple’s part, since Safari still looks better than Opera (at the moment), meaning that Safari is still safe for now.  If Google Voice would have been accepted, everyone would use the free SMS/phone functionality instead of the built in versions.

So, why is Safari safe?  Consider these two screenshots:


Top: Safari, Bottom: Opera

Opera text in the zoomed out mode is unreadable.  To view the text, you must zoom all the way in.  Even turning the phone to landscape does not improve visibility of the text.  The plus?  Opera lets you choose whether you want to view the mobile versions of sites or the full versions, however, the mobile version looks to be the standard cell phone variety, not smart-phone savvy layouts designed for iPhone or Android.

In conclusion, this is a great first step, and I am more than excited to have Opera running on my iPhone.  However, I’m going to wait until the next revision before scrapping Safari.

Iphone OS 4 coming soon!

So, according to Matt, I need more posts. So… If you hadn’t been paying attention today, you would have missed the news that apple is officially releasing iPhone OS 4 this summer. It FINALLY includes multitasking and more wallpaper options, but I guarantee that it will probably break even more unauthorizes app installs through jailbreaking. I like Jobs’ comments on the android app store, it’s sad but true when you open things up free. However, that being said, i would still like to try Opera mini and Google Voice apps that Apple refuses to make available in the app store.

Oh well. Now, it’s time to see if my iPhone developer account will get me sdk 4 and a copy of os 4.

Plans change, new commitments

So, it’s the day after Christmas, and so many things have happened in the past month.  After an entire summer of emptiness, I had the opportunity to go to Europe and interview at Oxford.  Even if I don’t get in, this is the changing point, the start of something new.  It’s time to get moving.  It’s time to start focusing and do everything that I said I was going to do in the past, but never took the time to do.  That is, I’m going to break free from this feeling of being stuck in a “waiting period” that I think I’m creating myself.

Part one is this blog.  I plan to start writing about everything, from news to technology to Christianity.  Anything that I find interesting every day (that’s right, every day), I’m going to post here, with links.  Secondly, since I do love photography but have been so lazy recently in going out and actually taking photos, I’m going to try one of those 365 photo streams on flickr.  Basically, that would require posting a picture every day.  Maybe then, I’ll improve some and perhaps justify getting a D-SLR.

More plans in the days ahead.  I am also still trying to figure out a better title for the blog.  Anything’s better than “Robbie’s Blog.”  Might even comment later tonight on Sherlock Holmes (the movie), since I’ve heard so much about it.  The critics love it, the SH fans hate it.