“Though the mountains may fall, and the seas rush in, and though nations invade by the hand of evil men, yet I will rejoice in the LORD.”
I’m a big fan of iterating. Always changing, progressing, tweaking, improving. Never perfect, but always better. Balancing the trade-off between publishing garbage on time, and publishing gold too late: done on time, but never finished.
And that’s what’s happened to my tagline.
From For the Kingdom to Seeking to Know God
I’m still quite the fan of For the Kingdom, and I will continue to use it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, while the Kingdom is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life, it is not the most important aspect.
We are not proponents of an idea. Not members of an association. Not followers of a cause.
We are followers of a Person.
Now, that person has ideas we promote, and causes we support, but all that is predicated on our relationship with Him.
Which is why I changed the phrase I put in front of my face all day: to remind me that I have been made a friend of God and ought aspire to know Him as a Father, and am no longer a fleeing opponent doomed to failure.
In time, LORD willing, it will change again, but for now,
Seeking to Know God,
“Teach me your ways that I might know You.” ~ Exodus 33:13
“For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” ~ Psalm 103:11-14
“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.” Psalm 103:17-18
“Bless the LORD oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name!”
Yep, no kidding. You can get Photoshop, Acrobat, After Effects, Audition, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro for absolutely free. All you need is an Adobe ID (which is also free. You just have to sign up).
Just go to this link, sign in, accept the conditions, copy the serial numbers, and grab the downloads.
It’s not new, and there are plenty of features that aren’t there, but it’s a fantastic general image editor.
Note that the software may not run too well on newer operating systems, but it’s worth a shot!
I just got home from taking the U.S. History I: Early Colonization to 1877 CLEP test at the local Chemeketa Community College and testing center.
Preparation and Results
I studied for this test over the period of about a month (I think), and used the following resources (which I got from degreeforum.net):
- CliffsQuickReview United States History I: The best book I used, I probably learned more from it than any of the other materiels.
- Barron’s EZ-101 Study Keys American History to 1877: Not very readable, but helpful and short. Gives a nice overview.
- instantcert.com: Flashcards. Essential, I wouldn’t have passed without it, though interestingly almost none of the questions on the test were dealt with here.
- A Biography of America: A video series on the history of America by a group of college professors. Grotesque worldview, blatant revisionist history, and they have a good laugh whenever someone mocks God’s Judgment (which happens more than once). Don’t watch it unless you have to.
I passed the test 30 minutes early with a grade of 66 in the College Board’s weird grading system (20 is the lowest possible score, 80 is the highest. A 55 is needed to pass in most cases), which shocked me. A quarter of the way into the test I was sure I wouldn’t make it. I didn’t know the answers to any of the questions, and was forced to guess randomly. God was merciful, as He always is.
Thoughts on the test
It was awful. I hated studying for it. CLEP makes a mockery of all things Christian, and the content of it’s tests is no better than that of a conventional college.
Though to take the test I had to agree to not disclose the questions it contained to any other living soul, I will tell you about it’s contents.
The whole thing is a hard left. A hard left.
It depicts fathers as lazy and stupid, puritans as controlling and legalistic, motherhood and the home as humiliating and antiquated, Christians as emotional nutcases, blood-drinking savages as wise and noble, humanists (man-worshipers) as freedom-loving heroes, and hard money as the root of all economic evil. Centralized government is a necessity of life, the family is obsolete, and democracy is what makes the world go ’round.
Just what you’d expect from a liberal college.
If I didn’t already have a solidly built Christian faith and worldview I would certainly would have been swayed.
God-haters don’t dominate education for no reason.
I was particularly amazed at a few things.
Puritan fathers are depicted as harsh, immoral, abusive dictators of the household. They demand high fidelity from their wives, who should expect little to nothing in return. This is also the picture painted of southern gentlemen.
This especially surprised me. I’m sure there were bad people in puritan communities, but these guys paint with a broad brush.
I was amazed at how Andrew Jackson was presented. President Jackson was not a perfect man (at all), but he was a strong man who knew that the National Bank was an evil institution and had to be shut down, which he did through an unbelievable firestorm of opposition from the men who worshiped the stolen wealth it afforded them.
The test rips on honest, God-ordained money pretty hard.
The deification of George Washington is something to be highly aware of in all American history, but it was of course quite strong here. God has only very recently delivered me from this particular problem (for which I am very grateful), so I won’t say too much here.
The heavy emphasis on the “necessity” of a strong, centralized federal government was particularly disturbing. Decentralization is depicted as a horrible evil that brings all kinds of economic, political, and social ills, and it must be avoided at all costs. George Washington, John Marshall, and their friends are the heroes that ultimately deliver us from this terrible evil, and we are supposed to be eternally grateful to them for their “religious” dedication. (Hmm…)
And then, of course, to round out the historical revision, Lincoln is the messiah sent down by the gods of this centralized system to deliver it’s poor citizens from the evil rebels who dare to challenge the wisdom and goodness of the men I mentioned earlier.
Conclusion? The whole thing is about slavery, ethnic minorities, and women’s rights.
I’m glad it’s over. I wouldn’t recommend taking it unless you have to (you’re just going to have to try to forget all the junk you learned in the process), and in that case you know what worked for me.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask, and thanks for reading!
It has long been my intent to begin some sort of recording, but expense, other priorities, and skill level (or lack there of) have prevented me from doing so until now.
I should let you know at the outset that I have little to no experience in this area, and the equipment I have listed here is of the highest quality I have ever owned or used extensively. This is my starter setup, and I list it here for the benefit of others in a similar situation, wanting a small, low-cost, but decent set of gear for basic music/vocal recording. Reviews on many of the items below suggest that they are out-grown rather quickly.
Nonetheless, I am very satisfied with this gear so far, and I hope to get a lot of good and varied use from it.
Here is a list of the equipment I purchased, and a short review of each item.
MXL 990/991 studio recording package: $70
Without a microphone, all other audio equipment is, obviously, meaningless.
This package is designed for recording vocals and musical instruments, which it does quite well.
The 990 was recommended to me by a music mentor, so I looked it up and found a great deal on Craig’s List ($70 for the mics, the PS400 (below), and a few cables). It was listed just a few hours before, so we hopped in the car and took off for the big city.
So far I am extremely impressed with the quality of the sound that comes out of these two. The 990 is a spectacular vocal microphone for just about any purpose, and the 991 picks up the guitar very well.
I should add that I am very glad I got the package, and not just the 990. The 991 is very focused, small, light, and maneuverable. It’s very practical and easy to use, and after all it’s designed for music, so it picks up those sounds very well, and it’s very easy to position in the relatively awkward places instruments can require, while the 990 is just too heavy and bulky to move around much on a normal mic stand.
Like I said, the 991 is very focused. It picks up sound in a very specific direction very well, and cancels out most others, which I really like.
I’m not ripping on the 990 (at all). I love it. It’s a fantastic general microphone, and it does it’s job very well, but the 991 is something of a specialty mic, and it does an even better job at what it does. If you can only afford the 990, go for it, that’s no deal breaker.
Behringer MicroPower PS400: $20
The MXLs (like almost all other microphones in their catagory) require external phantom power. There particular mics need 48v, so I bought the very reasonably priced Behringer PS400, which is switchable between 12v and 48v.
So far it is working just fine. It seems to introduce just a little bit of hum, but that is easily removed with Adobe Audition, my audio editor of choice.
I don’t plan to use this as a permanent phantom power solution. I would like to get a larger audio interface with more options (multiple inputs/outputs, etc.,) but the one I want is about 10 times the price of the PS400, so that will have to wait. ;)
In the mean time, this will work just fine.
Behringer HPX2000: $20
Headphones are obviously very important to any audio recording set up, and the Behringer HPX2000 were my choice.
So far these are also working great. In my opinion they sound fantastic. They fit nicely, and keep outside sounds out without any annoying suction.
The only issue is the quality of construction: they’re just plasticy. If I take good care of them they should last for quite a while, but they’re not $400 Sony MDR7520′s (obviously).
Other than that, I’m very satisfied.
OnStage MSA7020T: $16
Years ago I was at Goodwill (back when it was actually cheaper to buy things there than new), and I found a nice vertical microphone stand for something like $10. I brought it home, elated. I had been trying to record a little bit of guitar music with a USB microphone (which I had bought for $5, also at Goodwill), but without a boom it was something of a nightmare.
My 13 year old homeschool creativity was put to the test. I threw the old stand by the wayside and tried everything: I taped the microphone to copper pipes, which in turn I taped to a tripod handle. I hung the microphone from the tripod (which had the added effect of isolating the microphone from outside vibration). I had my 5 year old sister hold it (that failed miserably). I spent hours and hours in the barn/shop wasting dozens and dozens of feet of PVC pipe in exotic sand-filled prototypes. All to no avail.
And all because I had somehow come under the delusion that all microphone stands cost upwards of $50-$75, and there was no way I was going to pay that much for a bunch of fancy black tubes. Then I finally realized (not to long ago, actually) that those were only the over priced ones.
Anyway, all that to say I already had a mic stand, so all I needed was a boom.
I got the MSA7020T because of it’s low price and variable length, which is just right.
The only real issue I have encountered so far is that the the boom tends to sag when I extend it out with the heavier 990 on it. Not a deal breaker, but it is something to note.
Pop filter: $10
My early stand-making efforts also involved an attempt at a DIY pop filter. The basic design consisted of two flexible straws, with the long ends taped parallel to the dynamic microphone, on it’s underside. The short parts of the straw above the flex point were bent up, and a 3×5 note card was secured onto them with Scotch tape in such a way as to hold the card about an inch and a half away from the mic.
The primary flaw of this design lay in the fact that the straws never stayed bent at 90 degrees, the necessary condition for proper filter functioning.
Again, the real thing was much less unattainable than I had long imagined.
This AGPtek pop filter was my choice. Not a whole lot to say, it does what it should, and does it quite well.
The only negatives I can think of are the stiffness of the tightening screw, and the slight lack of stiffness in the arm.
Assorted cables: $20+
And finally, the basic cables that all audio setups need: one to connect that mic to the power supply, and another to connect the power supply to the computer.
I always get all my cables from monoprice.com. They have great service, a huge selection, and an incredible combination of price and quality that I have found nowhere else. I highly, highly recommend them for almost everything they sell, and no, I do not get commission for recommending them.
And that’s my setup! Over all, I love it, and I’m very happy with the amount of money I spent to get it.
If you have any questions or comments at all, I’d love to hear from you. See you in the comments!
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. ~ II Cronicles 26:3-5
‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,
then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid;
I will rid the land of evil beasts,
and the sword will not go through your land.
You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you.
Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight;
your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.
‘For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.
You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new.
I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.
I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves;
I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.’ ~ Leviticus 26:3-13
“Young men, you will be the ones to initiate the second mayflower. This will be your challenge, because you will be my age in 2050. So as these towers come crashing down, God is opening up the best opportunity we have had in five hundred years, to accomplish something unbelievably significant in the history of the Kingdom of God. And man you’re it. And let me say this, your fathers were great men, you have a great heritage, please do not waste it, they started something. You have a heritage to carry on. Nobody is going to remember your father. Your father is named Nun, your name is Joshua. Nobody remembered Nun, but people will remember you. People will remember your names. They will forget Joe Morecraft’s name, and my name, and Doug Phillips name, but history, 200 to 300 years from now, they probably will not forget your names. You have the opportunity to build something unbelievably significant in the next 50 to 60 years.” ~ Kevin Swanson
These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by the scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman. ~ Abigail Adams to her son John Quincy Adams