Monthly Archives: June 2010

Smoking or non-smoking?

Here’s a West Texas story from around 20 years ago.

A family was traveling out toward the Texas panhandle and dropped in on a Sunday night Nazarene service. The church had no a/c, and with the temps hovering around 100 dry degrees, the evap coolers (otherwise known as “swamp boxes”) were the only hope of even pretending to be comfortable. The visitors arrived a few minutes late and were amused to see around 20 people sitting on the left and only two older ladies sitting on the right side of the sanctuary. The family moved to the side with ample seating and settled in for the service.

In a few minutes they were melting from the heat and realized that the swamp box on their side of the sanctuary wasn’t running. Now they knew why everyone was sitting on the left side of the sanctuary! After the service they visited with the pastor and he apologized for the uncomfortably warm conditions and the visitor said, “What is wrong with the evap cooler on the right side of the sanctuary?”

The answer: “Oh nothing is wrong, but those two dear saints always complain that they get too cold, so we don’t turn it on on that side of the building.” He added, “the church folks call the left side of the sanctuary the ‘heaven side’ and you can guess what they call the side you occupied!”

Don’t always trust the Windows Disk Defragmenter’s Recommendation

I’ve been working on a computer that was very sluggish.  It shouldn’t be a high powered gamer’s machine, just an middle aged Pentium 4 with a 1.9 gig processor.  The machine is underpowered in RAM, just 512 of memory.  Still, it behaved like a 1993 XT (for those who remember those golden days of computing).  Even shy of ram it shouldn’t run as slow as it did.  I checked it for viruses, the check taking about 4 hours.  I then ran Ad-Aware and it took about 8 hours.  No big problems.  I ran Ccleaner and let it aggressivly clean everything it could clean.

I checked it’s master hard drive, an 80 gig, and Windows Disk Defragmenter said it was fine.  However, the drive was about 80% full, mostly of a few videos, and since the computer sports 2 80 gig drives and the second drive was pretty much unused, I decided to move the big stuff off to drive 2.  It took about 4 hours to move the huge files.  When it was finished drive one had around 35 gigs and drive two had around 45 gigs on it.

When I looked at the Disk Defragmenter again, in spite of the fact that I had done nothing but move stuff off of drive one, it now said I needed to Defragment it.  It took about 3 hours and the performance gain is noticeable.  Once the memory is upgraded the computer should offer a few more years good service.

Here’s what I think is the deal.  Windows Disk Defragmenter must work on the average fragmentation of the hard drive.  Since I had a few huge video files that weren’t fragmented at all the “average” space on the hard disk was fine.  However, aside from the video files the disk turned out to be a real mess.

Moral of the story: if you have some big files, go ahead and run the Defragmenter anyway.  It can’t hurt, and it might just help.

Great holiness song

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard this song on the radio but for some reason it’s come to mind a couple of times lately.  It comes from David Baroni’s “Promised Land” project and it’s called “Took me out of Egypt.”  The message of the song is powerful.  The singer thanks God for freedom from the old way of life – “Egypt” yet finds another level of slavery, this on the inside. I love the words of this song and these are, I think at the heart of the matter:

Lord You took me out of Egypt
Now take Egypt out of me
You delivered me from Pharaoh now set me free from me
Let my heart become a promised land
Where the desert used to be
Lord You took me out of Egypt
Now take Egypt out of me

Thank God for his deliverance from the old way of life, it’s a transformation that makes all things new.  However, in that delivered life, over time, the believer is dismayed to find that something of the old way remains.  There’s competition for the Lordship of one’s life.  Will it be God’s way or mine?  This song describes the believer coming to a decision.  Self must bow to the Lordship of Christ.  The prayer then, is “Lord, you took me out of the old life but something of that old life remains in me.  Now, I ask that you will do a deeper work in my heart that I might be not only free from the consequences of my sin, but from the nature of sin and self.  Take the throne of my heart.”

I love the message of this song and even more, I love what the Lord does in the lives of those who come to that place of full surrender.

Here’s a short sample of the song, “Took me out of Egypt.”