Christmas Comes Too Soon

This year more than any year before, Christmas snuck up on me.

I was found at the stores with all the other men doing some last minute Christmas shopping. 

Why does Christmas always seem to sneak up on people?  We believers know that we celebrate Christ-Mass.  The birth of our Savior.  The answer to our questions.  The hope amidst hopelessness.  The good paying job during recession.  The beauty of it all is that Jesus Christ was born to save the entire world, not just believers.  God wants the whole world to be saved. 

However, the season before Christmas is Advent, which is the anticipation of both Christ's first birth, but also Christ's promised second coming.  This second coming will sneak up like a thief in the night. 

This is very much how I feel about Christmas this year, it snuck up on me and I bet it snuck up on others as well.  I hope that when Christ really does come for the second time, that we all are ready for it.

You Cannot Take the 'Inter' out of the Internet

I have spent the past several hours reading over the bogus bill called SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act.  As I was looking through it, several sources identified that the bill will not only threaten to shut down any websites that are distributing pirated goods, but will ultimately shut down any website that links to another website that distributes the pirated goods. 

I would cite the sources but I do not want to be put on the White House's blacklist for linking to another copyright source.  This is where the bill crashes into the fundamental purpose of the internet. 

The reason the internet is so huge and provides the everyday user with such ease of access to current information and news is because it is all inter-connected.  If some of the supporters of SOPA were to publish an article that had an embedded Youtube video of Lady Gaga, well then Lady Gaga could get said supporter's website shut down for piracy. 

I do not think that the legislature or the supporters of SOPA even understand the rammafications of passing such an act.  Like for instance, how many people use Google to find information on the internet?  Well, unfortunately for Google, they fall under the "rogue site" clause in the act and will be shut down. 

If SOPA gets passed, it will cripple the infrastructure of the internet.  Users will have to know exactly where they want to go and type in the exact URL into the address bar, otherwise they will not find the news article about their 98 year old grandmother that was published in some local newspaper. 

The internet will revert back to the rotary telephone.  A device that if you did not know the number or had a phonebook, you could not contact the individual.  It may seem a little extreme, but the fact remains.  Reddit users have already begun creating a "phonebook" for internet websites that will likely be shut down if SOPA passes. 

Read more about SOPA and prepare a letter to send to your representative!

Next Stop...MIT

Okay, maybe not the exact next stop, but I have been looking into MIT's small business courses that are offered online for free. 

Currently, I am studying for my A+ certification exam.  This exam is on basic computer hardware and software as well as customer service in the computer related field.  This is the first step on my road to starting up my own computer support and repair service company.  It will be called something more catchy than that not to worry. :)

Those being set as my overall ambitions, I need to strive to attain some knowledge and experience in the small business field.  As I start out this journey, I need some certifications.  As I am not a Computer Science major, I need some formal achievements that can be found in certification programs through CompTIA.  Once I have those, I hope to start out with some side work at Backpack Tactics while I continue to learn more from MIT's online courses. 

After a few years in the lower 48, my fiance, soon to be wife, wants to start a family up in Alaska.  Now Alaska is a very difficult place to start up a computer repair business, however, there is only one official business located in Anchorage that offers its services, so the location is prime.  The only difficulty with the location is shipping the parts from the lower 48.  Thereby, I will start small with freelance projects and then set up a home base to do hardware repairs at a relatively affordable rate. 

It has always been my passion to help people.  That is why I started out in ministry education.  However, God has now given me insight into my gifts and talents as a technician and taught me that I can help people with their earthly technology to build the relationship to eventually help people with heavenly matters. 

So onto the next stop on my journey!

What happens on earth, stays on earth.

Ever heard of the saying "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"?  Well this is a play on that for all believers.

Matthew 6:19-21 says,

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

This is a very challenging passage for me.  Especially as I sit in front of a tablet computer, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, and my iPhone.  I am forced to ask myself, is my heart found in these things?

Being in a car accident in which my laptop, Amazon Kindle and desktop computer were destroyed and yet I walked away with just a scratch.  I was put in a very bad place.  I swear the EMTs and police thought that I was insane as I kept asking "what's going to happen with my stuff?"  "I need to get my stuff."  I think it forced the EMTs to put me on a board and carry me into the ambulance and to the hospital because I must have had a mental disorder.  As I sat in the hospital receiving stitches for my cut and calling my family and friends telling them the news, it was surreal to hear all of them thanking God that I was alive and alright.  All I could think about was my stuff, I worked so hard to get the stuff... 

Oh how much I have learned to put my treasures into heavenly things.  I did not even know what that meant until after God destroyed all of it.  My eyes were opened to the family I had, the friends that cared about me.  These are heavenly things.  The memories, the moments in your life that can never be materialized.  When someone says "you had to be there" when looking at pictures from a visit to the grand canyon. 

So after chewing on the slogan some more it should be more of a "what stuff you own on earth, stays on earth."  It isn't as catchy but it reveals more truth.  God never tells us that we will lose our memories upon going to heaven, so put down your iPhone or shut down your computer and go make a memory with someone you love today!

Real Reason for the Season

Today I have been thinking about the saying "Jesus is the reason for the season" in reference to Christmas.  And I feel like we believers focus on that in order to deter from the normal shopping frenzy and santa clause syndrome that so much of our culture resides. 

I would challenge believers to embrace the shopping frenzy in an attitude of giving.  Let's not focus piously on Jesus for piety's sake.  Let's embrace Jesus for His wonderful giving attribute.  I am not saying that we should give in to the temptation to buy tons of gifts for everyone we know.  I am not saying that we should not give gifts at all either.  I am merely pondering what God gave to us in Jesus Christ and the mission for us to pass that on. 

Do you give Christmas gifts in order to get some in return?  What is the point of that? 

I want to give the gift of time and fellowship, something that will be cherished forever.  My grandmother is slowly losing life and I want to give her nothing more than my presence (and a cute sweatshirt) to show how much I appreciate her.  Through this gift I am also passing on the gift that God has given us.  The gift that we celebrate every year around this time. 

I want to give to people who cannot give back to me.  This is true to the gift that God has given to us: there is no way for us to ever repay Him.

If Only...

If only I could work for Google.  This will definitely put "Work for Google" on my bucket list.  But then again, how will I ever pass their stringent programming tests?  Looks like I will be a life-long learner!

SlashGear: Google hands out custom Galaxy Nexus to workers

Happy browsing!

A New Day Has Dawn

A new day has dawn within me.  All the motivation that I have had for college has shifted to a motivation towards work and the unlimited potential of starting a small business.  Is it wrong to feel this way?  I certainly hope not as it seems the nation needs this kind of motivation if we are to climb out of this depression.  Higher education has become the new High School, a basic standard for attaining a job.  The nation has grown quite successful at brainwashing individuals into the very standard career ambitions and have sucked the innovation out of the common person. 

I am glad to say that I will be graduating in May with a Christian Worldview Major that will be used as basic life training towards my ambitions of starting my own technology business.  The purpose of this business will be to provide tech support and improvements to individuals and companies who do not want technology to prevent them from attaining the highest customer service. 

Once I graduate in May I will find work with a small technology business to earn income and pay off student loan debt while I study entrepreneurship and small business with a free program provided by one of the ivy league colleges. 

Until that new day has come, I pray for the best in the nation's future.