Who You Are

– A story about our identity –

When the bird says, “Because I am not like the fish, inhabiting the underworld without air, I am not free; I must plummet, feathers and all, into that world, for without it I am coerced into that which is not life” –

When the fish says, “Because I am not like the bird, inhabiting the outer-world with air, I am not free; I must ashore, gills and all, into that world, for without it I am coerced into that which is not life” –

Will you say to the bird, “I love you and want to affirm you, so you must plummet into the sea?” Will you say to the fish, “I love you and want to affirm you, so you must ashore onto land?” –

And so help them to death? Can you call that love, or freedom, or life?

So say to the bird, “I love you and want to affirm who God made you to be. You soar so wondrously. Remain in the breeze.” Say to the fish, “I love you and want to affirm who God made you to be. I am amazed you can breathe without air. Remain in the sea.”


First Letter ESV

I needn’t tell you why memorizing scripture is good and necessary, for scripture consistently and constantly testifies to its own memory and use.

However, there are many useful methods to memorize. One such method works through contextual recollection, which, as that descriptor might hint at, is helpful for getting at large portions of text. In order to help the reader contextualize, but not simply give them the words to memorize, the first letter of every word is given. In this way the actual content (words) must be memorized, but their memorization is helped along by their relation to others. In my experience, this helps me use logical and syntactical relationships within the passage for memorization, instead of seeing the words as a string of data which are in turn taken into mind.

Now, I’ve gone ahead and thrown my best HTML and Javascript coding skills at this idea, and I managed to produce a full translation of the ESV with the first letters, henceforth called “F.L.E.S.V.” (First Letter English Standard Version). You should know that it is the 2004 edition, which is slightly different than the 2007. I noticed this only after doing all the work.

I’ve managed to get this on my phone with “PocketSword”, may favorite IPhone Bible app (text is Ephesians 1): 


I’m sure you can already start to make out the text just by familiarity with Pauline literature. That familiarity is a good thing. Also, reading the text at different speeds has helped me find a niche where I am comfortable memorizing. I hope this proves useful for others.

Here is a download to the executable of the program (*.exe extension which can be ran on any windows computer):

In order to convert it to other formats, this tool can be used:

I did work rather hard to produce a PDF of the text, but in order to avoid any copyright issues, or what have you, you may ask me for it only if you know me personally.

My prayer is that your devotional life grow deeper, your love of the Word grow more robust, that the praise of the LORD will be on your lips and in your heart, and that in his Word you may have hope.

Ps. 119:74 “Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.”

Safe Surfing

If you are like me, perhaps the greatest annoyance in web surfing the net is its ads. Often these can be influential, intrusive, and inappropriate (sometimes down right pornographic). I’ve had a number of Christians ask for help in this area, so I hope the tools here will be of good use for the bride of Christ.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)

Safe surfing really requires a preemptive strike on all the filth one might find. More often then not, this is in the ads. So, if you have Google Chrome, I highly suggest using some of these tools for yourself or your family to cut down on the brash and worldly rubbish floating around out there, or finding the equivalent for another browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.):

1) Improved Youtube – A great way to clear off the segments of YT which may prove unwanted. Also, start using this well and you’ll feel like you took the remote out of YT’s hand.

2) Facebook AdBlock – For the FB frequenter who is sick of seeing personalized ads.

3) Adblock Plus – This is the catch all, oil-pan type ad remover. It makes surfing most the web far more comfortable.

A more top-down approach may be necessary, in which case filtering not at the software level but at the router level is preferable (i.e., Control what all users connecting to the router/local network can access). There are a number of useful services, but here is a free and useful one:

OpenDNS – “controls that protect every Internet-connected device in your home, instantly.”

Take control of your internet experience before it takes control of you.