Saturday, July 11, 2009

Elijah and the Charismatics - FBN blog post

I just added some RSS blog feeds to Thunderbird, (e-mail program) so I'm reading some of the messages that came in on the feed. This one from the Free Believers Network blog touched on some of what this blog and my ministry is all about. It's a year old, but very good, by Darin Hufford. A few paragraphs are below:

Baal worship was about emotionalism.

The evidence is in the emotionalism. They are certain that God showed up because they got emotional and others did, as well. People were crying and sobbing with their hands in the air. After all, this is the normal human response to the Spirit of God. When God's Spirit begins to move, everyone in the room begins to break down and cry. I must have heard my Pastor over a thousand times speak the words, "The Spirit of God is in this room tonight - people are literally crying and sobbing." This has become a common understanding among Christians in America. When the Spirit moves, people get emotional. As a preacher, you can see the moment the Spirit enters the service because tears begin to stream down people's faces.

The irony is that I haven't found one account in all of Scripture where this was the human reaction to the presence of God. I don't recall anyone sobbing and crying the moment the Holy Spirit touched them in the New Testament, yet today we act as if the sobbing and crying is evidence of His presence. No one laughed uncontrollably either for that matter and believe it or not, in the almost 8000 year span of scripture from Adam and Eve to the Apostle Paul there wasn't one single person who "twitched" under the power of the Holy Spirit. No one was "Slain in the Spirit," no one's hands shook violently and thank God no one barked like a dog. I have come to the conclusion that modern day Charismatic emotionalism is nothing more than the resurrection of the Baal religion of the Old Testament times. I know for a fact that not every Charismatic behaves this way or believes like this. I know I don't. There are thousands of others however, who are in serious bondage to outright Baal worship and they don't even know it.

Many Christians today are caught in a ‘Prophets-of-Baal' mindset. I'm not saying that it's wrong to become emotional while in the presence of God. I am stating, however, that it's wrong to think that just because you get emotional, it is evidence of the presence of God, or that getting yourself worked up into an emotional frenzy is the same as creating an atmosphere where God will "show up." I have five children and trust me in this. When they get emotional, I CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITH THEM. In fact, that's about the only time when communication with them is impossible.

It's the straight-faced times that I long to share with them. That's exactly how your Father in heaven is with you. If you feel that God's dealings with you will always result in emotionalism you are basically missing out on an entire life with him. Unless you are suffering with chronic depression and feeling emotional ALL the time you won't have a daily walk with your Father. God cannot be conjured up. The act of trying to conjure Him up is Baal worship. New Testament Christians need to understand that He doesn't "show up" to our services. He lives inside of us always whether we feel Him or not. That's what faith is.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23 ESV)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Switching to Linux - the saga

This is going to be a somewhat long post -- I'll keep it as brief as I can. Before I decided to switch to Linux, I decided to see if there were any books on the topic at my local library. They had 1 (one) whole book about Linux, that being the 4th edition of Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux & Fedora, by Bill McCarty . It's 4th edition copyright was 2004; and there were 2 installation CD's enclosed. It explained some basics, which helped me decide to go ahead and make the switch. And of course, I also backed up a lot of important files to CD as well as to an external USB hard drive I got a few months ago.

I had a good idea there was probably something more recent available at a book store, so the following week I bought a Ubuntu linux book at Barnes & Noble that had an installation CD and DVD included. I tried out the live dvd, and it was slow due to having to access the DVD drive, but it came up eventually and I decided to go ahead with the install, after reading the instructions.

The Ubuntu install didn't work, when I used the text install option to see what the hang-up was, I got a message about a kernel panic. I'm not sure how a computer or a kernel can panic, and it's impossible to reason with a kernel that wants to panic; so I went online and read some things that suggested that it needed disk space for the install, it didn't know it was going to get the whole hard drive. So I spent much time defragmenting the 20 gig drive (which had 4 partitions), tried installing again, then got the same error message.

Since Ubuntu isn't the only linux distro, and since I had the RHE Linux and Fedora book with 2 disks, I decided to try to install Fedora instead. It went without a hitch. But then I discovered that I couldn't get online, since I'm using a usb - ethernet adapter for my DSL modem, and/or a Linksys cardbus (pcmcia) wireless adapter -- Fedora core didn't recognize either of them. That just wasn't going to work. Now I was ready to panic, since Win2k was no longer on my computer. I thought I'd see if I could find something newer at another book store.

I found a Fedora 7 'bible' at another store, and that installed just fine. And it did recognize my DSL modem connection, so I could get online. (While the software itself is 'free' -- these books sure aren't! Both books were about $50/each, which wasn't exactly in my budget, but it's nice to have them as reference. I'd actually recommend having at least one.)

Then I ran into the issue of getting Flashplayer installed and working, as well as getting my Linksys wireless cardbus adapter working, all of which required more research since that wasn't covered very well in the book I'd gotten. Thankfully there are a lot of good instructions online, you just have to be able to find it. For the wireless it took several attempts, trying different drivers, but eventually I got it working. Yay!

By now I found out that Fedora 7 was an 'old' version (it's only 2 years old, much newer than Windows 2000! But Fedora pushes out a new release about every 6 months, and they recently released Fedora 11.) I tried twice to install F11, using 2 different methods and it didn't work. So I had to re-install Fedora 7 twice. And F7 runs rather well on my laptop, I just thought it would be nice to use the newest version. It's also running the newest version of Firefox (3.5) just fine, too.

After relating some of the issues I had installing F11 on the Fedora Forums (here), someone agreed with me that my laptop configuration was at the lower edge of what is expected to work with F11 and then suggested I may want to look into Puppy Linux. I looked at it and since it's only about 100mb for the CD, I downloaded it, and tried it 'live' (meaning it'll boot from the CD and run in RAM, without disturbing your hard drive), which also had some issues. I discovered I could use the boot command option of 'acpi=force' to get it to boot, and it did run pretty fast. Since my 2nd (3rd?) installation of Fedora 7 used what they call a 'logical volume manager' I couldn't install Puppy on the hard drive with LVM.

I didn't really want the LVM anyway -- it's probably a good thing if you're running servers and need to add or remove drives while everything else keeps running, but for a single home computer, I didn't think it performed as well as using it without the LVM. So back to re-installing F7 yet again, with a free partition so I could install Puppy, too. I actually ended up installing a puppy derivative called 'Slaxer-Pup' because it recognized my wireless adapter, loads the drivers and everything -- which wouldn't work with Puppy 4.2.1 because the 'acpi=force' option disabled the IRQ that the wireless device uses.

One of the reasons I wanted to get Puppy Linux working was because I also have a 9 year old desktop PC that only has 64mb of RAM. I may decide to add more RAM, but if Puppy will run on it as it is, all the better! I'm not going to attempt that for at least a couple of weeks though. I suspect that if I had a newer computer, in the range of 2-5 years old, instead of a 10+ year old laptop, everything may have gone smoother. Some people install Linux and 'it just works', with a few tweaks here and there. I've certainly learned a lot, and I'm happy with my setup of a dual-boot of Fedora 7 and Puppy Linux.

One thing I noticed while visiting various websites, is that pictures and graphics seem to be sharper and crisper under Linux than they were in Windows(tm); I'm not sure why. I also noticed that some websites were un-readable, due to font issues. I did some research on that, and found some 'web core fonts' as well as some other fonts to install (in /usr/share/fonts); and during my several re-installations of F7, I always had a copy of those to put back on the system, so now everything looks good.

During the several weeks I was doing all of that, I also managed to listen to a couple of online radio programs about the new EFT 'open hand policy', and I'll do a post about that in the next few days or so.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why I switched to Linux

I haven't posted much to the blog for the past few weeks, mainly because I've been spending a good amount of time switching the operating system of my used laptop to Linux, replacing Windows 2000. Why did I switch to linux? That's what this post will

As anyone who uses Windows(tm) and accesses the internet knows, no matter how careful you are, you really need to have a good virus scan or 2 available. I had been using Comodo and AVG scanners for at least a couple of years, both of them are free for home use. (The very first virus-scan software I used was McAfee, which ran on a floppy disk!) At the end of 2008 I was notified that Comodo was changing their software from single-purpose firewalls, virus scanners etc. to a 'suite' where all of those functions would be integrated -- and the minimum (operating) system requirement was Windows XP. My laptop has (only) 256mb of RAM, and if it would run XP it'd be very slow, so that wasn't an option. Spending several hundred dollars to buy a new laptop or desktop computer also wasn't an option. I still had the AVG scanner, but at the beginning of this year they basically went the same route, going to a 'suite' of virus and malware detection with minimum system requirements of Win XP. I did find one anti-virus software that would run in Win 2000, that being ClamAV. Since I'd heard of linux several years ago, I decided to do a bit of research and find out if that would be a viable option.

I discovered that linux has come a long way since I'd first heard about it 10-15 years ago; as far as ease of use, etc. When I heard about it back then, I'd heard it required a lot of programming to get it working, and learning programming wasn't something I wanted to do. I've been using a PC since the early 1990's, back in the DOS days, so I was comfortable with a command line, but it had been several years since I've really used one.

Also, back in the late 1980's / early 1990's or so, IBM and Microsoft had entered into a joint venture to develop a 'multi-tasking' OS -- they called it OS/2. At some point they parted ways, and IBM took over development of OS/2, when they released the version they called 'Warp' in 1994 I got it, and really liked it. It ran Windows 3.1 programs as well as DOS programs and OS/2 programs. There weren't many native OS/2 programs, but it seemed to run Win 3.1 and DOS programs better than they ran on their own. And being able to have more than 1 program running at the same time, back then, was pretty incredible for the DOS platform. It wasn't just a pretty task-switcher, it would really run a report in 1 task while you were writing a letter in the other task-window, while you were downloading your emails in yet another window; all in 8 mb of RAM, which is hard to believe today.

For various reasons, I believe mostly due to marketing agreements with Microsoft, almost no 3rd party software developers were working on or planning OS/2 software releases, and then Win95 came out, and though I thought OS/2 was a superior OS, it basically lost out to newer Microsoft developments. You can read the Wikipedia link above for more of the details. Though I tried at various times over the years to be a fan of Microsoft, I never quite succeeded. So now seemed like the right time to find a viable alternative.

In my quest for a Win2k virus scanner, I did run across a good malware detector that I used for a couple of weeks before I switched to linux -- I'd recommend it to those of you still using Windows. That is WinPatrol, it was nice to have Scotty on patrol for a brief time.

I decided to take the plunge, and part of that story will be in the next blog post.