Two Talents

Faith-based expressions of a Christian.

Archive for February 2006

Firefox: not just for geeks anymore

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I’ve been using Mozilla’s Firefox browser for quite some time. It was love at first sight. Or use. It began with tabbed browsing and culminated with the increased security (versus Internet Explorer), a multitude of plug-ins and other add-ons and the little things that set it apart. I just learned another of those little things a short time ago. Did you know that if you click on a link using your mouse scroll whell button (push down on the scroll wheel) that link will open in a new tab? No more having to right click and decide if you want the page to open in a new window or tab (I almost always choose new tab, so this is a great feature). If you want the page to open in a new tab just use the scroll wheel button. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Shawn

February 27, 2006 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What would Jesus do?

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What a wonderful weekend! Last Tuesday I had a badly inflammed disk in my back. Wednesday I went to the chiropractor and learned that I’d done the worst thing I could do for that on Tuesday night–I used a heating pad. So, I got one of those incredibly handy (when you need one) gel packs from him that can be microwaved for heat, or frozen for use as a cold pack. I froze it and applied it hourly all of Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday I was notably better and on Saturday the discomfort was tolerable. Plus, my parents took the kids for the weekend! So, we went out on a date last night with our best friends. In case you are wondering I had seared shrimp and scallops over angel hair pasta in a white wine Alfredo sauce. It was magnificent! The cesaer salad was very good and the cup of creamed chicken with asparagus (with portabella mushrooms) was delicious (and good for dunking the dinner rolls into as well). Plus, since this was a planned date night for us, we each got a massage from a massage therepist Saturday morning. My first-ever massage, and I now understand why people rave about them. But I digress. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

February 26, 2006 at 7:42 pm


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My youngest son, Noah, only turned 4 last month. As small kids are prone to do he sometimes says funny things. Here are a few of the most recent:

“Daddy, look how pounds I am!” (after stepping onto the bathroom scale)

“Daddy, look how monies I have.” (after pulling a $1 bill from his pocket)

This past weekend our sons’ cousins, who are twins, spent the night. They are a bit older than my oldest, Devin (who is eight) and so when they visit Noah tends to get left out. I had worked until 3 a.m. so in the morning my wife had stressed to the kids to keep the noise down while I was sleeping. After I woke up she took a nap and so I again stressed to the kids to keep the noise down. Shortly afterward, Noah descended the stairs, crying.

“Daddy, is ‘ticked’ a bad word?”
I said it was not, and that it meant being angry
“Well Mom’s gonna’ be ticked at the kids for singing so loud!”

When Devin was about a year-and-a-half old he pronounced kitchen as “chicken”. My wife, Lisa, tried to get him to say it properly.
Lisa: “Ki-ki-kitchen”
Devin: “Ki-ki-chicken”

Noah used to pronounce the color yellow as “ye-yo”. Both boys finally figured out how to say the words correctly. These little incidents not only bring laughter to the household, they help us remember how blessed we are. In a similar way, we were once “kids” in the kingdom of God when we first believed. As we nurture and raise our own biological children, God nurtures and raises His spiritual children in the faith. The joy that our own children can bring is wonderful, and we count the good with the bad as a blessing. Sometimes it does us well to remember how pleased we are with our own children when they do as taught, and behave as instructed. Simply put, we are thrilled when it happens, and we wish it happened all the time, right? In the same way, God is pleased with us when we do as taught and behave as instructed, and He desires that we do so all the time. I realize that kids won’t be perfect, and God knows we won’t be either. But the next time one of my children warms my heart by doing what he has been taught to do I hope it jars my brain and reminds me to do likewise for my Lord and Savior.

Written by Shawn

February 22, 2006 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Edification

Council of Orange

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Here’s an introduction to Orange from the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics, or CRTA:

The Council of Orange was an outgrowth of the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius. This controversy had to do with degree to which a human being is responsible for his or her own salvation, and the role of the grace of God in bringing about salvation. The Pelagians held that human beings are born in a state of innocence, i.e., that there is no such thing as a sinful nature or original sin.

As a result of this view, they held that a state of sinless perfection was achievable in this life. The Council of Orange dealt with the Semi-Pelagian doctrine that the human race, though fallen and possessed of a sinful nature, is still “good” enough to able to lay hold of the grace of God through an act of unredeemed human will. The Council held to Augustine’s view and repudiated Pelagius. The following canons greatly influenced the Reformed doctrine of Total Depravity.

Of note before I go further is the interesting fact that the Roman Catholic Church considers Orange to be one of her councils (general, not ecumenical). I have long asserted that the canons of Orange, which I will be quoting below, are polar opposites to the justification canons of the Council of Trent. While Orange is said by Rome to be a general council, Trent was ecumenical, which means its pronouncements are considered inerrant and incumbent upon all Catholics to accept and follow. At any rate, I enjoy the canons from Orange and find them accurate and well done. On another side note, these canons were issued in the year 529 AD. Here are some of those canons, complete with linkable goodness to the cited scriptures: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

February 21, 2006 at 9:25 pm

Purpose of this blog

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“For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.” {Matthew 25:14-15}

If I died today how many people would I have shared the gospel with? How many lives could be said to have been touched in my service to Jesus Christ? If the Lord has entrusted me with two talents, how many will I return to Him?

I’m ashamed to say I have not served Christ Jesus as I could and should have. The purpose of this blog is to improve that, even if it’s only in a small way. I need to do more than just this, but this is a start and will hopefully glorify the God who saved me from sin and misery.

Written by Shawn

February 20, 2006 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized