Minimal Acrobatics

A new trend in the application community is interaction between apps. What exactly is that you say? Well, in code speak it could be called callbacks. As the app community evolves and matures developers find new ways to make apps more useful. As an app developer, you soon realize that your app can’t do everything. The power of your app interacting with another app is priceless. Sort of like the saying one plus one equals three. Bonkers I know, but it is the truth. There is some synergy when apps learn to work together for the greater good.

On a recent episode of [Back to Work] (http://5by5.tv/b2w/113), [Merlin Mann] (http://www.merlinmann.com/) discusses the use of callbacks or an API of sorts between apps. Of specific note is the new [Audiobus] (http://audiob.us) interacting with [Garageband] (http://www.apple.com/apps/garageband/). For Apple, this seems like an unthinkable thing to be happening. For Apple to allow another non Apple application to interact with a flagship application is unthinkable.

I will be the first to say that I am no musician, but the thought of this excites me. It shows Apple is growing. They no longer have to control every single element. You see this with deep twitter and Facebook integration into iOS. You see this with using technology from companies like Dragon Dictation. Yes, they could have easily bought any of these companies, but they didn’t. This new trend for Apple is great to see. Keep up the good work Tim.

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Re: Everything Wrong With The Apple Universe

So Stephen Hackett of 512pixels.net linked to an interesting article which I think is worth visiting. http://512pixels.net/2013/03/everything-wrong/

His link post points to an article on AppAdvice.com, by  which points toward a trend which is outdated.  The need for each release or iteration of a smartphone to have a “killer feature” is over.  Now I am not saying Apple, Samsung and the like will no longer need to innovate.  I am just stating that the need for a killer feature to sell iPhones is no longer needed.  Apple is known for releasing solid, innovative products which often change the industry.  The truth of the matter is smartphones have reached a point of being good enough.  Extra features are just that, extra.  They are a bonus, but not a must have.

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Mindset and Perspective: Living With An Innovator

 

As innovators and entrepreneurs we seem to miss out on one of the things we need most. We read endless books, attend seminars to learn of the latest and greatest methodologies, but still miss it. Innovators are a certain type of person who believes they can make a dent in this world we live in. Often described as independent, bold, creative creatures. With all of these brilliant qualities and characteristics this type of personality still misses it and often ignore a key relationship.  In our entrepreneurial mindset quickly forgetting the vow we made before God and family.

Standing high on our perches overlooking the future as if it is closely within reach. As believers in The Way, we seek the counsel of a mighty God. Patting others on the back encouraging them throughout our days is normal behavior. We work diligently at our task looking at all angles keenly focused on what’s ahead and what steps must be taken to get there.  Often forgetting about the importance of those closest to us, our spouse.

We do all this without the slightest thought to one of our greatest resources, our spouse. The spouse of such a person can make us into the person we seek to be. They can give us the encouragement and perspective to take us to the finish line. We easily forget we are but one piece of God’s plan.  Check out a great series on marriage, From This Day Forward.

I write this as not some grand revelation or spark of brilliance. I write this as a reminder to those of us who fit this specification. I write this as much for myself as for others. I write this to honor and hold high my spouse and best friend. Do not lose sight of your importance as the spouse of such a dreamer. It took me ten years to figure out who God made me to be. You stuck it out through all types of trials and victories never questioning or calling attention to how insane it is sometimes to live with such a person. Your loyalty and support cannot be described. May I never lose sight of this nor neglect you in the pursuit of making my dent in this world.

 

 

Check out these resources for how to improve your marriage.

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My Commitment To Writing – I Know My Blog is Ugly

I know what you are thinking….this guy’s site is ugly! You are correct and here’s why I am okay with that. I have been blogging for less than a year and I have struggled to be consistent. There are a lot of things to get in the way. We all have them. We have priorities, we have lives to live. I have let the cosmetic part of my site go as a commitment to writing more often. I have discovered the idea of mental clutter. Worrying about the way my site looks has added too much mental clutter for me. So much so, that it has prevented me from writing consistently.

So, I have decided to allow the cosmetic part of my blog to suffer in an effort to get more writing done. I did not create a blog just to have a pretty site or to say I have a site. I created a blog to write. If the looks of my blog are getting in the way of my writing I must cut it off for now. So to say, please excuse the mess would be an understatement.

I know what good design is and I do appreciate it. I will eventually get to making things look better, but for now I am focused on writing.

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Unseen Obstacles

The other day I was getting my morning medicine. I open the bottle to get a vitamin and there was this big white ball of cotton. I fought and fought trying to get a vitamin out of the bottle. I pushed the cotton to the side and shook the bottle trying to get to my vitamin. Finally after pushing and reaching my fingers in the bottle I got the vitamin I was seeking. I then put the cap back on and took my medicine.

The next day I went through the same process. Shook the bottle, reaching with the fingers, etc. I have been doing this same process for weeks. It got me thinking. Why didn’t I remove the cotton ball? Why did I repeat the process? Doing so once is one thing, but I did this for a few weeks. I believe I might be doing something similar in my life. The cotton ball was not bad, it had a purpose in being there, but it did not serve me by being there.

For most of us, at some point we find something in our lives preventing us from getting to the thing we really are seeking. There is something, someone causing friction in your life in your pursuit of life goals. Do you need to say no to something good to get to the great thing in your life! I believe there are all kinds of obstacles in our lives much like the cotton ball.

What is it in your life you need to remove to make way for what’s really important?

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Standing Your Ground

This is a follow-up to another post of mine titled, Fighting Words. As a follower of Christ, you will come up against a lot of criticism and negativity about your faith in Christ. This is nothing new, you have probably heard of this before. What I want to highlight in this post is how to stand your ground.
I would encourage you to read John 8 before going forward. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.
So, I have been there. I have had someone mock my faith in Christ. I have heard it said that if you haven’t been persecuted or ridiculed for you faith in Christ then you should look at how you are living. In other words, it’s not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. I have believed in Christ for 25 years and I to this day still struggle with standing my ground. I know I believe and why I believe, but have never been good at defending my faith.
First and foremost by nature I am not a confrontational person. Just the opposite, I avoid it as much as possible. So the topic of standing my ground peaked my interest as I read through this passage.
Let me give you some context. It is early, Jesus is in the temple courts. He has just come down from the mountains, specifically the Mount of Olives. The Pharisees are doing everything they can to trap Jesus in a corner. They need some reason to accuse Jesus.
Jesus stands firm and does not back down in a way I have never seen. He does not talk trash or get worked up like most humans would. He stays calm, speaks confidently, and does not back down. His words are bold, but not tacky. He speaks without doubt.
I love how Jesus confronts the Pharisees in John 8:43. “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.” Take a look at a clip from Rush Hour with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.

I believe this would be today’s translation. The Pharisees have nothing left to say. Jesus has put them in a corner. They can either believe in Him and what He says or deny Him. Take a look at what happens in John 8:59. Jesus stands his ground by speaking truth and gives them a choice. When He sees there is no reasoning with the Pharisees, he leaves.

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Continuing to Innovate

For years people have contemplated how Apple, Inc. would fair in the post Steve Jobs era. Apple fans dreaded the thought of their beloved leader moving on. The press, tech community, and many others made their predictions on the status of Apple when that day might come. We all knew that it would come, but we held out hope that it wouldn’t be anytime soon.

On, October 5, 2011, the news was released that Steven P. Jobs had died at the age of 56. Immediately, twitter was exploding with tweets of all types about Steve. To say the news was any less than devastating would be putting it lightly. Even those who weren’t fans expressed their deep appreciation of his life and contributions to our world. Even the President of the United States took time to pay his respect to Steve. Their is no question that Steve made his dent in our world.

For a while, we waited and wondered if it was all just a bad dream. Finally, most of the dust has settled, the truth has set in and we are eager to press on in honor of Steve and Apple.

Thursday, January 19, 2012, I believe Apple showed us that they continue to innovate. It is true that Steve definitely knew of these events and what would be introduced. And yes, it will probably be a few years before we truly see post Steve work. The introduction of iBooks 2, iTunes U, and iBooks Author are astounding news. Most will overlook this announcement as trivial. The world has come to expect big extravagant reveals of new hardware.

There are no guarantees for success, even for Apple. If executed well, this could disrupt yet another industry. This has the potential to make a huge difference in the U.S. and World educational system. How we teach and interact with teaching material. How authors write and create their books. This is potentially the App Store for writers and textbook publishers.
So, as the phrase goes, only time will tell. We will have to wait and see how this plays out.

Thanks Steve.

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Playing the Victim

We’ve all been there before. Someone we know makes a mistake large or small and the first thing they say is “It isn’t my fault ______ made me do it.” We all know someone who refuses to own up to their own responsibilities and actions. When under pressure for something done wrong, many times it is easier to shift the blame to someone or something else. Often it is to take the focus off of the individual and onto something or someone else. The desire to escape the blame or to escape the consequences is one that crosses the mind of all humans at one point or another. It’s the fight or flight response. Will the individual own up to their actions (fight) or try to shift the blame or focus to someone else (flight). Character plays a large role in this as does fear.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
James 1:13-14

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Fighting Words

Reading through this chapter, I kept coming to one realization.  Jesus was fasting in the desert for 40 days.  Yes 40 days!  This wasn’t a cozy, drink only juice fast or eat only vegetables.  Although there is nothing wrong with that type of fasting, the point is that it was rough!  This was 40 days, in the desert with water only.  Did I mention it was in the desert?

If we take time to let that soak in, it will just amaze you how difficult this must have been.  Let’s get into the circumstances of where Jesus was and what He must have experienced.  The desert is hot, dry heat.  No air conditioning, no fans, no pool to cool off in.  Sand between your toes, sweat dripping down your face, and the sun glaring in your eyes.  To say that this would wear on you is an understatement by far.  These conditions alone would be tough even if you had food and water.

So Jesus is in this incredibly rough environment starving, hungry for food.  He is probably hot, drained, and ready for a good meal.  Along comes the devil to tempt Jesus.  So here Jesus is hungry, tired, probably dehydrated to some extent, and sweaty.  The devil says to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  This may not sound like much at first glance, but think about it.  Think about the circumstances Jesus is in.  The devil comes in and taunts Him to do a very mundane thing, turning a stone into bread.  This is Jesus!  He could do that anytime He wanted!

Here is where it gets interesting. If Jesus were anything like me, He would be ready to show up the devil. I would throw down a huge feast, a buffet. He could have made servants appear loads of food and water come in on camels. But see how Jesus responds. Jesus answers, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'” Luke 4:4. Again the devil tempts Jesus by leading Him up to a place showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. Promising Him to give it all to Jesus if He will only worship the devil.

Again, Jesus does the unthinkable. Jesus responds, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'” At this point I would have called in airstrikes showing the devil what’s up! The devil didn’t stop there. The devil lead him to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem and challenges Jesus again. “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.” Now the devil starts to quote scripture. “For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your against a stone.'” Luke 4:10-11

Jesus replied to the devil by saying “It says” ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Luke 4.12 Out of all the ways Jesus could have replied He chose scripture. He could have put the devil away without blinking. Jesus chose scripture!!

What does this say to us as followers of Christ? If Jesus had all the power of God with Him and He chose scripture to fight over everything else, shouldn’t we do the same? That shows us how powerful scripture is.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double‑edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12″ http://bible.us/Heb4.12.NIV84

I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to learn God’s Word. What are your thoughts? Have you ever used scripture to fight?

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Accessibility To Audience

I will never be too busy for my audience. Or at least that is what I tell myself. I believe it will become more difficult to manage my audience as it grows. I see this as a problem and apparently others do as well. For me, at this moment this is not an issue. For fellow bloggers like [Michael Hyatt][http://michaelhyatt.com/leadership-success-accessibility.html], and Andy Stanley this is an issue and I try to learn what I can from them. I believe so strongly in being accessible to my audience that I strive to make this a priority.

Think Big

I realize if I continue to grow my audience, there will come a time when I cannot respond to all of the requests which come my way. This really bugged me at first thought. The problem I had when first thinking on this issue was the fact I was thinking too small. Yes, too small. There will be a time when I need to add to my team to help me reach more people. This will be tough to do, but I believe it is inevitable. What I have to realize is that I need to focus on my audience and not the administrative or tasks which I can delegate.

Learn To Delegate

I will eventually delegate those tasks which don’t involve my audience. The tasks which I currently handle, but could possibly hand off to someone I trust. So, my shift in thinking trully helped me see how I would handle this transition when it comes. I will be delegating the tasks which don’t require my involvement while maintaining my close relationship with my audience.

What do you do to remain enganged with your audience while maintaining balance in other areas of your life?

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