Saturday, May 7, 2011

Android Mobile Filtering

Just got my new Samsung Galaxy S mobile which works great! So much faster than the old Windows Mobile and has almost everything I need for now (Evernote doesn't quite replace MS Onenote for me)

Wanted an internet filter on there and couldn't find one. So here was my solution:
  • Rooted the phone - Link
  • Installed SetDNS to set the Domain Name Servers - Link
    Domain Name Servers (DNS) essentially provide a web browser with the address for the computer to retrieve the contents of the website (like a street directory without which it cannot find the site).
  • Installed ZDbox to lock the changing of SetDNS - Link (which is a great app for its other features as well)
  • Used the OpenDNS Family Shield DNS Servers (Primary:|Secondary: - Link
  • Tested it working - Link and it works perfectly over 3G and wifi
All these steps require a bit of computer knowledge and the ability to follow some instructions, but it really wasn't that hard! The OpenDNS Family Shield cleans up the web nicely. If you were looking for more parental controls; applications like ZDBox can block the Android Market and any other application such as Youtube, Application Uninstallers (ZDbox) and so forth.

Hope this helps!

p.s. my Galaxy S is running Froyo
p.s. no guarantees this will work with your Mobile provider as some providers do things differently. I'm with TPG/Optus

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Advent of Humility by Tim Keller

Jesus is the reason to stop concentrating on ourselves.

INNUMERABLE Christmas devotionals point out the humble circumstances of Jesus' birth--among shepherds, in a crude stable, with a feed trough for a bassinet. When Jesus himself tried to summarize why people should take up the yoke of following him, he said it was because he was meek and humble (Matt. 11:29). Seldom, however, do we explore the full implications of how Jesus' radical humility shapes the way we live our lives every day.

Humility is crucial for Christians. We can only receive Christ through meekness and humility (Matt. 5:3, 5; 18:3-4). Jesus humbled himself and was exalted by God (Phil. 2:8-9); therefore joy and power through humility is the very dynamic of the Christian life (Luke 14:11; 18:14; 1 Pet. 5:5).

The teaching seems simple and obvious. The problem is that it takes great humility to understand humility, and even more to resist the pride that comes so naturally with even a discussion of the subject.

We are on slippery ground because humility. cannot be attained directly. Once we become aware of the poison of pride, we begin to notice it all around us. We hear it in the sarcastic, snarky voices in newspaper columns and weblogs. We see it in civic, cultural, and business leaders who never admit weakness or failure. We see it in our neighbors and some friends with their jealousy, self-pity, and boasting.

And so we vow not to talk or act like that. If we then notice "a humble turn of mind" in ourselves, we immediately become smug--but that is pride in our humility. If we catch ourselves doing that we will be particularly impressed with how nuanced and subtle we have become.

Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves. To even ask the question, "Am I humble?" is to not be so. Examining your own heart, even for pride, often leads to being proud about your diligence and circumspection.

Christian humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less, as C. S. Lewis so memorably said. It is to be no longer always noticing yourself and how you are doing and how you are being treated. It is "blessed self-forgetfulness."

Humility is a byproduct of belief in the gospel of Christ. In the gospel, we have a confidence not based in our performance but in the love of God in Christ (Rom. 3:22-24). This frees us from having to always be looking at ourselves. Our sin was so great, nothing less than the death of Jesus could save us. He had to die for us. But his love for us was so great, Jesus was glad to die for us.


We are on slippery ground when we discuss humility, because religion and morality inhibit humility. It is common in the evangelical community to talk about one's worldview--a set of basic beliefs and commitments that shape the way we live in every particular. Others prefer the term "narrative identity." This is a set of answers to the questions, "Who am I? What is my life all about? What am I here for? What are the main barriers keeping me from fulfillment? How can I deal with those barriers?"

There are two basic narrative identifies at work among professing Christians. The first is what I will call the moral-performance narrative identity. These are people who in their heart of hearts say, I obey; therefore I am accepted by God. The second is what I will call the grace narrative identity. This basic operating principle is, I am accepted by God through Christ; therefore I obey.

People living their lives on the basis of these two different principles may superficially look alike. They may sit right beside one another in the church pew, both striving to obey the law of God, to pray, to give money generously, to be good family members. But they are doing so out of radically different motives, in radically different spirits, resulting in radically different personal characters.

When persons living in the moral-performance narrative are criticized, they are furious or devastated because they cannot tolerate threats to their self-image of being a "good person."

But in the gospel our identity is not built on such an image, and we have the emotional ballast to handle criticism without attacking back. When people living in the moral-performance narrative base their self-worth on being hard working or theologically sound, then they must look down on those whom they perceive to be lazy or theologically weak.

But those who understand the gospel cannot possibly look down on anyone, since they were saved by sheer grace, not by their perfect doctrine or strong moral character.


Another mark of the moral-performance narrative is a constant need to find fault, win arguments, and prove that all opponents are not just mistaken but dishonest sellouts. However, when the gospel is deeply grasped, our need to win arguments is removed, and our language becomes gracious. We don't have to ridicule our opponents, but instead we can engage them respectfully.

People who live in the moral-performance narrative use sarcastic, self-righteous putdown humor, or have no sense of humor at all. Lewis speaks of "the unsmiling concentration upon Self, which is the mark of hell." The gospel, however, creates a gentle sense of irony. We find a lot to laugh at, starting with our own weaknesses. They don't threaten us anymore because our ultimate worth is not based on our record or performance.

Martin Luther had the basic insight that moralism is the default mode of the human heart. Even Christians who believe the gospel of grace on one level can continue to operate as if they have been saved by their works. In "The Great Sin" in Mere Christianity, Lewis writes, "If we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good--above all, that we are better than someone else--I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the Devil."

Gracious, self-forgetful humility should be one of the primary things that distinguishes Christian believers from the many other types of moral, decent people in the world. But I think it is fair to say that humility, which is a key differentiating mark of the Christian, is largely missing in the church. Nonbelievers, detecting the stench of sanctimony, turn away.

Some will say, "Phariseeism and moralism are not our culture's big problems right now. Our problems are license and antinomianism. There is no need to talk about grace all the time to postmodern people." But postmodern people have been rejecting Christianity for years, thinking that it was indistinguishable from moralism. Only if you show them there's a difference--that what they rejected wasn't real Christianity--will they even begin to listen again.


This is the place where the author is supposed to come up with practical solutions. I don't have any. Here's why.

First, the problem is too big for practical solutions. The wing of the evangelical church that is most concerned about the loss of truth and about compromise is actually infamous in our culture for its self-righteousness and pride. However, there are many in our circles who, in reaction to what they perceive as arrogance, are backing away from many of the classic Protestant doctrines (such as Forensic Justification and Substitutionary Atonement) that are crucial and irreplaceable--as well as the best possible resources for humility.

Second, directly talking about practical ways to become humble, either as individuals or as communities, will always backfire. I have said that major wings of the evangelical church are wrong. So who is left? Me? Am I beginning to think only we few, we happy few, have achieved the balance that the church so needs? I think I hear Wormwood whispering in my ear, "Yes, only you can really see things clearly."

I do hope to clarify, or I wouldn't have written on the topic at all. But there is no way to begin telling people how to become humble without destroying what fragments of humility they may already possess.

Third, humility is only achieved as a byproduct of understanding, believing, and marveling in the gospel of grace. But the gospel doesn't change us in a mechanical way. Recently I heard a sociologist say that for the most part, the frameworks of meaning by which we navigate our lives are so deeply embedded in us that they operate "pre-reflectively." They don't exist only as a list of propositions, but also as themes, motives, and attitudes. When we listen to the gospel preached or meditate on it in the Scriptures, we are driving it so deeply into our hearts, imaginations, and thinking that we begin to instinctively "live out" the gospel.

So let us preach grace till humility just starts to grow in us.


Source: Christianity Today – December 2008

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Of First Importance

Sorry, I have been offline most of this year. As my space has disappeared I have put the blog on the back burner. I’ve got a lot of half finished posts to publish.

In the mean time here is a good gospel quote. I recommend you subscribe to the blog I got it from…. Of First Importance

“If we have regarded religion merely as a means of getting things — even lofty and unselfish things — then when the things that have been gotten are destroyed, our faith will fail. When loved ones are taken away, when disappointment comes and failure, when noble ambitions are set at naught, then we turn away from God. We have tried religion, we say, we have tried prayer, and it has failed. Of course it has failed! God is not content to be an instrument in our hand or a servant at our beck and call.

Has it never dawned on us that God is valuable for His own sake, that just as personal communion is the highest thing that we know on earth, so personal communion with God is the sublimest height of all? If we value God for His own sake, then the loss of other things will draw us all the closer to Him; we shall then have recourse to Him in time of trouble as to the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. If here and now we have the one inestimable gift of God’s presence and favour, then all the rest can wait till God’s good time.”

—J. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith? (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991), 73-74

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Witnessing through service

I’ve been thinking a bit about how useful Christians service (that is not overtly evangelistic) is and the importance of it. The trends are churches that focus too much on social justice and serving end up liberal on beliefs and strong on moralism. On the other hand churches that have neglected to offer opportunities to serve have ended up seeing their members disappear to the likes of Lions clubs and the Freemasons. The end result for the people that seek outside opportunities to serve can often be liberal beliefs and moralism as well.

I want to be part of a church that doesn’t turn a blind eye to these things, but where Jesus is proclaimed and worshipped at the centre. Where the people that are served come to faith in Jesus and the people that serve grow in their faith.

Has anyone any input on Christian service? I'd particularly like to focus on good models for church communities to take up? Any contributions about your experience would be great.

Some Positives of Christian Service

  • People experience God’s love and a seed of this is left
  • Good connections are made with people as genuine needs are served
  • Communities see the positive work of Christians and perceptions change
  • Some good conversations about why we’re doing it come up

Some Negatives of Christian Service

  • We never see most people again and the opportunity for gospel conversations are far and few between. Is this efficient casting of seeds?
  • If a gospel conversation isn’t had, what would make our service different from that of a Buddhist, Muslim or New Age person?
Edit: Updated to hopefully make my purpose a little clearer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Logos 4… first look

I came into uni to do some exam study yesterday and was greeted with an announcement that Logos 4 had just been released! Fortunately it took all day to download all the updated resources and index.

It was like Christmas early for me! I'm like a kid in a candy store with Logos 4. So many new features and eye candy!

Here is a preliminary look at what grabbed me:

    • It is so easy to study the Bible!
    • All these new ways to do things more efficiently.
    • Seeing more information, more easily. That new information windows is great! Easily showing definitions, parsing and translation… and more. When doing a passage search it quickly brought up related info from my resources on relevant topics for that passage. Amazing!
    • Easy data backup over the internet of all my user data.
    • Better window management including multiple monitor support.
    • Intuitive searching including auto-complete to help me with my bad spelling and speed.... this thing is FAST!
    • Great new resources at bargain basement prices in the upgrade
    • Resource prioritisation and tagging

It is waiting on a few new(old) features to be implemented, but getting it early is a great present! It will take a bit to get used to how things have changed though…

Thanks Logos for your great work in enabling me to immerse myself in the Bible that little bit more. I know the fruits will be seen in years to come wherever God takes me in ministry!

Checkout and view the video / follow the learn more!

More to come once I've done some more exam study!

About the Blog

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Welcome to my blog. I'm a follower of Jesus and in a role where I lead others as followers of Jesus. This page will record my thoughts, ideas and the rest along the way as I learn and grow. It change as God transforms me in the face of the glory of Christ! As I have time I'll put things on here that I think will be helpful in other people's Christian journeys.