Abraham’s Advent Christmas Devotional by Lindsey Gallant

Lindsey Gallant has released her devotional Abraham’s Advent in ebook format for a token donation amount.


Click to find out more on Lindsey’s Red Letters Blog

I’m so excited to be announcing this devotional ebook and fundraiser for Preemptive Love Coalition!

Get your beautifully designed copy of the devotional Abraham’s Advent: A Stranger’s Journey to Bethlehem and Beyond. It is now available to download as a PDF or EPUB file for $2.99 (CDN).

This devotional is meant to be a humble companion as you journey through the Advent season. It follows the story of one man who learned to live within the promises of God. But it can be your story too, if you are willing to sit awhile by a Bethlehem fire.

Proceeds from this ebook are going to Preemptive Love Coalition and the amazing, life-changing work they are doing in Iraq and the Middle East. In places of darkness and desperation, they are healing hearts, waging peace, and loving anyway. Find out more here.

Find out more on Lindsey’s Red Letters Blog.

A response to GodOfEvolution.com’s As different as morning and evening: Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions

I’ve been discussing with GodOfEvolution.com’s Tyler on Facebook. In response to his article entitled As different as morning and evening: Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions:

If I may respond to your article’s claims:

(1) ‘This is the account’. The CMI article covers this is much more convincing detail than you provide. JEDP also has issues with this verse that lend to summarizing the previous text and introducing new text (all in that one verse) implying the author knows the creation account is done and a new, different account begins (logically and from the text we gather it is not an account of the same things but more details on the previous). Your claim that it asserts a distinct creation account does not have the support it needs.

(2) Shrubs vs plants and trees: You assert 2:5’s ‘shrub’ equates to 1:11’s ‘plants and trees’ but don’t say why – and you should given the extra qualifications ‘of the field’ (many translations) and the implications these plants required cultivation (‘there was no one to work the ground’). The land may have ‘produced’ all vegetation in 1:11 but not all had ‘appeared’ or ‘sprung up’. It’s amusing you disparage Batten but you fail to mention Gen 2:6 (part of the same thought) ‘but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.’ So your claim to a “more important reason” why plants are supposedly not around doesn’t hold water (couldn’t resist the pun).

(3) Creation of animals: It is perfectly congruent for (a) God to have created all animals in Gen 1:24 and for God to have created more of those animals to have Adam name them (to see God actually creating things and to discover none are like Adam), and (b) to take the text to mean that they had already been made and that God “brought” them to him which is the wording of many translations. Your claim about ‘formed’ vs ‘had formed’ lacks support. 2:7 could easily have said ‘had formed’ with the prefix “Now” rather than “Then”. Additionally, when you take the Gen 2 as more details about day 6, there’s no problem reading it either way. God did ‘form’ Adam on day 6 and/or he ‘had formed’ Adam ‘earlier’ on day 6.

(4) I will make a helper suitable for him: Correct. God still had some making to do on day 6. He still had to make Eve. As the points above show, when you view Gen 2 as a more detailed accounted of day 6, the tense of the words makes sense.

(5) “risk distorting these lessons such that the real, eternal value intended by the original authors”: I think CMI sums it up about right:

“The final word on this matter, however, should really be given to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew chapter 19, verses 4 and 5, the Lord is addressing the subject of marriage, and says: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

Notice how in the very same statement, Jesus refers to both Genesis 1 (verse 27b: ‘male and female he created them’) and Genesis 2 (verse 24: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’). Obviously, by combining both in this way, He in no way regarded them as separate, contradictory accounts.”

Jesus had no problem viewing both accounts as compatible and complementary. He even drew out ‘lessons of eternal value’ from both at once. There is also no need to abandon any actual ‘lessons of eternal value’ by viewing them as plain accounts that make sense of and build on each other.

(6) “In my view, these two snippets of ancient literature contain the essence of God’s reason for making mankind, and the relationship he desires with every man and woman who now lives.” The beauty of a plain reading of the Genesis creation, not only that it makes logical sense from the text, is that you take both historical truth *and* the theological and existential truths. Creationists don’t claim there’s only one level of understanding or one set of lessons that creation provides. You get the best of all worlds when you take God’s Word at His written word. That’s the beauty of God’s written word.

The CMI article referenced is creation.com/genesis-contradictions.

How can I give charitably? #Charity365

‘God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Acts 10:30-31

Recently, I checked off a to-do I’ve been meaning to-actually-do for some time: I added two local organizations to my charitable giving to complement my regional and international charitable giving.

I say this with some trepidation because I don’t want to attract praise for doing so–“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”–but what I do want even more is to encourage everyone to consider starting to give charitably so that we can help out those who really need it on an even bigger scale. We are wildly, fantastically rich, in all ways, in first world countries, start giving now and you will begin to see all kinds of personal benefits.

Start anywhere. Really, don’t sweat it.

It’s so easy to start. I started giving $10/month to three charities – less than one percent of my income. As I continued, and realized I could give more, I started increasing my giving and expanding the scope of those I was donating to.

This time around I want to focus on the immediate how-to because it’s so easy and so convenient and is so rewarding to know that, yes, while you are incredibly blessed in your country, you do want to help others and you are trying and you have tangible actions that show your heart is in the right place.

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James MacDonald on the Signs of the Times

James MacDonald, of Walk in the Word, interrupted his usual preaching series to spend the past two weeks on a study of current events and the prophecies of the bible concerning the last days. With all that’s gone on this year, the Oregon community college mass shooting, Russia in Syria, ISIS torturing and executing Christians and others, the Ebola outbreak of 2014 which is still ongoing in some countries in West Africa, famine and drought in Ethiopia, earthquakes in Chile and all around the world, and wars and conflict around the world, and every tragic, sorry we hear on the nightly news–this was a very timely series to remind Christians we should not only be living in view of a a good Christian life but also in view of the time we have left.


Click to watch the video


Click to watch the video

The important thing to remember about doom’s day predictions is not that it’s supposed to happen on a given day, but that it’s going to happen any day, at any moment. Live then as if you were out of time and up for account, so that in any day, in any moment, you have encouraged yourself to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” -mjg/12

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Harper On Citizenship and The Potential Consequences for Cases like Khadr’s

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper sounded an unrepentant note Friday about his Conservative government’s failed efforts to keep former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr behind bars.

Harper not backing down on Omar Khadr: He ‘pled guilty to very grave crimes, including murder’

Harper’s desire to revoke citizenship for “convicted” terrorists appears to come from a reluctance to defend and rescue Canadians abroad like Omar Khadr, Maher Arar, and others, simply in order to avoid political snafus. This selfish, unloving, and reckless abandonment of responsibility for our own citizens is reprehensible. If Harper had his way, Khadr would have been lost with little chance of reform in the American military justice system. “Khadr, now 28, pleaded guilty in October 2010 before a widely discredited military commission to five war crimes — including murder in the death of Speer, a U.S. special forces soldier. He was 15 at the time of the incident…and human rights groups have long considered him a child soldier whose treatment violated international law.”

omarkhadr2_1280You can see what kind of person Omar Khadr is now and discover the man who has been fighting for his freedom for years in the CBC documentary “Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows“.


maher-ararAnd we should never forget Maher Arar, and others, who were tortured in foreign nations and we, in part, were the ones who sent them there.

Sim Racer Copa Petrobras de Marcas by Reiza on Steam

I just came across Reiza’s Copa Petrobas de Marcas on Steam today. It’s a full-fledged, free, Game Stock Car Extreme-based/rFactor-engine-based sim racing game simulating a championship experience, something like Sector 3 Studio’s RaceRoom’s DTM Experience. Here’s a taste from Empty Box:


Lac Témiscouata – Homage to a Lost Canadian Highway Rest Stop

This is a visual tribute to a picturesque Canadian rest stop along Autoroute 20 in Quebec Canada, overlooking Lake Témiscouata . Sadly, the rest stop was literally blown out of the hills surrounding the lake when the highway was divided around 2013 or 2014. As it has been a memorable stop on many family vacations and my own drives out east I wanted to provide a place online where others can remember the area. Enjoy the memories!

Do you have photos of the rest stop before it was taken out? Please contact me as I only have photos after the highway was divided.

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Space Efficient Mysqldump Backups Using Incremental Patches

Update 2015-08-18: Boy do I feel silly! It turns out there’s a much simpler and much more robust way of doing what I’ve done with the scripts below. It turns out that, using any revision control system (eg. cvs, git, svn) that stores revisions as deltas (and most if not all do), all you need to do is copy anything into a revision control repository and commit it. Tada! The rcs takes care of the incremental part for you by its use of revision deltas (ie. patches). As a big fan of git I was hoping there was a way for it to fill this role. I had mistakenly thought that git stores whole files without diffs/deltas for every revision. This is true until git garbage collects as I found out with my Stack Overflow question: Can git use patch/diff based storage? There’s some great reading there, check it out. Simply garbage collect after adding and committing in git and you automatically get space efficient incremental backups with the bonus of the robustness and reliability of git (or whatever rcs you choose). Bonus: You can delta anything you can store in an rcs repository meaning files, binary or text, archives, images, etc. You still get the space savings! So, quite literally, my database backup is now something like this: (1) mysql dump, (2) git add dump, (3) git commit dump, (4) git gc. Simple, powerful, elegant, beautiful. As it should be!

Space Efficient Mysqldump Backups Using Incremental Patches

I’m now using Duplicity for super convenient one-liner style incremental backup commands in a simple shell script (seriously, it’s like three commands long) but what I’m missing is incremental space-savings on my database dump. Right now my mysqldump produces about a 40MB file, about 10MB compressed. It’s irked me for some time that there’s no simple way to do intra-file incremental backups. I’ve also wanted to do intra-day, not just daily, backups. Duplicity’s incremental backups allow for that but full database backups add up quickly. Well, I finally went ahead and wrote a shell script to do it and a recover script that can recover to any date in the series of backups – just like duplicity. The key was interdiff for incremental patches. Here’s how I did it…

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Far Cry 4

Update 2015-09-05: I’ve been thinking about replaying Far Cry 4 lately after having finished the game a few weeks ago. The world is just so rich and beautiful that I wish I could go back in and experience it all over again, but I feel that I’ve already seen and done the vast majority of it. I googled around for replaying and came across some decent posts, like 5 Cool Things to do After Beating Far Cry 4 and Looking back: why it’s time to return to Far Cry 2. The second article is an interesting comparison against Far Cry 2 and where the author feels we’re really lacking with 3 and 4. I tend to agree. FC2 had its problems but it got some of the more important things right. By the way, I still absolutely recommend Far Cry 4 Enhanced, a great modification allows you to play the game at a much more visceral level to get the most out of the experience. If you’ve played through Far Cry 4 once without this mod you’ll have a great time playing through again with the mod.

Update 2015-09-05 (2): Added Replay section.

Far Cry 4

I’ve just finished Far Cry 4 and, I have to say, while Ubisoft has done a lot to hurt its reputation in the past few years, the Far Cry series are consistent better-than-expected entries in their portfolio. I’ll say here and now that Far Cry 2, 3, and 4 are the best exploration games you can play these days.


farcry4-2bWhile games like Skyrim or Witcher offer massive worlds, they tend to have that RPG-style, clunky, tick-tock-based combat that really brakes the fluidity of the game. It’s a pleasure to play in a massive world like Far Cry offers with all the fluidity of a real-time FPS.

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How to Track Your Workout at the Gym as an Absolute Beginner

I started working out this spring for the first time at my local Good Life and one of the first things I knew I wanted to do was to know when I could ramp up my sets and reps. I’m a big user of the Apple iPhone Reminders app so I figured I’d put it to good use recording my workout:


But why track your workout like this? Because working out is a long-term activity. Tracking your stats in a simple, easy way like this will help remind you where you’ve been, where you’ve gotten to, and provide a clear path of improvement so you’ll be on an upward workout trend and not plateaued or even going down (how would you know without tracking)? You’ll feel good about continuous improvement and more confident because you know where you’ve come from and where you’re going.  I think most people would find tracking their workout tedious on paper or they just don’t know what workout app to use, etc. So I figured I show how it can be done with an app that most people have already.

So, what you have above is a Gym tab in the Reminders app and I simply list all my exercises in the order that I do them. I also record any pertinent settings for the machine (like Level 12 and target heart rate 150 for the bicycle). Then I record the sets and reps (“10,10,10,10” – ie. 4 sets of 10 reps each). I record the workout count (“x4”) meaning how many times I’ve done it (usually indicates once per workout). I also record the weight.

See how compact and easy it is to review your current workout when you record it like that? And it’s in the Reminders app that I use for everything else so it’s easy and convenient to use.

For the record: I’m not a licensed gym trainer, physiotherapist or doctor. The ideas in this post are from my personal experience and I hope they can help some beginners as well.

Following I’ve included some personal thoughts, recommendations and anecdotes about my experience at the gym since I’ve started. I hope it helps someone out there get started as well!

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