Sunday, December 21, 2008

Recovering nicely

Well, Denita snapped back so quickly that we were able to head home yesterday afternoon!

We are starting to settle into the routine of things (Zane gets back today, so that will make things a tad busier).

A big THANK YOU to all of you who have passed on their congratulations. We appreciate the outpouring of love and kindness we have been receiving.

May all of you have a wonderful Christmas, and check back every now and again and we should have some more pictures.

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Pictures!



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First Pictures!




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Damn, that was QUICK!

Well, Tabitha decided that she did not want to wait for the "eviction notice".

Denita's water broke at 1am and we were at the hospital by 1:45am.

After just 4 hours of labor, Tabitha arrived at 5:20am weighing 8lbs. 9oz. and was 20.5in long.

Both Denita and Tabitha are fine. Tabitha came out a bit bruised, she started heading out face first but is healthy and fussy (she does not like the fact that her spa got drained without her permission.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Calm before the Storm

I had meant to post the latest picture of Tabitha much earlier than this, but things have been hectic/crazy around here as of late. Trying to get all of the prep work at home getting the house ready for Tabitha, dealing with two unplanned hospital visits (one for Zane and a massive asthma attack [he's doing fine, don't worry] and the other for heart palpitations with Denita [don't worry, she and Tabitha were fine]) and all the other things life brings has kept me a bit busy.

So before things get any more crazy, here is the latest Tabitha picture:


You just have to marvel at modern technology. Thank you God for gifting people with the smarts to figure out how to do this.

Things should be much more interesting for the family by this time tomorrow. We head in to Austin to the hospital at 5:30am Friday if Tabitha has not made an appearance by then, so labor can be induced. Denita's been in a lot of pelvis pain (nothing to worry about, just signs pointing to the fact that due to her age, Tabitha will probably be her last child through the natural process) and in case of any unforeseen complications everyone feels that it would be safer for all involved to take care of things before the hospital goes to a low-staff schedule for the holidays.

I'll have cameras and the laptop with me, so if the hospital is WiFi equiped, we might liveblog for a bit. Else, expect an update Sunday or Monday depending on when she's released from the hospital and how everyone is feeling.

Until then, MERRY CHRISTMAS! And remember, Christmas is not at all about the gifts we give and it certainly is not about a fat guy in a red suit, it's about the greatest gift ever given... the fulfilled Promise of God through Christ Jesus.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things will be quiet for awhile

Ever since coming to Christ last year, I have been pouring myself into studying God's Word. Drowning myself in the Word has been surprisingly easy for me... or so I thought.

In the past few months one thing has become clearer to me and has become a burden I want and need to rid myself of.

This burden is the knowledge that Christ is not sufficient for me currently... Each day I become more and more aware of the fact that there are unnecessary things that I still feel controlling me. I get these feelings that I need, or worse, HAVE to do something to be happy. These are idolatrous hooks of my past life that I must nail to the Cross, lest they rise up and consume me.

These warring idols in my life mostly relate to entertainment that takes up too much of my thoughts and time. The deeper I dive into the Living Water, the more I realize that my time is NOT mine, it belongs to Christ. He has bought me with a price, and it is time that I start following him instead of salivating like a trained dog when something "cool and geeky" comes my way.

So, you may ask, what does this all mean?

Well, for a season, it means some spiritual fasting for me. This is going to be extremely difficult, but it is something Christ is calling me to do. What he has called me to do is to give up all of my entertainment for awhile... every bit of it.

Starting on October 31st (What better day than Reformation Day to start?) I will only rely on God's Word for satisfying those needs for "entertainment" that I feel. I am vowing to search out the hooks of idolatry in my heart that remove Christ from his rightful place in my life. Until I travel from start to finish in the Bible and Christ turns these "needs" into just things I can do, free from any feelings of compulsion, I will be parting ways with all of my other books, my websurfing (blog posting included), my music, my games and anything else I just "occupy time" with.

The only exceptions will be a once daily check of email (in case family and friends are trying to contact me), Tabitha updates here and time spent with Zane. This is a personal fast and it would be wrong to force this upon Zane.

Denita has also agreed to join me in this, so please be in prayer for her as well. This will be a difficult trial, but both of us believe that this is needed for our spiritual health.

For those interested, here are some passages that have been weighing upon me that turned my thoughts to this fast: Luke 14:25-35, Matthew 6:19-24, Romans 6:1-23, Romans 8:12-17, Romans 12:1-21, James 1:19-27, James 3:1-18, James 4:1-12, Ephesians 4:17-32, Philippians 3:17-21

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sometimes Morbid Curiosity Should NOT be Indulged

Being a kid of the 80's, I hate to admit it, but I was a fan of some horrible TV shows.

When I heard that a moldy-oldie was being re-made, I thought it could not manage to be as cheesy/bad as the original was.

Boy was I ever wrong. I never thought I would say this... but BRING BACK THE HASSELHOFF! I'll take the horrible hair... At least the original had a few plots that could be followed. Who is writing this drivel????

I really don't get how this piece of horribly acted and filmed crap is getting 4 stars on Hulu... it boggles the mind. It really says something when I am longing for the 80's again.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

More Free Resources

When will the free resources stop?!? My poor laptop cannot handle much more and a larger HD is out of the picture right now.

For those who might be interested, I ran across another Original Language study page.

You have to sign up for an account, but it's free and will allow you to save personal notes to go along with your studies. This will be a great way to continue my studies while at work.

The "Listen to this Chapter" feature contained a wonderful surprise... links to a free, downloadable Audio Greek New Testament!

John Simon (from Austin, TX) has been recording the Greek New Testament, Latin Vulgate and part of the Hebrew Old Testament and is offering them as free downloads (MP3s encoded to 160 kbps). has the GNT either as individual files or one whopping 1.2 GB file through the "Listen to this Chapter" feature (Acts 21-28 are missing).

John's site has the missing chapters from Acts (except for 28, it is still a work in progress), plus the Latin and Hebrew files.

To make room on my iPod and computer, I downgraded the encoding to 32 kbps AAC and it still sounds great (and takes up less than 1/5 the space).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I just HAD to share this one!

Being geeks, we enjoy all things "Old School" Star Wars (don't get me started on any of the newer crap). A webcomic we visit regularly recently had a VERY cool joke on the Empire Strikes Back, and the author was kind enough to post the last panel as a wallpaper.


My inner-geek would not allow this great picture to languish alone in the web, and it commanded me to grace the laptop with it's "Butt-Slapping Awesomeness" (maybe it was just a "Jedi mindtrick").

The humor apparently was just starting with this image though... It looked great on the laptop, and then Denita borrowed the computer and when I rebooted, I came back to see this:

The placement for Digsby could not have been more perfect if I had tried. Denita almost fell over laughing when she saw this!

Thanks O, for a great comic!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Say Hello to the Kiddos

Yea! Denita was able to find the new sonogram pictures of Tabitha! So here is the first one:

Thought I'd throw in a newer picture of the Zane-Monster as well.
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Further details and pictures to come...

Questions from the Mirror

Christian, when does the watering down of medicine become poison?

There is but one medicine that everyone in this fallen world needs, the Gospel given to us by Jesus Christ. This Good News allows us to be reconciled to a Holy God we have infinitely offended with our sins.

There are too many "teachers" these days who present God and Christ through the lens of "feeling", rather than from the truths of the Bible.

Christian, are you willing to contend for the Gospel (Jude 3-16), or will you sit still while Satan blinds pharmacist after pharmacist, diluting the message of the blood of Christ, until it is as useful as Kool-Aid for salvation and reconciliation?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Analog issues

I know I promised pictures and an update on the baby, but the ultrasound pictures have disappeared.

So, until the new pictures show back up (or we get some of those cooly-cool "4D" pictures), I present you with the same picture as before, but with a twist...


Everyone, meet Tabitha Charis [insert last name here]!

Hopefully the newer pictures will surface soon (we have no clue what happened to them). In them you would be able to see that she has her daddy's chin and apparently her daddy's legs as well. Even the doctor was commenting on how long her legs were.

Zane was upset about not having a baby brother. He looked at us when we first told him Denita was pregnant and stated, "You WILL have a boy, and his name WILL be Max". He then spent about two months telling stories about how he and Max would play together. After a little talk, he got over his disappointment and agreed to being the protective big brother to a little sister (no bad BioShock jokes please).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And Now I Shall Rant


Sorry... it's been one of those weeks at work.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We Really Hate Rap Music...normally

But Denita and I cannot help but really LIKE this guy's albums!

Start with "The Long Road Home" and then listen to "Here I Stand".

Reformation Rap.... never thought I would ever hear something like this.

More tracks can be heard here.

If you like, you can pick up "Progression" on iTunes or from Sovereign Grace Ministries. "The Process of the Pardon" can be ordered from Sovereign Grace Ministries as well (no iTunes in this one)

Thanks to Tony Reinke for posting on this!

December 21st Update 2

I must ask your pardon. I need a bit more time to get the latest sonogram pictures ready for posting. Until then, I must ask you to wait a little longer to find out if Zane is going to have a baby sister or brother for Christmas.

Family members who already know, please don't spoil the suprise in the comments.

Monday, July 21, 2008

December 21st Update

Well, Denita and the squirming one are both doing fine. Everyone passed the genetic screenings without any hiccups so no HUGE needle will have to go anywhere near them.

Denita heads in on August 7th for another sonagram, and we should know if Zane will have a brother or sister then.

Denita's been a trooper. She has had more fatigue issues this time around (having the living room and kitchen on the second floor "helps" a lot), but otherwise is much healthier than she was carrying Zane. She's been safely loosing her excess weight, and has just now passed her original weight before the pregnancy.

I'll post more updates as they come.

Friday, June 13, 2008

December 21st, 2008


OK, I'll admit it... We are already peeking in the package to look at our Christmas Gift!

The quality is a bit fuzzy since I have still not found the power "brick" to the scanner, so I had to use the Shaky-Cam™ method.

The little one was dancing like the gopher at the end of Caddy Shack. So, until gender is determined, the baby's nickname is "Gopher" or "Scooter" (Muppet Show reference).

Denita and the little one are at the 12-13 week mark and Zane is through the roof with excitement. He insists that the little one is a boy, and will be named Max! Right now the only way he will accept the possibility of a little sister is twins...
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Monday, June 09, 2008

The Curious Nature of the Human Ego

or Observations of Fallen Man's Obsession With an Incorrect View of Free Will Fashioned from the Fallacy That Our Choices are Not Affected by the Fall.

Sorry, feeling a bit like a Puritan writer with the title.

Having a Lutheran upbringing with a little Presbyterian thrown in, there are some times when even though my upbringing was not strong in the faith, I find myself in a bit of "culture shock" at the little Baptist church that God has called us to (especially since I find myself agreeing with around 99% of the "reformed" views).

This is a "basic" Baptist congregation, ie.: Not Southern Baptist nor Reformed Baptist. That being the case, there are quite a few people in the church who have a much different view on "free will" and salvation.

With the studying I have been doing, I have to agree wholly with the reformers that we are chosen by God, for His own reasons. The "elect" have no consultation, no choice in conversion. It is all God, changing our stone hearts into hearts of flesh. Being dead in sin before this regeneration, our "free will" knew and wanted nothing of God (for those who have issues with this summary, please study the book of Romans before writing any screeds in the comments).

Now many at our church believe that the "elect" are given a choice, that they have a say-so in their conversion. Where the "culture shock" comes in is the fact that in one breath they say they have a choice in their conversion, and in the next breath, they firmly declare that no one has the power to convert others through teaching or preaching the Word of God, only God can convert someone.

The first time I encountered this, it took every ounce of willpower God would give me to keep my jaw from hitting the floor. Giving God full credit for someone else's conversion but holding onto some amount of control over their own conversion just makes my head hurt.

I take great comfort in God's promises and in the example of Bethlehem Baptist Church (pastored by John Piper) that after ten years of steady work by God, doctrine that was even more jacked up than what is found in our church was corrected.

The Truth cannot be completely snuffed out, for there is no stopping God's plans. We just need to learn to trust, and wait on God.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Questions from the Mirror

Christian, do you speak about the Gospel to others because you feel you are required to, or is it because you "cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).

If you do not want to speak of the Gospel to others, than you may wish to examine your heart, for it is not "Good News" to you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reading List

Just felt like sharing my current, recent and upcoming reading lists:


What Jesus Demands from the World
by John Piper

Read more about this book...
A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life
by John Piper

Read more about this book...
The Holiness of God
by R. C. Sproul

Read more about this book...
Christian Doctrine
by Shirley C. Guthrie

Read more about this book...

(I am not enjoying this last one at all. The author claims to be Reformed, but leans too far towards "liberal theology" in some areas when I compare to Scripture. I'm continuing through this one just to keep testing my understanding of Scripture.)

Recent and recommended:

Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus
by John MacArthur

Read more about this book...
The Cross of Christ
by John R. W. Stott

Read more about this book...
The Truth of the Cross
by R. C. Sproul

Read more about this book...
Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God
by Voddie T. Baucham Jr.

Read more about this book...
The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World

Read more about this book...
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
by John Piper

Read more about this book...
The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God
by John Piper

Read more about this book...
Future Grace
by John Piper

Read more about this book...

Upcoming reads:

Systematic Theology - (3-Volume Set)
by Charles Hodge

Read more about this book...
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
by D. A. Carson

Read more about this book...
Word Studies in the Greek New Testament (4 volume set)
by Kenneth S. Wuest

Read more about this book...
The Religious Affections (The Works of Jonathan Edwards)
by Jonathan Edwards

Read more about this book...
Institutes of the Christian Religion
by John Calvin

Read more about this book...
Christian Theology,
by Millard J. Erickson

Read more about this book...
The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations
by Michael W. Holmes

Read more about this book...
The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions
by Bruce M. Metzger

Read more about this book...

Wish List:

The Works of Jonathan Edwards
by Jonathan Edwards

Read more about this book...
Spurgeon's Sermons (5 Vol. Set)
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read more about this book...
Humility: True Greatness
by C. J. Mahaney

Read more about this book...
Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
by C.J. Mahaney

Read more about this book...
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World
by C.J. Mahaney

Read more about this book...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Questions from the Mirror

Christian, what have you done in this world because of Jesus the Christ?

Most people ask this question the wrong way.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Questions from the Mirror

Christian, what gives you the right to be arrogant and proud when God lowered Himself to the position of servant?

John 1:9-14

Matthew 20:28 / Mark 10:45

John 13:1-20

Words to learn and understand:

1247 διακονέω [diakoneo /dee·ak·on·eh·o/]

1398 δουλεύω [douleuo /dool·yoo·o/]

3000 λατρεύω [latreuo /lat·ryoo·o/]

5256 ὑπηρετέω [hupereteo /hoop·ay·ret·eh·o/]

Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G1247). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Fun with JavaScript

Well, more like "Fun with someone else's JavaScript code"

For those of you who are NOT running NoScript, or have cleared WTTF in NoScript you may have noticed a new feature in posts containing scripture links. A little popup window shows up with the scripture reference when you hover your cursor over it (if you allow JavaScripts that is). There is also a little "L" icon after the scripture link that will open the passage in Libronix if you happen to have it installed on your computer.

Example: John 1:1-5

Thanks to the Libronix folks for putting out the Bible Reference Tagger!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ah, non-destructive Linux fun

Being the tech geek that I am, I find myself constantly driving Denita nuts by tinkering with the computers at home.

One of my favorite things to do is mess around with is other O/Ses (Linux being one of my favorite to play with). Unfortunately, Vista does not often play well with dual-booting.

It seems that Micro$oft decided to completely change the boot/MBR files for Vista, making it a pain to setup dual-boots when Vista is already installed. This has seriously limited my tinkering fun... until earlier yesterday.

I ran across a video (bad me, I did not save the link) through Stumbleupon that took me to the Wubi website.

This little gem of a program makes installing Linux about as easy as it gets. You don't have to mess with setting up partitions, Wubi sets up Linux in a virtual drive on your standard Windows drive. You don't get the speed hit you can sometimes get running under virtualization software (such as VMWare) because the virtual drive is accessed at boot by Linux like a regular drive instead of running under Windows. Wubi also sets up a dual-boot menu through Windows so you don't have to even bother with boot loader program like GRUB.

However, Wubi is NOT for those who lack a high-speed internet connection. The install process downloads a Linux install CD-ISO and then quickly sets up the OS for you. The process is many times faster than a standard install from a CD. In fact, you should be up and running in Linux in about ten to fifteen minutes, after the ISO downloads.

You are limited to the Ubuntu flavored distributions however. Several build versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu are available at this time, and it is just a matter of selecting which one you want during installation (and no, for the uber-geek, Wubi does not support simultaneous installs of multiple distros).

In all the time I have kicked around O/Ses, this has to be the smoothest installer I have ever used. All you need is a minimum of about 5 GB of free space on your drive, and you are good to go.

For those of you who have been curious about Linux, but did not want to hassle with setting up partitions, this is a great route to take. Note, that Wubi IS beta software. Be sure to backup anything important before using it.

Also, if you have multiple systems with the same hardware configuration, you can just copy over the virtual drive file and not have to spend any extra time patching and installing beyond the base install. On top of the ease of installation, you can uninstall Linux through the Wubi uninstall program.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Starting a new feature

With all of the changes recently in the TwoDragons household, bloging has been light. There really has not been enough free time to sit and work out a lengthy post. However an idea struck me the other day of short posts I could make, that were relevant to the changes we have been going through.

I'm having a fascinating time digging deeply into the Bible these days and I have been finding myself constantly examining my life and questioning many things within myself and I felt like sharing some of these.

The format I plan on using is a simple question and answer style, similar to a catechism. I know AJ will probably have a field day with some of these.

So without further delay, I give you:

Questions from the Mirror

I found myself asking this recently, "How do you use your soapbox?"

Before my change of heart, I would honestly say that I used it frequently as a perch, from which to stand above others to display my knowledge. I was driven by a desire to make sure that people did not think of me as mentally deficient in any way.

Now that I have begun to understand the truths within the Word of God, I have been trying to put that box to its proper use... to hold supplies I or someone else might need.

I am still quite opinionated, but with God's help, I will learn when my opinions do not matter in the slightest.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I'm Geeking Out here!

For those of you who know us, TV is NOT an important part of our lives. In fact we haven't really watched TV since Zane was born.

But I do have a weakness for old TV shows, and I had no idea that CBS had done anything remotely as cool as this online...

Star Trek

Twilight Zone

Thank you Ars Technica for posting on this!

And now for the Online Resources

My last post bombarded you with the software resources I've been using. Now I think I'll pass on several of the online resources I have been using as well.

  1. Audio Podcasts
    1. Ask Pastor John
    2. Covenant Life Church*
    3. Desiring God Radio
    4. Desiring God Sermon Audio
    5. Let My People Think
    6. Mars Hill Church Sermon Audio*
    7. Mars Hill Church: Preaching and Teaching*
    8. Renewing Your Mind
    9. Resurgence featured audio*
    10. Truth for Life Broadcasts*
    11. The Village Church - Sermon Audio*
  2. Websites
    1. Ligonier Ministries
    2. Desiring God
    3. Mars Hill Church
    4. Christian Classics Ethereal Library
    5. Sovereign Grace Ministries
    6. Bible Gateway
    7. The Resurgence
    8. The Resurgence Greek Project

*denotes iTunes Podcast

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not Dead, just Reading

Man, I've had to use the "not dead" header too many times around here.

But seriously, I've been spending as much time as possible reading and studying and have not had much "free" time. I wanted to break the silence by sharing some of the programs I have been using to help with my studies, in case any of you might be interested in them.

First off, the freebie e-Sword. This little gem gives you access to many translations of the bible (in several languages), commentaries and lexicon resources. The one drawback is the installation scheme. You have to download and install each resource separately. For users with Windows Vista, prepare to spend a lot of time setting this program up (UAC prompt to start install, install procedure, clearing "did this program install correctly" window for each and every resource installed). Beyond the installation hassle, the interface is rather clean, but I would love an easy way to toggle the display of Strong's Numbers and morphology tags.

Second freebie, the SWORD Project. This one is very similar to e-Sword. In fact the resource list is pretty much identical. The main difference is the install scheme and the program interface. All of the resources can be downloaded and installed manually, or you can use the built-in Install Manager to download the files you want. Makes for an easier install (if your connection to their FTP server does not stall, I have that problem on my connection). The SWORD Project also has versions for several operating systems. My favorite, for its interface, is BibleTime for KDE installs of Linux. The Windows version is a bit sloppy in the interface department in my opinion, but is still usable.

Both of these resources can give you the basics to start looking into more serious studies in the bible, such as examining the original languages. One complaint you might have is the fact that the NIV translation is missing. This is not the fault of the programs, but due to Copyright limitations. You can, however, purchase the NIV for these programs.

Now, if you are wanting to get deeper into studying the bible, there are two main programs that I use, BibleWorks 7 and the Libronix Digital Library System.

BibleWorks gives you a great number of resources in which to study the original language versions of the bible. There are Hebrew and Greek resources available so you can pick apart the original material to your heart's content. One word of warning though. The lexicons included are very good, but they are only abridged versions. If you want the full, unabridged lexicons you will have to purchase them separately.

For taking apart the original texts, BibleWorks shines once you get used to the layout and interface. Its main drawback is the fact that it is really only good for bible analysis. If you want to include more diverse sources for study, you cannot really do this within just the BibleWorks program.

This is where the Libronix Digital Library System shines. The LDLS allows you to use the program as an actual library, combining several diverse sources together for studying. Heading over to the Logos website (Libronix is the software, Logos handles the "books" of the library) you can browse through a large selection of "books". You can buy boxed sets (such as the various Logos 3 products), along with individual books.

The main drawback to going the Logos route is the fact that most of the books cost the same amount as the printed versions. The searchability of these electronic versions is wonderful, but I question the pricing, considering the lack of printing costs. The Logos 3 boxed libraries are a different matter entirely.

The boxed libraries can be a wonderful deal, especially if you are looking to get into deep studies on Christianity. The Scholar's Libraries (standard, silver or gold versions) contain so many books, that you would probably need a loan and a new room added to your house to have all of the printed versions. The Original Languages Library compares well to BibleWorks 7, but has a few more "teach yourself" resources for the extra $100 you will pay for it.

If you are looking into software for in depth biblical study, my advice is to take the time to seriously compare the products out there. If you are just wanting to look into the original texts and compare bible translations, BibleWorks might be the route for you. If you want to build a library over time then Logos might be the way. Both products have their strengths and weaknesses. I personally use all of the software I have mentioned here (but that route can start getting expensive quickly).