new address

As you must have noticed since you're reading this, I've moved my weblog from actionjax.addr.com to jperdue.blogspot.com. I don't have to pay 7.95/month for blogspot, and I can find other, cheaper places to host anything I need hosted online.

I have also changed my primary e-mail address to jperdue (at) gmail (dot) com. Make the necessary changes, foolios.


this weekend

For those of you interested, I'm going to be preaching this weekend at Crossroads. I'm doing the sermon at the three weekend services - Saturday at 6pm, Sunday at 9:30 and 11:15am.


flickr zeitgeist

I've known about flickr for a while but never signed up because I wasn't totally sure what it was. Basically flickr is a really easy-to-use and free way to store your photos online. It's pretty cool because you can categorize your photos, share them with who you want to, and all that. I am considering getting a paid account so I can upload with absolute impunity. Anyway it's a totally awesome site and you should all be a part of it. It's a better way to put photos up that doing this for sure. If you sign up then you can be my contact, and I can check out pictures you put up online easily, etc. It really is, in the words of Peter from the Family Guy, "freakin' sweet."

On the right I have a little zeigeist which takes random selections from the pictures I've put up there. So yeah, I like flickr a lot and you all should too and you all should sign up with it.

Also - while I'm touting online stuff - two more things.

Smartcommons.com launched around Christmastime and it has some potential as a way to link family and friends in a real way. I know there are other social software sites out there, like myspace and friendster, but Smartcommons seems like it has the most potential to be used "for good." Myspace is cool and all, but there is a lot of randomness and huge networks. My desire for Smartcommons would be to have my family and friends all signed up so we can share thoughts, pictures, plans, updates, etc with everyone and not have to send out e-mails or whatever. And you could get a whole conversation going. Say, for example, I put up some pictures from a family event. Others in the fam could come and comment on the pictures and start a conversation about it. Then we could do cool things like argue over the internet over family drama.

Anyway, take a look at it over at smartcommons.com and sign up if it's something you think looks good. I have a tendency to like gadgets/technology/software even if it's really not that useful. It just seems like it could be.


Maybe you've seen freeipods.com. Basically it's a kind of pyramid scheme site that asks you to sign up for one free offer with an affiliate (like Blockbuster Online, BMG Music, a Credit Card, etc), and get five friends to sign up for an offer. The offers are mostly of the kind that are free for the first month, and then you have to cancel them or you start to get charged. Janelle did this for her boss, signed up for the Blockbuster and it's free for the first month. It's actually useful. Anyway, once you and five friends sign up for something (and the friends use YOUR referral link), you get either a free 20G ipod, ipod Mini, or a $250 certificate to itunes.com. This site actually does work. They just make money counting on people to not cancel their free subscriptions to services, or whatever. But you could sign up for this and it would cost you nothing - you'd just have to go through the time and effort of signing up with one of the affiliates. So if I could get five of you to do that for me - then I could get a free ipod. Then you'd have to find five of your friends/family to do it, etc.

Would any of you want in on something like that? I am looking for five people that'd be willing to get me that hookup to a free ipod. Any takers? You could then get five of your friends to do so, and then get your own ipod. I've seen proof that this actually works and it's not just a ripoff - it IS a pyramid scheme-ish thing but you can get your prize and get out. Anyway I'd be your bestest friend if you said you'd sign up for me.



You don't hear me commenting much on the war in Iraq, because I know a lot of people get all up in arms about it. I did come across this article today, though, and I wanted to share it. I think there's a lot of spinning involved in the war, from both sides. It seems like the media is sellng us a lost war, where Iraq is in a hopeless chaos and our troops are stuck in a quagmire that none can escape. Here's an excerpt from the article linked, which is written by an Army officer:

The scene is repeated all too often: an attack takes place in Baghdad and the morning sounds are punctuated by a large explosion and a rising cloud of smoke. Sirens wail in the distance and photographers dash to the scene a few miles away. Within the hour, stern-faced reporters confidently stare into the camera while standing on the balcony of their tenth-floor Baghdad hotel room, their back to the city and a distant smoke plume rising behind them. More mayhem in Gotham City they intone, and just in time for the morning news. There is a transparent reason why the majority of car bombings and other major events take place before noon Baghdad-time; any later and the event would miss the start of the morning news cycle on the U.S. east coast. These terrorists aren't stupid; they know just what to do to scare the masses and when to do it. An important key to their plan is manipulation of the news media. But, at least the reporters in Iraq are gathering information and filing their stories, regardless of whether or the stories are in perspective. Much worse are the "talking heads" who sit in studios or offices back home and pontificate about how badly things are going when they never have been to Iraq and only occasionally leave Manhattan.

Almost on a daily basis, newspapers, periodicals and airwaves give us negative views about the premises for this war and its progress. It seems that everyone from politicians to pop stars are voicing their unqualified opinions on how things are going. Recently, I saw a Rolling Stone magazine and in bold print on the cover was, "Iraq on Fire; Dispatches from the Lost War." Now, will someone please tell me who at Rolling Stone or just about any other "news" outlet is qualified to make a determination as to when all is lost and it's time to throw in the towel? In reality, such flawed reporting serves only to misshape world opinion and bolster the enemy's position. Each enemy success splashed across the front pages and TV screens of the world not only emboldens them, but increases their ability to recruit more money and followers.



By and large I'm not a very stressful person, as most of you who know me will probably attest to. I don't worry a whole lot about certain things, though there are some things that make me worry. For some reason right now I am worried about how the oneeighty worship gathering is going to go tonight. We didn't have any sort of meeting last month because of all the holidays, I don't know if everyone's on the same page, etc. It makes me feel sort of uneasy.

Anyway I just share this because in a couple weeks I am giving the weekend sermons at Crossroads and I'm supposed to be talking about stress. So I want to get down my thoughts on it - and maybe hear from the three of you that read this - what stresses you out? What does stress make you feel like? What do you do when you're stressed? How do you deal with stress? If you have a couple minutes to give me your two cents on stress go ahead and leave it either in the comments section or feel free to drop me an e-mail.


God and the tsunami

On a forum I'm a part of, the Tsunami of course came up in discussion. Some people mentioned that they were curious how one could believe in an omnipotent and benevolent God in the face of such an event as this, where over 150,000 people are confirmed dead by now. Here was my answer, since it took me a while to type it today while I was at school I figured I'd share it here...

I have a hard time understanding how God could allow the Tsunami to happen. When it comes to things like rape/murder/etc you can say that those are a result of somebody's choice. When it comes to a tidal wave brought about by an earthquake...well, nobody sinfully chose for there to be an earthquake. Unless it was some secret evil genius in the depths of the earth that finally got his earthquake machine working, but let's assume that's not the case.

I have no idea how or why this sort of thing could happen but it does not, for me, contradict the concept of an omnipotent and benevolent God.

There are conflicting views within Christendom when it comes to what "God's Will" is and just how much God "ordains" to happen and how much He allows to happen. For example, many Calvinists believe that God has predestined certain people to salvation and others to His wrath, and that God controls everything that happens. I am not Calvinist and don't claim to speak for them, but I'm sure there are some people who would say "God caused the Tsunami but we can't know why."

I fall into the camp that says God "allowed" it to happen, but we can't know why. I don't think He caused the earthquake, but He could have prevented it and chose not to. I don't know why, and it's a question I asked myself as my wife and I watched the weeping survivors and stories on CNN last week. She cried and I admit I had a bit of the teary-eyes going; the human suffering is staggering.

If I were to try to explain why I think God didn't stop the earthquake I would say that perhaps He set the earth's forces in motion (plate tectonics in this case) and just lets it go. Who knows, maybe God made the earthquake smaller so the wave would kill less people? The bottom line for me here is that I have no idea and any explanation will fall short. Does that bug me? Yes it does. I want to know how God could allow such a thing. For that matter I want to know why He would allow a tornado that kills 1 person, or a rapist to commit his act. These are questions I would love to have answered. Unfortunately at present they cannot be.

That being said - the God I believe in is infinite and beyond my full understanding. I believe that He is loving, all-powerful (except for logically inconsistent things which I think we've gone over before), and all-knowing. I am willing to admit that I don't understand how a God with these qualities could allow certain things to happen - but I'm also willing to admit that my lack of understanding does not mean God is not those things. It means I don't understand, which is to be expected for some things God-related.

The best I can do is pray, ask God for some kind of understanding (contrary to popular misconception God encourages us to be honest with our questions and feelings, so it's okay to ask him "what the crap?"), and see what I can do to try to show His love to others. My faith in a good, loving God isn't based on nothing wrong happening in the world; rather it helps me to make sense of a world where bad things happen.


amusing proverbs

Here are a couple amusing things out of the book of Proverbs that I read in the past two days, proof that the Bible is truly an inspired book...

"If a man loudly blesses his neighbor in the morning, it will be taken as a curse." - Prov. 27:14 (NIV)

"A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand." - Prov. 27:15-16 (NIV)

"Better to live on the corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." - Prov. 21:9 (NIV)

Those wife comments are in no way a reflection on my wife, who is the most awesomest wife ever.



Check out this article. Funny, and it makes me feel lame.

the los angeles angels of anaheim

Apparently the Angels have changed their name. The new one is pretty long. I wonder why they'd do that.

In other sports news, I was recently made aware of a website called Dump York. The site is maintained and frequented by bitter 49er fans, who wish that the current owner, York, would sell the team because he's sending the franchise into the crapper. It details his myriad faults and failings as an NFL owner. My name is Jackson, and I endorse this website.


hey i just found out

I just read in an e-mail that Jesse is coming home from New York around January 13th. I believe he's driving home from Georgia with Melissa around that time - but the Long Dark will soon be over for those of us in Fremont.


happy new year

I'd be interested to know how many blog posts are titled "happy new year" right now. Anyway, Happy New Year to you. I did a lock-in with the youth group and it was a pretty good time. There were a few hiccups but overall it was fun. If I sound inane right now it's because I'm not sure how much sleep I've had. I slept somewhere between 1-2 hours at the lock-in, and then when I get home around 9am I had a little bit of energy and watched 2 episodes of the Alias Season 1. Janelle and I are about to finish that season on DVD. Alias is a pretty cool show, and Jack Bristow is the man.

I got a flickr account so I might start trying to post photos more often. I like how Andy posts lots of photos in his posts.