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  • J. Randal Matheny 7:57 am on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , technology,   

    USA travels (photos) 

    We arrived Wednesday at the Nashville airport. Our son Joel picked us up. Before leaving the city, he wanted to lunch at Café Mineiro, a Brazilian restaurant.

    The next day I was already speaking at the FHU Lectureship on communication and technology. Our daughter studies here and Joel is a dorm dad, besides his regular day job.

    We left temps of 95ºF and were greeted by 30º weather with wind. Jet lag, language switch. All our children came to support me.

    And we’re finding time for the grandkids: (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 9:52 am on 2017-01-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spiritual security, technology   

    Spiritual security of the faithful 

    Women need a feeling of security, say many writers in the field of marriage and counseling. That observation seems to hold true in our experience. That security often means physical and financial security. Though today it’s socially anathema to say it, a woman often looks for a husband who will provide these things for her. She wants to feel protected.

    This was Naomi’s prayer for her daughters-in-law, after the death of her sons: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Ruth 1.9.

    At the same time, we all need security. Let’s first define our terms. The dictionaries give something like this: “1. freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety. 2. freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt. 3. something that protects or makes safe; defense.” No one can live on the cusp of danger. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 9:40 am on 2016-11-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , technology   

    Even under adverse conditions, the body of Christ can do much good 

    evil-society

    On some social medium, a brother whom I am not now able to identify said that we shouldn’t confuse the mess of the world—or in his instance, of the USA—with the good health of the church. His warning is appropriate, for the family of God often thrives in less than ideal circumstances. It often grows in the midst of persecution. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 3:35 pm on 2016-09-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , distraction, , technology   

    ‘Greatest threat to faith: distraction’ 

    There is much wrong with this article in particulars, but its main point is powerful. Also, excuse the two adapted paintings.

    “If the churches came to understand that the greatest threat to faith today is not hedonism but distraction, perhaps they might begin to appeal anew to a frazzled digital generation. Christian leaders seem to think that they need more distraction to counter the distraction. Their services have degenerated into emotional spasms, their spaces drowned with light and noise and locked shut throughout the day, when their darkness and silence might actually draw those whose minds and souls have grown web-weary.”

    Andrew Sullivan: My Distraction Sickness — and Yours
    http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/09/andrew-sullivan-technology-almost-killed-me.html

     
    • Eugene 7:01 am on 2016-09-22 Permalink | Reply

      Had already posted my latest article (lights, cameras, action) before I read this. Guess our minds were on the same wave-length over the last couple of days.

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:09 am on 2016-09-22 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll take that as a good sign. 🙂

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:20 am on 2016-09-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , technology   

    Disappointing technology 

    technology-empty

    Technology is a thing. Therefore, it cannot satisfy. It will ultimately disappoint. It may get you some attention, but it won’t win you love. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:34 am on 2014-11-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , technology   

    The latest and greatest will soon become the oldest and most worthless 

    While in Memphis I was convinced of taking a trip to Graceland. To be honest (and this is a non-Elvis-fan speaking here) the trip was actual worth it. I learned a lot while taking the tours and viewing all of Elvis’ past possessions and actually seeing the person Elvis Presley alongside the spectacle that he eventually became. I was also reminded about a lot of biblical lessons; one of which was the futility of trying to always have the latest and greatest stuff in life.

    While taking the tour through the vehicle museum there was one car that grabbed my attention…well there was more than one, but this car grabbed my attention because of the above reason. The car was a black limousine built by a very expensive brand. But that’s not necessarily why the car grabbed my attention. What grabbed my attention was the technology that the car came with: a phone and a TV. Sure these things were the latest and greatest in Elvis’ heyday, but by today’s standards that technology is the oldest and most worthless forms of what’s available. I even pointed out to my daughter how the screen on the tablet that she plays with was larger than the TV screen that the “king of rock-n-roll” used to watch. How about that? Do you see the point? A three-year-old child of today (whose parents have nowhere near the budget of Elvis, to put it in a non-cruel manner) is able walk around with something that is head and shoulders above anything that Lisa Presley ever had during her childhood of yesterday.

    Perhaps there really is something in that lesson from the land of grace (I’m talking Heaven here) after all. And I think that something is something to think about while we chase the cheese in the ole’ rat race.

    And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” (Luke 12:15)

     
    • James 9:26 am on 2014-11-04 Permalink | Reply

      Though I can’t find it now, I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Never be the first to try a new thing nor the last to give up the old.” Moderation is a good thing in practically every area of life. Maybe it was from Poor Richard’s Almanac

  • J. Randal Matheny 12:28 pm on 2014-08-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , early adopters, , , technology   

    Don't be the first, or you might lose something important 

    An old saying warns us not to be the first to adopt a new technology or style, nor be the last to abandon it. There seems to be wisdom here, and a recent experience confirmed it. I cannot save new posts in WordPress’s new dashboard. I just lost most of an article there, after composing it in that software.

    Perhaps my aged operating system and browser are not up to date on the technology behind the new system. Is it my fault or WordPress’s that they’ve adopted requirements that some of the millions who use their service do not possess? (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 1:43 pm on 2014-08-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , technology   

    If you don't keep up, you can't operate 

    stay-up-to-dateIf you don’t keep up, you can’t operate. So I get a notice from Skype when I tried to log in this morning, in order to wish my mother a happy birthday, and the service wouldn’t let me connect. It told me to go get the latest OS X (Mac operating system) and update my Skype software. New hardware, new software, you have to stay up to date, or lose out.

    A few days ago, I clicked to open what was supposedly a super-spiffy Bible site. It told me to go update my system and then come back. Well! Imagine that! In order to read their material (the Bible, yet), I had to have up-to-the-minute software. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:00 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: preaching tool, product review, , technology,   

    Tech Review 

    Am I a techie? No way. But I deal with technology (at least what some would consider tech) quite a bit with my “day job” and even when it comes to preaching. When it comes to tech, if it’s useful I think it should be used.

    My latest tech experience with the new Window’s Tablet called “Surface” has been less than enjoyable. My wife and in-laws got it for me as a surprise because I expressed some interest in it while seeing the TV commercials. The price (which is way more affordable than Apple products) and the connectivity with Window products/programs such as Word (which is what I have done all my sermon outlines on) made the Surface an attractive piece of tech to me personally. After all, being able to type up my sermon outlines outside of my office, being able save paper by using a digital copy of my outline and at the same time being able to have a Bible app on the same device made everything seem like a win-win! Unfortunately it really hasn’t been.

    For anyone who is used to using Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad, figuring out the layout and functionality of the Surface is not a very user-friendly task. The Surface uses a very odd and an almost seemingly unorthodox mixture of apps, tablet and PC functionality that makes the device feel like it’s full of oil and water – if you get what I’m saying. Instead of a couple “clicks” to get where you need to be, often times, especially when you’re dealing with the Word program and PDFs, it takes a few clicks and a couple of turns in multiple directions to get where you need to be. To those who aren’t familiar with an Apple product this may sound like nothing, but let me put it like this – my two-year old (literally 2 years old) had the functionality of an iPhone (which is practically the same as an iPad tablet) down in no time…this isn’t going to happen with the Surface. One top of that, I have found that the apps (particularly the ones dealing with the Bible) in the Window’s store are woefully lacking compared to the ones that are found in Apple’s iStore. And for those of you who like being able to connect to the Internet via ways other than Wi-Fi the Surface is not for you.

    The only positive thing(s) that I can say about the Surface is that it is cheaper, and that I do like being able to automatically have every outline that I have ever written at my finger tips due to the heavy dependence upon Microsoft Word without having to go through the whole download rigmarole that would be necessary on other devices. Once you convert the outline to a PDF you’re ready to go; although the text size on the screen may be an issue with some.

    Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, when it comes Microsoft’s Surface and my experience – I give it a 1 1/2.

    P.S. – this review in no way reflects upon the thoughtfulness and love of my family; I’m blessed beyond measure in that area 🙂

    • See comments for another positive that can be said about the Surface tablet
     
    • James Randal 7:20 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink | Reply

      LibreOffice/OpenOffice will open all MS Word documents easily and quicky.

      • Eugene Adkins 7:25 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink | Reply

        Good to know.

        I should have mentioned this in the review, but probably the biggest strength of the Surface in comparison to the Apple products is that it has a USB port (something that is not available on Apple products, as you know). Thus literally creating an instant access to files stored on any other device with a USB outlet. This allows a person to sidestep emailing his or her self every file or having to place everything in a cloud somewhere.

        • James Randal 7:37 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink | Reply

          Huh? My MacBook has a USB port. I use a pen drive all the time.

          • Eugene Adkins 7:51 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink | Reply

            I was referencing the iPad and its different versions that are available

            • James Randal 8:06 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink

              Ah, gotcha. They don’t have USB? Seems not to be a positive thing. Wonder why that decision …

            • Eugene Adkins 8:20 am on 2014-01-21 Permalink

              Don’t know the technical answer, but I always figured it was security related. The Surface also has a plug-in for a printer which avoids the wireless route if you don’t have a printer capable of Wi-Fi. This is something lacking on the iPad as well.

  • Eugene Adkins 5:13 am on 2013-09-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christian podcast, , , technology   

    Looking for feedback with possible new Podcast from Jared Jackson 

    Jared Jackson, of the Christian Courier, is considering putting together a new podcast but first he’s “checking out the water” with a survey to see how much interest there is.

    I’m sure he would appreciate any and all feedback that might be found here in TFR.

    You can take the quick survey, if you like, by clicking here.

    Thanks!

    P.S. You don’t necessarily have to equipment like an iPhone to get a podcast. Many times your home computer with a media player will work.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:41 am on 2013-09-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Rupert Murdoch, , technology, Yacht   

    That’s So Yesterday! 

    I watched a news story yesterday that said Rupert Murdoch was selling his yacht for a sum total in the neighborhood of 30 million dollars. That’s 30,000,000 big time bucks! It’s actually on the market for 29,700,000 big time bucks, but who’s counting other than Mr. Murdoch and whoever is going to buy it?

    As the anchorwoman continued the story she mentioned that the yacht came with jet skis, a boat, contains a formal dining area, a Jacuzzi, and other luxurious amenities that justified the hefty price tag.

    Well, besides the fact that I could only affect the last three zeros in the price tag, I would have still been interested if it wasn’t for one thing – the anchorwoman said the yacht was filled with plasma screen TV’s and, as I told my wife, plasma screen TV’s are so yesterday! I mean who wants to pay almost 30 million dollars for such an out-of-date boat!?

    To me the story was another example of how futile it is to always try to be up-to-date according to the world’s standards for such a standard never sits still, and whatever is hailed as the fashion, as the investment, as the star or as the technology of tomorrow will one day be described with the word yesterday!

    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 – NKJV)

    Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 – NKJV)

    Related Article:

     
    • John Henson 12:49 pm on 2013-09-10 Permalink | Reply

      My yacht is much less expensive. It’s a catamaran, sitting on six 55-gallon drums. I had to empty them myself. (Just kidding.)

      According to one report, Mr. Murdock has not really enjoyed his ship very often. Guess his divorce has something to do with selling it, too.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:26 am on 2013-09-11 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, I’d say in this case the figurative saying about needing a “boat load of money” became a literal one by the time the divorce papers got signed.

        I think the price also puts a whole new spin on the saying about boats – they’re nothing but money pits!

  • Eugene Adkins 6:13 pm on 2013-07-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MP3, technology   

    MP3 Bible? 

    Does anyone know of a website where a MP3 file of the Bible (both NT and OT) can be downloaded for a basic MP3 player…at no cost?

    I know there are plenty of free apps for iPods and phones and other “smart” tech of various models, but what about an “old-fashioned” MP3 player?

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

     
    • Richard Mansel 8:05 pm on 2013-07-31 Permalink | Reply

      I downloaded a digital copy of the entire Bible from Audible. It’s 60 hours of audio. I listened to it twice last year and once so far this year. I highly recommend it. I’ve listened to the NT 40+ times over the years.

    • Loy Pressley 5:56 am on 2013-08-01 Permalink | Reply

      Not sure that anyone replied to you.

      Go to Google and enter “MP3 Bible” and several sources for free MP3 downloads will appear.

      Loy

      • Eugene Adkins 6:18 am on 2013-08-01 Permalink | Reply

        Morning, Loy. I was eventually going to break down and try that avenue. I just didn’t know if anyone already knew of a reputable website that was safe to download from. Thanks for your help.

    • Loy Pressley 9:35 am on 2013-08-01 Permalink | Reply

      You all are way more wired than me, I guess. Out here in the dairy land of east Texas we know all about them green grasses that feed cows and make hay, but we barely get an internet connection, much less something that would support an iphone or android. Besides, my fingers are far too fat to work those little bitty keys

      Loy

  • Eugene Adkins 6:41 am on 2013-04-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , technology,   

    Random Thoughts 

    I watched the final episode of The History’s Channels “The Bible” last night. In my humble opinion, which is based upon what a person would actually read in the Bible, the further into the Bible the show got, the worse it got! There were a couple of moments that were done really well last night, but for the most part it seemed as if the directors, producers, actors or whomever, had decided that there wasn’t much point in following what the Bible actually says and instead decided to follow what they think the Bible says or what they think it should say. This is so very unfortunate because the TV show that was supposedly meant to educate people has only added to the growing sources of biblical ignorance that are so readily available…goes to show you that there’s more than more way to waste millions of dollars on error.

    I got an email this weekend about a product called the TV Guardian. Does anyone know much or anything about this product? The makers/sellers claim that it has the ability to filter out foul language from TV shows and movies. I talked to one brother who’s in the satellite business and he said that he had seen them before but he wasn’t really able to give me a thumb’s up or down. If you know anything about the product, speak up because if it does 90% of what it claims I think it would be worth the money.

    Have you ever thought about how God not only sees what we do during the day, but that He also sees what we dream at night?

    I saw a member of the catholic “hierarchy” get interviewed on CBS’ Sunday Morning yesterday. I hope they realize there’s a difference in “hierarchy” and “heirarchy.” They have one, but they don’t have the other! I also heard the man push the false catholic notion that the church “moved” from Jerusalem to Rome. Of course the church moved to Rome, just like it moved to Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, etc. Now what the man meant is that the “mother” church moved from Jerusalem to Sinai…I mean Rome. The Christians in Galatia were reminded about the origins of the church, an origin that the catholic church can’t lay claim to (Galatians 4:21-26). And by the way, may we never forget that the church has only one Head, and the Head of the church sits upon His throne in Heaven because He carried a wooden cross to victory – not a gold one (Colossians 1:18, Acts 2:29-36).

     
    • Galt Church of Christ 6:54 am on 2013-04-01 Permalink | Reply

      The tv guardian does work most of the time, but not always. However, I ditched it years ago. The shows which include vulgarity are not worth my time – even if I don’t have to ‘hear’ the words. The ideas and violence, are still all there. Save your money and just avoid all shows that have questionable content.

      • Eugene Adkins 7:17 am on 2013-04-01 Permalink | Reply

        I am particularly picky of what shows I and my family watch, but there are times when a devise like this could be useful I believe. I don’t know of very many shows, save something like Jeopardy, that doesn’t have questionable content whether it be blatant or suggestive in nature. For example, the History Channel’s “The Bible” got a lot of things wrong about the Bible, but one thing that I believe it got right many times was the violence. So although it got much of the dialogue wrong, the violent content could’ve been much more graphic if they had chosen for it to be.

        I agree 100% that shows with blatantly profane and foul themes should be avoided, but there are times when TV shows (like Myth Buster’s or even American Pickers for example) are great educational shows but something like the TV Guardian could make it more enjoyable and palatable to watch.

        Thanks for the advice on the product.

        • Stephen R. Bradd 10:52 am on 2013-04-01 Permalink | Reply

          I’ve owned 2 TV Guardians for about 10 years or so. I still like them very much. TVG is as perfect as the closed captioning feed is. We leave ours on the strictest setting (except when watching religious videos, where it continually mutes “Jesus Christ”, etc.). There are a number of “decent” movies out there (PG) that contain some level of profanity. TVG takes care of it beautifully. It can be set to mute the volume for the sentence containing the bad words AND it can be set to display an alternative phrase on screen simultaneously. I’m sure the versions they are selling now are different than the old ones I own, but I highly recommend them for any Christian family.

          As a side note, I used to own some Clear Play DVD players as well. The concept was great but the players never held up very long. I was very disappointed.

  • Eugene Adkins 2:43 pm on 2013-03-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Smartphone, technology   

    Guest Article: iPhones or iDols? 

    The following article is by Josh Gulley. Josh is the son of preacher man, a high school music teacher and member of the church in the same county that I live in, but he’s not a member at Keltonburg…hey, everyone has to have a flaw or two 🙂 Hope you find his words of warning helpful:

    iPhones or iDols?

    Cell phones can be wonderful tools. They have made the world smaller by allowing us to communicate more quickly and conveniently than has ever been possible. Using smartphone technology we can do almost anything, from paying our bills to controlling the lighting and air conditioning in our home while we’re not there. It has made life much easier—no longer must we waste all that energy opening the door or peeking out the window to check the weather: we can do that with just a few touches of the screen. Jesting aside, they have become a useful addition to our lives, and I imagine that there are some children of God who have (as I suppose we should) given Him thanks for the blessings cellular technology has brought to our lives.

    As with every other good thing, however, cell phones can grow on us like warts. Days and weeks pass before we realize that we are touch-screening our lives away. Some of us have perhaps had the experience of turning around and driving miles back to our homes because we were almost to our destination when we realized our phone was not on our person. We feel like the earth’s rotation will stop if we are without our phones for an hour or two. At some point we cease using our phones because our phones are beginning to use us.

    I personally do not have a smartphone (yet), but I know the description above can be true based on simple observation and experiences with other technology. As a teacher in a public school, I constantly have to remind students to put their phones away. If I do this at the beginning of class, within two or three minutes of giving that direction I will see somebody holding their book in just such a way to hide their phone from my sight. I am afraid some of them are drifting into a world where they depend on having that gadget in their hand the way we as humans depend on food and shelter. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 5:52 am on 2013-01-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , technology,   

    Nudge: What Do You Know About The “Tech”nical Gospel? 

    I have some tech questions:

    Does anyone know of any good, free Bible related apps?

    Also, do you know of any apps (and things like podcasts) that are put out by the brotherhood?

    If you have found one (or several) to be particularly useful in your studies, share what you know.

     
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