What would Jesus do?

The article you are about to read simply voices my opinion and not that of any existing religious group or movement (not even Deeperlife’s). Any similarities to existing groups is purely coincidental.

Last Wednesday, I did an introductory blog post on these series. The post generated a bit of controversy particularly about my reasons for not being a Christian. Initially, I wanted to go the Noktah Hitam route but I realised that would only help the already bad opinion stronger. While I’ll refrain from trying to justify my statements further, I hope this and further posts would help shed more light on my opinion.

When I was much younger, Mum got me a copy of Charles M. Sheldon’s ‘In His Steps: What would Jesus do’. The two-hundred-and-fifty-something-page book took me a while to read and turned out to be one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever read. It talked about a group of people who vowed to always ask themselves if what Jesus would do if he were in their position and not do otherwise. What these individuals did not realize early enough was that this was a life-altering decision with un-planned results awaiting them. The underlying message was clear though: Living in Christ’s steps.

Origin The idea behind ‘WWJD’ has always existed for centuries as a form of imitatio dei, the imitation of God. It got a much greater following after Sheldon’s book and inspired a youth group from some North American church to actually take vows to practice it. Subsequently, they wore cloth bracelets as a tangible reminder. As their popularity grew, the bracelets were mass-marketed, causing the retail revolution that we see today.

Importance When Jesus told his disciples in Luke 13:24 that many would seek to enter in the strait gate but would not be able to do so, he sure wasn’t kidding. It’s not easy to truly forsake worldly pleasures and stick to living in Christ’s steps.

Let’s take the “proposition 8” for example. Voters against gay marriages won by a measly 4%. Why? Where was everyone? If all the true believers in the US stood up for what God calls marriage, there would be no debate whatsoever. Funny enough, many ‘christians’ decided to stay out of the whole issue because they felt it was better to stick to the church and leave politics alone. But even Jesus didn’t refrain from voicing out on political matters during his time. In fact, many churches have now affirmed homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Would Jesus do that?

According to allaboutfollowingjesus.org, the answer to the question ‘What would Jesus do’ depends on whether we truly know Jesus enough to determine what he would do if in our exact situation. Knowing Jesus begins with reading about His life and teachings in the Bible. However, reading the Bible as literature alone only helps us to learn about Jesus. To truly know Him requires a personal, spiritual relationship with Him. That isn’t tough either. It just takes opening up your heart to him. Rev 3:20.

Now playing: Eminem – Crack A Bottle Feat Dr. Dre & 50 Cent

Cats on Tuesday: Was she pregnant at all?

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Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes in March, early March to be specific; I noticed a ‘growth’ around Michelle’s abdomen. Based on the knowledge that she was on heat a few weeks earlier, I concluded she must be pregnant, thanks to Henry :)

I started reading articles on how best to care for a pregnant cat. Michelle seemed to be exhibiting all of the ‘pregnant cat’ symptoms I read about, including occasional morning sickness. She was already seeking out quiet/hidden spots at my place to relax which is normal for a pregnant cat – They love to raise their litter with little or no disturbance. Cats gestate for 9 weeks as against humans’ 9 months so I already assumed I should be getting ready to welcome new kittens into the family by late April or early May.

Approximately 5 weeks after I noticed the ‘growth’, It got real firm and I felt re-assured that my cat was truly pregnant. I couldn’t help telling everyone who has ever come to my place about it. I was so excited. Looking back now, I think I was more excited than a man would have been if his wife was ready to put to bed. “btw, Michelle is pregnant” became a standard closing line to all my text messages. :grin:

Then came the blow. Sometimes last week, I woke up and the ‘growth’ seemed to be gone. Was it just me? I looked in the spot where she normally hid, nothing! Still-birth? I remember we walked in on my first cat when I was much younger eating her babies because they were dead at birth. Fuck no! I couldn’t imagine Michelle had to go through that same trauma.

The spot where the growth feels flabby now, a reminder that something was once there. I really do feel sorry for Michelle (that is, if she really went through the still-birth thingy), and I hope she gets over it quickly and go get herself pregnant, again. After all, Henry is ever ready. ;-)

Now playing: Fat Joe – Make way ft. Lil’ Wayne & Birdman

Make your Firefox look like IE7/8

ff-vista

Kudos to Lifehacker’s article here, I found a quick way to bring Aero transparency to Firefox. You would have to install the following to achieve the effect in the image above.

1. Glasser. The recent versions of this extension are not compatible with Firefox 3.0.x so you would have to install version 1.0.16.

2. Vista-aero. This theme adds the visuals of IE7/8 including IE8’s colored tabs.

That’s it. Enjoy your Firefox. ;-)

Update: I forgot to add, you will need to install the Hide Menubar extension as well.

Now playing: D12 – Purple Pills

Firefox extensions I use (and cant do without)

Mozilla Firefox

Image via Wikipedia

Of course I can do without them. Life on the web may not just be as interesting and informative as it is now. The list is quite exhaustive so its best to start without further ado.

1. Firefox Environment Backup Extension
A complete Firefox profile data backup utility. It makes it possible to move your Firefox settings, addons, themes, etc. from one installation to another, or between your work and home PC. It supports scheduled backups which could come in handy incase your computer crashes. It can automatically backup your data to the cloud if you have a box.net account.

2. Firebug
This is a must have extension for frontend web developers. JavaScript debugging has never been better. My only problem with this extension is that it doesn’t retain its errors after a page refresh. I usually have to test my code on the ‘onclick’ event of a form’s submit button rather than the ‘onsubmit’ event of the form itself. The version I currently use is a nightly build which can be found here.

3. Flagfox
Isn’t it a nice idea to have the flag of the country in which the web server of the site you are currently viewing displayed somewhere on your screen? Whew! That was a pretty long sentence. I suck, but you get the message anyways.

4. Ghostery
This is a nice little extension that displays what analytics service the website you are currently viewing uses. It’s not surprising that most sites (the ones I visit :) ) rely on Google Analytics.

5. Gmail Notifier
A ‘notifier’ for Gmail accounts. Need I say more?

6. Google Preview
This cute little add-on grabs and displays a thumbnail of the page linked to in a search result entry.

7. Greasemonkey
This is one plug-in that works wonders. Its a plug-in that allows users to make changes on the fly to most web pages using special scripts. Changes can be such as adding new functionality to a page (like the Endless Tweets scripts for Twitter), combining data from multiple web pages (I have my twitter search integrated with Google search), and numerous other purposes. Greasemonkey scripts can be found at http://userscripts.org

8. Personas
Plug-in that makes you change the look and feel of your browser without requiring a restart.

9. Right-Click-Link
This extension lets you select text and open as a URL in an separate browser tab. Useful for cases where the text is a valid URL but not hyperlinked.

10. Stylish
Stylish is best defined as Greasemonkey for CSS. Users can download or create their own styles to customize the look and feel of specific websites. Custom styles can be found at http://userstyles.org

11. Tab Mix Plus
I love this extension’s session management feature. The progress bar it places on individual tabs isn’t a bad idea either.

12. TabRenamizer
Ever found yourself in a situation where you are on a page you really shouldn’t be looking at for various reasons? Switching tabs isn’t enough. Your wife could still stay behind you and figure out that one of your tabs’ title says something about sex toys (or perhaps, your boss could figure out you’ve been facebooking all day). What do you do? Install this extension and happily hit ‘F2’ to rename the tab and even change it’s favicon anytime someone walks in through that door.

13. Twitterfox
A complete twitter client that runs within Firefox. Probably the best Firefox-based Twitter client out there.

14. Twitterbar
This extension lets you post to Twitter from your address bar. I used this before I discovered Twitterfox. Haven’t uninstalled / disabled it tho.

15. Web developer
This extension comes as a toolbar. I rarely find myself using it although it has features that should be interesting to a web developer.

16. Xmarks
Formerly known as Foxmarks, this plug-in backs up your bookmarks to an online service and allows you share them across multiple computers and multiple browsers including Internet Explorer. Cool.

17. Yahoo Mail Notifier
This extension sits in my status bar and reminds me of how much junk I have in my Yahoo mailbox. I barely pay attention to it.

18. Zemanta
I just installed this today. It helps improve the way you blog by displaying links, excerpts, and images relevant to your blog post. It support over 10 popular blogging platforms and is also integrated with Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

19. Download Statusbar
I cant believe I almost forgot this one. This extension helps you keep track of your downloads in an unobtrusive status bar.

Do you know of other extensions myself and other readers could benefit from, sound off in the comments.

Now playing: Celine Dion – Skies Of L.A.

Redefining Christianity

Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.

Image via Wikipedia

The article you are about to read simply voices my opinion and not that of any existing religious group or movement. Any similarities to existing groups is purely coincidental.

I’m not a Christian. Not just because I don’t want to be a Christian, but because I feel Christianity as a whole has lost its meaning. And I definitely can’t be a part of a meaningless movement.

The word ‘Christians’ came into existence when it was used to describe Jesus’ disciples by folks at ancient Antioch. It meant ‘Christ-like’. Basically, these folks could clearly see the disciples walking in their saviour’s steps. What we have today is very much different.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing articles under the category – Redefining Christianity. I have some topics lined up to deal with various aspects of Christianity. Here are a few of them:

  • What Would Jesus Do: Origins and Importance
  • Denominations, hierarchy and divisions in the church
  • Christian holidays
  • etc.

I will appreciate topic suggestions on aspects of Christianity which you think could be discussed on this blog.

Update: The first paragraph is me trying to say I don’t conform to Christianity as practiced today. (For those who got it wrong).

I think I’ve got a writer’s block

Maybe not the type that Karen Eiffel from ‘Stranger than Fiction’ experienced, or Henry Roth’s . I’ve always wondered why I don’t seem to churn out posts like I initially expected myself to. I’m usually someone that almost always have something to talk about. In fact, these past few weeks, I’ve had several things cross my mind to blog about but somehow, I manage not to post a thing.

I have a few notes written down about my perspective on several issues relating to technology, web development, religion, etc. already. It’s time to put them in order and post right here for the world to see. Hey, I’m not going to bore you with a post a day. I doubt I’ll be able to keep up with that even if I tried.

I’m currently reading this. :-)

By the way… jQuery rocks. I wonder why I never thought about using it all these while.