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Sixth Commandment

Deuteronomy 5:
17 “‘You shall not murder.

This one is fairly simple right? Don't murder someone. Some translations use the word "kill", that however would be an inaccurate translation. The word properly means "to murder or kill by negligence." So, killing in self defense, reasonably unavoidable accidental death or warfare are not prohibited by the commandment as the Israelites understood (and we today understand) it. That said, negligence means that doctors, engineers, law enforcement and anyone whose work can be life or death bears an ethical responsibility to make all reasonable assurance that their actions will not cause a life to be lost. It means that parents, teachers and other child care professionals shouldn't neglect those that in their care. Life is precious, and to murder someone or allow death to come to them by simple negligence is sin.

There is more to it than that, however, as Christ expanded our definition of murder:

1 John 3:
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

To hate, in Gods eyes, is the same as murder. Moreover, whoever says that they love God, but hate their brother is a liar. God's standards are higher than people can attain, and that is the reason we need Jesus' saving grace through faith. Many who've never fought are murders in their own heart, and the only way to remove that sin is through repentance and baptism, dying into the death of Christ.

Paslms 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my(A) groaning. 2 Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

The Lord is a God who listens to the needs, prayers and complaints of his people. He hears your prayers and sees the sacrifices you make for him. Granted that those sacrifices aren't blood or grain offerings any longer, but our time, money, talents and effort that we give to Him doesn't go unnoticed. But don't make the sacrfices just to be seen; do it because He loves a cheerful giver, and because it's the right thing to do.

4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

The Lord wants humble people, who obey his laws. He hates sin, deceit, conceit, and murderous ways. If you love the Lord, obey His commandments. For the wages of sin is death, and He gave Himself for our sins, if we repent and turn away from sin.

7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. 8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.

Allow him to to lead you. Pray for him to teach you righteousness. He has put everyone who lives they have (or had, or will have) for a reason and purpose. I don't pretend to under

9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.

God allows you to make mistakes through your free will, but liars are always found out in the end. Don't purposefully give bad advice for your own gain, for the Bible tells us that it's better to have a good name than to be a rich man. Guilt will always catch up to you, if you deal poorly with people.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

If you good in the eyes of the Lord, He will repay you with favor, you will have a good name, and will be a blessing to the people around you.

Twitter Libraries broken

I've been busy, having a young child does that to you. So does getting back into the ministry swing following a hiatus because of having a new child. Our church is also moving locations, and starting a capital campaign to build a permanent home. Then, there are some things going on related to work and future employment. A lot is going on, on all fronts, and this blog and my site fell by the way side a little bit. Here's just a quick update about the twitter libraries on my site.

The end of last month, Twitter was scheduled to shut off the old method of authentication, and allow only OpenAuth to verify users identities. As such, my C++ twitter library on my site should no longer work to post posts to twitter. It should still be able to consume someone's feed, as long as the feed is public -- the authentication is only needed for tweeting. There are no current plans for me to make it work.

Fifth Commandment

Deuteronomy 5:
16 “‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (ESV)
This is the first commandment dealing with how we are to treat other people, and it's about our parents. I believe that placing it in order where it is, speaks to the importance God places on family, speaks to importance God places on listening to elders and speaks to how important the parent-child relationship is in Gods eyes. The responsibility of children to honor their fathers and mothers receives a special place on the original covenant; but their are also important guidelines on the role of the parents: to love their children, teach their children and protect their children. From the story of the prodigal son, the commandment:
Proverbs 22:
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
  even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Everyone has parents, and we are commanded by God to honor them. It also gives a promise of making our "days long" -- that is having a long life -- and that it will go well with us. This doesn't mean that we must blindly obey them as adults, or that we can't disagree; just how we disagree with them and maintianing respect even when having a difficult conversation.

Psalms 4

Psalms 4: 1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

Here we have the psalmist of David praying to the Lord, and reflecting on relief he's already been shown by God.

2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

A footnote tells us that "O men" can mean "men of rank," That means this is to the generals, elders and other people in power. Aren't these still the same questions ones were asking of our leadership in this current society? To follow after false easy answers from charismatic leaders is how our economic and political messes were started. His way, however, is set apart, for He is holy; and he still hears when we speak to Him.

4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

Here is one of the couple of times this idea is stated in the Bible: It is alright to have anger, but what you do with it is what makes your way clean or unclean. "Ponder in your beds" means roughly (at least to me) "sleep on it." And then to "Be silent" is to refrain from quick action. In my experience, if I don't take a step back when I'm upset I am more likely to say something I really didn't want to say, and you really can't take something back once it is said. While Jesus has made the sacrifices unnecessary (being the ultimate sacrifice), in such situations it is still best to trust in Lord rather than to blindly act out of anger. Anger is useful in some cases, it can motivate, it can correct; but it is a strong emotion and it can also be an open door to sin, as it was to Cain.

6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

The praises to God among the people bring more joy to Psalmist than a plentiful harvest; that is after all why we are all here -- to serve, honor and worship God.

8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (ESV)

True peace can only be found in the Prince of Peace, and he will bring safety to vulerable and sleep to the restless for all those who believe, obey and love the Lord.

Fourth Commandment

This is the last commandment related to paying honor and love to God. Notice, that the commandments about God come first, and then rules about how to treat each other come after. God views all sin as equal, but I think the point that obeying God should come first in our lives. The fourth commandment reads:

Deuteronomy 5:
12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

In modern times this has come to mean "Go to church on Sunday." A lot of Christians aren't descended from the 12 tribes of Israel, however, very clearly requires us to use it as a day of rememberence for bringing us our of our own personal Egypt. Moreover, Paul wrote:

Romans 14:
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Which reminds us that the important part is to remember God in all we do, and honor him everyday.

Psalms 3

Psalms 3: 1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah

Even in modern times we feel this way. The "foes" may not be neighboring armies or political rivals like they were for David, but we all have felt that feeling that they are "all out to get us." Sometimes, depending on our social circle or work enviroment, it may even be true. What advice does the Lord have for us?

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

The advice is to take refuge in the Lord, to cry to him, and to pray to him. The Lord answered the prayers of King David, and so to will answer yours if you cry out when the enemies (whoever or whatever those are for you) are at the gate.

5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Peace to sleep was given to David, and when he woke up, the Lord removed his fear of the trial that lay before him. When I think about what that means to me in those dark times in my life, not to worry about those who are set against me, it gives me a new spring in my step and peace in my heart.

7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.

Without the fear, he still continues to pray for the resolution to situation. He prays for justice, that those who do wicked would have their teeth broken; don't think that God will answer a prayer that isn't just.

8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah

David acknowledges that God is the one with power of redemption, and he then prays for a blessing from God to be upon the people who have been called.

Third Commandment

Sorry for the delay in this post, I've been preoccupied with life. This is not an excuse, it's an explanation; I should have posted sooner, and I know it. I will continue to try to update this on a more regular basis, and add more technical and financial posts. This one, however, continues the Ten Commandment series. So, here is The Third Commandment...

Deuteronomy 5:
11 "'You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (ESV)

This one seems simple, but lets really think about what vain means. Vanity implies a connotation of being artificially puffed up. I think this is more than a ban on saying "Oh my God!" During the time it was written, it was common for people to invoke the name of their god "We will win. by Baul." This is warning not to tread lightly with using God's name to add authority to causes He has not called His people to go after. It is easy to reach for the name of God to justify actions, to urge support for a cause and to puff ones self up.

This commandment also holds an extra warning, like the last one did; he will not hold you guiltless for violating this commandment. It seems like a small infraction to us, but it is a sin worthy of the ten commandments, and must be repented of like any other. He is still God, and His ways are still higher than our ways; Hist standards are still higher than our standards.

Psalms 2

The second psalm is typically thought to be a Messianic prophecy. That is, it is thought to predict the coming of Christ, the strife of the nations against Him, and even His resurrection. I don't see that in the Psalm, the following is what I do see in it.

Psalms 2: 1 Why do the nations rage[a] and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us."

The nations of the earth war with each other because they war against the commandments of God. God is love, He is a Just King and has abounding mercy for those who repent. Nations and their leaders are often greedy, and power hungry. They burst away the cords that tie themselves to other nations, and strive on nationalistic sentiment. They take counsel from other rules, not seeking the face of God, but doing what they think is right in their own eyes.

4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."

The real ruler of it all is the Prince of Peace, seated in heaven. Wrath will come to those rulers who war for Greed and more power.

7 I will tell of the decree:The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel."

We are the children of God, and if we seek his face in earnest, he will provide that we need not strive to conquer foreign lands, but that in War, if you are just and trust in the Lord you shall not be destroyed and enemies shall fall.

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Follow The Lord, as the only wise king. Fear the Lord, and rejoice in him, and you shall not perish from the earth. Blessed are those who believe in and obey the Lord.

Second Commandment

I read the next Psalm and commandment, but haven't had a chance to post until now. I apologize for being a little late with the post.
Exodus 20:
4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (ESV)
Deuteronomy 5:
8 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (ESV)
This commandment bars making your own gods to worship. Note, that this is very similar to the first commandment; but the Lord thought it worth repeating. Note, however, that this commandment comes with a reason. God is jealous for his children, and that I believe is a reflection of His love for us. Imagine if a child were to tell their father, "I don't want you as a dad, so I built one out of wood. I'll give it all the honor and love that I think a real dad deserves." Don't you think that most fathers would be deeply hurt by this action? Why, then, do so many people put so many things before God? The world is enticing, we have much we have built to entertain ourselves; but, true happiness cannot be bought at a store or created by knowing who the next American Idol is. Happiness, for me at least, is when my daughter looks up from her crib and smiles at me. Happiness is when my wife tells me she loves me before I go off to work. You can't put a dollar amount on the way it feels to help someone in need, and you can't pay enough to remove the guilt of ignoring someone's suffering. God also promises in this commandment that he will visit iniquity to the 3rd and 4th generation. So, if you cut yourself off from God you are likely teaching your children to do the same. He will judge the unrepentant sinner that passes on his immoral or disobedient lifestyle to his children. But there is hope, for He also says that unfaltering love will be upon those who love and obey the Lord.

Psalms 1

Psalms 1:
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (ESV)

Those who follow unethical advice, who follow peer pressure to do evil things and nay say that which is righteous shall not be blessed. On the other hand, if you love the law and think upon what is right and wrong you will be blessed.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. (ESV)

Follow the God's commands and you will be like a tree with strong deep roots. You will get nurisment (planted by streams), will be productive (bare fruit) and full of life (leaves that don't wither). The wicked will not revieve this blessing, but not be steady, not firmly rooted and at the mercy of the winds of change (be like chaff on wheat that is blown away).

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (ESV)

Wicked will not be found innocent at the time of judgment and will be separated from the righteous. Those who do ill will perish, but the Lord will keep those who good.

The First Commandment

I've decided that I'm going to combine two things that I should do more, post updates to this blog and read the Bible. I figured I'd start easy on myself, and blog Psalms and the Ten commandments. So, every day I plan to write a post about the next commandment, and a post about the next psalm. So today we look at the First Commandment.
Exodus 20:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.(ESV)

Deuteronomy 5:
6 "'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

7 "'You shall have no other gods before me.(ESV)

Note, there is footnote in both places on the word "before" which reads: "besides." We should have no gods besides the Lord. We live in a world full of man made marvels, a world full of comforting technology, a world that sends the message that a man is measured by his pocket book, and a world where we look at celebrates as heroes and role models. It is easy to begin to worship unholy things, to bow to the almighty dollar and pay homage to the America Idols (it us ironic how true the name of that show really is). We must remember to humble ourselves to God, and worship Him alone, and not follow after the ways of the world. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the talent of artist, actor or singer, nor does it mean you cannot enjoy money, but what it does mean is that God is still the one and only King of Kings that we should give our all.

Just following the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy, we find the a most important prayer:

Deuteronomy 6:

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And(B) these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (ESV)

The first six words of this typically start morning prayer for most religious Jews, "Shema Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad." The reason is clear, it shows that they have no other gods besides the Lord and they are giving proper honor to Him. Acknowledging the Lord's control in all things.

Lesson from Mr. Feeny

Something recently reminded me about an old episode of Boy Meets World where Mr. Feeny gets upset about the behavior of Corry, Sean and Topanga on a educational quiz show. The show became watered down, and the questions became about popular culture, losing all real educational value.

Standing at the front of the room, he reminds us that in the time of the Gutenberg Printing Press, people thirsted for more reading material. They would have to wait several month for a new book, and now there is a new website every second. As the bell rings, the students start to
move to get up and leave the class; he says "Sit down. Everyday you walk out on me. Today, for the first time ever, I chose to walk out on you."

Why don't students in high school and most undergraduate programs take their education more seriously? Why do even people who have a college education lack a sense of intellectual curiosity? Why after the long fight for the ability to do research without threat from the governmental and religious authority have we stopped examining the world?

Someone I work with insists that there is strong and wide spread anti-intellectual sentiment in this country; but I disagree. Anti-intellectual would require active care, but instead the asses are apathetic. Most Americans have no time to care about the political issues that affect their daily life, they break on issues down party lines without considering the issue or are for and against legislation based on a cursory glance without considering the more widespread issues. This isn't just fighting the "educated elite" (that my co-worker thinks exists), but rather an intellectual laziness.

I think that everyone has two sides, one side that is motivated and curious, and the other is lazy and apathetic. Depending on topic, motivation, life goals and life obstacle attribute to any given person's drive. Modern technology, especially television and the Internet can attract our attention, become an obstacle and deplete our drives. We are a microwave culture, and true understanding is a Crockpot task; you can't understand in depth concepts completely from a quick Wikipedia page and short YouTube video.

American Finance: High School with Credit Cards

I'm currently reading Stop Acting Rich by Dr. Thomas Stanly (best known for The Millionaire Next Door), and something stuck out in my mind. The group who Dr. Stanley refers to as aspirationals -- those who act rich without having high net worth or high income -- likely learned the behavior in the social environment of high school popularity. Being different is criticized by high school students, your family shopping at stores like Walmart or K-Mart (i.e. less expensive products) is shunned and not wearing the latest shoes is "social suicide."

The problem is that high school students don't really understand money. They know what it is (a medium of exchange), they like to spend it and they may have a part-time job to earn it; but they don't really understand it. There are two math lessons that should repeated early
and often to our youth: probability and risk, and compound interest.

If people were to learn about the ideas of probability at an earlier, then, hopefully, less people in the lower income bracket would waste money on the lottery. You have a greater chance of being struck by lightening three times than to win the lottery. If more youth would learn about the way compounding works, then, hopefully, as they grow into adults they would be less likely to take on debt and more likely to save and invest.

Unfortunately, what they see around them is the product of hyper-consumption. I don't understand why even some lower income parents buy their children the newest shoes, coats, and/or gadgets. Perhaps, they remember growing up being the "poor kid" and being ashamed when other children would taunt them, or maybe it is tat by giving more expensive things to their children they hope to shape people's opinion of the families financial situation? I suppose that it's lower economic class acting middle class, instead of working and saving toward becoming middle class; just as Dr. Stanley describes middle class acting rich, rather than taking steps to become rich.

Ironically, Dr. Stanley's findings tell us that prestige items don't actually make us happy (at least as adults), but rather higher satisfaction ratings were reported by th financially independent than by the aspirationals. Money can buy things that are fun (at least in the short term), but it can not buy us true happiness.

Blog and site updates

As you may have noticed my blog's address has changed and it has been integrated into my site's design. The last theme was a blogger template, this is obviously the design from my site. Tell me what think of the new look for the blog.

I've also slightly updated the ColdFusion for Beginners guide that I wrote for Homer and Diane. I think I should revise it to cover basic HTML (which it assumed knowledge of) or write a basic HTML for beginners also.

While looking into the site, I also noticed most of my search driven traffic is to the C++ Twitter Objects using the Twitter REST API and the C Curl libraries. The objects could be used to write a very basic Twitter Client, and I suspect that is what most people are looking for; but they were really written to grab twitter information related to users after a facial recognition algorithm identifies a person. The idea being my robot (with remote communication to the "base station" -- laptop) will be able to know who is standing in front of it, and the image on the screen (or recorded) will show the time line or last post of the person the bot "sees". It might also tweet that it's seen someone, or suggest people it sees together in real space become "followers" or "friends" on Twitter or FaceBook. All that said, just so that I could say I'm thinking to rewrite the page, extending the libraries I've written for easier use in traditional clients, and switching to OpenAuth instead of the old REST API. Suggestions welcome.

Letter's From Dad

I mentioned in a pervious post that I was writing Letters from Dad. Over the last week, I've written and delivered the letters to my wife and my mother. I admit that I broke a few of the "rules." They were typed, not hand written. My handwriting is horrible. I delivered them in conjunction with Mother's Day, but book suggests that it not be a "special day." Both letters were well received and both letters evoked tears from both sides.

I liked my letter to my wife better than the one to my mother. I suppose that's because I'm practiced in writing love letters to my wife, but haven't written my mother to thank them for everything she's done foe me. What out of all the years do you write about to your parents? The time they spent sleepless when you were baby, the school years, the college years, or all the things they've supported you in? I hope that my next letter to my mother is better written.

I still need boxes for my mother and daughter. My wife has a memory box already; but I'm not sure if my mother does or not. The letter to my daughter, the reason it's called "Letters from Dad," shouldn't be terribly difficult to write and will focus on our praying for Grace, her birth story, and our hopes and dreams for her.

Three letters a year to three recipients, that's 9 letters. Not to bad, I need to add them to my calendar so I know when a third of a year (four months) is past.

To get the conversation started, here are two questions. Feel free to comment with your answers:
  • What would you focus a thank you or love letter to your parents on?
  • What would you write in a letter to your now three month old, to leave as a legacy when you pass away?

Good Debt...

Seth Godin (author of Linchpin, The Dip and other good books) wrote yesterday on his blog about good and bad debt, Trent at The Simple Dollar wrote a follow up.

Now, I respect a lot of the ideas Mr. Godin put forward in the Linchpin and do agree with Trent on a lot of the big ideas, but I disagree about there being a such thing as good debt. I think that there is no such thing as good debt, but that some debts are slightly less bad than others. I think under the right conditions, a mortgage makes sense; but, even then, it's debt. Whenever you take on debt, you take on risk. Moreover, the Bible tells us that "borrower is servant to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). If your doing something that includes an element of risk with the money, like investing in real estate or opening a business then your only compounding your risk.

Seth's post opens with the statement:
Here's a simple MBA lesson: borrow money to buy things that go up in value. Borrow money if it improves your productivity and makes you more money. Leverage multiplies the power of your business because with leverage, every dollar you make in profit is multiplied.

This sounds like he's saying it makes sense to borrow to start a business, but some of America's greatest businesses Walgreens (one of the Good to Great companies), Panara Bread, Electronic Arts (alright, they aren't doing to well, but they don't owe anyone either), American Eagle Outfitters and Microsoft (until 2009) carry absolutely no debt. I know, your going to point out that they can afford not to have debt load, because they are rich. What's a small entrepreneur to do? Save money, start small and be Creative.

This also makes it sound like borrowing money for college is a good idea, but one of Seth other posts, just a few days earlier, make that sound like a bad idea. There is no guarantee that you'll be able to pay back the loans, or that your salary will increase enough to justify being beholden to a bank, or now the federal government. That said, I'm all for education, and think it's a worth while investment when you can afford it. What if you can't? Apply for scholarships, lots of them. This should take about the time of at least a part time job. Work and save. Don't rent an appartment, save money by living at home or in the dorms. Degree is more important than pedigree, unless you remain in academia for the rest of your life; what you know is more important than where you went to school. It will matter even less two years out of the gate when you have real achievements in the "real world" to hang your hat on. If you have children, start saving early.

Disclaimer: I have a mortgage, I have a plan for paying it back early, and have no plans to borrow any more money. I was blessed with a mother who could cash flow the cost of my education. I didn't know the dangers of debt when I started college, I made a credit mess but have cleaned up. Now, we were cash flowing the cost of my wife's education until the birth of our first child. She is staying home to take care of our daughter; but if/when she decides to go back to school we'll make sure that it is cash only.

I'm back. Or is that finally here?

I haven't posted in a while, and I've basically ignored this blog for a long time now. Recently, however, I've begun to think I may have something worth while to say on a number of subjects that hold my interest. So, hopefully I will updating about once a week. Things that are related to code and programming will likely be cross posted to and/or UWM Web Developers Blog. I also plan to post about music, finances, books I'm reading, and parenthood among other topics.

Tonight I realized I haven't really had a lot of time to tell my wife how much I appreciate what yhe does around the house and in taking care of our new child. She is an amazing woman, and I am blessed to have her. She is asleep now as I am writing this, and even in the peace of sleep she looks like an angel to me. I want to find something I can do to show her how much all she does really is noticed and that I really am thank for it. I have added a few more paragraphs to my draft letter to her, the letter that is part of my "Letters from Dad."

I suppose I should tell you about Letters from Dad, because I will likely be mentioning it quite a bit in the next month or two. Author Greg Vaughn had a very rough time with the death of his father, and a lot of that seemed from the fact that his dad was very closed person. His father didn't talk about feelings, and never said "I love you." When he was going through his fathers things, that only thing he really for of his dad was a tackle box. He was upset that he didn't have anything really meaningful. So, he decided that he'd make sure his seven children had something that said how he felt. So, he started what is now "Letters from Dad," getting together with 14 of his friends, they wrote letters to the ones they loved so that when they pass, their family will have something to remember him by.

So, hearing the story and reading the book hit home for me. I've talked with the leader of the men's ministry at our church, and I think the fathers in our church might be doing this together; but, even if they don't I'll still be doing for my loved ones.

If your interested in it the book is called "Letters from Dad," it's by Greg Vaughn and their website is