I’m on Tumblr…

I’ve decided to move my personal blog to Tumblr.  I find its mini-blogging style more suited to my needs, especially since Apple Manifesto keeps me busy with my longer articles.

Check it out and add me to your RSS.  Or follow me on Twitter.

http://dperez82.tumblr.com/

Update

Well, seeing as how I will be stuck in the airport for an undetermined amount of time due to mechanical problems on the plane (oil leaking from the nose – What I am surprised about is that they let us board without noticing it). Oh well, it isn’t a TDY if you don’t have a delay at some point in the trip 🙂

Just wanted to take the time to let you all know that within the next couple of days, i will be launching a new blog with Marcos, a fellow Apple fanboy 🙂

It will be focused on tech-based news, obviously with emphasis placed on Apple. I’ll let you know when the site goes live, keep an eye out!

Apple, Technology, Coding, and Me

Though I haven’t shared it with a lot of people, one of my long-term “goals” for a while has been to write an iPhone/iPad app. Finding time to work on it is the hardest part, between work, school, and life in general. However, it is not like things are ever going to get less hectic, so I just need to slowly make time to learn Objective C, Cocoa, and everything else I need to make a successful app.

I won’t be doing this myself (met someone else who is as big an Apple fan as me, haha), so we’ll be tackling it together. It’ll take a long while, and we still don’t have a complete picture of what the app will be, but that is still quite a bit away.

Relatedly, we will also be starting up a blog more devoted to tech based topics and issues. The whole iPhone 4 antenna topic has motivated me to research and write my opinion on technical topics, so this will be a way to hone our skills. Currently working on the layout and feel of things (at least for an initial release), I’ll let you know here when it is ready to go.

It is exciting (maybe the app we make is the next big hit), and being able to program is certainly not a bad skill to have in this day and age.

This Webcomic…

Accurately captures how I feel whenever I try to read comments from all the clueless people who post on any article having to do with Apple:

XKCD: Duty Calls

Webcomic from XKCD: http://xkcd.com/386/

New Exercise Plan

Well, I think I’ve come to the realization that doing exercise after work is just not a feasible option for me right now.  I get out of work around 5:30PM, and by the time I get home, eat, do the normal stuff around the house, etc., it is at least 8PM, and usually I need to spend some time reading and doing homework for my class.   My goal right now is to lose about 15 pounds (though more wouldn’t necessarily be in bad, haha) in order to have a more healthy lifestyle.

To assist in that effort, I’ve been attempting to run a few days a week in the morning before work.  I need to get up at 5:30AM in order to allow myself enough time to get ready and run before work, which is early (!), but something I need to do.  I did really well two weeks ago, but last week I didn’t go running at all (had to wake up early to go to work everyday and had a lot of homework/personal stuff to do after).  So this week I will be getting back to the swing of things.  My goals are as follows:

  • Work out 5 days a week
  • Work up to doing 10minutes per mile for a total of 3.5miles

Once I complete those two goals consistently, I will try to keep conditioning myself and making new goals.

I am using Runkeeper (awesome app) to track and record my progress.  You can follow me here.  I appreciate any encouragement, this will be a tough journey!

On The Road Again

Well, I’m sitting here at Newark airport, so I figured I’d write a post. I’m on the road again, this time to Louisiana and the area I’m going to is pretty remote. It is a group of us going though, so will be fun. Kim, if you are reading this, I’ll be sure to drink a sweet tea for you! 🙂

Went to Philly yesterday for the day with my hon; we had a great time. Met up with her college friend Mayra and her bf Chris for lunch, then took in some of the historical things Philadelphia has to offer (National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Penn Landing, Old City, Drexxel, among others) and them finished the night eating at a Cuban restaurant.

I supplied to Jess all the pictures I took since she is better at getting pictures posted. 🙂 Once she puts them up I’ll provide the link.

Almost time to board, catch you later!

Evil and Suffering

So, I didn’t forget to post, I’ve just had a lot going on.  I actually left all my notes to the class at church two weeks ago, and then with my gout attack last Friday, I didn’t go to church.  I am feeling all better now, hopefully no more attacks in the near future 🙂

Below is a synopsis of my class with the major highlights.  If you have any questions/additional comments, leave me a comment or e-mail.

The question of evil and suffering and why it is present in the world is not a new question.  In 300 BC, the Greek philosopher Epicurus wrote:

“If God wants to prevent evil but can’t, he is not all-powerful.  If God is powerful enough to prevent evil but won’t, he is not all-loving.  If God neither can nor desires to prevent evil, he is not divinity.  If God can and desires to prevent evil, why is there evil in this world?”

Even prophets in the Bible asked God the same question!

Habakkuk 1:3 – “Why do you make me look at injustice?  Why do you tolerate wrong?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and conflict abounds.”

Jeremiah 12:1 – “You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you.  Yet I would speak with you about your justice:  Why does the way of the wicked prosper?   Why do all the faithless live at ease?”

And there was the whole story of Jonah and how he ran away from God because he did not believe the people he was to preach to deserved God’s forgiveness.

To put this in perspective, we need to start at the beginning with Adam and Eve.  When God made the world, he proclaimed it was “very good”, which is Hebrew for complete/perfect.  As we know, they were tempted by Satan and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the course for humanity was forever changed.  Romans 8:20-22 summarizes it nicely:

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

A common question is why did God create such a world?  Thinking about it, our world was the only viable option of three:

1. God could have chosen not to make us.

2. A world where there is no choice and we always do good.  We would be nothing more than robots.

3. A world as God created, where the potential to chose between good and evil exists.  Only in this world could love exist, which is what God desires from each of us.

4. The world as we know it – a variant of the third choice where we have corrupted it through our actions.

The next common question is why God doesn’t intervene?  In some cases it is attributed to freewill, others to the natural laws of the world (which he created), and sometimes directly he will (miracles).  However, two thousand years ago, he did intervene by sending his only Son Jesus to die on the cross.  And Jesus did suffer intensely, much more so than we will likely see in our lives.  In fact, his pain on the cross was so unbearable that a new word was created: excruciating, which literally means “out of the cross”.

From a logical standpoint, what people want is for God to intervene only in some acts and not others.  If God was to really stop and/or intercept every evil thought by every person, then we would ultimately end up back in a world with no choice.

No discussion on suffering is complete without mention of Job.  If someone suffered, it was this guy for sure 🙂  It serves as a stark reminder that our simple logic of how suffering works is seriously flawed.  If the average person was told that “God is almighty”, “God is just”, and “Humans are not innocent”, the common conclusion is that your suffering is directly related to your sin.  However, we know that this doesn’t match human experience.  There is a third person, in the mix, Satan, and he is doing all in his power to alienate men from God.  Satan accused Job of praising God just because he is blessed, in essence mocking God.  Job then proceeds to lose almost everything, become severely afflicted with boils, and while he does curse the day he was born, he never turns his back on God.

Job asks God very tough questions, which should serve as a reminder for us that we shouldn’t hide our true feelings with God.  He is confused about his suffering, and does not hide it, similar to the verses from Habakkuk and Jeremiah. This brings to mind a man who was asking Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son (Mark 9:22-24):

‘But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’

‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus wants us to trust him, and bring to him all our problems, doubts and concerns.  Of course, what may happen is that Jesus may answer in a way we don’t like it, and try to ignore it.  In the case of Job, God never directly addresses any of Job’s questions, but instead asks Job rhetorical questions that possibly can’t be answered.  In essence, God was saying that what may not make sense to you from your limited point of view, I have a master plan.

To end, Paul experienced a similar case, where he had a “thorn” (we are not told what) that caused him immense suffering.  God’s answer was (2 Corinthians 7-10):

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

An important aspect of being a Christian is hearing God’s voice and following it, even when we don’t agree.  He can see the big picture while we can’t, and His way will always allow us to grow and prosper more than ours.