Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New look for 2011

I finally upgraded to the new Blogger templates, several years late.  This did kill off the work I did to make expandable links sections for my blog using the old template, but I can recreate what I needed from those fairly easily.  I've also become an Amazon affiliate (which is integrated with the new Blogger template, another benefit to the upgrade) .  I'm working out how to incorporate Amazon links now, so there will be a fair number of changes over the next few days. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You cannot serve both God and money.

I think a lot of American Christians make the mistake of assuming that if they aren't in debt, they are pretty much following God's will for their finances. However, money may still control you just as strongly (or maybe even more strongly), if your every action and thought and first priority is about saving or increasing your wealth. Crown Financial Ministries sends out a weekly e-mail which last week contained this quick article that I really liked. I've excerpted and underlined a few of my favorite points.

God will never use money to worry us. If a Christian is worried, frustrated, and upset about money, God is not in control. God said that worry is not in His plan for our lives (Matthew 6:25). If we are relying on His guidance, He will supply all our needs, just as He has promised. So, believing that, we can concentrate on other things.

God will not cause Christians to hoard. There is a distinct difference between saving and hoarding. Saving is biblically recommended in order to be prepared for inevitable emergencies or adversity. Hoarding is putting money aside to guard against any and all calamities, yet seldom using it for family emergencies or financial setbacks. A Christian cannot be within God’s will and hoard money. Hoarding prevents Christians from seeing the needs of others and prohibits them from abandoning even a small portion of their hoarded funds to help the needy. Unfortunately, those who are guilty of hoarding usually can rationalize their behavior with so-called righteous arguments, but their arguments are contrary to the Word of God.

God will not use money to satisfy every whim and desire. It is important that we begin to adjust our lifestyles to be consistent and compatible with a Christian commitment. That commitment does not include lavishness. God does not want us to live in poverty; there is nothing inherently spiritual in poverty. Neither is there any sin in wealth. However, God does not desire for his people to live in worldly lavishness while His work needs to be funded and brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world do not even have the basics of food and clothing. So, although it is not wrong to live well, we should not live lavishly or extravagantly as nonbelievers. Our lifestyles must be guided by the Holy Spirit—not determined by the lifestyles of others, not even others within the Christian community. Although God does not supply the money to satisfy our every whim and desire, He has promised that He would meet our needs and provide an abundance so that we can help others. It is when we accept this principle that God will multiply our abundance as well.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Classic books

While I was finishing my MBA, I made a list of some things I wanted to do once I had more free time. In particular, for college and post-grad degrees, I've found that my leisure reading always drops way off while I'm in school. Since I'm doing so much reading for classes themselves, that doesn't seem like the greatest way to relax. Due to having two kids now and a quite demanding job, I can't say that the free time has really materialized. Nonetheless I've found time to do a little bit more reading. I've been targeting some classics that I haven't read thus far, for two main reasons. One, if something is a classic (I guess the term is subjective, but whatever), it should be pretty good, and two, this is an area I know I need to shore up for when I eventually get on Jeopardy, my nerd dream. So here's what I've read thus far since I graduated, and a few I plan to read soon.

Here's what I've finished reading:
A Confederacy of Dunces
The Catcher in the Rye
The Great Gatsby

Planned to read:
Their Eyes Were Watching God - have out from library, hope to read over Christmas
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck Centennial Edition) -have out from library, hope to read over Christmas
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Of course there's other books that I have read and plan to read, but I don't think they fit into the definition of a classic, so I'll cut off the list there.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

How do people get here?

Since it has been more than a full year between updates, I thought I would see what searches are still bringing people here in spite of the lack of new material. It turns out there are three searches where I am in the top 5 results on google.

Far and away the top way people stumble on the blog is via searches for statistical abuse for which the linked post is the second result on google as of today!

The next two bring in a lot fewer, roughly equal number of people, but still a fair number.

How much is a finger worth, for which I have the fourth result on google and

Definition of executive home, for which I have the third result.

I'm guessing from the traffic that more people actually search for statistical abuse than the other two. Can I turn those results into some money? I stopped doing google ads on here a long time ago, but it seems I should be able to monetize specific top search results. Probably aren't many ads that relevant to the worth of a finger (lawyer?), but the other two seem like they might correlate to something...