Byer's Basic Blog

just call us the Tunkhannock Times

Archive for April, 2010

World Chess Championship going on now…

Posted by joelbyer on April 30, 2010

ChessBase Events

For all you nerds out there… (including me!!!)


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The Big Alienation

Posted by joelbyer on April 30, 2010

We are at a remarkable moment. We have an open, 2,000-mile border to our south, and the entity with the power to enforce the law and impose safety and order will not do it. Wall Street collapsed, taking Main Street’s money with it, and the government can’t really figure out what to do about it because the government itself was deeply implicated in the crash, and both political parties are full of people whose political careers have been made possible by Wall Street contributions. Meanwhile we pass huge laws, bills so comprehensive, omnibus and transformative that no one knows what’s in them and no one—literally, no one—knows how exactly they will be executed or interpreted. Citizens search for new laws online, pore over them at night, and come away knowing no more than they did before they typed “dot-gov.”

It is not that no one’s in control. Washington is full of people who insist they’re in control and who go to great lengths to display their power. It’s that no one takes responsibility and authority. Washington daily delivers to the people two stark and utterly conflicting messages: “We control everything” and “You’re on your own.”

All this contributes to a deep and growing alienation between the people of America and the government of America in Washington.Peggy Noonan

To read the rest of the article…go here…

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Good thoughts on sermon preparation…

Posted by joelbyer on April 29, 2010

By meredithbrock on Ministry Perspective

Sometimes when I’m trying to prepare a sermon, or I sit down to write, these terrible clouds start forming over my head.

The clouds gather in the form of a progression of thoughts.
The thoughts go like this:

“I’ve got to preach in just a few days.
And I’m completely sure I have absolutely nothing to say that anybody needs to hear.”

These thoughts have the same effect as a series of dropkicks to the chest.  They totally knock the wind out of you.  Even thinking about what these thoughts feel like in order to explain it to you makes me a little short of breath.  If you let these thoughts play out long enough, they’ll suck you in to a pretty hopeless place.  You can start to lose your mind in a hurry.

Where does this kind of despair come from?  I’ve got lots of theories on that.  One of the main hang-ups, at least for me personally, is this:
I am overwhelmed with the realization that everything I could possibly say has already been said before.
And what’s worse: somebody else has already said it better than me.
That’s downright debilitating.

Unless you hit back with this:
So what if it’s been said before?  That’s just more proof that it’s worth saying again.

Think of it this way: technically, there are only 12 notes in the musical scale.  That’s it.  Every song you’ll ever hear is some combination of those 12 notes.  When songwriters sit down to compose, they’re not out to create new notes.
Their goal is to put the 12 notes that have already been played millions and millions of times together in a way that will move people in a new way.

In fact, some people would even say that the best songs are the simplest ones.  The ones that use the most familiar chord progressions.

So the next time you sit down to create, and you start to suffocate because you have nothing new to say, put it in perspective.

Your job is not to create new notes, or conceive of new concepts.
Just put the stuff that’s already out there together in a way that moves you.
Chances are, it’s going to move someone else, too.

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A really nice water fountain…um…really nice.

Posted by joelbyer on April 28, 2010

Maybe we could get one of these nice water fountains for the front of our church. I’m sure the church board would approve. After all, it’s only $218 million.
(This fountain is in Dubai)

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Run for your lives!

Posted by joelbyer on April 28, 2010 – Idaho Scientists Find 3-Foot-Long Spitting Earthworm

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Student Convention…a couple of weeks ago

Posted by joelbyer on April 27, 2010

Here is a picture of different students, parents, and teachers that went to Student Convention a couple of weeks ago. Please don’t ask me to name them all.
I won’t. 🙂

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New $100 bill coming out next year…what think ye?

Posted by joelbyer on April 21, 2010

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Martin Luther’s Prayer as Pastor

Posted by joelbyer on April 18, 2010

“Lord God, You have appointed me to be a pastor in Your Church.

You see how unfit I am to undertake this great and difficult office,
and were it not for Your help,
I would long since have ruined it all.
Therefore I cry unto You;
I will assuredly apply my mouth and my heart to Your service.
I desire to teach the people,
and I myself would learn ever more and diligently to meditate upon Your Word.
Use me as Your instrument,
only do not forsake me,
for if I am left alone I shall easily bring it all to destruction. Amen. ”

h/t Jon Earls

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Cleaning a Ferrari

Posted by joelbyer on April 16, 2010

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Watch this…the whole thing…interesting.

Posted by joelbyer on April 11, 2010

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Not your typical day as a doctor…eh?

Posted by joelbyer on April 10, 2010

Doctors Remove Ammunition From Soldier’s Head –

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Internet Choir

Posted by joelbyer on April 7, 2010

185 voices
12 countries
All coming together via internet to make a pretty cool sound.

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