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A Short Review of Bill Mallonee’s “Winnowing”

September 19, 2014


This review of a Bill Mallonee record transcends the genre of music review. Beautiful, compelling, moving. A more than fitting piece for my first time pushing that little “Reblog” button that WordPress offers.

Originally posted on Quantum Est In Rebus Inane:

…[T]he apt analogy of the declining year, with declining happiness, and the images of youth and hope, and spring, all gone together… Jane Austen, Persuasion

I have been listening to Bill Mallonee for a long time. He is one of the most challenging and rewarding songwriters alive. He has crafted song after song, each representing some portion of his steady, integrated-and-integrating vision of things. That vision is complicated, prismatic; it has been salted with fire over years, burning away everything self-indulgent or unrealizable in it. What remains now is a vision that demands comparison with the visions of great religious and literary work: the Wisdom books of the Old Testament, and James of the New; the essays of Montaigne; Samuel Johnson’s “The Vanity of Human Wishes” and Rasselas; Eliot’s Four Quartets. Mallonee’s themes are best captured by phrases borrowed from Johnson: the hunger of the imagination…

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351 Words on 4 Mac Apps I’ve Been Using Every Day

September 18, 2014

Here are 4 Mac apps I use every day:

OmniFocus1. OmniFocus

This is turning into Organize-Me Central. I figured out today how to install extensions in Firefox and Chrome on OSX, so that I can save any Web article I want to read later as an action step in Omni Focus. It syncs seamlessly across Mac, iPad, and iPhone, too. There’s a bit of a learning curve to it, but I’ve made the decision to try to run all of my tasks, appointments, and notes through OmniFocus.

I even figured out, using their Clip-o-Tron 3001, how to turn Mac Mail messages into tasks with a keyboard shortcut. (Email inboxes are not a good place to keep tasks, you realize.)

OmniFocus 2 for iPad just came out, and works very well so far with iOS 8. Check out their site here.

TextExpander_icon2. TextExpander

TextExpander does something simple but sweet: it allows you to type text abbreviations that automatically expand into something larger. There are some preset “Snippets,” as well as the option to create your own. For example, “ddate” will insert the current date into any document. I’ve even got “.autoreply” set to convert to this text (I’m using TextExpander for the below):

Thanks for writing. I’m out of the office and away from email Tuesday. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible after that.


Abram K-J

It’s also available on iPhone and iPad, and you can sync your Snippets across devices. Pretty awesome. Read more about it here.

accordance 10 lamp3. Accordance

I’ve written a lot about Accordance, including a six-part review of Accordance 10. It’s my go-to Bible software on Mac.

Accordance is on Windows now, too, and has an iOS app for iPad and iPhone. Find Accordance on the Web here.

Scrivener Logo4. Scrivener

What a word processing program! (But, also, so much more). Writers love this app, and I can see why. I recorded my initial impressions of Scrivener here (where I used it to write a paper). It’s my primary organizing tool each week for sermon writing.

Check out Scrivener here. No iOS apps… yet.

Soon I’ll post about some handy iOS apps I’ve been using.

Apple’s iOS 8 is Live (Just Make Sure You’ve Got Room for It)

September 17, 2014

iOS 8


With the iPhone 6 now shipping, iOS 8 has just gone live.

MacRumors has two really great roundups that detail the features of the new operating system for iPad and iPhone. Here is their main roundup page. And here they note “some of the more interesting but smaller additions and refinements made to Apple’s mobile operating system throughout the beta testing period.”

A couple highlights from the article:

Identify songs – Siri now includes Shazam integration. If you ask Siri, “What song is playing?”, it will cause her to listen to the ambient sound, using Shazam to identify music.

Find which app is using the most battery life – iOS 8 includes a new Settings option that allows you to view battery usage by app, monitoring the battery drain of specific apps so those that draw a lot of power can be shut down. As of beta 2, it also displays how much battery is drained when there’s no cellular coverage.

Also, there is an improved keyboard:

Described as Apple’s “smartest keyboard ever,” QuickType is designed to offer word suggestions while typing. As a user is typing, the keyboard will provide words and phrases that a user is likely to choose next, even taking into account the different writing styles a person might use in different apps like Mail and Messages.

I’m especially curious to check out the Health app.

Just make sure you’ve got plenty of room for the install:


iOS 8 install


UPDATE: A friend on Twitter clarifies that you can download the new iOS if your device is connected to a computer, in which case you don’t need to clear up all the space required for the installation.

Bonhoeffer’s Life Together for $2.99, Chance to Win 17 Bonhoeffer Works

September 15, 2014

DBWE Life Together


For $2.99, Fortress Press is selling Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, the purchase of which also gives you chance to win all 17 volumes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (English Edition). This includes the new, forthcoming Volume 17: Index and Supplementary Materials.

Life Together is a powerful and heart-transforming book. I just finished reading it at the end of the summer, and reflected:

Bonhoeffer’s Life Together is substantial evidence that this servant of God saw himself as belonging to the church. The short, powerful book is both a gift and a challenge to any Christian who will take the time to study it.

My full review of the book is here.

Go here to check out Life Together for $2.99, as well as to have a chance to win the whole DBWE hardcover set.

Size Comparison of iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus

September 14, 2014

iPhone 6 sizes

The iPhone 6 just set a new pre-order record for Apple phones. The biggest question folks who are in the market will probably have is: How big is the iPhone 6? vs. How big is the iPhone 6 Plus?

There’s a handy printout you can download here to see what an iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus all look like next to each other.

Or you could do what this guy did.

Mineral Live in Boston: Set List and Photos

September 11, 2014

Mineral in Boston


It’s fitting that I drove the family minivan into Boston last night with a friend to see Mineral in concert. When I first listened to them in the mid-90s, I was driving a minivan, too.

What an outstanding show. Though they’re 20 years older than when they co-invented the emo rock scene, they still rocked out and drew listeners in to an experience of spiritual transcendence.

Here is the set list, with the few lyric snippets or reactions I tapped into my phone during the set:


1. Lovelettertypewriter

2. Palisade

(The above being tracks 1 and 2 from their second album, back-to-back)

3. Slower

“I’d really rather lay here and pretend…”

4. Unfinished

5. February

6. A Letter

7. Five, Eight, and Then

“The humble and righteous and meek
Are teaching me whose will to seek
But who really knows how to speak
About these things”

8. Gloria

One of the most awesome songs in the set.

9. For Ivadell

They had a little trouble playing this, but it was still great.

10. Sounds Like Sunday

11. If I Could


12. &Serenading

Best song in the whole set.

“When I was a boy I saw things
That no one else could see
So why am I so blind at twenty-two
To the hope that is all around me
Filling up this room?”



13. Waking to Winter

“When I’m driving home at night….”

14. M.D.

15. Parking Lot

“And everything is grace.”


And here’s the man, Christopher Simpson:


Christopher Simpson

And the Winners of the UBS5 Greek NT Are….

September 8, 2014

UBS5 Infographic


There were more than 50 entries into the UBS5 Greek New Testament giveaway. (Click here to read more about that new edition of the GNT.)

Using a random number generator, the two winners are:

  • spencerclark2013 (see here)
  • thanksgutenberg (see here)

Congratulations! I’ll get in touch with both of you via email in order to get the Bible shipped out to you.

And check back here, too, or subscribe to the blog at the right of the top of the page. Just as I reviewed the impressive LXX-NA28 combo, I will soon be reviewing the UBS5 Greek New Testament.


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