Nick's Blog of Entropy

Randomness, haphazardness, and redundancy. I dunno.

The Burden of Discernment

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I was out doing some maintenance on my wife’s car last weekend, and I hear this guy approaching, talking on a cell phone.  He pauses from his phone call and goes “Hey man, how you doin?”  I sit up from under the car and he starts explaining to me how he needs to get some locksmith to come open his car, but they require $85 up front and he only has $65 cash, essentially asking me for $20.  I think about it for a minute, and then think back to all those times I’ve given handouts to people that ask for it, not really being sure what they’re using it for.  I decided this time, I would do what I always wish I had done, and actually SEE the money being used.  I told him if he called the people and had them come out, to let me know when they got here and I’d make sure he had enough to get his car open.  I almost told him what apartment we live in but then realized a phone number would be better.  So I gave him my Google Voice number and told him to call me when they arrived.  He got on the phone and (I suppose) called the locksmith, and said he’d call me when they arrived.

I never heard from him.

I had suspected that he probably was just angling for $20, but I’ll never know.

This brings up an interesting point.  In the Bible we read over and over about meeting the needs of our neighbor and doing so with the love of Christ.  The challenge to this is, however, being discerning with our generosity.  After I went inside and waited for his call, I wanted nothing more than to be able to help this man out, IF he honestly had the need he explained to me.  Those are such great openings to sharing the Gospel.  The $20 seemed so insignificant, and I’m thankful it seemed that way.  He offered to pay me back the $20 “with interest” but I realized if I gave it to him I probably would not have gotten it back, and I was ok with that.

So, should I have given him the $20?  I feel that if I had, I could have been contributing to a problem instead of solving one.  Maybe, on the other hand, he was telling exactly the truth and he managed to get $20 from a friend.  I will leave it in God’s hands.  But I am a little wiser with what it means not only to be loving but to be discerning in how we exercise that love.


Written by Nick

10/01/2011 at 8:55 am

Posted in Faith, Life/Home

Removing files or directories from a Mercurial repository

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Hg convert is the ticket.

Enable the convert extension by putting:


in your .hgrc file (under your home directory).

Next you have to construct a filemap file like so:

exclude path/to/file

where the path is RELATIVE to the root of your repository. This can be to a file or a directory.

Save it as something like “filemap”.

Use this command:

hg convert –filemap filemap old_repos new_repos

The new repository will no longer contain whatever you exclude.

Written by Nick

09/01/2011 at 5:01 pm

Posted in Linux

Tagged with

Unity and Humility

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This spoke to me this morning:

“For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”

-1 Corinthians 3:3-7

Written by Nick

08/17/2011 at 7:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Rounded corners

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Wow, Internet Explorer 9 is finally supporting CSS 3 with rounded corners. Welcome to the 21st century, Microsoft.

Couple good rounded corner resources I’ve run across:

Written by Nick

07/22/2011 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with

Calvinist radical fundamental liberal emergent progressive left right-wing evangelical something ist

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It’s always a little off-putting to be lumped into a crowd, especially if other members of that crowd feel very differently than you do about some things. I’ve felt this way a lot recently when every time I read words like “evangelical”, “fundamentalist”, “conservative”, or even “Calvinist”, I think, are they really talking about me?

If you mean “evangelical” as in, wishing for all to come to know Jesus Christ and experience his unending love, grace, and mercy, then absolutely.

If you mean “fundamentalist” as in, taking the words of the Bible as an inspired, inerrant, unchanging, complete Word of God, absolutely. I believe Christ was inerrant, unchanging, and was the fulfillment of the Word.

If you mean “conservative” as in, placing high emphasis on what I believe to be Biblical social and spiritual values, and as a result, holding to political views that characterize those, then absolutely.

If you mean “Calvinist” as in, recognizing the obvious sovereignty of God in drawing us to Him, as opposed to us just tripping over the idea of loving Christ and deciding to adopt it, then absolutely.

Written by Nick

07/19/2011 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Faith

Finding $10

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We were walking through the mall today and ran across $10, in the form of two $5 bills sitting on the floor.  I snatched it up and we started talking about what to do with it.  It’s amazing the moral dilemma this presents.  $10 could either be a tiny amount of money, or a huge amount of money, depending on whose hands it’s in.  On one hand, if someone can afford to be careless enough to drop $10, they can afford to be without it.  On the other hand, that could be some little kid’s piggy bank savings.  Thus, my wife and I had a somewhat in-depth discussion about what to do with it.  There was no apparent “office” at the mall to take it to, we didn’t see anyone drop it, and there’s obviously no way to ID the owner of cash.  And just leaving it sitting there in the middle of the floor doesn’t seem like a very good option either.  So what do you do?

I also thought about if I had lost the money.  I would want someone to truly “wish” they could find me to give it back, but at the same time I wouldn’t want them agonizing over what to do with $10.  A much larger sum might be different.  So we considered a $10 sum a small enough amount that we would not agonize over it either, but would instead add it to our tithe.

I am not going anywhere with this, political or otherwise, this is my random blog, and this is a random post, which fits with the theme of the blog, and that’s about all I have to say on the subject.  I just found it interesting how unintentionally acquiring even $10 of someone else’s money can create such a big dilemma.

Written by Nick

07/09/2011 at 6:31 pm

Posted in General

A timely quote

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“We have abundant reason to present to the Supreme Being our annual oblations of gratitude for a liberal participation in the ordinary blessings of His providence. To the usual subjects of gratitude I can not omit to add one of the 1st importance to our well being and safety; I mean that spirit which has arisen in our country against the menaces and aggression of a foreign nation.” – John Adams, Second State of the Union address, 1798

Written by Nick

07/04/2011 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Faith, Politics