A Dovetailed Life

The things that interest us weave us together to create who we are.

Month: December, 2010

Texting While Driving

Short, yet emotional documentary that AT&T put together about the effects of texting while driving. Told by family, friends, and strangers who caused and were affected by texting while driving.

One of the arguments made is that no one sees drinking while driving as something that is acceptable but almost all of us text and drive. With the advent of keyboard less devices becoming more and more popular, the dangers are multiplied. With drinking and driving, your vision is impaired. With texting, your vision isn’t there at all. I’d almost rather have a drunk driver because they are most likely trying hard to pay attention and drive safely whereas a texting driver doesn’t care.

About a year ago, I noticed this to be a problem in my own driving habits. I have thought many times that phones need a driving mode, where text messages are automatically responded to with a “driving” mark and don’t even appear to the driver. It could be automatic so that whenever a driver enters a car, the phone can’t not go into the mode. Unfortunately, this would likely only appear in top level phones and cars, something teenagers don’t often have. Unless, I suppose, congress were to step in.

Personally, I use my phone as a GPS device, attached by suction cup to my windshield. I use voice control for calling and ipod control and the angle is such that I don’t even like typing on it while parked. It has worked for me because I don’t even consider responding unless I am at a light. I just wish I had a way to let the sender know I wasn’t ignoring them.

If you were 23 more times likely to die doing any other activities, you wouldn’t do them. So why do we do this?

I invite you to think about what measures you might put into place in your own driving habits so that you aren’t even tempted to respond to a text message.



iPhone vs. Android

Great article by John Gruber about the cheapening electronics and the future of Android handsets at the $100 level. Read here.

In short, components are getting cheaper and surely Android phones will release before the typical June release of the iPhone at lower costs with features equaling those of the iPhone. Gruber argues that the game Google and Apple are playing are two different games (he continues to argue that Google has yet to release an iPod Touch competitor, quite a successful product for Apple).

The thing to me (and Gruber strongly relies on it in his article) is the emotional attachment to a device. Once you are in the ecosystem, used to the system, like the process, it is easier to upgrade to the next model once you are eligible. I bought a new iphone case today and thought about what I would do if my phone broke. Easy answer: go buy another one. I have gotten to the point where I don’t know what I would do without it.

Emotional attachment is key to the marketing of any product and Apple has seemed to master the manufacturing of those emotions.

Blackberry had this going for them. But they fell way behind in the race and more and more Blackberry users are thinking about an Android or iphone for their next phone.

Will people abandon their loves for cheaper prices? I don’t think so.
Will people abandon their loves for more features? Seems to be so.

Will Apple fall behind in the features race? I don’t see any proof of that anytime soon.


Reflections on Duke Divinity Fall 2010


The first semester is over. ¬†EVERYONE has been asking what my thoughts are/experiences were and so I thought I’d aggregate everything here to help out with the explanation.

Here is a list with some annotations as well:

  • Everyone here is smarter than me.
    • I remember well the first few weeks when I just wrote down terms that others were using in class that I had NO IDEA what they were saying. It’s that type of situation where someone uses a word and you feel like you ought to know it, so you don’t readily admit that you have no idea what it means.
  • Not everyone here is a Methodist.
    • For some reason, I had this preconceived notion that all the students (or at least, almost all) would be United Methodists in the process for ordination. I now know that that presumption is just silly. There are quite a bit of Calvinists as well. Didn’t expect that. ūüėČ
  • Not everyone here wants to be a Pastor
    • As someone who has been quite confused at times about his “call” (I hate that word), I totally expected to be the odd one out who wasn’t willing to just jump on the “I want to be a pastor because they give me a job and a house” train. There are tons of students here that want to be musicians and deacons and other things. If you are a potential student reading this and desire to be a pastor, NO FEAR- Duke has LOTS of students who are pursuing pastoral ministry. And Duke puts out a ton of phenomenal Pastors. ¬†But…it’s not the end all be all.
  • The Undergrads here are ridiculous.
    • Duke is one the best schools in the nation. End of story. ¬†The students here are smart and dumb people simply don’t get in. ¬†Your test scores and grades have to be high, there is no question about that. But my God, they are ridiculous. Seems like maybe even more so than other schools. I think it is all set up as a test for Divinity students so that we may remember that they are all children of God too (thanks to Emily Sterling for that reminder).
  • Duke Basketball rules all.
    • Go to a game in Cameron. ¬†You’ll understand why.
  • Classes are hard.
    • I came in as a music major in Undergrad with little attention having been given to graduate work (in any field) and had pretty much figured that I would get a job in a church somewhere preparing worship, leading worship, etc. I didn’t read Augustine. ¬†I didn’t study Anselm. ¬†I took Greek for fun in Undergrad and NEVER envisioned that I would take it again. Wrong. I was good in music classes. It all made sense. ¬†I could see why things were the way they were. ¬†Not so here. ¬†I often got Church fathers confused with other ones. I often couldn’t remember how to articulate an argument. It’s a struggle that I’ve had to deal with, and I think that I am progressing nicely.
  • United Methodist Floridians are lucky.
    • There is no doubt about it. ¬†At Duke Divinity this year, Florida represents. Not only do we have a lot of students, we have a lot of good students. Students that are passionate about the Church. ¬†Students that are influential in conversations. ¬†Students that are sponsored by scholarships. Florida has done really well. If this hold true for all the other seminaries, the future of the UMC in Florida is looking up.
  • Worship is important.
    • Three days a week, every single week, a worship service is held in the middle of the day in Goodson Chapel. They are all well attended. ¬†They have different styles of music. ¬†They have different styles of preaching. ¬†They have different contents. ¬†You never know what you are going to get, but you always get what you need. ¬†There are no classes during this time. ¬†It is as if the school stops to worship as a community. ¬†Professors, students, staff, everyone. Pretty cool.
  • Above all else, it is a community.
    • Middlers (second years) know what Juniors (first years) go through. Same is true of the seniors to Middlers. ¬†They help out, they offer advice, they offer study guides, they cheer you on (quite literally). You don’t feel as if the PhD students don’t like you. They chat with you in the hallway. ¬†They stop and grab cake before the OT11 exam. They friend you on Facebook.


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first semester.

Were there days I thought about dropping out and going to get a job in a church? Yes.

Were there days that I was frustrated? Yes.

Was I exhausted? Yes.

Were there times that I was unprepared? Yes.

Were there times when I thought I had nailed a concept and had gotten it all wrong? Yes.

Were there times when I was embarrassed? Yes.

But, it is still worth it.

Fight the good fight.

If our God is for us, who could ever stop us? If our God is with us, what could stand against?



Just Remember…

We may be about to witness more history in the Koreas. Just remember this when you form your opinions.

These Kids Get Everything…

If you can stand the barrage of screaming kids excited about-well, everything, you’ll understand that PS22 has been invited to perform at the Academy Awards. Red carpet treatment and all.

I typically don’t pay too much attention to award shows (sadly, this often includes the Oscars) but I’ll probably watch this time. In the past, these kids have been pretty darn impressive for an inner city school choir.

Hats off to the director (former teacher of a friend of mine) who has used YouTube to take the choir to national acknowledgment. The internet is so powerful.



Free Willy

This brought back good memories.

I remember thinking as a kid: how many times is he going to change keys? How high can he go?

Miss you Michael.


My Sermon on “Love in the Midst of Hate”

It was off manuscript, with just an outline, and there were some mic issues. Let it be.

If you’d like to listen online, see below.

If you’d like to download it, you can do that as well by clicking here.

Just Tell Me This Isn’t Like American Idol…

You won’t find many more people more excited and driven to continue and advance with contemporary worship music than me.

I love Hillsong. I think that most of the work that they do has advanced American Christianity. In many ways, for the better. But they miss the point on so many occasions. I can’t help but think that this just is a bit…over the top.

Maybe sometime when I don’t have studying to tend to I’ll talk more about how I think that production in these services can work toward a higher goal and so we ought not be so quick to judge the work that they are doing to advance the Kingdom, but my first glance’s reaction to this video was…a little bit of outrage.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they started having Coke cups on stage because they had all of the sudden secured a sponsor.

Thanks to Bryan Browning for the link.


How to Destroy a Good Thing



Cockatoo Whips Its Hair…err…Feathers

I hate to make you listen to this song again, but it is funny.

I can’t help but think that someone off camera is giving this bird cues.


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