Archive for April, 2011

Best Bible Ever

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Cambridge Pitt Minion ESV Bible

I’m picky when it comes to Bibles. Binding has to be good, cover has to be perfect, margins can’t be too small, font can’t be some stupid modern nonsense, and the paper can’t be too thin or transparent. So this is just a quick note to plug an amazing good Bible, the Cambridge Pitt Minion.  You can even pick from major translations: mine is the ESV, my sister’s is the NIV, and there are also NKJV, NASB, and NLT options available.

Having used this as my primary Bible for two and a half years, I have to say this is the absolute best Bible I’ve ever owned. Quality leather that feels and looks nice and handles well. Sewn binding that is strong and permits the Bible to lay open flat (without holding) pretty much from beginning to end. Clear and crisp text, nice formatting and layout. The Bible has held up excellently.

One caveat for the potential buyer is that it is smaller than one might expect. I’m young, I can afford small text. But if somebody made this Bible just like it is, only 25% larger, I’d jump for it in a heartbeat.

I’m not getting paid for a review. I just really like my Bible!

Dirty Solutions to Tricky Problems

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

So a client has an Exchange 2003 server that routinely gums up after BackupExec does its work. This thing has defied all manner of troubleshooting, with regard to antivirus, disk location, server utilization, etc., so the only remaining solution is to restart the information store service every morning. (Yes, I know, we really should figure out what the problem is.)

Instead of making the IT person get up every morning at 7 am to do it, how ’bout a little scripting magic by using the server build option to customize to your needs? Windows is no UNIX, but we can try.

First, some useful commands to stop and start a service:

net stop MSExchangeIS /y
net start MSExchangeIS /y

Works peachy if the service is actually responding. When it’s stuck, it doesn’t stop on request. You have to kill store.exe in Task Manager. But how do you script that? With PsTools, silly!

So in between that stop and start request, we add:

pskill store /accepteula

Make sure pskill is somewhere in the path of the user executing the batch file. The /accepteula switch is to prevent it from sticking at the EULA which pops up on first use, and perhaps again? — but since this is automated, you’d never know that it stuck, just that your information store never restarted.

Important here, by the way, is to try to stop the service before you kill it. That way if the thing is responding, we don’t send it the shock of a rough shutdown. Pskill will fail gracefully if the service is already stopped.

Put these bad boys in a batch file and run it after the backup completes. Presto change-o, an information store that is ready for the business day.

A side note: It seems that running Exchange on a Domain Controller is a bad idea. But this is Windows Small Business Server, so that’s exactly what we have. One major problem is that shutting the system down takes a full 30 minutes, because Windows kills Active Directory before Exchange and it sits spinning its wheels not knowing AD will never respond. Possible solution (not tested yet) is to script an Exchange shutdown by group policy before Windows itself starts shutdown. This one is for implementation another day…

Our Only Deliverer

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

(Sermon preached at Wyoming Ave. Baptist Church, April 3, 2011)


A. The story

John 6:16-21

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum.  It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.  But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”  Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

B. Immediate context – it’s a sandwich!

The text we are considering is a relatively short passage, just 6 verses.  Whenever we begin a study, we examine where a section fits in the narrative, in the larger study of the particular book, and in the Bible, in God’s story as a whole.

Right before this passage is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  Right after this passage is the sermon that explains that particular miracle.  Jesus explains how he is the true bread from heaven – not just the new provider of manna, but the manna itself.  So the story of Jesus walking on water fits between the miracle of bread and the sermon on bread.  In effect, it’s a sandwich!

So how does this particular “meat” speaks to the “bread” that surrounds it.  I’ll tell you right up front.  In the miracle of the new manna, Jesus demonstrates to the crowd that he is indeed the prophet like Moses that God had promised.  But what he reveals to his disciples is that he is more than a bigger Moses – he is almighty God.