June 4, 2008
Ahh, the sweet smell of a fresh release... if I could turn it into a drink, it would be a pumpkin spice latte (or perhaps a caramel frappuccino which doesn't smell as good but tastes great!). Today, 15 months after the initial alpha release, we've released Ubercart 1.0 for Drupal 5. As I said in our announcement, reaching the milestone is quite an achievement, but doing the work alongside a worldwide community of Drupal/Ubercart users and contributors has been a real joy. Many thanks to the countless folks who have made a 1.0 release possible.
There's still plenty to do, and we're learning so much as the project matures. However, the many donated hours from our users and developers along with encouragements like this keep spurring us on in development:
"... what they've put together in a year and a half surpasses many of the other shopping carts out there that have been stabbing at this ecommerce monster for almost a decade.
Personally, we are migrating from Xcart. It was good to us and I loved it until I discovered Drupal, now only Drupal will do, and for ecommerce, only Ubercart will do."
We look forward to continuing development on Ubercart with the many cool folks who have helped in the forums, chatted in IRC, and hung out with us at the last two Drupalcons. Porting the 1.0 to Drupal 6 is already well underway (way to go Lyle et al!) with a roadmap to come in the near future. Let the brainstorming continue as we consider how to improve the Ubercart core when we move on to 2.0 development.
Personally, I'm heading out of town for four days to help my folks move and attend the wedding of my wife's college friend. I hope you all enjoy the release while I'm away, and good luck to Lyle as he keeps up with the forum activity.
June 3, 2008
My lesson tonight at the Transformation House was based on chapter 33 in John Piper's book The Passion of Jesus Christ. Its primary text was Galatians 6:14, and the premise is that Christ died on the cross so that all the boasting we do as believers might be a boasting in the cross. It's quite clear in Scripture that boasting in ourselves, what we have or do, is contrary to God's plan for the world. Boasting in ourselves over such things is misplaced praise, as if we are responsible for our very lives and the things we have been able to do. The Bible teaches instead that God is the giver of life and the one who enables us to do all things, and His desire is that as we come to understand this, we would render praise to God as is fitting for all the good things we enjoy in this life and all the bad things God uses for good in our lives.
This sort of life is only possible through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. He received in his flesh willingly, according to the plan of God, the penalty for our self-centered sin. All who trust in this substitution no longer stand condemned and are freed from an essentially self-centered life, so it makes sense that the cross would become the Christian's greatest treasure. According to the Bible, it frees a man or woman to live life as God intended which is by nature the most satisfying thing for him or her to do and the most honoring to God.
I believe these truths and teach them on Tuesday evenings to a group of men who could be my fathers (or at least my decade-older brothers). It is no secret that they have lived lives centered on themselves, particularly as a result of destructive addictions. I've seen several times now guys come through who stay clean for a few weeks, get tired of living under someone else's authority or in shared living space, and decide to get back out on their own. They think that they just need to keep strong like they've been doing, maybe with a meeting at AA or NA to check in with a support group. Unfortunately, it is this pride in what they've done, even for a short amount of time, that takes them prematurely out of a safe environment and right back into temptation's arms. Inevitably, they relapse, and sometimes we'll get to see them again at the T-House. The others I pray we'll see again if possible.
This is why it encourages me so much when the guys respond like they did to tonight's lesson. A new believer was eager to learn, to have all his questions answered so he can understand what the Bible teaches about his relationship with God. An mature believer was willing to confess that he often feels the temptation to enjoy sin and regret the life he left behind. And my favorite of the evening, a 51 year old man was able to confess that until our very lesson tonight he would say things like, "I came to the T-House because I was tired of getting drunk and high. I'm making changes by keeping strong. I have a job because I get myself up every morning at 4 AM." Now, he realizes it hasn't been all him at all... These things are mercies from a God whose kindness is intended to lead men to repentance. And as a Christian, he can boast in the cross of Christ Jesus, through which he's been made a new man and received a Spirit which strengthens him to make such wonderful changes in his life.
May 27, 2008
I've largely stayed out of the discussion in regards to global warming and particularly Al Gore's movie, <em>An Inconvenient Truth</em>. However, two YouTube videos about the movie made me want to check it out, even just to see if it's as outrageous as they claim. Check out the commentaries below and let me know how it stacks up to what you've seen and heard regarding Al Gore's end of the world scenario. :P
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May 25, 2008
At least I hope it's landing. It would be a shame for another one of these to simply crash. You should check out the article and the video presentation in this news article. It's pretty incredible stuff!
Maybe I can get on a mission to Mars if they need a minister.
UPDATE: It landed!
UPDATE 2: More pictures.
UPDATE 3: My dad also sent me a link to this article with a picture of the probe during its parachute descent as seen by one of our Mars orbiters.