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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On Alice and Analysis Programs

On Alice

I was discussing the believing six impossible things before breakfast concept (presented in the story of Alice in Wonderland and utilized to good effect by Alice in this scene) with my daughter last night. I believe the idea of reminding ourselves of the seemingly impossible things that have been accomplished can aid us in facing up to the Jabberwockys that cross our paths.

This is not to say that we can overcome all obstacles that come our way. There are indeed things in the world that we cannot accomplish. The catch phrase of the day, you can do whatever you set your mind to, is simply not true; we do have limitations and sometimes we just need to make a new plan, to flee the situation and take a different path.

Theologically, for example, it is impossible for us to do anything that will make us fit for heaven when we die. Only through the blood of Christ is it possible for us to be saved from our sins, enabling us to spend eternity in the presence of the holy, holy, holy, majestic God of the universe.

Also, we cannot cause things to be okay in God's eyes, just because they are okay in ours. God hates sin and that doesn't change. His Ten Commandments stand. He does not waver. Idolotry, irreverence toward God and His name,* adultery, murder, theft, etc. are all still things that thou shalt not.

There are also physical, mental, and economic realities (among others) that set limits on what we can or cannot do. Some of these limits may change in time, some may not.

On the other side of the coin, there are also many limitations that we set on ourselves which don't actually exist. Sometimes things seem overwhelming and it is easier to say "I can't" than to take them on. Another children's story that has put forth this principle is The Little Engine That Could with his, "I think I can. I think I can." There is no doubt that giving oneself a pep talk can be helpful. Can you think of other children's stories that encourage this type of thinking?

The reason I embrace this principle is that its truth is affirmed in Scripture - with the added assurance that God will assist us in those things we do according to His will. This is seen in Philippians 4:13, 2 Chronicles 16:9 and 1 John 5:14. It is the Lord's desire that we accomplish much for His glory.

Six (seemingly) impossible things to believe in before breakfast:
1. An entire universe can be created in six days (Genesis 1).
2. An entire population can become corrupt through the actions of one man (Romans 5:12).
3. Redemption of the nations can come through the sinless life and undeserved death of one Man (Romans 5:18 - read all of Romans 5 for the full argument).
4. Through Christ I can live forever (Romans 6:23).
5. God will give me the strength to endure the trials He has allowed into my life (1 Corinthians 10:13).
6. God is able to make all things that happen in this life work together for my good (Romans 8:28).

If these things are true, I can certainly face the mundane, day to day things that come my way with confidence and have at them!

On Analysis Programs

This is a curiosity to me. I have been having traffic on both of my blogs tracked by Google Analytics (hereafter referred to as "GA") for some time now and recently I was on the dashboard and decided to hit the stats button to see what it is about. I was surprised to see that Blogger (hereafter "B") is also keeping track of visitors and I was even more surprised that the results are not the same. Early on, I noticed that on one day in particular B said I had ten visits from Saudi Arabia, but GA had no country recorded anywhere near there.

In the last day, GA says I have had visitors from four countries:  United States, Uganda, France and India.

B says I have had visitors from ten countries: United States, Thailand, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Germany, France, Israel and Japan.

Though it is true that B can give up-to-the-minute stats and GA only has stats for up through the previous day, today's B stats have only recorded visitors from the United States, so that does not affect the results.

GA is far more in depth on the information they give, but I really don't know what to think about this wide discrepancy.
* Even if it is popular, as is OMG, or down home, as in oh good Lord; if it is not a prayer, it is a swear word. If it can be replaced with wow or you have got to be kidding me or something of that sort, it is taking God's name in vain.


Matt said...

If I'd known you were looking for international visitors I would have made sure to visit your blog while I was in Thailand, ;-).

Becky, slave of Christ said...

What an amazing experience for you, Matt! I hope you blog about it soon.