Easter 2015 Sermon, The Empty Tomb

As most of you already know, I have been working on my MDiv degree, attending seminary at the University of Dubuque. It has been both challenging and rewarding. I have also been preaching at the Presbyterian Church in Harbor Beach about once per month. This month the lot fell to me to give the Sermon on Easter Sunday. I wrote it on the Empty Tomb. It is crammed with theology, which is pretty typical of me. We had higher than normal attendance, which is always nice. Please let me know what you think.

This is about my 10th Sermon

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Psalms, and more Psalms

I decided to start seminary early this year. I felt my call on on the 13th of April. (More on that some other time.) In any case, I have been attending the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary since this summer. They have a very good distance learning program. I had never done distance learning before and am interested to find that it seems even more rigorous than I remember residential classes being oh so many years ago.

In the first semester I have already written some eight papers over 2000 words in length. This has rekindled a website I began way back in 1999. I have started to return to work on Bible Study Info. It all started with a few bible studies I wrote back in the ’90s. Today I added to my list of book reviews. Putting up an extensive review of Witvliet’s The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship.

The site needs some significant updating and I will be working on that in my minimal spare time in the coming months.

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New Book: Time Out of Mind

Yes, I have been at it again. Over the past two years, in the little spare time alloted me, I wrote a fictional work. I keep telling everyone it is autobiographical, and it is, except the part where my space ship gets hit by space debris and I crash land on a terraformed planet called “Fimus”. Oh, and the part where I battle sharks on the high seas and have to construct a dugout from a giant spruce with only stone age tools at hand. And there are a lot more exceptions, making this book quite exceptional. Hope you will take a gander at my personal website and check out Time Out of Mind.

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Outside Program Links Spawn new Browser Tabs Problem

I got a query regarding the fact that an email link will create a new tab when clicked on instead of using the open tab. If there are a lot of messages to open this can create a problem.
I have looked into this multiplying tab situation. This is actually something that there is no way of controlling in email or on websites. It is totally a function of the browser itself. There is a way for the user to control this behavior in Firefox and IE. In IE do the following:

tools>internet options>general>settings

Then click the radio circle for “open links from other programs in the current window”.

Unfortunately, near as I can tell Chrome has no controls for this. Although there may be some apps that can be added that will help control tab and window openings, or a more recent version or update may have corrected this problem. Google Chrome simply defaults to opening a new tab or window every time a link is called from an outside program. In my investigations there were many
complaints to Google about this behavior.

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How to Force Browser to See New Favicon


My new favicon, writ large.

I have been working for the last month and a half on my new website www.dizink.com. It is all about sending messages in disappearing ink. In any case, I created a new favicon for it. When I went to the browser, it did not show up. This is, of course, because the browser caches the favicon. There are many suggestions on how to force the browser to see the new favicon. Everything from refresh, f5, to reboot. I found that none of these had any effect. However, there is a simple solution you can add to the webpage that will actuall force ALL browsers to see the new favicon.

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”http://www.yoursite.com/favicon.ico?v=2” />

You need the v=2 on this or some semblance of it. Anyway, it is a useful little trick.

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JavaScript to Control MaxLength in TextArea

I spent a few hours yesterday trying to create a javascript that would control the maximum length entered onto a form by a user in real time. What I wanted to do was to count the characters put into a textarea and notify the user of his total, and at the same time truncate all inputs to 150 characters. Something like what Twitter does, but not quite. Anyway, this is more difficult than it sounds.

The problem is that if you cut and paste using the mouse, none of the events in the text area box will trigger the maxLength javascript. (onpaste is useless for this because it occurs BEFORE the paste actually occurs and accessing the clipboard is impossible except in IE.) Admittedly, my solution is not as elegant as I would like. Here is the salient part of the form:

<form name=”dothing” action=”../cgi/doit.php” method=”post”>
<table border=”0″ cellpadding=”10″ align=”center” id=”get_message” onmouseover=’return maxLength(document.dothing.dmessage,”150″);’><tr><td>
<strong>Message – 150 characters or less:</strong></td><td><textarea id=”dmessage” name=”message” rows=”4″ cols=”40″ maxlength=”150″ onchange=’return maxLength(this,”150″);’ onKeyUp=’return maxLength(this,”150″);’ onblur=’return maxLength(this,”150″);’onmouseup=’return maxLength(this,”150″);’></textarea><br /><span id=”char_num”>150 characters allowed.</span></td></tr><tr><td>
<strong>Click to Send:</strong></td><td><p align=”center”><input type=”submit” name=”odsubmit” value=”Submit” /></p></td></tr>

Well, there might have been a bit of overkill on the events that call on the maxLength function. But I figured that it didn’t hurt to cover all the bases. To deal with the cut and paste problem, I incuded a mouseover call of the maxLength function on the table. I suppose you could do it for even wider areas. In any case, this does prevent the user pressing the “Submit” button with excessive text in the box and at least gives some warning. Here is the JavaScript:

function maxLength(field,maxChars)
var $string_length = field.value.length;
var $length_over = $string_length – maxChars;
if($length_over >= 0)
field.value = field.value.substring(0, $string_length – $length_over);
document.getElementById(‘char_num’).innerHTML = field.value.length;

Pretty simple for several hours of research and a bit of hack, but there it is.

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Find the Width of a Window

Do you need to find the width of a window? If you want your page to be dynamic and be able to adjust for the width of a window, html on its own will do some of that, but it will not adjust image sizes and multiple columns can pose a problem. There is some JavaScript that will allow the code to get the info you need:

var $window_width = document.body.offsetWidth;
window.alert(“The width of this window is: ” + $window_width);

Of course, you probably will not want to be telling visitors this info in an alert box. But this gives you the basic command to do what needs to be done.

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