What will cause you to change?

“I am right. Therefore, you must change.” This is a common sentiment among anyone who holds an opinion. Major convincing arguments are then given as to reasons why others must change to your point of view.

It is proud to assume that you have all of the right answers to everything. To make such a claim is to decree that you are like God: all-knowing and perfect in every way. However, any human cannot make such a claim. Humans are notorious for failure.

Did Edison invent the lightbulb on the first try?
Did all the Apollo missions succeed without incident?
How many attempts did it take Spacex engineers to land a rocket? Was it 1?
How many answers did you get wrong on all of the tests you took in school? Was it 0?

As a human, I understand my faults. Compared to a Holy God, I can never be perfect. Thankfully, this God offers forgiveness of sin through placing one’s trust in His substitutionary death on the cross. Oh, what freedom I experienced when I trusted Christ!

Now, as I have been a Christian for over two decades, it disturbs me at the audacity of some who claim the inability to change their opinions. Our sacred text shows a few examples of the opposite. Job had an idea of God, but when he saw Him, Job’s lifestyle changed (Job 42:5-6). Paul admonished the reduction of one’s liberty to maintain the edification of one another (Romans 14:19-21). Even the early church demonstrated the necessity of change to minister to the needs of those who were experiencing poverty from becoming a Christian (Acts 4:32-35).

Christianity is not a list of stubborn rules which are unmovable. Instead, it is a journey leading one “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29), and it is built upon continual scrutiny of one’s decisions (Romans 12:2). Change (or demonstration of critical thinking as to why one is not changing) is an indicator of one’s belief in God. “We have always done it this way” is not acceptable thinking in Christianity. Change must be performed when necessitated.

What will cause you to change from your position? What evidence is required for you to stay with your current thinking? Defining these should be a requirement for any individual desiring to hold a position of ministry.

Three goals in Bible Reading

Recently, I evaluated why I take time out of my day to read the Bible. I have heard that the Bible has one singular meaning. If that is true, then reading the Bible through once is sufficient. However, those that promote singular meaning also advocate for daily Bible reading. This seems like a logical fallacy, which should be addressed; nevertheless, I attempt to achieve at least one of these three goals every time I open my Bible to read it.

  1. Personal Growth
    I need to learn God’s view of man’s relations. I need to adapt my lifestyle to fit.
  2. Time with God
    Sometimes the only result I get is adding minutes to our relationship. When I was dating my wife, it did not matter if all we did was sit and watch an old movie. We were adding minutes of being together. The same is true for any relationship – time spent together matters.
  3. Finding a truth to teach others
    Pet peeves are often taught as truth; however, one must follow the logical, linguistic chain to find the truth that Scripture teaches. One must pull out the application rather than inject the thought into the text. One must be fully equipped in the truth to be able to teach others the same truth.

Link sharing in the blog era

I just remembered how painful it was to share content through a blog to friends. Social media, such as Twitter, solved that issue. I do not want to attempt trying to remember my Digg.it password (Does the site even exist anymore?)

Anyway, I said all of that to say this: I know where both of these locations are:


I can be excited for both the US and Finnish teams.

Extension to make Twitter more usable

After setting up an RSS reader and a bridge to pull in tweets, I no longer access Twitter. If there is interesting content, I click the link on my RSS reader and comment directly without visiting the Twitter homepage.

If I were a more regular user of Twitter, I think I would use this extension: https://github.com/insin/tweak-new-twitter

I might even install it for the few times a month I click on a Twitter link.

Depression and Anxiety

This morning I read from one of the people I follow a short, concise list of comparing Depression and Anxiety. It is quite good to read over, but I think it is quite lacking in its explanation. Primarily limited from the 280 character posts on Twitter.

I feel like I have authority to speak on this subject because I am the son of a medically-diagnosed bi-polar manic depressive and my other parent is anxious about living in the perfect climate known as San Diego, California. To say that I know what depression and anxiety look like would be an understatement. Not only have I observed it in my parents, but I have had seasons where the struggle between the two extremes was real in my own life. Now, as a parent, I view some of the struggles that I have seen in my parents and my own life beginning to surface in my children.

How does one overcome anxiety or depression? Here are some solutions:

  1. Find an anchor. An anchor is one that does not change over time. Some like to put their anchor in a schedule, in a relationship, in a religious set of beliefs, or in a church; however, those are false anchors.

    The only true anchor is God.

    David wrote, “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.” (Psalm 62:1-2).
  2. Belong to a church that develops your connection to the anchor. Some like to evaluate this position to mean that the church has a ton of programs going on. However, the way to evaluate this section is if the pastor gives a sermon (or brings in men to preach on his behalf), that equip you to become better attached to the anchor. This is amplified through opportunities to use this attachment.

    Sadly, it is increasingly common to find a church in America that preaches republicanism where Trump is god or wokeism where everything must be accepted. If you increasingly feel better equipped to attack the other side rather than develop the peace which is in God (John 14:27), it is time for you to find a different church.

    Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:17-19)
  3. Understand: depression and anxiety are temporary seasons (Ecc 3:1). If you are finding that they linger longer than expected, you might have to seek medical help. Medicine is the use of God’s created resources to aid in the sustainability of His creation.

    Anxiety is relieved when that particular worry is completely let go to be cared for by God (1 Peter 5:7). It is a difficult practice to learn, but God’s outcomes are better than mine.

    Depression has many causes and it is complex to even identify the reason for the depression. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to hide this depression from others. Seek help when necessary from your pastor or a Nuethetic Counselor he recommends.

    What makes me get into a depressive mood is when I am overwhelmed with tasks. I feel like I am drowning and there appears to be no deliverer. This is often caused by my own doing; therefore, it is solvable by me without the help of others. I have to remove tasks from my workload through completing them or not taking as many on as I would like. In recent days, I have discovered a new thing that contributes to my depression – a lack of sunlight. Whereas this only affects those who live in the earth’s extremities, the solution is easily known – take Vitamin D.

    When it comes to depression, one should not seek to self-diagnose or fix by one’s self. Depression is exaggerated when there is no one to help you. However, to this seemingly impossible season, the Bible is the source giver of hope:

    “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13 – memorize it if you have not already done so!)
  4. If you are not currently going through a season of depression or anxiety, help someone who is.

    “And the Lord said,
    Satan hath desired to have you,
    that he may sift you as wheat:

    But I have prayed for thee,
    that thy faith fail not:
    and when thou art converted,
    strengthen thy brethren.”
    (Luke 22:31-32)


It is very ironic – to me at least – that when I visit drive.google.com on a Chromebook, I am presented with a notification to install Google drive.

This is a Chromebook.

Google apps are loaded by default.

This includes Google drive.

I just prefer the web experience over the native file explorer.

2023 – Return to the Syndicated Stone age (RSSa)

The new year has already been dubbed by some in the tech world as the year of RSS, meaning people will ditch social media for the consumption-style RSS feed. It is the same concept of switching from a smartphone to a mobile phone. You might be thinking, “Why would anyone go backwards in technology?” Everyone may have their own reasons for doing so, but mine is simply because of the social media trap.

The past few months I have noticed a personal, increased social media presence. I would have my app open 7 or 8 times a day, and because of the algorithms to keep me in the app longer, this would equate to 4 or 5 hours a day. I was managing to keep my studies, work, and family life balanced so I do not feel as if I have somehow lost that time or that I am wrong for spending that spare time on social media. It is just that 4 or 5 hours can be a bit excessive for a single particular hobby.

One of the items I have learned through osmosis is that having regularly scheduled checkpoints to evaluate my personal life is important. Just like the feedback loop in software engineering presents a better product, a feedback loop in daily life is just as important. Software engineering says the feedback loop should be the shortest possible to completion; however, my feedback loop is every 3 months. This gives me enough time to cycle through and evaluate how I am doing without changing too rapidly. This last iteration, ending in September, allowed me to gather the data to know I was spending about 24 hours a week on social media.

This current iteration was filled with thoughts of, “I know I need to do something, but what!?” However, when Elon Musk bought Twitter, everyone scrambled off of it to their own respective platforms. It was then I remembered that a solution exists in the form of RSS. The content I want to view and consume is retrieved without the help of a company’s algorithm of keeping me on their platform.

I settled for Yarr as my feed reader and RSS-Bridge for middleware when RSS feeds were not available. I am hosting these apps in my Kubernetes homelab and am using Github OAuth for authentication. While I have only tested this option for several weeks now, it seems to have kept me out of the algorithm octopus. Preliminary observations have shown 3-5 more hours for other hobbies – such as sleep, books, video games, blog posts, and other silly stuff that is interesting to me alone.

I think I will keep LastPass

LastPass was recently hacked and the hacker was able to steal keys from a developer which had access to the company’s backup files. In the backup files, the hacker could use the decryption keys he stole from the developer to create something like:


I can assume my data has been leaked. I am a LastPass user; however, I do not think this is good reason for my departure from LastPass.

This is not the first time a hacker was able to get this sort of information from LastPass. I was also a LastPass user during that time and my passwords were never compromised after than hack. The Zero-knowledge password storing employed by LastPass seems to have worked in the past, and I anticipate it being sufficient again.

As a safety precaution, I went ahead and changed my financial passwords, but other than that step, is there anything else that needs to be done? Perhaps I will change my Master password once more. If LastPass gets hacked again, at least all my SHAs will be different.

Incarnation Haiku

God became a man.
He experienced life.
A life without sin.

He, unworthily,
Received punishment for sin.
God the Son had died.

Three days have now passed.
And Jesus did not stay dead
He came back to life.

It was His power.
Without the help of others.
Life came back to Him.

By resurrection,
Jesus says, “Place trust in me.”
“I make all things new.”

This event declares
And even more loudly proclaims
Flawless victory.

Impossible to define

It is impossible to define a complex thought with one sentence. Even the previous sentence demands further information. What kind of thoughts do I mean? What is the reasoning for saying such a thing? Context adds further information to the reasoning behind such a statement. It also sets the stage for the real reason for the statement or provokes further thought.

If one considers the previous paragraph to be accurate in its message, then one should not settle for a single verse to explain a complex doctrine, such as salvation.

Asking ChatGPT to define love

As programmers develop new text generation methods, what can come as a result is interesting. Recently, ChatGPT responses have been propagating to Twitter, with many asking the AI text generator for common paradigms with known human solutions. Some posts have been insightful about how the chatbot was instructed to learn and associate words. However, to those who have programmed AI models, the shortcomings are apparent, and there is no immediate threat of a robot uprising. Currently, many perceived issues are corrected by inputting the correct wording to the chatbot, indicating the idiom, garbage in – garbage out, is still valid.

I was interested in asking the ChatGPT to clarify the love quality found in John 3:16.

Love is an emotion that is, in Christian circles, attributed to different levels or types of love. One can have a love for a sports team, a love for a spouse, and a love for chocolate. However, these types of love vary based on each object and the love holder.

In English, we would use the same word for love to describe the varying emotion, but in other languages, the varying degrees are expressed in different word choices. It is common for Bible preachers to equate Greek word choices with varying forms of love, such as in the dialog between Peter and Jesus in John 21. (Although Carson has made good dialog into overthrowing this perceived relation.1)

My recent study of the Greek text in John 3:16 revealed a language barrier between what is written in Greek and what is translated into English. When written, love was given a form without English verb equivalency. It is translated in the English past tense, which offers a sense of something performed in previous times, but does not apply to today. However, as John wrote in Greek, the phrasal action exists in an eternal state.

Perhaps ChatGPT could describe this immeasurable amount of love:

ChatGPT trying to express love by stating: Ultimately, the best way to express an immeasurable amount of love is to show it through your actions, and to make the other person feel loved and valued.

The response is what you would expect of popular psychology, being there for a person regardless of the circumstance. The fallacy of this thought is easily identified in a situation where the one you love has escaped from prison. In that instance, supporting them would require you to harbor a known fugitive – an act punishable by US law. It is also impossible to be supportive of everyone’s actions at all times. Can immeasurable love be shown to groups that have contrary opinions? However, this type of love is expressed in John 3:16.

God’s love is an immeasurable amount of love, which has lasting effects that continually build up. The potency by which God shows His love is presented through its conceptualization and increasing exponential power, which began in eternity past. In essence, God’s love will continually build upon the foundation until the recipient has no more room to receive it. At this point, God’s love is exponentially more.

The very nature of God’s love felt for the world is signified by this thought: God expressed it in giving the most prized possession He had – His only begotten Son. The power and intensity by which God loves are based on the virtue of Jesus Christ.

God so loved; therefore, He gave.

1 D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013). 51-53.

Back to the blogs

The painfully slow death of social media is pushing the masses back into our blog-o-spheres. In 2 years, the only people doing social media will be those who are not technical enough to click a one-button wordpress/ghost install and pay $5/month from a hosting provider.
Of course, there will be the faithful few who still insist that Markdown is the way to go.

For now, I want to experiment and see how a “status” post format works.

ReMarkable 2 Review

At first glance, the reMarkable seemed expensive for a one show pony. Replacing a pad of paper for notes was its only selling point and truly main focus. Could it really fit my use case and deliver an experience I needed?

As one who regularly types notes and prints them for use in public speaking, I sought out a replacement for physical paper. I had multiple copies of notes, printed quite regularly, and often would get copies confused. In my flow, I numbered the pages as to not get them confused which order they were to be referred. I reprinted each time a correction to the notes or if the paper withered due to use. This seemed like a huge waste of paper. (At $.05 estimated per sheet of paper, 10 pages of notes would cost approximately $2 by the time I was finished.)

I first started using my Kindle Paperwhite as a replacement to printing. I could easily send myself a PDF and have it appear on my Kindle. Over time I realized the screen was perfect for the lighting environments where I routinely looked at my notes – a pulpit. It was like having my notes printed, but without the glare of an LED from a tablet. One flaw of the Kindle stood out: while it was the perfect size for reading a book, it was too small for reading full sized PDF documents at a distance. I learned that I had to type “convert” in the subject line of each PDF email sent to my Kindle. This allowed better font viewing, but my formatting would not appear the way I needed it to.

When I first saw the reMarkable, it looked like it would alleviate my two concerns. Once I received my remarkable (thank you, stimulus money), I was able to import a few PDFs and view them as full-sized on the glare-free e-ink display. The formatting was also exactly as I set it in my word processor. Everything seemed as if it was going to be perfect; however, the reMarkable had one flaw – it does not have a typing program. Yes, it does have an on-screen keyboard for filling out items such as filenames, emails, and others, but if you want to word process, you have to manually write out the letters. While this is good for hand-written note takers, this threw a wrench in my workflow. I could not use the reMarkable as an all-inclusive document processor to where I would no longer need to type on a computer. (To reMarkable’s credit, they did not market the device as such, but I was erroneously thinking there would be some sort of typing application included.)

After some reviewing my workflow of typing my document in GSuite, saving it as PDF, and uploading it to the reMarkable, I figured this required too much effort to get something on the reMarkable. There had to be an easier way – considering I would update my typed document quite frequently. Looking for options, I was able to find the google-drive-sync script and extend it to include Documents and convert them to PDFs. My workflow now is as follows:

I. I type a document into GSuite
2. It syncs to remarkable cloud and my device
3. I copy the file to a local folder, make annotations in the process of reviewing
4. I update the file on GSuite
5. Repeat from step 2

I still have a few flaws to work out with the sync, but it works for now.

As for the other aspect of the reMarkable – note taking and eBook reading, I have to say, that I quite enjoy the experience. Jotting down a to-do list, quickly putting thoughts down (instead of waiting for a note app to boot on a phone or computer), and notating on top of eBooks have been a breeze. The experience is just like using paper, and for one who can detect lag from a stylus, I cannot tell that I am using one.

For a device that is marketed as replacing paper notes, it does quite well. My use case is also satisfied with some modifications that I have made. Overall, I am satisfied in the purchase and 2 year break-even point.

Use the same Dockerfile – please

As Containers have progressed, Docker has stood out as the defacto standard. As many of the laggards are coming up to speed, Dockerfiles can be seen in many open source repositories. With the addition to that, I have seen a few repos with a Dockerfile-prod, Dockerfile-dev, Dockerfile-test, etc.

Additionally, you find an IF clause in the CMD statement such as:

CMD if [ "$REACT_NODE_ENV" = "development" ]; \
  then yarn dev;  \
  else yarn build && yarn start --only=production; \

To those repositories, I have one daunting question:


Container start commands can be overwritten at run time. Here is how to do it:

# Dockerfile
FROM alpine:3.6

CMD echo "production start command"
# docker-compose.yml
version: '3'
    build: .
    command: echo 'development start command'
# kubernetes-deployment.yml
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
  name: cool-app
  namespace: cool-app-testing
    app: cool-app
  replicas: 1
      app: cool-app
        app: cool-app
      - name: cool-app
        image: alpine:3.6
        - echo
        - 'testing start command'

WordPress Containerization Boilerplate

As a step further to my previous post, I have created a boilerplate for future WordPress projects. It can be accessed at https://github.com/andrewwippler/WordPress-Containerization-Boilerplate.

To quickly start a WordPress environment, simply run the following commands:

git clone git@github.com:andrewwippler/WordPress-Containerization-Boilerplate.git
cd WordPress-Containerization-Boilerplate/
docker-compose up

and by visiting http://localhost:8080

More instructions are in the repo README.

Happy Plugin/Theme development.