(Hot) Thursday Thoughts


We’ve had a mild, gorgeous summer here, but today is shaping up to be one of those 95/95 days—95 degrees with 95 percent humidity. Welcome to southern Ohio in the second half of July.

Haven’t had as much inspiration for gut-wrenching blog posts lately. Life is difficult right now, so my energies are being directed elsewhere. Sorry. Will attempt to do better.

So today we get links and various musings on a variety of topics.

Musical Worthiness – Derek Webb is one of the few contemporary Christian artists I listen to. This is slightly old news, but he’s giving away his The Ringing Bell album free at NoiseTrade. You can find other free albums by alternative Christian artists at that site. Heaven knows we need alternatives to Third Day, Casting Crowns, and Mercy Me!

Cautionary-Tale-from-an-Impeccable-Source Worthiness – If you want to hear just how well the Lakeland “Revival” and Todd Bentley travel, William Dembski of Intelligent Design fame shares his tale of attending a Dallas offshoot appearance. Given Dembski’s notoriety, intellect, and the revelation that one of his children is autistic only makes the story all the more worthy of note.

Charitable Worthiness – Reader Sara Wilson alerted me to a 131-year-old organization called The Fresh Air Fund that provides a two-week summer vacation for inner-city kids by placing them with families that live in suburban and rural areas or by sending them to camp. As someone who worked in camping for years and now lives on a farm, sounds ideal to me. If you can host a child, please contact the organization ASAP.

Blog Worthiness – Pastor Michael Newnham’s Phoenix Preacher blog is also worthy of note. Plenty of good linkage there and gripping reading.

A Lesson for Early Adopters – Though always a “wait and see” person when it comes to software updates with new functionality, I threw caution to the wind and upgraded my WordPress software almost immediately after v2.6 came out. I’ve used a plugin that does the upgrade seamlessly, but this time the outcome was a mess and took me about four hours to finally clear up. The plugin choked right at the end, I got locked out of the admin panel, and I could not upgrade the database. A real mess with gobs of scary errors. Sure enough, the next day, a new version of the plugin showed up. Of course.

More WordPress Cautions – If you are using one of the recent versions of WordPress that allows automatic updates of plugins, be very, very careful. The automatic update  feature requires CHMOD settings on WordPress directories that leave them open to hacker exploits. This blog was hacked about a month ago by someone who modified a plugin to a plugin because of the settings necessitated by the automatic plugin update in WordPress. Needless to say, once bitten, twice shy.

Speaking of Messes… – Man, this banking fiasco is a nightmare. Expect more banks to collapse. When the SEC halts shorting of financial stocks, you know we’ve got troubles. It only goes to show you better have your treasure in heaven and not on earth.

Apocalyptic Inflationary Evidence – I live in one of the largest corn and soybean producing states. Many of the farmers around me grow corn; a 1,000+-acre field of corn sits a quarter mile down the road. Yesterday, I was in my local Kroger store and they were selling corn for 50 cents an ear. Never seen a price even remotely that high. I know that many soybean and corn farmers around here had to plant twice because of the deluge of rain we got in spring, but still. I used to buy corn for under 10 cents an ear. I saw a man standing in front of the corn bin in produce shaking his head and muttering. I joined him. He turned to me and said something I’ve been saying to myself a lot lately: “How do people live?” Unbelievable.

The Neo-Apostolic Mashup – Christianity has seen its mix of assaults (postmodernism being the latest whipping boy of apologists), but I’m convinced the New Apostolic Reformation poses a larger threat to the Church globally than postmodernism does, especially if it cannot cleanse out its undiscerning elements. Sadly, I wonder if anything would be left of the movement if the undiscerning elements were purged.

Thank You – Thank you to those of you who contributed to the support of Cerulean Sanctum. I’ve written to those who did. Blessings. A couple contributers typoed their e-mail addresses, though. If you have not received a personal thank you from me, that is why. And for those who enjoy the blog and have offered to support it in the past, you now have the option to do so.

Thanks always for reading. Have a blessed weekend.

Business and…


If you read the About Cerulean Sanctum tab at the top of the blog, you’ll eventually discover that I work from our home outside Cincinnati, Ohio, as a freelance business copywriter and copyeditor. The Web’s been devoid of that reality for quite some time.

I’ve struggled for about eighteen months attempting to get my biz site online. I wanted portal management software to create the site, Ethereal Pen Productionsbut I either got massive nuclear overkill or anemic, prissy code with an attitude. I committed to Joomla!, but its templating system favored graphic designers and code noodlers. With it perpetually in flux between two or three incompatible versions, I finally threw in the towel. In what must be considered massive irony and good fortune, version 2.1.x of WordPress included far better handling of static pages than previous versions (a former showstopper for me), so I took the plunge. The wraps came off the site yesterday. It still needs some tweaking, especially graphics-wise, but I like the lean look.

So, Ethereal Pen Productions finally lives on the Web. You’re invited to critique.

Better yet, if you need anything written, let me know. My kid needs braces.


I’m still recovering from the blowback from Monday’s post, Dissing Discernment. I think all the principle players in the comments have made up. I know now not to juggle five things at once while replying to comments, so even this old diehard learned a few things from the whole conversation.

I didn’t know I was posting anything so controversial, but the whole topic’s a lightning rod. I suspect that’s one reason so few books on the topic exist. Tim Challies should sell a million copies when his discernment tome comes out. Or people will burn piles of it in the town square. You never know. (Maybe just in Canada. They’ve been testy ever since Gretzky fled.)

Whatever the case, blogging will be light in days ahead due to tax prep and deadlines on several writing assignments.


If you’ve got a blog, check your bandwidth. I found a huge spike in my outgo this February. Lucky for me, I’m nowhere maxed out on my five domains. Still, Cerulean Sanctum drowned in bandwidth warning messages toward the end of last month, forcing me to re-apportion things.

So I did a little snooping and found something throttling my site: Yahoo! Slurp.

When I sent a message to Yahoo! asking about the sevenfold increase in the number of daily hits from them compared to the previous month, they told me they’d been experimenting with a plethora of new page-sucking bots and had been hitting some sites hard.

Well, no thank you very much! Fortunately for me, I’ve got some leeway. Nonetheless, their little experiment doubled my bandwidth outgo! (That’s not easy to do, either.) I can imagine that some sites that pay by the byte will receive a nasty little bill from Mr. Host courtesy of the crew from Sunnyvale. I guess the Yahooligans thought they could pick on me because I used to live there, but fled. (Heck, Gretzky got out of California, too!)

A heads up to all of you.

Be blessed…and be wary!