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Perhaps one of the finest internet comics sites xkcd.com recently put out a comic that made use of emoji and this was what I say using a browser on linux:

Linux with no emoji

Probably not exactly the author’s intentions…So off to find out how to get emoji working on Linux!

Turns out that it should be a relatively simple process. In the Debian and Ubuntu repositories there is a package called ttf-ancient-fonts which you can install which will give you support for emoji. How this makes sense sense emoji are a relatively recent phenomena, I really don’t know–but I digress.

So we need to install the package:

sudo aptitude install ttf-ancient-fonts

and then try it out…On Firefox I know get:

Firefox use of emoji

Chrome is still broken–even after restarting the browser but that is quite likely a chrome issue.

Hopefully that gets you on your way to a more fulfilled life full of many emoji!

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I’m working on a new site for my church (rosemontbaptist.com) and after doing some work on another project with the Django framework I thought it would be the perfect tool for the site. I like Heroku also so I decided to follow through their tutorial for a Django web-app.

One of the requirements was to install the django-toolbelt package. I was a little surprised at the difficulty of doing this on Debian, so I wanted to document it and leave it up in case someone else has the same difficulty.

Postresql Development Files

The first thing pip complained about was:

Error: b'You need to install postgresql-server-dev-X.Y for building a server-side extension or libpq-dev for building a client-side application.\n'

I had already installed the postgresql server so this surprised me a bit but after searching through the packages I found the package they were looking for:

sudo aptitude install postgresql-server-dev-all

Python Development Files

This was particularly shocking. After I installed the postresql development files, I re-attempted my package installation and pip complained again:

In file included from psycopg/psycopgmodule.c:27:0:
./psycopg/psycopg.h:30:20: fatal error: Python.h: No such file or directory
#include <Python.h>
^
compilation terminated.
error: command 'i586-linux-gnu-gcc' failed with exit status 1

This had to be satisfied. I again searched the repository and sure enough, there are Python development packages as well!:

sudo aptitude install python3-dev python-dev

Because my Django installation was using Python 3 I went ahead and installed both for good measure–in case I ever switched my mind.

And…

I ran pip again and:

Successfully installed dj-database-url-0.3.0 dj-static-0.0.6 django-toolbelt-0.0.1 gunicorn-19.3.0 psycopg2-2.6 static3-0.6.0

Mission accomplished! Hopefully this will save someone a few minutes before they begin a Django project of their own.

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As we move into chapter 3 of Job a lot changes very quickly. We are quickly aware of the change in the style of the book. We are no longer looking at certain narrative, but dialogue. Dialogue that makes us think and dialogue that polarizes us. Chapter 3 begins the ‘discussions’ such as they are–and they don’t get very encouraging.

Chapter 3 is really a song–a poem. Perhaps it is the by-product of being stared at for seven days. Perhaps it occurs sometime within the seven days. It is somewhat confusing, because if it does start the first round of dialogue, Job’s friends pay little to no attention to it at all–perhaps it is just another sign of their being miserable comforters!

We find Job cursing the day of his birth–and this is really the theme of the whole chapter. Thankfully we are told this in verses 1 and 2 because it frees us up to think about what is being said and it lays the environment for us to do our thinking. Job is cursing–but he is not cursing God. This has been the primary goal of Satan since chapter 1. For us to know what Job is cursing–and to know that it isn’t God–allows us to see that Job is still standing, he hasn’t wavered yet. We may cringe at what is being said, but we can rest assured that Satan still hasn’t gotten a victory over Job.

We will look at four lessons from this chapter on suffering. We are privileged to see Job suffering like this. He is righteous and his example is one for us to observe and emulate. He will make mistakes like we will–but we can see where our temptations are likely to lie. We will look at two of the four lessons this week and finish the other two lessons, two weeks from now.

You can get a hold of the notes here

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The book of Job turns a corner at the end of Chapter 2. We end the narrative section of the book and we ‘leave’ the main characters that we have interacted with so far. Thus far the main characters have been the LORD, the Satan, and Job–with a brief appearance from Job’s wife. Starting with verse 11 of Chapter 2, we are introduced to a new cast–Job’s friends.

There isn’t a lot of good that can be said of Job’s friends. They are a group of miserable comforters–but they do attempt to comfort. As far as the book of Job is concerned they are the only ones interested in even trying. They make a point of coming, they bear the expense of traveling, they don’t leave(even though Job might have wished it)–they are genuine friends. As much as we hate to admit it, Job’s friends probably had good motives. They wanted to comfort and sympathize with their friend. But how can you sympathize with Job? Have they experience the same pain? Even if they had, would they have viewed it the same way?

Job’s struggle brings up the issue of pain and sympathy in general. Can anyone really sympathize with anyone else? We are human and we share many things in common, but we are as different from each other as any can imagine. We feel differently, we love differently, we suffer differently, we think differently–and thus we suffer differently. And this aspect of suffering makes sympathy almost impossible. So where do we turn? Are we without hope? Are we doomed to be ‘miserable comforters’ like Job’s friends? Job’s problem points us straight to Christ. We don’t need another man to sympathize–we need a God-Man. We need one who has suffered as we are and knows what pain feels like. We need one who is omniscient and infinite–one who is not bound by human limitations and experiences. We need Christ.

All comfort finds its root in Christ. Any comfort which does not stem from Christ is no comfort–but a cheap substitute. What kind of comfort do we give? Are we, like Job’s friends, miserable comforters? You can get a hold of the notes here

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We have reached a pivotal point in the book of Job. We have witnessed two attacks on Job due to the accusations of the devil. But from here on out the devil seems to just disappear. There are no apologies, no follow-ups in heaven, no explanations to Job–it appears to just be over with Job left in the ash heap.

Job has emerged from the struggle with his record intact. He has not cursed God–he also hasn’t died. He has resisted the natural urge to do and has resisted his wife’s urging. The rest of the book isn’t as clear cut, Job’s thoughts and words get messy and some of it cannot really be defended at all. He eventually puts his hand over his mouth and admits–“I’ve spoken about things that I didn’t understand.”

We have considered Satan and Job but we haven’t considered the other actor in the story. From the start, this story has been a struggle between God and Satan with Job stuck in the middle. How has God viewed these proceedings? From the details of the story I believe God has been pleased in several ways. He has witnessed the obedience of Job. He has seen the accuser proved wrong. He has been glorified as worthy of Job’s love and devotion and victorious over Satan.

But we cannot stop there. These things point us to one who is greater. They point us to Christ. However much God is pleased through the proceedings of Job, Job only serves to point us to one who is greater than Job in every respect. We cannot escape the prophetic picture that Job serves for us. And in these God is very pleased.

You can get a hold of the notes here

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Satan’s first assault against Job was a dismal failure. In fact, apart from taking everything away from Job, nothing Satan did worked out right. Satan is not easily deterred from his goals. In Job 2, we see Satan again having to present himself before the LORD. Again the LORD himself brings up Job and his steadfast integrity. Satan, without blinking or wavering, asserts that the first assault was not enough. Taking away his possessions was all well and good–but touch Job’s body(which Satan had not been allowed to do the first time), and then see what happens!

Without argument, the LORD gives to Satan the permissive reach he has been asking for and immediately the fiend takes off and rushes to strike Job. There is no room for delay like the first assault–Satan opts for a quick strike with as much pain as possible. Job’s wife only manages to make matters worse with advice that is suspiciously well-informed and serves as another prong of Satan’s attack.

Even with all the pain which Job experiences, Job still holds fast to his integrity. His response to his wife’s sinful advice is a response which is fitting for Satan. Satan is the ultimate fool. His actions and very being are consistently foolish. He is proof that not all fools are stupid–in fact many of the worst fools are extremely intelligent.

You can grab the notes here

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Link rot is a perpetual problem with the internet. We all have experienced plenty of occasions where a promising link turns out to be a ‘404’. There is something of a transient nature about the internet. Items can be moved. Servers crash. Domains are abandoned. Articles are lost. Nothing really is certain.

Another layer of certainty that probably needs to be reviewed is the uncertainty regarding link shortening services. This was highlighted recently by an announcement by Bitly.com that they are going to be retiring their link bundling service. This particular feature has apparently not been an overwhelming hit and the company has decided to retire the service rather than keep it up.

This particular feature may not interest you at all…but what about if Bitly goes out of business? What if link shortening becomes a thing of the past and not longer is relevant. Think of the countless tweets, posts, and services that rely on link shortening (and Bitly isn’t the only one). All those ‘links’ will suddenly become a massive pile of rot that barring some interference from the Internet Archive or some other concerned non-profit will be irreversible.

Perhaps we should give some thought as to how we are building the internet and avoid sacrificing convenience or length so that we are building an internet of lasting value.

Further Reading:

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But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. — Deuteronomy 29:4 (ESV)

Would you believe if you saw Pharaoh’s army defeated? Would you believe if you saw manna fall from heaven? Would you believe if your shoes never wore out?

Our standard answer would be ‘of course!’ Who wouldn’t? These miracles would clearly blow our minds and our faith would immediately latch on to the one who had done all these great signs and made such wonderful provisions. Or not. Moses looks at the children of Israel as they stand ready to enter the Promised Land and says ‘You still don’t understand’.

We tend to look at the words of Christ and his use of parables as being a unique way of speaking to the Jews of his day. It allowed them to hear and yet to not hear. Christ even pronounces blessings on the ones who can hear, because most cannot (Mark 4:10-12). But Christ’s use of parables is not really a new development, it is really a continuation of how God has always works–and man always responds.

Man cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). Man cannot understand or see God unless God reveals himself to man. The result is that God is working and man never notices. God is working in creation and man worships the creation instead of the creator. God delivers a nation from Egypt and they pay no notice and make new gods. God speaks through his Son and they deliver him to the rulers for crucifixion. The experience of the rich man from the story of Lazarus is the experience of all mankind–we would belief if only…

We need new eyes, ears, and hearts. Not mechanical replacements for new living eyes, ears, and hearts. We need to be born from above.