Jan 31, 2013
A few weeks ago we received another offer to review a book from the A Group, a marketing group. We had previously reviewed one of their books and found it, well, less than good. (Horrible in fact.) We were impressed with the A Group’s looking for real reviews and not just reviews from people that like the book. There is integrity there that we appreciate.
The latest offering is “Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know That You Are Saved,” by J.D. Greear of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
The book deals with the most simple, yet most complex issue that Christians face. “How do we know we are saved?”
When we first pulled the book out of the wrapping, we thought, “man, this is an ugly book.” Somehow the bright yellow and what we think is an incomplete grunge look to the cover is off somehow. It just doesn’t match the topic and looks amateurish in our opinion.
It was not a good start but taking into the account “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” we put on our reading glasses and opened the book.
Boy are we glad we did.
The book reads more like an interactive sermon than anything. In our opinion, the best sermons are ones that challenge the listener as well as encourage the listener. “Stop Askin Jesus Into your Heart” does both quite well.
Greear handles the basics of “what is salvation?” and “what is the gospel?” in such a way that gives a basic understanding, as well as a jumping off point for more research, study, introspection and mediation on your own.
Chapters such as “What is Belief?,” “What is Repentance?,” and “The Evidence You Have Believed,” are masterfully crafted. (Dare we say “inspired?”)
Jan 30, 2013
They dragged us back into the world of “what the aitch ee double hockey sticks?”
We didn’t want to go, but it was inevitable.
Yesterday, we got an email from AT&T reminding us to return the television box they had sent last week. The only problem is that we never got a new receiver – we refused the delivery after the problem was resolved the night before.
The email said if we didn’t return the receiver, AT&T would charge us $150.00 (for a unit we never received.)
We called AT&T’s Technical Support Group as they were the ones who sent the unit. That call went rather well. We explained the problem and the tech guy said he understood but couldn’t help so he was going to send us to “Level 2 Support.” That person was helpful but told us the issue of being charged for a item we never took possession of would have to be resolved by the “Sales Department” and they were closed for the night.
The representative said he had put a large note on our account so the Sales Department would understand what was going on.
“All you have to do is call in tomorrow and when the mechanical man asks you where you want to go, just say ‘Sales,’ the representative told us.
It sounded too easy.
It didn’t go well.
The next day we called in and said “Sales” to the mechanical man. Repeatedly.
We got a representative and explained the issue to her. She said all we had to do was return the unit. No matter how many times we explained to her there was no unit to return, it never registered. We asked her to read the note on our account explaining the situation.
It seems the communication giant of AT&T doesn’t allow people in Sales to read notes left by the Technical Support Group.
She then told us that if the unit was not returned, they would bill me and I could dispute the charges at that point.
We asked to speak with a supervisor as clearly our attempt to not be charged for something we never possessed was beyond her understanding.
She said she fully understood the issue. We asked her to explain it.
She said “last Friday you got a new receiver via FedEx and you want to make sure the unit you returned is not billed to you.”
“We never received the unit – we refused delivery!”
“Then all you have to do is return the original,” she said.
With as much patience as we could muster, we said, “are you listening to us right now?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“This is the sound of a customer hanging up on you.” (CLICK!)
We called in about an hour later and after saying “Sales” to the mechanical man many times, we got another representative. We explained the problem and he said he would love to help us, but he was in Technical Support. (We kid you not.)
There was nothing else to do but laugh.
Eventually he spoke with someone in Sales and they seem to have straightened the situation out.
(At least that is what we hope. We aren’t holding our breath on it.)
Onward and upward.
Jan 29, 2013
One of the blogs we like to visit is a “mil-blog” (military blog) by the name of “This Ain’t Hell – But You Can See It From Here.”
In addition to writing on all things military, the folks at TAH regularly “out” those people in society who claim to have served in the military, but have not. Such people claim military service for reasons such as padding resumes or currying favors with people.
We believe we as a nation owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served and protected this country, so it angers us when a poser tries to falsify their history to reflect something untrue.
Awhile ago, TAH “outed” a guy by the name of Justin Weiss who seemed to have claimed military service when in fact, he had never served in the military at all.
Weiss took offense to TAH’s claim and hired an attorney who sent a letter to TAH demanding TAH take down the “offending posts” and images related to Weiss.
TAH has agreed to the demand and issued a “apology” of sorts.
The “apology” is the epitome of internet “epic-ness” and must be read to believed.
You can read the entire post here. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Jan 28, 2013
Our friends up in the mid-Atlantic states are telling us how cold it is. A friend out west in Colorado is getting ready fot snow and temperatures in the teens.
Here in the Sunshine State of Florida, it was another beautiful day. Everywhere we went, the skies were blue and clouds were minimal. It is the type of weather that the tourism board advertises. (Which meant it was too nice to work on the computer.)
Monday it is back to work and that means fixing the computer and being productive, but we have to say that we have enjoyed the past few days.
Yet we wonder if, as we enjoy the beautiful weather, whether we should pity those in colder areas of the country?
Jan 27, 2013
We were going to post something that would have taken us a long time to put together.
Instead, we are playing hookey and enjoying the outside with the wife and kids.
Priorities, you know.
Jan 26, 2013
After working well yesterday, our heat issues on our main computer are back.
We are thinking of just hosing it off.
While plugged in, of course.
Jan 25, 2013
Service to U-Verse was restored – sort of.
We were still having issues with the TV service and after calling the call center, we got the shock of our lives.
We spoke to someone who was understanding and fairly competent.
After telling him what we had done to address the issue (warm boot ups, cold boots, rechecking all cables, etc.) he said “you need a new box!”
The guy processed an order for a new box that would be scheduled to arrive in a couple of days.
However, the box’s issues got worse. Much worse.
We have a extra box that is wireless and so we swapped out the hard wired box for a wireless box that we ran with CAT5 cable. We got it set up and after 5 minutes, it started to act the same way. Arrgh!!!
We called in again and spoke to someone who was just as good if not better!
We walked him through what we had done and he said “let me run some tests.” He came back and said “your box is not registering as being hooked up.”
I let him hear that the tv was getting some limited picture and sound and he said “we’ll send a technician out.” Shockingly, he said “we have an open appointment for 4 – 8 PM tonight.”
Before I could say anything, he said “I realize that it is 5 PM, but we have a tech that can get to you.”
Jan 24, 2013
As we write this, we are sitting in the home of a friend who is graciously allowing us to us his internet connection.
Why are we doing this?
It is because somehow we are caught in the AT&T U-Verse outage that has struck the southeastern United States.
We were aware there was an outage but had read the outage was from the Florida panhandle west to Texas. So when U-Verse died on us today, we were surprised.
We borrowed a friend’s cell phone but before we called AT&T, he told us that there were AT&T trucks nearby working on lines. He suggested we go talk to them before going down the joyous road of the AT&T call center. We found the trucks and talked to a couple of nice technicians. We asked if they were doing anything that would effect our service. According to them, they were not.
“Okay, cool,” we said. “I guess we are suddenly caught up in the massive U-Verse outage that has struck the southeast.”
“What outage?” they asked.
They had no clue there company was experiencing an outage affecting lots of customers.
For a communication company, AT&T is not too good at communicating.
We returned home and borrowed a friend’s cell phone and called AT&T.