Ted Tyree | a nomale

GoDaddy website/email recovery

As many are aware, GoDaddy email servers and websites crashed yesterday affecting thousands upon thousands of customers.  I run a small website business and we use their services (through Wild West Domains) and most of my customers were affected… and frustrated.

GoDaddy posted the following message on their website:

NOTICE… .
At 10:25 am PT, GoDaddy.com and associated customer services experienced intermittent outages. Services began to be restored for the bulk of affected customers at 2:43 pm PT. At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised. We will provide an additional update within the next 24 hours. We want to thank our customers for their patience and support.

Might I share an observation about this whole ordeal.  I know that our first reaction is that GoDaddy dropped the ball and we should all avoid using their services.  However, in today’s technology age, it is incredibly difficult to protect your business from the advanced systems of cyber hackers.  Imagine if someone were to target a company and aim to destroy their building (a scenario that is all to familiar in our day – especially as we remember the anniversary of 9/11).  Even for fortune-500 businesses, there really is not much that they can do to protect from the worst of attacks.  GoDaddy is a basic consumer services provider.  I am sure they have reasonable protection in place, but we wouldn’t expect them to use a government level security system to protect consumer email and websites.  If an advanced hacker group targets a business like this, they are going to cause damage.  Just like the physical damage to a building.  So in my view, our frustration should not be towards GoDaddy, the victim.  Our frustration should be to the audacity of hackers that are trying to bully businesses through cyber terrorism.  THAT is sick.

Oh, and I applaud GoDaddy for having their systems back up and running within 12 hours with no data loss.  Wow.

Please join me in being supportive of the victims and calling for justice against the perpetrators.

Regards,
-Ted Tyree

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Sing to the Lord a NEW song?

Psalm 33:1-5 says…

Sing joyfully to the Lord you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him… Sing to Him a new song… The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love.

Why does the psalmist tell us to sing to Him a “NEW” song?  Is there something wrong with the old songs?

In fact, this idea is repeated in…

  • Psalms 96:1, 98:1, 144:9, and 149:1

I think Psalm 40:3 gives us a hint as to why we should be singing to the Lord a new song…  it says…

He put a NEW song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

What the psalmist is saying here is that God is alive… doing new things… at work in our lives and in the world… performing wonders, giving us new mercies every morning, healing people and relationships, forgiving new people and forgiving new sins in the same old people.  There is ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW to praise God about!  Yes, the old songs are still wonderful and worth singing… but God has also done fantastic NEW things and revealed NEW wonders to us (new to us anyway)… and NEW songs will naturally come pouring out of the lips of His children.

It is kind of like a great painter (who is still alive)… yes, let’s keep loving his old master pieces, but there are also new works of art that are being created and beacon for our adoration.  Like rolling churning ocean waves, alive with life and bringing up to the shore new wonders… drift wood, sea shells, star fish, turtles, etc.  God is at work in the world and in our lives… His works are fresh, new, alive!  Full of new wonders to sing about and praise Him about.

Let’s sing to the Lord a NEW song!

-Ted

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“Be Happy” – is it just fluff?

“Be Happy” they say.  “Always look at on the bright side.”  “Take joy in the little things.”  Why does this sound like just a bunch of fluff.  One liners?

My daughter has developed an allergy to the sun.  WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!?  Where did that come from?  It stinks.  I mean really now… the sun?!?!  Its not like an allergy to mangoes where you can just stop eating them.

As I was dropping her off at school today, a beautiful sunny day, she put her imaginary microphone up to her mouth and said with a giggle, “Today I predict a day of itchy with a side of irritation.”  We laughed and she headed into the building.  Wow.  Imagine that.  With all the frustration of dealing with a sun allergy, and she laughs and starts her day with a joke… and joyfulness.

Where does THAT come from?  Joy in the midst of bad circumstances?

It got me thinking about my Christian faith.  The rest of the world says, “Smile. Be Happy.” and “Take time to appreciate the little things.”  To me that is kind of like saying, “Oh, you just got news that your neighbor backed into your car and ripped off the bumper – and the insurance won’t cover it because of a loophole.  But be happy instead of miserable.  Look at the little flowers on your walk way and listen to the little birdies.  And smile.”  ‘Scream’ is more like it.   That type of news stinks.  What is there to be happy about.  The little things don’t make up for the sting left behind by the difficult things.

So what do we do with a verse that says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”  (Philippians 4:4)  Or “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:13)

Is this some kind of trumpet call to muster up enough ‘happy’ to mask the ‘depressing’?  Is this saying we should fake a smile?  Pretend to be joyful?  Ignore reality?

I don’t think so.

But here is another way to look at it.  Lets say you suddenly realize you have the winning lottery ticket.  You just won 10 million dollars!  Wahoooo!!!!!  Now your neighbor comes by and says that he accidentally backed into your car and ripped off the bumper – and the insurance won’t cover it because of a loop hole.  That stinks… but hey, I just won 10 million dollars!  Oh and your boss didn’t like your quarterly report… awe that is too bad, but I just won 10 million dollars!  And your trip to Disney World that you’ve been planning for the past 2 years just got canceled due to a hurricane.  Rats.  But I JUST WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS!

I mean really now.  All the other stuff pales in comparison to winning 10 million dollars.

As a Christian… isn’t that where our focus should be.  Not on pretending the bad things didn’t happen.  And not on the little things… a bird singing or a little flower blooming (although those things are beautiful).  But our focus should be on the BIG THINGS.  When I woke up this morning, I spent time with THE GOD OF THIS UNIVERSE.  HE actually gives a ‘darn’ who I am… and listens to my prayers!  Woah!  I mean seriously now… THAT is freakin awesome.  And today… today I get to be a small part of His plan!  What he is doing in the world.  I can actually join God in His work and what He is trying to accomplish in other people’s live.  That rocks!  And no matter what happens, in the end, I’m going to spend eternity with God… where He is.  Now that is better than Disney World (although I just admit that Disney World is pretty great.  Ever get a chance to see the look in a young girls eyes as she crosses the water in a ferry and suddenly realizes that Cinderella’s castle is RIGHT THERE!?!?  I mean, the real thing!)

Just a side note… look at Cinderella herself.  She is living with a wicked step-mother and two of the most annoying sisters on the face of the planet.  Yet she is always ‘happy’.  Isn’t that they world’s message?  Just ‘be happy’.  But where is her joy coming from?  What does she have to be happy about?  Does it really work like that?  Just ‘be happy’?  I don’t think so.

I’ve heard of many people who have suffered through the terrible tragedy of dealing with cancer.  Some find themselves huddled in the corner of a hospital alone, miserable, and hopeless.  I’m not saying that is a poor response.  Trust me.  I understand the devastation that it brings.  But I also know other people that have gone through the same devastation and yet they have hope.  When people visit the person in the hospital, they come away from the visit feeling like THEY were the ones getting encouraged… that the person with cancer had such a joy and a hopeful attitude about what God had planned for them in eternity… it was simply remarkable.

So I’m suggesting that the Bible doesn’t beckon us to be fake ‘happy’… or ignore the disheartening things.  But think bigger than that.  Find the things that really matter in life and in faith.  Get excited about God and what he is doing.  Get excited about spending eternity with God in heaven.  And other things will start to pale in comparison.  I believe my daughter has found that type of joy.  A joy that lets her face her sun allergy with a giggle and a joke.  It still stinks.  But she’s got plenty to be happy about in life.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want…”  (Philippians 4:12)

I’ll just leave it at that.  You can read Phillipians 4 if you want to know more about the secret that Paul learned.  (By the way – this is Paul who spent a lot of time in prison because he spoke openly about his faith.)

I pray that you will find real joy in your life.

-Ted

P.S. – Last night at the end of the day, my daughter did not react as much as other days to her sun allergy.  After letting her read this post, she commented, with a laugh… “yeah, but on the bright side, like most weather men, I got it wrong.”

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One Dimensional Prayer

I believe in prayer.  I believe that through prayer, God changes things.  I believe that through prayer, we change to be more like what God intended for our lives.  I have seen the power of prayer at work in my life and in the lives of those around me.  “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful an effective.” James 5:16

But often my prayers become one dimensional.  “God, would you do this… God would you heal that person… God will you…”  I am sure God still hears us when we pray this way, but I think we are missing out on the richness and fullness of godly prayer.  Imagine if the only time my kids came to talk to me was to ask me for something.  Some of us are saying “seems like that IS the only reason kids my kids ever come to talk to me.”  It make you feel like a vending machine… instead of a parent.

So how do we break free from this single dimension?  Personally, I love the Psalms and find it helpful to model my prayers after the psalmists.  Prayer does not have to be all about what I want from God.  It SHOULDN’T be all about what I want from God.  It should be about… GOD!  Who HE is.  What HE is like.  What HE is doing in my life and in the world around me.

Here is a list of types of prayers that I have observed in the Bible and through praying with other believers.  Maybe this list can help us to expand our repertoire and be less ‘one dimensional’.

  • Declaration of who God is.
  • Declaration and adoration of His holiness and character.
  • Proclaim and even request His Kingdom and His reign!
  • Giving thanks and expressing appreciation for who God is and what He has done in the past (what He has done for me, for others, and throughout history).
  • Requests for our needs (not so much emphasis on wants).
  • Acknowledgement of our dependence on God for our needs. “Everything good comes from God.”
  • Repentance and asking for forgiveness.  Humble yourself before God.
  • Forgiveness of others.
  • Requesting deliverance from difficult situations; esp. the oppression of others.
  • Requesting deliverance from temptation and sin.
  • Praying against darkness and for victory in spiritual battles.
  • Exalting God.  “Be glorified!”  “Glory to Your Name!”
  • Rejoicing!
  • Pledging to serve and obey God – Requesting that God help us to change, to serve, and to obey Him.
  • Prayer of dedication – especially dedicating ones self and promising to be exclusive in devotion to God.
  • Declaration of Truth – Acknowledge God’s commandments and laws – Repeat His own words back to Him as a prayer.
  • Mournfulness over sin and lostness (ones self and others).  Psalm 119:136, James 4:9
  •  Repeat and proclaim the promises of God.
  • Fearing God – trembling before Him – recognizing His awesome power, greatness, and holiness.
  • Crying out for help – Requesting healing.
  • Prayer of salvation – asking for God to cleanse me from my sin – accepting and believing in Christ and the forgiveness that comes through His death on the cross and His resurrection from death.
  • Prayer for others and their needs – praying for others to come to God

Here is one last thought about prayer.  If you believe that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16)… and yet we are unrighteous (Romans 3:23) except for the righteousness that is given to us by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)… then wouldn’t it make sense to start are prayers with confession of our sins and asking God to cleanse us and clothe us with the Righteousness of Christ?  Thus our prayers are not powerful because “we” deserve it… but because we have the righteousness of Christ covering over us like a blanket.  It is by His righteousness and His authority that we can pray with confidence.

Hey – if you read this and find it helpful in your prayer life, I would love to hear from you.  Please send me an note with your story.

God bless!

-Ted

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My Living Will

I’ve been to a number of hospital visits over the past couple years and they always ask if I have a “living will”.  So I figured it is about time to sit myself down and think through my “will” in the event that I should… well… continue to live.  Below is what I’ve come up with.

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My Living Will

Sept. 2011
In the event that I should not pass away and therefore continue on in life, I here by bequeath all monies that I have earned or acquired to my loving wife and four darling children.
Additionally, all my worldly possessions are to be solely owned and managed by my wife, although my children shall retain the right to believe that they have limited jurisdiction over such items, even though they do not.  I also retain the right to such beliefs however inaccurate they may be.
When asked to take out the trash, I will.
When asked to cut the lawn, I will.
When asked to do the dishes or the laundry, I will.
When asked to take care of the kids, I will.
When asked to go pick up the kids, I will.
When asked to play with the kids, I will.
When asked to clean up after myself… and the children… I will.
When asked to fix it, I will.
When asked to squish it, I will.
When asked to make it all better, I will.
When asked to try my best to live by the terms set forth here in, I will.
This living will is hear by enacted today and every day yet to come, forever and ever, in loving submission, till death do us part.
(When asked if I deny having ever written this, I probably will.)

– Ted Tyree

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Embeding a WordPress blog – and moving a rubber tree plant

The challenge: To embed a WordPress blog into a webpage.

It seemed like a simple enough task.  Get the first few articles from my blog (this blog) to appear on my website – no header or menus or such.  Just a clean crisp column of blog entries (first 100 to 500 characters).  Yet, after much research, no one seemed to have an elegant solution (or if they did, they hadn’t posted it online).

My first few simple attempts failed: Read the rest of this entry »

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Robot Battles

I love computer logic!  My career relies on it.  It is the basis of most of what keeps our country running.  For me, I started young, writing Basic programs to generate mazes, crossword puzzles, and small video games.  So I was hoping that my teens would catch the bug at a young age like I did.  Wrong.  All they want to do is build their SPORE civilization and make goofy creatures dance around the screen… or throw bowling balls at their Boom Blocks on the Wii.  And so I started a small quest to find a game that would entice them with something fun, but also teach them a little bit of that software logic that could help them master the digital world for the rest of their lives.  (Who knows, maybe their boss will someday need someone to automate his Excel spreadsheet.)

Robot battles!  That could be the winning ticket!  A game where they could design and program a small robot in a digital world and release it in an arena to see how it behaves and stands-up to other crafty and vicious virtual machines.  (Plus it could provide hours of great fun for me after they are in bed.) Read the rest of this entry »

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