It’s time to go for a bike ride. But first a few items on my desk . . .
1) Doug Bandow offers an up-to-date look on the struggle for religious liberty in China. Here is the money quote:"Yet even as the PRC grows in international confidence, its Communist party remains paranoid, fearful of the very diversity encouraged by the ongoing reform process. Human rights remain limited. In particular, notes a new report, religious liberty remains restricted. Even as Europe seems to slip further from its religious moorings, Christianity is growing rapidly elsewhere in the world, including in the PRC. The Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs estimates that there now are 130 million Christians in China, roughly 10 percent of the population. The number of Christians in China is increasing despite sustained state repression."
2) So what have I been doing lately? Mostly revising my past. We all understand that the key to a better future is to stop trying to have a better past. That's generally good advice, but for the last 24 hours I have been working on a new project that has allowed me to improve my past. A few months ago Cliff Raad delivered to Dave Hoy six boxes containing over 600 cassette tapes of the sermons I preached at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park from 1989 through 2005. These are the actual master tapes, which means they are all generally good quality recordings. Dave shipped the boxes to Alan's home in Tupelo where they stayed for a long time until Linda Hale took one of them so she could practice transferring the sermons from cassette tape to a digital file so they could be put on CDs or used for podcasting. Linda got some help from the sound technician at Harrisburg Baptist Church who told her to buy a certain electronic gadget that made the transfer easy. Marlene and I bought that gadget (a little box actually–an ADS RDX-150) at Circuit City yesterday. I tried it out last night, hooking it up to a boom box and then via a USB cord to my laptop. We had to use the headphone output and the cord from the boom box wasn't long enough so it perched precariously on a wooden chair. With everything strewn about and cords everywhere, it looked like a mad scientist's workshop when I got finished. But when I plugged it all in, lo and behold, it worked like a charm. The sermon transferred from the cassette to the computer via the electronic box and then I used the Nero Suite software which displayed my voice in a digital format. I even figured out how to take out verbal miscues, like the occasional "uh" or a word repeated twice or extraneous commentary. You just move the cursor over the part you want to take out, click the button, and it's gone. That's what I mean about revising my past. So far I have seven sermons completed. I don’t think we'll digitize all of them, but we're doing this because the # 1 request I get regarding the KBM website is, "When are you going to add audio?" This is a big step in that direction. Next week I am spending two days in Chicago working on podcasting so hopefully we'll have some big news in that area soon.
3) I had some more things on my mind but Marlene called and said that Alan just came to the cabin and brought Jake and Bo with him. Jake is his grown-up chocolate lab and Bo is his two-month old chocolate lab. With two labs and Dudley, I can’t miss the fun. Time to go play with the dogs--and then ride my bike.
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