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Barney Doan
Trying to be better every day, one step at a time!
Trying to be better every day, one step at a time!

Barney's posts

Your voice still matters. Twenty-four hours ago, you believed that there was power in your ability to exercise your voice. Nothing has changed. But now, you're faced with another choice: 1) remain silent -- move to Canada, shut down, or even feed the divisive rhetoric, or 2) speak -- continue to drive unity, peace, and fellowship; uphold the rights and the dignity of those who cannot speak for themselves; and, certainly, yet perhaps not obviously, much above all these things, love. How high, how great, and how magnificently we soar depends on how well we love. It's the "kite string," that enables us to be great and do great things. Choose language that brings people to the table and keeps them there. Choose language that invites common solutions, even if we have different ideas. Choose language that seeks to encourage, build up, and redeem, instead of tears down and diminishes. Your voice still matters. It still so absolutely matters...

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"Breathing Shalom into Mammon... the NEXT STEPS!"
By Bernard

Last Sunday, I shared a message that hit closer to (my) home than I had anticipated. If I face it, I'm a product of this world's culture. The result is an unhealthy relationship with things and money -- to the point that it's categorically abusive. Unfortunately, I hit rock bottom in that relationship and I had to face the music the hard way.

Maybe you're not entirely in the same situation as I was, but you can feel a tension in your relationship with things and money... a lack of shalom (peace). I shared three ways to get back onto the road to financial and material restoration:

1) Address the Heart Issue. It's a tough thing to do, but at Restoration Church, we're trying to simplify this for everyone. We call it a "Jesus-centered Way of Life." Five simple rhythms that we believe are key indicators of restoration happening in us. For more on that, click here:

ACTION STEP: Join a Restoration Community Group near you to unpack this more!

2) Address the Health Issue. The path to shalom in our relationship with "mammon" also means understanding our responsibility for:

> Planning: To plan based on biblical values, goals, and priorities. Doing so keeps us from getting caught up in the whirlwind that is the world’s pursuit of earthly treasures (see, LUKE 12:13-23, 1 Timothy 6:6-10)

> Discipline: To follow-through on our good intentions. Good intentions don’t mean much unless we follow-through with them. Godliness in our finances requires discipline (see, 1 Timothy 4:7-8)

> Stewardship: To recognize that everything we are and have belongs to the Lord. Life is temporary. All we are and have -- our time, talents, and, certainly, our treasures -- are trusts given to us by God which we are to invest for God’s kingdom and glory (see, 1 Peter 1:17, 2:11, 4:10-11; Luke 19:11-26)

> And, even, Working: To earn a living so that we can provide for ourselves, our families, and, importantly, for God’s work -- helping those in need, both in God’s family and outside his family.

ACTION STEP: What are you doing to take steps to celebrate recovery in your relationship with things and money? What ways are you exercising a healthy practice?

3) Invest in the Kingdom. One of our CORE VALUES is "Gospel Generosity." We give because God gave. The gospel of grace is the greatest example of generosity. Generosity, therefore, is God’s idea and He leads by example. As the people of God, our reasonable response to His grace and generosity is to be filled with grace and generosity toward others.

Author Michael Frost said it best:
"God gave us these material and monetary gifts so that we might breathe shalom throughout the world -- to defend and protect this beautiful earth, defend the oppressed and protect the widow and the orphan, but also to announce the beautiful message that through Christ, our God reigns. He defeated sin, death, and Satan, and is offering you a relationship with him and citizenship in a brand-new world that is here and still coming!"

ACTION STEP: Invest in what God is doing in our neighborhood, communities, and world to bring about the restoration of all things. Here are a few ways:

1) Manna Food Bank. They sponsor a program called "Smart Sacks," in which Restoration Church partners. 29,000 students in the area are eligible for FARM, but only 4,900 students (and families) are being actually reached. This is Manna's most expensive program and it needs your help! Give today:

2) Compassion International. Sponsor a child. Provide help and relief to Hurricane Matthew victims. Provide relief to survivors in Haiti. You can make a difference today.

3) Restoration Church. Our mission is to join God in the restoration of all things. We're committed to being in and for the neighborhood. To accomplish this, it'll take a significant financial (and people) investment. Begin investing in the Kingdom of God by a) committing to praying for us, b) visit us and consider joining us as we join God, and c) kindly donate to enable us to carry out God's mission in Gaithersburg. Find out more, here:

God is bringing restoration. He's doing that through reconciliation of our relationships with people. He's doing that through reconciliation of our relationships with things and money. Join us next week, as Pastor Rodrigo Bender shares how God is bringing restoration through JUSTICE!
God's got a restoration story brewing in you. Let me hear about it in the comments below. I'd love to celebrate that with you!

By God's good grace,

Short of it: I do NOT recommend +Sling TV service.

For the past half year, we've cut the cord on cable and have thoroughly enjoyed it. There hasn't been too much of an issue and this lifestyle has suited our viewing habits. Up until I wanted to watch the NBA Playoffs. With games being played on TNT and WatchESPN, it hasn't been easy to catch the games. So, I made the quick move to try out Sling TV for 7-days for free.
Initially, it was nice. I opted for the Best of Live (beta) package, which included Fox (local) and Fox Sports, to see if I liked the service. A few days later, I switched over to the Best of Live that included ESPN. You can switch the subscriptions from their website. I should have realized the problem immediately.

I could go in a change my subscription -- adding one, and taking another off. I reviewed my choices were correct. I, then, submitted the order. I, then, flipped on my Roku. It was curious -- my channels didn't change. I went back into the website -- to check my account. Again, curious. Now, I had BOTH packages activated!

So, I went through the process again and took off the beta package and added the normal package. Review. Submit. Checked the Roku and nothing had changed. I would repeat this process over the next few days, checking periodically. My Roku kept showing me that I had the beta package.
And then FINALLY, on JUNE 14, I noticed I had BOTH packages. So, I went back into the website and tried AGAIN, to remove the Beta package (which was checked again) and add just the normal package. Review. Submit.


So, today, I checked my credit card bill. Sure enough, I had been charged for BOTH packages SINCE JUNE 3rd! I chatted with customer service and they wouldn't accommodate the difficulty or changes.

End of story: I CANCELLED Sling. Nothing is worth this kind of hassle. Terrible interface. Terrible system. Terrible service. Not only that, the Roku app was horridly slow and laggy. I ended up losing $15 through the hassle. It doesn't sound like much, but the returns on that investment were a few hours of playoff basketball.

My recommendation is skip over this service. Find something else.

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Check out the UpLight and its community. This cool device will radically change the way you wake up! Enter now and win cool prizes by supporting my bro!

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Liking this new braided steel watchband. The leather one is nice but I wanted more heft and didn't want to go linked as many have linked bands. #feelslikeanewwatchagain

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Looks like Motorola went with improving the internals. The externals don't look too far removed from the old 360 + SteelConnect adapters. I don't mind the flat tire with the ambient light sensor. I liked that feature. And if I'm correct, it's still the only watch that has wireless charging. Huge win in my opinion.

And... it will work with the iPhone (so will the old 360 though)...

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Ministry or Disciple-Making?

So how do you know if you are making disciples instead of just doing ministry? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1.Who in your church is making disciples? What are their names? If you can’t name the people who are making disciples, it’s probably not happening.

2. Do those you have named as disciple makers know that they are making disciples? If they don’t know they are making disciples, it’s probably not happening.

3. What are the names of the people who are being discipled by those disciple makers? If the disciple makers can’t name the people they are discipling, then discipleship is probably not happening.

4. Do the people who are being discipled by those disciple makers know they are being discipled by them? If not, then discipleship is probably not happening. The 12 disciples knew they were being discipled by Jesus.

5. How do you know when the one who is making disciples has actually made a disciple? If you don’t know how to answer this question, then discipleship is likely not happening. Jesus said in John 17 that he had finished the work the Father had given him to do. He knew when his work with the 12 was completed.

If you don’t know how to answer these questions, then you are likely not making disciples the way that Jesus made disciples.

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Thanks Auctmarts for the Repsol Replica fairings. The fitment wasn't great and there were chipped and cracked paint.  But for the price, it can't be beat! 
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Get an Accessport for Your WRX/STI Right Now

For a long time, I've watched and admired the cars that made rally racing popular. Certainly, along the lines the American muscle car rivalry of Mustang v. Camaro, the WRX STI v EVO has been a longstanding one. When the Lancer Evolution VIII debuted in America in 2003, Mitsubishi brought the rivalry stateside, going toe-to-toe with the "blob-eye" WRX/STI. Since then, I've secretly coveted one of these machines, although always favoring the EVO for its sharper handling, despite its rather pedestrian (rental car) interior quality. 

So, when the opportunity to pick up an STI popped up (and a very strong desire to rid myself of the VW GTI curse), only a few things had to align in order for me to be convinced to get one. After some negotiating, I picked up a 2014 Subaru STI. However, what I didn't realize (because I didn't do enough research or forum stalking) is that my "dream car" was a ticking time bomb, as a result of compliance with federal emissions and fuel mileage regulations.

Doing what most enthusiasts do, I joined the forums (in this case, NASIOC) and began reading up on my car. Immediately, the horror stories came front and center (as they usually do; people tend to talk more about what's going wrong than what's going right). As I understand it, Subaru did two major things that crippled the car:

1) The changed the recommendations with regards to kind of oil to be used in the motor. Not only did they remove the language that would allow the use of more viscous motor oils (typical of high performance, force induced motors), but they recommended a resource conserving oil. The Subaru factory recommendation is for the use of RC 5W-30 synthetic oil in the EJ motor. Problem is, even the recommended factory oil, by way of oil analysis, can be sheared down to a 20 weight oil. This "thinness" is completely unacceptable for the lubrication of rod bearings in this potent motor. As a result, many owners have gone on to use a Euro-spec 5W-30 to stay within warranty guidelines or have bucked the warranty risk and gone with a heavier 5W-40. The popular oil is a tractor oil -- Shell's Rotella T6.

2) The second crippling thing that Subaru did was ship these high performance machines with terrible stock ECU tunes. The most troubling aspect of this tune is how critically close Subaru runs the air:fuel ratio (AFR) at peak torque and boost. As you can imagine, running a lean mixture at that point can lead to catastrophic results. The potential for premature detonation, made known by the tell-tale "knock," is high.

Just as owners can take matters into their own hands by running a more viscous oil, the reasonable solution for resolving the terrible stock ECU tune is this:

Buy a #CobbTuning Accessport

Certainly, you can (and probably should) get a professional tune for the uniqueness of your car, especially if you've gone about making modifications to your car. However, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, Cobb's Accessport (AP) is the best option out there. I want to stress that if you plan on driving your car anywhere near what these cars were built to do, you should get an AP. However, anecdotally, even if you're driving like a grandma in your 300+-hp STI, it doesn't preclude you from having issues; although, I will say that having an AP doesn't preclude you either, but the potential is reduced.

So, even if you're stock (like me), an AP provides great benefit. First, it shortens the delay period between closed loop and open loop fueling. Second, it improves the AFR at full torque and full boost to a safer value -- roughly around 11-12. Third, it improves drivability of the car. Everyone who has an STI knows about the little burble around 2,500 rpms. With an AP, it's gone. Throttle response lag is gone, but isn't abrupt like it is in S# mode. Overall, an AP Stage 1 (for a stock intake, stock exhaust) makes the car feel and drive like it should have from the factory. 

Recommendation: If you own a WRX/STI and are debating whether or not you should pick up an AP, don't think about it anymore. Buy one today! It's one of the best things that you can do to safely operate your vehicle in the manner that it was intended and built for.

(5 stars)
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