Tag: freedom

Ubuntu: The Relationship Between Freedom and Quality in The Software World

Unlike previous blog posts, I’m going to start this one with two exciting tables to get you thinking. In the first table, I increased freedom and in the second table, I decreased it so that we could look at the effect, if any, on other items. Sorry, they are just image screenshots:

wot_decreased_freedoms wot_increased_freedoms

Someone sent me over this article written by Mark Shuttleworth, chief of Canonical – the company behind Ubuntu.

Usually, Mr. Shuttleworth writes with excitement, hope, positivity and other such forward-moving adjectives. Unlike pretty much anything else I have read written by him, this article sounded more like a dad who was forced by his disobedient kids to lay down the hard law. Just the tone alone being so different from his usual, caught my attention.

It appears that some unnamed European corporation has taken the Ubuntu code (written for free by many coders and volunteers around the world and maintained by the for-profit company Canonical at their heavy cost of time and money), done a few ‘things’ to it, and published it as ‘their own’. For full disclosure, I haven’t done any of my own research like looking at the notice of claims against them. However, what I’m picking up from the article is that the soon-to-be defendantscontributed little or nothing to the base code that made ubuntu what it is today

  • invested little or no money to the ubuntu project
  • decreased the quality of the user experience
  • harmed the Ubuntu name
  • harmed Canonical by means of all of the above

If this is true, it should not be difficult to prove monetary damages for Canonical plus I’m guessing there will be a lot of angry programmers out there who would rally beside Mr. Shuttleworth for screwing up all their volunteer work.

From a bird’s eye view it seems like a suitable analogy for this behaviour would be something like this:

Imagine a grade 5 teacher creating a cool project where the students build a gizmo that’s valuable to the world – let’s say it creates clean drinking water out of thin air. Next thing you know, all the parents and grandparents are excited about the project and start volunteering their time to help build it and make it better. Next thing you know, a company (let’s call them Company A) picks up on the project and realizes that they can help improve the project by funding certain parts plus they can make some money as well because some industries will want an industrial version of these water-makers which is out of the scope of these volunteers time/money to build or support. So Company A starts investing time and money and builds a business around it while continuing to support the kids’ gizmo proliferation around the world. Out of nowhere, Company B, which has not participated in the project at all, shows up, takes the plans that all these volunteers made and improved on over the years at the cost of their time (and at Company A’s expense, too), and starts making their own industrial water-makers. They slap their own brand on it, change one or two small things and start making money. Then problems start happening. They don’t have a volunteer base of countless thousands who can jump in to improve or fix things when they go wrong, so this makes sense. Company B then routes all the problems of their customers to Company A saying “they have support over there, I think…”

I’m guessing that there would be lots of angry kids and grandparents and most people would agree to take action to stop Company B.

The question of this soon-to-be lawsuit will probably hinge entirely on the licensing of the software. Has this European company violated any software license agreements including the free software licenses of Ubuntu? What exactly did they change? Are they guilty of changing the code or are they guilty of not supporting the code? It will be interesting to read the claim, for sure (if you like reading litigation documents)

This also got me thinking about correlation between freedom and regulation. I know that one of the main reasons why myself and others moved to Ubuntu was for the freedom. We didn’t want to be told by bullies like Apple or Microsoft how we are going to be using our hardware and who will be accessing our private information. I started thinking about un-related industries and correlations between different things when you increase or decrease freedom. I thought it would be timely to share the quick charts that I built.

(review charts above again)

As you can see from the charts, it was an interesting exercise. It seems that in most cases clear changes occur in most columns – except one. I could not determine in any instance that quality increased or decreased with the increase *or decrease* of freedom. At a glance you might quickly disagree with my conclusions, but allow me to explain them.

Drinking water: Although you may increase regulation and decrease freedom to do what you want with your drinking water, it is debatable that the government controlled waters with chlorine, fluoride, and who knows what, is better for you that this or that in a free stream of water. The long term jury is still out on this one.

Voting: To clarify I am referring simply to the freedom to vote and having a regulatory system to govern the actual elections and voting procedure. By regulating or not, does it really help improve the final product (the person you are voting for)?  Point proven in recent elections in big North American country…

Guns: Perhaps you could say the quality of the actual physical gun might improve with regulation…. I don’t know enough on the topic, but it would seem to me that a nice old man building a gun in his shop could do just as well as a heavily-regulated gun factory.

Religions beliefs: the ‘negative event’ here would be something like a mass suicide with a cult. The Catholic church is heavily regulated, but is the quality of faith and the fruit of believers higher?

Marriage: I was thinking here free-love marriages versus arranged marriages. Although one might think that by choosing your spouse, instead of your parents choosing him/her might yield a higher-quality spouse/match, I believe the jury is still out on this. Look at the divorces in ‘love marriages’, for example.

So when it’s all said and done the only category where I felt freedom had a measurable impact on quality was in the realm of computer code. No one will deny that the fruity computer company typically has typically stable software which works on stable hardware. But on the other hand, very few of its users, when asked, deny that they feel stifled, controlled and possibly even spied on – if not totally ‘stuck’.

And so there seems to be a much more pronounced correlation between freedom and quality in the world of code.

And that also is why this will be a very interesting legal case to follow. Will Shuttleworth be tempted to pull in some of the freedoms of the Ubuntu code base in order to maintain the quality that Ubuntu deserves? Will a task force of lawyers be commissioned to seek and attack low quality Ubuntu publishers much like how a big proprietary corporation might do?

Until now Ubuntu has wowed the world with its ability to stay both free and yet maintain an incredibly high quality final product which I can boldly say is the same and better than competing proprietary systems in every category. The proof of this quality has been in the pudding with fast world-wide growth with more and more everyday users converting 100% to ubuntu and also in the realm of innovation (look it all up yourself because I don’t even know where to begin!).

On the one hand I’m completely in agreement that selfish individuals and corporations should be stopped in their tracks and made to pay for damaging others. On the other hand, I’m also keenly aware that the freedom of the Ubuntu code must remain of higher importance overall.

I find myself favouring the ‘whatever-it-takes-to-make-sure-ubuntu-comes-out-the-winner’ side but I will remain full open to all sides of this story.

 

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The Future of Ham Radio: Freedom

This article on the ARRL website summarizes quite well the situation with ham radio – and radio in general.

Although it is exciting to be part of a club of radio enthusiasts around the world, one must question whether the licensing system on its own is a hindrance both to freedom and innovation.

The basic debate has these two sides:

Restrict Frequencies for Licencees

“By proving skills and taking tests, you can keep a higher quality of person on the frequencies.  If we don’t do this we will have CB radio on ham frequencies”

Let Them Go

“By restricting access to the airwaves we all breath and share, you are exerting controls that should not be there – especially on a technology that enables humans to transmit data.  By restricting the airwaves you are limiting both God-given freedom of speech but also innovation because the technology remains only in the hands of those who can (and will) exploit it for gain.”

And it’s a very great debate and one worthy of fighting for.

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The Best Ever Apple iphone Review Video

Thinking of buying the next iphone?

Make sure you review this important video to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

If you find it’s not, be sure to research the Ubuntu phone which is built on a totally different philosophy.

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Flat Earth – Considering it Will Improve Your World View

There is a fine line between shutting your brain down and opening your mind to everything that comes along.

For anyone who has been wronged by an authority figure or system, it’s very easy to shift to the ‘open mind’ side and believe every conspiracy that comes along.

For those who cannot afford to be viewed as ‘stepping out of line with popular thought’ they will find themselves shutting down their brain and completely denying the truth in the face of possible adversity.

There is no better training ground to find the balance than that of the flat earth/globe earth discussion.  On both sides of the discussion there are very qualified and intelligent people presenting ideas that range from bizarre cosmological models to Masonic Illuminati government conspiracies.

This discussion would rightly be labeled the ‘mother of all conspiracies’ because if it is confirmed true with scientific evidence, then one must essentially forsake the teachings of our education system on cosmology.

And if we are forced to call into question something so basic presented as true by said education system, it begs the question ‘What else have they lied about?’ or ‘Can I trust anything at all?”

For topics like languages, math, music, art and the like, I wouldn’t be too concerned.  However, for topics where questions about who you are and why you are here are discussed, I would be highly skeptical and cautious upon confirmation of the earth being flat.

And so it is very important that if we are going to live in a free society of any kind that we need to be able to take a good look at this topic without ridicule.  Anyone who has begun to explore the topic will immediately encounter both ridicule and possibly even being ostracized from their social circle.  But one should not be surprised, especially in the science community, if they experience opposition by those whose job it has been to teach the teachings without question.  It would be akin to Martin Luther stapling his 99 points on the door of the Catholic church: that’s a big boat to rock and a lot of authority and power to question

It takes courage to even consider that the earth might be flat.  If you are one who is at least open minded enough to start down this road, good for you.  I have found nothing outside of the Bible more intellectually stimulating and spiritually liberating than this topic and I’m hopeful that others will join in.

At the end of the proverbial day, when the sun sets on the seemingly flat horizon, I just want the truth and nothing more than the truth so help me God.

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Reasons to Switch to Ubuntu Phone

Someone I know sent me this positive article about the ubuntu phone. I read it and it was nice, and probably one of the best ‘tech-focused’ articles, but as a few friends and I discussed after reading it, it’s missing some of the most important reasons why one would switch.   Here are my list of reasons why one should switch:

1. Being Part of Something Meaningful

Apple sucked in a lot of victims by making their customers think they were either cool or part of something cool.  They paid heavily for that entrance fee in both privacy and dollars left in the bank (and other ways).  You may have noticed how important technology is in our lives, so with the Ubuntu project you can change the world by participating.  You become part of a community that cares.

2. Being Somewhere Where Your Voice Matters

Have you ever rolled your eyes (or worse) at how your smart phone is really quite dumb? Have you ever wondered “how could they do this? How did they let this happen?”  Then, unbelievably, the same horrible ‘feature’ is still there years later? With the Ubuntu project, the programmers and people who change stuff are *you*!  Let that sink in for a bit. That’s right, you can literally be a huge part of changing Ubuntu to better match your life and needs and the life and needs of those around you.  Ubuntu cares what you think.

3. Living Free

Ever felt sick and tired about how you know the ‘big boys’ are spying on you, stealing your information, and watching everything you do? Ever felt helpless and that there is nothing you can do about it because there are ‘no other choices’? Good news.  You now have a choice.  Ubuntu.  Ubuntu frees the captives and like Moses it ‘let the people go’.

4. Being Future Proof

Ever noticed how the ‘big boyz’ (including their strategic business relationships with the big telecoms) somehow manage to make your perfectly good phone ‘out dated’?  Ever thought that you’d like to buy a device that is more future proof? Ubuntu is the only choice if you want to be future proof with ‘convergence‘.

5. Nice Pillars!

Randall Ross wrote a little article that doesn’t get enough circulation. This really sums up why Ubuntu has a nice set of pillars!

 

 

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One of the Best Summary Articles About Privacy

I have a great group of people around me.  Thoughtful people.  Thought-provoking people.  People who rub me the wrong way and who challenge me to grow and think critically.  These fine people send me articles that they read and most of them are good.

But once in a while, one of these articles stops me in my tracks and when I’m done all I can say is

“Wow….  I’m going to re-blog that now.”

This article entitled “Peak Indifference” is truly a winner.

Why am I so excited?  Because it says everything I want to say to people and now I don’t have to write it.

Do yourself a favour.  When you read this, don’t just sit there like  a toad and say “Yeah I should do something.”  Just start.  If you don’t know what to do next, reply to this post and I’ll be motivated to start helping you down the journey.

Privacy is a long journey.  I’m not there yet but I’m way further than I was 5 years ago.  Except for a few foolish bread crumbs I’ve left around the internet, I’m starting to lose online importance which is just plain awesome.

Here’s the article again in case you didn’t click and read it yet.

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Facebook is Evil.

Dear Friend,

Facebook is evil.

There. Said it.

Now here is an actual article written by a real journalist who eloquently expands on the ‘why’ and even provides some practical solutions.  Although he’s writing to other journalists, there is nothing stopping any of you non-journalists from taking similar action.

I, however, would go one step further than Mr. Gillmor:  I recommend that you delete any accounts associated with you and leave Facebook forever and spare whatever little sliver of life and privacy (and probably that of your innocent children) you have left that you haven’t already handed them on a silver platter.

But I understand your addiction and how hard it must be for you to face it.

But I will not be the one to enable your addiction.  I love you too much.

Love Wayne Out There

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The Real Jesus of the Bible

I’ve been a professing disciple of Jesus for about 20 years.  Prior to meeting Jesus personally, I had seen an Anglican version of Him.  It was a ritualistic cookie cutter machine of religious gymnastics.  I realized I didn’t have what it took to become good at this sport so I left.  When I really met Jesus it was through a group who preached that I had to be ‘born again’ to be saved.  Now this was different.  This had something that stirred my very soul.  This had some truth that my soul knew was right.  And so I got born again according to the playbook of many other folks who got born again.  Anyway, enough of my background.  I mention it only to say that I’ve seen the very ritualistic form of religion as well as the more evangelical form of it.  And here’s the part that’s going to ruffle some feathers and backstroke some cats (just made that up):

The Jesus preached to me since my birth is *not* the Jesus I see in the Bible.

And now let me make this a bit more personal for you:

The Jesus you think you know may be a form of dead religious gymnastics, not Jesus the God-Person-Saviour-Christ of the Bible.

or, let me put it a bit more cool-jazz style (start slow trumpet in dark urban alley):

Whatever religious ‘thing’ you’re doing, might actually be *preventing* you from truly knowing our Heavenly Father.

It’s time to take a step back and evaluate where we really are in our relationship with our Heavenly Father and I’m going to help ignite the process by showing some things about Jesus in the Bible that might surprise you.

Jesus Never Fits the Religious Gynmastic Programs

 

1. Jesus pardoned sins while walking the earth

When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (Mark 2:5)

Everyone knows that Jesus healed people.  This is exciting and fine.  But Jesus, in front of the ‘church of his day’ (the synagogue) declared that He had the power of God when he forgave the man his sins.  Shocking would have been an understatement for anyone standing nearby – much more shocking, if you think about it, than the fact the paralysed man stood up and walked.  The healing was merely proof of his former shocking words.  How many times has your church preached this part of Jesus?

Jesus spent time with sinners

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? (Mark 2: 16)

It would have been considered extremely poor religious behaviour for Jesus to be spending time with the unclean heathen.  But for this reason did Jesus come – to heal the sick.  Healing the sick offended the religious folks.  This Jesus was offending them.

Disciples of Jesus didn’t fast

And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? (Mark 2:18)

The Pharisees fasted.  Even the disciples of John the baptist fasted.  Anyone who was part of any religious team fasted!  But not Jesus’ team.  They walked to a different beat.  This Jesus simply didn’t feel the need to fit in with what was going on.  This Jesus knew who He was and didn’t derive his identity from approval of religious teams and their coaches and their board of directors.

Jesus worked on the Sabbath

And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? (Mark 2:23-24)

According to their rules and regulations, one wasn’t supposed to work on the Sabbath.  And here is Jesus ‘breaking the rules’.  Or…. was He?  Is it possible for the one who made the game and its rules to break the rules?  Jesus was declaring that He was not part of the religious game but instead the Maker of the game.  Surely, this rocked their religious boat.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched [it] out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. (Mark 3:5)

The religious teams considered an act of healing to be ‘work’.  They were so addicted to the comfort of their religious systems that they were unable to even desire to see a man with a withered hand healed.  Their desire to see the cold rules of the law followed to a tee was stronger than the desire to see a suffering person’s pain and burden healed.

The above five events pulled from the Gospel of Mark really require us to sit back and take a look at our own lives.   Pretend just for a moment that you are part of a synagogue of Jesus time.  Let’s pretend that the ‘synagogue’ is called a ‘church’ for fun (it’s just a name of a gathering after all…).

You find out that a certain miracle-worker named Jesus has showed up to town and really offending the churches.  Some are calling him a blasphemer, some are calling him a heretic and a cult leader.  This Sunday he and his crew show up to your church meeting and walk in.  In the middle of the well-planned sermon Jesus puts his hand up and asks why 80% of the males in the group are in bondage to pornography.

An uncomfortable silence follows and the males squirm in their chairs.

Then Jesus asks why there is over a 50% divorce rate amongst you.

Further awkward silence.

Then he asks why there are those participating in holy communion who have wicked lives behind the scene.

Now here is the question I want you to really think about.  If the above were to happen today, do you think the Shepherds and the Sheep of your group would:

a) repent in bitter sorrow and weep over their condition or

b) kick this preacher out the back door for rudely speaking out of turn and mucking up their flow

I want you to think about this.  Really.

But it doesn’t stop there.  The Jesus that I see in my Bible also said this:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Matthew 10:34-35)

He also said this:

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

And the list goes on.

I hope that I’m mistaken, but I’m guessing that the Jesus above doesn’t match up with the Jesus being preached to you. And that’s why you are in permanent bondage and your life is dark and dreary.  Don’t think I haven’t been there before nor think that I’m fully out of the religious forest.

But great news, folks.  Jesus is not a religious cross-fit program.  He is a Person – and the most amazing, loving, forgiving, life-changing, freedom-providing One I have ever met.

Do not accept spiritual mediocrity.

Do not accept a program to substitute a relationship.

Do not accept a ‘form of godliness’ and deny the power of God.

Decide today that you will *know* your Heavenly Father by knowing His Word yourself.

Turn off the TV.

Turn off the news.

Turn off your cell phone.

Bow the knee.

Our Saviour has come.

He awaits at the door.

He is knocking.

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Proof of God’s Presence: Transformation

Perhaps one of the things that has grieved me the most over the years is a reality I have seen in the Body of Christ – something of which both myself and my wife were guilty as charged.  This something seems to be everywhere now that I ask around and now that I’m actively looking.  The reason it is so common, in my opinion, is because almost everyone is guilty.   So what is this crime?

Not being transformed

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2 KJV)

How is it that someone can be part of a fellowship where the Word of God is being taught and then leave exactly the same?

How is it that one can be living in sin, as I was, show up to meetings week after week and not experience *either* conviction or freedom?

How is it that one can stand in the presence of Almighty God and not change?

The answer is: They cannot.

And if you are not changing, it means you are not standing in the presence of Almighty God and you should be gravely concerned about your relationship with Him.  If you are playing ‘the church game’ with yourself, like the Pharisees were, it’s time to wake up and smell the spiritual coffee and do a little test on yourself.  Here is a test I perform on myself regularly now, and I hope it will be of value to you as well:

  • Is God’s will truly most important in your life, or are there ‘other things’ that tend to rule?
  • Do you truly want to know Him, the person of God, or do you want to know about him?  Karl Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses and he was right, by the way. Are you opiating?
  • Do you love the Word of God, or do you find it a drag to read, and like a ‘boring book’?
  • Does sin bother you to your very core, or do you accept it as ‘the way it is’ like the rest of the world?
  • Do you feel more hungry to know God more, or do you feel satisfied with your current relationship with God?
  • Do you have sin in your mind and life? Pornography, sexual deviancy, alcohol and drug addictions, hatred, jealousy, un-thankfulness, un-forgiveness, and the like?
  • Do you feel trapped in some kind of slavery and unable to break free?
  • Are you being transformed or are you staying the same?

I know these are hard questions and they don’t feel good to ask, but let’s be serious.  Jesus said that you can’t have two masters.  I agree and say that you can’t play for two teams, either.

All throughout the Bible wherever God’s presence was, transformation of the most exciting kind took place.  In the Old Testament you saw this with the physical location of the temple and the ark of the covenant.  In the New Testament, everywhere Jesus went amazing healings took place and unbreakable chains were broken.  In the book of Acts and onwards, you see clearly the very hearts of men transformed from God haters to God lovers.  Transformation and change is a key theme and proof of God’s existence in individual lives and even nations.

But don’t stress out.  You also can’t get right before God by doing a bunch of religious gymnastics or increase the frequency of the few righteous things you do.  The Pharisees also did their ‘good works’ but they were destined for the fire of hell.

There is nothing you can do.

You are hopeless on your own.

But thanks be to God for the amazing transforming power of Jesus.

The day you truly repent and turn from your disturbing ways and allow Jesus to rule your very temporary life, is the first day of the rest of your life.  On this day, true transformation will begin and the checklist above will soon be a joy to check because you’ll be shocked at how the power of God can change a person’s heart at the very core.

I pray that today be the first day of your transformation.

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Freedom from the Annoyance of Time

Ever felt you can’t focus on someone or something because something is scheduled?  In my case, I was trying to focus on God Almighty and I kept becoming aware that I only had a half an hour before I had to start getting ready for work.

That ain’t natural, and that ain’t the way it’s supposed to be.

So I started thinking about how it is supposed to be and how it will be.

Way back when Adam and Eve were enjoying their time with each other and with their Lord in the garden, time just didn’t exist.  I’m sure the sun rose and set as it does now, but those were yet further events to remind them of the glory of their God.  I have a very hard time imagining Eve yelling at Adam, “Adam!  Are you still lying there?  Don’t you know we have to eat breakfast in 30 minutes?!”  Somehow that just doesn’t jive.

On the other hand, what I do envision is time passing just as it would if one were on a month long vacation on a beach resort:

“What day is it, honey? asked Adam.

“Tuesday?  or… maybe it’s Wednesday?  Where’s my cell?” replied Eve.

Time is unnatural.  It ruins everything.  It causes stress.

It became apparent to me this week again when we were worshipping the Lord.  It was as if time was standing still.  I caught a brief glimpse of heaven and all time stopped.   I recall wishing that particular song wouldn’t end. But, then, abruptly even, it ended all right.  It went right into the next part of the ‘service’.  Time had won again.

But all this makes sense now that I think about it.

God is eternal.  He is outside of time.  He created time.

Man, until the grave error in the garden, walked with God in a state of eternity.  When man goofed, death arrived along with the clenched fists of Uncle Time.

Now man was a lit candle with an eventual end.  Would the candle blow out by a gust of wind or a sneeze or would the it go out naturally when the wax ran out?  In either case, the candle is on a course to the unavoidable poof.

And so man is keenly aware of time and a slave to it for every waking moment.  And, thanks to alarm clocks even our sleep can be governed by it.

In Ecclesiastes, it has been determined that everything in between here and God is vanity – a bit of a waste of time, if you will.  It will all pass away. Projects, dreams, buildings, positions, titles, money –  it’s all a vapour.  None of it can fix the time problem and create eternity.

Speak to any person over the age of, say, 40.  It’s interesting to watch the effects of time working against us all.  For the person who does not know God, this must be the most depressing reality in the earth.  How sorrowful.  How pitiful.  How annoying.

But today I realized that there is freedom for those who wish to escape the death locks of time and everyone needs to know about it.  It is salvation through the name and blood of Jesus.

Once you are redeemed back to your God, he will not only warmly welcome you into heaven where you will experience eternity and the freedom from time, but, what’s even more great, is that you don’t have to wait until then.  You can enter into His presence where time will stop for you.  You can experience the Kingdom of God on earth, just as Jesus said we could pray for.

However, as a suggestion between now and heaven I recommend using an alarm clock when you start to worship as most employers tend not to accept ‘lost in the presence of Almighty God’ as an excuse for being late to work.

 

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