Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Free Speech As We Know It Is Dead

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

In the recent fallout after was banned from both the Apple App Store *and* Google's Play Store, things have gotten interesting, and dangerous. At the same time, a well-known, notoriously antisemitic Neo-Nazi website was effectively erased from the internet without due process. During this whole debacle it was revealed that the entirety of the internet is controlled by only a few companies who can essentially censor the internet with impunity. And no one can stop them. (I'll probably post more on this soon.)

Fast forward a few weeks: the "internet refugee" who was essentially erased from posting anything on the internet ends up on, which bills itself as a "Free Speech" platform. But when you look closer, you discover that the Terms of Service exclude posting content that is illegal, as subject to different jurisdictions. "But muh Freeze Peach!" you can hear the trolls crying. Sorry, but if you post something straight-up illegal, cannot protect you. And of course, everybody who could think more than a few steps ahead knew this was going to be tested (and proven) at some point. We're not that surprised.

Now, this recent incident with the Neo-Nazis and Gab (and an unnamed Sci-Fi author) has sparked flames of indignation with the trolls: "How dare we get sued for posting whatever we want about anybody we want! Isn't this a Free Speech site?" To which the answer is, There is no such thing as completely 100% free speech without consequences.

It means Free Speech, as they *thought* it was defined, does not exist. And the interesting part is, it really never did.

So what does that mean for people like me and you, who don't necessarily espouse the ideals of radicals on either side, but still want the freedom to speak our mind?


Monday Isn’t My Favorite Day

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

I've been encouraged in the last few days, only to feel defeated again this morning. I am going to have to throw myself back into the pursuit of God if I'm going to manage to keep my head on straight.

I don't know why this is messing with my head so much. It's not like I'm trying to be perfect. But something about this is just rubbing me the wrong way- there's something there I can't put my finger on. I guess I still have strongholds of the mind, but finding them is hard. And tearing them down is even harder.

It would be nice if I could just go back to not caring about anything again, but I know that's not what God has in store for me. Sometimes I wonder if I ever really wanted to become something great. Maybe I'd be okay just as a regular guy, with nothing else special about me. But when I think about where God has brought me, and what He's given me, I am encouraged. There's a driving purpose to what He's doing all around us, and I'm trying to look past my own shortcomings to see what's really important.

What am I doing today? I'm going to try to find a job. I'm going to try to figure out what to do about my small business (that isn't really a business, because I'm not making any money at it). I'm going to try to write some more on my novel, in hopes that just maybe someone will like it and I can get a publishing contract. Or something. Plus I'm working on learning music and preparing for our church's new campus launch in 5 weeks.

I've got a lot on my mind, but I'm in a place where I can't do much about it. So I have to figure out what I can do, and go in that direction.

I never could get the hang of Mondays.

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Near-Life Experience

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

"We just had a near-life experience, fellas!"

Today has been 6 years since I got hit by a car. I can't believe how far I've come since then, and how good God has been to me and my family.

I've learned so much since then! And I can honestly say I've heard God's voice on these times in ways I never could have imagined beforehand. God has a way of getting your attention like that.

I'm not going to make a huge deal of it, because- you know- life goes on. But just wanted to say that every year my hip hurts less and less, and this year it's almost completely normal. I've been doing a lot of cycling (more at the beginning of the year, but I'm getting back into it) and I thought it would protest, but amazingly, it's been quite uneventful, which is good when you're talking about potential problem areas.

Along these lines, I'm looking at starting up a bicycle-themed men's small Bible study group. There's tons of life applications we can learn together from it, and I'm looking forward to that possibility. All of this will happen at our new church home, of course- I'll post more about that transition when I can put my thoughts together on it. Lots to say there, but I want to say it in a way that doesn't come across as critical, because it wasn't under bad terms at all.

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Struggling With The Spirit

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

When we believers struggle with the Holy Spirit in our lives, it doesn't mean we're fighting against God- not just against Him, anyway- it also means we're fighting against our own nature. Our war is a spiritual war, according to Ephesians 6:12

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Our nature as sinful people can't be trusted. On our own, we're weak. Our minds lie to ourselves, telling us we don't need God, we don't need redemption, and we don't need help.

But we do need help. And that help comes in the form of the Holy Spirit.

Over the last 20 years, I've learned a lot about God and Scripture. I learned a lot about Jesus Christ, and the early church in the book of Acts. But one thing I was hardly taught was The Holy Spirit. And the sad part is, i don't think it was intentional.

I think churches today fall into two main camps: those who completely ignore the Spirit's work in believers' lives, and those who overemphasize it to the point where even other believers think they're crazy. There seems to be no middle ground, no in-between. No common sense approach seems to have taken hold.

I'm just now, after 20 years in the faith, realizing that I knew next to nothing about the Holy Spirit. And that shouldn't be the case- certainly not in America.

What then, do we know about the Spirit? What does the Scripture say about Him? What is His role in my life?


Finding Direction In A Dark World

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Over the last few days, I've been thinking.

Specifically, I've been thinking about what my life's purpose is. There's plenty of things tied into this, but the majority of it boils down to this:

If you had to define your existence with one driving statement of purpose, what would it be?

If you don't know, what are you waiting for?

And this is where I found myself after years of floating, like a leaf in the wind. I realized I had no real, solid purpose. I mean, sure, I had "purpose" but I couldn't tell you exactly what it was. "Following God" only gets you so far, as that could look like any number of things. "Loving your neighbor" could be me, sitting on my couch, invisibly loving people from afar. What does "helping people" look like? Specifically, for me? What does "Love the Lord your God with all your heart" look like, for me?


Keep Moving Forward

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

I haven't really talked about it much this time around, but last week (July 12) was the 5-year mark since I was hit by a car and hospitalized while bike commuting.

It's been an interesting 5 years, I have to say. The first year was strictly physical and mental recovery. Year 2 was me proving that I had recovered, so I trained and did a 75 mile bike tour. Years 3-4 were mostly me being too busy to do anything bike-related. Year 5 was the year of the Comeback, with me starting to bike commute again, and eventually, getting my son into cycling as well.

It's been a very good process of therapy. I'm still not commuting as much as I'd like, but my situation is such that it's not really possible just yet. I am now riding group rides with Andy and building up a new (to me) legitimate road bike. I'll post a story about that on Friday, it's pretty exciting to be building bikes again!

I feel like I'm transitioning into a different era. I am juggling lots of responsibilities, and I'm trying to make solid choices. I'm spending a lot of time playing and working with the family. I'm laying aside most of my extracurricular stuff, and focusing on my health and my family: two things which can't be pushed off till later.

So, that means I've spent a lot of time riding my bike on the trainer, or in group rides, instead of commuting. This rubs my sensibilities the wrong way, but I don't have much choice.

I think this will be my last annual recap of the accident, though. The fact that I didn't even think about posting about it last week means I've officially moved on. From this point forward, my focus will be on where we go from here.

Get out and ride. Doesn't matter where.

Just ride.


To Live Is To Die

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

I've been thinking about death a lot lately.

Not by choice, mind you. It just seems to be popping up everywhere. Family members, movies, TV, the news, books. Someone dies and I think about it. In fact, three famous personalities- Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, and Alan Rickman (all who were the same age as my dad, coincidentally) died in the past week or so.

As a believer in Jesus Christ- who was able to look Death in the eyes and overcome it- Death has an interesting role to play for me. It's not the end of everything.

Even so, losing someone you love is always sad. Being afraid to lose someone you love is even worse, as you relive it over and over again in anticipation. We meditate on the possibility dying, and in doing so, I think we tend to overlook the significance of the actual life that did (or could) end.

Death is significant, but only because it marks the end of something that was significant.

In other words: If life wasn't important, death wouldn't matter. Our modern funerals are known for celebrating the departed's life; remembering the good memories and things associated with it.

How hard would it be for us to celebrate this while people are still alive? Why is it that we mourn with regret, only when it's too late? What would it look like if we celebrated the lives of our loved ones every day?


I’m Now A Goodreads Author

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

After a bit of work, I decided to apply for author status on so I can organize my bookshelf, and let you- my faithful readers- know when I have more writing projects coming up. You can visit my Goodreads author page here.

Since I'm not going to waste a whole day's blog post on that short announcement, here's a few thoughts I've been chewing on:

After an excellent discussion about yesterday's blog post, I've decided to write a daily creed that I can recall, to help me keep my focus. I haven't written it yet, but I will be working on it over the weekend.

Also, I've decided to dedicate my Saturday mornings to writing on my novels. In 3 hours, I can get several thousand words written, and though it's not as fast as I'd like, it's as much as I can commit to right now.

My exercise routine has been on hold for 3 weeks. That's right, I haven't done anything. What I have done is reclaimed my sleep schedule. It's going to be a struggle.... it may be a while before I get back to bike commuting, unless I can move my work hours. Getting up at 4:30 just isn't working. It's affecting my mental state in a bad way. I will go back to it at some point, but for now, sleep is more important.

I've been fighting car problems, too. Nobody wants to hear about those, but let's just say, I had to rip the whole interior out of my Saturn because of water leaks in the sunroof. The '65 Rambler needs a brake cylinder seal replaced before I can drive it again. And since I'm not riding my bike, I'm left driving the gutted Saturn.

Creativity-wise, I'm starting a new project soon with my friend and fellow author, musician, and ADD Mastermind, JohnnyHow. Can't give much detail on it yet, but it's going to be fun, random, and in all likelihood extremely crazy. And did I mention random?

Fun times ahead! Stay tuned, kids!


Adrenalinn III Review: Part 1

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

This will cover the Adrenalinn III effects pedal, by Roger Linn designs. Since there's so much to this thing, I'm going to break it up into sections. The first thing we're going to look at is the built-in amp models.

Not only does this pedal have 40 different amp sounds (including bass amps), each one has (3) tone controls, plus drive and a drive "boost" control, so you can actually get a lot more than 40 sounds out of it. When you add in different pickup configurations, you can get almost unlimited tones out of it.

Here's the list of amps (the RLD ones are from Roger Linn Design, not modeled off of a specific amp):


7 Reasons Why I Think Supervillains Are Cool

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Why do I think supervillains are cool? It's not because they're evil. It's not because they're rich (although that doesn't hurt). It's not even because they're people I necessarily want to emulate. I'm not a psychopath, and I don't really like hurting people.

The hero never really comes into their stride until they have a worthy nemesis. I always enjoy watching a good supervillain, because I know the battle they bring is going to be epic. After a while, I started to notice that the really good villains have a lot in common, and I got to thinking about why they're so cool, even if they're bad. Why then am I so obsessed with supervillains? Because you can learn a few things from them, even if you don't subscribe to their philosophy of World Domination©.

So without further ado, here's my list of 7 things I think are cool about Supervillains that most heroes don't have.