Using Drafts and Launch Center Pro/Workflow to Open Evernote Notes Directly

This past summer I stumbled across Jeffrey Kishner’s helpful post about using Pythonista, Drafts, and Launch Center Pro to create a direct link to any Evernote note on iOS. I have been using that workflow quite a bit to easily launch Evernote notes directly on my iPhone. Some of the notes I want to have quick access to are my Bible Verses to Remember and Prayer Requests notes.

There were a few things about the script that seemed like they could be optimized:

  1. There’s no need to get the link to the note from your Mac, you can get it directly from the iOS Evernote app.
  2. The manual of your six-digit string and the s.. in the Evernote URL could easily be automated.
  3. There workflow overall didn’t seem to be automated enough.

So I decided to try my hand at eliminating Pythonista from the workflow by using the new JavaScript actions in Drafts 4. To someone who knows JavaScript, or programming in general, I’m sure the script I hacked together is hideous, but it works, and to me that’s all that matters.

To check it out look for the Create Direct Link to Evernote Notes link on my projects page.

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Fixing the BibleDraft Text Verse Action To Send Multiple Verses

The other day I needed to send my wife a series of Bible verses. This is one of the reasons I wanted a tool for quickly getting Bible verses on iOS. Well, as I went to text her, I realized that I'd made a sloppy error when building BibleDraft 1.1 – I had not built the multiple-verse functionality to group references and passages. So I took 15 minutes last night to fix that.

If you use BibleDraft to get Bible verses on your iPhone or iPad, please update to 1.1.1. Let me know if you have other issues.

BibleDraft 1.1

I’ve been hard at work (in the little spare time that I have) on some new projects and my use of BibleDraft has also continued to evolve. I want to thank Greg Pierce at Agile Tortiose for being so generous to tweet a link to the project on NYE 2014. I was amazed at the amount of traffic that came to my little blog (in 2 days I had more traffic than I had since I started blogging 18 months prior) for a little project about using Drafts for iOS as a Bible app. I had no idea people were so curious about it.

So, if you’re using BibleDraft, I have a little update for you. I just updated the script to v. 1.1. With BibleDraft 1.1, you can now:

  • Quickly send a Bible verse on iOS using the new “Text Bible Verse” action
  • Use a semicolon ; to separate multiple passages in addition to new lines of text
  • turned off links to the corresponding verse on ESV Bible Online. It’s actually off by default now. The “Preference” to turn them on is at Line 63 of the code.
  • if you do choose to have links on, the link ids are now much less hideously long

For more info on the entire project, check out the BibleDraft page in the projects section.

Also, if you’d like to use BibleDraft but don’t have Pythonista, would you let me know? Tweet to me and let me know if you have Editorial. I’m trying to see if I spend the time moving the entire project over to Editorial for greater appeal.

What Happened to Downtime?

What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space

5. Protect the state of no-intent.

When you’re rushing to a solution, your mind will jump to the easiest and most familiar path. But when you allow yourself to just look out the window for 10 minutes – and ponder – your brain will start working in a more creative way. It will grasp ideas from unexpected places. It’s this very sort of unconscious creativity that leads to great thinking. When you’re driving or showering, you’re letting your mind wander because you don’t have to focus on anything in particular. If you do carve out some time for unobstructed thinking, be sure to free yourself from any specific intent.

I love this article and have been really challenged by it. I've been noticing that I have just been giving myself time to think while driving lately instead of packing in all the usual podcasts and audiobooks. For me, the thinking time in the shower often helps me identify areas of worry and idols in my life. I'm praying that God will help me use that time to think about His goodness to me more.

BibleDraft 1.0

Today I’m happy to finally put a project I’ve been working on for quite awhile on this site. The project is called BibleDraft and you can find its home on my new projects page.

BibleDraft1.0

The Background

Since the big thing in movies in the last 10 years has been origin stories, let’s start with the background[1] on this script. Continue reading

Doug Wilson On The Reality Of The Incarnation

Doug Wilson, from his excellent book God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas is the Foundation for Everything. This passage has make me shake with joy and fear for what it meant that Christ became a man.

We ought always to reflect on the profound reality of the Incarnation. Over the course of time, we have added a bunch of cultural traditions to the celebration of the Christmas season, which is absolutely fine, but at the same time we want to take care not to obscure anything central. So, enjoy the fudge, and the sleigh bells jingling, and bringing the woods into your living room… but enjoy it all for the right reason.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (Jn. 1:1,14)

John’s gospel begins with the words in the beginning, deliberately echoing the first words of Genesis (Gen. 1:1). Just as God created the heavens and the earth, so in the arrival of Jesus, He was recreating the heavens and the earth (v. 1). In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. What does this mean? The withness is defined by the word Word. The Word was with God the Father in the way our words are with us. They are not the same. And yet, at the same time, our words reveal us and are to be identified with us. We are what we speak. Out of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks, and we are this way because God is the same way. Out of the abundance of His heart, He speaks. Now, this perfect Word, this Word that came from the Father without any degradation of meaning, this Word which was also to be identified with the Father, what did He do? He became flesh, John says, and dwelt among us (v. 14). Did this bring about degradation of meaning? No, John says— we beheld his glory (v. 14). What glory? The glory of the only begotten of the Father. What glory? A glory that was full of grace and truth.…

…Now, consider the nature of the miracle we celebrate at Christmas. Without losing anything “in the translation,” God brought this conversation into this world, starting in the womb of a young Jewish woman. The Word (the Word we have been speaking of) became flesh, and all carnal philosophy and wisdom fall backwards, like the men who came to arrest the Lord.

…we need to take careful note of the fact that Jesus was not telling us to do something that He was unwilling to do Himself. We should see this as the very model of His particular kind of servant leadership. Jesus told us to become like little children. And what did He do in the Incarnation? He became a little child. The one, in short, who told us that we needed to be humbled, converted, and made like little children, was the same one who humbled Himself and took the form of a baby in the womb of a young maiden. Jesus told us to become like little children, but He did so as the one who had— in an utterly unique way— become a little child.

He, the eternal Word, the one who spoke the galaxies into existence, was willing to become a little baby boy who could do nothing with words except jabber, and in that jabbering, make glad his mother and earthly father. He, the source of all life and all nourishment for that life, was willing to be breastfed. He, the same one who had separated the night from the day, and had shaped the sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night, was willing to have his diapers changed for a year or so. It is not disrespectful to speak this way; for Christians, it is disrespectful not to. We believe in the Incarnation, in the Word made flesh. This is our glory; this is our salvation.

Jesus told us that in order to enter His kingdom, we would have to stoop. This is not surprising, because He was the one who stooped in a mystifying way in the creation of that kingdom. He stooped —the ultimate Word became a single cell, and then a cluster of cells, and then visibly a baby, although still less than a pound, and then a child who kicked his mother from inside, delighting her immeasurably. He became a little child, and then, years later, He told us to copy Him in this demeanor— to become little children.…

…The atonement did not start when the first nail went in and then stop when the Lord breathed His last breath. The entire life of Christ was involved in our salvation, from His conception on. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah said that we were healed by His stripes, which were inflicted before the cross (Is. 53: 5), and that by His knowledge He will justify many (Is. 53: 11). The Lord’s time on the cross cannot be detached from the rest of His sinless life, and it is theological folly to try.

Wilson, Douglas (2012-11-16). God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas is the Foundation for Everything (Kindle Locations 453-526) Kindle Edition.

Workflow to Pythonista: New from Gist

While the rest of iOS-land is caught up in the Workflow frenzy, the past few days I’ve been spending my free time learning more about scripting in Python. One major project I’ve been working on is a large update to my Drafts & Pythonista workflow for getting Bible verses. Since I’m such a hack and Pythonista doesn’t have version control built-in, I’ve been uploading my work-in-progress files to GitHub as private gists so I can go back in case I royally screw things up. That’s caused me to be downloading a lot of gists lately. Continue reading

25 of My Favorite Christmas Songs

A few days ago I noticed that Casey Liss had posted a few of his favorite Christmas albums, so I thought I’d do a list of some of my Christmas favorites. Most of them I could find on Spotify, but a few are from some rather obscure Christmas samplers when I was in high school. There are basically 3 albums that I rituallistically listen to at this time of year:

  1. Michael W. Smith’s Christmas – it’s like Coca-Cola Classic. Can’t beat the real thing
  2. Mannheim Steamroller’s A Fresh Aire ChristmasCarol of the Bells has a reggae breakdown in it – can it get better than that?
  3. George Winston’s December – this is really the only piano-based album I love and I think a huge reason is because of the nostalgia. Coming in from working outside on the farm to this playing on a Saturday just felt so cozy.

These are basically presented in no particular order, with a few exceptions:

  • I started the playlist off with “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”. I love the way he yells it 3:19. Amen. So much longing and a great way to start the Christmas season – longing for His coming.
  • I ended it with some purpose too:
    • the gospel being presented in A Stick, A Carrot & String (“And the snake who’d held the world, a stick, a carrot and a string, was crushed beneath the foot of you’re not wanting anything.”). I almost always end up with misty eyes when listening to this song
    • This is War gives such a different view of what the birth of Christ was about than what we’re used to thinking of.
    • All Glory Be To Christ is to the tune of Auld Lang Syne and a great way to start off a new day/week/year
    • Evermore is just a great reminder that when Spotify is gone and I am dead and this blog is gone and this life is over, He will still be reigning.

Non-Spotify Tracks

All Alone on Christmas – Darlene Love

To me, the only real version of this song is this one, from the Home Alone 2 soundtrack. All other versions are trash.

Mele Kalikimaka – One Eighty / Flight One Eighty

When I was in Jr. High & High School I was so in love with Hawaii. Naturally this became a favorite.

O, Holy Night – Seven Day Jesus

You’ve gotta have O, Holy Night right? This is my favorite version, it’s humble, just like His birth

Jesu Bambino – Plankeye

I don’t know what it is about this song (probably the guitar in the verses), but I love it.

Mookie’s Last Christmas – Saosin

This is the most unconventional song on the list, and easily one of my favorite Christmas songs. I don’t know about 90% of the lyrics, but it just hits the spot.