You don’t have to do anything to become more than you are… to become more important, more valuable, more special. In fact you can’t do anything to increase your value as a person, as an individual. Why?

God created you! What is more amazing than that? You were no accident, no surprise, no fluke. While your size in this universe may seem insignificant, your lifespan compared to eternity a mere vapor, God made you on purpose. THE God who created all that exists, put you on this planet for a reason. He hand-crafted you with a specific plan in mind. All God wants is your heart and your devotion. He wants to become your consuming passion, your driving force. To be ALL you live for.

He died for that reason. Your sin, which is not unique, but common to the entire human race, is wiped away by Jesus’ sacrifice so that nothing will stand in the way of having a personal, unique relationship with Him. God values you so much, that He gave the most precious gift imaginable. Just. For. You.

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Some time in the last couple weeks, and right around the one year anniversary of launching the EWWW Image Optimizer for WordPress, the plugin hit 50,000 downloads. Wow!

I’ve had a lot of fun (mostly) learning new things in PHP, and a little javascript along the way. It’s turned into quite a polished little piece of software (I think so anyway), and it has been pretty neat to see so many benefiting from my work (and a couple even contributing back).

Next stop, 500k (maybe in a few years).



I find it very satisfying to highly optimize web pages for speed, and I’m always looking for something to make my website just a little bit faster. In fact, the theme I use is called Speed. One area that was lacking on my WordPress install was image optimization. At work, we have a script that runs jpegoptim over all our images every night to make sure they are as lightweight as possible. However, I use WordPress for my personal website, and there’s one thing I always tell my web design class: if you can dream it up, someone has probably already written a wordpress plugin for it. In this case, there were two plugins, but for various reasons, they didn’t work for this site.

The two plugins were WP and CW Image Optimizer. Since they didn’t work for me, I decided to fork CW Image Optimizer, and write a new plugin that would run on my site. That’s part of the beauty of using open source software. You can take the work that others have done, and improve upon it. There’s more details over at the plugin page, so I won’t rehash all the rationale behind writing my own plugin for image optimization. In short, I did it just for me, and my web consulting business, but I kind of hoped someone else could benefit from it, so I submitted it to the WordPress Plugin repository. I was shocked by the results. I published the plugin just over 5 days ago, and it has already seen almost 500 downloads. I’ve gotten several support requests, and since the results have been so fabulous, I’ve even added some additional functionality to it. The main reason I’m writing this is to encourage open source developers, especially those in the WordPress realm. If you’ve considered getting involved, but wondered if it was worthwhile, stop wondering, and just dig in. You may not always be able to see the results quite so transparently, but it’ll be worth it anyway.

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So here it is. I’m going out on a limb (not too far, mind you, not quitting my day job), and looking for clients doing web design and consulting. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge over the last nine years working with all (most, maybe ‘all’ is presumptuous) aspects of a web site at work, church, my personal blog, and more recently for a couple small businesses. If you want to put that knowledge to work for you, check out Exactly Web.

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Our little girl is one year old (and six days). It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written anything, and longer since I wrote about Breitlahn. She’s now been confirmed as an over achiever by her doctor. She started walking 2-3 weeks ago, and now prefers it to crawling. Not sure that I’ve even seen her crawl in the last couple days at all. She has been climbing anything she could for quite some time, and just recently figured out how to climb on the rocking chair in her room (not a small rocker, but a full-size one). Amanda moved it into the living room, so that B’s room would stay a safe haven where we don’t have to worry about her. I was reading the newspaper and eating supper, and I look up and she’s sitting on the rocker, backwards. She had her legs poking out the back side of the chair and was watching daddy through the rungs. Wasn’t quick enough with the camera to catch her like that, but I’ll probably post the couple I got to FB anyway.

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It’s been six years since we were engaged on February 14. Happy Anniversary, to my darling one and only:

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There’s a song called The Earth is Yours by Gungor and it’s had me thinking quite a bit lately of a verse I’ve always heard used as motivation for worshiping God. It’s in Luke 19, verse 40 and says, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Most have probably heard the story. Jesus is riding into town on the colt of a donkey. People are throwing their cloaks and palm branches down before Him. The disciples break into song. And the religious leaders still don’t get it. The creator of the universe is riding into their town, and they miss it completely. They say, “Jesus, rebuke your followers!” Verse 40 is His response to them. If His disciples hadn’t praised Him, creation would.
It was not a question of when and if creation would praise Him though. As the above song so aptly mentions, when the trees twist in the wind, and when the ocean is writhing in a storm, it shows the awesome power of God. The whole of creation is shouting His praises as loudly as they can. So the question isn’t when or if creation will praise Him. It’s a question of when His followers will. When will we put down our pettiness and do as John 4:23 bids us? When will we worship Him in spirit and in truth? When will we remember that worship isn’t and can’t be about us? It isn’t about our likes or dislikes. It isn’t about our preference for contemporary or traditional music. It isn’t about what gives us goosebumps. It isn’t about us. All those things can help us get in the spirit of worship, but they have little to do with our heart. The heart is our own choice. Will we do our best to out-praise the mountains, oceans and trees? Will we praise Him from our heart? We must choose whether we are going to just sing words on a screen, or whether we are going to forget about everything that bogs us down, and worship our creator with everything we are. That’s what it means to worship Him in truth.

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