Replacing the Ancient Faith Android App

If you are like me you appreciate the content of Ancient Faith Radio, but if you are also like me and have a lower end Android phone you can not get the app to run on your phone without crashing. I have found a decent workaround for the issue. To be specific there are actual two different workarounds. The first is a replacement for the two streaming radio stations, music and talk. The other workaround is for streaming or downloading podcasts.

The first workaround for streaming radio is using a music player that suppports network streaming protocals. I have tried two that work very well. The first is VLC for Android and the second is Foobar2000. If you have not used a streaming music player before , I would recommend VLC as it is much easier to setup.

To use VLC after installing the app and opening it you select Stream as your source. You then will be asked for a network address. The url for mMusic on Ancient Faith is http://ancientfaith1.streamguys.com/live and the url for talk is http://ancientfaith2.streamguys.com/live. By entering the appropriate network address the music player will play the live stream.

To download podcasts I found an RSS reader for Android called Read. Read will allow you to follow what ever podcasts you would like to follow. When new episode is available you will be notified. By selecting the new episode you will be given the choice to stream or download the podcast.

The easiest way to select podcasts you would like to follow in Read is to open the OPML file for Ancient Faith in Read under add. You can then select with Ancient Faith Podcasts you would like to follow.

This post is not intended to be a full set of instructions but a suggestion of how to work around the issues with the Ancient Faith App. Please feeel free to contact me if you want me to post a detailed instructions.

Fibro and Grief

I have had my fibromyalgia diagnosis for about six months now. While it has been only been six months since my diagnosis I most likely have had it much longer. I believe I have noticed symptoms since 2016 if not longer. There is no cure for fibromyalgia and very little medical treatment. It is a condition you learn to live with the best you can with lifestyle changes.

In order to live with a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia one must grief for the life before but then move through the steps of grief and live a life of acceptance. That doesn't mean one does not seek medical treatment or look for ways to live better with fibromyalgia. But that does mean live today the best one can and finding peace with what one has been given.

I strongly recommend the book, Good Grief by Granger E. Westberg. It is a small book that explains the process of grief and each of the steps. The author helps one to identify where they are at and what comes next.

Once one knows what grief is and the process they can move towards healing and living with the loss one has had.

Vim SSH and Yellow

As in a previous blog post I mention I am using Yellow as my CMS. To create a blog post it is simple as creating a text file in the proper directory, with the proper header, and the text of the blog post. The text can be in either md or html. I found the easiest way to create a post is to create and write it right on the server with a server based editor. Vim is included with almost every Linux install and by creating your own .vimrc file you can customize the editor the way you want it. I have customized Vim to create the standard header with an abbreviation, added an html plugin, and spell check. So all I do is ssh into my hosting provider's server, start Vim, write my post in html, and save the file in the appropriate directory and there is my blog post.

The best part of this configuration is it allows my to easily write posts or edit on them on any device that has an ssh client. Since the editor is on the server and customized by me I don't have to worry about having the right tools or editor. It is always there ready to use.

To save a draft copy not ready for publication I save the file with the name I want to use but with a dot in front and then the file is hidden. When I am ready to publish it all I have to do is rename the file by removing the dot and there is my blog post.

Why not give Vim a try as your editor. Even if it is not for you it is an editor you should know how to use. It is often the one tool you have when your system leaves you with just a command prompt and a configuration file that has to be edited to get your gui back

Which Psalter?

Reading the Psalms is one of the devotional practices I recommend over and over again. The question I often get in respond to my recommendation is which translation to use? My standard response is use the one you are familiar with already. By using a translation you are familiar with whether based on the Septuagint or the Hebrew text, it is already in your memory and much easier to make the Psalms your prayer.

I grew up a Lutheran using TLH so the Coverdale Psalter is the translation of the Psalms I am most familiar with. So when I pray privately the Psalms that is what I use. This is the same translation that is used in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

The only restriction I put on the above recommendation is do not use an inclusive language translation. The main reason I avoid inclusive language translations is the Christological nature of the Psalms are lost. The Psalms are the prayers of Jesus. When Jesus cries out on the cross,"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He is praying the Psalms. When Psalm one says,"BLESSED is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners." this is a reference to Christ not us sinners. Inclusive translations usually translate the singular male noun or pronoun as a inclusive pronoun. For example, the Inclusive translation of the Grail Psalter starts with," Happy are those..." The translation completely destroys the Christological nature of the Psalm.

What if you are new to praying the Psalms, what translation should you use? The short answer is use the one your parish uses. My parish uses the Psalter for Prayer. This translation is an adaptation of Coverdle's translation to match the Septuagint text. So if you were in my parish that is the one I would recommend. Check with your priest which is one the parish uses. There are several good Septuagint based Psalters, Psalter for Prayer, The Psalter according to the Seventy, the Ancient Faith Psalter, and the Psalms in the Orthodox Study Bible. So most likely they are using one of the above.

Some of you may have noticed I am pointing out translations based on the Septuagint but personally I am using one based on the Hebrew text. There are differences between some of the Psalm texts which are important to know for study and liturgical use. Private prayer and devotion are another matter. Using words you are familiar with in prayer are more important than whether they are based on a certain translation assuming the translation is not problematic in someway.

Also please note my use of a Hebrew based translation is for private devotion not liturgical use. I do use a Septuagint based translation for liturgical services.

Bye Bye Joomla

I have completed my move from Joomla. For years I developed websites in Joomla, but when I quit developing websites I found my remaining personal websites did not need a CMS as complex as Joomla. Not that I dislike Joomla, it is a great CMS. But I don't need a One ton truck anymore.

So I started looking for a smaller simpler flat CMS. I came across a small CMS called Yellow from Sweden. I have no idea how big the user base is but it met my requirements: simple to setup, and simple to use.

There are many flat CMSs out there Grav, Pico, and many others. The only way to find out which one is best for you is to try them and see which one works for you

I tried Grav but did not like it. That is not to say Grav is bad in fact it is one of the most highly rated and popular flat CMSs. My philosophy is that in a CMS the content, the plugins, and the templates should be independent. One should not be dependent on the other. That is not the case with Grav. The way the templates work content can often be template dependent. If you never change templates that is never an issue but if you have an existing Grav site and change templates it is quite possible and very probable that your site would not display and error out. You would have to edit every article to make it compatible with the new template before the site would be functional. I believe there is a way to bootstrap templates so your site can function if you change templates but that seems like a lot of extra work.

But that is why there are many CMSs. I like Yellow you may not. I didn't like Grav you may thing it is great. Pick the one that works best for you.