Telegram Reaches 1 Billion Daily Messages

Not sure how I missed the whole Telegram thing back in February when WhatsApp went down. While nothing compared to WhatsApp’s 600 million active users, Telegram’s 50 million active users each sending 20 messages a day with no money spent on advertising is nothing to shake a stick at.

What intrigues me the most is that it is set up as a non-commercial organization promising to never show ads or sell your data, along with the ability to send “secret chats” with end-to-end encryption–only the two devices in question can read the message.

It’s a cool initiative; I’m curious how this all is going to shake out as Facebook continues to pour more money into Messenger and WhatsApp and vie for market share.

And please—feel free to Telegram me any time.

Google Web Fonts Typographic Project

There are over 650 Google Fonts available for free. But, pairing typefaces isn’t easy and many of those fonts don’t work for typical websites. Part of the 25x52 initiative, this collaborative, ongoing project offers inspiration for using Google’s font library.

Passages from Æsop’s Fables set beautifully in web fonts available from Google fonts. There are some great choices available if you can find them and use them properly.

via Decodering.
The curse of compressing reality

Noah Lorang on Signal v. Noise:

Any creative endeavor is highly non-linear, but the sharing of it almost always skips a lot of the actual work that goes into it. That’s ok; a clear progression makes for a good story that’s easy to tell. But don’t judge your reality against someone else’s compressed work. It’s ok if it takes you a day to make a cutting board like one that someone made in six minutes on YouTube; the truth is it probably took them a day too.

It’s easy to look at all the awesome stuff on the internet and get depressed that you can’t do something well in a day or a weekend. Spending a couple hours doing parts of a project that are not glamorous is OK and to be expected.

O Come Let Us Adore Him

John Piper:

And so the “us” of “O come let us adore him” is the “us” of heaven and earth, singing together. According to Revelation 9:16, there are at least 200 million angels at God’s bidding. Surely at least some of them are assigned to give heed to us as we sing, and do what we say: “Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation!” If we could only hear! Heaven and earth married in singing to Christ.

The choir of men and angels join together in song to worship the creator of the universe, who came to rescue and restore the human race from our own brokenness.

I love this dissection of such a beautiful and rich hymn. Christmas is about so much more than just a cute little baby Jesus in the manger.

Being Careful About What We Ingest

Romans 8:5-6 (ESV):

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Many people are very careful about what they eat. We are careful to make sure we eat our fruits and vegetables. We are careful about how much fat and how many carbohydrates we eat. In the same way, we should be careful about what we eat, but on a spiritual plane. With what kinds of things are we saturating our minds? What kinds of junk food are we allowing into our homes and minds via television, books, and the internet?

Paul urges us in his letter to the Colossians to be mindful of our mindset. “If then you have been raised with Christ, … Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” 1

Have we been raised with Christ? Yes! So what are we to do? Set our minds on the the things of God. Not that we shouldn’t be concerned with day-to-day affairs, but that our mindset would be one that reflects God’s glory. I don’t want to make lists of movies, books, or websites that we can or can’t watch, read, or visit. Our motive is not to increase morality. It is not to try to appease God’s anger at our sin by saying “I don’t watch R-rated movies.” We don’t gain any favor with God by keeping lists of rules. The Pharisees tried that and Jesus spoke most vehemently against their ways. Our goal is to reflect to others the glory and grace of our Lord to those who have not seen or known him.

The only way to reflect God’s glory is to saturate our minds with the things that do. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, … honorable, … just, … pure, … lovely, … commendable, [excellent, or praiseworthy], think about these things.” 2 Is that movie we want to go see really excellent and praiseworthy? How about that latest bestseller we see on the shelves at the bookstore? Is it pure and lovely? The blogs we like to read—are they true and honorable or do they defame others with lies? We shouldn’t shelter ourselves from these things, 3 but we should always be on our guard.