Living the Great Commission: Seek the Kingdom

I am in a Men’s group at my church called Kingdom Warriors. It is an absolutely awesome group that exemplifies the biblical example of accountability and fellowship. Recently we had a study on an excerpt of a book by John Eldredge called The Way of the Wild Heart that spoke about the idea of bravery. When we were discussing the study in my group many of the struggles with bravery were related to a specify sin in the persons life. At this point it dawned on me that while I struggle with sin in my life as much as any man what I struggle most with is seeking the kingdom, the first half of Matthew 6:23. What I mean is that I am often lacking in fulfilling The Great Commission. I don’t mean that I wish to be the next Billy Graham; far from it. What I mean is that I am often reluctant to share the hope that I have with those around me for fear that they will call me a hypocrite. The unfortunate thing is that the fact that I am far from perfect is the beauty of my faith. The fact that I still sin yet I am still forgiven and still bound for heaven is the “Good News”. This hope that salvation has been given by Grace, as a gift that I have no bearing upon (Ephesians 2:8-9).

So what’s the point? I need to share the hope that I have, it is really good news. I have no fear of death, I know that my God does all things in life for good. I know that my God Loves me so much that he sent his Son to die for me. I know that the creator of the universe has adopted me as a son and gives me the greatest father-son relationship ever. I know that my actions have no bearing on my salvation, Grace is more than sufficient. So many think that Christianity is slavery to rules, it is the opposite. Freedom from sin, knowing that I am indeed saved. Now does that mean I continue to sin, no (Romans 6:1-2). But my actions have no bearing on my salvation. I am content, I am loved and I have no fear of death. How can I not share?

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SCCM R2 Softgrid integration very good with one low spot

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time working with the SCCM R2 Softgrid integration. First off the overall integration is excellent, it adds the powerful SCCM infrastructure to the great Softgrid solution. In the past the ability to scale with Softgrid was extremely limited by the Softgrid infrastructure. The integration with SCCM allows the use of the powerful distribution infrastructure in SCCM in addition to the ability to target computers. It also allows the targeting of workgroup machines which was not included in Softgrid 4.2 (it is included in 4.5).

However with all of this excellent extension of Softgrid there is one low spot. Once the client agent for Softgrid is enabled the policy is delivered via the SCCM policy engine. rather than the Softgrid Desktop Configuration Server. While the SCCM policy engine is very scalable it does lack speed. The Desktop Configuration Server in Softgrid offers virtually instantaneous delivery of applications to users at login. Now depending on how you target the application in a collection this could cause a major delay in software delivery time. For example if you target an AD group that contains users depending on your discovery and collection refresh cycle you could have a several hour delay in software delivery. Obviously if you use the functionality introduced in SMS 2003 SP2 where you can target a group of users via a collection your software delivery speed will be greatly increased. Even with this model you will not have the immediate delivery of a Softgrid application at login like you do with the Softgrid Desktop Configuration Server. 

I will leave it to you to evaluate whether this is an issue and if so how severe it is something that I am disappointed with. When using a thin image strategy the ability to deliver applications instantaneously at login provides a very powerful tool for desktop management. I am hopeful that in the next version of SCCM we will be able to deliver policy more quickly and use the scalability of the SCCM infrastructure. Until then depending on the implementation requirements I may still be using the Softgrid Desktop Configuration Server.

Great Password Complexity vs. Pass Phrase Post

A very good friend of mine recently posted a great password complexity vs pass phrase article here. That agrees with something I have said for a very long time. I read it first in a series of security articles (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) some years on Microsoft TechNet that changed my mind forever. Here I want to summarize those points with some brief math to demonstrate why I like pass phrases.

If you have an 8 character password that is complex it means that there are 8 characters in the password and approximately 90 characters that could be used for any of the 8 in the password, 26 letters in the alphabet lower and upper = 52, 10 numbers plus there symbols = 20 + 52 = 72, 18 various other type-able symbols. This gives us the following information

90^8=4,304,672,100,000,000 (90 possible characters and 8 spaces gives that many possible passwords)

Now lets take a paraphrase that is 20 characters long that has 57 possible characters (52 letters !.?, and a space)

57^20=131,068,133,085,775,282,769,190,451,412,780,000 (56 possible characters and 8 spaces gives that many possible passwords)

I think that speaks for itself.