Alex Watt

About Hacks Recommendations

Hello Africa!

In January 2020, I spent a week in Ethiopia with a team of medical professionals from my church and a sister church in Boston. It was an amazing week, and the environment was quite different from my “normal” in the States. On the return trip, as the plane was descending into Pittsburgh, I was shocked to see residential neighborhoods with large, beautiful houses, after a week of houses being very small and made of corrugated metal.

Anyway, our team was there to run a clinic. I had been told I might be able to work on a tech project, but had pretty low expectations. This post is about how that did, in fact, materialize.

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Book Review: How to Get Unstuck

We’ve all been stuck before, in lots of different ways. How do you get out of the rut? What would that look like?

Matt Perman’s new book, How to Get Unstuck, is a great resource for answering both of these questions. I was happy to find that it is more than a collection of productivity tips–Perman begins by explaining what it means to be unstuck, based on 1 Corinthians 15:

Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Being unstuck is really about flourishing, loving God and neighbor well. It is a generous state, not a selfish one–and once you are unstuck, you should help others without judgment!

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Solitude and Community

Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him who is not in community beware of being alone… Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Do we know how to be really alone and really in community? Or do we play pretend at both – e.g., browsing Facebook alone – and get neither?

Let him who cannot be alone or in community beware of both.


The Beauty of Fall

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

– Thomas Chisholm, Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Photo credit: Annie Spratt

Some of my friends were talking about beauty this morning and where we find it. We thought briefly about the beauty in sadness, in endings, which speak volumes about the goodness that really was and say something true to us about our own condition.

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ESV Text Expander (AutoHotkey)

One of the things I love about Crossway is how accessible they make the ESV text with great tools like ESV.org and the ESV API for developers.

I recently used their API to make a text expander for ESV verses, using AutoHotkey. (Note that AutoHotkey is a Windows-only utility, so if you’re on another OS this won’t be of much use.)

Demo using the script from Microsoft Word.

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