Mark R Lindsey

They’ve got my password and they’re threatening me!

In computers on July 11, 2018 at 8:54 pm

I received this threat today in email, and you might get one too. They really had an old password I had used in the past! I’m not worried, but it’s a nice lesson. So how should you respond?


1. Realize that sadly, many web sites have been hacked and your passwords stolen. In this case, I suspect the attacker is using data from the 2012 LinkedIn hack. Check your email address on to see whether your email address has appeared in published lists of stolen accounts.

2. Use different passwords on every web site. Store passwords in the iCloud keychain or use 1Password.

3. Contact the company enabling the attack. In this case, the email was sent from an email address, so I forwarded the email as an attachment to I found those instructions by googling for “email abuse

4. Use a webcam cover to block your camera when you’re not using it. There are vulnerabilities where it *IS* possible for hackers to look through your webcam.

5. Improve your odds by always installing your updates. Improve your odds of safety by using a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, and keeping your computer up to date by installing all the updates from Apple.

6. In this case, the threat about the single-pixel tracking is bogus (though this is the way marketers track you). The attacker would need to use an HTML email, and the attacker would have to run a server to receive the notifications. That would allow authorities to trace him more easily. This email has no such tracking.

7. Use the Internet so you know an email threat like this is bogus. But since nobody wants an invasion of privacy of any form, follow the other rules.


Psalm 57: Weaponizing Words

In Bible Study on May 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

On Psalm 57, entitled:

“To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.”

  • David is in an excruciatingly difficult place.

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.

  • God is merciful.
  • David remembers God is merciful.
  • It’s good to call out to God to show his mercy.
  • There are “storms of destruction” around David; he is in real jeopardy.
  • David was in a cave physically, but considered himself under God’s wings.

2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

  • God has a purpose for David.
  • David was crying out — as if God could hear, and respond.
  • God has a purpose for David — even in the storms of destruction.

3 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

  • God is in Heaven.
  • David trusted God to save him with intervention from Heaven.
  • David has certainty as a Prophet — God has revealed something special to David.
  • The saving from heaven to be sent is:
    • His steadfast love
    • His faithfulness
  • So we know steadfast love and faithfulness are useful for
    • God’s purpose
    • Saving
    • Protection from the storm of destruction

4 My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

  • David was able to rest, to “lie down”
  • David’s rest is among “lions” and “fiery beasts”.
  • The “fiery beasts” and “lions” are descriptions of people — “children of man”
  • The weapon of these beasts? Teeth and tongues
  • How are teeth and tongues weapons? The words they say are destructive

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

  • David’s cry in the “storm of destruction” as he’s under attack is for God’s greatness to be seen and recognized

But does it apply to me?

Do you have a relationship with God like King David had? You can! He promises to make the same covenant (promises and commitments) that he makes with David — with anyone who admits they need God, and trusts him:

Isaiah 55:1-3 (ESV)

“Come, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;

hear, that your soul may live;

and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

my steadfast, sure love for David.

Enduring Violence, and God’s Call to Protect the Weak

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

Should a Christian stay in a physically dangerous place? No. And we Christians must provide protection!

1. Jesus’s language assumed persecution would mean the danger was avoided. Jesus presumed that when you’re chased, you run.

Matthew 10:22-23 — “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

2. Violence toward a woman in marriage violates God’s law. We must never tolerate sin but always work against it.

Colossians 3:19 — Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

3. Christian leaders are to “shepherd” — and our Biblical model of care necessarily includes physical protection. To “bind up the injured” cannot be any less than working for safety and protection for the vulnerable.

Failing leaders as bad shepherds: Ezekiel 34:4 — The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.

God as good shepherd: Ezekiel 34:16 — I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

4. John Bunyan wrote how there is no Christian principle that means staying while persecuted.

“He that flies, has warrant to do so; he that stands, has warrant to do so. Yea, the same man may both fly and stand, as the call and working of God with his heart may be.

Moses fled, Ex. 2:15;

Moses stood, Heb. 11:27.

David fled, 1 Sam. 19:12;

David stood, 24:8.

Jeremiah fled, Jer. 37:11­–12;

Jeremiah stood, 38:17.

Christ withdrew himself, Luke 19:10;

Christ stood, John 18:1–8.

Paul fled, 2 Cor. 11:33;

Paul stood, Acts 20:22–23. . . .”

5. If a Christian leader teaches a truth and it’s unpopular, then that’s to be expected, and Christians should support that truth, while admitting the teacher is always error-prone and fallible. Jesus told us to expect to be hated (John 15:18-20).

But if a Christian leader sins by genuinely teaching falsely, and doesn’t repent of it, he should be held to account publicly.

1 Timothy 5:19-20 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

Praising the trust in God held by one person in one instance that already occurred doesn’t necessarily make a recommendation for other people. Just enduring hard things doesn’t make us Holy.

But it’s difficult to see other examples of trust and bravery, and not try to make inferences. Hebrews 11 is full of examples of good and bad people are cited for trusting God. In nearly every case, we cannot follow their actions as examples because we’re not living the same lives. But we who believe Jesus died for us to bring us to God can trust that God is with us, and provides for us, and will always protect us — this year, and in a billion years. “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.”