Alexa “Wake Up to Music” Doesn’t Work with Spotify

If you have Spotify set as your default music service, then your Echo device might not let you set music as your alarm.  The trick is that using music for an alarm has to come from Amazon Music.  So just add “on Amazon Music” at the end of your request.  Like this:

“Alexa, set an alarm for 6:30 AM to TobyMac on Amazon Music.”

This works on Echo, Echo Spot, and Echo Dot.  Enjoy.


A Communion Message in the Form of a Hymn

Approximately every eight weeks I handle the communion message at my church.  On January 12, 2014 I decided to have some fun and write the message in the form of a hymn.  I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, I just stood up and read the message. Here it is.  I hope you enjoy it.

Hymn – Colossians 4


Colossians 4 has stated well the need to spread the Word.
And teaches us to never fail until each one has heard.
It’s not about our perfect words, or list of flawless deeds.
It’s all about the Spirit’s work; we’re planters of His seeds.

The gospel message

The gospel message we proclaim is news of priceless worth
Christ died for us and rose again, was man and God on earth
We place our trust in Him and out His grace and Spirit pours
It’s His work on the cross that breaks our chains and opens doors

Paul’s imprisonment for the Word

Now Paul was placed in jail for making known this news sublime
But he would not relent for he knew there was little time
He penned this letter so that the Colossians would be cheered
And asked for prayer that he might preach the message without fear

Our being emboldened because of his example

I hope that we’re emboldened by the standard set by Paul
Inspired to share the message every time we hear the call
And live with kingdom thinking as we speak with friends or foes
Let’s speak the news no matter what the circumstances pose

Our approach to sharing the Word – conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders

Colossians 4 verse 5 and 6 give clues on how it’s done
Use wisdom, grace, and seasoning; a kind and pleasant tongue
And make the most of chances given to you every day
Relationships and trust will help you show each one the way

The gospel message is what we celebrate at the table

We join here at the table, this great message we proclaim
And celebrate together His most everlasting reign
But let us leave this place today with these key words in mind
We must speak truth to those around us; there is little time


So this was what I had to share, these words from Paul so right
Advice from him on how to spread the gospel; share the light
And thanks for list’ning carefully today when on a whim
I thought it would be fun to write this message as a hymn

Rosetta Stone Version 3 Hangs at “Loading user files…”

Recently I moved one of my homeschool students to a new computer.  He uses Rosetta Stone Version 3 for Spanish.  We run the homeschool edition which allows us to see reports of his progress.

When migrating the data, I followed the simple method of browsing to %programdata%, then clicking into the Rosetta Stone folder, and making a backup copy of the file tracking.db3.  Once I installed Rosetta Stone on the new laptop, I simply overwrote the much smaller tracking.db3 with my backup copy and he was off and running.  The program seemed to understand his progress and he picked up where he left off.

However, when my wife would click on the link to launch the homeschool progress reports, it would simply hang saying “Loading user files…” I was not able to find any information for this on the Rosetta Stone support site, but after much trial and error I had a hunch.

My son had progress relating to Level 1 and Level 2 Spanish, but we only installed level 2 on his new laptop.  Rather than give an error message like “can’t find level 1 Spanish,” it just hung.  So I installed the missing language level that had progress on it, and everything worked again.

So if you copy tracking.db3 to a new computer, remember to install every language level that your student did work on, or this will occur.


Wisdom Beats Intelligence

“I would much rather my children be wise than be intelligent.”

Last week I posted this as my status update and I got some good response.  One person asked for more detail, so I thought I’d expand a bit here.

All throughout scripture we are told to be wise.

Proverbs 22:17 (NET)
[17] Incline your ear45 and listen to the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my instruction.46 [18] For it is pleasing if47 you keep these sayings48 within you, and49 they are ready on your lips.50 [19] So that51 your confidence may be in the LORD, I am making them known to you today52 – even you.

Yet nowhere are we called to be intelligent.  In fact, scripture sometimes calls intelligence “the wisdom of the world” and mocks it.  When I think about how I rear my children, I want to teach them to be wise, not intelligent.  Of course we educate our children in all of the standard curriculum offered today.  But what I really care about is that they are Christ-like.  That they live Spirit-led lives.  That they put others first and are kind and loving to those around them.  I want them to avoid debt and serve their boss with zeal.  I pray that they will be peacemakers and seek opportunities to share the gospel.  My desire is that they seek wise counsel, care for their family, and set an example in the body of Christ.

These are the things I was thinking about when I posted that status update.  These are the things I want to teach my children as they grow.

Ephesians 5:15 (NET)
[15] Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, [16] taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. [17] For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise22 by understanding23 what the Lord’s will is.


My Daughter Likes Windows 8

A few weeks ago I bought my seven-year-old daughter a laptop because she will be using it for school.  When I brought it home and showed it to her, the first thing she asked was “does this have Windows 8 on it?”  When I told her it did she responded “great, because I don’t think I would even know how to use a computer that had something older than Windows 8 on it.”  That’s my girl!


Is Safety Really First?

SafetyFirstSignYesterday I was going through a drive-through and I noticed a sign posted.  It was titled “Top 5” and contained the following list.

  1. Fast Service
  2. Quality Food
  3. Hot Food
  4. Cleanliness of Restaurant and Staff
  5. Safety First

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get a picture because they honored their top priority of fast service.  Or was their top priority safety?  I found this totally hilarious.  Who actually makes a top five list and makes “Safety First” their fifth priority?

Amazon versus Voting

I had some time this morning to think about the difference between voting and placing an order on  Here are some of the things I noticed.

  1. I do not have to wait in line for 40 minutes to place an order on Amazon.
  2. I do not have to get up at 5:30 AM and drive to an unfamiliar location to place my order before I go to work.
  3. I am able to use familiar tools, like my computer or my smart phone, to place my order, instead of having to use a special machine that I only see every two years and is unlike anything I would ever choose to use in the rest of my life.
  4. After placing my order, I get a confirmation that my order went through.  I don’t have to worry that it went into a black hole and will never be found.
  5. As part of my confirmation, it lists the items I ordered.  I do not have to wonder if there was a malfunction that led to me ordering the wrong products.
  6. If there is an issue with the Amazon system, they have a way to communicate that issue to all of their customers.  They don’t just announce it in a loud voice to only those in line that can hear, and then leave the rest of their customers to find out about the issue when it comes up again.
  7. Finally, and most importantly, if I don’t like my experience with Amazon, I can simply shop with a different vendor.

So how is it that my government, whose sole purpose is to serve me, does so much worse of a job than Amazon, whose sole purpose is to “increase shareholder wealth?”

Now go vote!

Hello World

I know.  Hello world is about as lame and cliche as it gets.  But, alas, here it is.  My first blog post on Happy Musings.  Things should get interesting from here.  I will muse on all sorts of topics.  From deep technical discussions to highly philosophical.  From lofty prose to quick snippets of bug-fix genius.  I hope you enjoy what follows.