May 16, 2010
The highlight of the tour is its photo competition (which awards some pretty generous cash prizes). Hannah-Joy won first, second, and third place last year–a whopping $450 in cash prizes.
May 9, 2010
On the way home we saw this sign alongside the road. I took this shot in honor of Herr Skubala, to whom I issue this warning: it looks like you’ve got tough competition, one that has an aggressive marketing strategy replete with signs and catchy maxims such as “Moo Doo.”
April 24, 2010
Recently, a friend was discussing Beth Moore, the popular women’s Bible-study teacher and author. I won’t give you all the ins and outs of our brief conversation, nor do I want to discuss women functioning as teachers. One comment made by my friend yesterday, however, caught my attention. He jokingly said,
“These women are getting together, eagerly studying the word, anticipating their next study, doing their homework throughout the week. And when they finish one study, they begin another. What I want to know is: Isn’t it time to get out and do–to put to practice what they’re studying? I mean, Beth Moore studies are great, but, Women, what about going out and living what you’ve learned?”
Now, with all due respect, I think that is a little unfair. Since when do evangelical Christians treat an eloquent, influential, big name speaker that way? When was the last time anyone said to _____, “Um, we’d like a break from your teaching so we can go out and apply it.” Or, to be more blunt, we have our Sunday morning small groups, our Sunday morning sermons, our Wednesday night Bible studies, yet Beth Moore needs to stop teaching so we can go and do? If you’re worried about an unbalanced, teaching prone Christianity, the problems are much deeper than some women’s Bible studies, my friend.
April 22, 2010
Have you ever noticed that bloggers tend to have an introspective side, especially when it comes to their personal blog? Let’s face it, it’s only normal to be concerned with your blog and the various aspects involved in its maintenance.
What I’m curious to discover in this blog, however, is your personal reading of other blogs. Now, I’m not so much interested in finding out which blogs out there are the best–I think Eric Carpenter accurately has done so for us–nor about which ones you check out most frequently. I simply want to know, “As a blogger, what amount of your ‘blogging’ time is devoted to reading the blogs of others?”
I think it’s safe to say that this is an important aspect of blogging. We all need our examples, those who model what a good blog should be. To be a good blogger, it’s also important to find out what others are writing about and what’s going on, you know, what topics are hot at the moment.
And every blogger knows about blog-block, that ancient question, “What should I write about?” Personally when I start feeling this way I make it a point more than ever to read others blogs. Often that will trigger an idea, and even if it doesn’t, I can still be blogging by contributing more to others than to mine at the moment.
So, back to my original question… How much do you read others blogs? I’ll be the first to answer. I find I can only keep up with about 5, maybe 6 blogs. Most of these are personal friends. As far as how much time I devote to reading others blogs compared to writing my own, it depends. Some days 50/50, some days 80/20, some days 20/80. I know some read large amounts of others writings, I simply can’t do it and still have time to write my own blog.
April 20, 2010
I was reminded today of some basic communication principles. I’ve heard it said that Abraham Lincoln tried communicating as succinctly as possible; two words were better than three, and the fewer syllables per word the better. They say that the Gettysburg Address consists of 295 words, and 205 of them are only one syllable.
Billy Graham, another effective communicator, has said that he tries to communicate on the level of a fifth grader. In fact, it has been said that the mark of geniusness is being able to speak profundities in ordinary, understandable words.
Now, we who have been entrusted with the most important message in the world–God’s very own–would do well to remember this. We need not dumb down our message or think that the hearers lack mental capabilities. Rather, we should seek to speak directly, plainly, simply, and in a way that even a child would find interesting and clear. The point of communication is to make the message clear, not to show people how smart you are or how much you know.
April 17, 2010
Today at work I had an interesting conversation:
Customer (lady): Do you like drag-racing?
Me: Well, honestly I’m not very into it. Why do you ask?
Customer: My husband and I are going to the drag races in Rockingham this weekend to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. I am so excited, my husband knew exactly what I would like!
Me: _____ (speechless).
Incidentally, my next door neighbor has invited me to go with him to the very same race track with him at some point. Do you think I’m going? You better believe it. I think of the words of Paul, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor 9:22).
April 16, 2010
This statistic, naming the world’s longest non-stop flight, caught my eye today. Who wins the award? The flight out of Newark, New Jersey to Singapore at a whopping 18 hours.
Once I flew non-stop from Seoul South Korea to Atlanta Georgia, a 15 hour non-stop flight; talk about jet-lag!
April 14, 2010
Drew offers a fine review of Radical by David Platt. Drew offers this challenge: “The problem is that we have a battle within us to [live radically] ourselves, if we’re at least cognizant of Jesus’ demand on our lives. The problem is we’re just not sure if living radically is for us.”
April 13, 2010
We all have our role models. For me personally, Billy Graham has been one who I’ve admired for a long time, particularly throughout my teenage years. I’ve read many of his books and sermons, including his autobiography Just as I am.
One thing that stands out to me from Graham’s life is his own personal reflections on his ministry. Graham has often been asked what he regrets most, or what he would change and do differently if he could. I’ve heard Graham respond in several different ways. He’s said he would not have travelled as much so that he could have more time with family. He’s said he would have spent more time in prayer. Just recently I received an email from school saying that Graham wished he would have gotten a theological education.
All of us live with regret, even Billy Graham. In fact, most of us, like Graham, find ourselves wishing we could change several things from our past. We can’t go back and change those things, but we can make the most of today, the moments the Lord has put before us now. Today I find myself saying, like the apostle Paul, “Forgetting the things that are behind, pressing on towards what lies ahead.”
What about you, what are some of your biggest regrets? How do find it best to leave those behind and press on ahead?
March 22, 2010
Well, I have not been able to keep up with the blogging these past few weeks like I want to. Things have been very busy for me, as I’m sure they have been for you as well. There’s been a lot I’ve wanted to write about, but have not had the time so far. On top of the regular busyness, I’ve been preparing for the 10 day trip to Ireland (we fly out this Sunday). I’ll be missing a week of classes, and I don’t plan on bringing any school work, so I’ve been trying to get a week ahead. That is not an easy task when midterms are breathing down your neck.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to do any blogging while I’m in Ireland, but I hope to post pictures. I think most of the homes we’ll be staying in have internet, so we’ll see what happens.