Why I Blog

I just started sharing this on Facebook and it seemed like a good time to revisit the purpose of blogging. Generally I began blogging as a form of catharsis. In conversation with family and friends, a particular discussion would arise and I would mention that I “blogged” on that.

Usually these thoughts come out of everyday life. They usually happen over coffee or dinner or at youth leader meetings but i’m finding more and more the same ones are happening after church in the parking lot with those I have come to relate to. More of these conversations have been happening with students, their parents, even strangers that are met in unexpected places (I tend to talk to just about anyone).

Then I began sharing this site with like-minded people and people I trusted. I avoided sharing these thoughts any further out in fear of being attacked for writing online allows a great deal of vulnerability. But I was challenged recently to be more courageous. I felt encouraged from what I feel were unlikely sources. And so when when the Network Blog app came out on facebook, I signed up.

Know that these views do not represent my church but know that I am very aware and grateful for my pastoral ministry. They only represent me and if you understand blogging culture, they generally only represent you at the time of its posting. Still, I’ll do my best to be responsible for these words as part of my integrity but remember, this blog is not my pulpit. It’s an online journal of thoughts that I am honored that you would take the time to read these thoughts and comment should you choose. Chances are, you have these thoughts too and with our new technologies and our ever-changing culture of communication, i invite your input. I ask that you be mindful of the medium. I have a commenting policy in my “About” page. If you regard yourself a Christian, be consistent with that here. If you do not consider yourself to be one, treat others as you would wish to be treated.

So happy reading, I invite your feedback, encouragements, pushbacks and your perspective on things.
Consider receiving these posts via email, (you can sign up on the right), RSS Feeder (if you know what that is) follow on the Network Blog app (also on the right). I tend to blog more when people are reading.
There is much to learn from each other and who knows, you may find a reason to start blogging too.

Why I Like Twitter

I heard about twitter a few years ago and thought about signing up but didn’t because I figured, “I already have Facebook and I spend enough time online and what’s up the 140 ch. limit?”. Then Facebook got too big with old college friends, church people ;-), ex-girlfriends and I found myself with 600 friends.  Around the same time, some of my “like-minded” friends got on twitter and in a different way, my online community was restored.

Fast forward to today.  I’m still on twitter, though it’s hard to keep up.  For me, the solution has been not to bother keeping up.  I allow myself to not know all the tweets.  I suspect that  many healthy minded people already do this, but that mentality is new for me ;-)

I like Twitter for a number of reasons:

1. Microblogging is quick and efficient.

2. Already mentioned welcomed alternative to facebook

3. 140 characters is a great idea.  Especially since a lot of my friends are preachers.

4. Welcomed diversion to read an article/blog/etc. that some of my friends are reading now.

5. Keeping my friends a little more honest. I have always wondered if some of my friends are really as busy as they claim.  Turns out that some of them aren’t.  I have also always wondered if my life sucks. In comparison, it turns out that it doesn’t.  I am like a friggin rock star compared to some of these tweets and last night I gave my kid a bath, read a book and watched Sportscenter  (monotony takes on a whole new meaning).

6. Like most normal men, I am not that good at keeping in touch.  I try to call people when I’m in the car but twitter helps in a number of ways.  Like when I haven’t heard from a friend in a while, I can check some tweets and realize that he’s on a mission trip or she’s giving birth or this person is on a technology fast.  In all these cases, I send a sarcastic text message wishing them well.

Seriously it does help me keep in touch.  For instance, I miss my friend Todd Hiestand.  When I moved out of the Philly burbs and moved to the NYC burbs, I knew that it might as well have been Syria and New Zealand because this fool was never going to call/email/facebook me again which scared me a little, because I told him some of my deepest, darkest secrets. Thankfully twitter has kept some semblance of a friendship and so far, he has not used my love for 80’s bands as a sermon illustration (yeah I used to think Posion’s “Something to Believe In” was the best thing ever).

While I didn’t really want any church people following me because George Castanza is right, “Worlds would collide”, so far the ones that follow are the ones that I would want.

Aside from Scot McKnight, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt, I haven’t bothered to follow celebrities.  I’ll turn on TMZ if I’m interested. In fact, I’ve tried to limit the number of people I follow and celebrities are currently among those filtered out.

I like that you can keep up with people you meet at conferences like Jake Bouma and Eric Ullestad.  I like that I met people like Matt Scott and Adam Wormann online and that I can keep in touch with the brilliance and wit of Daniel Kirk.  Want to stay ahead of the tech ministry curve – follow Adam Walker Cleaveland and Steve Knight.  They not only keep up with things but share.

And of course, who can get enough of Evan Curry, Thomas Turner and Tim Nye?  My intention is not to name-drop here but I don’t know how to talk about twitter without talking about people, that’s why so many like it.

In short, though it’s not an acceptable substitute for personal contact, I like that I can keep in touch, especially when circumstances prevent.  Twitter makes the world just a bit smaller.

New Blog Design – Thanks Todd!

It is customary to announce your blog redesign with great pride and ask if people like it.  This is because the designer and the blogger are usually one in the same.  This is not the case here.  So, if you don’t like the redesign, keep it to yourself or start blogging (I find that most criticism comes from those who either don’t blog or hardly blog.)  Seriously, thank Todd if you like the design.  Or if you really like me, don’t thank Todd, thank me for knowing Todd and letting him do this (I’m a nice guy, what can I say?)

But if I may say,  I like it.  I feel like I got a new … I don’t know  … failing to come up with an appropriate metaphor.  I like that’s it’s black, for one. I like the black background with the white tablet, adds dimension. I like my twitter bar up top, my flickr plug-in, and a couple other sidebar things.  Now I need to edit/add my blog roll, insert my books, add more to flickr, maybe eve blog more then once a week -lol.

On a serious note, to those of you who have access to church budgets, I’d like to recommend you hiring Todd to redesign your church’s website.  (It’s something I’m working on but the last thing anyone dealing with church finances wants to hear is, “We need money for …”).  So maybe October 2008 isn’t the best time but I would encourage to keep Todd in mind.

Awesome Redesign in Progress

If you are reading this post, it means that the amazingly talented and good looking Todd Hiestand is redesigning my blog.  We’re doing the design live so that means that the site will look a little weird while we work on it. 

Come back after a few hours and we’ll have a slick new design up and running…

The 10 Commandments of blogging from Tall Skinny Kiwi (who got it from…)

You may have seen it before but I enjoyed reading it again.  

This is from Tall Skinny Kiwi‘s blog:


The 10 Commandments of Blogging: 
You shall not put your blog before your integrity. 
You shall not make an idol of your blog. 
You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin. 
Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog. 
Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes. 

click here to see his other 5 and the remainder of the post.

I'd like to thank …

Thomas Turner for creating my header.





and Todd Hiestand for providing his “Lean and Clean” design and fixing my feed.

I know this is the online equivalent of tying one’s shoes but that doesn’t mean I’m can’t be grateful – lol.

You should read their blogs and  pray that God would allow them to be your friends too.

To my blog friends. Thank you for continued kindn…

To my blog friends.

Thank you for continued kindness in checking out my blog.
As you can relate to, time has been so short lately but I hope to get consistent again.
Just wanted to say thanks.