Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What have I learned blogging: Tech stuff

As I think about blogging and why I participate in it, it occurs to me that I haven't learned so much in short period of time since college. And the stuff I have learned blogging I am actually remembering. There is this sum of knowledge that I have been able to gain from blogging that falls into two categories: Tech stuff and ministry in the way of Jesus. Then there is the personal and relational growth that has come with blogging. This post is devoted to the Tech stuff.

All the links below are courtesy of other bloggers, mostly those in the list to the left in my blogroll. I should have kept track of where I found these links or learned about these concepts.

In the tech arena, I have discovered software like FireFox, my browser of choice and Open Office, an open source productivity suite that is fully compatible with MS Office Writeboard, is an online collaborative writing tool complete with RSS feeds to keep track of updates. Speaking of RSS feeds, I can't imagine trying to keep up with any ongoing conversation without a feedreader or aggregator. Gail's laptop has FeedDemon on it, which I paid and I use a free Firefox extension called Wizz RSS.

I have learned some actual html code. I discovered podcasts and actually created a podcast for the weekly messages from Crossroads. I bumbled upon the concept of Web 2.0. As a result of a blog recco, I now have two flickr accounts: one for friends and family kinda stuff and one for ministry stuff.

The above are just the highlights I'm not sure I could ever recreate everything that I have gained from blogging.


Why venture into the blogosphere?

I have had a couple of real-world conversations in the last week about blogging. The conversations were with non-bloggers. The questions posed to me ran the full length of the gamut from, "What is a blog? to Why do you blog? to Don't you think putting your thoughts and feelings out on the internet will come back to bite you?"

I have always kept those black marble composition notebooks. They are filled with thoughts and ideas, prayers and complaints, dreams and nightmares; basically just the the stuff that rattles around my brain. My blog(s) have just turned into an extension of those notebooks, I guess. Occasionally, someone will comment on something I have to say but that is more the exception than the norm.

Truthfully, I spend much more time reading and commenting on the blogs of those who are far smarter and way more insightful than I. There have been times in the past when I have posted something out of guilt. I did not/do not wanting blogging (or the insights and thoughts of others) to become one more thing that I consume. Those posts are usually worthless and if I went back and read through all my old posts I could probably pick those out with out much effort.

My posts usually consist of thoughts that aren't fully formed. Thus, the "bumbling" part of the title. I process better when I write things out. I guess it forces me to think things through. Take this post for instance, now I am asking myself why I blog?


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Good Day

Today was a good day.

Hung out with my 4 year old for a couple of hours in the a.m. (who has been rather ornery lately due to a parentally imposed ban from all movies, tv shows and video games related to Star Wars but was not so today) then off to my buddy Slink's for Cheeseburger subs and XBOX.

Like I said it was a good day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On forgiveness

In a few weeks, I will be attending the Emergent Theological Conversation
at Yale. In preparation I have been reading Miroslav Volf's Exclusion and Embrace. Oh my aching brain!!! It's been a while since I have had to keep a dictionary next to me while reading a book. It's defintely been worth the effort though.

Volf has got me thinking alot about forgiveness or more correctly a lack thereof. Using Christ as the example Volf writes, " the victim who refuses to be defined by the perpetrator, forgives and makes space in himself for the enemy," the thought challenges me. By not forgiving those who harm us, hurt us, wrong us, we empower them further. Whatever resides in us where forgiveness belongs is a further product of the perpetrator. The original harm is magnified and continued by our own lack of forgiveness. Instead of the common misperception, my own misperception, of somehow forgiveness being a symbol weakness, it is indeed one of strength. Forgiveness is taking control of that which formerly controlled us. I think....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Own no property?

Andrew Jones has been posting a single thought per day from Bruce Larson and Ralph Osborne's The Emerging Church at Our Daily Blog. Below is today's quote:

"Consider the possibility that a church should own no property at all"

In many ways this idea appeals to me. No mortgage, significantly lower overhead, money can be put toward other things...
What if the the local geography is dotted with white clapboard buildings and steeples? What if the local context is heavy on traditional denominations? What if a church in a school or YMCA (gasp!!) was just too non-tradtitional for a traditional area? What if a building made it easier for some one to investigate a particular church because it simply looked like a church?

What if being in a public space placed a community of faith in the middle of everyday life? What if people stopped by just because they saw a sign or flyer or poster when they dropped their kids off for an afterschool progam?

I know the issues: financial, legitimacy in the eyes of a cynical public, faith traditions of the local geography, being apart of everyday life. I don't know the answers.

Anybody else?

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I have gotten rid of my haloscan comments. Any comment older than four months was being held hostage by haloscan. Older comments get archived and are released from the archives only when you upgrade to a premium membership. For those of you who been gracious enough to comment here I still have acces to your thoughts but the rest of the world does not. Sorry about that!!! I'm done screwing with the template. So please feel free to comment without the fear that your thoughts will lost again.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Alan Hartung has launched a site devoted to growing in Christlikeness through the practice of the historic disciplines of Christianity. Read Alan's introduction to the site here. Visit Spiritual-Formation.com here.

Recent bumblings

Over the last couple of weeks traditional "quiet times," I really despise that term, (a friend from a long time ago used to wield the term like a spiritual sledge hammer) have been few and far bewteween. My bible reading has been specific to preparations for messages or research. My prayer time has been more of the spontaneous kind than scheduling 1/2 an hour to spend with God.
At the same time, I feel like I have known God's presence more in the last weeks than ever before. As I prepared Christmas Dinner for friends and family, I was moved to pray over the food I was preparing and the people who would hopefully enjoy it. And I became acutely aware of God's presence both in the work of my hands and in my prayers. Racing from dropping my son off at school, to the mall, to a meeting, I knew God's presence.
I'm not advocating a departure from the disciplines of seeking God. Without the disciplines, we severely limit our ability to learn, to grow and to experience God. What I am learning is awareness to, access to and experiencing God is not limited to a 30 minute "quiet time." He is bigger than that....
4There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4: 4-6 NIV

In what "surprising" or "normal" or "everyday" places or events have you seen, felt or experienced God lately?