100

100 posts

That’s a nice round number.

32,027 words

WOW!  that’s a surprising number!

Clicking the “publish” button on post #99 the other day made me aware that the next time I clicked that button would be for post #100…a good time to reflect on this little 3 year old experiment I’ve called “…so…here we are in the field.”

I’ve been far from disciplined in my writing. A quick scan of some of my past posts shows that.  “Lots of bases covered” is probably a little overstated, particularly in the “covered” area.  I’ve posted on faith, theology, politicssports, Facebook, etc. Some of my favorite posts got very little notice (like THIS ONE, or THIS ONE, and THIS ONE.  (What the heck…one more.  This one is not anything that I wrote.  Just a link to an interesting article about what makes people happy.)  I even sniffed the “blogging big-time” once with a post about being unfriended on Facebook which made the WordPress “Fresh Pressed” list for the day. I didn’t know what that meant until my page hits went from a handful a week to well over a thousand that day. Of course that “fame” was short lived and reality struck again.

I had no real expectations when I started this blog. My first post alluded to that. I had been hanging out with a lot of “emergent” types at conferences, etc. around that time and it seemed as though one had to have a blog to fit in. It seemed a little ego-centric and self indulgent.  But I finally caved and joined the blogosphere.  It’s good to look back. Sometimes I’m pretty proud of what I wrote. Other times I resist the urge to delete a post altogether. But I guess that’s sort of the point of this little blog.  It’s putting myself and something I’ve created “out there” for someone to see.  What I’ve come to realize is that this blog is not really about ego…it’s about being vulnerable.  I’m not talking about being an exhibitionist with my emotions or intimate thoughts.  It’s about opening up the conversation. It’s about putting something on my mind into words and setting it loose for people to see.  So often, we keep some of these thoughts inside and miss out on opportunities for connection, for deeper relationships and conversations.

So…post 100…it wasn’t really that sexy or provocative.  I really don’t anticipate it getting the “fresh pressed” treatment.  One thing it has been for me is a time to stop and look back.  I’m grateful for the peer pressure unknowingly applied by my hipster emergent friends pushing me to take the plunge into the blogosphere.  I hope if you’ve read this far and you aren’t blogging yet, go for it! (If you do, post your blog address below.)  I’ll bet you’ll enjoy you’re 100th post as much as I have…even if it’s just for yourself!  Peace!

(For a really inspiring talk about “The Power of Vulnerability”, check out Brene’ Brown’s talk on TED.com and also her book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to be and Embrace Who You Are)

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Start What You Need

I’m one of the “littles“…( a FAN of the Tony Kornheiser radio show).  I listen to the podcasts of the show religiously when I’m on the road.  It’s funny, smart, snarky and covers topics from sports, politics, movies, culture, food, etc. (frankly whatever “Mr. Tony” wants to talk about).  For WAY more information than you really want to know…check out his wiki page).  I was scrolling back through some of my past blog posts and rediscovered a post from 3 years ago that featured a clip from his show. (Listen to the excerpt here…Tony Kornheiser on Spirituality. It’s a little over 9 minutes long but worth the listen.)

In my original blog post, I said that I wanted a group like the the one Kornheiser describes (beginning at around the 5 minute mark of the clip).  Specifically I said, “…what was so meaningful about [Kornheiser’s golf] outing and what draws most of us toward that kind of experience is the community that allows such a conversation to occur.  I want that.

Something has evolved for me over the past couple of years that resembles the community evident in Kornheiser’s Yom Kippur golf outing. It is what I “wanted” but looks different than I expected.  A few months after that blog post, I started a conversation with several friends facilitated through a private blog.   It is a group of friends who trust each other implicitly, enjoy spending time together whenever we can, and who are a source of encouragement and challenge that make life better just knowing they are there.  We have a lot of things in common, but we differ on MANY things as well…politics, theology, religion, even continents.  But unlike many institutional forms of “community”, these differences haven’t seemed to hinder the friendships. In fact, the relationships have probably grown deeper through the differences.  More specifically, the growth has occurred through the trust to share those differences out in the open without fear of reprisal.  Which brings me to another observation from Mr. Tony’s radio conversation.

Tony Kornheiser and David Aldridge’s skepticism toward religious institutions is clearly articulated.  Their experiences of and attitudes toward these institutions are shared by many people in society today.  We have all heard those feelings expressed from many of our acquaintances, neighbors and/or co-workers.  This is obviously a problem from the perspective of the institution.  To address the problem, institutions have expended huge amounts of time, energy, and resources.  “Outreach” programs are developed.  Books are written.  Consultants are hired.  Neighborhoods are canvased. Small group programs are initiated.  But we still hear of skepticism directed toward the church based on real or imagined stereotypes of church and religion.  I’ve come to believe we are not going to create the type of community people hunger for by introducing more programs, or slick marketing campaigns.  What to do?

“Start what you need.”  I would suggest starting a conversation among some of your friends…a conversation that is based OUTSIDE the doors of the institutions in question.  A conversation specifically intended to create the community you are looking for.  Don’t force this conversation; allow it to evolve.  However, be intentional.  Take some risks.  Share yourself…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Share the questions and the doubts as well as the definitive portions of your faith.  Chances are, you and some of your friends share that same need.  I have a hunch that the more community we experience in our personal lives, the more community develops in the institutions in which we participate.  It’s a hunch that I’ve experienced personally…both in my friendships and in my church.  A couple of years ago, after hearing something that made me write, “I want that”, I started what I needed.  It’s been more than I thought I wanted.

My Blog’s Myers-Briggs type…

I ran across this link that supposedly analyzes a blog a gives you your “type”.  My report is below:

INTP – The Thinkers

The logical and analytical type. They are especialy attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

Analysis

This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.
brain-type1
Some of the other blog-types on my blogroll:
Barnabas File:  ISTP – The Mechanics:  The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.
Cool People Care:  ENTJ – The Executives: The direct and assertive type. They are especially attuned to the big picture and how to get things done. They are talented strategic planners, but might come off as insensitive to others needs and appear arrogant. They like to be where the action is and like making bold and sweeping changes in complex situations. The Executives are happy when their work let them learn and improve themselves and how things work around them. Not beeing very shy about expressing their ideas and often very outgoing they often make excellent public speakers.
Just Words:  The Idealists – INFP:  The meaning-seeking and unconventional type. They are especially attuned to making sure their beliefs and actions are congruent. They often develop a passion for the arts or unusal forms of self-expression. They enjoy work that are aligned to their deeply feelt values and tend to strongly dislike the more practical and mundande forms of tasks. They can enjoy working alone for long periods of time and are happiest when they can immerse themselves in personally meaningful projects.
Faith for Mondays: Same as this blog…The Thinkers INTP
Interesting stuff…