11/21/2009

Here I Go Again On My Own...

Today's post is brought to you by Cool Cat. He's like the evil version of Cool Dog. Look into his eyes. You can sense he's plotting your demise...

If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen me tweet this:

Just talked with a church about a job! LOVED every minute of the conversation. SUPER excited!

Well, I'm going to that church this weekend. I'll be hitting the road again Sunday morning, driving to Jacksonville, Florida to interview for a High School pastor position. (I'll be there Sunday through Tuesday.) I'm not sure quite how to describe how I'm feeling right now. It's like a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Exervousness? Nervitement?

I don't usually ask for prayer here on the blog, but this time, I wanted to share with you what I'll be praying and ask you to pray the same for me.


  • Pray that I'll be able to be completely myself. I'm not sure I always make the best first impression. I can get a little intimidated when I meet people for the first time and this usually manifests itself as either shyness or making too many jokes. I want to be true to who I am. So I'm praying that God will calm my nerves and grant me peace enough to just be me... in all my awesomeness...

  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for me and for the church I'll be meeting with. Hiring a new pastor is a big decision for a church. And accepting a new position would be a big decision for me! Both involve adopting someone new into your family. It's very important that both I, and the church, are sensitive to how the Lord is leading us in this process...

  • Pray that connections will be made. I'll be meeting with four separate groups of people while I'm there: the student ministries staff, parents/ volunteers/ students, church staff outside of student ministries, and the senior church leadership. I'm sure that it's almost impossible that everyone out of all those people will like me, but that doesn't mean that I won't try! After all, if I get the job, these are the people that I'll want on my team! Pray that we'll be able to find common ground...

  • Pray that I'll be able to rest while I'm there. I don't really sleep well when I'm in new places. I also don't really sleep well while I'm on interviews. When I don't get sleep, my mind isn't sharp but my nerves/temper are. I most definitely don't want that! Pray that I'll be able to relax, rest, and...

  • Pray that I'll enjoy the process! As strange as it sounds, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! Pray that this weekend (Well, I guess it's not technically a weekend. I'm there Sunday through Tuesday.) will be marked by laughter and joy, meaningful conversations, and fun! Can you have fun in an interview? I don't see why you can't try...


    I'm not sure if I'll have internet while I'm there, so this might be my last post until Tuesday night or Wednesday. Of course, considering my goal this month, that would mean I'll have to make up those posts.

    Thanks so much for praying for/with me.

    By the way, the pic of Cool Cat was an attempt at bribing you into praying for me. Did it work...
  • 11/19/2009

    How To Have a Great Day...

    This post brought to you by Cool Dog. He's cooler than you... And he's a dog.

    Today was my day off. Since starting my job in the retail world, I don't have a regular day off like I did in ministry. So I've come into a new appreciation of it as a recharge. And I would venture to say that today was nigh perfect. Why was it so perfect? Well I'm glad you asked. Here's a break down of how I had the perfect day off. Follow it closely, and you too can be as relaxed (but probably not as awesome) as me (or Cool Dog)...

    1) Sleep Late Alarms are for work days. Sleep later than you usually do. You've earned it.

    2) Eat Your Cereal In Your PJs Getting dressed right away is for work days and fleeing your house when it's on fire. It's OK to start slow on your day off. Go ahead and watch morning TV while you eat your Cocoa Pebbles in your PJs. You've earned it.

    3) Hang Out With People You Like Being around people that you don't choose to is for work days and family reunions. On your day off, you can hang out with whoever you want. So today, I got to spend time with one of my favorite humans, my brother.

    4) Eat Well Eating a sack lunch is for work days and third grade field trips to the state capital where stupid Kevin Hughes trips you while going up the stairs and makes you fall and everyone sees you and laughs. It's important that, on your day off, you eat some quality food. So today, I went to Five Guys and had a tremendous double cheeseburger and fries.

    5) Do What You Want To Do Doing what you don't want to is for work days and anniversary dinners with your sweetheart. Today I wanted to get through a significant piece of the book I'm reading (since I've got another one I want to start). I brought it with me to lunch and spent a good two and a half hours eating, reading, and drinking Diet Coke. Ahh...

    6) Attend A Rock Show Listening to soft Adult Contemporary music is for work days and orthodontic waiting rooms. Today my friend, the right reverend Micah Merchant, called me up this afternoon and offered a free ticket to the David Crowder* Band show tonight. So I went with him, worshipped, rocked out, laughed, and had a good time. I highly recommend going to a rock show every time you have a day off.

    7) Veg Out In Front of the TV Using your brain is for work days and trying to figure out how to open the child proof bottle of Advil. After getting home from the rock show, I cranked up the old DVR and started in on the shows I missed today. Oh... Tina Fey. It's great to see you again. What's that? You missed me. I know baby... I know.


    So dear reader, enjoy your days off. You need them to recharge your battery for work days...

    I'm Tapped...

    Ugh... Sorry reader. Late night at work = I can't write something right now. Guess I'll be tacking on two posts to the monthly goal...

    11/17/2009

    It's Gotta Be the Shoes...

    I mentioned in a previous post that I had started working at a large national retail chain store. For eight hours at a time (soon to be more due to Thanksgiving shopping) I walk the aisles helping customers, filling holes on shelves, straightening merchandise, and generally (and happily) doing as I'm told. There are tasks that my job involves that require me to put forth some amounts of thought. Like tracking down products in our store or other stores in the area. (I rather like this part. It's kind of like solving a mystery!) And there are parts of my job that allow me to enter into a kind of mental state of auto-pilot. My body does the work while my mind dwells on other things.

    It was during one such time this past week that I began to think of how working at this job had taught me another lesson that I'm not sure I had previously learned in the church.

    When I started, I was asked to procure the elements of the store's uniform. Unfortunately for me, these included shoes. I hate wearing shoes. They make my feet feel claustrophobic. For this reason, I much prefer my Rainbows. (But I digress.) The only pairs of shoes I have are some slip on chucks and some Vans. Neither of which provide much support. But I work with what I've got. You know?

    After working a few shifts I began to experience quite a bit of pain in my feet. Now, I'm not talking about a little soreness. I'm talking about full on "slow me down, make me grimace, making my whole body exhausted" pain. I've always had bad ankles and low arches, so this should have come as no surprise. But still...

    So after a few weeks of limping home, I finally decided to go get some good shoes. I went out early one morning before my shift started and found a great pair of New Balance for super cheap.

    I noticed about halfway through work that night that I wasn't in pain! And, not only that, but I noticed over the next week that I wasn't getting as tired while I worked. I had more energy during work which meant I had more energy when I got home too!

    It was a small change that yielded a big result!

    Shoes are such a small part of my wardrobe. Yet, because all of my weight comes down on them with every step, they're very important. I wonder if there are important areas in our lives or ministry that could benefit in big ways if we made a few small changes.

    I guess I know what I'll be thinking about when I go in to work tonight...

    11/16/2009

    How I Met My Bobblehead...

    Remember that time I twittered something that I would like to receive as a gift and then received it? Yep. I loved that time too. Well, guess what? Here's another round of something similar...

    Last Monday, the official How I Met Your Mother twitter sent out a tweet saying that the first 100 people who retweeted that there was a new episode on that night would win a free copy of a special condensed version of Barney's book, The Bro Code (which I already have), called Bro On the Go. So, of course, I immediately complied.

    A little later in the week, I received a twitter response from someone at CBS saying that I had won and asking that I email my info to them. Boo Yah. However, when I did, they told me that I was actually #107 in the contest (yeah right) and asked if I'd settle for a talking Barney Stinson bobblehead. Uhh... yeah.

    A week later and this little gem is at my door...

    Ugly and totally inaccurate representation of NPH? Yep. Free prize from a contest which automatically elevates its value to near legendary levels of awesome? Oh yeah.

    I'd type what he says too, but this is a PG blog.

    Go ahead,be jealous...

    11/13/2009

    Inspiration...

    Wow... This month's goal is turning out to be tougher than I thought.

    You see, there are days when I feel like it's almost second nature to write. And then days (like today) that I struggle to get anything typed out. For me, it all comes down to inspiration. When I've got it, the words flow smoother than a greased fat kid taking off down a slip n' slide. But when inspiration is absent, writing even a simple sentence can feel like passing a kidney stone. The problem is, I can't manufacture inspiration. No matter how... hard... I... try.

    But I have an idea. I'm going to employ this idea for the entirety of the coming week, evaluate its effectiveness, and then report on it.

    To be continued...

    A Little Loggins Makes Everything Better (Even Me)...

    I'm not sure if you could tell from my two previous posts (here and here), but I've been sick. However, after two days of feeling like a got punched in the immune system by all germs ever, I've emerged from my cocoon stronger than ever. That's right, no fever today. Want to know my cure?

    Kenny Loggins

    Yeah, read that again. Kenny Loggins.

    It wasn't that long ago that I said that there was no better song to get you pumped up than Europe's The Final Countdown. But today I discovered I was wrong. When I was in desperate need of pumpitude, it wasn't Europe that came to my aid. No. It was Kenny Loggins.

    You see, today I listened to Kenny Loggins' song I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man) so many times, I became so pumped up that I beat the germs that were invading my body in a dance off. I very effectively served them.

    So to you, dear readers, I offer this health tip: listen to Kenny Loggins. his music can cure any ailment...

    11/11/2009

    I Might Be Dying...

    I know that I set a goal of writing something original every weekday during November, but I can't do it today. Yesterday's post was about how I got sick. Today, it took a turn for the worse. On top of a fever, you can add dizziness and shortness of breath. Ugh... and my symptoms have affected my ability to think straight.

    So I'm going to either tack on a day this weekend, or at the end of the month.

    Bear with me people. I hope I can be back tomorrow. But if I die tonight, I want my ashes scattered in three places: the moon, Hawaii, and the Keebler factory. Cause that way, everyone will always wonder...

    I'm So Sick...

    Ugh... For so long now, I've been reading on my friends' blogs, facebooks, and twitters that hey were all getting super sick with the flu. But I laughed at them. Why? Because they're mere mortals. They don't have the immune system that I do. I laugh in the face of germs... while wearing a surgical mask. But still...

    And then, there was today...

    It started completely uneventful. Bank, shuttling my brother to school, lunch with a new friend. But then, once I got home, I began to feel super cold. Like, my insides were cold. And I couldn't warm up. I put on a sweatshirt and wrapped myself in a blanket (also made of sweatshirt). But I still couldn't get warm. With my work shift quickly approaching, I took my temperature. 100.5. (Moms, is that high?) I decided that getting paid was more important than my health (or the health of others) and went in to work anyway.

    It was terrible. I was sweating like crazy for almost the whole night. It was semi-bearable when I was moving, as it allowed my perspiration to cool, so I tried to keep moving all... the... time.

    Thank goodness I made it through.

    Of course, now I've got to go back in tomorrow at noon. Here's hoping a good night of sleep will work miracles...

    11/09/2009

    Ministry Lessons From the Retail World...

    I've recently started working at a rather large national retail store chain. And, as I was working my shift today, I began to think about some of the things I've seen and experienced since starting. I realized that some of the principles and practices that my bosses have trained me in (and modeled to me) transfer rather beautifully to the world of ministry. So I wanted to jot a few down so that I can remember them, and use them, in my ministry!


    1) Presentation is important... We spend a ton of time on presentation at the store. Several times a day, we walk the aisles making sure that there are no holes on the shelves, products are where they should be, and that things are facing forward. Things are dusted all the time. Floors are polished. Seasonal decorations are hung. All of these things are done with the customer in mind. If perception is reality, then we want to be perceived as a clean, organized store.

    I'm not sure if we think about presentation enough in ministry. What's the first thing a guest sees (and therefore thinks) when they walk into our space? What kind of environments are we creating and how do they affect our message? When we hand over our promo for camp to a parent, what impression does it give them? We need to start recognizing how much presentation can add to our credibility.


    2) But it's not as important as great customer service... It doesn't matter how good the store looks, without paying special attention to the customers, the store can never be successful. Our store policy is that we're always asking customers "Can I help you find something?" Providing great customer service is the first thing on everyone's job description.

    All of us in professional ministry have struggled with balancing being task driven vs. relationship driven. While presentation is important (we could have the best looking ministry around, with the biggest programs, sweetest print work, and most awesome videos) unless we're working hard to encourage growing relationships (with God and others), we're never going to have a successful ministry. Life change happens within the context of relationships.


    3) Everyone's a janitor... This is a principle that I first learned from a book called Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven Keys to Disney's Success It basically means that no job is too small for anyone. If there's trash on the ground, everyone from the new guy janitor to the company CEO reaches for it to pick it up. No one is too important to lend a hand when it's needed.

    I'm especially guilty of thinking I'm too important to do some things in ministry. Sometimes, under the guise of "empowering a volunteer" to do something, I'd pass it off my plate. But the truth is that each of us is important, and each of is isn't too important. So there's nothing we should consider ourselves above, and nothing we shouldn't be willing to pitch in on. I love that everyone pitches in and does their part at my store. If only there was some model of that for ministry. Something like... a body. Like... a body... of Christ. Eh. I think I've still got a lot to learn with this one...


    4) Encouragement is important... At least once a day (sometimes more than once) we have a sales team huddle, where all of the sales staff and managers gather together to talk about what's important at the time. And every huddle starts with what they call "recognition". It's basically team members bragging on each other! Everyone has the opportunity to bring attention to someone's good job! I love it! I even got recognized today!

    Anyone who's been in ministry for very long can attest to how easy it can be to get discouraged. We all need encouragement. Duh. But I'll go one step farther and suggest that we all need to encourage others too! I don't care whether you're gifted in it or not. Just do it! It makes them feel great and makes you feel good too!


    5) The store looks great because it's always being worked on... As I was working on product placement today, a customer walked by and said, "Wow! Now I know why this store always looks so good!" And it's true! We're always working toward making the store better! We never just let things coast because there's no such thing as coasting. If we let things go, they'll go downhill!

    Too many ministries suffer because we find something (a method, a process, etc.) that we get comfortable with and stick with it for too long. The truth is (especially in youth ministry) that our audience is always growing and changing. We need to change with them! Don't be afraid to evaluate your ministry, admit that things aren't working like they should be, and take action to make them better! Don't get comfortable or settle! Don't be afraid to change! (Says the black kettle to the black pot.)


    I'm actually having fun with this job. And the more I work there, the more I feel like I'm learning about dealing with people (managing, being on a team, serving others). I hope that God will give me grace (and memory) enough to live these lessons out when I land another pastoral job...

    11/07/2009

    My Bucket List...

    Yes, I was inspired by the movie. No, I didn't see it. Yes, I'm that good...

    After the movie The Bucket List was released, I made two decisions. One, I would no longer classify a movie as "good" just because Jack Nicholson or Morgan Freeman was in it. (Double for Rob Reiner's involvement.) And two, I would do my best to write down and keep track of some things I deeply desire to see or experience as a part of really taking advantage of the life God has given me, you know, before I kick the bucket.

    I'm kind of surprised that I haven't posted on this before.

    But anyway, I'd like to post some of them here. I can't post all, as some of them are a little too personal. But I'd still love to share some of them. I'll share the one I've already accomplished! Here we go...

    1) Travel to the following places (in no particular order): London, Ireland, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Italy, Australia, China, Kenya, Israel, (the list keeps getting added to)...

    2) Run a half-Marathon...

    3) Own (and, of course, wear) a very nice tailored suit...

    4) Fire a cannon...

    5) Ride a bicycle to work...

    7) Spend the night in the Plaza Hotel in NYC (and reenact parts of Home Alone 2)...

    8) Attend a Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field...

    9) Steal a pair of bowling shoes from a bowling alley... DONE!!!

    10) See U2 in concert live...

    11) Visit the Library of Congress and sit and read...

    12) Learn to play Linus and Lucy on the piano...

    13) Drive a monster truck...

    14) Appear as a character in a comic book...

    15) Attend the Sundance, Tribecca, and Butt-numb-a-thon FIlm Festivals...

    16) Sing and play guitar onstage in a really big and/or historic venue (like the Ryman Auditorium)...

    16) Write a book...



    That's all I've got so far! Looks like I've got a lot of work to do, and you can bet I'm still adding to the list as time goes on. Do you have anything that you deeply want to do before you kick the bucket? Maybe I'll steal an idea from you...

    11/05/2009

    And Now We've Come To the End of the Road...

    In an effort to create the perfect ambience for reading this post, I ask that you kindly open this link in a separate window and listen to the song while you read.

    Heroes,

    We've had a good run... kind of. I mean, things started out great. You were giving me things that no other TV show had ever given me. People with superpowers, amazing storytelling, Zachary Quinto's eyebrows... But then, at the end of season one, you hit me square in the face with one of the worst, anti-climactic, finales ever. I should have seen the writing on the wall then, but love had blinded me.

    But I wouldn't give up. How could I quit you? You had given me twenty one episodes of greatness. How could I hold one terrible episode against you? We all have our bad days. Maybe this was just that. Maybe we'd be able to bounce back. Maybe we'd be able to make it past our first big squabble and come out on the other side stronger than ever.

    Then, you came back with season two. And it was terrible. Then, season three. More of the same...

    How could you do this to me? I gave you everything. I even bragged about you to other people, and then they wanted to get to know you to? How could you betray me like this? You became something that you promised you'd never become. You started breaking rules that you had established yourself. Powers were conveniently added or taken away to suit which ever direction you wanted to take. People were killed to bring in new viewers. Then, when that didn't work out, they were brought back to get more viewers. You broke my heart, Heroes. You broke my heart.

    And so, in hopes that you had changed, I added you to my queue on Hulu. I finally got around to watching your season premiere three hours before it was set to expire. I was heartbroken. Another rule you made up was broken. Hiro was now going to spend the season going back in time in an effort to change the past. And that was the only limitation you had put on his power, that he couldn't change the past.

    So when your second episode of season four expired this week, I knew we were done. You've been deleted from my queue, and from my heart.

    Goodbye forever. You will no longer get my attention, my time, or my money.

    No, don't call. I'm already seeing other people. Modern Family and Community have replaced you in my heart. I think it's best if we never see each other again.

    Please take care of yourself. I know if you start making good choices, you'll be able to become healthy again. I'm just sorry to say that it will be without me.

    Goodbye.

    Josh...

    11/04/2009

    Epic Fall...

    A lot of my friends in Southern California talk about how excited they are that fall is finally here. The big problem with this is that, in Southern California, Fall doesn't really show up. Oh sure you get a slight decrease in temperature from summer. But I know lots of people who wear scarves during the summer time. So if the temperature hovers around the same area so steadily that you can wear extra layers without felling it year round, you're not allowed to talk about Fall.

    However, being back in South Carolina for the first time in 6 years, I've been privy to witness some of the seasonal change again. And I like it.

    Fall has always been my favorite season. You've got my birthday, the state fair, the changing of the leaves, and Candy Corn. But there's one thing that I always look forward to that I haven't been able to experience in the six years I've been away from home.

    Here's my favorite part of Fall:

    I love when it's just cold enough outside so that when you breathe in, it stings the inside of your nose a little bit. It's not cold enough to wear a heavy jacket yet. But that stingy feeling in your nose... Dang I love that.

    If I could bottle that and send it to my friends in Cali, I would spend all my time doing it.

    I love it...

    11/03/2009

    Who I Am Hates Who I've Been...

    I can't take credit for the BSG vs. Star Trek comparison. I first read about it here. You should go read that article. It's awesome.

    Do I really need to restate how much of a nerd I am? Of course not. Josh is to nerd as obviously related object is to another obviously related object. And said quality of nerd has (naturally) led me to a love of science fiction.

    I remember first taking an interest in Star Trek (TNG) when I was a Freshman in High School. I hung out with a group of older kids who watched it all the time and even played a Magic: The Gathering-like card game of it in band class. (That's right. Read that sentence again. I wanted to be like these people.) We would talk about what happened in episodes, who our favorite characters were, and what we would do if we possessed the technology that the Enterprise crew enjoyed. Star Trek captured our imaginations because it allowed us to glimpse a world of limitless possibilities. It allowed us to live vicariously in a world that was civil, clean, educated, and virtually problem free. Well, except for the occasional conflict with Klingons or Romulans. (And I haven't even mentioned the holodeck. Oh... the holodeck.)

    It wasn't until I was living in San Diego that I was introduced to the world of Battlestar Galactica. (Thanks Rod.) BSG and Star Trek have a few things in common: space, spaceships, military regimes, robots, umm... bars located on spaceships. But are mostly discussed together because of how different they are. While Star Trek is generally viewed with wonder and hope, BSG is usually loved for its "realism". People love BSG because its characters fight with each other over things we fight about. They're jealous over each other. They're dishonest, lustful, ambitious, and... well... a lot like us.

    And that's the gist of the article I linked to above. Star Trek represents who we want to be, and Battlestar Galactica represents who we actually are.

    I can't help but project this comparison onto myself. Do I have a realistic view of myself or an idealized one? Does it have to be one or the other? Is it possible for the two to coexist?

    I know that I have a lot of blind spots in my life. I have areas of sin that I'm not always conscious of. (Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit and friends who aren't afraid to be honest with me.) And while I think I have a pretty realistic view of myself, I know I don't know (or acknowledge) everything there is. I'm actually kind of thankful for that. I'm sure that part of it is the Lord holding things back from me until I'm ready to handle them. I can't imagine what it'd be like to be confronted with just how depraved we actually are full force. I bet it'd be like when Dorian Gray finally sees his portrait.

    But on the flipside of the coin, I am filled with hope. I see what my future looks like and it's better than my past and present. And I know this isn't because of anything I've done or can do, but it's because of the source of my hope. It's because of what I put my faith in. My faith in God produces in me a hope that drives me. It pulls me. it compels me. I cannot be separated from it. I cannot be deterred from it. I might be temporarily delayed, but I can't be stopped. I won't settle.

    And this is something that has always confounded me about the Star Trek vs. BSG comparison. Why would humanity ever settle? If we see the possibility of a redemptive world, why would we settle for anything less? Is there a way to live in reality while striving for the ideal? Within a relationship with and to our creator, yes. Without that, I don't think so.

    After all, what other hope could last? And why would we ever want a hope that doesn't stand the tests of time? That's no way to ever reach our dream of a holodeck...

    11/02/2009

    Smile...

    I would like to credit the following to lessons I've learned from Julie Hibbard and the airline industry.

    I think it's interesting how our perceptions change with our experience. For instance, I used to think that traffic on I-26 W was bad in the afternoon. Then I moved to Southern California and "drove" the 5. I used to think that my high school finals were tough. Then, I got to college. And I used to think that things like how you talked with someone didn't matter when compared with whether or not you were right. Then, I started flying regularly across the country.

    I've kept pretty good records of my adventures flying home for Christmas here on the blog (which you can read about here). It seems like every year is another great lesson in how to remain cool under pressure. I've learned over time that, at any time in any airport, there are tons of passengers stressing out. And, as anyone who's worked in the service industry knows, dealing with customers can be quite stressful itself. Add to that when the customers themselves are stressed, and you've got a recipe for some serious conflict. I can't count how many times I've witnessed hurried travelers shouting at a gate agent and, when not getting the response they want, being brought to tears.

    After one such incident, I decided to try something revolutionary. While the person in front of me raged against the gate agent, I could see all of the signs that she (the agent) was becoming exhausted by the situation. Her eyes widened. She began to get some slight perspiration on her brow. And her eyes began to dart back and forth, looking past the customer to check to see if she could find any one to back her up. So when my turn came, I stepped up and, right off the bat, flashed a smile.

    As I smiled, I glanced down to take a quick look at her name tag. Then, using her name, I introduced myself and asked how she was doing. She, of course, told me it had been quite a day. So, continuing to smile, I calmly (and using my inside voice) explained my problem. Then I asked her if there was anything she could do to help me. Wouldn't you know it, my problem was solved in no time! It's crazy what a calm demeanor, manners, and a little friendliness can do to better your experience.

    It didn't matter in that situation who was right (me) or who was wrong (them), the gate agent had all of the power to make my travel get really tough. (I mean, she just did it to the person in front of me.) What did matter was how I treated her.

    Now, this isn't anything revolutionary. I mean, the Bible tells us to treat each other as we would want to be treated. But it's a truth that I'm constantly relearning. And as I've gotten older and my experience has changed, my perspective on how important it is has changed as well.

    Just today, I lived another example. Last night, I found out that Regal Cinemas gives you a free movie ticket on your birthday when you're a member of their Regal Card Club (free, by the way). Well, I went to a movie on my birthday last week, used my club card, and no one told me that I could get a ticket for free. So I went back today, flashed some pearly whites (along with my ticket stub and I.D.) and asked politely, and now I've got a free ticket. (Even though they told me this perk isn't something they promote!)

    I guess it's true that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Of course, why would you try to catch flies anyway? I'm catching flights and movie tickets with my honey...

    11/01/2009

    My November Goal...

    There was a time when I considered myself a decent writer. In fact, as little as two years ago, I would have told you that writing professionally would be some part of my future. But somehow, in the past few years, I've allowed what was once such an important and fulfilling part of my life to drop by the wayside.

    Someone asked me why I thought this was. I said that I just felt like I've lacked inspiration, that my life just wasn't really interesting enough to write about anymore. But, whether or not that's true (interest is subjective, therefore the statement is debatable), I can't continue to ignore that I've stopped doing something that once gave me a great deal of joy.

    Most of my blog posts have become short, and less personal, than I'd like. Not that I ever put much personal content on here, but there's a big difference between writing about things inspired by my day-to-day, and posting a video that I found on youtube. While I once prided myself on original content, I feel like I've become more of the "collector" type of blogger: one who simply collects things he or she thinks is cool from around the net and posts it on their own site. And that stinks.

    All of this has led me to feel... less than Josh. (Does that make sense?) A few weeks ago, while I was in Atlanta, I was sharing this struggle with a friend and his response was this: just do it. He said, "Josh, you're a writer, and writers have to write. I'm sure you're not the first to experience a period of lack of inspiration. You think Mark Twain never felt uninspired? At some point, when it comes to anything you love, you have to fight what you feel (or don't feel) like doing and do what you know you're supposed to do." And so I've made a decision to set a new goal.

    During the month of November, I'm going to write one post consisting of original content every weekday. I'll have the option to write on the weekend too, but I won't require that of myself. During this time, I'll still do special posts like Web Wednesday, Power Rankings, and Body Double, but they won't count toward my original content piece. The subject matter won't be set, so it can be fictional or non, poetry or prose, ministry related or personal spiritual reflection. The point won't be the subject, it'll be the practice.

    Hopefully, throughout this month, I'll be able to get my writing chops back as well as discover some new things about myself. So come back here every weekday and check up on my progress. Keep me accountable! And, even better, if you'd like to join in, save the picture I created for this post and use it on your blog to write along with me!

    I hope you like what I come up with this month. But, more importantly, I hope I like what I come up with...