Sold. Now I just have to come up with the $139 (or $189). I've been back and forth between the Kindle & iPad, but I've been anticipating several things that you verified for me in this post, particularly regarding the greater opportunities for becoming distracted from reading that come with the iPad's greater functionality.
Thanks for this post.
Hi Becky! I just read (twice in a row - about to launch into a third) a great book called The Tangible Kingdom, and it talks exactly about this issue, about how missions needs to be not a project but a way of life for individual Christians and for Churches. We are called to share life with those with whom Jesus shared life - people outside of the "good religious crowd," and to make a real difference in their lives. Where necessary, we need to rearrange our lives in order to spend more time with those that don't know Jesus, and to let Jesus live through us among them by listening to them, serving, and loving them. I'm learning by trial and error how to do this (that's why I'm at a coffee shop right this second, where I'm developing relationships with the people who work here, as well as the regular customers).
Again, this has been a great experience. I have learned much, and have gained some good friends in cyberspace. I'm miffed that I became so busy in the middle of this, so I have a few assignments to catch up on, but that's something I can look forward to.
I don't know that I'd do anything differently at all. It was well run, well organized, and well communicated.
Paul, thank you again for putting this all together. It's been great to be a part of this, and I look forward to other things in the future!
Paul - thank you again for lining this up. This has been a really great experience, both for education, and for connecting. I know it required some time from your busy schedule too, and it has been beneficial for a lot of people. Thank you very much.
Wow. This has been a great 31 days and I have learned a great deal. Like justapen, I tend to be allergic to calendars and schedules, but over the years, I have learned their value. I used to hate the word "discipline," but disciplined people accomplish a lot more. I think the sweet spot for a creative person is that place where they are able to schedule the things they have to do so that they can have time left over for the things they want to do (and even schedule the things they want to do sometimes).
As I write this comment, I'm still cooling down from a P90X workout. I'm a musician, not an athlete, and sticking to this has been difficult, but I know that good results are coming and will come from the discipline. The same will be true with blogging.
I'm at the tail end of one of the busiest periods I've ever been in, and I hate that it had to come in the middle of 31DBBB. I was already planning to revisit things I'd learned in the 31 days, and I'm glad that today's assignment is just that.
I think what I especially enjoyed, as Phillip pointed out, was connecting with all of you, even though during these last two weeks, I haven't interacted with you as much as I'd wanted. I will continue to read your blogs and comment - moreso when I'm done with my giant project. Again, it's been great to find so many people who write so well about so many different things. This has been the best interaction through social media that I've participated in.
Oh: "Fat boy on the run." GREAT line! Good post, Nolan. This was a great wrap-up.
I too am just using the free version of WP, and although, as justapen pointed out, they provide some decent analytics, they're not great, and so this is yet another reason to go self hosted.
It's so tempting to fixate on the numbers. I'm a church employee, and we do that in churches all the time. It's very difficult to resist that temptation.
There was a time when I hated the word "discipline," and would much more gladly shout "Carpe diem!" It's taken me a long time to see that discipline and efficiency means that you definitely can be more effective at what you're doing. As Merlin Mann would put it, efficiency is about getting the things you have to do done so that you can get on to doing the things you want to do. Or Richard Foster: "a disciplined person does the right thing at the right time for the right reasons."
I think all of that applies here. Our blogs exist for a reason, and we want them to fulfill their purpose well, which means focus, intentionality, and discipline. Even writers, dancers, and artists have to be disciplined.
There's even the Biblical injunction to "make the best use of the time."
But I also agree with Stuart. Jesus talked a lot about how becoming childlike is key to entering the Kingdom, and I believe that's partially what He meant. Kids take joy in small things, and live in the moment. When a person becomes too focused on accomplishing a particular goal, they can cease to be a person and start to become a machine.
It's interesting, though, how some people draw a huge following in part because of their harshly direct critiques. I don't know that that has a place among people who are trying to be Christ-like, although Elijah comes to mind, when he was having the showdown with the prophets of Baal and started taunting them, even saying "Maybe he's on the toilet - shout louder!!"