Monthly Archives: April 2012
Best tip: I keep hearing this said again and again – find other Blogs you like and that have similar audiences and Comment, Comment, Comment!
Originally posted on WordPress.com News:
This is a guest post by Kristina Chang, Evan Moore, Tony Xu, and Omer Rabin; students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“What makes a blog popular? What drives page views?” These are the questions that we’ve been trying to answer over the last few weeks. We were on a mission to dig into the data and analyze the strongest parameters that influence the flow of visitors to WordPress.com blogs.
Out of the 30+ million blogs on WordPress.com, we randomly selected a sample of almost 100,000 blogs to perform a regression analysis. Here are our findings, together with a few recommendations. We hope that this provides some new information, and kudos to you in case you’ve already incorporated these tips into your blog – the data suggests that you’re on the right track. Keep it up!
This Post quoting Tim Keller nails the need for inspiring artists within the realm of Christianity:
“The Church needs artists because without art we cannot reach the world. The simple fact is that the imagination ‘gets you,’ even when your reason is completely against the idea of God. ‘Imagination communicates,’ as Arthur Danto says, ‘indefinable but inescapable truth.’ Those who read a book or listen to music expose themselves to that inescapable truth. There is a sort of schizophrenia that occurs if you are listening to Bach and you hear the glory of God and yet your mind says there is no God and there is no meaning. You are committed to believing nothing means anything and yet the music comes in and takes you over with your imagination. When you listen to great music, you can’t believe life is meaningless. Your heart knows what your mind is denying. We need Christian artists because we are never going to reach the world without great Christian art to go with great Christian talk.”
I’ll take it a step further: For me, musicians like Derek Webb and writers like John Eldredge have been a huge influence. I like them because they’re not a “safe”, watered-down, G-rated version of Mister Rogers’ Christianity. I see too much of that in well-meaning but rather hollow Christian music, movies and books that give up the actual art part of the venture in order to be “safe” and not offend anyone.
Derek and John tell the truth. Their work is transparent, unapologetic and inspiring because it is so REAL. It resonates with the life I live and the world I know. They don’t pretend and they don’t mince words. Many people – including those calling themselves Christians – consider them offensive and dangerous.
Folks, Jesus was (and still is) offensive and dangerous to many people. The Gospel is offensive and dangerous. Claiming to be the one true God, above all others, claiming to be the only way to heaven and everlasting life – that’s offensive and dangerous.
Jesus was wild, dangerous, controversial, beautiful, intimate, loving, kind, compassionate, empathetic, righteous and magnetic – the most talked about person in all of human history. He wasn’t always safe for the whole family. Let’s not water down our worship of him through art, music and story in order to be “safe” and non-offensive.
So keep it coming! I like my Christian art, music and books to reflect real life – dangerous, beautiful, inspiring and above all else REAL.
How about you? Who are your favorite Christian artists and why?
I love the truth of this from Tim Keller: “We will either worship God or other things. We cannot eliminate God without creating God substitutes. Something will capture our hearts and imaginations and be the most important thing to us – our ultimate concern, value, and allegiance.”
I have found that so true in my own life. It’s just the way we’re wired as human beings. How else do you explain our worship of sports teams, or movie stars, or musicians, or technology, or gadgets, or cars, or whatever else?
Here’s the full post: » The Reason For All Wrongdoing Keller Quotes.
This is neat post by a great writer/teacher named Todd Stocker. I’ve had dreams too about my dead father but never one quite so vivid and uplifting as the one Todd shares here.
Originally posted on Todd Stocker's Blog:
It’s been nearly three years since my oldest daughter, Makenzie died in a car accident. Since then, our family has been on a journey marked by recovery, struggle, joy, sadness, questions and pain. Pain – there’s been plenty of that. But what has been lacking in our movement forward are dreams. In my vulnerability, I pray for dreams about her. Last night, God gave me one. Here’s what I remember:
Our family was at a party – no, a carnival. There were kiddie rides, food booths and street performers and the smell of cotton candy permeated the cool, late afternoon air. In the dream, I knew that she died, that she was allowed a few hours with us and that at the close of the carnival, she would be heading back to heaven. We walked together, once again, as a family. We talked, played some games and ate hotdogs smothered in mustard.
Makenzie’s snorty laugh rang in my ears as she skipped and told jokes with my son Nathan and my younger daughter Maddie. I took her hand and we strolled together past a juggler. She was fascinated by the performer’s finesse. I remember sitting down with her on a bench and asking her questions. “What is heaven like?” “What do you remember at and immediately after the accident?” “Does Jesus play guitar?” (I don’t know why I asked that but I did). She simply smiled and snuggled deep into my chest as she used to.