Sunday, September 26, 2010

Relevantly Irrelevant

I have been reflecting this week on the importance of titles and names, in particular with regard to blogs.  Then I realized that more importantly than just the name, the blog or thing itself must be intriguing.  This, I think, is the true challenge of blogging.  I have come up with three things that I think make people want to read a blog:

  1. The blog is interesting.  Whether because it is strange or quirky or well written or mysterious, it catches interest.  Since blogs are read by choice, it makes sense that only the ones that people find interesting enough to want to read will be read.
  2. It is relevant.  The reader, consciously or not, most likely desires some benefit from reading.  Ideally, it should stimulate thinking in an area the reader  thinks is important.  Perhaps a blog will even answer questions that the readers have (see below!).
  3. The blog resonates with the reader.  There is some point of reference that the reader and writer share.  This connection makes the writing easier to read, and the reader (with an open mind) can more readily learn something from it.
Notice that something is lacking in this list.  I did not say that the blog says something of value.  Interesting does not equal important.  Relevant is closer to the mark but resonance could happen with many topics.  Isn't this true with much of our life?  We get distracted with the interesting things and can't find time for the important things.  How wonderful yet rare when all of these things come together!

I want to leave you with a challenge and a question.

The Challenge:  Think about the important and interesting things in your life.  When are they distinct?  Are there things for which both words are equally good descriptors?

The Question:  I am searching for things to blog about which are interesting, relevant, resonate with you, and have some value.  What would you like me to write about?

Post your answer in the comment space for this post, or email me at cupofsky [at] hotmail . com.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Psalm 77 and a couple of thoughts

Psalm 77
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.

2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.

3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.

4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.

5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;

6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
The Psalmist is not afraid to ask the hard questions.  He openly repeats the doubts that he had:

7 "Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?

8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?

9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
This marks a shift, and we begin to understand why the psalmist, writing in the past tense, was able to write this whole psalm.  The questions and uncertainty are not the whole picture.
10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
Now he switches from talking about "the LORD" to a personal "You".  This psalm takes him from talking about God to talking to God.  This transition was not necessarily automatic - it was the result of intentionally remembering God's constant character and works.  This is something from which I am trying to learn. 

12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds."
"I will".  This is intentional prayer.

13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?

14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.

17 The clouds poured down water,
the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.

19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron. 
 Wrapped up in meditating on God's goodness, he describes in joyful detail an event which, although he did not witness it, still shapes his view of God.  Is this not how we as Christians should meditate upon all of scripture?

From your experience, do you have any techniques for remembering that you would like to share?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Today I spent my blogging time uploading photos.  If you like you can think of it as a photoblog of my week.