Tag Archives: evolution

The Evolution of a Blogger: Survey

Note: If you have been linked to this page, that is your personal invitation to copy and paste the unanswered survey found at the foot of this article. Join the fun!

THE EVOLUTION OF A BLOGGER

If you have been blogging for a while, you have probably noticed a change in yourself. Since the day you launched your blog, you have morphed as a person, possibly even as a writer.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it possible that the very act of blogging is, in part, responsible for the changes in your thought patterns, your attitudes toward opposing viewpoints, or the quality and style of your writing?

If so, I have put together this little questionnaire to enable you to showcase how you have evolved as a blogger, and to encourage you to link to a few of the blogs that are responsible for your personal growth.

The purpose of this survey is to give credit where credit is due.

What was the very first blog post you ever made? Include an excerpt in your response, and link to it. Caboose Alphabet

“My son was fascinated with trains. I wanted him to be fascinated with learning how to read. In an effort to combine the two, I created train flashcards with letters of the alphabet on them.”

Were you nervous to join the blogosphere? I was a little nervous, I think, but mostly I was excited. I knew this was something that I would enjoy tremendously. 

What was your greatest fear? That nobody would care. That my blog would sit undiscovered for years and do nothing but take up server space.

How did you feel after posting for the first time? Anxious to see how it would fare. I really wanted to help people – to be a resource. I was hoping people would stumble on my blog and use it to their advantage.

At the outset, which blog inspired you the most in terms of activity? Danielle Shipley. I wanted to be just like her when I “grew up” as a blogger! All of her posts were interesting, she had good interaction from followers, and she was very fun to talk to!

Do you remember wanting to have another blogger’s success someday? Maybe they had a ton of followers already, a great design, a unique idea, or a community of regular commenters. Link to them. Yep. Mark Mathia. Problem is, I can’t find his blog anymore.

Who reached out to you and really made you feel accepted in the early months of your new blogging life? Who supported you and made you feel at home in this element? Link! Aside from those mentioned above, Katharine Trauger probably encouraged me the most!

Do you remember any specific advice you read or received that immediately and permanently changed the way you blogged? I remember that I was conversing with a writing friend. I had discovered her because we both wrote for the same magazine at the time. Actually, I think it was her blog that made me realize that blogging was something I would enjoy. 

What was the advice? I was trying to think of a title for my blog. I knew I wanted to write about homeschooling, but I also knew that I didn’t want to have to stick to that topic exclusively. She told me to name my blog after myself. Then I could write about anything I wanted. So I chose the URL address based on my name, but the blog title reflects the idea that I used to be homeschooled and am currently homeschooling. 

Link to the wonderful person who gave the advice. Lea Ann Garfias

What’s your number one tip, now that you’ve been blogging for a while? Engage people in meaningful conversations, whether you are posting on their blog or they are posting on yours. Be real.

When you built your blog, who was your target audience? Homeschool parents. 

What kind of content were you mainly concerned with? I wanted to offer advice, ideas, and resources for homeschoolers, and have a place to share my own homeschooling successes and failures. 

Did you have a different name picked out for your blog that you ditched? Oh, wow. I can’t remember any one specifically. I think I had about 20 silly-sounding ones, and maybe 3 good ones. I know it wasn’t very many. As soon as I thought of FULL CIRCLE HOMESCHOOLING though, I knew that was the one.

Link to one of your old posts that is a good example of your initial goals. Incidental Teaching. I wrote this post during my first month. Six years later, and it’s still a pretty good representation of my teaching preferences.

Who else do you read regularly that targets your original audience? Do you have a favorite post from their blog? Link. Nowadays, I’m not really reading homeschool-related posts. I guess I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I have a plan, lol. I’m trying to declutter my brain, so we’ve really simplified our homeschooling process. I’m mostly reading about writing or religion. A writing blog I really like is A Writer’s Path. I discovered this blog when I stumbled upon the Writer’s Toolbox. For the longest time, I had the toolbox saved to my favorites bar!

What’s the most controversial post you’ve ever written? Link to it. If you have no idea, surf through your received comments and link to a post that received a good argument in the comment section. Probably this one: Answers for Atheists: Where Did Evil Come From?

Link to a blogger or two who commented on your blog and respectfully disagreed with your ideas. Dedicated to the Game. This person was very respectful and engaging. He commented on the post mentioned above.

Have you found yourself writing about anything that was not part of the original intention behind your blog? Yes! Torah! I never imagined I would be learning about it, much less writing about it.

Link to a good example. I Am One of Them, and So Are You.

Link to the most random thing you’ve ever written. Hobbies for the Blind?

Link to the most random post you liked this week. This one!! Balancing the Frump.

What blogs/tags do you follow that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever posted? Link to one or two of them here. I follow the “steampunk” tag. I love looking at the pictures, and I admire all of the creativity involved! Unfortunately, there’s not a lot going on steampunk-wise on WordPress. A better place to find it is Pinterest.

A fun WordPress tag I follow is Wreck-This-Journal.

Last but not least, who do you consider your friends in the blogosphere? If you have no idea, look to see who has commented the most times on your posts and link to them. Most of my other supporters don’t have blogs! But they are: Vicki, Carl, Kimmy, Mike, Sherri, and Chrystal. Thank you for bringing so much to my blog!

Empty Survey Below (with introduction)

THE EVOLUTION OF A BLOGGER

If you have been blogging for a while, you have probably noticed a change in yourself. Since the day you launched your blog, you have morphed as a person, possibly even as a writer.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it possible that the very act of blogging is, in part, responsible for the changes in your thought patterns, your attitudes toward opposing viewpoints, or the quality and style of your writing?

If so, I have put together this little questionnaire to enable you to showcase how you have evolved as a blogger, and to encourage you to link to a few of the blogs that are responsible for your personal growth.

The purpose of this survey is to give credit where credit is due.

What was the very first blog post you ever made? Include an excerpt in your response, and link to it.

Were you nervous to join the blogosphere? What was your greatest fear? How did you feel after posting for the first time?

At the outset, which blog inspired you the most in terms of activity? Do you remember wanting to have another blogger’s success someday? Maybe they had a ton of followers already, a great design, a unique idea, or a community of regular commenters. Link to them.

Who reached out to you and really made you feel accepted in the early months of your new blogging life? Who supported you and made you feel at home in this element? Link!

Do you remember any specific advice you read or received that immediately and permanently changed the way you blogged? What was the advice? Link to the wonderful person who gave the advice.

What’s your number one tip, now that you’ve been blogging for a while?

When you built your blog, who was your target audience? What kind of content were you mainly concerned with? Did you have a different blogger name picked out for yourself that you ditched? Link to one of your old posts that is a good example of your initial goals.

Who else do you read regularly that targets your original audience? Do you have a favorite post from their blog? Link.

What’s the most controversial post you’ve ever written? Link to it. If you have no idea, surf through your received comments and link to a post that received a good argument in the comment section.

Link to a blogger or two who commented on your blog and respectfully disagreed with your ideas.

Have you found yourself writing about anything that was not part of the original intention behind your blog? Link to a good example.

Link to the most random thing you’ve ever written?

Link to the most random post you liked this week.

What blogs do you read that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever posted? Link to one or two of them here.

Last but not least, who do you consider your friends in the blogosphere? If you have no idea, look to see who has commented the most times on your posts and link to them.

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Post from the Past: Can God Be Wrong?

A few minutes ago, I read a Facebook post that really bothered me. One of my Christian friends from college posted a question asking whether it is wrong to mess up people’s lives just to see if they were loyal to you. He implied that he was going to wait to gather several “yes” answers, and then prove a point. The point being, that God is wrong to test people like Job and Abraham.

I’m always amazed that Christians can believe that God can ever be “wrong.” After all, what are our options? There’s God, and there’s Satan. Could you possibly get angry enough with God to choose Satan over Him just to hurt His feelings? I think people are forgetting the supremacy of God in these situations.

First of all, God made us. Everything we know comes from Him. He gave us reasoning skills –  you know, the ones we use when we try to prove He is wrong. He also instilled in us the very idea of what is good and right. I always find it amazing that people think they have a higher understanding of right and wrong than God does. Some people become angry because there is pain and suffering in the world. Some blame Him when a loved one passes away. Sure, I don’t understand everything, but I don’t allow myself to entertain the idea that perhaps I know more than God. Or that perhaps I love people more than He does. The love and knowledge that I do have are just itty-bitty pieces of God’s love and knowledge.

Secondly, we can only glimpse an infinitesimally small piece of reality. God is the only one who can see the whole picture. He is winding things down, wrapping them up for the last inning. He’s been working on the future since He set the world in motion, and everything that happens, happens for a reason. He is working on our behalf even when we can’t see Him. If you’re going to believe in God, don’t believe that you’re better than Him. And if you’re not a believer, I suggest looking into the creation/evolution debate with an open mind.

Thirdly, once you develop a relationship with God, you begin to trust Him with everything – your pain, your life, your death, your eternity – everything. You begin to realize that maybe your life is a tool in God’s hands that He is using to bring others to Him. Whether He does that by making me famous or by allowing me to be tortured and martyred, whether I become a millionaire or whether I lose everything that’s dear to me, I want Him to accomplish His will in my life. My goal should be bringing others to Christ and encouraging other Christians to be strong enough to lead others to Christ. He created us for His own glory, and we are to lift Him up so that others may see and glorify Him.

As I type this, I’m not afraid that God will prove me just to see if I really believe what I’m saying. If He does, that’s His business. I trust Him. This life will soon be over anyway, so what happens to me between now and death doesn’t matter much. It’s my eternal destination that counts, and He’s already taken care of that!

Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.

Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.

There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:

On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

Job 23:3-14

Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door

I recently finished Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler. The basic idea behind this book is to encourage Christian teens to face the challenges to Christianity head-on. It’s perfectly okay to have questions about your faith, but you need to find the answers to those questions. Doing so will not only increase your faith, but will transform you from a wishy-washy Christian into an informed one.

I know a lot of Christians who know what they believe – and they’re perfectly comfortable pushing their beliefs off on those around them. At the same time, they can’t defend themselves or tell you why you should believe them. I realized just how important it was to know “why” when I took biology in college. There was a Christian girl who looked the part, sat in the front row, and argued with the professor every time the word “evolution” was mentioned. While I agreed with everything the girl said, she made me very uncomfortable because she wasn’t able to support her arguments in the least. So her faith didn’t really help anyone else in the room. Do yourself and everyone else a favor: become an educated Christian. This book is a good place to start.

If you want to find out more, check out the product page for this book. Or you can preview it here.

Note: In exchange for an honest review, the publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze®.

Can God be wrong?

A few minutes ago, I read a Facebook post that really bothered me. One of my Christian friends from college posted a question asking whether it is wrong to mess up people’s lives just to see if they were loyal to you. He implied that he was going to wait to gather several “yes” answers, and then prove a point. The point being, that God is wrong to test people like Job and Abraham.

I’m always amazed that Christians can believe that God can ever be “wrong.” After all, what are our options? There’s God, and there’s Satan. Could you possibly get angry enough with God to choose Satan over Him just to hurt His feelings? I think people are forgetting the supremacy of God in these situations.

First of all, God made us. Everything we know comes from Him. He gave us reasoning skills –  you know, the ones we use when we try to prove He is wrong. He also instilled in us the very idea of what is good and right. I always find it amazing that people think they have a higher understanding of right and wrong than God does. Some people become angry because there is pain and suffering in the world. Some blame Him when a loved one passes away. Sure, I don’t understand everything, but I don’t allow myself to entertain the idea that perhaps I know more than God. Or that perhaps I love people more than He does. The love and knowledge that I do have are just itty-bitty pieces of God’s love and knowledge.

Secondly, we can only glimpse an infinitesimally small piece of reality. God is the only one who can see the whole picture. He is winding things down, wrapping them up for the last inning. He’s been working on the future since He set the world in motion, and everything that happens, happens for a reason. He is working on our behalf even when we can’t see Him. If you’re going to believe in God, don’t believe that you’re better than Him. And if you’re not a believer, I suggest looking into the creation/evolution debate with an open mind.

Thirdly, once you develop a relationship with God, you begin to trust Him with everything – your pain, your life, your death, your eternity – everything. You begin to realize that maybe your life is a tool in God’s hands that He is using to bring others to Him. Whether He does that by making me famous or by allowing me to be tortured and martyred, whether I become a millionaire or whether I lose everything that’s dear to me, I want Him to accomplish His will in my life. My goal should be bringing others to Christ and encouraging other Christians to be strong enough to lead others to Christ. He created us for His own glory, and we are to lift Him up so that others may see and glorify Him.

As I type this, I’m not afraid that God will prove me just to see if I really believe what I’m saying. If He does, that’s His business. I trust Him. This life will soon be over anyway, so what happens to me between now and death doesn’t matter much. It’s my eternal destination that counts, and He’s already taken care of that!

Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.

Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.

There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:

On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

Job 23:3-14

My Streetlamp

Every light in the house is out.

I walk into a dark room and sit down to relax.

My eyes are naturally drawn to the only spectacle in sight.

I cannot see the source at all, but its brilliance is dispersed in hundreds of tiny droplets of water that cling to my window screen.

Tomorrow I will tell the world of my experience.

Naysayers will laugh and inform me of my mistake.

Streetlamps aren’t real.

But I saw –

The source?

No, the light hits the window above my line of sight.

Proof that streetlamps don’t exist. It follows then, that raindrops must make their own light; it is the only explanation.

For me, it is not enough.

I cannot see the streetlamp, but those raindrops aren’t like the rest – they are extraordinary. The happy, brightened orbs rejoice in the source. I am haunted by their proclamation of the light.

I cannot rationalize away the streetlamp.

For me, it is enough, and I believe.

One day, I trust that I will walk over the hill and behold the streetlamp.

I am persuaded by the light.