Too much information…
Last Wednesday, a record number of comments rolled in with some great questions for me to answer (as well as some…interesting personal confessions.) Now I’ve got your answer bag here. I mixed up all your questions by topic to make it more concise for everyone, so everyone’s got a shout-out to their questions somewhere in here. I just want to say thank you for making blogging so fun for me by sharing with me and letting me share with you. And we’re off…
First of all, I will soon be 27. My blog photo is pretty current, though my hair is shorter than normal. I am married. I met my wife in a church I was visiting with college friends.
On Physical Coordination:
I cannot surf…or do any water sports, really…or for that matter, land sports. I’m pretty uncoordinated. I make up for this by being “outdoorsy.” My wife and I love to camp. We canoed through 40 miles of wilderness a couple of years ago. I don’t care about my lack of athletic ability, as I doubt climbing a rope would enhance my life in any way. If I could pick a skill which I cannot do, I’d like to play the piano. Seems like a neat party trick.
I’ll be pulling for New Orleans in the Superbowl because I love underdogs, and hate the Colts, even though I like Peyton Manning.
On Likes and Dislikes:
Of all the vegetables in the world, why would my parents make me eat hominy? We have a thousand different ways to eat corn. I think we can retire this one.
Favorite college classes: my elective class on short stories, and intro to philosophy, as most of it was the prof. telling weird personal stories.
I was portrayed by Fred Savage in The Wizard because they decided my hair was not quite poofy enough for the part. Super Mario 3 is still the best game ever. Playing this game is my super power, as I one time played the game until the score “reset” to zero, which is impossible. If I could choose another super power, it would be being Ryan Seacrest.
I’ve got plenty of cringe-worthy music in my collection. But, you know, I got all those Mariah Carey mp3s on Napster back when it was free and unregulated, just to grab whatever I could, so stop judging me. One or more of you watches pro-wrestling, so I don’t think we need to be judging one another.
I don’t go to Starbucks because I like money more than I like coffee-flavored cool whip. I also use a Dell computer because I like money more than Apple computers. $500 for the iPad? Is that a joke?
What “Saved by the Bell” character would I be? I would be Theo Huxtable, as in I would not be on “Saved by the Bell” because it was a stupid show. Oh yes, I went there. Let the flame war begin.
My favorite chick flick is any that I am not forced to watch. The best among them is of course Pride and Prejudice, which proves that one need not experience something in order to make fun of it.
In our home, my wife rolling her eyes is her way of saying I am awesome all the time. She does a lot of eye rolling.
My favorite pick up line is “Is it hot in here, or is it just me?” Works every time.
My favorite break-up line is “It’s not me, it’s you.”
It’s hard to say what one piece of advice improved my writing or ministry the most. I mostly learned by observing others and what worked. I’ve got lots of blogging heroes. I sometimes have writer’s block. There are days I don’t want to write. But I try to plan for those times by keeping a notebook of ideas, so when I’m dry, I can pull one out and it will tide me over. I also read a ton of books and blogs to keep the blogging and preaching fresh. Once you start getting a blogging rhythm, it’s hard to not see potential posts in everything, though this can be as much of a curse as a blessing.
As for you bloggers wondering how to get new readers to your blog, the best advice I can give is comment on other blogs. Blogging is a social activity! I don’t really lurk on any blogs. I try to comment a lot, but I always wish I had more time for commenting.
Six months ago, I could not see the point of Twitter, but I am a convert. It’s a whole different platform to share life.
I don’t know what my dream vacation would be. I’ve never been to Europe. Right now, my wife and I are trying to decide if we’ll see Jefferson’s home this summer, or go to the North Carolina coast. Ocean or culture. For some, it’s a no-brainer. Not for us. The furthest I’ve been from home is Jamaica.
On Sprituality and Life:
I am a preacher’s kid, and thus was saved and fully sanctified from birth. But really, I had a series of quiet meanderings to and away faith that lasted through college when I really embraced Christianity as a self-aware adult.
If I could undo one moment in my life, I can’t even begin to choose what it would be. I am haunted by memories of my mistakes and am often insecure about that. I try to make up for mistakes years later, when I am the only one who remembers them. It’s not healthy, really.
I’ve never faked a “spiritual experience” as I’ve never been in a church that emphasized such things. I always went to “boring” churches.
I am officially “non-tribulation,” because questions about pre/post trib give me hernias, and I don’t care to discuss it. But hey, pre-trib sounds all right to me. Someone else asked about the Bible’s “inconsistencies,” but I’ll have to save that one for later.
I “officially” knew I wanted to be a pastor after months of wrestling in college. I finished my bachelor’s and went right on to seminary. Today, I’m a bi-vocational pastor who teaches during the week. I’m in elementary special education, but I’m working towards high school to teach history. Someone else asked, “What is it about my calling I just can’t believe?” I’m a pastor, and my little house church is amazing, and we’re sending a missionary to Sudan next month to deliever the gospel to 100,000 people. That’s pretty freaking incredible to me. Not where I thought I’d be five years ago.
Someone asked if it’s okay to ‘designate’ your tithe when you disagree with the way the church spends money? I think if you’re going to a church, it should be one you can give money to in good conscience. But yeah, go ahead and designate it, and call up the pastor with your concerns.
Someone asked who is most full of BS in the church, and I say we’re all full of it. Not me of course. By “we” I mean “everyone else.” BS makes up a large part of my blogging inspiration.
I got a question about if I’ll go to the Catalyst Conference this year. I may. It was a great time seeing so many people, but I have to choose conventions carefully.
On Self Image:
I haven’t worn makeup at the request of a young girl playing “beauty shop,” but I had some college girl friends who liked to play “beauty shop” and got a bunch of us guys to do facial treatments. They also tried straightening my hair. That didn’t go so well.
On Never Doing Things:
I also had a great bunch of ‘Never Have I Ever’ submissions. Most of them, I’ve never done, including:
I’ve never had a McFlurry of any kind. I have also never enjoyed “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” despite watching it on twenty-seven seperate occasions throughout my public school education. (I’ve also never passed by an opportunity to express my disdain for the movie.) I have never sang along with Taylor Swift in the car, as I prefer Christina Aguilera. I’ve also never walked into the living room naked, not knowing there were guests, because I always know when we have guests.
As for the “Nevers” I have ever done:
I have partied like it’s 1999, and continue to do so. I have been in one fistfight with a bully. It was a draw, but I got rid of my bully, and it was totally worth it. I have smoked cigarettes, I rode the bus to school, and eaten liver. I did debate and competitve acting in high school, which seems to go against every natural shy part of me.
Thanks for great questions, everyone! So that’s me. What Saved by the Bell character are you? Whoever it is, I pity you for being trapped in a mediocre, unfunny teen sitcom.