Thinking Out Loud

April 23, 2010

Surfing the Christianity/Faith Blogs

Filed under: blogging — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:37 am

I thought it might be helpful to elaborate about the dozen or so links that appear in the blogroll here under the category “links.”

The ALLTOP links take you to the three related pages directly.   Church and Christianity have a great deal of overlap, while Religion is a grab bag of bloggers of various faiths, including some Christian blogs not listed in the other two categories.

The TRAKKRZ links are somewhat based on the Alltop bloggers and actually aren’t working as I type this.

Some of the other ones linked there are self explanatory.   The first one ever to appear there, SITES UNSEEN is sadly in need of an overhaul, and still refuses to list this blog after many e-mails and many promises.

It’s the WORDPRESS links I want to discuss.   The thing I like about these is the opportunity to interact with blogs just seconds after something has been posted.    If you click on the Christianity link, you’ll see all the posts in recent minutes (or hours as you scroll back) from Christian blogs.

But you can also type the word Christianity into the search field.   It will give you blogs that have simply used the word from a variety of perspectives.   However the first screen you see that way is somewhat useless, you want to click on the link that says “Show the most recent.”  (WordPress distinguishes between relevant and recent in all its searches.)

Now you’re cooking!   You’ll see every WordPress blog that is using the word Christianity.    Read the screen.   Now refresh the page.   Chances are that in the minute it took you to scan the screen, a number of other bloggers posted.

It’s mind-boggling (or should that be mind-blogging?) how many words, sentences and paragraphs are being committed to the blogosphere every second.   Is that a good thing? You can click further back to see other pages, but remember that after many minutes what you knew as page one, may now be page four or page seven, or whatever.

You can also pursue different words:  faith, God, Jesus, religion, doctrine; or you can get a lot more specific than that.   I just typed Arminian and there have only been four posts today as opposed to 20 for Calvinist, including a few where the bloggers are already on the next day’s dating.   Then again Wesleyans and Pentecostals don’t blog as much as their Reformed counterparts.   (As an added feature, WordPress will tell you its most active tags overall; just now it was Music, followed by News, Politics and Life.)

Remember that the links I’ve posted will only give results for blog which have a general theme overview.    For a specific word, you need to type it in AND click on “Show the Most Recent.”   (I forgot two days ago and got caught up in a September, 2009 discussion, posting a comment that probably no one will ever see.)

It’s also a great way to interact with people who are hostile to Christianity, since they’ll be using the word in their post.   It’s a good idea to read back through a blog’s history before you think about leaving comments.

WordPress needs to lose the “most relevant” criteria.   Blogging is all about interacting with issues in something close to real time, and being directed to September, 2009 posts just isn’t helpful no matter how good they were.

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December 16, 2009

Link Time!

Once again, free of charge, here are a few things you might not have known were just a link away…

  • Jeff Goins at the blog, Pilgrimage of the Heart, noted that his webzine Wrecked for the Ordinary, showed much interest last week on this topic, “Is The Cross The Wrong Symbol for Christianity?”     Before I even got to the article, I made the following observation at his blog:

    I remember years ago hearing people talk about recovering the towel and the basin as the symbol of Christianity; the idea was that the core concept of following Christ is to follow him as he washed his disciples’ feet.

    The discussion was still going on today here.

  • Did you hear the story this week about the eight-year old boy sent home from school for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross?    Asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas, the boy drew a simple crucifix — pictured at right — with an ‘X’ in place of each eye to show that the person on the cross had died.   The school sent him home citing concerns of violence and ordered a psychiatric evaluation.   You can read the original Taunton Gazette Dec. 14 report here, and the latest update on the story here from Fox News.
  • Here’s an internet archives classic:  A much younger looking 22-Words blogger Abraham Piper, pictured alongside his personal testimony — “When I was 19, I decided I’d be honest and stop saying I was a Christian…” — offers advice for the parents of prodigals in this 2007 article at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.  (22-Words regulars might notice the resemblance between him and his son Orison)
  • Sadly the Alltop blog aggregator is rapidly losing its usefulness when overtly commercial sites like Best Travel Deals are accepted.  Currently however, if you’ve never checked out the site, you can scan the titles of the last five posts at top blogs in the Christianity, Church and Religion categories.
  • A few nights ago I ended up at a YouTube video containing the Casting Crowns song, Prayer for a Friend, when I was suddenly reminded of a CCM classic song by Debby Boone, Can You Reach My Friend? also on YouTube.  While both are homemade vids,  these are both great compositions.  How much time do we spend crying out for friends — both current and long lost — who have not yet crossed the line of faith?
  • While the Grand Cayman Islands may not be the place to picture Christmas done up with snowmen and sleighs, they really do the lights thing to the max.   Zach and Cory, who attend Thabiti Anyabwile’s church,  post a few pics  at the appropriately named blog, Life in Grand Cayman.  (See sample at the top of this blog post.)
  • Got more Christian books and Bibles lying around than you know what to do with?   In the United States, check out a program called Bare Your Bookshelf, where you can directly ship up to four pounds of books to someone in need.   In Canada, consider a program that gets large container loads of Christian resources to missionaries overseas at Christian Salvage Mission.    (Read the history and then click on “area coordinators” to find the closest contact to you.)
  • Our cartoon today is from Mike Waters at Joyful Toons:

HT – for the Taunton, Mass. student story to Tom Bauerle at WBEN radio in Buffalo, with additional links from David Mercier at the blog Redeem The Time.

October 6, 2008

Thinking Out Loud Makes the Alltop Top Church-Related Blogs List

Filed under: Christianity, Church, Faith — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:26 am

As the saying goes, it’s an honor just to be nominated; but it’s really nice to be chosen a winner!   The Alltop Church list is always listed in our own blogroll — further down the list under “links” — and contains some of the best blogs of Christian interest.   We’ve also got a link to the Alltop Religion list which contains general religious blogs, including some Christian ones.

If you’re visiting for the first time from the Alltop site, WELCOME!  Take a minute to go back a month (or more) and see what we’ve been up to.

Now that we’re being watched by more people, we’ll have to make sure we include nothing but the best.   But the real fun in blogging — and what I believe to be some of my best work — is the stuff I post on other peoples’ blogs.   And now, some of those writers might be more likely to drop some of their comments off here.

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