I came across this post today after having heard about it from a friend.
I had read the 'Blue Like Jazz' by Donald Miller after a friend read me the chapter about Reid and the confession booth in Ihop late one night. If you haven't read the book before then I heartily recommend adding it to your library. However I do remind all that one with wisdom weighs everything he reads carefully, not blindly accepting everything with no regard for its value nor dismissing thoughts that challenge his personal paradigm because he feels threatened (just have to throw that out there, even though I think that most of you who read Gadabout have probably either heard of or read the book already).
If you have any great amount of free time you may spend it reading through a string of comments. They just made me laugh. I tip my hat to Mr. Rettger and his rice (which, incidentally, has a blog now too).
I was chatting with a friend yesterday about the various behaviors that develop within the blog sphere. Now, these observations are not intended to be a qualitative commentary about blogging, but rather a list of objective observations.
The advent of new technologies that aid communication are often accompanied by a resulting pattern of behavior. Writing letters became more and more common as inventors improved writing tools. Today the evolution of these tools have crystalized a standard of written correspondence taught in elementary schools. Any sixth grader can tell you what a header, greeting, body, or salutation are when asked about letter writing. The telephone instigated ornate greetings such as "Hello, you have reached the Smith residence, how may I direct your call?" (though today the cell phone has diluted the use of such language). And then the cell phone came on the scene bringing with it a set of socially accepted etiquette requiring people to turn them off in certain public places or use the 'silent mode' setting.
Blogging, with its simple system of posting and commenting, has engendered its own unique sociology. Below are some observations collected through conversation and direct observation:
1. Comments = personal gratification: the confirmation of attention and interest in the post makes one feel appreciated, the more the merrier
2. Web Stats = personal gratification: the confirmation of attention and interest in the post through visitor tracking code makes one feel appreciated
3. Comment Fishing: the use of controversial topics, ending the post with non-hypothetical questions, or making mention of specific readers to generate a written response
4. Blog Loitering: a communal behavior where there are a collection of readers who always post a comment on a particular blog, often resulting in Blog Hijacking
5. Blog Hijacking: a phenomena where the topic of conversation among those commenting on a post veers away from the original topic of the post
6. Blog Junkies: bloggers who are obsessed with blogging (though the obsession is not necessarily unhealthy). Junkies often have an established list of blogs that they visit once or multiple times in a day, blog multiple times per day/week, and comment vociferously, often revisiting their own comments on other blogs to monitor their affect on the conversation
7. Blog Hermits: those who maintain a blog on a very sporadic schedule, leaving months or sometimes full years between posts
8. Blog Ghosts: those who read the posts of others without commenting, though their presence is relatively strong when checking the web stats of the blog
9. Blog Law of Gravity: the gravity or seriousness of the subject of a post is inversely proportional to the number of potential comments it will collect. If a post is more light hearted then people are more likely to comment. If a post is more grave (personal spiritual experiences or theoretical musings, for example) in nature then people are less likely to comment.
10. Blog Surfers: bloggers who travel between their favorite blogs by using links on the sidebar of each blog. The most agile blog surfers can navigate to each of his favorite blogs without having to click on the 'back' button in the browser.
any I've missed? ;-)
"16They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."
"11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."
"...so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior."
(English Standard Version)
Art is most striking when there is strong contrast. Bright whites next to jet blacks grab attention. It should be no surprise, then, that black and white photography is most easily imprinted on the memory of the viewer. If you want an image to stick then shoot monochromatic and open up a couple stops.
One finds deep contrast when he is smacked hard in the face with how black actions color his life in deep scumble. But the blindingly white glory of grace competes for greater emphasis in the composition. One cannot focus on both, he must choose the one or the other. So with one stroke those who were unfit for ANY GOOD WORK are found decorating the truth of God with their own, beautifully placed deeds.
The darker sin only intensifies the contrast; there is grace given to meet it. The one who is forgiven much will love much. And so the conclusion is not to dip the brush back into the black, but to draw more attention within the compositions of our lives to the white.
Washing my brushes. Grinding new whiting. Taking more oil.