Website problem resolved, but not the blogging problem

Apologies for the website problems recently. I was about to write a post last week when I realised my website had vanished and been replaced by something else. I asked my friend Vee for advice and she said it is because I had not paid for the domain name. The last time I paid was five years ago and must have forgotten. I am now thankful its back again thanks to the belated but successful intervention.

I am struggling with writing posts as a discipline, and sometimes am blank for some weeks, like in June. I write a draft but just do not post it because I was not convinced its worth putting out. I struggle to write about the latest happenings like the attack on the mosque in New Zealand, significant news reports like Taiwan’s acceptance of gay marriages, etc. It just feels tiresome. So I am asking the Lord to help me, guide me, and inspire me. And if He so leads, to stop writing for a season. More likely He seems to be helping me find my unique voice in a space that is full of better informed writers, researchers, academics, pastors, and creatives. So pray along with me.

The earth was void and empty and the Spirit was hovering over the mess. Then God spoke, and sparks flew, and something beautiful, useful and meaningful came out of it. Praying this will happen to my blog.

Beauty and the Beast, Reading and Bribery

 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

I always enjoy Michael Han’s blogposts. He writes with a poise, passion and persuasiveness that is refreshing. His perspectives are interesting, stimulating and enlightening. His piece about his personal reflections on his family outing to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and the gay moment is so gracious, spot-on and disarming. Some of the things he mentioned:

  • There were many other unwholesome moments beside the gay moment
  • What his 6-, 11-, and 14 year old kids thought of the movie
  • That the story is about the power of love to bridge divides and to transform
  • That the story reminded him of the prodigal son story

Michael ended his post poignantly with a personal confession:

And as for me, as a father, a husband and a Christian, I too am accountable to my family, marriage and God. In my own fallen nature, I will stand for what is right, true and honourable. Parenthood is always a fraught road with many twists, turns, and bends. Sometimes, I take the road less travelled. At other times, I lapse into the broad road. Still at other times, I confront a crossroad struggling with my own demons.

But I do not see bringing my kids to watch the movie a detour or derailment in this journey of mutual growth with them because my family’s takeaway after the movie is not that it promotes a certain value incongruent with ours. On the contrary, it is a movie that teaches my kids some important lessons as I have written above. And the most relevant lesson of all is this: there is always a place for love in all relationships to bridge the gap, and this love transforms hearts by going beyond our differences, not reminding us of how different we are from them.

Insightful blogpost. You will enjoy reading his post on Beauty and the Beast.

READING EFFICIENTLY

Dr Alex Tang writes about an interesting idea about how reading is about getting to the main message of the writer, which he says is about 20% of the book. And if we can get to the central message and savour it, that is what reading is all about. He shares how he reads by listening to an audio book or a video at a higher speed for fiction or at a lower speed for difficult matters.

“Actually, the art of reading is not the speed but getting the main thesis or message of the book whatever the format. I will estimate that 80% of any book is padding and the gem is in the 20% if we can find it. The 20% contains the heart of the whole book. It does not matter at whatever speed we read, only that we discover this gem at the heart of the book. If we then slow down to savour, reflect, and assimilate, then we would have read that book well.”

I have started a through the Bible in a year listening program under the YouVersion Bible apps. It’s quite refreshing and I have already gone through Job and Leviticus, two challenging books in the Old Testament. I am not complaining. Maybe its the season I am in.

 Do you see yourself trying his efficient method of reading or do you feel that the joys and beauty of reading good literature may somehow be lost in all that efficiency? Read his post on “Reading at x1.5 Speed” .

BRIBERY

I love this piece on bribery by Methodist pastor Rev Sng Chong Hui. It is so succinct that it conveys everything needed to the common internet surfer who will allow you 2 minutes of his attention most times. Most people do not have time to read a research paper with statistics and survey results. There is a place for that too. But most people need to know that bribery is not merely a matter of corruption of two individuals or groups but something so insidious it will proliferate and one day erode society’s foundations. It is certainly outrageous when Presidents and Prime Ministers and judges and policemen and bankers take bribes and lie through their teeth. But even the seemingly harmless small bribe can spread gradually and pollute the whole of society over time. Read his post on the Bane of Bribery.

 

Blogpastor’s Identity Crisis

 

A member came to me and said, “Congratulations”.

Oh you mean about the second grandchild.

“No, your blogpost on How To Get To Bukit Indah Shopping Mall By Bus is very high up on the Google search list”.

“My daughter had asked, Is that Pastor Kenny’s blog?”, she continued, “and I told her, Yes it is”.

“Wow, Yes I know about that. I have been seeing so many hits every week. There must be so many people going to Bukit Indah and needing step by step instructions”, I replied.

What! Has Blogpastor become Bus-pastor? My blog will soon lose its identity as a blog that is supposed to focus on Church & Spirituality and on the side some personal stuff. Now it is about how to get to Bukit Indah AEON shopping mall by bus!

Should I care? Should I take down that post? Then I will have to take down other popular posts like  Mt Rinjani Or Mt Kinabalu: Which Is Tougher? or Car Repair In Johor: Worth The Hassle?

Blogpastor upgraded

My friend Vee San had successfully completed her PhD in Engineering under a scholarship and Platform by Micharel Hyatthas opted to take up a research appointment in a hospital in London. She has a keen interest in theology too so we can connect even though she is my daughter’s age. We had lunch and later she asked if I would like to update my WordPress blog. She was the one who originally did my blog and the church’s second website. Without hesitation I said, Yes! My blog needed to look better on the smartphone and tablet format which is what most people are using nowadays to access information. So right now my blog is going through upgrading works.

I also came across a Popular Book shop sale. $5 for any three books. So I chose a Sudoku book for my wife, a journal notebook, and a book titled “Platform” by Michael Hyatt, which is about communicating in the new world of social media. Hope to get some advice on how to improve the Facebook, Twitter and blogging platforms that the church and I are currently using. I am looking forward to “getting noticed in a noisy world” as the subtitle reads. Or I may find that it is not worth the effort…

Start blogging again

Its been more than a month since I last blogged. Since then I have gone to Japan on vacation. I have seen a wonderful successful kidney transplant between two wonderful members in the church who are not blood related. I have been moving around in a Toyota Picnic that a kind American missionary friend who left for USA allowed me to use till the COE runs out in 2 January 2015. The church worship hall will undergo renovation so I have been busy with arrangements and communications of the alternate worship service space. And I have been on Whats App in a prayer group for the kidney transplant, and quite often communicating on my personal and church Facebook page. All these took time. And they drained me of ideas and the motivation to update this blog. In other words there were things to blog about but somehow the one liners of Twitter and Facebook seemed an easier and quicker and lazier way to express my thoughts. This blog is losing out but I know that if one of my goals of blogging is to practise writing then I simply have to push aside other competing demands and shun the broad and easy highways of one liners and plentiful pictures and “likes”. So here I am on Christmas Eve. I have decided I need to start writing again and avoid the easier path. Just write the ideas that strike me and reflections of what is happening around me and in the news. Ramble if I have to. Just get started again on a regular basis.

I am so heartened by Christian leaders and pastors who have continued to blog. Many have stopped as traffic moved elsewhere but these guys still keep writing regularly with persistence and quality. They are on my blogroll links on the right hand and I hope to keep company with them.

Well this is a good enough kick-start for today. Hopefully the passion will kick in and I will have something more substantial to say.

Blogpastor on Twitter: follow me

Kenny Chee @ blogpastor
Kenny Chee @ blogpastor

Its been three months since my son Joshua suggested I went on Twitter. Later a comment from a blog reader added the needed confirmation. I am such a laggard when it comes to digital matters. After all I am not a digital native but more an immigrant in the Web 2.0 world. Suddenly a few days ago I dived in on impulse. I know its free. What held me back was lack of purpose and personal bandwidth, and the nag of more digital clutter in my life. What overcame all these walls was inner knowledge that I need to jump in and get wet. Here begins another journey. I wonder where it will all lead. If you have a Twitter account do follow. I am at Kenny Chee @ blogpastor.

blogpastor.net down and up

Well some of you are aware that the website has been suspended for quite a few days. From what I gather from my friend and server sponsor, what has happened thus far is that blogpastor.net has attracted a rather large traffic, possibly due to a random attack. The result is that the server crashed as it could not handle the sudden increase in traffic. Blogpastor.net  has been moved to a different server. Some of the photos of the last few months have been dislodged, so I have to re-upload or clear the empty boxes. Hmmm…this will take some time. For the time being, I have also reverted to a previous theme I used that is clean and minimalist though less practical.