Blog Recap 2007

I’m jumping in on the blog recapping that so many seem to be doing with a look back at their statistics for the previous year. So, here’s a look back at Trying to Follow 2007 a number of different ways.

I wrote 379 Blog Posts, viewed by over 50,000 visitors who spent an average of 1:30 visiting about 2 pages at Trying to Follow.

Top 5 Most Viewed Posts:

  1. Why I ditched Dave Ramsey
  2. Jena Six: Racism Still exist in the South
  3. Failing Reading Scores = Prison Cells
  4. Fair Trade Footwear: Walk a Mile in Ethical Shoes
  5. Team Hoyt: A Story of Incredible Love and Passion

Top Keywords Searched:

  1. dave ramsey
  2. jena six
  3. whitney cerak
  4. radiant magazine
  5. the jena six
  6. audacity skype
  7. planet walker
  8. consumption junction
  9. jena louisana

Most Commented On:

That’s About it. Hope You Enjoyed. I plan on continuing to write in 2008 so now would be a good time for you to subscribe to the blog! Maybe you’ll help me meet me New Year’s Resolution of 200 Subscribers!

The Love of My Life

Every once in a while, you run across a truly incredible person that you want to spend all of your time with. I had the fortune and privilege of marrying an incredible person about 4 1/2 years ago. She turns 26 today, an opportunity to remember how grateful I am that God brought her into this world and the impact she’s had on my life.

Riding the Marta to Work ATL on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Find her on facebook, here, or email or call and wish her happy birthday too.

What if Global Warming Was Made Up?

I’ve been driving my wife to work lately and as such I turn on the radio while the kiddo naps in the back. I get bored of the music easily and so I’ve been checking out talk radio. One of the stations I’ve been listening to is a ‘conservative talk’ station. I can tell they are conservative because anytime they’ve mentioned a Democrats name or the topics of Global Warming or Immigration it’s been prefaced by negative adjectives. They call people who believe the stuff all kinds of names, which makes me wonder if listening is good for my self-esteem. Anyways, that’s not the point of this post, rather, I’m just wondering why they are so opposed to Global Warming.

Apparently, and I’m fine with stipulating they are right for a bit, there are plenty of scientist our there that know that Global Warming is not a man-made phenomena and it probably doesn’t exist at all. They say it’s a political ploy made up by Liberals and environmentalist. I guess I’m just trying to figure out why.

So, let’s just assume for a moment that Global Warming doesn’t really exist. All that exists is a couple thousand slide Powerpoint presentation by a former Vice-President. What do we do now?

I still think we should drive fuel efficient cars. I still think we should consider the impact our choice of food and consumer choices have on the environment. I still think 20% of the world’s population should not be consuming 80% of it’s resources. I still think the rainforest, the Alaskan landscape, and other feats of nature are beautiful the way they are and we should seek to preserve them. I still think if our tax dollars are going to build life-destroying weapons of war then some of the tax dollars should also go to preserving God’s green earth.

My motivation to be a good steward of this planet and to be environmentally friendly has never been a reaction to the horrors of global warming, it’s been a reaction to the biblical mandate to care for this planet. I don’t see any scientist opinion changing my lifestyle any time soon. All that being said, I wonder why people are so adamant about refuting global warming. Honestly, the only reason I could see for wanting to deny the existence of global warming is to feel less guilt about my consumeristic selfish lifestyle (If I’m wrong please enlighten me).

Top Ten Underreported Stories of 2007

Each year, Doctors without Borders publishes a report documenting the 10 most underreported stories of 2007. They are all humanitarian in nature and touch on many different places and needs throughout the globe. I believe it is an essential reading for anyone who considers themselves a global citizen.
After you read the report and view the slideshow, I’d pass it on to one or two friends who you think would be interested. And file away your knowledge on these stories to bring up a couple times through out the next few weeks in conversation with others. They aren’t the most exciting things to talk about, but these sorts of situations remain because we are silent and apathetic about them.

Take a read and spread the word.

(ht. Sam)

The Day After: Christmas Hangover

I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas. Time with family is always a good thing, and with lots of babies around, the joy is that much greater. However, here we are, the day after, and I’m experiencing the same Christmas Hangover I’ve experienced the last few years.
You wake up and there’s wrapping paper strewn about, the house is a mess. Your stomach aches from all the food you munched on through out the day, and your mental muscles are throbbing as you contemplate who gave you what, where your going to get thank you cards to thank them, what your going to do with all the extra stuff you now have, and how your going to balance your budget in light of the extra shopping splurge. As if that wasn’t enough, my biggest struggle is with regret. There are a lot of things I find myself regretting about the holiday season, but these are the primary ones.

I regret not being more outspoken about my thoughts and opinions. I tend to try and keep my mouth semi-shut from Thanksgiving through Christmas about consumerism. Sure I’ll mention Buy Nothing Day, charities to donate to, and Christmas is not your Birthday, but overall I really try not to push the anti-consumerism buttons too much during this time. I worry about coming across as a Scrooge. Yet, December 26th rolls around and I wish I’d said more. As I recognize others aches over their busted budget, realize there where many who would have eagerly agreed with me if I had just made some suggestions, and as I admit my passive contribution to the consumeristic culture I try to avoid.

I regret not being more grateful and cheerful during this season. As much as I try to express genuine thanks for gifts, people’s kindness, and general cheerfulness about the ‘reason for the season’, I feel like I often fall short. Regardless of how I feel about gifts, the reality is people who love me put time, effort and money into showing that through tangible gifts to me. Regardless of how I feel about the overdone ‘holiday’, it is a time where people genuinely think about others, donate, volunteer, give, and love. Even if I have problems with the motivation, I can’t deny that there are some pretty amazing things given this time of year.

I regret not making a wishlist. This is a very practical one. Every year, regardless of my desire to have gifts donated on my behalf, to not receive things I don’t need, and to avoid the consumerism, my loved ones still desire to express their love through the purchase of things for me. The truth is there are things that I need and want. If I would just go to the little extra effort of being specific and helping my loved ones out, they would be able to experience the joy of giving and I the joy of receiving something I specifically want.

I regret my lack of effort in my giving. As much as possible, we give donations on behalf of our loved ones during the holidays. We like to donate to World Vision and World Relief, donating items specific to the individual they are in honor of (A pig for the aspiring farmer, a child’s tuition for the teacher, a new mom kit on behalf of a new mom). One of the first times we did this we made paper mache animals representing the donation. Now, it’s become so routine that I haven’t put much additional love and effort behind the giving. I’d love to do more hand crafted gifts, labor of love type gifts.

I’m not sure if others experience similar regrets after the holidays, but I’m going to make it a goal to change that this coming year. It might mean I make some hand made things and store them for the next 11 months, but I’m going to put more love in my holiday spirit next time around.