Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Chrismas Tag

Fred McK tagged me up. After alotta serious discorse here’s something fun and goofy:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags: A little of both. I always like tearing open a real wrapped gift.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Faker.

3. When do you put up the tree? Tomorrow hopefully

4. When do you take the tree down? Before my birthday (Jan. 8)

5. Do you like eggnog? Oh yeah!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

7. Hardest person to buy for? Who’s not hard to buy for?

8. Easiest person to buy for? The Operation Christmas Child kids

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yeah, but it’s pretty small. I’d really like to rock it out with a plastic-light-up lawn style nativity.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Yes, I really should.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? One year my little brother got me the kitsch-tivity.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s a Wonderful Life

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Done and done.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Absolutely. I try to give Jesus every year.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mrs. Wojahn’s cookies.

16. Lights on the tree? Only if they are fiber-optic.

17. Favorite Christmas song? If God came down on Christmas Day, I know exactly what He’d say. He’d say “Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins and Oi to the world and everybody wins!”

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? We worship Jesus and not Satan Clause at my house. I can name all of Jesus’s reindeer.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Tree Angles are creepy.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Consumerism

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? red

24. Favorite place for Christmas dinner? At the table.

25. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Rick McK says, “The Church’s response has been to critique the culture for not talking about Jesus or saying, ‘Merry Christmas’ so there’s this idea that when I’m running through the mall, trampling over people, to get that last thing, you should tell me, ‘Merry Christmas’ not ‘Happy Holidays’ That’s a very lame place for the Church to draw the line in the sand.”

I have to agree, although I use them both as my family celebrates Hanukkah as well.

Tagged: Brunette Koala

Flair of the Week: Life Music Ministry

Jon Lloyd is blogging friend from Evansville, IN who is quick with the Photoshop. Lifemusicministry.com tends to update blog headers frequently. The design is always simple and compelling. I like the red star in the most recent header. Here’s some blog flair Jon made from his previous header:

I’ve got this one up on the virtual cork board.

Keep the flair coming.

Flair of the Week: Craig McDole

Craig is a guy I’ve just recently met through facebook. He blogs over at Doorkeeper’s Journal. Craig shot me this outer space flair he made and I thought it was pretty cool:

It’s not “blog flair” per se, but flair made by a blogger is close enough. You can see it on my facebook profile now.

So now you have no excuse – put a radomn picture on a button and I just might post about it. Although I’d recommend you include your URL so others can enjoy your blog too 🙂

Flair of the Week: BetterThanBlank.org

Alex hooked me up with some better than blank flair. It has a TV antenna on it. I can only assume this is Alex’s way of making fun of me because I do not watch TV.

You can see it prominently featured this week on my facebook profile.

I used to never watch TV. Now they put TV on the internet and I’m a total Office/Heroes/Last Comic Standing junkie. It’s Alex’s fault for getting me hooked on the Office.

Do you blog with flair?

Flair of the Week: ConsumingWorship.org

Jeff sent me some flair for his blog Consuming Worship

It has a cool artsy looking guitar.

You can see it prominently featured this week on my facebook profile.

Do have flair for your blog yet?

2 Brents for Sunday Night

Brent # 1 – In Worship

Brent asked today,

What do you think is valuable about this blog?”

What would give it more value?”

Here’s my reply:

Brent,

You have a very quirky sense of humor. There’s always something random popping up on your blog. That’s great! Authenticity is key. Whatever you blog about – make it you. You do this now and I value that about your blog.

As for adding more value – I like blogs that link other blogs. I like reading a post and then clicking on a pingback to see what someone else said about that post. Pingbacks are more powerful than comments because they carry the conversation across multiple blogs. I would say write content that is so compelling someone else has to write a whole post and link back to you rather than simply leave a comment. Also writing commentary on your blog about someone else’s post adds value.  Just linking a cool post and saying, “Go check this out” doesn’t add a lot of value, but adding your perspective and commentary on the issue adds value. This post you did linking to Collide Magazine is a good example.

Then again one thing you are great at on your blog is starting discussion. You tend to get many comments on your posts. Since you are good at that, focusing on writing posts that get commented on a lot should probably be a higher priority than writing posts that get linked a lot.

Bottom line: look at what you do best and do more of that.

Brent # 2 – in the Trench

Or I guess I should say out of the trench. Brent Minter from Worship Trench has started his own blog called, “Worshiply.” It’s a pretty new blog so head over and show him some love. (By “show some love” I mean comment on one of his posts – or better yet write your own post about his and link him up.)

Here is a great video Brent made:

The Value of Narrative Tweets

Jordan posted some comments on a previous post that were so thought provoking I needed to respond with an entire new post.

Part of Jordan’s Comment

Let me see, what will people be reading in 100 years.

DA Carson’s works…check.
Edwards…check.
John Piper…check.
oh yes and Billy Chia’s twitters. hahaha

[]

My Reply

Jordan,
I may not be as famous as Piper – you don’t have to rub it in 🙂

You’ve inadvertently touched on a very important feature of twitter that many people don’t take advantage of: Narrative Tweets.

You see if I ever do get as famous as DA Carson there is a very high likelihood that they will be reading my tweets in 100 years.

Why?

People are fascinated by narrative. They love a story – this is why people read books that are diaries, journals, and autobiographies. My tweets not only connect me with other people – the tell the story of my life. But, not everyone’s tweets do this. You have to be intentional about it.

Non-Narrative Tweets

Some people tweet in a disconnected way – random “what I’m doing now” tweets pop up that aren’t connected to anything else going on. They are informative in the moment, but like you said, the value dies quickly. This is because they think of twitter in terms of the way they most frequently access it: via the ADD inducing stream on their twitter.com/home page.

Enter the Narration

However my tweets (and many others) have value when you go to my twitter page and look at all my tweets together. When I tweet later in the day I try to connect it somehow to something I said earlier. This could be as simple as “practice is starting” and “practice is over” or more complex like my commentary on homeschooling.  The point is that if follow me through out the day (or even just check in once and look at my twitter page) it tells the story.  There’s a narrative value to browsing my twitter feed. In this way the value is ever present – even 100 years from now.

I would love to see what Jesus’ twitter archives would look like. I guarantee if he would have twittered we’d be reading it today. The same goes for Piper, Edwards or Fowler.

In Closing: Thank You

The real point of twitter isn’t what will happen in 100 years – books are better at that hands down. The point is that right now there are 75 people who follow my twitter feed. 75 real people who matter. They care enough to plug into what I put out through twitter. There are even more who follow through my facebook status updates. When I my daughter was sick and I asked for prayer on twitter I got responses back through facebook. That’s meaningful kingdom impact in my book. So thank you for following me on twitter.

The Easy Way to Build Your Blog Readership

Watch the following video to see how easy it is to hack your Feedburner stats:

But, who wants to cheat their stats?

The fact is over 50 of you (now almost 60) check in here on your reader every day. That means a lot of me and it motivates me to put up the very best content for you. I have a goal to reach 100 readers by December.  Using Joop’s hack I could have that number tomorrow, but it wouldn’t represent you, the real people who read and comment and interact.

The easy way seldom cuts it.

I Absorb Babu Life

Ben sent me this flair that totally cracked me up:

You can see it prominently featured this week on my Facebook profile.

Do have flair for your blog yet?

Top 5 Worship Leader Blogs

Top 5 Church Staff BlogsAs a worship leader who blogs, who is friends with a lot of other worship leaders who blog, it’s tough to pick 5 feeds that are “the best.” I think the value in this exercise is looking at the five below and asking, “What do they do? How can I make my blog better?” I possibly even think that some guys on the list have doubts about the value of their blogs. Maybe they’ll see that a lot of us regard them highly and get challenged by this post to produce some killer content.

These are the best of the best in Worship Leader Blogs:

Who did I miss? Who’s on your list?

(Feel free to say, “my blog” I will not hesitate to tell you to subscribe to my blog, I know my content rocks. Be proud and do some shameless self promotion.)

Twitter Blog Research – It Works!

To prep for my forthcoming Top 5 Worship Leaders blog post I did some research on twitter:

It worked because:

  • It was fast: The nature of twitter warrants people to send back a quick response rather than sitting on the question and mulling it over. I was looking for gut-level reaction information.
  • I could see who was on: By simply looking at who was currently active on twitter I had a list of people who were on their computers (or phones) at that very moment and would be most likely to reply.
  • It’s short: I didn’t need a dissertation. 140 characters ensured people simply replied with names or links.
  • It’s connected: A couple pals continued the conversation on to other topics. Not only did I get thoughts about my thing, but I got insight into their world as well.

I sent out twitter messages rather than regular tweets because I wanted this conversation behind-the-scenes. Some conversation works better publicly and some privately. One caveat – you can only message people who follow you. Ben was on twitter at the time, but I couldn’t send him a message. I’m still curious who his top picks are.

Top 5 Church Staff Blogs

Top 5 Church Staff BlogsThese are my top 5 picks for best blogs in the “Church Staffer” category. These bloggers are not the lead pastor, they sit in 2nd chair positions, but there is high value in their words. If you work in a church, then these blogs should be in your RSS reader.

These are the best of the best in Local Church Staff Blogs:

Tim Stevens – (feed) Tim is the Executive Pastor at Granger Community Church and author of Pop Goes the Church. Tim’s blog is simply brilliant.

Carlos Whittaker – (feed) Carlos is the Service Programming Director at Buckhead Church. Los’ blog, Ragamuffin Soul, is a fresh, engaging community all its own. But just because it entertains doesn’t mean it doesn’t also challenge. Los will make you laugh, cry and think all in the same day. That’s because he posts 3 times a day! Don’t worry, it’s a lot of content, but definitely worth subscribing to.

Anne Jackson – (feed) Anne recently joined the staff of Cross Point Church and has written the forthcoming book Mad Church Disease. Anne is a master bloggger – like los, her blog focuses on community. Reading her blog is valueable, but commenting and engaging with her community is where it’s really at.

Alex McClean – (feed) Alex is the Executive Pastor (read: does almost everything) at Life Church. Alex posts a really solid mix of humor, real life and chruch strategy. Seriously, there is some diverse conent here – Alex is knowledgeable on everything from graphic design, to worship leading, to hiring staff. He’s new in his role as “executive” pastor and has blogged about leaning on the job. Alex’s journey is worth following.

Tony Morgan – (feed) Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer at NewSpring Church and author of Killing Cockroaches. “Tony Morgan” is synonymous with “strategic church leadership.” Jesus wants you to be strategic in how you lead. Read Tony’s blog.

Bonus Blog:

Ben Arment – (feed) Ben is not currently a local church pastor, but he knows the local church. He is most recently employed by Catalyst and his blog kicks tail. Wisdom and candor abound at benarment.com – his blogging style is simple and hard hitting with insights highly relevant to the local church worker.

Anyone I missed? Who’s else blogs as a church staffer in a support role to the senior pastor? Do you? Leave a link in the comments.

Note: If your predominant role is leading worship – wait for tomorrow’s post.

Top 5 Pastor Blogs

These are the 5 blogs written by local church lead pastors that you need to have in your rss reader. These guys deliver consistent church leadership insights and valuable spiritual encouragement.

These are the best of the best in blogging pastors:

Agree, disagree?

What other blogging pastors should I have in my reader?

Huntsville Bloggers

Downtown Huntsville Park by 1Sock.

Since moving to Huntsville I’ve met some rockin’ awesome people through the blogosphere:

Eric Morgan – Eric is a bi-vocational guy serving the Lord at Sojourn in Huntsville. (I have mad respect for the bi-vocational guys.)

Jan Owen – Jan is the Worship Minister at The Brook in Madison. I actually found Jan through twitter but when I got to her blog I realized we had some the same crew on our blogrolls.

Dean Lusk – Dean is the Worship Pastor at Wall Highway Baptist Church in Madison. I’ve just recently connected with Dean but I can tell I like this guy already.

Are you a Huntsville blogger? I’d love to connect – drop a comment or shoot me an email.

(I still want to check out your blog even if you don’t work in a church. Actaully I’d love to check out your blog especially if you don’t work in a church.)

4 Must Read 4th of July Posts

  1. Mark Beeson quotes our founding fathers. Get your religious pride on!
  2. Mark Batterson shares the back story from the Declaration of Independence signers.
  3. Shaun Groves will give you the warm fuzzies with his post about confronting his rowdy neighbors.
  4. Sarah Chia on fasting, freedom, and persecuted Christians. Sarah touches on some thought worthy content as we celebrate our freedom.

40 Day Fast – Sarah’s Day Today

As part of the 40 Day Fast my beautiful wife has forgone the food in favor of praying for persecuted Christians.

I am super proud of my girl for doing a series full of some great content:

  1. Why Fast?
  2. 40 Day Fast (This post is right on – you may be uncomfortable reading it.)
  3. Sarah’s post-fasting post will get linked here.

Steven Russell, who has a very snazzy looking and cleanly designed site, is also blogging about his fast today.

Check it out.

What Is an RSS Feed?

Subscribe to my feed.My RSS feed is a simple, easy way for you to get notified when I update my website.  If you like what you see on my site then you can subscribe to my feed for free and get updates in your email inbox or RSS reader.

Here’s how it works:

When I put up a new post it goes into my “feed.” If you subscribe by email my website automatically sends you an email when I post something new. If you subscribe in an RSS reader then my posts appear in your reader.

If you don’t use an RSS reader I highly recommend it. Using a reader makes using the internet easier and more effective.  I use Google Reader. It is an RSS reader that is free and easy to use . If you have Gmail, or any other Google account, then you can use the same login name for Google Reader.

Still confused? This video called “RSS in Plain English” can help explain more:

You can subscribe to my feed here:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/billychia

The Funniest Fools Online

These are some of the funnier April fools jokes I’ve seen across this internet:

  • Tim Ferris isn’t real! – My wife mentions this possibility every time I talk about Tim Ferris. Because of the believability I totally fell for it at first. This was the best crafted of all the 4/1 jokes I’ve seen.
  • Send your email back in time. This was so hilarious. “Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality”
  • PayPerTweet – I don’t even twitter and this had me rolling.
  • Chris from Canada Bay – This was totally original. Chris really committed on this one as well and went into a whole speal about it. I almost coughed up a lung laughing so hard when I read:

    “There are lots of beautiful places we could decide to live but the only choice we had – outside of the country of Canada – was Canada Bay, if I wanted to maintain my ChrisFromCanada.com branding”

  • Consuming Food – Jeff took the opposite approach and ditched his branding in favor of something new.
  • So did Los. I thought J-Rocka‘s comment was pretty funny. “god” was just downright mean.

Did you see any other funny 4/1 jokes?

no confession yet

it’s close to 11pm and youtube is still uploading. I’ve trying recompressing to a smaller file size. Maybe I’ll get a video up tomorrow. 

Uganda Blogging

 

A large group of bloggers headed off to Uganda this week to blog about getting children sponsored through Compassion International. The stories they’ve put up have been encouraging, humbling, and challenging to my faith.

Here are some that have spoken to me the most:

  • Shaun Groves on being small enough. (The stories and photos will hit you – I’ve read this post over several times.)
  • Carlos Whittaker talking about his changed heart. (Los, thanks for being real enough to admit to having a calloused heart. I have one too.)
  • Anne Jackson speaking to $9 rent. (This one really struck me as my family is currently in the process of trying to find an apartment to rent in Huntsville. I’ll just say that range we are looking in is not $9 a month.)

My blogging’s been minimal this week since I’ve spent as much time with my girls and I can , but this was worth putting up.

7 Random Things

I saw this one going around and wondered when it would head back my way.

Amanda tagged me up.

1. I have the Chinese word for “star” tattooed on my right shoulder. Every other day I love and then hate that I have that tattoo.

2. I have an affinity for the 32 oz. plastic cups you get at gas stations.

3. Crunchy peanut butter…mmmmm

4. The first song I learned to play on guitar was Plush by Stone Temple Pilots.

5. Once in Jr. high, while playing with gasoline in my backyard things got so out of hand I caught my pool on fire.

6. Snowboarding in one of the best things ever. I haven’t been in about 5 years.

7. I have played Sweet Home Alabama about 247 times since moving to Alabama. I still haven’t figured out all the licks in it.

Drop a comment. Get a tag.

Tagged:

Chia Montage

Google “Billy Chia” for images and here’s what you get:

Montage

You can make your own cool Google images montage.

HT (Mr. Conner Byrd)

Help the New Guy

I could use your advice and insight. Next week I start a new job and although I’ve been involved in some facet of Church work for the last 10 years there are always new challenges associated with a new position.

Chris put up a post asking What Do You Wish You Had Done Differently?

If you are a worship leader, pastor, church worker, or have a job of any kind where you’ve been the new guy how would you answer?

Head over to Chris’s blog and leave a comment to continue the discussion.

I’d much appreciate it as you’d help me to succeed in my new role. (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22)

Five Fun Thanksgiving Images

Ok… maybe 6 (Vic put up 2)

  1. Happy Thanksgiving!
  2. Thanksgiving?
  3. Happy Thanksgiving
  4. Thanksgiving
  5. Happy Thanksgiving
  6. Happy Thanksgiving

And Stephen talked about Thanksgiving: UNPLUGGED which I’m about to do right now 🙂

Blog Readability Test

According to this blog readability test my blog has a readability level of

Junior High

My wife’s blog has a readability level of

College

And my daughter’s blog has a readability level of

Genius

ht: David Hayward

I always new my girl was a genius.

Around the ‘sphere

Jeff did a cool worship leader interview with Chris. Next week is Brent, king of the mullet men.
Bobby‘s adorable giraffe and Los‘s um…princess are gonna give Conner a run for his cute-kid money.  Of course I’m pretty biased towards the cuteness of my girls.

Jeremy shot me an email about his worship song podcast. It’s inspired me to go on a songwriting rampage seriously cutting into my memorization time.  Thanx 🙂 (BTW – My baby girl loves Matt Redman’s Shine – she starts dancing every time it plays – like right now.)

Get Nooma “Name” on Myspace – 48 hours Only

The next Nooma, entitled “Name,” will premier on the Nooma Myspace Page this Wednesday, October 31st. The full length video will be available to watch free for 48 hours.

Noomas are a series of short videos that feature Rob Bell, the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and they rock. Name is the 18th video in the series and it speaks to our struggle with identity.

Here is a preview clip:

You can find more exciting Nooma news, such as updates on the Everything is Spiritual DVD on the Nooma Blog.

ht: Elle Pyke

Update: My wife Sarah wrote an insightful review:
Review: Nooma “Name” by Rob Bell a Disappointing Release

Willow Creek Reveal Frenzy

reveal.gif

This past week has seen a blogging frenzy* erupt over Reveal, a spiritual growth conversation headed by Bill Hybels and Greg Hawkins of Willow Creek Community Church. These two leaders have each posted videos on the Reveal website admitting that their previous model of doing local church ministry has flaws. Through the Reveal conversation they are seeking to create a new, more effective ministry model. While some have taken a critical attitude, many have pointed out Hybel’s humility.

The blogosphere began to see posts regarding the Willow Creek’s new direction in August when Hawkins’ book Reveal: Where Are You? was announced during The Leadership Summit. A recent influx of posts has been prompted by Christianity Today’s Out of Ur article. To help sort the mass of information Greg Hawkins has offered some clarifying points on the Reveal Blog.

Personally, I’m very excited to see what will come from this conversation. Willow Creek has always been committed to helping other local churches. They are on the right track with Reveal and I believe the results of their research will produce helpful insights that the whole Church can benefit from.

The Videos

gregvideolong.jpg

Hawkins video is candid and earnest. When he speaks of the distraction a church leader feels on Sunday morning I felt as though he was pulling thoughts from my own mind. Skip the short version and watch the 13 minute one. It’s worth it.

hybels-video.jpg

Hybels brought a welcome humor to a serious situation. I laughed out loud several times throughout his presentation.

The Frenzy

*Some of the more content driven posts from this last week include:

Hacking Your WordPress.com Stats

For those who host their blog on worpress.com one of the advantages is the included statistics tracking program. For a free blogging platform it is nice to have a built in stat tracking apparatus that doesn’t require any additional effort to get up and running. Checking the metrics for your site is a great way to evaluate which blog content has been previously popular in order to create similar content in the future and grow your blog.

The downside to wordpress.com is that users are limited to the included stat tracking features by the inability to fully install other web metrics programs. Site Meter is a great web metrics tool however on wordpress.com you are limited to the non-javascript version which, among other shortcomings, fails to record referring sites. Google Analytics is completely unavailable on wordpress.com blogs.

However there is a way to hack the built in wordpress.com metrics tools in order to gain more information. This is the due to the use of php strings in the URL.

I’ll show you what I mean.

How to Hack the Summary Page

By default wordpress.com gives you the ability to summarize which posts have received the most hits over the last 30 days.

summary1.gif

By editing the php string in the URL you can broaden the range for this data.

The 30 days summary URL for my website looks like this (click to enlarge):

url30.gif

Notice the php string “&numdays” is currently set to “30”. (&numdays=30)

By typing a “9” over top of the “3” in the address bar I can change the string to:

url90.gif

Which returns this page summarizing my last 90 days of statistics:

summary2.gif

you can see that in the last 30 days my resume page has been the most popular post however in the last 90 days my rob bell post has been the most popular. I use this method to track which posts have been most popular over the life of my blog to manually update my all time top posts.

How to Hack Other Pages

The php string “&numdays” is editable on any of the wordpress.com metrics pages including:

  • Referrers
  • Top Posts
  • Search Engine Terms
  • Clicks

By default these pages show data for the last 7 days. However you can modify the rage to including any number of days you want with the ability to track stats over a much longer period of time. Simply type a new number into your address bar to create a new data set. (ie “&numdays=7” returns the last 7 days and “&numdays=30” returns the last 30 days.)

Note: Choosing a large range of dates will truncate your data. Apparently there’s a limit to how much data can be included on one page. For example if you view your “Search Engine Terms” for the last 7 days it will show you all of the terms used to reach your site even if that term was used only once. If you extend the range to 30 days it will show you only search terms that were used 2 or more times to reach your site.

How to Hack Daily Logs

You can go back to the “snapshot” page for any day in the life of your blog by adding the php string “&day” in the address bar to the end of the URL.

This page displays all the data for that day (including search terms or clicks that only occurred once.)

For example adding “&day=2007-07-23” will take me to the snapshot page for July 23, 2007.

statsday7.gif

You can edit the “&day” string to go to any day your blog has been in existence. (ie “&day=2007-06-16” goes to June 16, 2007 and “&day=2006-11-05” goes to November 5, 2006.)

Summary

By typing directly into the address bar of your browser you can edit the php string that is part of the page URL in order to access statistical tracking metrics from a broader range of time than is offered by the default wordpress.com statistics program. Both “&day” and “&numdays” are editable strings.

Mud Puppy on WordPress Hompage

The Original Mud Puppy is currently being featured on the wordpress homepage under video:

mudfront.jpg

Could this be the scheme Joel was talking about to shut down billychia.com?

They have something a brewin’ to push their stats to new levels unattainable by mere mortals such as I.

20k

Alright hit the 20,000 hit mark. (Since 7/07)

stats.gif

Other stat phreaks:

Los

Joel

Russel

I’m on your tail.

Did I miss anyone?

New Stuff at billychia.com

So I’m emerging after a week of no blogging with some shiny new features to tote:

No more Inept as Icing

Yep, I ditched the fancy blog name in favor of plain vanilla “Billy Chia.” I’ve been wrestling with doing this for a while. I think “Inept as Icing” has a catchy ring but I just wasn’t a fan.

I thought about doing like a “Billy Chia’s Blog” or “The Zany Adventures of Billy Chia in Blogland.” In the end simple and streamlined wins again. Although I am open to suggestions.

New Resume

I updated my resume page and put together a brand new resume. After much prayer and talking to some wise people in my church and on the web (Thanks Jon and Fred) I’ve overhauled my resume to more accurately reflect what I’m looking for and what I have to offer. I’m hoping to see some fresh results in the coming weeks and am hoping to be sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned.

New About and Top Posts pages

I tweaked a few things on my about page and redid my top posts page. Some fresh posts made it into the top ten.

Haitus

I tell you guys what, God is speaking to me in a powerful way recently.

I need to fast and pray about it.

One of the things I need to fast is blogging.

I’ll be back when I figure it out.

Cool Parenting Blog

This one’s for the ladies:

One of the authors for a local magazine Evansville Parent has started an excellent new blog called

Parenting through the Great Unknown

This is a wonderful resource that shares the honest narrative of woman trying to figure out how to be a housewife and mother who glorifies God.

She shares insights and practical tips on subjects ranging from cooking to child rearing to making your marriage the best. She does so with a unique poise, intelligence and humor.

Did I mention this published author is my beautiful wife Sarah?

Yeah I’m crazy proud of the girl.

You can read her article in September Issue of Evanvsille Parent entilted:

Lifelong Learners (Pg. 16)

Top Posts for September 2007

Most popular posts on Inept as Icing for September 2007

  1. Lo-Fi Tribe on Church Websites
  2. Aldersgate Worship Highlights
  3. Our Atrophied Jewish Holydays
  4. Changing Worship Lyrics
  5. Manly Cup of Coffee
  6. Review: Jesus Painter One Way DVD
  7. Worship Confessional | 09.02.2007
  8. Grandma’s Homebaked Ministry Tips
  9. More on Bad Worship Lyrics
  10. The Sweet Spot of God’s Will
  11. Worship Confessional | 09.30.2007
  12. Review: Shane and Shane in Concert

Can Someone Record LA Ink for me?

Los is getting Inked tonight on TLC. He posted a fun promo on his site:

I don’t have cable.

Can anyone record if for me?

Desktop Meme Tag

I’ve been tagged by Shawn. kinda, I’m an “alternate.” But hey, I like playing blog tag so here goes:

My desktop (click for full size):

Desktop

Notes:

  1. Win XP – boo.
  2. I let my wife have 3 desktop icons. She chose to have quick access to: Budget, School (she homeschools our daughter), and “Sell our house” (she supports the worship pastor vision).
  3. Paint Shop Pro version 7 is what I use primarily for graphics editing. (I miss working with better software, but it’s good for quick and dirty editing. It made that screen capture right there.) Other quick launch icons = Firefox, Plam (being phased out for Google calendar) , Picasa, Word (being phased out for Google docs), and of course the iTunes.
  4. My wife took this photo. The desktop version is 100% unphotoshopped. She has the skills. Looking at it gets me fired up to be a worship pastor.

As an alternate I’m making this post from the bench so can’t really tag anyone else. We’ll have to try playing backwards. Leave a comment letting me you know that you’d like to be tagged and I’ll edit this post to link to your site:

People who I’ve “tagged” so far:

  1. Megan
  2. alex mclean
  3. Sarah Chia
  4. JVP
  5. nick
  6. You can be the next!

Church vs. Target

I’m a big Church Marketing Sucks fan, but I have to dis on a recent post:

What if Church was Fast, Fun & Friendly?

in which Kevin D. Hendricks compares church to Target and chimes that it should be more:

Fast – You’ll probably accuse me of being too consumerist, but how many visitors can sit through a 45-minute sermon? I know I can’t.

Well, Kevin, consider yourself so accused.

Disclaimer

The views expressed on Inept as Icing are solely those of the author and don’t necessarily represent or reflect anyone else’s views.

So feel free to leave a comment on any post and smile knowing that this is just a personal blog designed as a means to facilitate communication and not any kind of official statement about anything. No need to agree with me, my church, or other readers. (I don’t always write statements that necessarily agree with myself, my church or other readers.)

You are free to talk things out here and use the discussion as a means of formulating your views. No need to have it all figured out. After all isn’t that how we learn and grow?

A few things you should know about me:

1. I post when I am happy and when I am sad.

Just becuase I display an emotion in a blog post doesn’t mean I always feel that way. It’s just a blog. Don’t take it too seriously. I do have a life outside of blogging.

2. As a personal blog it chronicles the progression of my life.

As a Jesus follower I am continually being refined by the Holy Spirit. God is always making me more humble sometimes slowly and painfully and sometimes with elated joy.

In other words, I don’t necessarily still believe the random thing I posted about last year or even last week. I leave the post there because it’s a reminder of the journey but everyday I am becoming more like Christ. Through the trials of life I gain wisdom and grow in maturity and I’m better off for having journeyed.

If this sounds exciting to you, it is. Following Jesus is the most difficult, challenging and rewarding thing you can do with your life. It’s an adventure that will stretch you and it is life at its most real. If you see the need for a change in your life and want your life to be more real and rewarding email me. I’d love to listen to your story, share more of mine and talk to you about how we can follow Jesus together.

3. I’m full of sarcasm.

Everything on this blog should be read in a completely serious manner. There is no joking around allowed. If you poke fun at me or someone else you will be excommunicated from the blog.

Let’s Chat on Instant Messenger

Fred sent me an email today and asked if I’d like to talk on IM. It was tons of fun talking online and I thought, “I should do this more often.”

My new AIM/iChat screenname is: IneptAsIcing

Drop me a comment or email (billy [at] billychia [dot] com) with your screen name and we’ll talk about life, worship leading and how to exploit your friends and family for good blog content. I might even send you a link to the cool videos Fred showed me.

Church Secrets

Pink ElephantMark Batterson’s current sermon series The Elephants in the Church is an intriguing look at talking about issues the often don’t get talked about.

In a post he did to prep the series he asks the question: What are the elephants in the church?

He’s received over 70 eye-opening comments answering that question. Check it out and leave your own.

Lo-Fi Tribe on Church Websites

An excellent blog I’ve recently been following is Shawn Anthony’s Lo-Fi Tribe. His take on faith is both insightful and authentic. On Friday he put up a thought-provoking post entitled:

The Use of Stock Photos on Church Websites

Shawn’s position seems to be one of “There is never any good reason to use stock photos on a church website. It’s just too fake.” (My paraphrase of his thoughts, not a direct quote.)

The comments others left rang with resounding agreement. The concept resonated with me as well. I believe using stock photos tends toward inauthenticity, but my view isn’t one of such totality. I’d say, “Yeah they are fake, and real pictures are better, but in some circumstances they could work.”

For example, Church Plant Media is a company who designs websites for church plants. Their client list includes such respectable organizations as Act29 Network, Purpose Driven Planting, and ChurchPlanters.com. If you look through websites they’ve designed you see a lot of stock imagery.

I left some devil’s advocate style comments on Shawn’s site and received a hardy reply from his other blog readers. Shawn muses that when you publish something publicly, “you open yourself up to critique.” In regards to comments left on his site he was right. A great discussion ensued. The level of reaction was so gut-level I thought to myself, “Shawn’s really probed something deep here,” so I wanted to share the concept with you guys.

What do you think about using stock photography on church websites? How fake is it? Are there any legitimate reasons to do so?

Leave comments on Inept as Icing or Lo-Fi Tribe.

Broke 10k

tenk

Reached over 10,000 hits today.

That’s fun.

More on Bad Worship Lyrics

Today I checked my site, and Laura Anne posted this comment about the song “I could sing of your love forever.” It reminded me of a great link I wanted to share. The easily offended need not click, but those seeking a hilarious romp of a post should proceed to:

Danny’s Blog Cabin – Top 5 Worst Worship Songs

At dinner last night my family was talking about all the other comments from my post on changing the lyrics to worship songs and I started signing, “Lift my hands and spin around.” I kid you not, on cue Ashlyn pumps her fist in the air:

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Only 7 months old and already a worshiper. The other day I caught her trying to escape the walker to play my guitar:

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You know this girl’s all about following in her dad’s footsteps. Now I just need to remember to raise her to write good lyrics.

RSS Speed Reading

Start

Finish
It seems I’ve fallen a little behind on my feeds lately.

I plowed through over 600 posts in less than 20 minutes.

For how I did it check out Tim Ferriss‘s video:

How Scoble Reads 622 RSS Feeds Each Morning

Bonus Tip: Click on “news” and click “Mark all as read.” It cuts the amount of actual posts you need to look at by half.

Does anyone actually subscribe to a news feed that’s valuable?

Now I need to go back and read everything I starred…

Fav Movie Clip

Joel dropped me a tag to post my favorite movie clip. I’m done with my video so as promised here it is:

(Warning: If you’re sensitive to language don’t watch it.)

I’m tagging my wife, Lewis and this joker.

Top Posts for August 2007

Most popular posts on Inept as Icing for August 2007

  1. When the Water Park Closes
  2. Baptized
  3. Quit My Job to Pursue God’s Will
  4. A Sincere Thanks
  5. Ragamuffin Blog Growth
  6. Contest Winner: Mandy Thompson
  7. Magic Techinque to Increase Your Vocal Range
  8. Easy Contest: Win a Link to Your Site
  9. God’s Purpose through Passion
  10. Love Song for Sarah

Ragamuffin Blog Growth

When I started my blog I saw it as little more than an online journal. I was using Blogger and then copying the same content to myspace, xanga, and livejournal in order to keep up with friends I already knew. The thought of a stranger commenting on my blog kinda creeped me out. Then one day I learned the true power of blogging and this happened:

Blog Stats

That’s right, in the entire month of May I had only 11 hits on my blog. In August I netted over 3500. That’s still small compared to some guys, but I’m not gonna gripe about a 320% improvement.

So how did this happen?

  • I ditched Blogger for WordPress
  • I stopped making every post, “This is me rambling about my boring life” and started putting up content that was little more helpful and a little more amusing
  • I made friends with other bloggers by commenting on their sites

And what was the catalyst for this change?

Ragamuffin Soul

Yeah, three months ago I Googled “Worship Blog,” and what I found shifted my paradigm. Since then Ragamuffin Soul has been a daily read for me. Los’ unabashed honesty, hip kid meets dorky kid demeanor and non-stop fun attitude makes for an insightful look at faith that challenges convention while it entertains. To top it off the ragamuffin community who interacts there is equally as rowdy. It gave me a vision for what my blog could look like.

Granted, Los and I are different shades of gray so Inept as Icing has a flavor all its own, but some comonalities do exist:

  • Both of us are Fathers with 2 daughters
  • Both of us are Worship Leaders
  • Both of us are named “Carlos” (my middle name)
  • Both of us are bald

I totally did not make that last one up:

Bald

Thanks Los for keeping it real.

Meeting Jon Lloyd from Life. Music. Ministry.

A lot of you guys have posted about how much it rocks to meet bloggers in real life. (Victor, Alex, Los, Anne)

Today I grabbed some coffee with Jon Lloyd and it did indeed rock.

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When I started getting serious about blogging about 3 months ago one of the first blogs I got into was Life. Music. Ministry. Jon was also the first blogger to comment on my site after I transitioned to WordPress. Crazy enough, I found out this guy actually lived in my home town of Evansville, Indiana and we finally got to meet up.

The conversation flowed from all things worship and weblogs to church planting and about how scary it is to really trust God. What struck me was how many similar life experiences we held in common especially being hurt by the church and still having an undying passion to serve God.

Jon even let me play with his iPhone.

Which bloggers would like to meet/have you met?


 

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