Cristan Mihai is a blogging guru who started his blog within a month of when I did in 2012. His posts on “The Art of Blogging” have taught me so much about how to create and continue to improve my JanBeek, Loving One Another website. A constant piece of advice that Cristian repeats at least weekly is: “Punch Those Damn Keys.”
In his “About” introduction to himself on his website, Cristian wrote:
“Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
You can tell by that introduction that he has a wonderful sense of humor. You know he is an English-as-a-second-language blogger. You would never know that by visiting his website. His English is perfect! And his tips, ideas, lessons about how to improve are priceless. He offers his services in a number of ways – and he is sponsored by several companies on his website. He’s a full-time blogger. He tells us that TENACITY is one of the most effective qualities if you want to grow your blog.
What’s ironic about his “The Road to 1,000th Order” blog?
He posted today “The Road to 1,000 …” the same day I received this notification of congratulations from WordPress:
Posting for Readers
I am not selling anything on my blog, so I won’t get 1,000 orders… But I would love to get 1,000 followers! And I am pleased to know I have posted that record 1,000 number of times – pleased because I know my posts and my readers have grown and improved through the years.
I post for my readers… and to my readers. I post to encourage, inspire, educate, and occasionally just to share my love, to share my joy or to entertain.
I post to show you the scenery, people, activities, and animals in whatever corner of the world I am today, knowing it may be very different from your surroundings. I enjoy seeing where you are and what you are doing.
Each day one or two new folks join us. Each day between 70 and 120+ folks from around the world visit JanBeek. Of those an average of 15 to 20 click “like” to let me know they have been there. If I am lucky, 8 or 10 will leave a message (usually it is only 2 or 3 comments, however). Usually I have no idea who more than 75% of my visitors are (except that WordPress tells me where they are from).
Encouraged or Discouraged?
Are those numbers typical? Are they encouraging or discouraging?
They are neither. They just are what they are. The “Discover” site on WordPress has 42,500,197 followers!! What would I do with that? I’d have to hire several private secretaries to keep up!!
It is not the numbers that keep me posting. One thousand posts since 2012… of those, the last 148 have been consecutive. It is not the numbers… it is the contacts, the friendships, the connections with people I have come to love here – or conversations with those I love in other walks of my life, as well. I hope to meet face-to-face someday the new friends like Derrick and Richard who are so kind with their messages of affirmation.
It was 148 days ago when I decided to make blogging a priority after my devotional time each morning.
It was 148 days ago when I committed to taking that part of Cristian Mihai’s advice, that “Get serious about it,” very seriously.
Just “Punch those damn keys!” Say what you mean – and mean what you say. Get passionate! Share what you care about. Be the change you want to see in the world … one word, one post, one action, at a time.
Cristian Mihai – The Art of Blogging
Cristian has 131,548 followers and often offers them perks… like today, “A random person will be selected among those who order until we reach #1000 will receive six months of reblogging, one sponsored post per month for a duration of six months, and a one-on-one Skype chat with me.”
I am one of Cristian’s 1,000. I ordered his on-line book, “The Art of Blogging,” and I subscribed to some one-on-one tutoring from him. He gave me some great advice about formatting, headlines, content, and networking. I recommend you take him up on his offered perk today. Who knows, maybe you will be the 1,000th person! He’s offering a great reward!
This Sunday we attended church at the Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs, CA. As usual, I took notes while listening to the sermon.
The scripture was Matthew 3:13-17
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to dissuade Jesus by saying, I should be baptized by you, and yet you come to me!” But Jesus replied, “Leave it this way for now. We must do this to completely fulfill God’s justice.” So John reluctantly agreed. Immediately after Jesus had been baptized and was coming up out of the water, the sky suddenly opened up and Jesus saw the spirit of God descending as a dove and hovering over him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my Own, my Beloved, on whom favor rests.”
Through my poetic filter, this is what I heard as Reverend Kevin A. Johnson’s message:
The proper completion of a called journey Is the return… the coming back. In our creed, Jesus went down and came back. The Jews and Greeks both were taught that fact.
Today’s scripture tells us that baptism Is personal, and effective for life. Some believe as babies, others think when older, Is the appropriate time to wash away strife.
Baptism is a remarkable, memorable event. It’s a ritual recorded long before Jesus was born. A thousand years earlier, immersion was practiced. The dove hovering was a symbol that glorious morn.
It symbolized the love of God entering in. Baptism is a commitment – a starting point. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the Jordan River, Or if it’s in some crumby back-street joint.
Baptism is a time to promise a mind-set That puts love, compassion, and respect first. It’s a universal embrace of Jesus’ teachings – A chance to promise, and then daily rehearse.
Baptism can occur as a teen or an adult when the person is “of the age of reason” and chooses to publicly agree to live a life of love in God’s grace, with compassion and respect for others, following God’s commandments.
Or – baptism can occur as an infant. In that case, it is the promise of the parents to raise this child in love, teaching the child to obey the commandments … living in grace and obedience.
Do you remember your baptism? I don’t remember mine. My sister and I were baptized when she was about two and I was an infant. There are no pictures, no certificates, no proof… but my sis says she remembers it, and my mom said it happened. So I should believe them.
However, as Rev. Kev said at the beginning of his message, baptism is a part of a journey… and it requires the return, the coming back. Rev. Kev showed us the certificate of his baptism. He can tell you the date, the place, and the time – and he went through confirmation later as a youngster (maybe about age 12) at which time he reaffirmed his parents’ baptismal promises.
Baptism’s Purpose and Proof
I tried to locate my baptismal records. However, the church where my baptism supposedly occurred no longer exists. Decades ago a fire destroyed it and all the records that were in it.
Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It testifies to the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Do I doubt my faith in the risen Savior or question my membership in God’s family? Not for a minute!
Baptism has been a symbolic way of joining the Church from the very start of Christianity. The water used is a symbol of washing away sin and the start of a new life. Do I think perhaps I am not “a Child of God” because I don’t have the paperwork to prove my sin was “washed away”? No!!
But would I like to be able to say I have experienced a “proper completion of a called journey” by finishing the trip, coming back to my baptismal roots? Yes!
Baptism is Once and for All
Sometimes I question if infant baptism is once and for all. I wonder if perhaps I should be baptized as an adult now. Do you think at 80 I should reaffirm the baptismal vows that my mom agreed to when I was an infant?
Today’s sermon reminding us to remember Jesus’ baptism and affirming the importance of baptism has me pondering these questions.
An especially bright spot in the heart of downtown Faribault is the Second Street Garden, a pocket garden with positive messages like this one. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo August 2019.
BY NATURE, I AM a quiet observer. Not introverted. But a watcher, a listener, the person who mostly sits back, especially in a room filled with strong personalities.
But that doesn’t mean I embrace overpowering people, especially those who talk over and at others. That type of self-centered behavior bothers me, bothers being a tempered word choice. Lack of empathy, understanding and compassion hurt personal relationships, communities, countries. I see too many people driven by their goals, their agendas, their misinformed/uninformed assessments of others and of situations. Their “I’m right” and “I don’t care if I’m hurting you” perspectives.
How do you fix that on a personal level? The answer: We usually can’t. I’ve learned that unless someone is willing to engage in civil dialogue, it’s probably a waste of time to even have a discussion. I can only control how I react. And sometimes the best way to react is simply to walk away, to let it go, to extract myself from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.
The Minnesota Nice part of me screams, “That’s not very nice!” But the reality is that we all deserve respect. To be heard and understood and loved. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
My thought on this blog is that Audrey is so right! As a culture, we seem (in the USA) to be losing sight of common courtesy. We seem to be forgetting the power of mutual respect. We seem to be going down a rat hole… and it’s not pretty!
So, Audrey’s blog spoke to me. We DO have a choice. We do not have to travel down that ugly hole. We can walk away “from those who are toxic, who lack empathy and the ability to think beyond themselves.”
I posted “Walk with Me” a couple of days ago. It was a physical walk around our beautiful neighborhood here in Rancho Mirage, CA. Yesterday Bob & I walked around the beautiful polo grounds in the La Quinta/Indio area.
Today, I am walking again… but this time, it is around a desert path in Thousand Palms. I send funny little kisses to you… from Snapchat … with a tooth in the way. Oh my!
Thank you, Audrey, for your thoughtful blog. I am taking it to heart. If there are toxic people out there, intent on spreading hate, I am walking again…
… Not around the neighborhood or the lake or the desert, but walking way from hate and disrespect.
This week Bob & I visited El Paseo Drive in Palm Springs, CA. It was a beautiful day to window shop those exquisite boutiques. But, ooh-la-lah, heaven forbid we go inside!! The prices are out of sight! However, if is is not a lovely shirt or a cute, little apron with a cute saying on it, then it is a convincing salesman with a free gift he is handing out in sweet little bags.
I made the mistake of accepting the bag and then being drawn into his shop where he had a “Miracle Cream.” He invited me to sit down so he could put it around one of my eyes. “Look at how it removes the puffiness and lightens the dark bags,” he said.
Bob followed me in and the slick salesman invited him to come and see how much better that eye looked. “We men don’t care about the aging process,” he told Bob. “But women – they care – and your wife would love this cream. If it can do this much in one very short treatment, imagine what it can do with weekly treatments over a few months!”
The salesman offered to throw in an additional jar of “finishing cream” for FREE …. if we would buy one jar of the miracle cream.
“How much?” Bob asked.
“Only two hundred…” he paused before quietly adding “ninety-nine” at the same time Bob was gasping at 200 and missed the 99. Wow, only $300. for that miracle cream. A bargain! Just think it’ll last a month or more!!
Aging Like Sea Glass
Yes, I have a well-earned patina! Yes, I add a few wrinkles with each passing year. Yes, my skin lacks the freshness of my youth. Yes, I care about AGING. In fact, I embrace it! It’s not true that men don’t care about it. They want to age like sea glass, too.
External vs. Internal Beauty
I want the wrinkles that come with age to be a beauty that expresses my inner peace and radiates my inner joy. This dear photo by Nandhu Kumar depicts a lovely lady whose face sparkles with an inner beauty and a well-earned patina that is envious! Don’t you agree?
This sweet man’s face and his gesture of affection radiates a love so real, so dear, so beautiful that only the waves of time can achieve it. His face reflects his journey – and the changes he has gone through to achieve that beauty. Hers, on the other hand appears to have endured many fewer tumbles through the tide. Maybe she’s his daughter … or maybe she used that “magic cream.” Her face doesn’t reflect the inner glow, however wrinkle-free it may be, does it? She looks a little apprehensive to me.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to outer beauty!! I don’t knock those who get monthly facials or buy expensive creams or have face lifts. (I actually put a pretty costly cream on my face every morning. It’s a Lacome – designed as a sunscreen and wrinkle reducer – hah!)
Look at this lovely “elderly” model. She has a job that requires special care of hair and skin. Gotta look good on camera! A few lines add character, don’t you agree? The only way to avoid those lines is to stop smiling, stop frowning, stop expressing emotion. Even Botox doesn’t take them all away!!
Yes, I’d like to reduce my frown marks (those railroad tracks on my forehead). I was warned when I was in my twenties that this would happen if I didn’t stop frowning. But how do you keep a straight face when you’re teaching a room full of twelve year olds or scolding a 4th grader who just punched a classmate? Why should you keep from smiling when you’re confronted with a class of giggling kindergarteners? How do you avoid the wrinkles on your nose when that’s what your face does a million times a day? My dog, TazE, doesn’t seem to mind!
Ride the Waves and Go With the Flow
I want to age like sea glass. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to be picked up gently and admired by those who appreciate what these 80 years of life have meant to them and to me… what I’ve learned, and what I can pass along. I want to enjoy the journey, and always remember to be grateful for each day the Good Lord gives to me. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow.
You with me?
Ride the waves with me… and share your wisdom, too. How do you feel about aging?
Which of these 15 suggestions are NOT already part of your morning routine? The one that’s lacking for me is exercise! So, if I’m gonna “Walk the Talk” as I promised myself, I guess I better start walking, huh?
It’s another beautiful morning here. I’m outta here.