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'I'm Sorry' photo (c) 2011, Maroon Surreal - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I once tried to write a post for TV Asylum, that safe place for the television-obsessed. Because I don’t, you know, actually watch a lot of TV, the piece felt very tentative to me. So I turned to one of the site’s proprietors, Knox McCoy, looking for affirmation.

Because that’s what all secure writers do, right? And received the hiss of static in reply. Instead of just, you know, concluding he was busy (which he is), I assumed he was ignoring me (which he wasn’t).

So, yes, you know where this is going: when we make assumptions, not having all the facts, we make faulty ASSessments of ourselves. And others. Or something.

In my insecurity, I pestered poor Knox via email, and iMessage. Because, for some reason, I wanted so desperately to be liked, rather than respected.

And I got neither in return. In fact, I surmise that Mr. McCoy doesn’t think of me much at all.

All because I listened to the voice of fear, let it feed my insecurity, and let that fester and grow into douchebaggery.

All that to say: I’m sorry, Knox McCoy. I hope you can forgive me. Perhaps we can work together someday.

Those of you who write/blog/etc, have you ever done the same?

PS In the end, I decided that writing about T.V. shows is not my forte, and turned my piece over to another blogger who has something to say (on the subject). I may never see my byline at TV Asylum, and that’s okay.

As I’m vacationing with my family this week, I decided last minute to take a break from posting this week. And because I’m a dumby who doesn’t plan ahead, I put out a last minute desperate plea call for guest posts. Along with Michelle Woodman, the always hilarious Kevin Haggerty rose to the challenge as well.

If you follow me on @randomlychad, you know that I put out a humorous challenge asking our blogging friends to the North to tell us all why Canada is better. Michelle’s post dropped on Monday. The following is Kevin’s rebuttal.

    Why America Is Awesomer than Canada

Your knee-jerk reaction is going to be to try and correct the grammar in my headline. But let me stop you right there.

Fact: Every time someone tries to stop a blogger from using the word ‘awesomer,’ the terrorists win.

Earlier in the week, Chad challenged the good people of the Internet to state why Canada was better than America.

This, of course, was a facetious spoof of a request, yet Michelle Woodman was unable to see the trapdoor under the thatch covering.

God bless her. She did her best. But I believe her strongest point had something to do with Captain Kirk and alien blood.

That just isn’t going to get it done.

So, now that we’re done humoring Michelle, let’s get back to reality. America is clearly a superior country to Canada, and really to any country that is not named ‘Narnia.’

That’s just the way the cookie crumbles. (Sidenote: Do they call them cookies in Canada? Do you guys even know what I’m talking about right now? Should I call them scones? Maybe crackers?)

Michelle used a list. I guess that’s the format this debate is taking, so I’ll use one too.

Without further ado, here are the reasons why the United States of America is undoubtedly better than Canada:

Lack of Celebs

For giggles, I just visited Wikipedia (which everyone knows is the true source of everything factual in the world) and found its page titled “List of Canadians.” Essentially, the page is supposed to list all noteworthy Canadians, ever.

Now, I was admittedly scanning the page, much in the same way that I listen to the opinions of people who are fans of the Twilight films. With that said, I scrolled almost the entire page before I saw names I cared about (or should I say, ‘aboot?’).

What were the names, you ask? They were Terrance and Phillip from the TV series Southpark.

If you’re unfamiliar with their respective greatness, here’s everything you need to know in ten seconds:

In summary, the most famous celebs in Canada are two cartoons characters who purposely fart on each other.

Nice.

It’s Always Cold!

It couldn’t have been more than two weeks ago that my dear Canadian buddy, Leanne Shirtliffe, was posting pictures of her snowy back yard.

At the time, it was almost 90 degrees here in “The States.”

Don’t even come at me with the standard “But the summers are so beautiful!” defense. Two to three months of splendor doesn’t make up for the rest of the year, when you’re having to dig your car out, just to go to the grocery store.

If I ever want to freeze my boogers solid, I’ll book the first flight to Quebec.

The French

One of Michelle’s arguments for Canada being superior to America is its bilingual status.

Great. Really something to be proud of. Half of your country is confusing. And have you ever heard someone speak French? It sounds like they’re gagging or about to hock a loogee.

And what kind of people group proudly eats snails and fish eggs?? Could you just not get your hands on any squirrel feces?

The worst part of French peoples’ Frenchness is that they carry about them a completely unearned air of superiority.

Seriously. Why the snobbery? You’re largely known for retreating in battle and avoiding bar soap.

Cut it out.

If you’re still wanting for evidence that America kicks the butt of all that is French, I’d like to present you with ‘Exhibit A:’

Closing Argument

Not that I really need to shore up my case any futher, but I’ll wrap things up with this.

I want you to watch the following video. Don’t take breaks. Don’t fast forward. Watch the whole thing:

Case closed.

In all seriousness, I hope you Canucks are able to take this with a grain of salt. We like you. We really do. Thanks for peanut butter, the prosthetic hand, and for inventing the man who invented basketball.

You guys rule, eh?

Kevin blogs at the awesome The Isle of Man, and you can follow him on Twitter @kevinrhaggerty. On a personal note, He’s been a great online friend to me, and this blog. As such, I would like to entreat your prayers for Kevin and his wife, Kim, as they are launching into both parenthood, and an unknown future. Kevin was recently laid off from his teaching job, and is following his dream of being a writer. Thanks so much.

Note: This is a guest post by Jim Woods. He is a writer, musician and dreamer in Nashville, TN. His passion lies in helping others fulfill their dreams. You can read more of his posts on his personal blog, or follow him on Twitter @unknownjim.

Transparency: The Only Cure-All for Holier Than Thou-itis

I recently read Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz. As a result of the book, I began questioning my experience with corporate Christianity. I didn’t really know why, but I had feelings of pain inside.

It wasn’t until I visited my home church again that I discovered why I been feeling this way. In his sermon the pastor said,” Sin is unbecoming of a child of God. Whoever sins practices lawlessness and therefore he who sins tramples on Jesus.” The pastor repeated this statement several times, and at no point mentioned how this applied to himself.

This statement, combined with the tone in which it was delivered, came across as both arrogant and condescending. I firmly believe we are ALL sinners in desperate need of God’s grace, pastors included.

At some point, I started to think only pastors were capable of having a close connection with God. I had screwed up, and missed my chance for a close, authentic relationship with Him. In my mind, pastors have extensive knowledge of the Bible, pray for hours every day, and go to seminary. So of course they have a stronger bond with God.

I know this logic is flawed, but when you’ve been inundated with a tone of condescension, it becomes accepted. Even in a Bible-preaching Baptist church.

The truth is the person giving the sermon is in no way more “holy” or “worthy” than the rest of us. The pastor does not have a VIP Pass granting immediate access while everyone else waits for their number to be called. We all have our own VIP Pass, no one is a second class citizen!

God loves me despite what I’ve done. He doesn’t grade me based on how many hours I’ve prayed or how much I have read my Bible. There is NOT a spiritual contest. God’s love is equal for ALL OF US.

How can we promote healing in relationships within the church?

Speak up. If someone offends you, let them know. But do so in a loving, patient, kind manner. This is probably not the best thing to email about. Make it a phone call or even meet face-to-face.

Talk about real life. Not a conceptual, theological discussions filled with hard to understand terminology and ancient jargon.

Break down barriers. Do what Jesus did. Follow His example.

Tone is important. Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself with humility. The more humble and honest the we are, the better.

Take individual responsibility. Do not shift the blame solely to someone else. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Thank-you, Jim, for sharing with us today!

How about you? How have you confronted difficult areas like this in your life?

Since writing The First Time I Saw A Black Person a few weeks ago, and subsequently being privileged to host Ben Emerson, I’m hooked.

I’m hooked on the notion of my blog being more than just a place to share my ideas (merely a place drop an Internet infodump if you will). I’m hooked on the idea that it’s a community, and because it is, it can be a great force for good in the world.

What do I mean? Benand I have shared our stories–will you consider sharing yours with the RandomlyChad community?

Have you either been marginalized, or the “marginalizer,” in the evangelical community? Please write a guest post. I would love to share your story here in a series I’m calling “God of the Gaps.”

I, and the community here, look forward to hearing from you.

Thank-you!

Submissions can be sent to: Chad Jones

Note: you may ask yourself why is an introverted, middle-aged, white, evangelical man doing this? Fair question. The only answer that makes sense to me is: because I’m crazy enough to think that together we can make a difference. That we can make the church, and thus the world, a better place. That’s it. That’s my bottom line. Now let’s do some good together!

It’s Not My Blog

randomlychad  —  January 3, 2012 — 12 Comments

Recently, I took time off from blogging. Life had gotten loud, and I’d lost my way. I forgot one of the cardinal rules of blogging: it’s not about me. It’s about you–the readers.

What do I mean?

Here are three things I learned during my time away:

1) “It’s not my blog.” Sure, my name is on it, and I produce the content, but if it’s going to have any appreciable readership it can’t be all about me. You have to see yourself in the mirror I’m holding up to you.

2) “No dirty laundry” I learned the hard way that a blog is not the place to air one’s dirty laundry. Yes, it can be a place to get personal–to be real–but not at the expense of common sense and discretion. There are some things that need to be kept sacred. A blog, as tempting as it might be, is not a place for self-therapy (that is what a journal is for). A little self-deprecation goes a long way, but mockery never wins the day.

3) “Be yourself” What this means is: your writing gains resonance via “relatability.” And we can only be relatable when we’re being ourselves. In other words, don’t pander–don’t try to be someone other than you. You couldn’t if you tried–so stop. Besides your audience is quite adept at sniffing out phonies–they know when you’re “selling out.” They know the difference between trying to be viral, versus writing that’s vital.

This is what I’ve learned during my break, and indeed it’s what I plan on applying as I return to posting regularly here.

How about you? What rules do you write by?