Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Readings

For quite some time I've wanted to put together a Bible reading list to help me personally prepare for Christmas.  I'm posting it here in case anyone wants to follow it as well.

My plan is to read it so that the classic Christmas story falls around Christmas day, but then continue to read more about Jesus the following days.  (Because the story of Jesus didn't end at Christmas!)  At about a chapter a day rate, this reading list is 18 days long.  Note: This isn't an Advent reading as it doesn't follow the advent calendar.  Maybe I'll try to make one of those next year.

Pheaney's Christmas Reading List.
  • December 14: Genesis 2
  • December 15: Genesis 3
  • December 16: Genesis 22
  • December 17: Deuteronomy 18
  • December 18: II Samuel 7
  • December 19: Psalm 16
  • December 20: Isaiah 7
  • December 21: Isaiah 53
  • December 22: Micah 5
  • December 23: Luke 1
  • December 24: Matthew 1
  • December 25: Luke 2
  • December 26: Matthew 2
  • December 27: Luke 9
  • December 28: Luke 23
  • December 29: Luke 24
  • December 30: Acts 2
  • December 31: Acts 3

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

What are you doing reading this?

You should be chowing down on Turkey and watching football.

Blessings to you and yours...

...and seriously, quit surfing the internet and checking your e-mail, you have real people around you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Shout Out to Common Cents

I wanted to give a quick word of praise to the program I use for my family finances and budgeting:

 Last year at this time I spent (literally) over 3 months scouring the internet for something I could use.  I'm not sure I have high standards as much as I'm pretty picky.  Here's why I like CommonCents:
  • I don't have a to pay a monthly fee.  There's a one-time cost involved, but then I'm done.  (The $35 is about the cheapest I found for something quality.  Any "free" budgeting software was severely lacking.)
  • It's on my home computer.  I know in our smart-phone age it's "better" to have constant access to everything, but being a little old-school, I like that I can keep the software on my home computer and track everything from there.
  • Envelope budgeting.  It's the bomb.  CommonCents allows nearly unlimited flexibility and number of envelopes.  No other software I researched came close in this area.
  • It looks like a checkbook ledger.  Not as pretty, but it makes sense to me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Picture This

"My intent is for the reader's imagination, and not merely his or her intellect, to be awakened and nourished..." - Skye Jethani, The Divine Commodity, pg 13 
"If you want to build a ship, don't summon people to buy wood, prepare tools, distribute jobs, and organize the work, rather teach people the yearning for the wide, boundless ocean." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If you're a public speaker, paid writer or professional communicator you probably already knew this, but for the rest of us, what if we thought about communicating a little differently?

What if the goal of any communication was to give people a picture?  What if they saw a picture in their minds more than the words on the screen?  What if they caught a vision for the grandiose more than heard our spoken words in their heads?

They need to see it, not merely hear or read about it.  (And the IT doesn't matter here, this applies with whatever you're communicating.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

How I'm Still Using Google Reader to Share What I've Read Online

My apologies for the technical nature of this post.

I consistently use Google Reader to keep track of the blogs and websites that I follow.  One of the best parts of Reader was the ability to Share the good stuff I found online.  Not only was I able to share it with others, but I also used the "Shared Items" to track what I found interesting and helpful so I could come back to them at a later date.  Well Google decided to switch some features, so I had to come up with a new system to 'share' my items.  I'm posting it here in case you were in the same boat.

Here's what I did:
1. I created a new blog with Blogger and creatively titled it "Stuff Pheaney Found Online".
2. In Reader Settings, I enabled the ability to "Send to: Blogger"
3. Now, if I have something in Reader that I want to share with others or keep track of myself I click on 'Send to:' and Choose Blogger from the list that pops up.

It's as simple as that.  The things I find online are set to automatically import to Facebook.  Or you can also use the RSS feed to check out the things I'm finding online. (Or your last option is wait until I re-post one as a "Best Of Online Reading".)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BOOR November 2010: Killing Time

Alternatively, we can use the time entrusted to us. We can count down the 1,440 minutes in each day and put them to good use. Which will it be? 
Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective: what one thing will you get done today? If nothing else happens, how will you help others while pursuing your own dreams? (These goals are not mutually exclusive.) 
When you find yourself with time to spare, don’t kill it. Respect it.
You can read the original and entire post here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Building a following

I'm really not qualified to offer this advice, as my blog following is pretty small* by most standards, but here's what I've learned about building a following through my first year of blogging.
  1. Create content.  Even when you don't feel like it.  (And this doesn't just mean writing.  Create whatever type of content you are most inclined to.)
  2. Publish your content.  This is easier than ever in our digital age.  Blogs, podcasts, photo-blogs.  You name it, you can probably find a free web service to publish it.
  3. Create and publish your content with some sort of regularity.  I choose two blog posts a week.  If you're painting the Mona Lisa, you might want to do an update a month.  But decide on something regular and stick with it.
  4. Link it to a social network or two.  I use Facebook.  My friends use Facebook.  I make sure my content makes it to Facebook.
  5. Give people options for following.  Currently you can follow this terrific blog with RSS, via e-mail, on Facebook via my profile, or by stopping by every so often.
  6. Be in on the conversation.  If someone comments on something you created, dialogue it with them.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 3.  

* Not that you the readers are small.  You rule!  Thanks for all of you who read and dialogue this stuff with me.