Links for This Inauguration Day


Seeing as the incoming president pretty much trademarked the use of the word We, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and fire up the ol’ linkage and share the blog love, adding a few personal remarks here and there.



Proving once and for all that they are more right than God, World Net Day jumps the shark with a post by their founder that illustrates Christianity at its ugliest. And I say that as an archconservative, born-again Christian. Obviously, in WND’s view, God’s grip on his sovereignty must be slipping, as it seems He’s a little befuddled about this government thing. His word on the issue is a bit too lax as well, ITHO. (Note: The “100 percent at odds” statement is especially braindead. If you need a reason why the prevailing conservatism crashed and burned, this kind of kneejerk thinking is behind it.)


Sticking with the government theme, “Mish” Shedlock of Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, the best financial analysis site on the Web, states what should be the obvious in this post. His calls are not only completely correct, they will, sadly, be largely ignored unless taxpayers demand that the powers that be shape up or ship out. My commentary: The difference between great men and cowards is that great men understand they must be the ones who sacrifice first. Cowards make everyone else sacrifice before they do. I’ll leave you to guess what kind of men we have today.


To add to the above, I have read in a couple different sources that my state, Ohio, has 37-39 percent of its citizens working for a local, city, county, state, or federal government agency. That’s insane.


If you need anymore proof that believers are fiddling while Rome burns, witness this piece of fluff. It’s this kind of crapola that occupies the minds of Christians rather than the tough issues of life. No wonder we’ve become irrelevant in the U.S. to most people.


Too little, too late?


Is it me, or are more and more “About” sections of Christian blogs noting how much the blog authors love to shop, watch TV, play video games, and go to movies? Call me shrill, but those seem like the wrong priorities in this difficult hour.


Tales of my demise are greatly exagerrated.


An odd thing started happening with this blog recently. In Google,  keyword searches  are landing people on the variable  front page rather than on the specific post page that holds the correct keywords. In the past, the front page was indexed but was not the main source for specific keyword searches. If any of you WordPress/SEO gurus out there can tell me how to restore the proper functionality, let me know. I have no idea what changed.


David Wayne of Jollyblogger is facing a difficult struggle against metastisized colon cancer. Would you take a few minutes of your time today to lift him up in prayer? Pray for healing. Come before God in expectancy.


And while you’re praying, pray that our new president will govern rightly. Unlike some, I believe that we Christians are called to support our leaders, even when we disagree with some of their policies. That kind of humility is something that God honors all the time.

The Cost of Blogging


Last week, I received an e-mail from a reader that told a discouraging tale. The reader explained that the story might one day become a blog post. The reasoning? It might prove a cautionary tale to help others avoid a similar situation.

I cautioned against sharing it.

I caution a lot of bloggers anymore. Too many of us have an idealized view of how the world works. In addition, none of us is prescient enough to understand what the world will become. We believe an innocent activity will always stay innocent. People can be trusted with your confession and mine.

I’ve been blogging since 2001. I had a blog before Cerulean Sanctum that dealt with the tendency in our society toward lowest common denominator thinking and action. I still write in Cerulean Sanctum about that fatal flaw, but not quite as much. Bigger fish to fry, as they say.

As I enter my seventh year of blogging, I’ve accumulated some painful lessons.

Blogging is an essentially naked enterprise. You can’t blog for any length of time and not post personal information. Even on a site like Engadget or Lifehacker, blogs that look at what’s happening in the world of electronic gizmos or discuss ways to make your day-to-day living more efficient in a hectic world, the blog owners reveal personal details bit by bit. In many ways, your blog is you.

Godblogs go one step further in that the very nature of talking about faith exposes the talker on an intimate level. We’ve all heard the aphorism that polite company resists talk of religion and politics. Blogging, on the other hand, delights in discussing the raw truths and lies that occupy the core of what we are as a society and as individuals.

And there is much danger in this. Danger that we ignore at our peril.

1. Google has a long, vast memory – I can find material on Google that I posted to Usenet newsgroups 20 years ago. Little did I know that someone would one day collect all that data and store it forever. Google bought up the archives of Remarq and DejaNews and now you can find what I said on circa 1987.

When I typed that Usenet comment, did I ever dream that someone in Singapore 2007 would use a “Web browser” to access a “search engine” to reference something I said around the time that “Walk Like an Egyptian” was the #1 song in America?

Truth is, I should have known better.

Today, Google (and whatever search engine will replace it one day—hey, Alta Vista, anyone?) is cataloging what you blog almost as fast as you blog it. All your personal revelations are being stored on a massive conglomeration of RAID-arrayed hard drives for access by anyone who wants to know about you now and in the future.

Just the other day, a client asked me to interview a businessman. I sent a brief note asking the businessman what time he might be available. I later called him. In the course of conversation, he asked me about my organic farm. I was stunned. How did he know I had an organic farm? Simple—he’d googled my name and read what I’d written online.

While that should be obvious, it’s still startling when it occurs. What’s more startling is that people are beginning to default to that behavior. Singles google prospective dates. And businesses google prospective employees.

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article that described in great detail how employers are bypassing the old-fashioned Oh well, scratch Microsoft off my future empoyer list...means of getting info on an employee and going right to Google. So if you’d like to work for Microsoft, but a youthful indiscretion a small eternity ago led you to post on your Web site a pic of Bill Gates as a Borg clone (possibly with added devil horns to ensure your mixed-metaphorical point), it doesn’t matter how much you fawn over Microsoft products today. You may need to stick a fork in yourself.

Even personal Web sites or blogs you had years ago that are now offline or deleted are stored in sites like the Wayback Machine at You press that Submit or Publish button and your little comment is now one for the ages.

As Christians, we need to be highly concerned about where this is leading. Non-sectarian employers, by law, cannot ask us about our religious or other closely held beliefs. But no one can stop them from googling us and finding our less-than-positive article blog post about Zoroastrianism or homosexuality or even Fiat automobiles. When your potential boss, a closeted Zoroastrian who loves Italian cars with a passion (even the crummy ones), googles your name and finds your opinion on your blog, what chance do you have of working for that guy? Zippo. And the worst part of it is he doesn’t have to prod you for that info or give his real reason for not hiring you. It all stays very hush-hush.

If you’re a blogger, you must consider these things. We may think there is no cost, but one exists. The Church in the West has not accounted for this phenomenon, but it will need to. As anti-Christian sentiment continues to rise around the world, we must be prepared to help those who pay a price for speaking the truth. I can tell you right now that there are people reading this blog who have been discriminated against by search engine. Expect it to get worse.

2. Stalking – Stories are starting to come out about bloggers being threatened with violence because of something they wrote. Some bloggers have even acquired stalkers. That may sound far-fetched, but I’ve spoken with a few bloggers who told me stories I didn’t want to believe.

We live in a sin-sick world. People exist who derive strange feelings from their interactions with others online, and bloggers are not immune to their dysfunctions. It’s no longer just celebrities who attract deranged people.

We need to run a constant filter on the content we put out in public. While it may be true that we can’t account for every trigger for every off person out there, we must be wiser on this issue. Even now, I’m reconsidering some of the content I’ve placed online.

3. Blogging can be an addiction – While there are fewer personal journal blogs percentage-wise than a few years ago, they still exist. And even if a blogger doesn’t use his or her blog as an online diary, it can still take on a life of its own.

Some bloggers can’t walk away. The thought that their hit counters start going down if they don’t post for a few days leads to despair. Some live out their entire lives online and the thought of anything happening to what they’ve built up becomes a crushing load that keeps them writing and writing and writing. And that writing often comes to the detriment of their spiritual lives and the lives of other family members.

Here’s a hard blogging truth: readers are fickle. As much as I love my readers and have some of the best readers in the blogosphere, reality is reality. I had to reference a post from a few years back and only one commenter out of about thirty on that post still comments. C’est la vie! If you’re constantly living in fear that you can’t hold folks, then get out today. You have to have another reason for blogging than numbers and their faithfulness to you.


I could say a lot more on this topic. I haven’t touched on the social network sites and how they are being used in nefarious ways, too. Life online is more dangerous than we think. More and more people are going to scratch their heads and wonder why they didn’t get a job they were perfect for or why supposed friends stopped calling. Information is power and the Web is pure information. Those who know how to tap its resources hold considerable sway over us.

I may be giving away my age (and it might be used against me <grin>), but I remember a line from a famous TV show that applies to this issue: Hey people, let’s be careful out there.

Also see:

Phileo Prayer for Godbloggers


Prayer power!Having burned out my brain on the epic post from yesterday, my thoughts turned to simpler things today.

The Godblogosphere seethes with unhealthy anger. I suspect I foment more than my share of it here and in some of the comments I leave elsewhere. I aim to be as level-headed as I can be, but sometimes the passions run amok.

Still, unchecked fury doesn’t get any of us closer to the image of Christ.

So I was thinking, what if we consider a better response the next time we want to drop explosive missives just to teach some minor heretic bloggers a point or two about a divisive issue (that hasn’t been resolved in 2,000 of Church history by holier people than us). Instead of leaving a steaming, radioactive crater in their comment sections, we could e-mail them and request three specific needs in their lives we could pray for.

I suspect that if we all did this for four months, not only would the Godblogosphere be a much healthier place, our own souls might grow as well. Who knows what precious truth might come out of the experience?