Blog to-do’s


I’ve got some major long running to-do’s associated with this website. Some of them are probably important only to me, but there’s certain things I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Here’s the list…

  1. Get images installed for every blog post.
  2. Go through my entire web site on a vacation sometime, and update all my categories and keywords. Some articles I put up literally without any keywords, because I was so busy.
  3. Put all of my articles into Live Writer  and out of Thingamablog. I still love Thingamablog, but the lack of updates, the lack of a spellchecker, the lack of ease by which I could simple connect it to WordPress and publish to online and save myself a LOT of time is really annoying. The default WordPress program simply does not work in offline mode – and I frequently write in off-line mode. And Scrivener, which I love, does not format properly for WordPress – and that actually adds time instead of reducing it, and adds work, instead of reducing it.
  4. Go through, find all the quotes I’ve used in the blog, and put them into Zotero to give proper academic citations.
  5. Put all of my blog articles into Hemingway.app, and get them fixed. I want to lower the required grade level of my articles, because quite a few of the older ones have long, complicated run-on sentences.

These aren’t major to-do’s but they’re certainly time consuming. I suppose I need to schedule all of these, so that way I can get them done, because a couple of them are three years old.

I think that’s enough to-do’s to keep me busy for a week or three!

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Things I Miss


quickverse

I was thinking this morning about things I miss.

One thing I miss was I used to have a Hebrew word processor. It let me write in Yiddish and Hebrew. I can’t remember if it was DavkaWriter or Dagesh (I think it was Dagesh, which you can’t even get anymore).
I kept thinking the whole time I had it was that it was a $19.95 program for $109.00, which is common with a lot of Jewish software. The Bavli Talmud CD Rom was the finest $39.95 program for $295.99. No kidding, minimal search capabilities. Minimal tools. Terrible.
But I do miss Dagesh.

I miss my calendars from Chabad, with its weird little indecipherable codes on it! So I’d call my Rabbi up and ask him, “What’s today?” He’d usually answer me fairly impatiently, because a nice person he wasn’t. (that’s normal sentencing structure by the way, if you speak Yiddish).

I sometimes miss speaking Yiddish. Someone saw me yesterday and asked me how I was, and my answer was “Ich bin Ein bissele krenk” without thinking. If you speak German, you’ll kind of understand that. Hint – Bischen and Bissele mean the same thing.
Among Chassids, the answer to “how are you today?” was “Baruch Hashem” (praise God). Which meant I usually had to ask them a second time to find out how they were, and they’d get uncomfortable when I did it! “Gut, gut, shayne dank.”

I miss my little pocket Tehillas Hashem prayer book that I kept in my long black coat pocket. Had the psalms in it, too. My Rabbi gave me that. The prayer book, not the coat.

I kind of miss having the Kitzer Shulchan Aruch. I’d use that and the Chofetz Chayim’s list of commandments you could keep today.

romans623

Fortunately, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and don’t need any of that anymore. I just get nostalgic for memories.

I sometimes miss the days when Bible study meant dragging out a 27 lb. Volume of Strongs’ a King James Bible, and a notebook. And of course, everyone would tell me I needed to get Jay Greene’s Interlinear. But those were $50 and I couldn’t afford one.

I sometimes miss when I got my first modern PC, which was a Compaq Presario, which had the oddest programs on it – some kind of program with Microsoft Works, but it had a feature where you could include things in a binder. To this day, I have no idea what that means.

And I had Quickverse 3 on it. And I got an extra $25 one day, and I trotted out to Eggheads, and I bought a mouse pad or something, and I saw “LOGOS 2.0” there, so I bought it. I know that the Bible programs I have today are much better, but I get nostalgic for that.

I sometimes miss these things. Would I go back to them? No. But sometimes the happiness in life is remembering when times were bone crushingly hard, and you had a little luxury here and there, and being thankful for those things.

That’s when we see the hand of God in our lives, guiding us, taking care of us, driving us.

Baruch Hashem.

Review


I need more than anything, according to blog experts, to add pictures to every blog post.
Um… so what kind of picture do I add to “Answering Messianic Judaism 17”?
Or “Answering Mormonism 5?”

At some point, what works for the blog experts (who actually blog for a living) fails for what I’m doing.

It would be nice to be like other Christian blogs, which manage to write 500 words a day and get 1000 readers a day. I’m a little frustrated that I’m getting 45 (yes, 45!) readers a day, and no more. The odd day when I get 90 readers is always a big surprise for me, and actually is a boost to my morale.

I know I shouldn’t worry about the numbers, but the reality is, I started with zero readers, got a handful right away, and… I’ve stayed at around 45 a day. For a while there I was at 60 readers a day, and that’s a huge amount.
Many of you have three times the number of readers I have.

For those of you who are curious what my most commonly read blog posts are, they are:

With the exception of the Word Faith, these are all what blog experts call “Evergreen”. Any time you do a shootout of the 10 best of anything, it generates blog traffic. To be honest, when I wrote the rundowns of the Bible software, I really was just trying to share what I’d learned having used Bible software for over 20 years.

The good thing is, it generates 50% of my daily hits.
The sad part is… only 20 people a day are really reading my current posts.

Why did I Remove Comments From My Blog?


I’ve been reading another blog where the blog author removed – for much different reasons than I did – comments from his blog. Recently, he put up another post explaining why he put them back!

I don’t know if I’ll ever put them back. To do that would require moving Narrow is the Way to it’s own domain name and service.

To do that would unsubscribe every last one of you. Now, I’ve got almost 300 people subscribed. I don’t know how many of them are getting my posts in email, and how many are simply going to their reader to read.
But.

I don’t know, I’m just not willing to risk unsubscribing everyone just to allow comments!

The system I’d looked into to replace the WordPress comment system is the Disqus system. It gives you a reputation when you sign up. You start at Zero, and not only the blog owner, but the other readers can actually go in and add ratings to your reputation.

Trolls apparently don’t last long on Disqus, because if one comes in here, tries to start trouble, 30 of you rate him a minus – he loses the ability to comment on ANY website with Disqus.
Hm!

But let’s get to my reason why I removed comments. The answers are pretty simple. And – no, I’m not using the super blog posting formulas that I’ve learned are what brings readers (which would get my message out there, and possibly turn Christianity around into being followers of Christ!).

Here’s the simple reasons.

I was spending far more time answering comments than writing.

Yup. That’s the primary reason. Notice by looking at the calendar on my past posts, that when I addressed a topic, people would start arguing with me. I’d answer. They’d answer back. And suddenly, I’m missing days of writing. I think I averaged 22-24 posts on any given topic series because I’d start going through comment debates, and didn’t have enough time to write. I’m not blogging for a living. I know there’s people out there who earn $5 million a year blogging (no kidding). I earn nothing. I’ve never asked for donations or support. Indeed, I joke around from time to time and ask for support – in the form of READING my blog! So, I work a day job, eat dinner with my wife, work on other things. I usually only have two mornings a week I work on this blog. And if I end up having to work on a weekend, I miss that weekend for writing.

Absolutely nobody paid attention to my comment policy.

Let’s face it – Comment policies are essentially rules to ban someone from commenting on your blog. It’s like HR policies – they exist not to keep things professional, but give someone an excuse to fire you.
Nobody paid attention to the comment policies. It’s stated pretty clearly that I don’t do comment debates. And if you go back almost to the beginning, you’ll see that the VAST majority of comments I have are literally “you’re a heretic blah blah blah.”

I was getting discouraged, and thinking of shutting down my blog.
If you go back all the way to the beginning, and read my comments, you’ll see that almost nobody ever said,”Good blog post!” “Wow, that blessed me!” “Keep up the good fight!” I think I’ve had two positive comments, and 6,000 bad ones.

The last go round before I shut down comments affected me so badly, you pretty much can tell something’s different about Philip.At one point, I actually was so despondent over it, I asked a couple of other people who have blogs to help. Their answer was kind of a curt, “you’re on your own.”
So I pulled back a little bit. This blog still is a labor of love to the Lord. But it’s really hard to keep persevering sometimes.

Many other Bible teachers do not allow comments.

I went around, looking at people like john MacArthur, David Cloud, R. C. Sproul, Josh McDowell, and several others. I found that those who are Bible teachers either do not allow comments, or else they have someone who works for them full time moderating comments.

I don’t have any income coming in from the ministry, and I don’t believe in asking people to volunteer, so I can’t hire someone to do it. So the final decision was to shut down comments.

Was it the right decision? I don’t know. I feel sometimes like I’m preaching to an empty church. But I do know that my time to blog is better now. As I mentioned right now, I’m so busy that I don’t have enough time to write at the moment. I can’t imagine how much of my time would be wasted in theological debates.

So for now the comments remain closed.

Have a comment? Sorry – other people ruined it for you…

Hemingway


Okay, I just ran one of my old blog posts through “Hemingway” and I swear I just crashed their website.

It rates that post as requiring a 7th grade Education to read it. It has 2300 words, and takes 9 1/2 minutes to read.

It had 21 adverbs, and that’s 5 too many.

Ugly. It showed me entire sentences were hard to understand.

If I’m going to fix those posts… it’s going to be ugly trying to do it.

Still Have Some Blog Posts Planned


I know I said I’ll go back to the old format, but I went through some work creating “seller” headlines to try to drive some traffic to the blog! So, I’m going to try to use those up through October, and maybe some in November. Should have all of those used up by then.

Unless it starts to work! Then I’ll alternate old series and new.

I have had some good feedback in my dedication to a certain word count. Before I kept writing in a post until I got tired, and often I had so much in one post that A). I was the only person who read it and B). I could have written a week’s worth of posts just with the info I put in the one post!

Comments. The problem with the comments was that the Enemy pretty much figured out he could discourage me and keep me busy fighting trolls all the time. I know I had a comment or two about how people missed comments. Unless I moved to Disqus commenting, where everyone gets reputation rated (and Trolls sooner or later end up unable to comment ANYWHERE on the net!), I probably won’t bring it back.
I seriously would need to pass comment approval to someone else
Most people completely ignore comment policies, such as the 75 people or so who completely ignored my policy about comment debates being forbidden – and attempted to engage in comment debates.
Most comments would have to still be answered by me, and again, the comment debate thing took FAR MORE of my time than I had available – time I needed to dedicate to writing blog posts. This is why there’s no real topic I was able to get 30 posts on, which was my goal for every month when I was taking on false religions and cults!

Without moving my blog to a dedicated hosting company, there’s no way I can install Disqus here.

Coming up soon… a VERY in depth series on how to start a Christian apologetics blog!

Introduction to Christian Prepping and Survivalism


No, this does not mean you need to grow a beard!
When most Christians picture a prepper in their minds, they’re usually seeing a man with a beard, flannel shirt, a man bun, and endlessly worried about how many knives they own.
I’m going to say that I’ve been caught in a hurricane many times, and one time we lost power for several days. All our food was lost, and as usually happens when the power goes out during s hurricane, our AC unit broke – right when the temperatures were going to soar over the next few days (that also follows hurricanes).
That’s a bad day. I’ve become a prepper because I HAD to. I’ve lost power in at least half a dozen hurricanes.
Having floodwaters rise into your house is something I’ve also experienced. Fortunately, it only rose up a little, and then retreated. But that same neighborhood suffered catastrophic flooding just last year, and many people lost everything.

Let me name some cities that have learned about prepping the hard way.

Puerto Rico.
Houston.
Florida.
Alabama and New Orleans.

When disasters strike, it usually (doesn’t this sound like an insurance commercial???) leaves you on your own for 72 hours. America needs to wake up and learn to prep.
Especially since liberal America seems determined to side with Israel’s enemies every chance they get, and every time America betrays Israel, we suffer catastrophes. You don’t have to beat someone over the head too many times for them to figure out that’s not good.
Three times on this blog I’ve posted “How to survive a hurricane” when massive storms were heading to the US. Hopefully people learned, and got ready.
When do you prepare? Today. Don’t wait until the storm is heading your way to pull out a Discover card and head to Walmart’s. The shelves are already bare. No kidding, I had my eye on a tent that was on sale at Walmart. As the storm got closer to the US, suddenly the price of the tent ($35) was suddenly much higher ($99).

So, let’s stop debating why and when, and get STARTED.

Prepping means you need to keep on hand enough food, water, and survival tools and items to SURVIVE a disaster. Ask the people in New Jersey how well they did when a storm hit and FEMA didn’t get there for 72 hours (by the way, that’s common. FEMA cannot get to your location for many reasons – not the last of which is flooding and downed trees. Why they’re not heading to locations imperiled by storms – I don’t know).

You need to prepare, and prepare now. Does this mean you should pull out a credit card and buy $2,000 worth of stuff? Only if your life is in immediate peril.
Rule of 3’s…

Tomorrow we’ll get started in first steps