Prayer request(s)

Buried as comment #381 in a recent post is an urgent prayer request from long-time reader and commenter Frank Sonnek (a.k.a., “fws”; a.k.a., “the gay confessional Lutheran”).  I don’t know what it’s all about, and we don’t need to know.  But, as a virtual community at this blog, let’s pray for Frank.  And perhaps some of you have other needs, crises, and other kinds of prayer requests. Let’s pray for those too. [Read more...]

Who won the Superbowl?

The Baltimore Ravens, of course, holding off a jaw-dropping comeback by the 49ers in an extremely thrilling game.  The title of this post refers to who won the Superbowl contest sponsored by this blog by predicting the outcome.  The final score was Ravens 34; 49ers 31.   So the Ravens won by 3.   Therefore our virtual Lombardi trophy goes to JOHN, who guessed Ravens 24-21.  A margin of 3 points.

Now I myself was unable to see the game, being on the road for a speaking engagement.  It seems like I am ALWAYS on the road for a speaking engagement during on Superbowl Sunday, flying back late at night and checking the TV sets in the airports to see how the game is going.   This is probably the third time this happened to me in the last four years.  So I missed what sounds like a really good game.

So if you want to discuss the game–or the commercials, or the blackout, or the national anthem, or the halftime show  (notice how all of these other things have become part of the ritual Superbowl reflections)–comment here.

More blog updates

We now have comment numbering!  We no longer have comment nesting!  As I already reported, we now have e-mail comment notification!  We now have text boxes of flexible size!

Most of our dreams have come true in regards to this blog and its move to Patheos.  First, thanks to you readers for your suggestions.  Second, thanks to the Patheos tech people for being so co-operative and obliging for our requests.  (This involved multiple changes back and forth and no end of patience on their part.  I would say “how about changing this?” and they did.  Then later I’d say “change it back.”  Then I said, “let’s try this.”  That went on over and over again, hour by hour.  So I really appreciate that, especially when they quite reasonably could say, “this is our template, take it or leave it.”

I think the only other major request that a lot of you asked for was to have full-text RSS feeds.  [Read more...]

Blog developments update

We now have e-mail subscriptions to both posts and follow-up comments!   That’s one of your requests that we were able to make happen.  We’re still trying to figure out comment numbering.  But we’re making progress.

I’ve also got the hang of the new format, with the first part of the post appearing on the home page and then your having to click “read more” to read the rest of it.  What we worked out is that instead of just having six lines of  text in a box of six lines before an automatic jump,  I can now be flexible in how  much of the post  shows up on the home page, inserting  my own jumps.   I’m still breaking most of my posts into two parts, in accord with the Patheos template, but the beauty of the format is that I can put more material into my  posts, adding pictures and other discussion with great abandon, without having a post take over the entire page.  So it’s a change, but I think a good change.

Also, Patheos got rid of that “esoteric” ad that kept popping up to the annoyance of us all.

There looks to be some more tweaks that will be possible, including putting some of the old icons back into  the sidebar.

I appreciate too that the regular readers seem to have come on over to the new site, and we’re getting new viewers! So thanks for that.


Tweaking the blog

Thanks, everybody, for your kind words and what I think is a pretty successful launch in the Patheos big city (as someone called it).

The comments on the “introductions” post offered some suggestions, and I want to follow up on that. First, what is your opinion of posts that only show the first six lines on the main page and then you have to click “read more” to get the rest of them?

That’s the basic format Patheos uses and, I was told, for good reason. I guess when there are lots of posts on the front page, webcrawlers can get to them easier, visitors can browse earlier posts they haven’t seen yet, it looks better with the web design, and I don’t know what all.

I felt my posts were more long form, so I asked Patheos if they could make the text box bigger. They put a larger character limit, but that hid the formatting (paragraphs, block quotes) for some reason. Where it stands now is that we have formatting, long posts, and I said I’d put in my own page breaks.

But I don’t know. . . .Maybe there is nothing wrong with the six line teasers, though maybe I should change my writing so that I start off with a journalistic “lede” (journalese for “lead”), a snappy summary that makes you want to read on. You readers are the main consideration. Do you mind getting only six lines before you have to click “read more”? Or is that some of the only exercise you get and so you are all for it? (Let’s see if you mind this jump: [Read more...]

A Cranacher could use some help

Michael Westfall is a longtime reader and commenter here.  His daughter Lidija is very sick and requires some special treatments.  She is a project for Give Forward.  The goal is to raise $5,000 by January 31st, and they are 73% of the way there.  Please give if you can at the link below.  From the site:

Six year old Lidija is a beautiful and sweet girl, who is loved by many. Two doctors have diagnosed her with Mast Cell Activation Disorder with gastrointestinal and renal involvement. She requires a special diet of a formula called, Neocate Junior, which is costing her family $35/day. They are also trying to have their daughter seen at NIH, Baylor or Mayo for medical treatment. Please do what you can and especially forward this message to anyone you know who may be willing to help.

Here  are the details of her story, and it’s a heart-rending read.

via Michael Westfall | lidijashope.