Archive for October, 2012

When Was the Last Time Your Tried Something New?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I’ve been immersed in this week’s word-of-the-week…

NEW

When was the last time you tried something completely new?

I’ve been having problems with the RICH’S RIDE website. It’s been vulnerable to hackers and viruses, and I finally decided I had to create a fresh site that’s a bit more stable. This presented two related problems.

First, I really like the look of the design. Second, I had absolutely no idea how to reproduce that look with my new web software, because I don’t know HTML coding.

I might have hired someone, but I decided I wanted to figure it out for myself. So late last week I began the process of transferring the site and figuring out, one piece at a time, how to do the coding required to create the look I wanted.

I spent most of four days digging through tutorials, forums, and online manuals. If you’ve ever done any programming you know it’s detailed work where a misplaced comma messes up everything.

I’m still not done, but I got the basic design figured out. There are a bunch of details still to be resolved, but it’s functional. I can work on it a bit at a time until it’s just right.

I tackled a completely new task, one about which I knew almost nothing. And with some perseverance and time, I learned.

There’s a lesson here. You may not want to program a website, but how many times do you tell yourself you “can’t” do something? How often do you just let something go because you’re sure it would be too hard or complicated?

What’s something new you’ve been wanting to tackle? What’s something new you’ve always wanted to learn?

What’s wrong with getting started…maybe today?

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Cutting Ties

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I’ve purposely de-friended and un-followed a few of my online connections recently. Have you ever done that?

It’s difficult. I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. These folks weren’t being overtly profane or abusive. I’m just taking a little of my own advice (What Do You Think About?)

In response to that post, a reader reminded me of the beautiful paraphrased version of Philippians 4:8 from The Message:

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

“You’ll do your best…”

After  thinking about those words, I decided I don’t want to read a diet of critical political rants and other negative comments. There’s enough of that stuff without voluntarily subjecting myself to it in a social setting. So I chose to step away from those who insist on posting a stream of anger and criticism.

One person requested a reason. I explained as graciously as possible, and he accused me of trying to stifle free speech.

I think there’s a difference between suppressing speech and establishing personal boundaries. My former connection has every right to post whatever he chooses. I have an obligation to intentionally select what I read, watch, and listen to.

I always want to respect and listen to other points of view, even those find disagreeable or distasteful, when they’re expressed appropriately. I think it’s dangerous to live in a protective bubble that isolates me from other perspectives.

But each of us has an obligation to guard our hearts and minds.

Thoughts and attitudes are shaped by what we focus on. I’m just trying to move a bit closer to true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, the beautiful, and things to praise.

You?

How do you filter your online inputs?