Monday, June 23, 2014

Why and How to Start A Blog of Your Own (Blogging for Fun, Profit, and Knowledge Sharing)

Just like many of you, at one point I wondered about starting a blog of my own. 
I wanted to start a new blog and be somewhat intentional about it.  I had questions and others have also shared their questions with me.
  • Should I just start a blog of my own or just comment on other people's blogs?
  • Should I just start by being a "guest blogger" on an existing blog?
  • And, my biggest question: should I start separate blogs for various topics?
As for the first two questions, sure, you can do those things, but if you really want to be known for who you are and get yourself known, I encourage folks to start their own blog. You can still do the other things (commenting and guest posting), but having your own blog gives you lots of freedom to be yourself.

I discussed the last question (my "big" question) with someone I talked to regularly who was (and is) a prolific blogger: Sacha Chua - She encouraged me to start one blog and cover all the various topics I was interested in. If you view her blog, you can see that's how her's is structured. There are various topics listed that seem unrelated. She made the point to me that people can always pick the topics in your blog they want and ignore the rest. And, who knows, they might read about something that you're interested in that they had never considered and therefore open up new horizons for themselves.

So, I intentionally started this blog. I saw recently that I've had 33,000 hits on it. So, someone must be interested in the topics I share.

You can start a blog on (google) or and it's free to get started.

 Start writing about what interests you. You can always start your first post with your new journey in blogging

Next time, I'll cover: What topics should I blog about?

In the meantime, please share your thoughts about starting a blog.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Father to the Fatherless

This will be my first Father's Day without my dad.
This morning, my ipad happened to open today's daily devotion by Max Lucado and there it was, Max was remembering his first Father's Day without his dad

It was just too much to be a coincidence (that I happened to see that this morning) because I don't usually look at his devotions. It was God's gift to me.

It was odd though that Max didn't use a scripture in the meditation. I never seen him not start with a scripture. I guess the subject was just so heavy.

Father to the Fatherless
The scripture that was brought to my mind was this:
Psalm 68:5  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

My Dad Prepared me for This
Years ago, at a men's meeting at First United Church in Dover NJ, my dad told us how when his father died, he had to look to his father in heaven: God the father.  Now, here I am doing the same.  I have my Father God to look to for guidance and help.

So, if you're one of the many who are fatherless this Father's day, remember your Father God in Heaven, the father to the fatherless.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Handmade First Birthday Present for my Grandson

The finished project!  Three toy cars (or two cars and one truck) for Matthew's first birthday!

The other day was our grandson's first birthday and the party was today!

I've been working on these wooden cars as a surprise for him.

Here he is sitting on my lap today. He's playing with them at the party after having opened them.

He knew just what to do with them, roll them back and forth!

 I made three cars:
  1. His Dad's 1988 Ford Mustang (limited edition "T-top" model) (Black on top, red on bottom)
  2. His Uncle Blake's 2003 Ford Mach 1 Mustang (all Red)
  3. His Uncle Jon's 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser (all white) (nicknamed "Holly The FJ" (FJ is the land cruiser model)
Here are the three cars (well, I guess Uncle Jon's is more of a truck) that I copied the toys from and the original wooden cut-outs I made of them.

Matthew's Dad's 1998 Ford Mustang

Uncle Blake's 2003 Ford Mach 1 Mustang

Uncle Jon's 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser "Holly" #hollytheFJ
Here's when I was cutting them out. The board costed only $2.04 at Home Depot (on the clearance cart). I used a jig saw to cut out the shapes (which I drew on them with pencil using free hand from looking at photos of the cars) - I cut the wheels with a hole saw (you can see it in the photo) and just sat them on the cars for this photo. You can see the wood with the holds cut out of it. The tires on the Land Cruiser were slightly bigger and set so the "truck' was higher off the ground than the Mustangs.

The cars with Wheels on them (I used some wooden dowels for axles). They are ready to be painted. At first I was thinking about drawing some windows on them after painting, but later decided it wouldn't add anything to the toys. Sometimes simple is better.

Black tires painted and part of 1988 Mustang (note the masking tape on the Mustang to keep the black to just to top of the body)

Painting the other bodies

Now the red with the top of the 1988 masked off so I didn't paint onto the black

I did write messages to Matthew on the bottom of them and dated them (with a permanent marker). It was a Happy Birthday message from Grandpop with love. I also wrote "Jesus Loves You!" And, I made sure to put who's cars they were copied from along with the make, model and year!

Funny related photo: While taking the main photo for this Blog Post (the one at the top), Toby (i.e. #TobyTheWonderDog who has his own blog) started playing with them! 

Here I am with #HollyTheFJ back in March when I visited my son
I had fun with this project. It was a fun surprise for everyone (especially his dad and uncles) and Matthew liked the cars. Now, hmmm, what should my next project be?