Moving to Wordpress.org

I have moved my blog “A Shepherd’s Story” over from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. The differences are technical, so I won’t go into them here.

What you need to know is that the address will stay the same—shepherdstory.com. Also, if you follow the blog via RSS reader or by email subscription, you will probably have to re-subscribe over at the new blog. Just click over and there is a subscribe by email form on the sidebar. Let me know if you have any trouble.

If you haven’t heard, we have some news in the Caauwe household. Watch the new blog for a new post in a day or so.

2011 Goals

The beginning of a new year is a typical time for people to make resolutions and set goals for the upcoming year. For me, it’s probably not so much that it’s the end of the year, but in the weeks following Christmas I find myself actually having a minute or two to think about things. This year I was thinking specifically about how I can better use my time in the new year. So, I’ve set a few goals that I would like to take on this year. Some are ongoing things, and things I’ve been trying to do some time. So, here are the things I’m thinking about today:

  1. Spend more time in sermon preparation. It’s probably easy to make this happen in the month following the Christmas season. During the month of December I prepared 10 sermons. I only preached 15 times my whole vicar year. Obviously, when the services are as frequent as they are in December, the amount of available time for study and preparation declines. But I really need to carve out more time in the new year to dedicate to preparation. That may mean that some other things don’t get done, but it should be time well spent.
  2. Learn Spanish. I’ve been telling myself I need to do this for years—since even before we moved to El Paso. But I’ve been here for almost three years and it just strikes me as ridiculous to not make this a priority. I know it will be process that will take longer than just one year, but I need to get serious about it.
  3. Post to the blog once a week. In 2010, I published 27 posts to the blog. I don’t think I can commit to posting every day, as some are aiming for, but I if I could post once a week, I would double the number of posts. It seems to be attainable. Only time will tell if it’s a worthy use of my time.
  4. Limit Email and Facebook. I know that these can be time-wasters, especially when I have it available on my phone at all times. My goal is to limit the number of times I check both email and facebook to just a couple times per day. Facebook should be easier than email, since I get lots of email. But if I limit myself, I know that I need to deal with my email when I’m in email mode, and not be watching emails stream in all day long. Occasionally someone will try to reach me by email and need an immediate response, but most often it can wait at least a few hours. I’m hoping that this will not only save me the time I waste by checking it and reviewing all the messages that I haven’t done anything about yet. But I hope that it will also allow me to focus my attention on other things which need my attention. Say, like goal #1.

And now…Wordpress

First Blogger, then Typepad, then iWeb, then RapidWeaver, now WordPress. That’s been my blogging adventure. I’m ready to settle down and get back to writing.

I’ve got a new site. It has the same address, but it’s like starting over in many ways. Fortunately, I was able to bring all my old posts and comments over from Typepad. Those would have been lost if I had stayed with iWeb or RapidWeaver.

I noticed this morning that RapidWeaver was not updating the RSS feed. That would mean that the posts weren’t showing up in newsreaders or going out to those who subscribe by email. In that case, I’m going to give you links to the last few posts, in case you haven’t seen them.

Concordia – June 25th
Month in Review – August 8
Back At It – August 17

These posts are a start in explaining the crazy-ness of this summer. I hope that even though school has started again and I’ll be busier than ever, I’ll still have time to write a little here. And I hope that you’ll still take the time to read.

I have many more things that I want to put together on the site. I think the site and the feed should be working as normal, but I’d like your help. Would you do me a favor and leave a comment, letting me know how you read the post (email, Google Reader, another newsreader, directly from the web site).

www.shepherdstory.com

I think I'm going to be moving my blog. I've been thinking about it for a little while, and I'm almost ready to pull the trigger. I've set a new blog up, and I'll start posting over there and see how it goes. I figured it was about time to register my own domain. I've been blogging under the title "A Shepherd's Story" for about a year and a half, and I think it works. I had to make a decision about one 's' or two. I went with one. shepherdstory.com

During this same time I have been using Typepad, which is a paid service. And if I wanted to use my own domain name (web address) on Typepad I would have to pay an extra $4 a month. I thought about moving to WordPress, which is free—unless you want to map a domain name. For some time, I have been tempted to try blogging with iWeb, Apple's web site software that is a part of the iLife suite. Creating posts here on Typepad means going on to the web site and using a web interface to design my posts. I've played with a few desktop applications for blogging, but never found one that was worth paying for. iWeb is on the computer, I already have it, and it makes it really easy to incorporate pictures and other media that I already have on the computer. The other thing that makes it attractive is that I have been using iWeb to maintain Trinity's web site and I'm finding it actually quite good. Much better than it used to be.

iWeb doesn't have all the features that I've been used to with Typepad, or Blogger before that. On the other hand, some things are so much simpler and more elegant when done in iWeb. So I'm going to give it a shot. I'm hosting the site on MobileMe, a subscription that I already have and am not making full use of. It was a very simple process to map shepherdstory.com to my MobileMe site.

I'd like your input on the new site. You can leave comments at the new blog or email me. I'm going to try to move the email subscription over to the new site. So if you subscribe to this by email, you might not have to re-subscribe. If you read this in a newsreader, I'm going to try to move my feed to the new one.

Here's the new link:

Strange

Tonight Sara noticed there were a bunch of strange posts connected to the weblog feed. Somehow my Feedburner feed was pointing to these posts from another blog. I have no idea how that happened. Leave me a comment or send an email if you saw those–those of you who read this in a reader or in an email. It really is weird. If it continues to happen, I’ll make sure to find out why and get it to stop.

A New Start

Back when I was in college, I used to write a regular mass email to friends and family. It even had a name–“Der Brief” (German for “the letter”). Some of you may remember that. It was an easy way to keep in touch with my family back home and let them know what I was up to. It was also a way for me to share with them my experiences as I was beginning my studies for the ministry, and it gave me a way to practice my writing. Sometimes the letters were purely information. It was a summary of the month’s happenings. Other times the letter took on a more devotional character as I shared with the people I loved the reason I was where I was.

Well, I believe that it was not long after I started Seminary that I stopped writing those letters. I’m not exactly sure why. In the meantime, we communicated through Christmas letters, pictures, and other emails. And, sure, I was busy during these years. We had four children. I finished Seminary and now serve as a pastor in a busy congregation. But I still consider it important to share with others the things I am doing and experience.

And now more than ever. Not only am I further away from most of my family, but I am also away from those friends with whom I went to school. I also have a new audience now. I have a congregation of people who do get to see me on a regular basis. But sometimes our contact is limited to more formal settings, like worship services and Bible classes. Sometimes there are things I would like to share with them that don’t really have any other forum. I don’t like to share all kinds of details about my life and family life from the pulpit, but I love to talk about my kids. So for those who are interested, this is for them.

I have experimented with blogging a few times in the past. I have tried different tools and have had different ideas about what it could be or should be. I prefer blogs to email because 1) I don’t have to maintain an email list, 2) if people don’t want to read it, they don’t have to, 3) you can have the technology notify you whenever there is a new post (in a newsreader or by email), and 4) you don’t have to worry about saving emails, because they are all archived on the web site.

So this is a new start. I call it (for now) A Shepherd’s Story. It’s intended to give you a glimpse into the life of this Lutheran pastor. I probably won’t recount day-to-day experiences, but a few that are significant in the life of our family or our congregation. I’ll try not to write long theological treatises, but I will share some observations from Scripture occasionally.

Please feel free to leave comments to the posts. Let me know what you think. Make sure to subscribe to the blog’s feed in your newsreader or sign up to get new posts by email in the box to the right.