2015 has seen XBOP content strategies take a slightly different journey to 2014 insofar as the structured and lengthier thematic content which has come from writing serials no longer provides room within the pushing schedule for me to share thoughts in a timely fashion, or reflect necessarily what is happening in my daily life.
This is not 100% true since my Thursday writing serial on Memory Verses allows for a broader reflection of my core theology, as developed and reflected via the research I put into each article. Further, the recent series on Wired Networking is also a reflection of recent events. Even covering that one activity filled up four weeks, concluding just yesterday.
In the last week or so, the observant follower of XBOP may have noticed that I was late twice this week – both Monday and Thursday cycles were a day and then two days late respectively. One adjustment that goes into immediate effect is that my Monday publishing day will change to Tuesday’s. This is because until mid June, I have decided to help out informally and attend Monday night sessions of the Alpha course.
My Saturday publishing date will thus become available and be reserved for the more timely topics that cross my path. I also need to revise the overall publishing schedule to reflect the fact that I will be on holiday for two weeks in early May. Future writing serials are likely to formulate around Alpha and my trip. Just to give you an idea of the other thoughts that are currently on my mind that will become future articles posted on a Saturday:
1. The Beatitudes and the concept of being blessed
I have recently been in conversation where I have heard people use the term “those people are so blessed because they have everything – wealth, a growing family, etc…” Hearing this only makes me want to clarify for myself whether or not we are confusing our definitions of “being blessed”. I also believe this is God-driven because at the same, the beatitudes and this same concept understanding the biblical definition of blessing was preached on by my church. I think this is an important concept to explore.
2. Inter-cultural Weddings
The main reason for my two-week May holiday is a wedding within the family. I find it enlightening to observe the way it has been planned since I have had the privilege, as documented in my Event Management writing serial, to not just attend but play a role in the worship aspects of three weddings last year (2014). Further, with another three more weddings to be held in the next six months amongst this same group of friends, the discussion topic of how the wedding couples deal with cross-cultural expectations for weddings has been quite interesting to say the least.
3. All things Japanese
This is another broad area of interest that I have yet to acknowledge or articulate here at XBOP. Currently both my hairdresser and masseuse are Japanese. It was not planned but there must be a bigger reason for this. Add to this the fact that in my life group I have one girl who former served in Japan as a missionary for three years (2010 – 2013) and another Japanese girl who is now here in Melbourne to start her life and prepare for marriage (one of the three weddings mentioned above) there seems to be some higher purpose for this level of Japanese-related culture in my life. Maybe it started years ago when I picked Japanese as a language to study in Year 7 and saw it through to Year 12/VCE? When I say that I love Japanese food, I find that too broad since I am not too keen on sushi rolls itself, but love sushi train, sashimi and most forms of izakaya. Then there are the donburi dishes, teppanyaki, gyoza, not to mention all the delicious Japanese desserts. Finally, it would be remiss of me to leave Astro Boy out of the picture, since he was one of my childhood influences from the 1980s.
These are just some of my favourite things… (Cue Sound of Music). From these three ideas alone, I could turn each into an outright writing serial instead of just a single article. There also remain simple topics that I may pursue – hot cross buns, specific worship songs to analyse lyrics of, the Syndal Railway station carpark construction, Chadstone Shopping Centre’s latest development work, and one or two other things that currently escape my mind. As you can see, there is a plethora of ideas and thoughts here that will keep me busy.
Some people have asked me where I find the time to write all this stuff. Well, partly I limit the amount of time I spend on writing because otherwise, it would go on and on. I think just as much if not more about what I write-up. It helps that my typing speed is fairly fast so majority of the articles posted here are under an hour in typing duration. As with most things, before I start typing I already have a rough plan for how the content will flow. A slight tweaking of sentences/paragraphs is sometimes necessary to ensure a more coherent meaning. Once I start an article, I rarely suffer from writers’ block so it tends to flesh out in one sitting, be it on a train or at home. I actually find the use of a train journey into/out of the city really good since I will try to complete one article during the course of that trip.