George Whitefield's Sermon in Williamsburg, VA

  We just got back from our third vacation to Williamsburg, VA and Colonial Williamsburg. I feel like I should write a post on Colonial Williamsburg or Williamsburg and what to do and where to stay. I'll leave that for another time. I learned before this trip that George Whitefield preached his first sermon in America there. The picture above is right outside the church where he preached. Since he usually had to preach outdoors because of the crowds, he probably preached 50 feet in front of where I was standing to crowds on the palace green. I found the sermon that he preached (he only had 18 individual sermons that he preached thousands of times) and read it slowly over the week in the mornings before the rest of my family got up. Here is my favorite passage: However lightly you may esteem your Souls, I know our Lord has set an unspeakable Value on them. He thought them worthy of his most precious Blood.—I beseech you therefore, O Sinners, be ye reconciled to God. I hope you do no

My French Press Recipe for 16 oz of Coffee

This is my recipe for making one large cup of coffee in French press. I use an insulated press and prefer it because I've broken two glass presses. My French press has two screens, but a cleaner cup comes from pressing the plunger very slowly. I learned that trick from James Hoffman. Grind coffee coarsely. Boil Water Preheat French press and then pour out the water. Weigh 27 grams of coffee into press. Keep it on scale but tare the scale. Wet the coffee to let it bloom. Start the timer for 4 minutes. At 3:30, stir the grounds. Then finish pouring water in to reach 405 grams. Preheat the cup. Put the lid on and wait. When the timer goes off, press the plunger down very slowly (30 seconds or so). If I'm being honest, the measurements have a little wiggle room. If you are really a coffee person, then you might hate this. Percolating coffee is pretty forgiving, so I don't worry if I overpour by a few grams. The coffee still turns out well. The 405 grams of water comes out to ha

Garden Notes

What I planted today Blue Lake green beans (Gurney) Fernleaf dill (Park) Dark Opal basil seedlings (Ferry Morse) Calypso basil seedlings (Park) Profusion zinnias AAS Mix (Park) Apricot Profusion zinnias (Park) Whirlybird nasturtiums  Fordhook nasturtiums Easter lily Jet Star tomato seedling (gifted) I love planting purple things in the garden. The Dark Opal Basil looks amazing next to all the greens. We also have red lettuce that gives a nice purple contrast. It makes a really pretty picture in the garden. Two other colors I like in plants to go along with the greens are yellow-green chartreuse plants, and burnt orange plants like a certain coleus we've grown in our porch pots.

The Wonder of Apple Trees

  "It is an apple like ours in Myrtle." "But you said it was magical," Benny said, biting into a golden piece. Mr. Wheeler chewed his bite and swallowed. "It is." Jack Zulu and the Waylander's Key S.D. Smith and J.C. Smith

My New Cherokee Language Project

I am translating (transposing) a book of Cherokee phrases from English and phonetic Cherokee to the Cherokee syllabary.  I'm a member of the Cherokee Nation, and I've been wanting to learn the Cherokee language. The Cherokee language is written in a 81 character syllabary which means that each symbol is a syllable rather than in an alphabet where each symbol is one sound. In Cherokee, you have different symbols for the sounds "ga" Ꭶ and "gi" Ꭹ and so on. My first project was to learn it. There are 81 characters that often look alike and sound alike, so it was difficult. Once I did that, I needed to continue practicing it. That's what I do now.  I wanted to learn more Cherokee phrases, and I bought a book of Cherokee phrases called Osiyo Tohitsu  by Prentice Robinson. This has a ton of common phrases that you might use. There are also YouTube videos that the Cherokee Nation language office posts of common words and phrases. The problem with Osiyo was tha

Why I Deleted Facebook

I deleted Facebook this week.  I'm off of most social media now. I had been on Facebook for 18 years. I remember when Facebook became available for my college during the fall of my senior year. We were all pretty excited about it. I've got pictures and posts about my life ever since, but it was time to delete it.  Here's why I deleted most social media: Facebook: I left this site because I couldn't use it the way that I wanted to. I felt like I was having to constantly tell them to hide sections of Facebook. I realized this week that I kind of spent the last year leaving it. I went 6 months last year without posting at all. I put time limits on using it. I even unfollowed almost every page. Facebook was constantly changing how it worked. Instead of showing me friends and family that I wanted to see, they were showing me posts and people that I didn't sign up to see. Sometimes it was inappropriate things. I decided it was time.  Twitter: I left this site when things

Counting the Right Things in Ministry: Church Numbers that Matter

Every church keeps attendance. Pastors and boards and denominations live by them. Is there a different scorecard to use for myself? For churches and leaders? This was inspired by something Mike Cosper said a few years ago on his podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. A pastor asked him what to count if the emphasis on numbers was part of what led Mars Hill Church to hurt a lot of people. Cosper's answer was to count hospital visits and funerals. I've thought of that ever since. Here are additional numbers that we can count. Measure Walks with Family. Set a goal and measure how many walks you take with your family. This is good for your physical health. It's good for your mental health because it gives you the chance to process and think. Lots of writers, preachers, teachers, and creative people take lots of walks. It's also really good for your relationship with your family. Unstructured walks regularly would be something to measure. Fires with family and friends. This