I don’t know.

I think these are some powerful words that reflect our collective knowledge on the goings on over the last week and two deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers.

On the surface, it seems to play into the narritive.  A white police officer is far too brutal (and ends up killing) with a black man.

Digging deeper though, what happened that led to that situation?  What happened before the cameras were turned on?  Maybe it was exactly what it looked like.  Maybe it wasn’t.  Maybe racism led to stupidity.  Maybe it didn’t.

I don’t know.

For some, it’s very easy to jump onto the bandwagon and call for justice for the victims.  “Police brutality has gone too far!”

For others it’s very easy to jump onto the bandwagon and call for more respect for law enforcement.  “If they had been respectful none of this would have happened!”

What’s the answer?

I don’t know.

Right now we seem to be on a knife’s edge as a country.  The moment a black man is killed by a white man (or black woman by a white woman, etc) it’s like the country explodes. That said, there’s no outrage when a black person kills a black person, and don’t get me started on the lack of outrage with hispanic or asian deaths.  Why is it that it seems like a black death by white hands > another death?

I don’t know.

What would happen if we took a moment to collectively catch our breath and then looked at all the facts once we are calm and rational?  Would we see the same things as we do when we are upset, frightened, and scared?

I don’t know.

With all that we don’t know, I would like to suggest that we react in a way that reflects what we do know, which is the character of our saviour.  Pray for the families of those who were lost in these tragedies.  Pray for the families of the officers who will be going through a tremendous amount of scrutiny.  Pray for the people investigating what happened that they will truly be able to determine what happened.   Pray that we have open hearts and open minds.  Pray for God’s justice to be done.

I was listening to the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins today and one of the things he was pointing out was that if you’re going to be successful, the order is first who, then what.

What that means is that it is more important who is “on the bus” then where you are going at that moment.  Get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and get the right people in the right seats.

In your endeavours, do you have the right people on the bus?  Do you have the right people in the right seat on the bus?  Do you have the wrong people off the bus?  What can you do to ensure this?

I want to be a better writer.  Some would say the best way to become a better writer is simply by writing.  Is that the case?

Part of my problem is remembering to write.  I will set out to write every day.  Or at least once a week.  Then life happens and it will have been a year since I last wrote on here.  (That’s no way to keep a consistant readership!)

Perhaps it’s the symptom of a bigger thing where, like many things in my life, I want to do something to better myself and I’m really good at it for a week or two but after that it all comes tumbling down.

Maybe I need a writing colleague where we could challenge each other to write articles once a day or once a week.

Hmmmmm…..maybe I’m onto something….

So WordPress has put out a new stand-alone app called “Calypso” which I am test-driving right now.  I’m actually seeing how it works for my work at the moment but that’s okay.

So far it seems pretty good, though if you have a custom post type it simply redirects you into the site rather than showing anything on here.  Nice start though….

For those who don’t know, I am a graphic designer / web developer. Different people have different strengths and within the world of design, that holds true. For me, I am an expert at pulling different things together in a visually appealing way. A good friend of mine is fantastic at logo design; while I would love to have that talent, I have a hard time creating something out of nothing. I need that start, that initial idea.

Years ago I was a teacher. I was at a writing workshop where they talked about different ideas and ways to help your students to become better writers. One idea was a daily news poster that was laminated so that the students could write on it with a dry erase marker.

The motto among teachers is to beg, borrow, or steal good ideas, so there were at least 6 or 7 different teachers trying to make one for their own classroom. I wanted to make one myself but being a creative person, I took the concept and really ran with it. When I was finished I had my poster but it was different than the presenter’s. I had many teachers come up to me and compliment the poster, talking about how great it looked, and then trying to copy mine.

What has struck me is that I needed that initial idea before I got creative with it. I made an original poster but the concept was something that I wouldn’t have thought of.

To a degree that describes me. I am a collection of the different ideas of people who have come before me. While I may make something that looks very original, when was the last time I came up with something truly groundbreaking? Is that even the bar to set or is it better to continue on being original in my arrangements?

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

I’ve come to a conclusion. Best practices are called best practices for a reason. Having spent the good part of the last two days working on other people’s web sites where they did not follow best practices, I am firmly in the camp of following best practices. (No, no rewards for how many times I can say “best practices” in one post, I promise!)

I was talking to my dad this afternoon and it seems that best practices extend far beyond the world of web design. They are in the middle of remodeling their kitchen right now and the previous remodelers did not follow best practices when installing tile, cabinets, etc.

As we live our lives, are we following best practices? Are we eating right? Are we growing our relationship with God? Are we moving?

As we start this year, what are some best practices that you either want to follow or are following?

2015It’s 2015.  What does that mean?  For many people that means New Year’s Resolutions.  For me, I’m actually trying not to have actual New Year’s Resolutions but I’m trying to make writing my one resolution.

So what is the plan for this new year?  We have some general plans but everything is still in flux at this point.

One of our long-term goals is to build a tiny house.  Will we finally get to start this project in 2015?  Time will tell.

Another goal for this year is to move more.  Working on how to implement all of this, but hoping to have a solution soon.

So this is a short post to start out with, but wanting to make this a regular part of my routine.

For those who don’t know, I am a Seventh-day Adventist. For most of the three people reading this, that is not a shocker whatsoever, but hey, one of y’all may not have known.

As a Seventh-day Adventist, one of the things that people notice (besides the whole vegetarian thing) is the whole Sabbath thing. “You can’t work on Saturday? You can’t do x, y, or z?” It seems like there is always a negative connotation to it. Can’t do this, can’t do that.

Why is that?

I love my Sabbaths! I love that there is a God who cared enough about me and my sanity enough to set aside a day where I don’t have to work. A day of rest. I love that!

Now some might say that it was nailed to the cross (so now we can kill, steal, and always dishonor our parents, right?) but what would be the point of that? God creates something at the very beginning of the world and then 4000+ years later decides, meh! never mind?

To me, the Sabbath is a blessing in that it allows me to be able to have downtime. Time to recharge. Now for those who know me, I don’t exactly sit still around on Sabbaths. We tend to be all over West Texas and New Mexico seemingly every weekend. But for me, it is a rest not having to worry about getting this website finished or that thing designed. To allow myself to look and think on other things is a break I don’t necessarily get all week. It’s a happy day for me. So I say to you: Happy Sabbath!