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Updates of Various Kinds

This morning I want to provide a few updates on life, books and web sites.

First off, I owe you an update on The Next Story, the book I’m writing. To this point, progress has been slow—discouragingly slow, really. Yet I’ve got hope that things will pick up soon. I have been focusing on gathering and pondering ideas more than actually putting ideas into words. So while the manuscript still has a word count of approximately 0, I think I’m getting to the point where the ideas are coming together in my mind. That means that I’ll soon be ready to write. In fact, I plan on spending most of today working my way through a couple more books with the hope that tomorrow I’ll have enough firm ideas in place that I can begin to work on some of the chapters. In the future I’ll try to write an article on the actually process I’m going through as I put this book together. For now, though, I covet your prayers and hope to have some good reports soon.

The number of books I’ve purchased and read (either in whole or in part) is surprising to me. This project is so different from The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. With that book I found myself relying predominantly on a handful of books and a stack of commentaries. This time around I’m having to turn mostly to mainstream books since, to this point, it seems that it has mostly been mainstream writers who have done the best thinking on the subject. Much of what I am doing is finding good thoughts on technology and its place in our life and then trying to look at those issues through a distinctly Christian lens. It has been a very interesting process. I’m really excited about the book and have high hopes for it. Time will tell, I suppose.

Site
This web site will soon be undergoing a radical change. For the first time since I began this blog all the way back in 2003, I will be moving to a whole new backend software package. I’ve been with Movable Type through a long succession of versions and have generally been quite happy with it. But over the past couple of years SixApart, the company who develops Movable Type, has shown that they no longer have a real passion for their software; it is falling farther and farther behind the times. Therefore, I’ve decided the time is right to make the move. This weekend I hope to move the site to a Drupal backend. Along with the change in software will come a completely new design. This is the first time I’ve had to take a taste of my own medicine, so to speak, paying someone to build out a site for me (though I at least created the design). It’s expensive! No wonder I’ve been able to build a career out of web design.

10MillionWords
The new design of the web site is going to provide tighter integration of my blog with the 10MillionWords project. If you haven’t been following that project, well, you should! Since January 1 I’ve been reading all of the New York Times non-fiction bestsellers, and have been learning a lot along the way. A couple of recent highlights are The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Intellectuals and Society. A couple of recent lowlights are I Am Ozzy and Making Rounds with Oscar. Currently I am working my way through a biography of Willie Mays and a memoir by Henry Paulson.

Speaking
I am not doing a whole lot of speaking this spring. The one big event I’ll be at is the Pre-Conference for the Ligonier Ministries National Conference (did you get all that?). The event is called Bits, Bytes, Blogs and Bibles: Christian Communication in a Hypersocial World. I’ll be speaking there alongside Al Mohler, Burk Parsons and Ed Stetzer. We’ll each do a talk and then get together for a Q&A session. Whether or not you’re going to the main event, do consider the pre-conference.

Download a Brochure with information.