A few blogs I like

You’ll notice I have links to a few blogs in the blogroll to the right, and there are a few of those that I find particularly noteworthy that I wanted to call a little attention to.  Not all of them are church, or religion related, and some are maintained by friends of mine.

Ed’s Photodoodle Blog is a great site from a creative photographer friend, showcasing his talents.  Also, he likes to rant about religious people who make him angry, and so if you like a good rant, visit his Two She Bears blog.

Cameron is a fellow who just found my blog and let me know that he visits churches and writes about it too!  It’s a good read.

Pastor John McLarty is a Seattle-based Seventh Day Adventist pastor who I met for coffee after reviewing his church and had a great conversation with.  He’s just about the only liberal Seventh Day Adventist you’ll ever hear about.  He’s also a really nice guy.  His blog is here.

Chris Owens is a former Methodist pastor who has recently been promoted from preaching to supervising and helping other preachers.  I’ve never met him in person, but we have mutual Facebook friends, and when it comes to religious arguments, he’s really kept me on my toes.  His blog is here.

If you want to visit Alaska, or just want to read about it, an old High School buddy of mine can give you some advice with his blog.

And finally, my favorite teacher in the whole world, who I haven’t been face to face with in over 30 years, writes about her childhood in California.  It’s a fun and interesting read.

There will be more church-stuff this weekend!

Conversation with an Adventist, and Other Things

Doubting Thomas and Jesus

Doubting Thomas and Jesus

I’ve got a few things in the hopper that haven’t been put into words yet.  First of all, I’m done reading Unveiled Mysteries, the first book about the Saint Germain Foundation, written by its founder, about his experiences in meeting the Count of Saint Germain just prior to his establishment of the church.  I will have the last part of the review up sometime tonight.

Secondly, I got really Baha’i last night, and I want to blog about that.

And finally, I had a really interesting conversation with the pastor of the Green Lake Seventh Day Adventist Church, John McLarty.

Edit:  A copy/paste error took out a whole paragraph, which I’ll recreate here:

John emailed me that he wanted to get together for coffee. And since I had said some negative things (as well as positive things) I was a little apprehensive.  It turns out to have been a great meeting, though, so I’m glad I went.  We met at my favorite coffee shop, The Wayward Coffee House, in the Roosevelt/Ravena neighborhood of Seattle.

I arrived at the coffee shop a little late, we had coffee, and he had a sandwich, and we talked.  The conversation was warm and friendly right from the beginning.  One thing Pastor John knows how to do is put people at ease, and I certainly felt comfortable in his presence.

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And The Winner Is….

churchesThe poll is closed, and the results are in!

The next churches I will be attending, in no specific order, are as follows:

  • Baha’i
  • Baptist
  • Orthodox Christian
  • Non-Mainstream  (Probably the Saint Germain Foundation “I Am” Temple)

And, because so many of their parishioners have written to me inviting me to come, I will also be attending the Green Lake Bethany Community Church.  Thanks for the invites, guys.  Please don’t get mad at me if I don’t give you a high score.

 

I’m not going to announce in advance which one I’m attending, partly because I don’t want to poison the sample, and partly because almost every time I announce I’m going somewhere in advance something happens to prevent me from doing that.

Thanks for voting!

 

Send me to church!

religionI’ve had a little time off to work on family-related projects, and now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.

I’m planning on going to a Disciples of Christ church this Sunday, with a few other surprise churches if I can swing it.

But for the following week, I have no agenda. So, help me out here, and vote on where I should go next!

100,000 views, quiet Sundays, and suggest-a-church

ImageAt some point today, my three week old blog hit 100,000 page views.  Chances are, at least one of those page views is because of you, so thanks for reading!  And if you left a comment or sent an email, thanks for that as well.  I haven’t responded to all of them, but I have read every one of them.

I didn’t visit a church this past Sunday nor am I likely to next Sunday because of things.  Although next Sunday night’s 7pm service might work for my promised return to Mars Hill Church, depending on how tired those things make me.

Saturday, I’d like to visit a Seventh Day Adventist church, and it’s penciled in as a definite maybe.

Sometime during the week I’m going to visit a Baha’i place.  Possibly tomorrow night.

ImageI’m thinking about putting up a poll, and letting you guys vote on where I go.  Would you be interested in that?  Post a comment to this post, or send me an email with your suggestion, and if there’s sufficient response, I’ll filter through the suggestions for places that are available near me, and make a poll out of it.

Radio Interview, Mormon Conspiracy, and a Scorecard

byuradiologoI’m going to be on the radio, tomorrow morning, the Marcus Smith morning show on BYU Radio.  The show airs on Sirius XM chanel 143, and streaming online, from 6:00 – 8:00 am pacific time, and repeats from 8:00 to 10:00 am pacific.  The part with me should come in at around 6:30 / 8:30 (but you should listen to the whole show).  A few hours after it airs, there will be an on demand version available in cloudcast, which I will link in this post.

Update:  The BYU Radio guys are juggling their pre-recorded segments around, and now my segment might not fit into the Thursday morning show, but might be on the air at a later time.  

tin_foil_hatWhen folks link to my blog, sometimes I follow the link referrers back whence it’s linked and see what’s up.  A few days ago, I came across a forum of ex-Mormons, some of whom suspect that I’m a plant or in the pay of the Mormon church.  I wish!  If anybody wants to pay me to blog for them, hit me up!  Talk about a dream job.

If you want the TL;DR version of my reviews, I’ve created a new Scorecard page.  I’ll update it with each place I review.

Some folks are blocked from viewing my site

ImageI guess the blog’s gotten popular enough that employers are starting to prevent their employees from reading it at work.

I look through the “link referrers” on WordPress to tell me where folks have heard about the blog. At the moment, most of the traffic is coming from Facebook.  But there are also lots of hits from other sites as well.

On the admin page, I came across a number of entries that look like this:
156.131.140.245:15871/cgi-bin/blockOptions.cgi?ws-session=2566921302

The part that says “blockOptions” shows that a program is running that blocks access to this site.  In other words, someone saw a link to my site, possibly from Facebook, clicked on it, and got blocked.

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Hello Mormons!

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Last night, between midnight and 8 am this morning, an online magazine called LDS Living drove several thousand visitors to my blog.  And they’re still coming!

I have so many emails from you guys I can’t respond to them all.  So far, they’ve all been very positive.  I want to say something.

So, thanks guys!  Thanks for the words of encouragement and the nice comments.

Edit:  Multiple edits for spelling, formatting, and posting before I am properly caffeinated.

Upcoming Reviews

This Thursday morning (June 13), I’ll be going to an William_Hogarth_-_Sleeping_congregation_(1736)Eastern Orthodox church.

It’s a Serbian church, and I think the service is in English.

Saturday, I’m going to help build a roof.  So, no mosque or synagogue this week.  Possibly next weekend.

Update: Saturday morning is open, I might sleep in or visit a different synagogue.

Sunday (June 16) I’m going to visit the Unitarians in the morning, and if I can make the distance in a short time, I’m going to a Disciples of Christ church in the late morning.

I have a weekly game day with a friend after that, but I’m interested in re-visiting Mars Hill’s evening service if I’m not too tired and if there’s time.

Update Again:  I went to the Orthodox Church this morning (Thursday June 13), but the Reverend didn’t show up.  I’ve sent an email asking if maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A General Response

So, I was picked up by several forums and other blogs yesterday and overnight last night, and wow, did I get a lot of visits to my blog.

I also got a lot of feedback, and since I promised to respond to respectful messages if I could, I’m going to do that here.  There are just too many to respond individually, especially on one particular topic.

Which is this:  Boy did you miss the point.  (Paraphrased slightly).

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Folks have told me that they disagree with my methods, over and over again, because it doesn’t grade the intent of the church.  I’ve also been told that going to a church on just one single night, listening to just one sermon won’t give me any insight into that whole faith, nor will it tell me much about that one church.

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