Focus Friday

Well, we’re twelve days and two psalms into the blogging experience.  Since the inception of Ophelimos, it’s been clear that this needs to be a Bible study blog.  It’s also clear that there is still a long way to go to really be improving the content here.  I for one have been blessed by writing each day’s study.

But this isn’t all about me.  There are actually other people reading Ophelimos on at least a semi-regular basis.  As of this writing, there have been 264 page views of the blog.  I don’t think it records every time I visit to update something, approve comments, or check site stats.  So that means others are receiving some benefit from reading the studies (or they’re just being really nice to me).

Either way, the question remains, “How can Ophelimos improve?”  What are you enjoying about the blog?  What would you like to see changed, or even abandoned?  Are the posts too long or too short?  Would you like to see more variety than just the Psalms study?  Are the posts too technical, or not detailed enough?  Are you getting anything from the section on the Septuagint?

The list of questions could go on and on.  The point here is to make sure that reading Ophelimos is a profitable experience for you, which, by definition, is the purpose of the blog.  Any feedback will be appreciated.  Leave a comment, or e-mail me at jason [dot] gudim [at] gmail [dot] com.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

  • Josh Skogerboe posted this article right after the links went up last week.  It’s an excellent read, and very thought provoking.
  • I confess that there’s a little nepotism involved in this one, but I still wanted to link to this post by my sister, Katelyn Gudim.  Katie has been doing a fine job blogging most Sundays at Grounded 3:17.  She’ll be contributing here from time-to-time as well.
  • Another good post by Ryan Egan at I am an Offering.  If you’re not reading his and Josh Skogerboe’s blogs on a regular basis, you need to be.
  • How do you interpret a passage of Scripture in which God seems to do or say something completely unreasonable?  This post does a good job explaining.
  • The Church worldwide lost a dear brother in Christ when John Stott passed away this week.  There have been numerous articles online about his passing and significance for the evangelical community.  Here’s one of them.  Stott is a great example of a person you can receive great benefits from, spiritually speaking, and yet disagree with on some points of theology.
  • Finally, another article from the Gospel Coalition.  This is probably the best thing I read all week long (that wasn’t the Bible, of course).  It’s a crucial attitude when looking at any ministry, not just youth ministry.

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  1. #1 by jcandy1958 on July 29, 2011 - 4:50 pm

    Hey, Jason,
    Greetings in Jesus’ name.
    I’m not sure if we’ve ever met. I forget, not being in the midwest and being somewhat disconnected, who I’ve met in person and who not and who would remember me and who would want to. So, by way of getting acquainted… I’m Bob Andrews’s son (WMPL) and Naomi Andrews’s dad (Naomi started Grounded 3:17). I was ordained in 1986 out of Luther Seminary, became part of TAALC in 1989, and came into the AFLC in 1993. I served the congregation at Larimore, ND, for just over a year and the congregation in Palmdale, CA for just short of ten years. I currently teach 8th grade language arts (English) at a public school in Palmdale and pastor and independent Lutheran congregation in the California high desert community of Phelan.

    At Naomi’s insistance I recently (about 80 days ago) added blogging to the many things I do. I was not sure what the focus of my blog would be, which I think was not a good idea. I’ve settled into two main threads: a photo posting for 365 Project and a pre-comment on the text I’ll be using for the meditation the coming Sunday. I’ve also added some pages with longer, deep thinking articles. I’m at . Being in cyberspace is not new to me. I’m a self taught web”designer,” and started my own website back before I even knew I could buy my own domain name. My website is at . Now, with tools like wordpress, anyone can put together a website for free….all you need to do is pay for internet access…unless you can grab wireless somewhere.

    Enough about me (I’m not even sure why I felt like I had to give you all that information. I guess I just like folks to with whom it is they are in a conversation).

    I have a couple of, or maybe a few, questions for you since I’m replying to your request for suggestions.

    What is your purpose for blogging?
    Who is your audience?
    How do your purpose and audience shape your message?

    Let me illustrate my questions with this example. One of my pet peeves on Facebook is that so many people feel like they have to post every picture they took no matter what the quality or subject matter. Often the pictures are even sideways or upside down. We were at Yosemite on Wednesday. I took over 220 pictures throughout the day. My Facebook Yosemite album has 29 photos. If my purpose is to show my audience every exposure I made, and if I think my audience cares, I will post all 220 photos. But, if my purpose is to share with my audience the highlights of my trip as I understand highlights, I’ll post only the best of my 220.

    While long albums are a peeve of mine, that does not make them “wrong.” One the other hand, my highlight albums, because they are my preference, and not necessarily “right.”

    So we come back to the purpose and audience. I think your blog work is great, but I have a very short attention span and am honestly likely not to read more than three or four paragraphs. So, I’m probably not the audience of your blog the way it is formatted now. That is also why I’ve chosen to try and keep my blog posts short and post longer work to dedicated pages.

    However, if you have a followers who are really being served by your in depth approach to your subject, perhaps people you are mentoring in your congregation, or family and friends who want to know the details of your study, what you are doing is perfect.

    I will just add that I found your list of things you have been reading to have the biggest draw for me. I even followed a link (and there read the first three paragraphs and the headings for the rest of the article).

    Thank you for your work and commitment.

    Be blessed, my brother,

    • #2 by Jason on July 30, 2011 - 8:23 am


      Thank you for taking the time to post that. In answer to your first question, I don’t think that we’ve ever met in person.

      In answer to your questions about the blog, I can answer a few of them:

      First of all, regarding the purpose of the blog. I started the blog to give me an excuse to improve my own personal Bible Study time, which was severely lacking. I also started it because I’ve been thinking about it for a few months now, and I finally couldn’t push the idea out of my head any longer.

      Since starting a couple of weeks ago, I’ve refined the purpose here even more to make this a dedicated Bible study blog. It’s helpful to know why the blog exists, because it serves as an automatic filter for content.

      As far as the audience is concerned, I will have a much harder time answering that question. Right now, I would guess the audience is limited to those who take the time to click on the links I post on either Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. I’ve had a few visitors from WordPress itself, who have clicked on blog tags and found us at random.

      I really appreciate your feedback about the length of the posts. I have actually been intentionally making the posts longer because of the purpose this blog as a Bible study blog. In my personal opinion, Bible studies should be more in depth than devotionals, and even though I use the “devotions” tag on the study posts, I was seeking to make this be a bit more thorough than the typical cursory glance that most devotions afford people. That being said, if more people like you are having a hard time slogging though my long, sometimes rambling, posts, I am more than willing to adjust the length of them. It would be entirely selfish of me to do these studies in such a way that I am the only one receiving any sort of benefit from them.

      Thanks for your input!

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