looking forward — top 10 posts of 2011

Don’t Look Back — It’d Be Immature of You

Now, I can’t control what every other blogger in the world is doing (oh, if only I could…).  I can, however, tell you what they’re all up to these days.  And that is: reviewing their top 10 blog posts of 2010.  I’m not going to suggest this is a fruitless endeavor, or that I’m above such.  But it is backward-thinking at best, and resting on one’s laurels at worst.  And here at aliens and strangers, we want to be about the future — not the past. Yep, no laurels for us (literally, there are no laurels on which for us to rest).  After all, Paul did say…

There’s one thing that I do:  I forget what’s in my past and I comtemplate what’s ahead…  Anyone who’s mature should do the same. — Philippians 3:13-15 (taken completely out of context and summarized by me)

And we all want to be mature, right?  So I’m not going to do this “Top 10 Posts of 2010” thing.  Instead, I’m going to offer you up my top 10 posts of 2011.  Seriously.  [I can’t link to them yet, of course, as they’ve not yet been written.  But still… here they are.]

Top 10 Posts of 2011 — aliens and strangers

1.  auburn wins the national championship

Yep, this one will be posted tomorrow.

2.  10 steps to a successful blog

This will be a satire piece.  I may not know successful blogging — but I do know satire.

3.  i left my wallet in el segundo

Music I remember from my childhood, and how it helped me become the man I am today.

4.  10 things i have to do on furlough

Christie and I will return to the states in August of this year for about three months.  Our (my) goals are to visit family and friends (many have not met Baylor), encourage and be encouraged by our sponsoring churches, participate in a few great opportunities for continuing education, and accomplish these ten things.

5. 10 mistakes i’m afraid we’ll make on furlough

Lots of things can go wrong during a 3-month visit in the U.S.  Ranging from the occasional embarrassing cultural faux pas to legitimate and problematic blunders, this post will be a top 10 list of my biggest fears.

6. a post / series on discipleship which doesn’t yet have a title

This series is currently being written by John King, one of my mentors and shepherds at Stones River Church (our sending congregation).  He is a gifted teacher, and I think of him as my own personal expert on discipleship.  Soon he’ll be yours.

7.  why i am a member of the church of Christ

From a page out of Dr. Leroy Brownlow’s (in)famous book, in this post I’ll explain a bit about the church of Christ, my own religious heritage, what I appreciate most about it, and why I’m a member of this “movement.”

8.  an ode to bacon

This is SO self-explanatory.

9.  silly abbot, pixar’s for kids

I have no idea what this post is going to be about.  I just really liked it as a title.

10. ??????????

This is where I need your help.  Please feel free — encouraged even — to give me ideas for blog posts (you’d like to read) in the comments section below.  I’m happy to accept suggestions for subject matter or even just possible titles of posts.  If you’d like to read more Bible study material or poetry or short stories or top 10 lists — or if you just want me to shut up and leave the whole blog idea alone — let me know.  I’d also be delighted to hear what you think has and hasn’t worked on aliens and strangers.

Which of these posts are you most looking forward to in 2011?  And what’s your idea for post #10?



Filed under blogging, top ten lists

26 responses to “looking forward — top 10 posts of 2011

  1. David Robinson

    I am pretty sure that post #5 will include getting slaughtered in Catan, assuming Catan and I somehow find our way into #4.

    I really enjoy your posts, but I most enjoy ones about what it’s like to live in Geita. I loved the sausage one. I must admit I love the Baylor posts, too.

  2. I will pray for a healthy furlough. One without trepidation or hesitation of returning to Geita after eating all the bacon you want while in the U.S.

    I also would love for you to blog more about what God is doing in Geita. 🙂

    • furlough’s a long way away, but we have bacon right here in tanzania! yeah, we slaughter and process our own pigs to make sausage and most any other pork products. but we can buy bacon at the store in mwanza (just about 3 hours down the road). it’s not cheap, so it’s kind of a special treat, but we eat it at least once a month. and usually save some pieces to crumble and put on pizza too.

      as for blogging about what God is doing in geita, you’re right that i should be doing more of this. the thing is that much of it right now is boring. because we set aside the bulk of our first two years to get moved in, learn swahili language, (possibly) start sukuma language, gain a better understanding of tanzanian culture, and form relationships with locals (and the right gov’t officials). we didn’t want to start ministries before we knew for sure what we’d be getting into. that two-year mark comes in march. so i’d look to see more starting then…

  3. cool! bacon in Tanzania!!!!
    okay, pick your American vice then….oh wait, forget that 😉

  4. looking forward to silence on your blog tomorrow as you are lying in bed with the covers over your head, stunned at the Tigers loss.

  5. JMF

    #10) “The top 10 reasons I selected JMF in 2011 to be my mentor, Life Trainer, and Success Coach.”

    Hey, if you are going to TN in August I may go catch you. It will be kind of like an internet blind date since we’ve not met each other. Which is cool, because it will be very awkward. You’ll try to shake hands, I’ll be going in for a European cheek kiss, and there will be discomfort. I will expect you to sound worldly and intelligent, and then I’ll hear you speak with an Alabama hillbilly accent, and I’ll get the creeps. It will be fun.

    • Milynda

      I am laughing at this response because I had the exact same image in my head. However, I came to the conclusion that if we ever met it would really be the creepy stalker thing going on and that is just not pretty.

      However, I would love to see a series on like the first few chapters of proverbs..wisdom. The series would be about how biblical wisdom translate to your everyday life Africa, cultural norms and what really is just insanely at odds with – well – everything else.

      • milynda, i promise i’m not stalking you. i’ll write down the proverbs idea and keep it in mind when i get ready for another series. [though right now i’m already behind on preparing my next one…]

    • that would be a funny post. i’ll at least consider it — or some variation on it, anyway…

      i will indeed be in tennessee in august, it would seem. it’d be great to get together. but i won’t try to shake your hand; where i’m from we like to chest bump after taking our shirts off. and you may be right that i won’t sound intelligent — but it won’t have anything to do with an alabama hillbilly accent. it will be due to nothing more than my i.q.

      [by the way there aren’t really any hillbillies in alabama. especially not where i’m from. no hills. you have to go to tennessee or kentucky to find hillbillies. we have rednecks.

  6. Hi Brett

    I don’t yet read your blog all that much yet — yet, as in, the closer I get to Tanzania, the more you’ll be hearing from me! — but I thought this post was so appropriate that I’m thinking of slavishly copying it!! 😀

    By the way, what’s the relationship between “jamesbrett” and “Brett Harrison”?

    Cheers from Melbourne

    • arthur, thanks for reading even occasionally. and any help you guys need in getting here — or preparing to — let me know.

      my full name is james brett harrison. and i used jamesbrett as my screen name once on something; it just kind of stuck.

      • Good to know. Been wondering the same thing myself about your name.
        I have lots of questions I’d like you see you write about and hear your opinion on….but I’m assuming over time, most will be answered….so I will just faithfully read.

  7. Pingback: auburn wins the national championship | aliens and strangers

  8. Well, I must say I’m looking forward to it! Maybe I should plan ahead like this. I sometimes have one or two in my head, but sometimes I draw a complete blank and either produce a boring, blah post or nothing at all. Anyway, I’m pumped about what’s coming on yours!

    • well, maybe i shouldn’t let you in on this little secret, but i don’t generally plan ahead like this. i just decided on that one morning to write about my top posts of 2012, so i made them all up. i’m excited about writing most of them, though. that pixar post was probably a mistake.

  9. Matthew Burgesß

    How bout a post on how Camp Wiregrass / Youth In Christ / etc influenced who you are today?

    (Whoa that was deep…)

    Let me know if yall are going to Andalusia any on furlough – we’ll let Baylor and Sawyer jump out of Big Daddy’s barn.

    Much love, Burgess

  10. Pingback: i left my wallet in el segundo or 7 songs that shaped my life | aliens and strangers

  11. Pingback: 10 things this missionary MUST do on furlough | aliens and strangers

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