ivman's blague rotating header image loading ... please wait....

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Church Bulletin Bloopers

picture of oops

Have you noticed that nothing jogs the memory like hitting the Send button on an e-mail? You think, "Too late! I meant to say this, attach that, etc." With things in print, nothing makes a typo or poor wording stick out quite like publication. In my summers as a proofreader at the university press, I saw errors in published materials stand out as if in neon lights, after many of us had read and reread them before publication, completely missing those errors.

Today's "instant vacation" is a list of unfortunate errors in church bulletins. My heart goes out to the poor church secretaries who had these bloopers pointed out to them.

WARNING: Do not read further unless you are free to laugh out loud! 😀

In our church the music pastor works diligently to select music that goes with the Bible text and the subject of our pastor's message. As you'll see below, more churches need to consider doing the same.

The sermon this morning: WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
The closing song: RISE UP, O MEN OF GOD

The sermon this morning: GOSSIP ... THE SPEAKING OF EVIL
The closing song: I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY

The sermon this morning: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES #3 ... EUTHANASIA
The closing song: TAKE MY LIFE

I noticed in the bulletin of one church I visited that two of the songs listed for the service, one right after the other, were "Stand By Me" and "Nothing Between." It was hard not to chuckle during that service.

Now on to some general bloopers....

A worm welcome to all who have come today.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

A cookbook is being compiled by the ladies of the church. Please submit your favorite recipe, along with a brief antidote.

The senior pastor will be away for two weeks. The staff members during his absence you will find pinned to the church notice board.

Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the costs of redecorating the sanctuary. Anyone wanting to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.

The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they may be seen in the church basement Friday.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 pm. Please use the back door.

ANOINTING OF THE SICK ... If you are going to be hospitalized for an operation, contact the pastor. Special prayer also for those who are seriously sick by request.

Usher will eat latecomers.

This evening's service will be a Sinspiration.

Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Bilingual Chicken Dinner this Sunday at noon.

The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.

The maintenance of the church graveyard is becoming increasingly costly. It would be a great help if parishioners would do their best to tend their own graves.

The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement noon Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

Twenty-two members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.

(a most unfortunate blooper during the pastor's ilness:)
GOD IS GOOD! Dr. Hargreaves is better!

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit

Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor's sermons.

The 'Over 60s Choir' will be disbanded for the summer with the thanks of the entire church.

Announcement in a church bulletin for a National Prayer & Fasting Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer conference includes meals."

Missionary from Africa, Bertha Belch, speaking at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa."

Volunteers are needed to spit up food for distribution following the Restaurant Supply Show at the Expo Center.

If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check, and drip in the collection basket.

Women's Luncheon: Each member bring a sandwich. Polly Phillips will give the medication.

Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

There is a sign-up sheet for anyone wishing to be baptized on the table in the foyer.

Newsletters are not being sent to absentees because of their weight.

Sermon Outline: I. Delineate your fear II. Disown your fear III. Displace your rear.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget all His benefits.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peach to men.

The lovers in the exhaust fan are not working.

Don't forget that elections for Head Deacon and Dead Deaconess will be held at next month's business meeting.

We pray that our people will jumble themselves.

Child care provided with reservations.

Mr. Bradford was elected and has accepted the office of head deacon. We could not get a better man.

Tonight, Pastor will preach on "Diving Healing."

Janet Smith has volunteered to strip and refinish the communion table in the sanctuary.

If you need to heave during the Postlude, please do so quietly.

Mark your calendars not to attend the church retreat.

Please come ... you will be gald you did.

The Honeymooners are now having Bile studies each Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

The visiting monster today is Rev. Jack Bains.

The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.

We are always happy to have you sue our facility.

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he diets, yet shall be live.

Palm Sunday: Our regular service will be gin at 11:00 a.m.

Jean will be leading a weight-management series Wednesday nights. She's used the program herself and has been growing like crazy!

Lift up our Messianic brothers and sisters in Israel who are suffering during our prayer time.

Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers.

(For the group of ladies called Moms Who Care and pray for the children in school). When their meeting was cancelled one week: "There will be no Moms Who Care this week."

When parking on the north side of the church, please remember to park on an angel.


Some other church bulletin bloopers not in this list are in an earlier blog post called Bloopers. If you have any bulletin bloopers you've seen, please add them to the comments.


"Sin mars, but Christ restores." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Help stamp out, delete, and eradicate repetitive and superfluous redundancy again and again!

Print This Post Print This Post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

Word Nerd

picture of Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel, born on March 2, 1904, would have celebrated his 105th birthday today, had he not died in 1987. He is better known by a title and his middle name – Dr. Seuss. Children and adults alike love his books for their fun use of words, rhyme, and rhythm.

Our children had several Dr. Seuss books that they loved especially – The Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, and Green Eggs and Ham. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them aloud to the children, but Fox in Socks was quite a challenging tongue twister!

picture of Nerd

Dr. Seuss combined words to make new words that were known only in his books. I'll have to ask Dave over at The History Bluff to verify this, but it is believed that Dr. Seuss coined the word "nerd" that has taken on a life of its own. I've read that the first documented use of the word was a character named Nerd (seen in the picture on the right) in the story If I Ran the Zoo in 1950 ... just in time for my birth the following year. Phew! I don't know if I could have been a nerd in high school otherwise! 😯

Now that I've moved on to become a computer geek, I have to admit that I'm still a word nerd. As a language teacher, I love words. I marvel at Dr. Seuss's ability to put words together in such fun patterns.

My word play is definitely more in punning rather than in rhyming. In honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday, I'm posting some fun puns.

Abacus: a calculator used by early geeks.

Baker: A person who works for money because he kneads the dough

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

picture of the cat in the hat

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

Adam's rib: the original bone of contention.

Air pollution is a mist-demeanor.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

A gross ignoramus: 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A calendar's days are numbered.

The dentist and the manicurist fought tooth and nail.

Dow Jones Averages: Roamin' numerals


Here's the link to the official Dr. Seuss website.

Our daughter Megan and several other young mothers went together with their toddlers to see the Cat in the Hat at Pottery Barn Kids. Megan wasn't sure how Drew would react, but instead of being afraid, he was intrigued. All he wanted to do was to get a hold of the Cat in the Hat's red necktie. Here's a picture from that visit.

picture of Megan, Drew and the cat in the hat

Do you or your family members enjoy Dr. Seuss books? If so, what's your favorite?


"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

=^..^= =^..^=

A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

Print This Post Print This Post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

Numbering My Days

picture of Daytime page

It's still close enough to the beginning of this new year to post something with a New Year's theme – especially something as good as this! This past weekend my wife Becka and I were on a retreat to the Wilds in North Carolina. At the end of the final session our pastor, Drew Conley, read something his sister-in-law Claudia Holmes Barba had written for her most recent Monday Morning Club. Then last evening he read it again at the end of the service.

It was such a nice piece that I decided to e-mail Claudia as soon as I got home and ask her permission to post it on my blog this week. She wrote back right away and said it would be fine and sent me a copy of it to post.

Numbering My Days
by Claudia Holmes Barba

The skeleton of the new year sits on the pages of my day planner. Its skinny bones are the standard reminders of birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, and deadlines that I've already jotted in. I'll fatten that skeleton with the minutiae of life as days go by.

I can be certain of one thing about all my plans for this year: none of them are certain. I may scribble them in today only to scribble them out tomorrow. I'll often have to alter my agenda and rearrange my precious schedule – sweetly, I hope – to accommodate others. Surprises both blissful and dreadful will arrive. I may be with the Lord in glory (Glory!) by spring or celebrate my autumn birthday (Happy!) with Him. I will not make any big noises about any tomorrows, since I can't even know what today will bring.

There's another certainty about this year: I am going to give account for every moment of it. Even a quick flip through last year's planner makes me miserably aware that too many of its days and labors did not count for eternity. I admit to my sorrow that I toted water past thirsty souls and hoarded bread from hungry hearts. Though I wore the label "full-time ministry" all year, I am dismayed at how little I accomplished that will endure, as I squandered the wealth of many hours I could have invested. This year, I intend to walk more circumspectly, redeeming the time, reminding myself every day of "how short my time is" (Psalm 89:47).

So I've decided on a January project: to record on each day of next year's calendar the number of days I've lived. Today, I've calculated, is about Day 20,894 of my life. (That's pretty old.) It would be more motivating to record how many days I have left, but only the Lord knows that number. This I do know: there is a God-determined limit to my days, and since I've already used up way more than half of them, I can't afford to fritter away even one more. By His grace, this year I will actively seek out the thirsty and hungry and ripen ordinary contacts into redeeming relationships. I will treat each trip as a mission trip. I will be more concerned with keeping divine appointments than with keeping to my schedule. I won't allow either the routine or the urgent to thwart the essential and eternal.

Maybe you'd like to join me by calculating and recording your days, too. Reading those big numbers on our calendars every day may be the sort of numbering of days that brings wisdom (Psalm 90:12). I hope so, because looking ahead at the new year, I can tell we're going to need it.


If you enjoyed this and would like to sign up to receive Claudia's e-mails, you can contact her through a link on the site she and her husband Dave have for their ministry - Press On! Ministries

Thank you, Claudia, for allowing me to share what was a blessing to me with my readers! I've noted in the picture at the beginning of this post that today is about Day 20,925 for me. That is a sobering thought!

This week we will be back in classes again for second semester! Exciting times ahead, and lots of work for all parties concerned (and not so much for all parties unconcerned - of which we hope there are not many!) 🙂


"When we are in Christ, how we work and why we work changes." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

When fabric softener was invented, did it make people ex-static?

Print This Post Print This Post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

How to Start a Blog

picture of potential blogger

Why should you start a blog? In a recent blog post I stated that "some of you really need to make a New Year’s resolution to start blogging yourself." I like the way Dave, a young blogger who frequents my blog, puts it – "Just a few centuries ago, people were fortunate to be able to express their thoughts openly to others in their tiny hamlets and villages. Everyone today should at least pause and consider how incredible it is that an affordable, convenient and readily-accessible tool such as blogging exists. One person can potentially be heard by millions who are not bound by geography or time. It's all quite unbelievable to me."

(Just so you regular readers know up front – this post is rather lengthy and basically devoid of humor, but if you do not have a fundamental knowledge of what goes into blogging, you may find it an interesting read that will make you more appreciative of what bloggers have done to make their material available to you.)

On the upside, blogging gives you a forum for sharing what's on your mind, insights from your area of expertise, events big or small in your life, or whatever you want to – it's your blog, after all. Blogging is a great way to meet people outside your locale and to have mutually enriching communication on topics of interest to you. To me one of the huge benefits of blogging is that it allows me to communicate with many people I'd love to have the time to communicate with individually. A passion for communicating is not only helpful in blogging, but also essential.

On the downside, blogging comes with some costs – costs that may make you decide why you should not start a blog. Depending on the platform you use to have your blog on the Internet, there can be minor monetary expense involved (addressed later in this post). There are definitely personal costs – time, effort, vulnerability, and accountability. Good blog posts require planning, writing, and editing. That all takes time and effort, but you will find that it is worth it.

Vulnerability and accountability are the inevitable consequences of sharing personal information on the Internet. Not everyone will agree with you or even like you and your views. Can you handle that? Unless your posts are password protected and blocked from search engines (administrative settings to do that are available in many blogging platforms), whatever you post to the Internet is available to the world at large. And for that, you are personally accountable. In addition to that, you are also accountable to your family, your friends, your pastor, your neighbors, ad infinitum. It's like those sound bites we hear from public figures who didn't know they were near an open microphone — once it's "out there," it's out there!

cartoon on blame

What you post is accessible not only to your friends and family, but also to your current and future employers. Some bloggers have lost their jobs over derogatory or sensitive information they had posted. Many employers now avail themselves of information about you that can be brought up by search engines. Young people today do not seem to realize this consequence of posting things about themselves on blogs and social networks. Let the writer beware! Blogging anonymously is an option some have chosen by giving the blog a personality of its own. But ultimately, if what's published can be traced to you, it's your responsibility.

As you can see, there are great personal benefits to having a blog, but also there are personal costs to be considered. If you still want to start a blog, here are some tips to get you going:

Tips on starting a blog

As I go into this portion of this post, I hasten to say that I am not trying reinvent the wheel here. As I did research for this post, I found that there are already many good articles out there on various facets of what I'm presenting today. In many cases it was far more efficient to put links to those posts rather than giving synopses here. Linking to sites of people I don't know is a bit risky since the posts turned up in web searches and I did not/could not take the time to explore entire sites where I found the good articles. That said, here goes....

Before setting anything up online, you need to do the following:

1. Decide on your special niche. It could be unique to you or something that many others are writing on, but to which you think your blog could add a fresh perspective. The History Bluff advises, "Be patient with finding a niche. Rushing this step will lead to a disjointed theme and confused readers."

You need to decide what you have a personal passion for — something that you would love to write about. Your blog can become a means whereby you can connect with others who share your passion or who might catch your passion. I found a good article on how to find your niche that could help you with this important decision.

2. Once you've decided on your niche, you need to decide on a name for your blog. Betty over at Dappled Things strongly recommends that you do a web search for what you are considering naming your blog. She told me that after her blog was already well under way, she learned there's an extremely popular blog out there with the same name. At that point she was not willing to change the name of her blog and just decided to live with it.

Choosing a name is important as well as you try to make your eventual URL as close to the blog name as possible. Doing that helps readers remember better how to get to you. There's a good article about blog naming on performancing.com

3. Having chosen a name for your blog, you will have to decide whether to blog through one of the free platforms like blogger.com or wordpress.com, for a small fee through a platform like typepad.com, or by setting up your own domain. Since I have never used any of the free platforms available, maybe readers who have blogs using them can give their input in the comments. When I searched for comparisons of the platforms, I found that the users preferred the platform on which their review was published, citing what they had found unsatisfactory about the other platforms.

I had my own domain – ivman.com – before I started blogging. Adding the blog to my domain was easy since a young geek friend led and talked me through the process. (Thanks, Jared!) If you decide to have your own domain and aren't especially tech-savvy, I would recommend finding a young geek to help you. My webhost for these five and a half years is Brent at webnet77.com. I have found his prices reasonable and his customer service outstanding. The blogging platform I'm using is WordPress – a free download from WordPress.org. To understand the distinction between wordpress.com and wordpress.org you can check out this clear explanation.

4. You are now ready to choose how your blog will look. At this point it would be a good idea to visit a number of blogs you've never been to, with an eye towards the layout and design. Jot down what is helpful as you try to find things on the site and what you find distracting or perplexing. The theme or template that you choose should be not only eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing, but also make it easy for a first-time visitor to see what you've got to offer. Most people have limited time for surfing the web and will not stick around on a site that's annoying to look at or confusing to navigate. Among the many free themes for WordPress that are available online, you can find some attractive, easily-navigable blog themes from Sadish Bala or from freewpthemes.net.

Try to keep your sidebar as uncluttered as possible. A big offender is flashing ads. Many people find a multitude of flashing objects quite annoying – maybe so much so that they don't come back.

5. Remember that as nice as it is that your blog have an attractive appearance that doesn't drive people away, it's the content that will keep people coming back for more. Jot down ideas for future blog posts and keep some on the back burner. Dave over at The History Bluff gives some good advice on this: "Write several posts before telling friends and family about your new blog. Give first-time visitors a variety of things to look/read through. One post won't satisfy their curiosity."

6. Allow comments on your blog. Part of the fun of blogging is the communication between you and your readers. But I would strongly advise that you moderate the comments, especially if you want to maintain a certain tone and atmosphere of friendliness on your blog. Since it's your blog, feel free to edit comments or even reject them if you don't want your readers to see them. You are under no obligation to allow anything and everything to appear on your blog.

Reply to comments, either on the blog itself or by personal e-mail. If someone has taken the time to visit your blog, read what you've written, and commented on it, you should take the time to acknowledge their comment. Some of my readers avail themselves of being able to choose to be notified of follow-up comments via e-mail thanks to a WordPress plugin called subscribe to comments.

Deb over at Mountain Musings gives some good guidelines as she tells how she handles comments. "Most of my commenters are not asking questions but rather just commenting/agreeing with what I've written. I always respond to them – usually via return e-mail – to thank them for the comment. If someone has asked a question, I usually respond within the comment section or write a separate post (if warranted) to answer the question, figuring that other people might also want to know the answer. The reason I don't comment back within the comments is that I figure my reply is being wasted if they never check back to see that I've responded to them. I read so many different blogs that I have no idea which ones I've commented on and have no time to check back to see a reply. But I do read e-mails, and I figure that's a better way to respond to them and interact."

7. If you do allow comments, make sure you have good spam filtering in place. On my blog I use a great freebie made for WordPress called WP-SpamFree and never see a spam comment.

8. Once you're ready to "go live" with your blog, start putting the URL of your blog on comments you make on other blogs. This will bring some traffic to your new blog. As you visit other blogs, Betty recommends that you "pay attention to the blogs that you like reading and emulate those. Obviously you don't want to copy to the point of plagiarizing, but there are some characteristics of good blogs that you can benefit from patterning yours after."

9. Use images. Having at least one picture per post adds more visual interest than having only big blocks of text. In that regard, keep your paragraphs short. (This blog post is by no means exemplary, but there was not much I could include pictures of.)

10. Be consistent: as much as possible, stick to the main subject you've chosen for your blog. Also tell your readers how often you will be posting, and stick to it. Long periods between posts will lose you readers. It's best to start with even just one post a week rather than one or more a day. It's very hard to keep up with a daily posts — both as the blogger and as a reader. If you see you can post more frequently than once weekly, you can do so. Just strive for consistency.

11. Include an About page. This will satisfy readers who would like to know something about the person behind the blog. Be careful about how much information you share about yourself and your family. Include some basic info, like where you live, your job title, your interests, and other relevant yet purposefully sketchy biographical information. If you've chosen to be an anonymous blogger, it's still helpful to give some general information about the blog itself.

picture of my address

12. Provide some means for readers to contact you offline. Based on your blogging platform, there are plugins available for a Contact page. I'm pleased with the WordPress plugin cforms II. You are inviting e-mail spam by posting your e-mail address on your blog, unless you post it in a picture rather than in text, like the picture on the right of this paragraph. The e-mail harvesting equipment that spammers use can't get an address from an image.

(added on 27 April 2009, after having my blog hacked twice:
13. Be sure to do regular back-ups of your database. As a WordPress user, I have a great plugin available to me called WordPress Database Backup. Having gone through the nightmare of having to restore my blog and my wife's blog twice in the past three weeks, I'm glad I used that plugin.

Another thing I wish I had done more consistently is to put in a folder on my computer a copy of each image exactly as it had been uploaded to my blog. I kept copies of many of them, but not all. It's been frustrating and time-consuming to try to locate the right images. There are several I haven't been able to replace at all and many others that I have had to find, resize, and rename before uploading them. It would have been so much easier if I had kept copies identical to what I had used on my blog!)

In a post like this, it's impossible to include advice about every facet of blogging. My goal was to give advice on how to get a blog off on the right foot. I was not even able to include all the advice that I had planned nor that my kind contributors sent me. What I can offer, though, is links to several excellent posts or sites on blogging. Thanks to veteran bloggers Barbara, Betty, and Deb for the links they sent to add to mine below!




For those who've made it all the way through this post, here's a bit of humor about blogging devotion to reward you for your persistence.

blogging cartoon

If you end up setting up your own blog as the result of this post, I would love to have a link to it! If any of you readers know of a blog that is particularly well done, please post a link to it in the comments.

My wife Becka has decided to be a guest writer on my blog instead of having her own blog. I told her to get her first post simmering....


"We have only the day called 'today' to follow Christ." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Here at First National Bank, you're not just a number — you're two numbers, a dash, three more numbers, another dash, and another number.

Print This Post Print This Post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

Peeking Out…

picture of squirrel in pumpkin

Just peeking out.... I normally post to my blog on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings, but I just noticed in my blog stats that yesterday's blog post was my 250th. Wow, one-fourth of the way to 1,000 posts! I thought that that was worth a special post. A friend whom I considered the patron saint of the blog when I began my blog reminded me the other day that I told her at first that I didn't think I would enjoy blogging and would have nothing to write about. It was one of those "never say never" moments. Thanks for your encouragement, Bet! 😀

Another thing I'd like to share is a link to Radio France Internationale. One of their bureau chiefs, Anne Toulouse, came to BJU recently as part of a study she was doing for a report about the evangelical vote. I was asked if I was willing to be interviewed since it could be done in French. Anne was very kind and did not have any kind of axe to grind. Her "reportage" seems to be quite fair - mainly just reporting what she learned from the many people she interviewed. What a concept - a journalist who simply reports and doesn't editorialize! I've read several good articles lately about the death of journalism. You can see them by clicking here and here. You can listen to report on RFI - le poids du vote évangélique - by clicking here.

Radio France Internationale logo

Back to general lurkdom....

Print This Post Print This Post
E-mail this post to a friend
Share this post on Facebook

Page 3 of 5« First...234...Last »