blogs

Word Art

Considering that I am dyslexic and that I had a hard time in school with both German (my mother tongue) and English (my first second language) and barely made it through school without repeating a class, my interest in languages and words might seem strange. At the same time, I love to share material (articles, etc) that I found interesting and helpful. If this material was in the “wrong” language, I would translate it even at a time when my English was not as good as today. Despite my handicap I loved language learning and found it much easier than in school once I had the chance to go to the country where it is spoken. Or maybe I just loved communicating and that motivated my language learning? Anyway, today I am amazed about myself and what God made out of my disability or despite of it. I hardly dare to say that I can speak several languages now. I love playing word games like Lexulous or Wordscaper on Facebook. I have even won a few times against English mother tongue speakers. 🙂 Who would have thought that, when I was struggling in school?

The last days I came across some fascinating blogs, that I wanted to share with you. Somewhere I felt that their common denominator is Words as art, some of them in writing, some in puzzling, some in combination with images. All of them in one way or another fascinating.

1)

The One-Minute Writer

How it works
Who’s got the time to journal daily? You do.

1. Read the daily writing prompt.
2. Push “Play” on the timer on the right side of the screen.
3. Spend 60 seconds or less writing a response to the daily prompt.

You may respond in the “Comments” section of each post, if your response is family-friendly. Or you can use your word processor, or an old-fashioned pen and paper. It’s up to you. Also feel free to use the “Comments” section for informal discussion about the responses that are posted.

If the daily prompt inspires you to write something on your own blog or website, please link back to this site.

Today, take a minute to write!

The One-Minute Writer: Today’s Writing Prompt: Laugh
So far I have done it only once. And I was dismayed how little I could write in 60 seconds. But I love the challenge.

2)

What could it mean?

What could it mean?

A new word game involving Word Verification words and what they might mean. Is anyone tired of those word verifications required for posting comments? Why not play a fun game where we you get to define the possible meaning of those words and use them in a sentence of your own creation?

This is a great idea. I want to try to post on it once in a while.

3)

Pictures, Poetry & Prose

This blog is for all who desire to create with words and images.
You are encouraged to participate in any way that is meaningful to you.
~
All prompts beneath the photos are only suggestions.
You are free to use the photo to be inspired to write any way you desire.
~
There is no deadline on posting,
you may offer your writing to any prompt anytime.
~
Write and you are a writer.

For me this is a beautiful combination, as I also love photography. I have not yet finished exploring this site but I find it very inspiring.

Despite all miracles that God has done in my life, it probably takes me longer than others to formulate what I want to say. No matter which language. Sometimes I just have an image in my mind of what I want to say and can’t find the words. I am told that this is typical for dyslexia. Insofar this blog is sometimes a challenge for me, but at the same time a good practice. Thanks for reading!

How much time do you take every day to write your blog posts?

Ancestor Worship?

It made me smile when Ben Byerly wrote a tongue-in-cheek blog entry about ancestor worship in England. I thought it was great to help us see our own culture from a different perspective. I liked it even better when he gave one of his African colleagues the opportunity to talk about his research into ancestor worship:

Did Africans really worship their ancestors? An African perspective (Part 1)

Guest post by Andy Alo

Many Africanists interested in African Traditional Religion have made the assertion that Africans worshipped (or are worshipping) their ancestors. However, field research that I conducted from 2002 to 2005, and completed in August 2008 in my own Lugbara ethnic group leads me to the conclusion that the worship of ancestors by Africans is a theological myth.

Simply Semantics

In the Lugbara language, the concept INZI conveys any attitude which externalizes consideration due to a person’s status. It means ‘respect’ when describing a person lacking respect for his superiors. Children’s respect for their parents (‘honor’) is expressed by the same concept INZI. Today, INZI is also applied to ‘worship’ or ‘adoration’ of God in Christian settings, but older native speakers of Lugbarati do not equate their previous ‘honor’ (INZI) towards ancestors with the present ‘worship” (INZI) of God. Ancestors were simply honored or given due respect.

If the Lugbara did not worship ancestors, why then did they give ancestors food in some sacred places

Why give Food to Ancestors?

Commensality [eating together] in Lugbara culture is the ultimate way of expressing communion and brotherhood. All the members of the community not only share their resources by helping each other, but they also eat together. Traditionally, the ancestors have been part of the community; they are “present” even though they were gone. The Lugbara people would say, “They are with us.”

Every member of the community (except children) knew very well that the ancestors did not literally eat the food offered to them. The servants or “priests” of the community took the food on behalf of the ancestors. Sharing the food symbolized the communion between the living members and the members of the community who had gone on to the other side of the world.

Thus, communion with the ancestors was not a form of “worship” or “adoration,” it simply remembered ancestors as part of the community. They were cherished and honored in the collective memory because they were metonymically representing the body of knowledge that guided the community in the different dimensions of community life: ethics, socio-economics, family matters, etc. Most references to ancestors occur in relation to the quest of truth, ethical decisions and other deliberations.

As you can see in the comments, this is not news to the anthropological world. But the rest of the world, especially the Christian world might not be aware that what had been labeled “ancestor worship” for a long time is not necessarily worship. We so easily judge other cultures using the wrong grid (looking through the lenses of our own culture) and at the same time justifying things that are very similar in our own culture.

BlogDay 2008

Through the blog of a Facebook friend (thanks, Eddie) I discovered that it is BlogDay 2008 today. That was the first time I heard about it but it sounds like a good idea and a lot of fun. This is the fourth time.

 

The instructions for it are fairly simple:

BlogDay posting instructions:

  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2008
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link:
    http://technorati.com/tag/BlogDay2008 and a link to the BlogDay web site at http://www.blogday.org

Since the day is not over yet, I will suggest my share of five blogs:

One of me recent discoveries is “Savage Mind” a group blog on anthropological topics. I have already found several interesting ideas there. I am looking forward to reading more and keeping myself up-to-date in the area of anthropology.

Everyday Sociology” is an even more recent discovery (this weekend) that I plan to read regularily because the topics are really interesting and fascinating. Plus, there is a lot of relevance to my own resesarch.

Wayne Jacobsen, writes on “Life Stream Blog”. I have listened to his podcast “The God Journey” (together with Brad Cummings) on and off over the past few years and found them inspiring and challenging. Now I have started reading his blog. And one of his books – “He loves me!“. 😉

For some time I have been lurking on Dan J. Brennan’s blog. 😉 Dan is in the process of writing a book on cross-sex (non-romantic) friendships. He writes more blogs than I have time to read but I find his point of view interesting, even though some of his ideas leave me with mixed feelings. I think a lot will depend on the practical implementation of the idea. I wish I had the time to read some of the books he mentions. At least through his blog, I get a glimps of some of them.

And last but not least, one from down under,  “Mark Conner’s Space”. I stumbled across this blog today and from all that I have read so far, I really like his balanced and pastoral take on things, such as the recent revelations on some Christian leaders.

P.S. Apologies to the blog owners that I notified you so late. Certainly too late for Australians to participate. 🙁