All posts written by Bill Blankschaen

From Bill Blankschaen — In Case You Missed It

Just in case not all of you remembered to switch your subscriber feed from BillintheBlank over to my new FaithWalkers blog at Patheos. Click here to see the latest posts!

Don’t miss my guest posts with Ron Edmondson 5 Reasons We Choose to Not Speak Up and with CatalystSpace 12 Questions Every New Leader Should Ask.

Enjoy!

And don’t forget to take a second to re-subscribe and join the FaithWalkers community today! You can always shortcut directly to my new blog at http://FaithWalkersblog.com

Hi. I’m Bill. Welcome!

Welcome to Bill in the Blank, home base for the ministry of Bill Blankschaen.

That would be me – Bill.

 Bill BlankschaenHere’s my picture, just to prove it.

I’m glad you stopped by. You can find out more about me here, but if you want the short version, I am passionate about equipping Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

I like to call it becoming a FaithWalker:

For we walk by faith and not by sight. ~ 2 Cor. 5:7

The just shall live by faith. ~ Rom. 1:17

Follow My Blog

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I invite you to follow my blog at Patheos for regular posts connecting real life with real faith. You’ll find practical FaithWalker tips on my blog as well as Biblical perspectives on current events from a conservative perspective. You’ll find some encouragement, a few tools to grow, and occasionally a little controversy. Oh — and, hopefully, a smile or two.

You can see what others are saying about me in the sidebar, but I invite you to explore for yourself. Join the FaithWalkers community by clicking here and then subscribing with your e-mail address or via RSS feed for spam-free updates. 

Get My Latest Book — for Free!

Finding the CurveFor a limited time, I’m giving away copies of my latest e-book:

Finding the Curve: The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth

It’s a seriously fun, practical look at simple truths to help you be your best at anything.

If you want to grow like never before, just click on the picture to the left to download your own e-copy.

And enjoy!

 

New Blog Posts at Patheos from This Week

As some of you may recall, I mentioned that I was consolidating my blogs into one at Patheos. But I told you I would keep you up to speed.

Many of you have already subscribed at Patheos to follow along — and I am grateful. It’s privilege to have you along on this journey connecting real life and real faith.

For those of you who haven’t gotten around to it yet, here is a sampling of posts from this past week that you missed:

You might also be interested in The FaithWalker’s Daily, a quick review of key news stories of the day from the perspective of a conservative Christ-follower living in, but not of, the world. A sample edition available here — for free.

Blessings and many thanks for following along. Let me know how I can be of help to you in your walk of faith.

Don’t forget, to stay up to date, simply head over to my blog at Patheos and enter your e-mail address or subscribe via RSS — your choice.  And, of course, you can follow at Twitter here or on Facebook here.

 

My First Book Review of 2013: The War Against God

Get my take on some terrific Christian fiction that tackles real-world view issues head on — and wins!  

The War Against God: A Book Review

My Latest on Prayer at Patheos

See Why I Don’t Like to Pray. Maybe,if you’re honest, you might feel the same way sometimes?

Happy New Year! Time to Grow Again

As you may have noticed, my posts have been infrequent of late here at Bill in the Blank. There’s reason for that.

I have been re-assessing the most effective strategy for me to equip Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith. As result, I will be making some changes in the coming days to make the most effective use of the time and talents God has given me. Busy doesn’t necessarily mean effective. I wish to be the best steward of my strengths that I can possibly be so I can help equip you to do the same even as I explore more exciting options in pursuit of the calling God has given me.

The change that will be most noticeable to you here is that I will be consolidating my two blogs into one at Patheos. This site will remain as my home base, as it were, with an easy link to the blog. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted so you don’t miss anything.

For now, I share with you some posts from recent days on my further thoughts on the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook and more:

 7 Steps to Safer Schools: A Principal Speaks

To All Those Who Want Safer Schools in Newtown

Westboro Baptist Church a Hate Group? What’s Wrong with the Petition

Was Jesus Born a Away in the Manger at Migdal Eder?

 

I also invite you to follow along there with The FaithWalker’s Daily — a quick review of current news events from the perspective of a conservative Christ-follower living in, but not of, the world. Check out a few recent editions here and here. Enter your e-mail address at Patheos to subscribe to the new blog feed and receive these alerts each morning to enjoy as you sip your coffee — or tea.

 

More on that and other exciting changes in the days to come. For now, thank you for continuing to follow along on this journey of faith.

And have a very happy and blessed new year!

 

My Prayer for Sandy Hook, Newtown, and My Hometown of Chardon

It’s taken some doing, but I’ve begun to share my thoughts on the massacre at Sandy Hook given my rather unique position as a former school principal and a resident of Chardon, site of a small-town school shooting earlier this year.

Click here to read my story and my prayer for them at Patheos. May it move you to pray, as well.

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See How to Create Lasting Memories with Your Children

They don’t just happen, you know. Lasting memories, that is. Parents need to be intentional about creating them. But how to do it?

My daughter creating lasting memories fishing with friends in South Carolina.

One of the best ways to create lasting memories is to do something with your children that is a unique experience — something out of the ordinary. It could be something as simple as going to a movie or to McDonald’s for breakfast one morning. The what doesn’t matter as much as the why. Children notice when parents go out of their way to spend time with them. They pay attention when we make the effort to carve out space to experience something new with them — something only we share with them.

Believe me, in a busy family of six children, it can be difficult to spend that one-on-one time with each of them. We do things together, of course, as you can see in my series Build a Family You Can Be Proud Of or Why Walt Disney World Is Our Favorite Place to Be a Family. We read together as I’ve written about here. We explore parks. Enjoy special family nights.

But there’s something to be said for a parent taking time to build the one-on-one relationship with each child to create lasting memories.

One method I have used as a dad to create lasting and unique memories with our children is to take road trips with each of them. I started last December when I took my oldest son on what was to be an eight-day road trip to Florida and back. It turned into a 9-day trip when we encountered a nasty ice-storm in Northern Kentucky and had to vacation an extra day in a hotel. But even the unexpected drama of skidding across the interstate only added to lasting memories of the trip.

Most recently, I took my oldest daughter on a week-long road trip to Atlanta, Ga, and South Carolina. The primary purpose of the trip was more professional and ministry-related, but a chance to spend time with my little girl (she just turned 12) one-on-one was right up there in making it a win-win trip.

The benefits of a taking a road trip

Here’s what I noted most about the benefits of taking a road trip with one child to create lasting memories:

  • You get to be quiet with the child. In our daily rush, we seldom get to be still, to sit in silence with each other and be Ok with it. In that environment, thoughts get shared as they come. Or not. It can make for a very authentic relationship building that sets the stage for future communication.
  • Older siblings get to enjoy being young again. Like it or not, older siblings tend to carry some of the load of helping with younger brothers and sisters. Some of that duty they take on themselves. But a road trip alone with mom or dad gives them a chance to relax and enjoy being a kid again.
  • You can do things that otherwise might not be possible as a family. Taking the entire family out to eat can be expensive. But a light snack for two might be doable. Stopping at a roadside attraction suddenly isn’t the logistical challenge it can be with the family when it’s just the two of you.
  • You can create lasting memories unique to that child. For my son, he is now the only child to have toured the USS Yorktown, seen Fort Sumter up close, and touched a Saturn V rocket. My daughter is now the only one to have caught a decent-sized fish (and then eaten it), gone clamming (a first for me, too), and visited the Atlanta Zoo. Oh, and she was also named honorary older-sister for our friends’ girls in Atlanta. Nobody else can say that. And that’s a good thing, provided each child gets a chance to carve out unique memories along the way.
  • You get to talk about life as it unfolds. For example, as we drove, we listened to Christmas music and discussed the lyrics at our leisure. We made new friends and discussed how people do things differently than our family and why we do what we do. It made for terrific opportunities to prepare her to think through life on her own in the coming years.

A few pictures from the trip with our friends: 

My daughter in her honorary role of Big Sister at the Atlanta Zoo.

Clamming with friends in South Carolina — a first for us both.

All of these reason only begin to scratch the surface. In short, road trips create lasting memories because they allow you to write a chapter in the story of a child’s life that is uniquely his or her own. And in a tight-knit family, it’s critical not to lose sight of each child as an individual, created in the image of God to be unlike anyone else.

Are you sensing some distance between yourself and one of your children? Maybe it’s time you fired up the car and took a road trip of your own to create some lasting memories with your child — before it’s too late to get intentional about life. Judging by the extra hugs I’ve received from her since our return, I can’t wait for the next trip with the next child.

Which of these reasons makes you want to take a trip with one of your children? Have you ever taken a road trip like ours? Share your story with a comment here to help us all grow.

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Rise of the Guardians an Enchanted Family Film

I thought I’d share my review of Rise of the Guardians with you in case you were considering taking the kids to see this enchanted DreamWorks film — or yourself.

Read the review at Patheos with a click here.

While you’re at it, you can check out my reviews of Lincoln and Skyfall, as well, if you’re interested.

A Thanksgiving Warning

Here’s a quick link to my post at Patheos for all you busy Bill in the Blank subscribers this weekend. A reminder of why we celebrate Thanksgiving and the danger of not being thankful.  Next week: our series continues on overcoming fear!

Click here to read Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation and God’s warning for us all.

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Happy Thanksgiving! 101 Things I’m Thankful For

To celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in the US, I put together a list of 101 — and counting — things I’m thankful for.

Click here to read the list at Patheos and consider adding a few more things of your own with a comment.

Have You Ever Written a Poem? Here’s One of Mine

Under the category of unusual things that I have done in life, here is a brief poem that I wrote while waiting during visiting hours at a funeral many years ago.

photo: UNE Photos

Peace

Lost

In a forest of words

I feel

Alone.

 

Saved

By the scent of pine

I weep

No more.

 

Here

On the emerald moss

I lie.

Roses.

 

There

In a crevice of dust

I find

Home.

 

~ Bill Blankschaen

Is there a poem you’ve written that you’d be willing to share — or do you have a favorite poem that spoke to you in a specific moment in life? Feel free to offer comments or interpretations with a comment here.

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