This year I began to ask some questions on the blog, not necessarily driven by an agenda or in order to passive-agressively make a point, but to simply start a conversation. I desire to see the Church beginning and sustaining meaningful conversations about both the how and why behind the way we live out our faith. One morning, I posted the question about living in Biblical community.

I’d love for you to join in the conversation.

this post is part of my 2010 recap/best-of week. if you have a post that impacted you this year, let us know, drop a link in the comments or tweet me a link and I’ll compile that content and find a way to highlight it; could be your own material, or something you stumbled across.

Sam Duregger and I had a conversation a few months back that won’t leave me alone. While discussing the need for developing a platform in order to be heard, we began to question aloud the standards by which we measure a successful artist. The polar views are:

  • A successful author is one who is widely read and who’s work is quickly embraced. Now is the goal and timeliness is the standard.
  • A successful author is one who’s work long outlives him or her. Longevity equals impact and timelessness is paramount.

Of course, with all things, the answer most likely lies buried somewhere in the in between, but it is worth asking and debating and pondering.

What standards do you use to measure a successful writer?

I will be unplugged for the next week thanks to my in-laws generously giving us a trip to Mexico for our family Christmas present! I had been thinking about the annual best-of posts for the past few days, so I thought this was the perfect time for a week-long best of 2010 recap. I will be posting everyday, Sunday through Sunday; each day will be a post that has had some sort of impact this past year.

I would also love to open this up to you. If you have read a post here that was meaningful, let me know! And/or, let me know of an impactful post you read on someone else’s blog, or wrote yourself. I’d love to dedicate a day to your picks. Either leave them in the comments today, or tweet me a link.

Also, while I’m away, I’ll be reading Sean Gladding’s book, The Story of God, the Story of Us – it would only be better if I was reading it on one of these :) (affiliate links). What are you reading these days?

To Dust and From Dust

Sam Mahlstadt —  December 9, 2010 — 4 Comments

the day the earth shook, bricks and bodies fell

broken into pieces

thrown from their places

and heaped in the streets

piles and piles


from dust they came and to dust they went

in an instant

with mothers and fathers standing by

neighbors begging and strangers pleading

and praying for

the dust to settle

and for the bricks and bodies to be put back.

to be put back in their places, safe and intact

holding up walls and families and the livelihood of a nation.

a great nation full of life and struggle and fight.

the fight was buried that day under bricks and bodies

that fell from their places when the earth shook from her belly

upsetting it all, infrastructure and family dinner

the bricks and the bodies,

from dust to dust.

the bricks will remain crushed and broken

but the walls will rise once more.

the bodies will be buried in the her dirt

but they will see restoration on the other side,

and the nation will be restored one brick at a time

and the nation will be restored one body at a time

and the nation will be redeemeed one at a time.

in the dust and through the dust.

As an aspiring writer with a nearly-completed book lurking in the shadows, I have been spending a bit of time thinking about publishing as it is now, and its future as well.

With the recent news about Google’s entry into the book market, it seems that the future of the ebook is now (if it hasn’t already been for a couple years).

Then a few days ago, Seth Godin announced that he was looking for some accomplices for a new publishing adventure. Today, he revealed on his blog that the new venture is called, The Domino Project; a publishing platform with Amazon handling the production and distribution.

The game is changing, and it’s moving rapidly. There are countless imprints now dedicated to ebooks, and major publishers are (slowly) moving in the direction of a more balanced approach to publishing on paper and on electronic platforms. With Godin becoming a player in the game, it is bound to change even quicker.

I’m excited for this as an author, reader, fanboy, and consumer.