I have not yet taken the time to talk a little bit about the links found under "best of the best" on the left hand side of my blog.
I have different reasons for referring my visitors to each blog, as they are all unique and have made my days better or more challenging (in a positive way) almost every time I click over to see an update.
Many of the links (not all) are the titles I have given them, and not the author's. So, don't hold them responsible for some really cheesy names for their blogs (except Mark Elrod. At least he's honest about the lame part).
Here's my Best of the Best, in semi-alphabetical order:
1. Auburn Tiger Athletics- This has been my team since I was very young, mainly because of my Grandaddy. He was an Auburn graduate. He played football and baseball on the Plains. He used to tease me that I couldn't be an Auburn fan because I was from Tennessee. It would get me hopping mad, which I'm sure at six years old, truly concerned my Grandaddy who always got a big kick out of that.
If anyone is interested in gauging my general mood on Fall Saturdays, you can check out the score on the Tiger's homepage.
2. America's Finest News Source- This is a link to the infamous "The Onion" newspaper. It may be one of the most consistently funny sites ever. The first time I read this my sophomore year of college, I laughed for 15 minutes about a story on Christopher Reeve, who had undertaken a "silent protest" high atop the Sears Tower. He was going to stay up there until he was cured from his paralysis.
One of the headlines last week that made me laugh out loud was, "Reaganomics finally trickles down to area man." and "Bi-sexual's parents half-understand."
3. Adventures of The Kid- This is Laura Beth Chapman's site. She was in Uganda for a little over a year through this past summer. She is an amazing person, who is, not just "like," but in fact is my little sister. She did a wonderful job documenting the stories, successes, and disappointments of working in the field in East Africa.
She doesn't have the time to update it all that often, but when she does, it will make your day seem better.
4. An American Front Porch- This is Nathan McIntyre's brain child. He is one of my closest brothers. He is a gifted and talented writer, as he speaks his mind about a great variety of topics. Nate brought me on board to co-author the site last November. Another six people have been brought on since to make it a true "front porch" feel.
The updating has been sparse lately, so you may have to go back a little further to find some of the better, more challenging and prolific writings.
5. Christian Jew- M. Alan Gable is another one of my brothers using his blog to expound upon a great many subjects. I call him a Christian Jew because, well, he's an accountant. Alan is brilliant, and more importantly, uses that mind to seek God's will. He breaks it down for you, and is unafraid to challenge himself and others on topics with which he is currently wrestling.
6. Cat Mirante- A good person, with a beautiful and wonderful family. She may be the most athletic female I've ever met in person other than my wife. I'm not sure her husband, Chris, could beat her in a game of "H-O-R-S-E" if his life depended on it.
She keeps it fun, but challenges others frequently with her participation in serious discussion on others' sites.
7. Dr. Brooks I Presume- Tiffany Yecke Brooks remains one of my favorite people of all-time. My admiration for her is second only to my wife. She is a driven and talented woman of God. She uses her spare time to encourage others in a way few others take the time to do, and it is easy to see Christ working in her.
I believe her talents and brain would prohibit her from doing very little that she sets her mind to accomplishing. She's a professor of English Literature, and is also a gifted writer, actress, and teacher. Her husband, A.J. is the best person I've never met. I look forward to meeting him when he comes home from his deployment in Saudi Arabia.
Please keep them both in your prayers, as it has got to be incredibly difficult being far apart for long periods of time.
8. The Doctor Is In- This is Liz's site that is rarely updated due to her time constraints. I'm pretty interested in the subject matter discussed on the site, so it makes my best of the best list.
9. The Lame-O Weblog- This is Dr. Mark Elrod's site. It may be the most popular blog in the History of the Church of Christ academic circle.
Dr. Elrod doesn't like me very much, and his political leanings make me nauseated. That doesn't stop me from believing him a good man, whose religion and political ideals may be the most consistent of anyone I have ever met. He wants to help people. Period. He definitely personifies "Esse quam videri."
He has a wonderful mind, and his blog reflects his personality, which is fun, clever, original and lettered. His heart for teaching is second to none, and I hope someday to be able to commit my life to teaching as he has.
10. Martha Roger's Neighborhood- This woman was a remarkable girl when I knew her in high school. Martha's whole family is incredible. Her blog is personal, honest, and reflects the heart of a person who is actively seeking the will of God in her life. Her mind constantly dwells on the spiritual, and I love how she talks to God all the time. That is something lost in our unhealthy moderninity, even in the Church.
Martha has always made me want to be a better person, and I understand her husband, Keith, has the same gift as well. Together they are an incredible force for The Kingdom, and her journey through life with her family is something fun to watch.
11. The TCFL- This is a link to the history our eight-man fantasy football venture: the Tuesday & Co. Football League.
It may be the equivalent of sports, "Dungeons and Dragons," but it is an incredibly effective tool to keep up with people I care about through a common interest in the NFL and competition. It has had a far greater impact on my life than I would care to admit, as it guarantees conversations and time spent with people whom I may not see otherwise.
If you want to see how serious it gets, check out the link on the history site to the "TCFL Constitution." Read Article I and tell me we're not a bunch of academics using fantasy football as the world's smallest political science experiment.
12. The Unsinkable- Kristen Chapman's blog is upbeat and original. She is the Barry Bonds of blogging. How so? She has a "natural swing" to her writing style that truly is a God-given talent. Her blog tackles mommy issues in a Christ-like manner that, I know for a fact, has helped other women in the same life circumstances.
She is also a close friend, and I enjoy what time I get to spend with her and her family whenever possible.
13. U.S. Constitution- Although I try to memorize it, I still find it handy to keep a copy in my back pocket and a link on the web for any curious visitor.
Other than a few religious texts, this document has done more shaping of our modern world that just about any other. Taking the time to read it every so often is something I believe every American should do.
14. Uptown's Smokeshop- It's my hometown cigar shop. They have an incredible selection of cigars, and have the best pipe tobacco mixtures I have found anywhere. Believe me, I've been around. If you are so inclined about fine tobacco products, check it out.
I visited this shop on my 18th birthday, and have patroned this Green Hills cornerstone ever since. I still order by the box from them because of their solid prices, and they have recently began carrying one of my best friend's (Scott Holtman) handmade pipes (which are beautiful).
This is my list of good reading on the web. I hope some of these links can challenge you, help you accomplish some of your goals, or at least make you smile and hope a little more during your day.
Coming soon: Those deep writings I've been promising, and a nostalgic look back on the Crieve Hall Youth Group, 1994-1998.