⚠️ Don’t leave your lightsaber on the floor. It’s dangerous!

How to Change the Order of Posts in a Category (Micro.blog + Hugo)

Like most blog themes, my current theme uses reverse chronological order to display posts. Newest posts show first.

I like this, but I wanted the opposite to happen when the posts are displayed as part of a category. This would allow me to create blogchains (like these) where readers could read a series of posts in the order in which they were written.

Happily, blogs hosted on Micro.blog can customize their themes. Here’s I did that to display category posts with the oldest posts showing first.

  1. Find the custom templates custom theme.

  2. In the config.json file, between the first and last curly brackets in the file, add the following:

     "taxonomies": { 
        "category": "categories"
  3. Click “Create New Template”

  4. Add the following file name and code, then click “Update Template”:

a template Page at Micro.blog

I figured this out using the following Hugo help pages. They also explain how you can order your posts in other ways, such as alphabetically or by length.

American Cursive: 1

This is entry 1 of the blogchain American Cursive.

I’m on a learning adventure to master the fundamentals of cursive penmenship. It’s a relaxed adventure. More of a stroll, actually.

My kids are fellow travelers, some ahead and some behind me. They are learning a cursive script at school and leave artifacts of their learning around the house, which impress and encourage me. Yesterday, my son was having some Outside Time during which wrote his name on some concrete with a piece of found charcoal.

So, one or two evenings week, I’ll sit at the dining table with my wife. And while she works on her art, I’ll work through another lesson in The Art of Cursive Penmenship: 86 lessons by Master Penmen and composer of American Cursive, Michael R. Sull.

🗺 Explore the future of blogging and the Internet by adding to this group blogchain. Or, if you prefer, just read along.

🧺 Beautiful day for a picnic! We had a relaxing time and got to meet some more of our great neighbors.

Church picnic at Pinecrest Park

📚 Read: about Aquinas on emotions. Excellent…and fascinating.

⛪️ Great sermons yesterday at Covenant. Listen to Phil Kruis’s exhortation from 1 Timothy to godliness and contentment, and Paul Johnson contrast the kingdom of Christ with the kingdoms of this world from the book of Esther.

📚 Members of my church are sharing books with each another through Inventaire. The UI could use some attention, but overall it’s working well.

Improving Our Communication System at Covenant

Over the next few months at Covenant, we are working to improve and align the various ways we share information at church. This includes how we use church bulletins, announcements, and the website, and more.

Why it matters: Having a good communication system within a church is important. A good communication system helps get the right information to the right people at the right time. It helps new members better integrate into the body. It helps people trust the information they receive. It helps people know how the church is doing and helps enable them to contribute to it’s growth and maturity.

A little background: Our first, big growth-step in this area happened eleven months ago when we began offering everyone an easier way to communicate with the whole church. We used a bare-bones set up with Outlook to make this happen.

Since offering this, we’ve faced some challenges that have generated some great feedback. We’ve also seen and heard about the ways that increased sharing within the church has helped us grow as a church body. Prayer requests and event planning have been especially beneficial.

What’s new: So based on what we’ve learned so far, we are now taking the next step and have built two new tools to replace and improve on our current email system.

Covenant Chronicle: First, we are reviving our church newsletter. This will be a simpler version of what we’ve produced in the past and will be sent 2-4 times a year. This will be a public, big-picture update for the whole church, longtime friends, and anyone interested in hearing what we’re up to.

  • We hope this will keep our friends in the loop without sending an email deluge every time we decide to have have a meal together.

Covenant Connect: Second, we have created an online private forum called Covenant Connect. This will be for members and regular attenders of Covenant to stay connected with each other and all the activities of the church. Covenant Connect will provide:

  • ways for members to control the flow of information and make sure they get what they need
  • improved moderation (most posts generously approved within 24-hours)
  • a place for members to learn the ropes, called The Guide
  • the ability for teams to work together and preserve their work
  • polling, easy site-feedback, and many other features

The tech: For those who are interested, we are using Discourse to build the forum and Buttondown for the newsletter.

Prayer request: Please pray that we’ll find success using these tools; that God will improve our ability to connect with each other as we find and share information in ways that please Him.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it gives grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

Thanks for reading!

🌵 We saw a bunch of these little guys last Saturday at the Tucson Reptile and Amphibian Show. They don’t stay little!

👩‍💻👨‍💻 Let’s take some personal responsibility for our media landscape and diet. Jim VandeHei of Axios gets personal.

📖 Last night in Going Deeper, I taught the distinction between archetypal and ectypal theology. The great Francis Junius wrote a few excellent chapters about this distinction in De Vera Theologia, which has been translated into English and is available for free online.

🧔🏻 Check out my new learning page. Thank you Jared Pereia for the idea.

Being Spiritually Mature is Important

According to Ephesians 4, it is God’s will that the church grow and become more mature. That the body of Christ, with all it’s members

“attain to the the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

And many other scriptures make this point. For example:

“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age” ( 1 Corinthians 2:6).

“Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).

“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20).

“…if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31).

✍🏻 @Dellachelpkaart’s peaceful meditation on the 23rd Psalm, which I preached last night. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

Sketch of sheep by Della Chelpka

📷 Lots of barrel cactus.

Barrel cactus

❤️ this picture of my daughter in front of a giant moon. @dellachelpkaArt made it with charcoal!

📚 Read The Whole Systems Approach by Bill and Cindy Adams. Great book! It helped me to better see the systems that comprise organizations. I feel more equipped to serve in various contexts after reading this book.

Class: Going Deeper

Going Deeper is designed to help you mature in Christ through

  1. twice per month, in-person classes
  2. a weekly online reading group

Attending Going Deeper will help you grow in your thinking as a Christian so that you may love more deeply and walk more wisely, “fully assured of the will of God” (Colossians 4:12), which is important.

You can join the classes, the reading group, or both. Both are free and you can join anytime. Regular attenders will become familiar with large portions of Reformed systematic theology.

Twice-monthly Classes

The best part of Going Deeper are the in-person classes. We meet from 6:00pm-7:30pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in central Tucson: 3131 N. Country Club Rd, suite 209.

Each class focuses on a different aspect of the Christian faith. Through prayer, study, and discussion, we consider the Bible’s teachings and the implications for our faith and life in Christ. Our time is divided into four parts based on a model I learned from Michael Horton.

  1. Drama. We will begin by remembering a few of God’s works and note their connection to his larger plan of redemption.
  2. Doctrine. I will teach 1-2 important doctrines related to the theme, paying careful attention to note the essential distinctions and priorities that Scripture makes. The live-lectures will be available only in class.
  3. Doxology. We will sing to God in response to what we have heard and then prayer together along the lines of our theme.
  4. Discipleship. We’ll discuss how what we’ve learned applies to our personal walks in the Lord as well as our life together.

Weekly Online Reading Group

Those who would like to supplement the classes, or who are unable to attend them, can join the online reading group where we discuss sections from Michael Horton’s, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples.

The reading group meets on Thursdays from 12:30-1:00pm at https://meet.jit.si/goingdeeper. If for some reason I can’t attend the reading group on a particular day, I’ll mention it on my blog and encourage you to still meet with any others who’d like to discuss.

Participants are required only to finish the assigned reading from Pilgrim Theology before the reading group meets.

Date Assigned Page Numbers
10/3 25-36
10/10 36-50
10/17 51-62
10/24 62-71

Class: Covenant Life

Starting next Wednesday, I will be teaching a micro-class called Covenant Life. We’ll meet twice: on 9/18 and 10/2 from 6:00-7:30pm at 3131 N. Country Club Rd, suite 209.

Who Should Come

  • Anyone desiring or exploring church membership at Covenant should attend.
  • Anyone who would like to hear a fresh overview of what God is doing at Covenant and how you can be a part of that.
  • Your children! I want to talk a little with your kiddos too about what it means for them to be members of the church along with their parents. Childcare will be provided for the remainder of the class.

What You’ll Learn

  • why we have church membership
  • the expectations of church membership
  • our doctrinal distinctives
  • why we worship the way we do
  • how our church is run
  • the history of our church
  • how to grow as a disciple at Covenant

I’ll also provide interesting readings for you and opportunities to ask your questions.

This is a great opportunity to find out what it means to follow Jesus with us at Covenant. I hope you will come and bring a friend.

📚 Read: Catholicism Made Me Protestant by Onsi A. Kamel in First Things

🇭🇰 There are so many remarkable things about the protests in Hong Kong.

🎨 Maybe a tenth of the whole mural at Olé Mexican Grill. Who painted this? It’s so fun.

🎨 Another beautiful sunset in Tucson.