Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Introducing The Stretched Newsletter

I’d like to introduce a NEW Stretched newsletter.

The newsletter will highlight some of the things going on at Jon Stolpe Stretched, and it will hopefully give you content that you can’t find on the blog.  More than anything, I hope that STRETCHED (the newsletter) will be a place to keep you and me stretching.

To sign up, go to my main blog and enter your e-mail address in Newsletter sign-up box at the top of the right sidebar menu.

Thanks in advance for subscribing!

Advertisements

July 21, 2013 Posted by | blogging, stretch | Leave a comment

Ice Breaker…Moved

If you missed yesterday’s post, The Stretched Blog has moved to a new site (jonstolpe.com) – including today’s ice breaker question.  So head on over to the new site, answer today’s ice breaker question, and subscribe to the NEW Stretched Community!

Thanks!

January 13, 2012 Posted by | blogging, Ice Breaker | 3 Comments

The Stretched Blog is Moving!

I’m super excited to announce that The Stretched Blog is moving.  As of today, I’m now hooked up at jonstolpe.com.  Please head over there to see what’s going on.  Join the Stretched Community by becoming a subscriber.  Add this new link to your blog readers.  And get set for more great content.

I plan to head in the same direction, but the new platform will give me some flexibility for future enhancements.  Thanks so much for following along here and I look forward to seeing you at the new site!

Let the Stretching continue!

January 12, 2012 Posted by | blog spotlight, blogging, new experiences, stretch | 6 Comments

Don’t Hold A Press Conference

We all like to be noticed.  We all like to be recognized for doing something good.  We like to hear people say, “Good job.”  We want the praise of man.  I think this is a normal human desire.

The other day, I was reading in Matthew 6 which is part of the Sermon on the Mount given by Jesus.  In part of this sermon, Jesus talks about how we should give to the needy, how we should pray, and how we should go about fasting.  Three times in this passage Christ says, “Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  When we give to the needy, when we pray, and when we fast, we should do these acts so no one knows but God.  We want the recognition.  We want to hold a press conference when we do these things.  But Christ tells us to keep it between God and us.  Surely, God’s reward is far greater than any recognition we get from man.

As a blogger this is a huge topic to ponder.  I often blog about the activities of my family including the activities related to serving others.  I hope that my main motivation in sharing these things is to encourage others to find ways to serve with their families, but I confess that there may be a part of my motivation that wants to hear others say, “Your family is so good.  You are a great parent.  You and Leanne do such a great job.”  These compliments do mean a lot, but my suspicion is that these praises of people pale in comparison to the reward that God promises.

Ultimately, I want to glorify God.  Whether it’s giving to the needy, praying, fasting, working, running, blogging, or whatever, I want my thoughts and actions to bring glory to God.

And so I stretch!  (In a year of being transformed, transformation of my motives is a great place to start.)

What do you think?  Do you struggle with seeking the praise of people?  How do you fight this?

January 10, 2012 Posted by | blogging, experiences, fasting, giving, heart, parenting, prayer, press conference, stretch, teaching, thoughts, transformed, wisdom | 17 Comments

Book Review: Starting Over A Manifesto on Being Myself by Michael D. Perkins

Over the years, I’ve reviewed many books here on The Stretched Blog.  Today, I’m reviewing my first eBook.  Starting Over A Manifesto on Being Myself is a creative and challenging eBook by pastor and blogger, Michael D. Perkins.  In Starting Over, Perkins challenges bloggers (and other creative persons) to break free of the formulas that govern traditional blogging (and other forms of creativity).  Michael’s unique blogging style which usually appears on The Handwritten is taken to the next level in this handwritten work as he encourages readers to avoid copying others and to find ways to be ourselves.

From a personal perspective, I was challenged by every page of Starting Over.  My engineering personality thrives on formulas and routines.  So much of my blogging has been influenced by “big name” bloggers like Michael Hyatt, John Saddington, and Jon Acuff.  I think it’s okay to be influenced, but it’s important to find our uniqueness in our on original styles and forms.  Starting Over definitely STRETCHES me as I consider my Stretched Blog.

If you are a blogger, I definitely recommend downloading a copy of this FREE e-book.  You can pick up a copy by clicking here.  Let me know what you think!

How about you?  Who had influenced you as a blogger?  And how have you found your unique voice through your blog?  What do you need to change in order to become yourself?

January 9, 2012 Posted by | blog spotlight, blogging, book review, Michael D. Perkins, Starting Over, stretch, thoughts | 9 Comments

January 7, 2012 Week In Review…

It’s time for The Stretched Blog Week in Review – the first for 2012!   The traffic to the Stretched Blog is at an all-time high this week.  In fact, blog traffic on Wednesday was the highest ever on the blog (and Thursday’s traffic was right behind).  Thank you!

Here’s the rundown on the posts for the week:

Monday:  December 2011 Top Posts

Tuesday:  Meet Irwin

Wednesday:  One Word For 2012: Transformed

Thursday:  The Stretched Blog Visits The Analogous Truth

Friday (this actually posted Saturday do to a visit to me by the stomach flu):  Ice Breaker – My First Car

Your continued contribution to the blog through comments is greatly appreciated.  Your comments are what makes this Stretched Community!  Please remember to take the time to Subscribe to the blog, so you can have Stretched delivered daily to your e-mail inbox.  Also, don’t forget to stop by the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook fan page.  Become a fan to keep up with some additional Stretched stuff.  I have started to share more blog highlights from other blogs that I read regularly.  I think you’ll find some great stuff here.  Thanks!

Here are a few of my favorites from around the blog world this week:

It should be a fun week upcoming.  Brandon Gilliland will be guest posting on Wednesday.  We’ll have another fun Ice Breaker on Friday.  And there’s sure to be more Stretching the rest of the week.  Please stop back so you can see what’s going on here!

How about you?  How was your week?  If you’re a blogger what happened over your way this week?  Did you read any great blog posts this week?  Share with the rest of us!

January 7, 2012 Posted by | Arny Sanchez, blogging, Brandon Gilliland, guest blogger, Ice Breaker, Irwin, looking back, One Word 365, puppy, Seeing Eye, stretch, The Analogous Truth, thoughts, transformed, week in review | Leave a comment

The Stretched Blog Visits The Analogous Truth

Today, I have the privilege of guest posting over at The Analogous Truth.  The Analogous Truth is a blog written by my friend, Arny Sanchez.  Arny creatively relates pop culture to faith.  My post today (I Love You Man!) fits into Arny’s theme.  Please stop over to read it and add a comment or two.  Also, please consider adding The Analogous Truth to your regular blog reading routine.  Thanks!

(Note on guest posting:  I’d love to share a guest post on your blog sometime or to have you guest post here about your stretching story.  If either of these two opportunities interest you, drop me a comment.)

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Arny Sanchez, blog spotlight, blogging, faith, guest blogger, The Analogous Truth, thoughts | , | 7 Comments

December 2011 Top Posts

We’ve reached the end of another month.  December was the BEST month so far at Jon Stolpe Stretched.  Traffic on the blog increased slightly by over 500 page views since November and by almost 300 page views since the previous record month (September 2011)!  Comments continued to roll-in.  And new people joined in the conversation and community.  The blog added TWELVE new subscribers, and the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook Page attracted a couple of new followers in its fourth month.  Here are the top 10 posts and top 3 commentors for the month:

Top 10 Posts

1.  On Fire

2.  Ice Breaker – Christmas Movies (the new #1 Ice Breaker question)

3.  Ice Breaker – Christmas Songs and Carols

4.  Surprise!!!

5.  Our Christmas Ornament Tradition

6.  Ice Breaker – On The 13th Day Of Christmas What Gift Are You Hoping to Get

7.  Ten Things Every Small Group Leader Should Know (originally posted on October 24, 2011)

8.  Ice Breaker – Favorite Toy

9.  Leaders Are Readers – Creating My Reading List For 2012

10.  It’s 40!

Top 3 Commentors (We blew by the 1,500th comment mark this month!)

1.  Larry Carter (for the 2nd month in a row!)

2.  Brandon Gilliland

3.  Bill Grandi

I now have 32 regular subscribers.  If you’d like to become a subscriber, see the “Join the Stretched Community” window on your right.  It’s great to see this starting to take off.

Thank you to all of you for reading and contributing to the blog and to the reader community.  I continue to grow a lot through this experience.  *** This month, the top commentor will receive a copy of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  Get your comments in for an opportunity to win!!! ***

As always, I love to share your “stretching” stories on my blog, so leave me a comment if you’re interested in being a guest blogger on Jon Stolpe Stretched.  As a side note, I’d love to see guest bloggers in the monthly top 10 list!

Finally, if you’re a blogger, how did your blog to this month?  What was your top post?  What was your favorite post?

January 2, 2012 Posted by | birthday, blogging, Christmas, Christmas movies, Christmas season, family traditions, fire, first Christmas ornament, guest blogger, Ice Breaker, stretch, thankful, thoughts | , | 4 Comments

2011 in review (according to WordPress)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

January 1, 2012 Posted by | blogging, looking back | | 1 Comment

New Year’s Eve 2011 Week In Review…

It’s been a different week here at the Stretched blog.  The holidays have provided a great opportunity to catch up with family, to relax, and to regroup for 2012.  The traffic to the Stretched Blog was a little lower than the past few weeks, but that was expected.  On the positive, December 2011 has been the best month (by far) since the blog started!  Thank you!

Here’s the rundown on the posts for the week:

Monday: Top Posts of 2011 Number 3 – Reflect More, Risk More, Leave A Legacy – Start Blogging (A Guest Post by Jason Fountain)

Tuesday: Top Posts of 2011 Number 2 – Ten Things Every Small Group Leader Should Know

Wednesday:  Top Posts of 2011 Number 1 – Top 10 Things To Do At Grove City College

Thursday:  Book Review: Rumors of God by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson

Friday (this actually posted Saturday do to a visit to me by the stomach flu):  Ice Breaker – Resolutions

I am so thankful for your continued contribution to the blog through comments.  Your comments are what makes this Stretched Community!  Please remember to take the time to Subscribe to the blog, so you can have Stretched delivered daily to your e-mail inbox.  Also, don’t forget to stop by the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook fan page.  Become a fan to keep up with some additional Stretched stuff.  I have started to share more blog highlights from other blogs that I read regularly.  I think you’ll find some great stuff here.  Thanks!

I’m really excited about this upcoming week as we roll into 2012!  I’ll be guest posting on a blog or two, and I’ll have more stuff right here.  Please stop back so you can see what’s going on here!

How about you?  How was your week?  If you’re a blogger what happened over your way this week?  Did you read any great blog posts this week?  Share with the rest of us!

December 31, 2011 Posted by | blogging, book review, Darren Whitehead, guest blogger, Ice Breaker, Jason Fountain, Jon Tyson, looking back, New Year's Resolutions, Rumors of God, stretch, thoughts, week in review | 1 Comment