Monthly Archives: June 2013

Birthday Memories

John was going to be born at home. Everything was going well. The midwife had me on a diet that gave me lots of energy and life was good.

We had been living on an outpost north of Manaus, Brazil where our assignment was to learn the language of the Indians who lived around us. They knew no Portuguese and no one spoke their language. As linguists with the Summer Institute of Linguistics, we had been invited to join with the government Indian agency in making contact with this group, analyzing their language, learning it and figuring out an alphabet. It was a tall order since in 2 years time, my husband had only had about 24 hours worth of time with them divided between about 8 or 9 different contacts. I had only seen them once. To expect us to learn their language under these circumstances was a huge stretch! But in fact, we did learn how to say, “What is this?” in their language and from there began to glean a list of words. But we were far from the point of having enough data to determine the appropriate alphabet for their language when we found out we were expecting John, our second child.

Malaria was running rampant in the area and since I had no desire to contract malaria during my pregnancy, we requested permission to take an early furlough and return to the Dallas, Texas area.

When we got settled in, we discovered that a number of other women in the mission were going the route of having home births with the help of a local midwife. I had read lots about it and had been quite unsatisfied with my birth experience in Brazil so we prayerfully made the decision to have this second baby in the USA with a midwife and home birth.

All was going very well until one morning about 6 weeks before my due date I awoke with an excruciating headache. The pain was so intense, I could do nothing but lie on the couch or bed and wait either for deliverance or death. If that sounds dramatic, it was. The pain was impossible to describe in words and I have never before or since actually wished that death would deliver me from it. In addition to the pain, my eyes crossed and I saw double of everything. We went to specialists who sent us to other specialists but no one could figure out what was happening to me. They did a CAT scan which showed nothing. They called in their colleagues to see this strange case. In the end, they concluded that it was all due to a hormone imbalance. And because of the headache and double vision, I suddenly had a “high risk” pregnancy and could no longer have a home birth.

And that’s why John Cameron Reece entered the world at Grand Prairie Community Hospital around 6:00 AM on June 24, 1977. The birth was very normal. The nurses held up a mirror for me to watch his birth, but I didn’t see much of it. Actually, I saw it double and couldn’t really see what I was seeing. The most critical thing, however, was that he was placed in my arms, wrapped in a receiving blanket and I was nursing him within minutes of his birth before they even cleaned him up! That is a precious memory indeed, far different from my experience with my daughter who had been born in Brazil. I had had to fight to get the nurses to give her to me after more than 24 hours – one of the reasons I didn’t want to experience anything like that again.

John was our Texan although he loved Brazil and claimed it as home. Inadvertently, we named him John and his birth fell on Brazil’s “St John’s Day” (Dia de Sao Joao). We had forgotten, but probably would still have named him John. We both loved that name. Cameron, his middle name, was after Uncle Cam, William Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators who was a man of great faith and a personal friend of our family.

How do you really pay tribute to a son who departed far too soon? Perhaps you understand, having lost a child or family member yourself. The only way is to say, “Thank you, John for your presence with us for 22 years.”

Read more of John’s story. Just click here to get our book.

Making The Most Of Content Writers

The world is divided on the subject of good grammar. On the one hand, people who insist on proper grammar and correct spelling tend to be subjected to accusations of Grammar-Nazism, nit-pickery and intolerable fussiness. They will say that if the general idea gets across, worrying about anything else is silly. On the other hand, when people read anything written for the general public, they expect it to be legible, comprehensible and correct, or they will call into question the intelligence, maturity and credibility of the company that writing represents. It can seem like a tiresome argument, but if your company has a website, you can’t afford not to put in the time and effort to place the writing on your website beyond reproach. If writing isn’t your thing, though, not to worry, that’s what content writers are for!

Content Writers to the Rescue

Content writers know that people will judge the quality of writing on your website even without knowing it. It’s easy to think that writing is good enough if it gets the point across, but there is so much more to writing than just getting the point across—good writing on your website will reassure customers that you are competent and intelligent and that you care about the quality of goods you are presenting. Don’t believe that? Well, would you want to do bizness wit sum1 who rites lik this?  Of course not. Writing, on the Internet, is how we speak. Even people who claim not to care about quality writing will notice when someone doesn’t even appear to be able to speak their own language!

Clean, clear English is not optional in the online world. The Internet is a world of infinite options, and many of them are accessed through a search engine… and you can bet search engines know how to spell! Your site is one of many, and in a time where Internet scams run rampant, professionalism is absolutely vital. Content writers can make sure that your site makes visitors feel that their business is in good hands. Quality writing isn’t about making you look smart (though of course that never hurts). It’s about making your credibility known in a marketplace where the potential for distrust is a natural part of any business deal.

Beyond Writing

Mind you, there’s more to online writing than just convincing your customers that you know how to speak English. Content writers can help you move beyond the bare basics of proper grammar and good spelling. They know which words work and which words don’t. They understand how to make search engines work for you—because when you’re online, your audience doesn’t just consist of humans! Like most writers, content writers don’t find the “fussy” element of writing to be tiresome or difficult. They are more than happy to go over your content word by word to make sure that it’s perfect for your human readers as well as your electronic ones!

Content Writers: Writing Styles

Content writers are there to make you look good, and they’re very good at what they do. A worthwhile online writer is used to researching topics and running them through the filters of tone and intent to bring exactly the information you want to your audience, in exactly the way you want it delivered! Pro writers know that writing about serious topics like adoption or impaired driving requires a whole different toolbox than writing about lighter subject matter. In fact, a content writer will probably enjoy the challenge of jumping from a serious post about alcohol abuse or bankruptcy to a cheerful article about sports, candy or lingerie! It’s a given that you know what you’re talking about… content writers are there to leave no doubt in your readers’ mind that you are nothing less than an expert in your field!

While ultimately your customers will judge you on the quality of your product, their first impression of you will most likely be the quality of your website. Just like your customers do business with you based on your ability to provide a product or service like no other, your choice to hire content writers shows a commitment to excellence that you can’t afford to pass up.  Content writers work with editors who ensure that their service to you is as excellent as your service to your customers. It really is the best way to make your website a place your customers will want to stay.

Everyone’s area of expertise is different, and writing isn’t for everyone. It’s a tricky and sometimes finicky job, but when it’s done right it can make all the difference in the world for your website. Think about it like this: the grammar fiends of the world are going to judge your written content no matter what you do. You might as well get them on your side and benefit from it… that’s what content writers are for!

This guest post was written by Troy Weeber, a strong devotee of content writers.