Getting the dish on Food Network’s Dish

Author James Zappen wrote the book The Rebirth of Dialogue: Bakhtin, Socrates, and the Rhetorical Tradition. In his book he writes,

Dialogue is not simply a way of persuading others to accept our ideas, but a way of holding ourselves, and others, accountable for all of our thoughts, words, and actions. In supporting this premise,Bakhtin* challenges the traditions of argument and persuasion handed down from Plato and Aristotle, and he offers, as an alternative, a dialogic rhetoric that restructures the traditional relationship between speakers and listeners, writers and readers, as a mutual testing, contesting, and creating of ideas. . . Bakhtin’s dialogic rhetoric is not restricted to oral discourse, but is possible in any medium, including writing, graphic, and digital.

This makes me think about the words I use to communicate my ideas, thoughts, and opinions to others. It made me realize my words are not to impact others, but instead to hold myself to a specific standard I hold for me. Are my words impacting myself to a higher standard and encouraging myself, or bringing myself down?

I chose to analyze a blog on the Food Network’s blog “FN Dish” because of my love for unique and good food! The blog I read is called “Melissa’s Top 10 Supermarket Saving Strategies” by Melissa D’Arabian Everyone is interested in saving money, right?


Melissa’s D’Arabian’s blog only includes one hypertext throughout her work. The hypertext directly links to her website. She reaches out to the audience with ethos. On the website it shows that she is a celebrity chef and has credibility to her work that she writes because of her culinary background.

In Janice (Ginny) Redish’s book Letting Go of the Words chapter one she states “Site visitors often want to just grab what they need and go on to look up their next question, do their next task, make a decision, get back to work, or do whatever comes next for them.”  Following this statement is a list, one of the key points on the list is “Breaking your text into short sections with clear headings” (Redish 6). D’Arabian uses this concept into her blogging style very well.

    D’Arabian also does a great job in her blog expressing the clear purpose. The title sells the reader to the entire blog. In Chapter two of Redish’s book she goes on to describe the idea of planning the blog. “Successful writers don’t start by writing. They plan before they write (and they plan while they write and through all their revisions).”


Say Goodbye to Identity, Fair Information, and any Future Albert Einsteins

Writing on the web has become the easiest thing for an author to do when wanting to share their work with readers. It is easy, cheap, and accessible to anyone who has the internet. All are great benefits for an author to consider when deciding whether to write information through hard print or online.

There are also other characteristics the web offers that an author must consider.

1. The author can be thrown into a large anonymous pool.

The biggest difference in writing content on the web as opposed to a traditional print newspaper is the anonymity that it can obtain. USC’s Deputy Director of the Norman Lear Center, Johanna Blakley (2011) points out “With online social media tools it’s a lot easier to escape the typical demographics. For example, you can lie about your age online” in her TED talk video Social Media and the End of Gender. There are many blogs or online articles written by someone with a unisex name like “Carson” or “Alex” that I follow, and I question “Is this from a woman’s perspective or a male’s?” Knowing something like the gender of the author can give me a completely different perspective to the viewer.


2. The writer’s work will likely stream through a filter.

Many Social media websites and search engines have caught onto a new way of filtering what the viewer might want to see and read. Writing content on the web is only going to show it to your friends and similar people who would be considered to be interested in this topic too.

Pioneering online organizer, Eli Pariser (2011) explains, “There are 57 signals that Google looks at. Everything from what kind of computer you’re on, to what kind of browser you’re using, to where you’re located it uses to personally tailor your inquiry results. Think about it for a second there is no standard Google anymore” in his TED talk video Beware online “filter bubbles”.

These 57 signals determine what our interests could be, and what the search engine will show us we would like and be interested in as well.


3. We are watching our research skills deteriorate at our fingertips.

Thanks to Google; we can find answers to many of life’s hardest questions with our fingertips. While this is an amazing thing that technology has given to us, it also is a curse. Instead of learning how to do the “research” to find these answers, we have become reliant on Google.

In Carl Knerr’s article “No, Google is Not Making us “Stupid” he writes,

…[A]ll humans with access to the internet will not gain wisdom and new ideas. Innovation comes from pulling together new ideas from existing information. Imagine if Albert Einstein’s brain had immediate access to all of the world’s data: What other connections/discoveries could he have identified? (para. 8)

After reading this quote it makes me ponder how much he would not have identified or discovered without his research skills. What will our world look like if we stop learning research skills?



Blakley, J. (February 2011). Johanna Blakley. TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved May 25,
2014 from

Knerr, C. (June 2013). No, Google is not Making us Stupid. Avaya Connected Blog. Retrieved

May 25, 2014, from

Pariser, E. (May 2011). Eli Pariser. Ted: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from

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Forever Families Adoption Ministries Helps Hundreds of Orphans


There are over 140 million orphans around the world. A small non-profit organization in Fernandina Beach, Florida is trying to help this problem one child at a time. Forever Families Adoption Ministry was founded in 2010 by Jarrett Potts and his wife Amy Potts. Their mission for the non-profit organization is to engage the community in obeying God’s call for adopting, foster care, and care for orphans. The organization has already taken two trips to China to fulfill this mission and are planning their third in late-July of this year.

While overseas they teach the orphans english, provide one-on-one care, and truly give love to these kids, who will likely not get this attention on a regular basis. The organization funds an orphanage in Langfang, China outside of Beijing. Abba’s House, is a small home with five to ten boys at a time ran by two American christian missionaries. All the boys they take in the home are considered special needs. Most of the boys were born with some sort of physical defect. The missionaries are providing these kids one-on-one attention, love, and the best care they could receive within the government system.

On the stateside, Forever Families Adoption Ministry presents seminars within their community of Northeast Florida. The seminars teach people about adoption and the foster care system. They give the people the best resources and tips on how the system works. They also provide the best care system for those who are interested in adopting or helping be a part of the foster care system.

Jarrett and Amy Potts have the experience of adopting two kids overseas. One of their children they adopted was considered special needs in the government system. They have many different tools they provide for the community. From different contacts to websites the Potts’ ministry is a great tool towards getting involved in this ministry. If anyone is interested in learning more about Forever Families Adoption Ministry they can contact Jarrett or Amy at or their Facebook page.

Journey Church Feeds 2,000

Over 2,000 people in the Nassau County area are being impacted by a local food agency on a monthly basis. Fifty plus volunteers from the Journey Church gather not only to feed the people of Nassau County physically, but spiritually as well. Every Tuesday and Thursday mornings, families in need are able to go the food bank to pickup groceries for their home at no cost to them along with receiving the love of Christ!

The church’s website explains, “Our goal is to provide as many meals as possible to the needy in our area while pointing them to the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ.”

Their volunteers are doing an amazing job walking out this mission statement. The food is picked up from local grocery stores and food banks and then is distributed to families and individuals within days. All of the volunteers are intentional with relationship building with their recipients along with providing a safe and comfortable environment. There is a huge sense of community in this place! If anyone is in need of prayer the pastor, staff, and volunteers are available as well. There is no requirement for the food and recipients are not required to be religious or be part of the church to receive it. The church believes that God has called them to “meet the need, not qualify the need.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Jonathan Mock, the Outreach Pastor and the head of the food ministry at the Journey Church commented, “The Journey Church Food Ministry has the privilege of reaching over 2,000 families in need per month, and this could not happen without our dedicated volunteers. It is the desire of every volunteer to be the hands and feet of Christ while reflecting His love serving our community.”

If anyone is interested in volunteering or is in need of food they can go to the Journey Church’s outreach center which is located at 96064 Victorias Place Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 between the hours of 10:00am-12:00pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Hunger, Volunteers, and Food…This is my Jacksonville

Sandy beaches, hipster restaurants, and a city of bridges are three staples that make Jacksonville, Florida unique. I get the opportunity to see beyond these parts of this beautiful city daily.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” Matthew 25:35

My relationship with Jesus Christ has stirred in me to seek out the needs of hunger of the people of this city. This has created different experiences in Jacksonville beyond the surface of it’s places and people.

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Turn on Your Adventure


The Volkwagen Amarok print advertisement cleverly reaches out to a variety of buyers: adventurers, environmentalists, and the modern day middle-class consumers. It shows that with the key to this car begins a new adventure.

The eye-catching part of this advertisement is the large key at front. The key is displayed where the lock and unlock buttons are shown. Also, the groves of the key create a safari scene with trees and animals. At the bottom of the print advertisement there is a photo of the Volkswagen Armarok along with the words “Turn on your adventure. Over 620 miles on a single tank. Volkswagen Amarok.”

There are multiple messages Volkswagen is sending out to their consumers. The first is with the safari scene on the groves of the key. Any adventure that the Volkswagen Amarok would want to take, this vehicle would be able to sustain and take the driver there. The only thing the driver needs to do is “turn on the adventure” referring to the car. The second message is the safari scene along with the phrase “Over 620 miles on a single tank.” This image and words combined shows that this car is more environmentally friendly to be able to function on so many miles before refueling for gas. This message is not portrayed in most vehicle ads. Both of the two messages combined are targeted towards a middle-class consumer. These messages would be something that the average Joe would consider when deciding which vehicle would be the “best for their buck.” The mileage of 620 miles on a single tank of gas appeals to an average middle-class consumer.

Overall, it is a great advertisement. I am not an adventurer or an environmentalist, however, if I was purchasing a car and was looking into Volkswagen, I would highly consider looking into this vehicle or similar ones because of their clever print advertisement. 

Online Diaries to Twitter: The Evolution of Blogs


     Over 31 million Americans blog on a regular basis. This new phenomenon has changed our culture with louder opinions and new ideas. Blogging is defined as a personal web page where a person records personal opinions, ideas, links to sites, etc. on a regular basis according to Google’s definition. It is like a stream of someone’s consciousness. 

     Originally blogs started as a to record ideas like an online diary through a set amount of words and texts. Many journalist did this when the Internet become popular in the mid 90’s. Since then, blogs have developed and have changed into mircoblogs. A microblog is a type of blog that is condensed through text, images, and and media. Examples of microblogs include websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. 

     The future of blogging will continue in many different forms. It will likely be minimal on words, pictures, and media. Also, it will likely include some sort of social networking and easily accessed through an app on a mobile phone. Accessibility and simplicity are key to the future of blogs.

Breaking the Chains of Insecurities


        Imagine: you are driving on a busy highway weaving your way in and out of traffic to reach your final destination. Would you drive without your rear view mirrors? I imagine everyone (most of you drivers unless you’re from New Orleans) would prefer the additional visual coverage of your rear view mirrors in order to get to where you are going safely. So let’s take a look at another visual. Imagine that your front windshield represents your life in front of you and your past being in your rear-view mirror. Do you still use your mirrors?
I wish I could claim this awesome visual as my own but I cannot. It really hit me though.

        So my question to you is this. Why do we, as people, feel the need to hide our past and insecurities in our rear view mirror? Our natural instinct is to look forward and not take it head-on. Why are we told by society and our culture to forget about the past and to cover our insecurities with a phony confidence? Why do we go for these lousy methods of covering these insecurities, rather than actually figuring out the root of the issue? Because I can guarantee you, until you get down to the issue, the insecurity will be there forever. Do we really think hiding it and pushing everything down will benefit our future to where we want to go? Absolutely Not!

         As a Christian, I find my security in the arms of a loving, forgiving, and healing God. Who you are and how God designed you is exactly how God intended you to be. When we were created, God knew how he was going to place our strengths, our callings, and our accomplishments in this life. He also knew what kind of insecurities we would have, our temptations we would struggle with, and our tribulations we would endure. Multiple times in the Bible, He tells us He will always be with us and will never forsake us. And that alone is security enough for me. 

         The past few weeks I have had an intimate prayer time and have come across many in-depth conversations with different friends. If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that you have to live your life driving forward. But while driving forward, remembering your past and seeing how far you have come is essential. Embrace your insecurities, because one day, those insecurities could unexpectedly become your strengths. I’m learning to not be afraid of weaknesses because of how endless the possibilities are that my God can do. Don’t allow your rear-view mirror to be ignored, but instead to let it help guide you to your future!

It all began at a New Orleanian homeless shelter…

       It’s been quite some time since my last blog post and I apologize to you avid readers of my blog. By no mistake, did I decide to re-read some of my past blog posts tonight. I am beyond encouraged by the seasons of life I have been in thus far. I encourage you to go read some of the blogs if you have not! The past five months have been quite the journey. While living in New Orleans, I made some of the most genuine friendships I could have been blessed with and the Lord opened my eyes to become even more mission minded to the needs in my own backyard.


       When I moved to New Orleans I had a family who well adopted me with their love, food, and laundry machine (Thanks Pearson family!) I had no idea or direction to take when it came to finding a church or ministry setting to get plugged into. I decided to go with my “adopted mom” Carly Pearson to her church one night and to a men’s homeless shelter, The Ozanam Inn. Little did I know, this would be the place that God would completely take hold of my heart.

       After the first night I was broken. How could the all-loving God allow people to live under these circumstances? How could I as a young, white, middle-class female relate to these older, mostly African-American homeless men? I was smart enough to know they were not going to take me or what I had to say seriously. Then I realized, this wasn’t about me. If this was where my heart was burdened and I felt called to not only feed these people physically, but spiritually, I had to remember it was going to be God doing it, not me. Then I answered to my first question. This lifestyle is not what God wants for His people. This broken and empty lifestyle comes from the free will that God grants us. We are not forced to live a robotic Christian life, but instead we are given the choice for relationships with God and each other. Not only that, but it was a reminder that there is evil and sin in the world and that a majority of the people I would be encountering would be dealing with some of this stuff, heavily. From the murderer I met to the train-hopper, God blessed me with so many opportunities to be like Christ in this shelter. I was able to love on these men unconditionally, despite their circumstances of where they came from or where they were currently and that was a blessing. I learned that I was not better than any of them. 

       That night at the men’s homeless shelter the Lord gave me such a passion for outreach ministry it was unreal. It has led me to interning at the Journey Church back home in Florida. Right now I am mostly involved in our food ministry where we are giving over 20,000 lbs of food a WEEK for the people of Nassau County! Crazy right!? Over 1,000 people are being reached weekly through this ministry! What is there not to get excited about with that? Amazing! There is no way we could give all this food and meet the physical and spiritual need of these people without Him. It’s just not possible.  


I want to ask you to be praying for a few things. Please pray for the people coming to this ministry. Pray that God would open their hearts to why we do all do this weekly. Every one of our workers has a joy and peace in their life that is only found in Christ and we want every opportunity to be able to share that with these people. Please pray in thankfulness that the Lord has provided all of this food and opportunity to reach the people of Nassau County. It excites me when I hear about how many people we have the opportunity to reach and love! Lastly, pray for our volunteers. I am so thankful for the people I work with. Pray the Lord blesses every single one of them and for him to continue to grow the amount of workers we have, especially as our needs grow. Pray that our workers come ready to take on the day every Tuesday and Thursday morning as we minister to others.