What a year for Grace Digest!


2012 was my 6th year of blogging at GraceDigest.com. It has been the busiest year by far. I learned last night that almost 89,000 people from 127 countries and all the U.S. states took a look at a post here in the past 12 months. Each of those visitors viewed more than one post. I credit the traffic count in large part to the crazy popularity of the Duck Commander, Phil Robertson, and the success of the hit TV show Duck Dynasty. I have written about them three times and reblogged another. The numbers shot up as a result. My goal  when I started this blog, and now, is not to see how many readers I can get, but it is affirming to have so many. Even without the bump from the DC content, the numbers of people who read what I write has been astonishing.

The heart and soul of Grace Digest is Bible teaching, it’s about making the person of Jesus Christ known and publishing his accomplishments for sinners. Over these years I have received comments from readers, emails, Facebook messages, and comments in person saying that something I wrote here was helpful. It is a fair question to ask “Why the world needs another “Christian blog” when there are already thousands of very good ones out there?” I don’t have an answer except that my writing has been well received. It is something I enjoy doing, there can’t be too much promotion of Jesus and his saving work, so I continue.

The future? I have decided to not write articles here that are not Christian, Bible, related posts. Politics, social commentary, and other topics that interest me will be published on another blog, “bloghead” which is at RoyceOgle.com. I don’t have an agenda other than to share what is important to me. People either read or they don’t. People either agree or disagree or are neutral. Some people comment but most don’t.

I would study the Bible and try to walk with God, and write about that experience if no one read a line. I enjoy writing, in fact I love the discipline of expressing my thoughts in this way. So, since I’m doing it anyway, if one person considers the claims of Jesus, if one follower of Jesus is helped and encouraged it’s a bonus.

I deeply appreciate the kind comments and encouragement from so many personal friends and from readers. I look forward with optimism to 2013 and beyond. The darker the night the brighter a small light shines and even the smallest light expels some darkness, so I write.

 

Advertisements

Jay Guin, Change Agent


When you visit Grace Digest you will see a list of blogs on the right side bar that I like and read. One of those is “Jay Guin“. If you move your mouse cursor over his name the caption will appear “A site that values truth over tradition“. I still believe that brief statement is an honest summation of Jay’s blog, OneinJesus.info.

Jay Guin is an elder at University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as an elder and is busy teaching and shepherding the flock. Jay is also an attorney so the bills get paid at home. He has been a speaker at some of the most popular and well-known Church of Christ lectureships and is an author. His book The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace: God’s antidotes for division within the Churches of Christ and at least four others are favorites of many readers.

Jay Guin is best known for his blogging. Oneinjesus.info is a favorite daily stop for hundreds of anxious readers including yours truly. Jay’s blog I am sure gets more hits by far than any other Church of Christ blog. (Edward Fudge and Al Maxey get tons of traffic but they are not in blog format. Both are wonderful but not blogs.)

For lack of a better term to describe Jay’s teaching I’ll say he is “Progressive”. He fearlessly challenges traditional CoC teaching and tradition and expertly defends his positions clearly with Bible texts carefully selected and used in context. (sadly, a rather rare skill among bloggers). While I don’t agree 100% of the time with Jay, I respect and love him 100% of the time, even when he gently chides me for being off topic in my comments on one of his posts.

I lovingly titled this post and labeled my friend, “Change Agent”. Traditionalists in churches of Christ label anyone who challenges the traditional views as a “change agent” and it is not a flattering term. I used that unflattering term to describe this good man because he is indeed a “change agent” for good. In the last few days I read comments from at least two of his readers who stated they had begun to shake of the shackles of legalism and to know and experience the freedom the grace of God is. It is this kind of change I appreciate and applaud.

I first started to pay attention to Jay Guin when he and fellow grace-man Todd Deaver challenged traditionalists to an online dialog. Jay Guin and Todd Deaver on the “Progressive” side and Phil Sanders and Greg Tidwell on the “Conservative” side. (I think “Traditionalist” better describes that position than “Conservative”. It isn’t “conservative” to be wrong.)  Grace Conversation was very interesting reading, both the content and the readers comments.

As I anticipated, Phil Sanders and Greg Tidwell, (and later Todd Deaver’s father Mack Deaver) were unable to defend the main tenets of their positions using the Bible. The traditionalists finally threw in the towel but along the way many, many readers were taught truth by the writing of Jay and Todd and comments by scores.

Jay Guin is some sort of superman! I can’t comprehend how one man can do so much. He posts from 1 to 3 excellent posts every day, teaches up to three times a week at his church, works at a law firm, and has all of the domestic duties of any husband and father. I don’t know how he does it but I am sincerely grateful that he does. A big Christian salute to my friend and the king of CoC bloggers, Jay Guin.

Agape’

Royce

Online Reading Made Easy


this is not me

this is not me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I discovered Bloglineskeeping up with my friends blog posts and the latest news is so easy even I can do it! Thanks to John Dobbs’ recommendation my computer desktop tells me when there is a post I have not read yet and I click on the flashing red reminder and a list of links appear on the left side of the screen including all of those I have not seen. On the right side of the screen is the text of the post and should I want to comment I only have to click the “comments” button or the title of the blog and I am taken directly to the “comments” section of the selected blog.

I have 30 sites in my Bloglinesreader, 28 blogs and two news sites, The Drudgereport and Fox News. This tip from the Dobber has saved me lots of time. I tried Google Reader but after checking it and some others found that Bloglines suited me best. Perhaps it will save you some time too.

Royce

Top 10 Posts


The Palen pick, risky or brilliant? 711 More stats
How to build a 1st Century church in the 583 More stats
3 Baptisms in Acts 2 330 More stats
“…..the gates of hell shall not prevai 329 More stats
Before the Throne of God I Stand 276 More stats
About Grace Digest 264 More stats
“Churches of Christ in the Untied States 240 More stats
Urgent Prayer Request! 229 More stats
Singing off key using a pitch pipe made 219 More stats
The purpose of Pentecost 213 More stats
Christian Unity? 195 More stats
Faith 101

Over the past several months I have written what I thought were some pretty good posts and they hardly got a look. I am astounded that the number 1 post of all time on Grace Digest is one about Gov. Sarah Palen. She is still a headline maker and we aren’t done seeing her smiling face on national TV just yet.

Interestingly, most of the readers of posts ranked 2 and 3 are from the African continent, and over whelmingly so. I wonder why that is?

Just as interesting, the post ranked in 5th place has drawn mostly readers from the British Isles, perhaps as much as 85 to 90%.

Not surprisingly a short series on the Deity of Jesus and other similar posts hardly got a notice. Some of those topics I am most passionate about, and am sure are largely neglected by most Christian bloggers, are perhaps not posted for a reason; no one reads them.

One would reason that blogs in the category of “Christian” and with largely a church of Christ readership would have some posts about the foundations of the historic Christian faith but alas a cappella singing, discussions about how many ways a Christian can be lost and why, how church A does something different than church B and who is in and who is out because of it continue to get top billing.

I once asked on my blog why was it necessary for Jesus to be born of a virgin. One fellow said “I’ll have to think about it and get back to you” and that was about it. Most of what I am seeing on “Christian blogs” is at best “theology lite”; Not all, but most.

I know mine is far from being among the best blogs but I do enjoy the exercise and when I get an occasional private message or email from someone who says they have been helped or encouraged by reading I know it is not completely in vain.

Trey Morgan, John Dobbs, Patrick Mead, Jay Guinn and others have great blogs, some of them with very intersting glimpses into the lives of their families, friends, and their interests. I enjoy those very much. At 64 years and counting down, my life is far too boring  to open the window very often.

Thanks for reading and for your encouragement.

for Jesus,
Royce