To Blog or not to Blog

?…..that is the question!

I have been blogging since June 29th of 2006, slightly over four years. I began blogging as an outlet for a frustrated wannabe writer, to publish some of my Bible study conclusions, and finally I thought I might be able to help someone more fully trust Christ or consider Him for the first time.

There has been times in these months and years when I have experienced great joy. The feedback in blog comments and emails from people all across the country have been reasons to keep blogging. To think that I might be able to instruct or encourage someone, anyone, so that they experience God more fully is awesome.

On the other hand there is the negativity. A few people are so intolerant of any view that challenges them to think outside of their well defined presuppositions that they lash out with fury at anyone who thinks differently. And, some folks are just mean. Oh, they are mean in the name of Jesus, but they are mean nonetheless.

I have never dodged or ducked a good healthy debate if it is civil. I have published comments from people that were pretty ugly but I have deleted many comments that were hellishly so. And, of course these people with such nasty attitudes and harsh words claim to be Christians. I don’t cherish any more of those attacks when my offence is teaching the truth about what Christ has accomplished for sinful men.

Then there is the temptation to only write posts that will get high traffic counts. While I admit readily that I like readers, I don’t want to write subject matter just for increasing numbers. I have said previously that my first priority in blogging is selfish, it fulfills my desire to write, an exercise I enjoy immensely. I know the subjects that increase traffic but they are old and worn and serve no good purpose for the most part.

I don’t think Christian blogging needs another blog with daily devotionals and there are already blogs that are funny, give great glimpses into the lives of great families, and plenty that would seem to have the stated goal of stirring controversy. None of that appeals to me. I doubt the masses care what I had for breakfast or what the neighbor’s dog did yesterday.

So, I am faced with a few options. I can just stop blogging. Or, I can just blog much less than I once did (the option I have chosen most recently). Or I can completely change the way I blog and that choice presents another set of possibilities. If I choose the last option I can post cute little chatty type posts, top 10 lists, light commentary on news worthy events, etc, etc. Or, I can blog on themes, doing series on subjects that interest me. And of course another option is to keep blogging as I have and turn off comments.

The subject that fires me up is the good news about Jesus and that so many people, even people who claim him as Lord just don’t really know what the good news is. That subject is my passion but it is largely ignored by readers. Recently on GraceConversation I have posted lengthy (perhaps too lengthy, sorry guys) comments detailing my view of the gospel story and with few exceptions elicit only silence. My comments on other blogs and my posts are scriptural and I have few disagreements in print except for that minority who are to theology what pigs are to astronomy. So, why do it?

The bottom line is that I don’t enjoy blogging as I once did. I am trying to learn why that is and if I should only change or stop.

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.



Simple is Good

I am back to my old theme for Grace Digest. Due to problems with the template, and reports that some readers are having difficulty reading the white against black text, I dumped the pretty template in favor of one that is pretty bare bones but is not problematic.

Soon I plan to start a series of posts on my favorite person and my favorite topic, Jesus Christ my Lord. The first will be titled “Jesus – The Way”.

Even though “short” does not fit me in any way, I do plan to try and follow John Dobb’s excellent suggestion given in the bloggers class in Tulsa, to make posts short and therefore easier to read.

For Him,

Blog Traffic to Grace Digest

I posted my first blog post on June 29, 2006. It was 4 paragraphs and received one comment. As of today, and 782 posts later, I have learned some things about by blogging.

  • For each post I publish I get about 5 comments. Some posts get no comments and some get many comments.
  • My readers come from most of the states and from about 20 foreign countries. I have regular readers who live in Australia, England, Germany, and Africa. I was most surprised that someone in China sometimes reads what I write.
  • The busiest day for traffic to Grace Digest was 222 page views. The average for ’07 was 21, for ’08 it was 30, and so far in ’09 the average is 55 views each day.
  • If high visitors numbers is what I want I know how to get those big numbers. Tags (key words) like “a cappella”, “instruments in worship”, “coC unity”, “restoration movement”, get large interest and blog hits. Words like “Jesus”, “Christ”, “grace”, “salvation”, “forgiveness”, and “peace of god” get far fewer hits.
  • I am very likely addicted to blogging!

In view of the above facts about my blogging on Grace Digest, what subjects should I choose? And, more importantly, why do it at all?

First, blogging is a purely selfesh outlet for a frustrated writer and preacher/teacher. I seem to learn more when I write as I learn from God’s book and the school of life. I would write much of the same content even if I could not share it. Writing is a personal need fulfilled.

Without regard for the big hit numbers, I intend to share my heart with my readers. My first desire is to encourage every reader to consider the claims of the good news about Jesus and to trust him alone as the only basis of their standing with God. 

I am always learning. I try to, on purpose, approach my open Bible with an open heart and mind, ready for it to shape my thinking and by it’s truth to shape my life. A constant pursuit of objective truth is a passion for me. And, sharing those truths with others is also a very high priority. I know of no better way to accomplish that end than blogging.

I would be lying if I said the big numbers don’t matter to me, they do. But I refuse to taylor what I write with a view of having a large number of readers. So, I will continue to share what moves me at the moment and let the numbers be only numbers.

Part of my desire to continue blogging (apart from selfeshness) is fueled by the wonderful reports from people who have been helped in some way by reading my stuff. Recently, over the span of about 20 days, I received emails and other communications from several people who had read someting here that helped them to understand a part of the Bible better, had some theological question answered, expressed a desire to trust Christ more completely and be more devoted to him. And, I had 3 requests to use something I had written as a part of a sermon, lesson, and in one case a communion meditation.

It is encouraging to be validated by others who are more learned, more experienced, and widely trusted as men and women of God. Two years ago I think, 5 of the presenters at the Pepperdine Lectureships and 3 or 4 presenters at the Tulsa Soulwinning Workshop had recently made kind, encouraging remarks concerning something I had written. I am humbled.

I have also had several odd, nasty, hateful comments that I chose not to publish. Religeous zealots are often furious when you point out their hypcocicy and unbelief. Some folks are offended by truth while others embrace it and are healed by it. That is just the way it is.

As I complete this post and publish it I will shamelessly use some of those traffic generating “tags”.

John 6:40