A year and four days ago I blogged for the first time – a short piece on the size of the universe and how it reflects the infinite nature of God. Since then I’ve written roughly eighty other posts with increasingly irregularity, ran an advert campaign with a voucher Google just happened to send me, deleted two posts because I was so embarrassed I had written them and apologised three times for being an idiot.
It’s been quite the year.
In the goodness of God according to Google Analytics in the last year I’ve received 4500 visits and 8500 page views with an average time on the site of one minute and thirty three seconds which by my judgement means you’ll be quitting right about now…
But if you didn’t I’d like to take the time to do a review of the last year and a look ahead to the next. Let’s start with the negative shall we and get it out the way…
The Bad Stuff
Gentleness and tact were sadly lacking. Being tactful, respectful and gentle towards opposing viewpoints is a struggle for me. It’s too easy to let the sarcasm flow and end up sounding like the vast majority of internet comment writers. Obviously, this is a problem I need to deal with. After all I’m meant to…
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Ephesians 4 v 15
Too often I’ve spoken the truth in a ‘I’m right you’re wrong’ attitude or out of anger or annoyance. The low point for me here was my post on ‘This Little Light’ a song that pretends to be Christian but is actually heretical. I blasted off against it and in doing so insulted rather a lot of people.
So I decided to stop writing against things and write for things. So in my post on the biblical roles of man and woman I wrote for the view rather than against other views. I find this conductive to a more positive and less ranty post.
Praying about my blog. I really don’t pray for my blog as I should despite the fact it’s on my prayer list. Next step: pray more!
Regularity of updates – this tends to come and go. I am a lot busier now than I was which explains some of this. The other explanation is that I’m just plain lazy. Next step: be more disciplines.
Pride – I write a blog post, a lot of people read it, a few people compliment me about it, I take all the glory for myself and forget that it is by the grace of God that a) I have any talent for writing b) People read my writings and c) I decided to start a blog anyway. Too often my blog can become something for my glory rather than for God’s glory.
Hypocrisy – I am very prone to pretending that both I am perfect and my life is perfect. Whilst the former is easily understood (boom!) both are a false impression. I struggle. I struggle to trust God as I should, to follow his path and not mine, to honour him in all my ways, to submit everything to him and to pursue holiness with single minded determination. And I feel as though I don’t often give this impression. So I’m going to try more and more to be vulnerable and open when I write – admitting, as far as is appropriate, to my weaknesses and struggles. As Paul writes ‘For when I am weak; I am strong’ I bring glory to God though my weakness – may I boast of them!
I dare say this is hardly an extensive list. If you would like to add to it I welcome all comments. See the Contact Me page for more details.
“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalm 51 v 7 - 10
God. God is good. He is who I write about, my love for him is the reason why I write and his love for me is the reason for my love for him. God should be at the very centre of this blog. I feel particularly blessed by God through writing these blog posts and his grace, mercy and goodness to me in this venture have been awesome to see.
“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 86 v 15
Visitor numbers – I never believed that in a year I’d gain over four thousand hits. The fact that anyone reads what I have to say at all blows my mind. May I praise God for his goodness to me!
Encouragement – this is specifically directed at you, my readers. I just like to let you know how much I appreciate all the encouragement you have given me. Whether it’s been in person or via Facebook likes or via comments I’ve treasured every one of them and can only restate my thanks for your support.
Physician Heal Thyself – on two occasions recently I have reread an old post I did many months ago and found myself challenged by what I had to say.
2011 – it’s going to quite some year I think. And what’s my plan for Not At the Dinner Table?
Well, I’m going to try and get back into my regular habit of one to two updates a week. I’m going to be focusing a lot on being a man in the coming weeks because my twentieth birthday is approaching and the whole question of manhood is cropping up in my life.
Additionally I’m going to write about Calvinism a lot more because if it’s one thing anyone needs to hear it’s about the doctrines of grace. Coupled with this will be a renewed focus on more posts for non-Christians seeking to challenge their darkened thinking. It’s too easy to forget that my blog is for both Christians and non Christians.
Other than that I hope my site continues to grow and flourish. As I cannot afford an advertising campaign these things are very much in the Lord’s hand. And I pray that my posts will reflect the work I know God is doing in my life at present.
What can I do to help?
Thanks for the offer! There are three things you can do:
Pray – always nice
Encourage – always appreciated
Tell others – free advertising
It never fails to amaze me how God can use what seemed at the time to be such a simple decision to start a blog for the good he has. As I stand back and assess the last year of blogging I can only lift my hands and say that it was not of me and all of my God.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4 v 10
I am reminded of the above verse. It is humbling on two accounts – first is that any talent I have for writing is not mine or of my doing but it is by the grace of God that I have it. It is his gift to me. The pleasure I gain from writing is of God’s doing not mine. And secondly I have to be a faithful steward of it – using it to serve others and not myself.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,”
2 Corinthians 1 v 3