Monday, June 20, 2016

In the Year 2016

I started this blog way back in June, 2006. Here is it, 10 years later. Seems like ... well, 10 years. I aimed for an entry a day. I've averaged more than that. Not much. But more than one. Almost 3800 entries in 10 years.

Since they've been tracking my site (which is not since the beginning) I've had nearly half a million views. That's in ten years. Currently there are around 6,000 views a month. Given the size and readership of other popular blogs like the Huffington Post, Mashable, and Gizmodo (which, by the way, are overshadowed by Facebook and Twitter ... on which I have no presence), I'm pretty much a drop in a bucket. I expect 25-30 views of a day's entry and am quite surprised on those occasions when that number shoots up over 50. Oh, sure, given time, some of these gather some larger numbers. My Hard Sayings - "Sell all your possessions" entry leads the pack with more than 22,000 views. I get that. It's a popular question for diligent Christians and a popular attack point for skeptics. I don't understand why The History of the Choir has over 12,000 views. (I got a comment on it as recently as recently as May 7th of this year from a guy in Nigeria asking about worship and the choir. Really amazing.) Still, I have nothing akin to "superstar status". I am not "a mover and a shaker" in the blog world.

It amazes me, then, that strangers on the Internet will find me and try to tell me how confused, dangerous, even insane I am. Like I make a difference. I mean, from my perspective, I don't. And surely there are a host of other bloggers, even with higher profiles than mine, that are confused, dangerous, and possibly even insane. Apparently I'm wrong. Apparently the stuff I post here makes a difference to people. Like that Nigerian asking about the choir. Or others who say it blesses them. And even those detractors that think I'm making enough of a stir that they need to combat it. So, I guess maybe I should stay at it for awhile. Who knows?

So, remind me ... why do I do this? Well, primarily, to "be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." (2 Tim 4:2) I try to offer biblical truth from different vantage points (because, after all, I am twisted). I want people to think. And, I do want to entertain my readers to some extent.

Given that, how would I improve what I do? Probably write less words, those who know tell me. Probably use smaller words, those who read this stuff tell me. Not sure how I'd do that, given the fact that people often have problem getting my point even when I explain it in detail with precise words. I do get feedback. Some is in "pages viewed" and such. Some is in the Comments section. I get far more feedback in private emails and conversations. My #1 fans are my parents -- I don't think they miss a post -- even if they aren't always in agreement with me and they never leave a comment.

Of course, no one agrees with me completely. On the other hand, no one disagrees with me completely. There is a continuum. Some would like you to believe that I don't allow disagreement. It isn't true. Folks like David and Craig and Alec and Bob agree with me a lot, but not always. Neil's comments are infrequent but always positive. Glenn agrees a lot but can do without my Reformed stuff. Marshall Art is similar, agreeing with me a lot but often disagreeing, if not on a point or two, on an entire concept. Next down the line would be those like Josh who agrees some but disagrees on real issues. At the other end of the gamut are the Naums and Dan Trabues who seem to think everything I write is wrong ... and, yet, find themselves agreeing on one or two things.

So, to those of you who agree, thanks. I appreciate encouragement and the expansion you often offer on ideas I've written. And to those of you who disagree so much, thanks. I am one whose personality makes me question myself and your disagreements drive me to ask why I hold the position I hold. I appreciate both the positives and the negatives and hope to continue this work for awhile.

9 comments:

Neil said...

Congratulations on 10 great years! Your quality and your consistency are amazing. You are the blogger that I could be with more time. And more talent. Mainly more talent. And more patience. Seriously, I hope you keep going and going.

And yes, isn't it interesting how dangerous people find you?!

Stan said...

Thanks, Neil. I have yours on my reader and consume everything you offer. Good stuff.

From one "dangerous guy" to another.

Alec said...

Ten years is quite an achievement, Stan.

The thoughts you raise in your post seem to be a perfect acknowledgement of God's word, here:

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

And here:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

I quote the second based on my understanding of the power of the Word, which considers preaching and teaching (and writing blog posts like these) the primary means of grace by which God saves some and hardens others (2 Corinthians 2.15-17). The same God who uses the foolishness of preaching to shame "the wise" (1 Corinthians 1.18, 21).

What do you think some of the most important things you've learned over the 10 years?

Alec

PS Don't know how you could simplify your words. Anyone who doesn't know a word, the dictionary's only a search away. You don't even have to open Webster's anymore!

Stan said...

On the blog there is a Logos feature that allows the user to move their mouse over a Bible reference and actually see the verse(s). Someone recently asked me if I could find a similar app that would give definitions. Wish I could. On the other hand, given our post-modern, "let's change the meanings of words willy-nilly" world, I'm not sure I would entirely trust the dictionary. Sigh.

"Most important things". Let's see. I've learned that the Bible does not portray God or His truth in the way that casual Man likes to think of it. Thus it is critical to be diligent in rightly handling the Word (2 Tim 2:15). I've learned that America no longer resembles a "Christian nation", even faintly, and that genuine believers are "a remnant", not a majority. And, of course, I've learned a lot about myself ... why I think as I do, where I've deviated from Scripture, things like that. Making a lifetime work of being "transformed" versus "conformed" is a goal of mine, more so now than 10 years ago. Mostly, though, I'd say my view of God has enlarged. I'd say that was "most important".

Bruce Hergert said...

Stan:

A couple of years ago my son and I were discussing the "sell all your possessions" topic. I needed help, so I started googling and found your blog post on that issue. That's when I got me started reading your posts every day. If you write it, I read it. I always get a perspective that I hadn't thought about.

The only criticism I might have is that sometimes the flow of thought is bracketed with, well, brackets and parens and italics and dot dot dots. Sometimes it is probably easier to hear it than to read it. No matter, I'll keep reading.

And I love the bird posts. I had a great time in Tucson in March photographing hummingbirds. Wish I could live there. Or, maybe not.

Thanks,

Bruce.

Stan said...

I do tend to try to write like I talk ... which would create all those things you mentioned ... like it just did here. I wonder if I should switch to video blogs?

You were in Tucson in March? Right down the street from where I live! You should have dropped by. (Okay, by "street" I mean the Interstate -- two hours north, but ... and, look, I've done it again!)

I believe that, despite of the comments I get that are helpful to me, there are quite a few more people out there that do NOT comment that are just as blessed as you are. So thanks for the comments that serve as a reminder of that easy-to-forget truth.

Bob said...

Thank you Jesus for Stan.
keep up the Good Work. i love the way you take a difficult subject and make it easier to understand.

Stan said...

"you take a difficult subject and make it easier to understand"

I know more than a few people who would disagree with you. The most common thing people (who like me) have told me about my blog is "You write very well ... but I don't understand it." :)

Marshall Art said...

Most of those views are me, dude. Just sayin'.

Seriously, here's to another ten years. (The pressure's on.)