Ten years ago this month I began blogging here at Christ-Centered Christianity. It’s hard to believe an entire decade has gone by, but it certainly seems a good time to pause, to reflect back a bit, and to also look forward to what may lie ahead!
In the Beginning…
For me, blogging all but snuck in the back door. In August of 2011, I took a fall off of a ladder and ended up with a compression fracture in my spine that left me laid up for approximately eight months. During that time, I felt a burden to begin working on a manuscript for a book. As I explored the writing/publishing process, I kept running into authors who touted the benefits of simultaneously blogging as a way of honing writing skills, getting original material out on the web, and beginning to build exposure and an audience. It sounded like a worthwhile “secondary” venture to begin to pursue and thus the blog was born. It was officially launched on January 1, 2012. Eventually, as my back began to heal and I returned to work, all of my available writing time ended up being directed towards the blog. (And, yes, I’m still sitting on an unfinished manuscript! 😦 )
When I initially began the blog, I thought it might be seen by just a handful of family and friends and possibly a few random people who might stumble across it. As things developed, however, it began to take on a much wider and more substantial reach. As of the writing of this post, it has found its way into some 190 different countries/territories, including some of the most restricted nations on earth. It has also had consistent, daily traffic ever since its first few months. I never could have anticipated early on just how far and wide its exposure and influence might ultimately reach.
Philosophy and Approach
From the beginning, my philosophy and approach has been to focus on quality rather than quantity. All of us are bombarded with way too many frivolous, time-wasting distractions and divergences online, so I haven’t wanted to add to anybody’s virtual clutter with more fluff, foolishness, or over-hashed subjects. Instead, I’ve sought to steward those teachings, revelations, and burdens that have been given to me by the Holy Spirit as I’ve been taught and led by Him. My goal has been to post quality content throughout all areas of the blog so that no matter where anyone may land, they will find something that will be spiritually enriching and potentially transformative in their walk with the Lord. In my opinion, to aim for anything less would simply be a waste of time! After ten years of blogging and having received considerable feedback from numerous people around the world, I feel satisfied that by God’s grace I’ve been able to hold to these principles and objectives.
Created and Curated Content
My initial intention was to post every other week so as to focus on quality of content and not to overwhelm anybody’s inbox with notifications. Although at times I had to scale back on blogging due to family responsibilities, I am grateful that during these ten years there has also been a significant quantity of content, both created and curated, that has accrued. This is now the 170th post that I’ve published, and I’ve also added 140 permanent pages to the blog.
I’ve also sought to populate this space with a varied fare of content including longer and shorter posts, collaborative posts, series teachings, collections of short sayings, original and non-original poems and songs, parable-based teachings, interactive exchanges, free written resources, free classic audio books, author excerpts, previously written original pieces, audio blog posts, PDFs, and re-blogged content from other bloggers. All of this has centered in and complimented the primary theme of the blog: the centrality and preeminence of Christ in all things!
No review of the ten-year content of a blog would be complete without at least a few “fun facts” thrown in. So here we go:
Most popular single post
Most popular permanent page
Most popular series (posts/pages)
Most popular original writing
Most commented-on post
Most commented-on page
(beside About )
*Pragmatism and the Truth is not only the most viewed piece of original writing but also the oldest writing on the blog. It was originally written in 2003, nine years before the blog was launched. I edited it slightly and posted it as a permanent page under the Other Writings tab in 2012, and it has seen very significant traffic ever since.
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Between the Lines
I’m thankful for the rich and varied content that has filled these pages. Beyond the specific postings, however, I hope that I’ve also been able to impart a number of “intangibles” that may be just as valuable, if not more so, than the specific content of any published piece. My hope is that these have included the following:
• Christ-centeredness (surprise, surprise! 😉 ) – It’s been said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!” Jesus Christ is eternally the Father’s Main Thing (Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:18) and, so, He must also be ours! If the followers and readers of this blog have taken away anything from their engagement with these pages, my hope is that it will have been this truth above all others!
• Positive heavenly vision – There is much in the Church and Christianity that we could be judgmental of and reactive to in this day, but if the negative becomes our primary emphasis, we will only become pendulum-swinging malcontents, creating more error and imbalance in the process. To be “plumb line prophets” we must draw our deepest convictions and greatest burdens from a positive response to Truth, not a negative reaction to error. Only when our vision is clear in this way can we navigate forward with the wisdom, grace, and truth that comes from above. I’ve sought throughout this blog to always keep the focus on God’s positive, heavenly vision and seek for light to define darkness and not the other way around.
• Creativity and Originality – God is infinitely creative and original in all that He does, and so we should, likewise, reflect these same characteristics as those made in His image and likeness. In the development of this blog, I have sought to be true to the prophetic originality of His voice in the expression of the various teachings and to cultivate Spirit-led creativity as to the various means of its expression. My hope is that this has brought a certain freshness to what has been published and has cultivated an ongoing expectation of what may be next!
• Collaboration – There is a principle of “two or three” found in Scripture when it comes to the communication and confirmation of God’s truth. (Matt. 18:16, 20; 1 Cor. 14:27, 29; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1Tim. 5:19) I’ve sought to integrate this principle into this blog in a number of ways, including establishing a collaborative blogging initiative called The WORD in 3D. For this I invited/enlisted two other like-minded bloggers to join me in each writing a short (approximately 500-word) meditation on a selected portion of Scripture, which were combined together in one post to give a three-point perspective on God’s Word. (See here for the complete list of “3D” projects.) I also participated in two “chain blogs” (here and here), re-blogged other confirming voices (here and here), posted an in-depth, “iron-sharpening-iron” email exchange that I had with another brother as a series of posts (first in series here), posted confirming voices from the past (main page here), and hosted supporting free resources (main page here.) I am also deeply grateful for the collaboration that Sándor Abonyi of Hungary initiated and engaged in with me, namely his translation of 30+ of my posts/pages into the Hungarian language and posting of them on his Hungarian/English blog keskeny út – narrow way. Thank you Sándor for your friendship and collaboration over the years!
• Profoundly simple; simply profound – God’s deepest truths are characterized by two seemingly contrary, yet complimentary characteristics: profoundly simple and simply profound. I’ve sought in my writings to embrace both of these characteristics so that the truths being explored may be easily grasped in their simple essence on one hand, while their profound outworkings might substantially challenge our present concepts and capacities on the other. I believe this is the best way for us to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
•Breaking new ground (over age-old foundations) – God’s truths are established from of old, and yet He is ever a God of freshness and progressive revelation in relationship with His people. We must never build on anything other than the age-old foundations laid down in Scripture, and yet, God wants to bring forth fresh revelation of His ancient truth so that our relationship with Him remains vital and relevant. Through this blog, I’ve sought to steward those “ground breaking” revelations that He has birthed in my heart by His Spirit in order to enrich the Body of Christ with “living bread” through this blog. Some posts/series that especially come to mind as those that have broken fresh ground are: The Cross – The Eternal Passion of God, The Cross – The Unlevel Playing Field of Satan’s Defeat, Tradition, Scripture, and the Church (full series) , Centrality and Eccentricity, Rebels, Refugees, and a Returning Remnant (full series), The Headship of Christ In the Gathering of the Church, The “Love”-“Hate” Relationship (full series), and Affirmations (full series) to name a few. I hope that you will take advantage of these posts/pages most of which are also available now in the PDF,s section of the blog. These are some of the greatest treasures I’ve sought to steward for the enrichment and edification of the body of Christ.
If these “intangibles” have seeped through the cracks and oozed through the pores of this blog, I will be satisfied that I have somehow done my “job” well! That is my hope at least!
So as this mile marker is passed, the question naturally arises, “What do I see for the road ahead?” We are certainly living in rapidly changing, unpredictable times, and so it is, admittedly, difficult to see much beyond the next bend. My intention, however, is to keep pressing on and be a faithful steward of the revelation and burden that has undergirded this blog for the past ten years, namely, the centrality, supremacy, and all-sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ in all things! My hope is to be able to revisit some of the wellsprings and headwaters of that revelation as well as to continue to trace it out to some of its more diverse reaches and ramifications. There is also a strong sense of the urgency of the hour and the shortness of time that we have left to fulfill our purpose and calling in this world. The words of Paul seem more fitting than ever: “Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15-16 HNV
In a practical sense, my hope going forward is that I will not only be able to continue publishing additional written posts, but also to diversify and amplify some of the forms of content to (possibly) include: downloadable ebooks, print books/booklets, online course(s), group study materials, additional recorded original songs, audio posts, and video teachings. All of these I have been seriously considering and holding before the Lord as to His leading and timing. The future of the blog is ultimately in His hands and I will seek to simply walk step by step with Him in its further growth and development!
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In closing, I want to thank all of you who have participated in this blog in some way or another over these past ten years. Your time invested reading, liking, commenting, following, and sharing has contributed to the overall value, visibility, reach, and fruitfulness of this venture. For those who have contributed to the writing of blog posts, translating/reposting, re-blogging, and external linking I am especially grateful! Only God knows the eternal fruit that will come from the multiplication of these simple offerings given into His hands!
I’m also very thankful for the connections and friendships that I’ve made with brothers and sisters in Christ around the world as a result of this venture. I’m humbled by the godliness of the saints I’ve been privileged to connect with and, at times, co-labor with. It has been a great source of fellowship, encouragement, and edification. Although, due to life’s natural demands, I haven’t always been as able or faithful to maintain some of those connections as I would have liked, please know that my life has been enriched by connecting with each and every one of you!
In addition to and above all this, I am grateful to our Lord for leading me into and carrying me on in this endeavor for these past ten years. It has been by His grace and goodness that I have been able to keep my hand on the plow through these many, varied seasons, and by His grace and goodness I will continue to do so!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 KJV
And so, my dear brothers and sisters, it’s onto the next ten years! 😉
With love and blessings,