Once again, as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it has been my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year. Some years a theme emerges, and this year the idea of perseverance seems to be the theme. In the light of God’s unending faithfulness and lovingkindness let us all live in hope in 2018. Continue reading
Once again as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it is my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year. Some years a theme emerges, and this year it is the passing of old friends and mentors. Three of my professors from seminary died within a few weeks of each other early in the year, and my tributes to and remembrances of them were among the most popular posts.
Here in order are the most visited new posts from 2016:
As in previous years certain posts have had real staying power. Many of these are sermons that desperate preachers found on search engines. For example, my sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent was the number one entry if you Googled “Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent.” Consequently, I saw extraordinary spikes in traffic the week before.
So here are my all-time top ten posts since I started “When I Survey . . .” in 2009:
Another milestone for this blog is that it reached 100 followers this year. So I thank you all for your interest and support. Come back and visit now and again in 2017.
Once again as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it is my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year. Here in order are the most visited new posts from 2015:
And desperate preachers (of whom there seem to be many) and other net surfers brought in a surprising number of hits to my archived material from other years (“Ten Highly Effective Strategies . . .” for example, had a three-day run with over 9,000 hits, which speaks well either of people’s appreciation for satire or for the poor morale of the clergy.) In either case here are the ten most visited posts from previous years on this blog in 2015, which I began in 2009:
Thanks so much for dropping by, and keep visiting in 2016.
As the old year passes and the new year beckons, it is my custom to look back at my popular posts of the year. Here are the most visited new posts from 2014:
Norwood Days: We All have to Start Out Somewhere
Some Lenten Reflections on Forgiveness
The Calling of Disciples: A Sermon on Vocation
Remembering Willis Elliott: theologian and gadfly
On Holy Ground: A Sermon on Genesis 3:1-15
“Words to Live By” The King James Bible and its Legacy to the English Language
Braised Lamb Shanks with Cardamom, Garlic and Prunes
“By Their Groups Ye Shall Know Them”: Celebrating Max L. Stackhouse
The Christmas Tree in the Passing Lane: A Reflection on Advent
The Cross and Forgiveness
And these were the ten all-time most visited posts on this blog, which I began in 2009:
Why did Jesus refer to Herod as “That fox” in Luke 13:32?
“Confused? Interpreting Your Congregation’s Numbers”
Prayer for a Retired Pastor
“Rejoice! Rejoice!” A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent
“God Gives the Growth:” A Retirement Sermon
“There is nothing to be afraid of!” A sermon on Psalm 27:1-2
“The Lord Will Provide:” A Sermon on Genesis 22
An Ordination Sermon: “The Secret Sauce of Ministry. A Recipe in Two Parts”
“Behind Locked Doors” A sermon on John 20:24-29
A book review of Elizabeth Strout’s “Abide with Me”
Thanks so much for dropping by, and keep visiting in 2015.
In my peregrinations around the blogosphere I came across two very wise and well-written posts by ministerial colleagues of mine. I hope you will check them out.
I want students to take someone else’s wisdom for a serious test drive. I want them to rent with an option to buy; to suspend suspicion and develop a bias toward faith in the considered opinions of others; to respect the authority of authorities instead of keeping up the fiction that all ideas have equal value and that all opinions count the same.
But the more I thought about it (new Boston mayor Marty Walsh’s openly talking about his recovery during the campaign), the more I felt sad for the church. If an admission of being in recovery can actually help someone in the hardball world of politics, why is it so feared in the very place where redemption should be celebrated? Why aren’t we, people who talk about grace and forgiveness and new life, in the business of teaching people what to do when they fall? Why don’t we acknowledge these things so that we can help people know where to turn when they need help to get back up?
There are mountains of ephemera in the blogosphere, but well-written wisdom, like gold, is where you find it.
(Photo by R.L. Floyd, 2014)
In keeping with my annual end of the year tradition here are the top posts from “When I Survey . . .” for 2012:
“Confused? Interpreting Your Congregation’s Numbers” was by far the most popular with nearly 3,000 hits.
Other popular posts from this year were:
- “God with Us”: A sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
- Commandment takes beating in Tampa
- “Anticipation”: A sermon for the First Sunday of Advent
- Under the Green Canopy: Hiking the Appalachian trail in the Berkshires
- The Cross and Violence: A Rumination
Posts from previous years that continue to get visited frequently are:
- Prayer for a Retired Pastor
- Rejoice! Rejoice! A sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent
- “God Gives the Growth” A Retirement Sermon
- Prepare Three Envelopes” A Parable about Pastoral Ministry
- Reflections on the New Century Hymnal
- “The Lord Will Provide” A sermon on Genesis 22
- The Ministry and its Discontents: Pastors in Peril
- Churches with Adjectives
- My Sermon after 9/11: “God is our Refuge and our Strength”
- The Butler Did It: A Passion for Mystery Novels
I am working on a book that I hope will be published this coming year with the tentative title of “Prepare Three Envelopes” (and other ruminations on pastoral ministry). It will collect many of the posts from this blog, and from my former blog “Retired Pastor Ruminates” plus some other previously unpublished pieces of mine. I will keep you posted about it. In the meantime thank you all for you support this year. I hope you will continue to visit here in 2013.
Last week I was thrilled that one of my blogposts got picked up and reposted by a big institutional blog. And so, in a fever of hubris and self-promotion, I fired off a bunch of e-mails with the link to anybody that I thought might be even remotely interested.
One of these people was an old college friend who is a defense attorney, and he wrote back the following:
“This morning, I attended a seminar on jury selection in death penalty cases. The point applies when defense counsel is deciding who to “thank and excuse” from juror duty.
A jury consultant spoke and told us she would always recommend kicking off from the jury panel anyone who blogs. “They’re angry people,” was her explanation. “Unless they blog about gardening or the symphony, get rid of them.”
I wonder if she thinks theology and ministry are safe subjects? So now you know how to get out of jury duty. Just start a blog!
Ironically, I have been called to jury duty a number of times, but have never been chosen. When the prosecution finds out that I am clergy they “thank and excuse” me. I am guessing they imagine that my mercy might temper (or subvert) their justice. The funny thing is I have always thought it would be interesting to be on a jury and witness a trial. So the blogging ploy has no utility for me. Besides, I think it is my duty as a citizen to serve on a jury.
But maybe she is right about the anger. I’ve noticed that even facebookhas been getting a little testy lately over the health care bill. Any of you other bloggers out there feel like you might be an angry person?