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.
You know the signs. First you notice that a favored blog on your blogroll hasn’t had a post in 5 months. That is often the end, but sometimes there is a preliminary stage, akin to Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stage of denial. The blogger appears and posts an apology for slackness. “I’ve been . . .
- New child
- Writing my dissertation
- Rereading the Church Dogmatics in German
- Working too hard
- Leveling my blood elf ret pally
- Despairing of life itself
Do not be fooled by this desperate act of repentance or by the pledge to lead a new and upright blogging life. Chances are this blog is going to die and soon.
Our internet presence gives us the illusion of both transcendence and permanence, but it is an illusion. Both our blogs and our selves are finite and destined to die. I have already outlived one blog, where I posted for years. When the Webmaster of the site changed programs the archives disappeared, with all my posts. Many I had saved as a Word document, but some were written on the blog, and so lost forever. There is one I wrote when Bard Childs died about a gracious personal encounter I had with him that I wish I had. Oh well, sic transit gloria mundi, sigh.
Our blogs exist as fragile lines of HTML code. They can vanish like the morning dew. Yet, it is also possible they can outlive us. I was on Linked-In the other day, and they suggested people I might know and one of them was a dear friend of mine who died way too young two years ago.
Either way, both our blogs and we are going to die, so “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)