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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

If you wanted me to finish the title of this post with “But I Know I Love You,” you either:
  • Are a big Aaron Neville and Linda Rondstadt fan (there must be dozens of you still out there)
  • Know me very well.

But singing a 80’s love ballad is not my main goal here today. Sigh . . . .


Two Years Running

I have had had this blog for over two years now. In that time, over 63000 page views have been recorded; more than 10,000 of those page views have been for more than 3 minutes each (a good indicator of reader engagement). 

This blog has more than 100 regular followers (primarily Email and RSS subscriptions), plus it receives more hits through Facebook, Twitter, and Google searches. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this community, including those who have left one (or more) of the 700+ comments.

The Journey

I started this blog as a way to assist parents, church staff, and volunteers, but also as a way to express my thoughts, and to allow others to do the same. I believe this blog has been helpful to others (at least I hope so), but it has also provided an outlet for me.

Never claiming to have all the answers, I called this blog “A Different Way,” because I felt it could give different perspectiveson parenting, compared to what is seen in the culture and even what is heard from other Christian leaders.

Along that lines, I have tried to explain the dangers of “Biblical” parenting and how some churches fall short.

I’ve answered common parenting questions, such as:

I’ve enjoyed interviewing other parents we know, especially those who think and do things differently than we do. We asked some friends why they are a Santa Family. We asked three other couples why they have chosen Public School, Private School, or Homeschool educations for their children.

I’ve ventured into more philosophical questions. On one fateful day, I posted a link to my blog post How Do We Know that God Is Real? on a particular website. I never expected the 2000 hits I would get, nor the viscous comments, nor even the defense from an unknown atheist.

And I’ve shared stories, photos, and videos from our family. Maybe these have brought a smile to your day, or given you an idea. Or, it’s just been a way to collect and catalogue memories for our own family.


The Changes

Since I started this blog, so much has changed for us. My kids are older (including having a middle schooler!). We moved from Greenville to Allendale. On this blog, I had a tag for Fairfax Fridays, where I shared my experiences in Allendale (at the time, I was living and working in Fairfax – the 2nd largest town in this county).

Fairfax Fridays grew into a separate blog, Mission: Allendale (which itself has over 16000 page views in just over a year). More and more of my writings have been on that new blog. Due to time constraints, I now limit my writings on this blog to two days per week.


What I’ve Learned

In my journey on this blog, and in my parenting, I’ve learned that I really don’t know much. For everything I begin I learn, another 10 questions / worries / doubts arise in my head.

To be honest, I really thought I’d be a much better parent than I am. I would have thought that I'd have been a lot further along in 11 years of parenting, and several years of blogging. I don’t know much – about parenting, blogging, or ministry. But I think that realization is good. It makes me depend on God all the more. I fail often, and I realize that I am weaker and more in need of grace.

In my parenting, marriage, ministry and everything in my life. I need Jesus. And I must remember that I am not marked by my successes or failures. My identity is in Jesus, and what He has done for me.

In the words of Jared Wilson in A Gospeled Man:
“I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and now by God’s grace I am empowered to love well and serve well and husband well and daddy well and pastor well.”

I’ll close with a few stanzas from “Jesus Paid It All” --

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Refrain:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Refrain:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Amen.

And thanks again for being a part of the journey.

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