1. To ape some old words, one can either write a blog or read a blog, but one can’t normally be good at both. Personally speaking, I’ve not done as well at the latter as Kris has and I’ve not done as well as I would have liked.
2. I remain grateful for a little lesson I learned from Steve McCoy when reviewing books: Ask good questions and don’t answer them yourself. Blessing all over Steve! And I remain grateful to Bob Smietana for suggesting, some 20 months ago, that I might just be cut out for blogging. Happy New Year Bob!
3. The biggest challenge in blogging is consistency — your readers prefer to know that something will appear regularly.
4. A major challenge for Christian bloggers in 2007: Learning how to converse without resorting to ridicule, labelling, and threats. No one does this well all the time, but (unless you are talking to a friend who knows you well enough to take your strong pushbacks) the most conversational method of responding to something you really take offense at is to ask a reasonable question — and not a sarcastic one and not one designed to lead the person to a point where you can pounce on them. A good question can reduce tension dramatically. It also shows respect to the other person. I’m appalled at the watch blogs — not always at the logic but instead at the acidic tone and delight in damnation.
5. The second biggest challenge is variety — and I’ve struggled with that myself. At one time about four books were squelching any new topics coming to the surface. Kris and my kids remind me when the blog is getting boring and predictable.
6. The third biggest challenge: it’s got to be fun and easy. If you find yourself racking your brain to know what to write about, don’t write anything. Find a rhythm that is keeps your boat on smooth water. My biggest problems come around vacations or big events when I try to get ahead with my Bible reflection and still try to keep up with topics and books. (Like this week.)
7. Kris and I are amazed at times at the number who speak to us about this blog, and wherever we go we meet readers — I can’t tell you the joy this brings both of us.
8. JesusCreed.org is someting other than I ever expected; it has become a ministry. I wish I could tell you the number of letters we get and the pastoral counselling we are asked at times to provide and the kind notes we are sent (and even a few Christmas presents).
9. I do not get paid for anything on this blog; I do get some free books for review but I make no promises unless I already know I’ll like the book. I’ve thought of advertising — but it seems like a hassle — and I have seriously considered an annual subscription for additional items — like podcasting and longer writings.