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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tom Takes Another ’Nother Breather

You may have noticed I like doing a “retrospective” post once a year, usually on a Sunday in the summer just as I am about to disappear somewhere far away for a couple of weeks and totally ignore the Internet.

It gives me a chance to preview what’s coming for the next week or so, which in 2015 was a Top 10 of our most-read posts, and in 2016 was Worship Week. It also gives me a chance to let our readers know how things are going generally, to say thanks to a few people, and to take stock.

All good things, so let’s have at it.

The Inexhaustible Christ

I usually close with this, but I’m going to say it up front this time:
“Thanks most of all to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is not only utterly inexhaustible but the only subject in this universe genuinely worth writing about every single day of my life.”
If I’m honest, when I first wrote this it was probably more aspirational than anything. I knew it to be true intellectually, so I could say it confidently, but I can’t claim to have really felt much about it at the time.

Since then, well, let’s just say I’m overwhelmed at the sheer scope and depth of the both the written word of God and the Word Incarnate. Inexhaustible is right. Smaug’s lair, if you know your Tolkien, had nothing on the unsearchable riches of Christ. We’re up over 1,300 posts in four years, some of them lengthy and heavily researched, and we haven’t scratched the surface of the Word AT ALL. The treasures to be found in Christ are not mere fact-baubles but deep, rich, eternal, joy-producing veins of living truth that have been mined by enthusiastic believers for generations upon generations and will never, NEVER be tapped out. I’m not saying we even remotely do these truths justice, but the material is certainly there.

In the course of writing these posts, I’ve had to come back to a few of the same verses, not merely because my own imagination is limited, but because I’ve seen so much more in them in only a couple of years of study that I have to share those thoughts too.

I am more conscious than ever before of the incredible worth of our Saviour and the immense value of knowing him as glorious Lord and intimate friend. What a privilege to be able to share him across the world.

Numbers ’n Stuff

This is post number 1338. Yowza.

154 of these have been our Friday Too Hot to Handle discussion posts, which seem to remain favorites, so we keep writing them. Not all of them are controversial anymore: really, IC and I just touch base and chat about something interesting to both of us.

Our “recycled” posts are up to a hair over 10%. One in ten’s not bad, especially since our readership has pretty much doubled in the last calendar year, which means there are lots of people now reading regularly who, I guarantee, will never go back and parse our earlier posts. Who has the time? So, once every week and a half or so, I will probably continue to dredge the ComingUntrue basement for old stock and disinter something for your consideration. We trust that, unlike Martha, you will not need to use the words “already stinketh”.

I think it’s fair to say we have readers in every corner of the world. This morning, for instance, both Grenada and Bosnia & Herzegovina checked in. I may move to a different tracking system or even a different platform this year to better quantify that, because Blogger only regularly shows the ten countries from which we are getting the most visitors at any given point in time. So welcome one and all!

Negativity?

If there is a negative, I’d say it’s in our ongoing inability to get any kind of regular discussion going in the comments (unless Qman does a drive-by).

Partly, I think, this is because many of our readers are serious Bible students themselves, as well as insanely busy people. When they take the time to write something, it usually ends up in a sermon.

Partly it’s because a good number of these receive our posts via RSS feeds and email delivery, so they don’t see other people’s comments or have an easy way to comment back.

Maybe it’s our moderation, which, while rarely heavy-handed, creates a time lag between commenting and posting that may discourage kneejerk responses. (Then again, does anyone really want to read kneejerk responses, including those who make them?)

Partly it may be that, as a couple of our Mac readers and those using certain versions of Android have found out, their comments disappear into the ether and never reach us. The source of that problem remains mysterious.

In any case, we love hearing from you, even if it’s to say, “Eh, not so much.”

The Next 10 Days

After wracking my brain for a couple of months trying to come up with a theme for the next week-and-a-half (and receiving zero assistance from IC on that score), I decided to take my revenge by reprising ten of IC’s posts that newer readers are less likely to have come across.

Immanuel Can has spent a lifetime as an educator so it’s not surprising that some of his blog posts read like formal essays (I think at least one was actually a repurposed treatise). It also helps explain why he regularly starts explicatory clauses with the word “for”. His contributions remain among the most popular things we publish despite the fact that his work schedule only permits a new solo post once or twice a month. So I doubt anyone will express massive irritation at the prospect of yet more IC.

In order to avoid redundancy, I’ve eliminated from consideration (i) any IC posts that have already been recycled once, (ii) anything relatively recent, (iii) anything that made our Top 10 Posts list in 2015, (iv) anything that is sitting in the left sidebar on the main page getting free advertising already, and (v) anything to do with Calvinism … just because. (Alright, maybe I slipped up just once. Or twice. Maybe. Fine, if you’re so smart, YOU try to find ten IC posts that don’t reference Calvinism!)

Uh, enjoy. I know I do.

Thankfulness

Finally, thanks to all our readers for continuing to stop by, and especially to those of you who have taken the time in the last year to comment, email, or say something to me personally. Your encouragement and thoughtful criticism are greatly appreciated.

And thanks to the Lord for continuing to enable this. As always, I think I probably benefit the most.

Love in Christ,

Tom

4 comments :

  1. Enjoy your break...we enjoy your posts... but more importantly ...Enjoy your time with the Lord. God bless.

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  2. I swing by because this is definitely one of the better takeouts, considerably better than Burger King ;O).

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  3. Particularly for a vegetarian.

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  4. Keep on keeping on brothers! Your encouragement, edification, and exhortation in this ministry have been such a blessing. To God be the glory!

    ReplyDelete