Tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of macarisms. What a year! I never dreamed of reading a blog, let alone writing one. I didn’t expect I’d have much to say, or that people would be interested… maybe I don’t and they aren’t! But really, I’m just a preacher dressed up as blogger and now I write more than speak. I thought I’d take a look back and see what’s gone on. Here’s a a bit of a picture of a year in the blogosphere.
Posts 153 (3 a week)
Words 138,864 (posts average 900 words)
Followers 260 (thank you!)
Views 103,679 (2000 a week)
Most viewed posts
An open letter to Sam Harris 6,797
Chappo’s gain 1,829
Religious crap! 1,561
Books read and reviewed 52 (1 a week)
jeaninallhonesty 354 (thanks Jean, and many others who’ve passed things on)
It’s not about the stats, but I do find them interesting. The reach is amazing. I never imagined being read regularly by people in so many parts of the world. While most readers are in Australia, there are people reading from countries that I didn’t even know existed. And I won the HSC Geography award! It’s a privilege to be a blessing to people I’ve never met from places I’ve never visited.
I love it when people post comments on the blog. It’s encouraging to get feedback. I’ve approved every comment that I’ve received, other than spam and some bigoted comments that someone made about atheists. Some people find the process of replying to the blog a bit difficult or intimidating, and many more leave comments about the posts on Facebook.
Most times I write something, I send out an alert via Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have many Twitter followers (and I don’t really understand it anyway!) but Facebook has been very fruitful in spreading the word.
I’m humbled that so many people have been following my journey with cancer and offering so much encouragement along the way. The pledges of prayer have been overwhelming and I’ve felt very supported in this way. I’ve also met many people, from all over, who are battling cancer and serious illness or supporting others who are. Mutual encouragement has been a true blessing of macarisms. I thank God when I hear of others doing it tough who are being helped by reading my reflections on suffering, faith, and other matters.
It’s fascinating to see what people get into. Why were so many people interested in reading my thoughts on death and resurrection written to Sam Harris? I still don’t know for sure if they got through to Sam. I wasn’t surprised how many people wanted to read about Chappo given the widespread love and gratitude for this man. I was very surprised at the enthusiasm for the post on religious crap, but then maybe it shows that people are keen to get past all the junk to the heart of the matter.
The past year has been the year of reading and reviewing books. I doubt I’ve ever read as many, and I certainly haven’t summarised, reflected upon, and reviewed books as systematically. This has been a big help to me in consolidating my reading. It helps overcome the chemo brain to some extent. There’s a variety of books and they don’t interest everyone, but many pastors have commented that they appreciate the heads up. My tip to people starting out in their professional study or working life (especially if they’re involved in ministry) is to read aggressively! By this I mean, scribble all over your books, write notes, summaries, questions, ideas to question further, points to apply. If you take an extra few hours to write a review summary of the better books you read, I reckon you’ll thank yourself for doing it later!
One year of macarisms. Thank God! What does next year hold? More of the same, or different, God willing! I’d love ‘journey of cancer updates’ to report continued shrinkage and I long for the day when I can post: IT’S GONE!!! I understand that my heavenly Father hears our prayers and he will only give me what is best, and for this I thank him. My prayer is that macarisms will continue to be used by God to bring blessing to others.
I’m also keen to write a book. So many people’s lives are touched by cancer and so many find it very hard. Many are lacking any hope for this life or the next. I’m asking God to enable me to write on Living in Hope and I’d love it to be available to every person with cancer, every carer, every family affected, all oncologists, nurses, social workers, pastors, friends and any one else. But I need to write it first! Please pray that God will enable me to do this.
Thank you all for your support!