Category Archives: Blogging

2013 in review – Thanks for sharing the journey!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 60,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Filed under Blogging

2012 in review…Thanks!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog. In this third year of blogging my views more than tripled! I am humbled by the response and grateful for everyone who has shared the journey!

Click on the link below to read the complete report!

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center for a performance. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Filed under Best of, Blogging, Gratitude

No more counting

Years ago I heard Tony Campolo speak about being part of a ministerial association where he lived. Every group has their measuring stick and this group used Sunday evening attendance. So the first thing they did each meeting was to go around the circle and share that statistic.

Tony decided to have some fun and play their game. When it was his turn, he reported that they had between 3 and 4 hundred in attendance for their Sunday evening services. Every pastor in the room was awestruck and Tony became the new guru of that little group. His words of wisdom were valued like gold and everyone had questions to ask.

Then a few months into these meetings someone asked Tony exactly how many people they averaged in attendance at Sunday evening services. Tony replied with something like “37.”

As you can imagine, everyone was stunned. “But you said it was between 3 and 400!” To which Tony replied, “37 is between 3 and 400.”

I love it! How could they be so vain as to think that the number of Sunday evening attenders is the measure of success in a church.

I would never do that. But I would use the number of blog followers to boost my confidence and measure my success. I’ve even looked for the number of followers on other blogs that I visit.

How could I be so vain?!

Everyone likes to have someone reading their blogs and positive affirmation can be great fuel to spur us on in writing. But this shouldn’t be our primary motivation.

If it’s all about God then it’s simply a matter of sharing what He has put on our heart and trusting that He will use it according to His will; whether it’s with a thousand people or just one soul.

But it’s hard. Even the tips others give you for building a following include visiting lots of other blogs to either “Like” a post or “Subscribe” to their blog. The idea is that people will return the favor. But I can’t bring myself to do that.

I enjoy checking out other blogs when time allows, but if I like a post or follow a blog it’s simply because it touched my heart and challenged me in some way.

Jesus taught that the way to confront the issue of greed in our heart is to give stuff away.

So to confront my tendency to “number watch” my blog I’ve stopped posting how many people are following through Subscription. Though it just dawned on me that the number of people following my Facebook page is still listed. I wonder if that can be removed?

What’s your real motivation for blogging or doing anything for the cause of Christ?

P.S. – And anyway, the number of followers posted by WordPress was wrong by my count. It was actually… never mind.  LOL

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Accountability, Blogging, Loving God, Motivation

It’s bigger than you and me

If you asked 10 different people why they blog or what they get out of it, you would likely get 10 different answers. But more interesting to me would be how it has changed for them since they first started.

I began blogging while in-between ministries. I had an urge to share what God was teaching me but had no audience. And blogging about God daily gave me a greater awareness of His presence in the midst of what was happening.

I have also come to appreciate the process of blogging because it has taught me to craft my words and ideas more carefully. I’m learning that sometimes less is more.

But the biggest benefit I receive from blogging right now is the constant reminder that God’s kingdom is active all around the globe.

Why is it so easy for us to develop the mindset that the bulk of what God is doing revolves around our particular church family?

Don’t get me wrong. I greatly value the local church because it serves as the hands and heart of God to that community. But each church group is just one tiny blip on the radar screen of the kingdom of God.

One core sin issue, and perhaps the biggest, is our propensity to be self-absorbed. Multiply that by however many people you have in a church family and the potential to think that it all revolves around us is enormous!

But blogging keeps me connected and involved with others who are actively living out God’s kingdom purposes right where they are – all around the world.

Last week I added a new feature to the sidebar of my blog. On the right side and lower down is a map of the world. Each red dot represents a visitor to my blog. There are people in places I’ve never been who are sharing the journey of following Jesus.

Love your church family. Pray for them. Get involved. But remember that God’s kingdom exists everywhere His people exist and live out His purposes.

“Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 6:9-10

May the kingdom of God advance today throughout the world as you and I demonstrate the love and grace and truth of God wherever we are and in whatever we are doing!

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Blogging, Christianity, Church, God, influence with the world, involvement with the church, Kingdom of God

Some new blog stuff for a new year

I’m a big believer that we should all be perpetual learners. To quit learning is to quit living. And since it’s a new year I’m trying out a few new things with the blog; stuff that I’m learning from other bloggers.

  • A Facebook page for the iLife Journey
  • A condensed About page
  • A new The Story page

A Facebook page: One of my favorite parts of blogging is the chance to connect with people from all over the country and even the world. The chance to get feedback on a blog and dialogue about the journey of following Jesus is priceless!

For a while now Eli – my oldest and a junior in college – has been telling me that a Facebook page would allow for more ongoing dialogue between people and would help me reach a bigger audience. So if you do Facebook check it out here. Click the “Like” button to stay updated on new posts and some other things I’m planning to share. And if you want to connect with me personally on FB you can friend me on my page here.

A condensed “About” page: This is no biggie if you’re already following my blog but I’ve condensed and combined personal info and background info about the iLife Journey onto one “About” page. I did this because I tend to get wordy sometimes but primarily to free up space for a new page tab…

A new “The Story” page: The Story is a condensed, chronological Bible that provides the scope of God’s story from Genesis to Revelation in just 31 chapters. Our church is going to be preaching and teaching through this 31 week Bible and I’m going to be doing some specific things on my blog so that others can join us on this unique journey of finding our story in God’s story. You can read more about it on the page tab above.

Feel free to let me know what you think and thanks again for sharing the journey!

***

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Filed under Bible, Blogging, involvement with the church, Scripture

The best of 2011 and a “Thank You”

There goes another year! Mom was right, “the older you get the faster time flies.” As my second year of blogging wraps up I’m grateful for everyone who has shared the journey and humbled that my audience has nearly tripled.

The adventure of blogging is still a bit strange and mysterious to me. For example, of the Top Ten blogs from 2011, listed below, the number one blog is actually from last year! Go figure! Anyway, here they are in case you missed them the first time around.

1. My issue with Christmas cards – click here

2. Hannah’s socks – click here

3. Neighbors sign peace deal to end feud – click here

4. Friday Funny! 😉 – click here

5. What does your billboard say? – click here

6. Don’t give in to shallow praise! – click here

7. Black Friday advice from Maxine – click here

8. The Real Jesus – click here

9. Uniquely You – click here

10. Why is it called “Good Friday?” – click here

Thanks for sharing the journey and Happy New Year!

***

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Filed under Best of, Blogging, Christmas, Good Friday, Gratitude, Humor, Jesus, Just for fun, Loving others, Peace, Praise, Serving

So what’s the deal with peace?

I realize I’ve only been blogging for a year and a half but I’ve never had this happen before. Two weeks ago today I posted an article entitled Neighbors sign peace deal to end feud. It was a little article by Reuters news service about neighbors gone mad who finally resolved their issues by signing an actual peace deal.

The first day it was posted it only got 14 views, the second day only a couple. But the third day after posting it there were 31 views and for two solid weeks now it has averaged 75 views a day! I’ve had articles get big numbers before for a day or two but never one that got high views for two weeks.

I can’t help but be curious about why this article continues to be so intriguing. Are people into the Jerry Springer type situations like these neighbors were living out; or is there that much genuine interest in peace?

If you have an opinion I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment. In the meantime I’ll continue to wonder what draws people to certain blog posts.

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Filed under Blogging, Peace

Thanks for sharing the journey!

Hey gang! April was a month of new records not only for rainfall (arg!) but also in the number of views for my blog! It has grown steadily over the last four months and April was 3 times larger than December, 2010. WOW!

I don’t do a blog for the numbers but it’s a real boost to know that it’s encouraging others in their journey of following after Jesus. To all of you who have passed my blog along to friends or reposted it on Facebook – Thank You!

In case you are new to my blog or have missed some lately here are my top five posts from April:

#1 – Why is it called “Good Friday?”
#2 – One person can make a difference!
#3 – The dethroning of Thor
#4 – A rare tribute for the colorectal surgeon! 😉
#5 – I’m no country boy, but…

Something new! Even though my viewership has been increasing I am always looking for new ways to improve my blog. One suggestion I came across recently was to do an About page as a sort of biography or introduction. You’ll notice I have a new tab above. Let me know what you think!

In the works! I’ve had a couple of people suggest that I create a Facebook page for iLife Journey as this would allow for more dialog between those reading my blog posts and make it easier to pass along. I’m still trying to figure that one out but will let you know when I have it up and running.

If you have any ideas or suggestions as to ways I could improve the blog, topics I could touch on or specific stories I might write about – please leave me a comment. I greatly value and enjoy all your feedback! And as always…

…thanks for sharing the journey!

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Filed under Blogging, Gratitude, involvement with the church

A little blogging humor! ;-)

 

If only I could get paid for both!

 

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Filed under Blogging, Humor, Just for fun

OK… it matters!

A Vekoma Boomerang roller coaster at Wild Adve...

Image via Wikipedia

When I began to blog a little over a year ago I did it with open expectations. I really didn’t know what would come of it and told myself that it didn’t matter how many people joined me on the journey.

OK… it matters!

The number of views to my blog has been somewhat like a roller coaster at times but usually averages out to be about 40 views a day or roughly around 280 views a week. To be perfectly honest I have no idea how this compares to other blogs or what the norm might be if there even is such a thing.

Last week when the number of views shot up drastically and finished at over 400 for the week it caught my attention. I was initially very excited and encouraged. I wondered if people were telling others about them or posting my blogs elsewhere.

But then I struggled with feeling like it shouldn’t matter how many read my blog. Perhaps it is vain to pay attention to such things. I even began to feel a bit of pressure to keep it up, though I didn’t know what I’d done different.

Then it dawned on me that viewing a blog is really just listening; and we all like it when people listen to what we have to say. When people pay attention to us it leaves us feeling significant and valuable.

There is incredible power in the simple act of listening. It has the potential to lift up or tear down a person’s spirit. God wired us in such a way that we all want to know that we matter, that we have something to contribute to the conversation of life. Perhaps that’s one reason why James says:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… ~ James 1:19

Did you catch that? Quick to listen! Two ears… one mouth… I see a pattern here!

Today, you and I can powerfully influence another human being. We don’t need unlimited financial resources or superhuman strength or phenomenal skills. All we have to do is… listen!

Let’s pay attention to those we are with today. It really does matter!

9 Comments

Filed under Blogging, influence with the world, Loving others