On February 22nd 2014, I did something I had been thinking about for a while. I posted my first article, fittingly titled “Hello World“: “This is the very first entry to my blog. It is deliberately short and sweet (or at least it started out that way), which is a feat given my tendency to pontificate at length on all sorts of subjects. Given that the five publications that have been put on my website this day I reckon could easily have been contained in a hundred normal blog entries about an enormous range of subjects related to my own community activism, I feel readers will understand why the brevity. Lots of folk broadcast their thoughts on a whole range of matters, in one way or another and with varying depth and regularity, for all and sundry to read if they have the inclination, and I am joining them. I’m grateful to my son, Matthew, for setting me up with my website. Ironically, in a past life I was a computer consultant but am glad of this help on this occasion. I intend there will be refinements in the weeks and months to come, including new blog entries and publications and, providing it can be suitably monitored, a chance to interact and engage with readers.
Like many, I have opinions on all sorts of subjects and often believe I am right, but then humility is a virtue that I need more of. Even so, we live in a crazy world and while there is room for everyone to have an interest and opinion, the interests and opinions that matter most are those of Almighty God. While I do not presume to precisely know what these are when it comes down to the nitty-gritty and every day details of living in the community, I do feel too often God’s perspective is ignored, and we all suffer as a result, and not often enough are we told or reminded of these things. I’m mindful of the need for balance (including both fun and serious items) and not to be so caught up in the heavens that I fail to resonate with or at least engage the readers. I relish the opportunity to put my point of view across and contribute to debate, especially with those who see things differently (provided they are polite) or on subjects where there is no one right or obvious answer. Importantly, I know that the people who actually do things that help others, ideally without ostentation, are the ones to be admired. The moral here is to be doing rather than saying. I’m not sure how my ideas of becoming a regular blogger will work out, but as they say – watch this space…”
Today, I post my 1000th blog entry (what you are reading now) and can declare (tongue in cheek) I can now die happy. Many sentiments I expressed when I made those first tentative steps into the blogosphere 1302 days ago still remain. Little could I have predicted I would reach this landmark so soon, and despite deterioration in health there is still much I would like to write about right now that gets me excited on many subjects, using this unique opportunity so to do. I doubt whether I will get to 2000 but then God alone knows the future. I suspect blogging has sometimes taken over my life more than it ought, and a time to withdraw from blogging and social media for a season may be in order. I have influenced people less than I hoped and upset people more than I expected. I envy folk who get a million hits to their postings; I would be excited to get to 1000 and if I reach 100 that is a good result. Often my mundane, off the cuff stuff gets more readers than my profound, carefully researched offerings, but then that’s life. But I did try to adopt (not always successfully but mostly) the “True, Necessary and Kind” principle when writing about stuff that has touched me that I think could / should be of interest to others. I thank readers for their forbearance and encouragement. I thank those who strongly disagree for keeping me on my toes. Honest and respectful debate, finding common ground, seeking the truth, alerting folk to important stuff they may not otherwise see and honouring the Lord remain my guiding principles. My “Gospel” posting remains my most important one.
Tomorrow, I am expecting a message on my Facebook feed, something on the lines: “you have posted 100 days in a row and people are responding”. Charitably, by blogging and posting on social media, it appears I am putting my message across, but less charitably, some will say: “who cares”, “get a life” and “do good”.