Thursday, May 1, 2014
On August 26, 2009, I began this blog with the intention of posting for 365 consecutive days and telling stories about my years in student ministry, my adventures in life and the impact of Jesus on myself and everyone around me. I did just that. I never knew if anyone was reading in those early days, but I kept writing just for me. Since that time I have sometimes wandered off into other areas and sometimes taken a break from blogging, but through it all I have loved being able to share here everyday. There are people who read occasionally, people who read religiously and people who read once and never return. I have reconnected with many old friends and told many old stories. I have also been able to share what is happening now in the lives of friends and family. It has been a remarkable experience- and in many ways a new ministry for me. And today you are reading the 1500th post on I'd Laugh...But All This Happend To Me! I certainly never saw this coming back in 2009...
So where have we traveled in these 1500 posts? We returned to my home at New Garden Friends Meeting, which was also my first big youth ministry position, for 50 posts. I have returned often to Quaker Lake Camp (60 posts). There have been 30 posts with a New York City label, 12 for Atlanta and 19 remembering Myrtle Beach. We traveled to New England Yearly Meeting for 9 posts and to the Union Church of Hinsdale for 42. My amazing years at Springfield Friends Meeting have filled 154 posts, and adventures to Walt Disney World accounted for 54 more! We've spent 181 days revisiting my time at the First United Methodist Church of Kissimmee. My years at Wesley Memorial UMC in Tampa accounted for 63 posts and Trinity UMC Waycross was labeled 20 times. The Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention garnered 23 mentions. Throw in Spanish Wells and Night Of Joy (3 each) and you see that the places I have been are well documented!
The people I have known - old friends and new- have dominated these pages as well. I have shared about Influences (27 posts) and those who are in my youth ministry Hall of Fame (46 posts). There have been 59 editions of the Saturday Shout Outs! And there have been numerous posts dedicated to special people that I love more than words can express. I have also written about things I love- Quakers, youth ministry, baseball, movies, How I Met Your Mother, music and so many more. And I have written dozens of post to remind people that from the very beginning this blog has been all about the love of God whose name is Jesus and the grace, love and mercy he has for us all. Some of my favorite posts can be found under the labels Jesus Revolution, Ragamuffins & Radical Christianity.
I was not alone in reaching 1500. My son has written several posts for me. There have been 3 series of guests posts over the years- Encounters With God, My Best Days and the ongoing #DangerDays series. Even my dog wrote a couple of guest posts.
There have been other landmarks along the way. Early on I did a weekly countdown of my 50 favorite Contemporary Christian albums of all-time, up to 2007. I both started and later killed Comment Day. We tried to #SaveThanksgiving. I wrote about the Republican National Convention being here in Tampa, about Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl, about how Barbeque is a noun not a verb and about the Grilled Cheesus episode of Glee, which is still one of my most popular posts. And very recently I wrote about how I would change the United Methodist Church if were I their "pope" for a day- a post which to this point has been seen over 5000 times. I have learned that you just never know what people are going to read.
But for myself and many other readers, far and away the most important posts I have written were confessional, revealing my story of sin, failure, grace and redemption to the world. To many these posts seemed brave and risky. To me, they were a chance to express what God was doing in my life through the mistakes I had made and the consequences of them. If you never have, click this My Journey tab and read those stories. They are indeed a tale of there and back again...
1500 is a big number, and it requires a big THANK YOU! I would have never gotten here without the encouragement, comments, retweets and hugs from so many of you. If you have read much of my stuff at all, then you know that I believe ministry is all about relationships and community. I believe in the Acts 2 church. I hope that this blog has helped to provide support and encouragement in faith for many of you just as it has for me. I don't know where I'm going next, but I do know there will be a new post tomorrow, and I know that many of you will go there with me. And that has been a constant blessing in my life- 1500 times now.
Because of Jesus,