I have read through the Bible more than 10 times in the last seven years. But, I never recorded any of my thoughts from those readings. Therefore, in 2017, I decided to read through the Bible, three to four chapters a day, and write about what the Holy Spirit was speaking to me that day. Specifically, every day I asked the Holy Spirit to show me Jesus in that day’s reading. That was the genesis of this blog.
Yesterday, I finished the task of writing 365 blog posts in 365 days.
I had to stop writing just now and ponder that previous sentence for a few minutes.
365 blog posts in 365 days!
I’m glad I didn’t think the project through ahead of time.
I started each day asking the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to me. My desire was to see Jesus in every part of the Bible, even the really boring parts such as the genealogies.
Then, I did my daily reading of three to four chapters in the Bible. Typically, this took about 30 minutes.
I tried to be sensitive to any word, phrases, or sentences that the Holy Spirit called out in my spirit. Sometimes, I knew right away what I was to right about. Other times, I had to do quite a bit of research on what the Holy Spirit prompted in my spirit. Depending on the day, the research phase lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.
Then, I wrote my post to show how I saw Jesus in that day’s passage of scripture. If I had to guess, each day’s post averaged 1,500-2,000 words. If you’re not a writer, then let me tell to you- that’s a lot writing. If I had to guess, then I would estimate I averaged about an hour a day actually writing the post.
Typically, I finished all of this between 6:00 to 6:30 a.m. each day.
I have always been an early riser. But, my sleeping schedule in 2017 was more unusual than ever. I woke up between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. most days. An alarm clock was never involved. I just woke up. And, I usually woke up at a time that allowed me to finish my post by 6:00 to 6:30 a.m. As a result, I typically went to bed about 8:00 p.m.
During 2017, I had several illnesses – a severe cold and some sort of flu.
Also, I traveled a lot for work. Sometimes, I had a day trip to Chicago. Other times, I had week long trips to India or Germany with time changes of 11.5 and 6 hours, respectively.
And, there were some vacations during the year too.
But, I never worked ahead for any day’s post.
And, I never had to catch up because I missed a day.
I did the reading, researching, and writing for that day on that day every day.
At the start, I didn’t think about any of these things.
Looking back, I’m amazed I finished the project.
From the start, I told myself that I would finish this project whether anyone read the blog or not. But, I would be lying if I said that the response to the blog did not play a part in keeping me going throughout the year.
Not surprisingly, the year started with very little traffic. In January, I averaged 11 views per day.
Then, some Facebook friends – Keith Giles and Richard Murray – started sharing my posts. My traffic started to increase. From February to September, I averaged between 20 to 30 views per day. Through September I was writing only about the Old Testament.
In October, I started writing about the New Testament, and my traffic increased some more. Also, I started using a question as the title for every post. I noticed changing the title to a question increased the amount of search traffic to my blog. (This is something I learned at work as I work at a media company.) In October and November, I averaged almost 50 views a day.
But, in December I averaged more than 70 views a day. Looking at the daily traffic, I immediately could see the reason why – the book of Revelation. So, if you want to just generate traffic, then write about Revelation every day.
However, more than paying attention to the views, the most motivating statistic was the list of countries that viewed my blog each day. I got a real kick out of seeing what new countries visited my blog. I enjoyed watching this world map fill.
By the end of the year, people in 98 different countries had read a post. The top 10 countries were:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- European Union (how is that a country?)
- South Africa
But, I also had just one view from countries around the world. The 10 most recent countries with just one view were:
- British Virgin Islands
- Antigua & Barbuda
All told, I had 11,665 views from 7,364 visitors from 98 countries in 2017.
Thank you to everyone that read even just one post. And, thank you to those that liked posts, commented on posts, or sent me a word of encouragement.
Well, enough about 2017.
What about 2018?
Will I continue the blog?
But, I’m not going to blog every day. My current plan is to post every Wednesday and Saturday.
What am I going to blog about?
But, I’m going to write about him in different ways than I did in 2017. I know my first series of posts will be about practical experiences I have had with Jesus that have built my faith. I read a lot of books on theology and listen to a lot of sermons and Christian podcasts. These book, sermons, and podcasts, along with my continued daily Bible reading, will serve as inspiration for my posts.
Prior to starting this blog, I had begun writing a book. The idea for the book came from the well-known quip that form follows function. But, this quip is actually part of a larger quote from a magazine article on architecture written by Louis Sullivan in the 1890s. The full quote is “It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”
That quote reminded me a lot of Colossians 1.15-17, which says, “He [Jesus] is the image [form] of the invisible God [function], the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created [for any created thing, form ever follows function] through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
I put that book on hold to start this blog. However, in a roundabout way, that quote is what this blog always has been about. So, I plan to continue writing that book and hopefully even finishing it in 2018. It is highly likely that the book will contribute to a significant number of posts in 2018.
I hope you will keep reading the blog.
And, thank you again for reading even one post, following along with me through the Bible, and sending me a word of encouragement in 2017.