A Blogging Milestone

The 1000 Milestone

I noticed that the total count of my posts, pages, sermons and comments on my blog has passed the 1000 mark.  More than five hundred of those blog events are posts.  Just over one hundred fifty are sermon manuscripts of messages prepared since coming to Copper Hill UMC.  To be honest, I thought I would reach this 1 K milestone much sooner.  But with a semi-retirement pastorate and two wonderful grandchildren in my life, I’m been much busier than anticipated.  In addition, my personal blog now has much more competition for my computer time than it did when I began in 2010.  Now I have a busy Facebook presence and a Pinterest account, plus I manage a second blog for our church, contribute to our church’s Facebook page, and help my wife with her blog-style website as well. 


Posts + pages + sermons + comments > 1000


New categories




New Page Software




Better Pictures

Renewing my blog

One goal as I reach this milestone is to renew my blog.  Change is inevitable.  It takes intentional change to create a fresh face and keep progressing.  

Toward this end, I decided that two new categories would be helpful both to me in initiating new material and to my readers.   The new category called “Country Touches” will be pure fun—interesting pictures and observations.   Another New Category named “Best Five” will be a vehicle for passing on to my readers some quick lists of top five in my experience in any area that comes to mind.  I hope it helps others tap sources of wisdom that I have discovered.


I’m also experimenting with new page creation software by SiteOrigin.  The Country Touch post about my sister’s outside décor was the first to use that software.   It looks like a hit.  I’ve experimented with a program called Sway as well but it did not format well online and I think SiteOrigin will replace it. 

 It is a constant goal to use higher quality pictures and pictures that fit the content better.   I hope there is a new phone camera in my near future to help this goal along.

Three goals for future blogging

This milestone has also made me stop and review my blogging goals.  What do I intend to do with my blog going forward? 

More wisdom

I plan to continue the emphasis upon wisdom.  Learntobewise.com has become more than my blog address, it has become a mission.  Wisdom is so lacking in our world today.  In fact, in general I believe we do not have wisdom enough to know we are short of it.  Action is valued; adrenaline is sought; acting is pursued; sports prowess is idolized, but wisdom is neglected. So I pray that by God’s grace I can make my blog a place where words of wisdom are shared, both ones I write and ones I find and forward to my readers via my blog.  I pray that God gives me wisdom enough to do so (James 1:5). 

More fun

I want my blog to be a place for some fun, both for me and for my readers. Look for more posts in categories like Americana, Country Touches, and on subjects like being a Grandpa, vacation accounts, daylily galleries and Christmas train set pictures. They are all blogging fun for me and I hope for my readers as well. 

More public messages pages

I plan to continue building the sermon archive on my blog as a reference and resource for parishioners, other pastors and Christian workers.   Crafting sermon outlines and writing messages for our congregation comes relatively easy to me and if I can provide resources to others, I would consider that a privilege.  It fits with my goal about sharing wisdom and it would extend the use of my gifts and my influence as a Bible teacher and preacher.   I am especially humbled to note that many readers of my blog are international.    And I am aware from my missions trips that Christian workers in other places often do not have access to all the Bible education that I have had.   Besides, it is wise use of time and resources to edit slightly what I already write each week as a part of my pastoral ministry to also build my blog. 



  More Wisdom



  More   Fun



 Message Archive

Not 500, but many good results

Setting a goal encouraged us to invite others

Some of you have asked me already, “Did we make 500?”   I almost don’t want to answer the question because I am so excited about all the great events that happened over our Christmas weekend.   Numerous family groups were here in force and I saw many new faces as well.   The Christmas Eve music was super inspiring and our children and teens put the weekend over the top with their Christmas musical.  But, the answer is, no, we didn’t reach 500 total attendance for our three Christmas weekend services.   In fact, we did not get very close to the number goal.   But having talked to families and friends as they gathered both on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, I am convinced that we had between 60 and 100 more people than we would’ve had if we had not set a big goal and stretched.    The actual total of 370 included many family and friends that had been invited because we had set a goal.   John Abbott  expressed what I heard from many.  He came with a friend that I did not recognize.  Knowing he was from a large family of brothers, I asked, “Is this one of your brothers?”   He replied, “It’s one of the men who works with me; you said bring a friend, so I did.”   That spirit seemed to pervade the congregation both on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning as there were many family members and guests who had been invited to celebrate Christ’s birth with us.   Other pastors who had services on Christmas day found their attendance on the low side.  But because of our children’s musical and our efforts to invite friends, our Christmas morning attendance (145) was significantly higher than our average attendance.  It was also a good thing that we had two Christmas Eve services because fitting everyone who came into one would have been extremely cozy (6 PM 160; 8:30 PM  65). 

A wonderful Spirit of worship and a great play

The most touching report that I heard concerning the Christmas services was Kim Ouderkirk’s report of the children’s prayer time as they prepared to perform their Christmas morning play.   One prayed something like this, “Dear Jesus, we have received so many gifts; now please help us give our gift to you.”  That is priceless.  Another prayed that someone would open their heart to Jesus because of the play.   The children’s’ prayers were so moving that some adults left the room to staunch their own tears.   Then they went out and delivered a nearly flawless performance, remembering all their lines and showing that they definitely know how to act a part.  The message of the play that God’s gift to us of his Son Jesus along with the salvation that he brings to us is the greatest gift of all was crystal clear.  Afterward the congregation gave them a standing ovation.   Our thanks go to Kim Ouderkirk for her leadership, to all who helped her, to the teens and children for their hard work, and to the parents who cooperated by adjusting home schedules on Christmas so that we could tell Jesus’ story and honor him in this important way on his birthday.    And they accomplished all this while also working around the 50th anniversary renovations of the sanctuary.