Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary Counting the Cost!

Psalm 89:15-17
As I was checking my blog this morning, the sudden realization struck me that it is now entering its third year of existence in this vast, seemingly endless sphere called the internet.  It has definitely been a challenge to keep it fresh with new posts that reflect its purpose and encourage readers to come back for another visit.  And when I would think that my limited ability had reached an end to its creativity and my few visitors were bored to tears with repetitious or redundant themes, another idea, another topic would pop into my head and find its way onto this page.

Some of the posts you have read sat idle for a while in the draft file, waiting for inspiration to make them worthy of your time.  And when they were posted, my obsessive nature over editing for grammatical and punctuation errors would send them flying back into the "Edit Posts" stage for a brief moment to be "fixed" so your eyes wouldn't be offended.  Others were so clear and precise in their context and form that they didn't have to suffer through much proof-reading; the spell- and grammatical-check option would gleefully pop up telling me it was near-perfection - and that made me happy.

When I first set up this blog, I added a traffic counter that shows me how many visitors I have had on that particular day.  At first, it was the number of readers who showed up that I was most interested in, and the number of them that continued to "follow" it, or return often to see what else has been posted.  As any fledgling writer will eventually admit if they are honest with themselves, they desire recognition for their efforts.  After all, it's a lot of hard work, and if no one is reading that work, they feel disappointed.

Also, I wanted to see, but seldom did, comments from those who dropped in; their thoughts or whether or not they liked it.  But, it wasn't long before I was convicted that my focus was misplaced.  I needed to return to its original purpose: to glorify Jesus Christ.  I started looking at not the number of visitors, but where they were coming from, what country they lived in, and it opened up a whole new perspective on the possible reason this blog has continued to exist.

I began keeping a list of the "hits" I was receiving outside of the United States. The counter also shows me a map and a URL of the one searching, and I am able to visit their own blogs or websites, if they have one.  How they managed to find my blog is something for which I have no answer, nor is it necessary for me to have one.  Whether by mistake, through a Google image search, the hyperlink I have on my email, a recommendation from another reader, Facebook, or a multitude of other possibilities, they had come.  The most surprising are those who visit from nations that are known for their intolerance and/or hostility towards Christianity: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan and other parts of Africa, Nigeria, Iran, China, nations from the former Soviet Union, and believe it or not, North Korea.  I would wonder what risk they may have had to take to search the web for a glimpse of what their hearts yearned for.

How wonderful it was to think that the LORD may have led them to my humble blog to find Him.  This thought made it more imperative that I allow Him to be its Administrator, rather than myself.  It wasn't the number of visitors that was important.  It was who these people were that were being directed here, perhaps Divinely so, that became my focus.

Once I placed control back in the LORD's hands, I was encouraged to visit my readers' blogs, if they had one.  Needless to say, the variety of thoughts, philosophies, religions, or purposes I found among them was staggering.  Although I have discovered some amazingly wonderful Christian blogs this way, most of the blogs I find using this method are from Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, Satanists, New Age spiritualists, evolutionists, and every other form of false religion or ideology that would pop up on my computer screen.  I must admit that some were received with discomfort or misgiving because of their content and I struggled not to comment on their own posts or, more often, hurriedly left their site.  However, it presented me an opportunity to  leave a rare comment of encouragement or, better yet, to pray for them and to also ask others to pray.  And it delighted me that perhaps they were searching for an answer they couldn't get from the darkness they currently resided in and, instead, found it on my blog.  After all, nothing is accidental or by chance - even if it wasn't their intention to land here.

With another year looming before me and many empty pages lying in wait to be filled, I look to the One Who has faithfully kept this blog up and running for the last two years.  I must be doing something right.  Right?  As long as I let His hands rest on mine that are poised above the keyboard, or hold the pen hovering over my notebook, the words that show up here will be His.  And if you're searching for an answer and He directs you here to my humble blog, as long as you are willing to pause a few moments and read from these pages, you will find the answer somewhere within them.

I would like to extend a BIG "THANK YOU!" to all who have come here the past two years.  Whether this is your first visit, or you return often, my gratitude is sincerely given for dropping by.  I hope that you found what you were looking for, and that you have been fed, renewed, or encouraged by the words that are posted here....and I hope you come back again. 

Oh!  And don't forget to leave your thoughts after you have read what you find here. Just click on "Post a Comment" at the bottom of the post and follow the instructions.  We writers appreciate them more than you think and really do want to hear from you.

To celebrate this blog's anniversary, I will be re-posting from time to time some favorites of mine that were written over the course of the last two years.  It is my hope that you will re-read them, perhaps with new eyes, and that they speak to your heart as they did mine when I wrote them.  Better yet, however, is that I pray we will one day meet when we are all gathered together with the LORD, and that you will tell me you found Him here on my blog.

Until that glorious day, may the Holy Spirit continue to draw you closer to your Savior Jesus Christ, to make you His own for eternity, and to pour out His blessings upon you.

In Christ's Service,



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen; I think it's wonderful that you get hits from all around the world because I know about your heart for evangelizing and I believe God can use whatever means He wishes to reach all around the world, and it looks to me like He is using you. I love your honest heart that seeks after the Lord and proclaims His name. That would make you a "seed planter", so keep on sewing sister. Love You. Robyn