What in the World?
Happy anniversary! Admittedly, this is self-congratulatory, but who else is going to do it for me?
I am celebrating the fifth anniversary of this blog. Five enjoyable years of blogging on many topics -- too many to list now. Five years of sharing my thoughts about the interface between religion and the public square. I admit that I have digressed several times only to return to what continues to be the main focus of this blog.
On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, I wrote my first post in this blog. It was entitled, "The Middle East and the role of religion." It dealt with the need to accept Muslims as a result of developments in the Middle East. At the outset, I clearly stated my standpoint on interfaith relations, a topic to which I have returned many times:
I, for one, firmly believe that Christians and Muslims (as well as Jews) worship the same God. Thus all of us must seek to build bridges rather than destroying each other with all kinds of weapons, including the most deadly one of all: words. Love must replace hatred. Then and only then will we be able to live together in peace and harmony, as God intended. Please comment, therefore, with these remarks in mind.In the second post, called "The world in which we live" where I explained a little more about who I was and what I intended to do with this blog:
I am writing this blog as a Christian to Christians, but not only for them. Thus I invite those who are not Christians to look over my shoulder and to respond as well to what I am saying here. Yet I want to issue the standard disclaimer that these are my personal remarks and thus should not be attributed to other Christians, especially those who do not agree with everything that I am writing.In my profile, I mention my family. I thought it interesting and worthwhile to introduce my family. Unfortunately, a current photo is not available largely because my family is too spread out (David in Istanbul and Pauline near Boston), but here is one that includes most of the adults (from left to right), Adrian, David, Wendy, Sharon, and Pauline. Two grandchildren, Grace and Chris (standing in front). Missing are Manolya (David's wife), Greg (Pauline's husband), and three (yet) unborn grandchildren (James, Tessa, and Ibo).
I am not going to quote from every post. That would take too long since this is the 294th post, which works out to an average of almost 60 per year. During each of the first two years I penned 64 posts, the following year 61, last year 49, and this year I hope to complete one per week on average. Much of the time it is easy to find something to write about, although occasionally that has been a challenge.
At the beginning of July 2011, I started illustrating my posts which I hope has livened up this blog. As people say, a picture is worth a thousand words. At first, I used only one picture, but soon I added more. In my profile, I describe it as an illustrated blog. The intention of the illustrations is to add something meaningful and lively.
If you want to see all the posts, please consult the blog archive where all the posts are listed by year and by month. There are many posts on very diverse topics. Occasionally I have dealt with the same topic in a series of posts, but I am surprised by how many topics I covered during these five years.
Let me share a little bit about the process of writing a post. After I have drafted the text, I then look for suitable images. But there have also been times when an illustration provides ideas that I can incorporate in the post. Sometimes I can write it in only a few hours, but at other times, it can take me days because the inspiration didn't come quickly enough.
In five years, this blog has attracted more than a half-million pageviews. For this reason, I am providing a breakdown of the number of pageviews of the ten most popular posts. Clearly many people are reading these posts. Sometimes I wish I had more comments, but I prefer to referee them ever since I received a number of spam messages with pornographic content. These I can eliminate this way before they offend anyone. Here is the list: