August 22 is the birthday of my blog. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!”
If I had to pick, I like my posts from my first year better than my posts from the second. My posts from my first year were written while I was on a leave-of-absence from school. I blogged about my daily Bible reading, books I got from the public library, my struggles with Asperger’s, 7th Heaven, Lost–the good stuff. And I find these posts inspiring, if I say so myself! And, no, I’m not being narcissistic, for there are plenty of times when I read my old posts and wonder what the heck I was getting at!
The second year, I blogged more about the election (divisive!), paper topics (e.g., Hellenization in Judea, Fishbane), philosophy, and my reading for comps. Some of these posts I treasure. Some of them I don’t.
I do like blogging through my comps reading, though. It’s like hunting for buried treasure. I open a book that on the surface looks dry and mundane, and I mine from it the secrets of the universe! Okay, maybe I’m being too dramatic here, but I happen to notice cool points!
Bad and good things have happened to my blog this year. On a bad note, my technorati rating dropped dramatically, and I mean by over ten points! Also, I don’t see some of the people who used to comment here (e.g., Jake, El Shaddai Edwards, and others). But there have been good experiences as well. New people have added me to their blogrolls: Looney Fundamentalist, Polycarp, Terri of “Wheat and Tares,” James McGrath, Ken Brown of C-Orthodoxy, and some of my friends who are survivors of Armstrongism (J, Gavin Rumney, the guy whose site is called “Ambassador Report”–Stan/John Birch). I apologize if I left anyone out!
Seven people now follow my blog. Some, I have no idea who they are, but I welcome them! Others are from the Asperger’s community, which reminds me that one of my posts from year one–“Asperger’s and Religion”–continues to get comments.
Also, I was on the Biblioblog Top 50 for one month, and my patristics posts were cited in the last two patristic carnivals.
What are my goals for this third year? I have four:
1. I will continue to blog through my comps reading. This makes me pay attention to what I’m reading, and it also makes my reading a lot more fun and diverse.
2. I want to write more about my weekly quiet times. Lately, I haven’t been reading Scripture that much for my daily quiet time, since I’m going through the Mishnah. Plus, blogging through my comps pretty much takes up my blog-space from Sunday through Friday. But I think it’s important for me to write about Scripture, especially how it can inspire us and relate to real life. That’s what moves and edifies people, enabling me to be of service to others. I was surprised to learn that one of my posts–one about the two great commandments–was actually used in a Bible study group at George Fox University! Blogging through Scripture helps me in my devotions, and also it can help others. So I hope to write about my weekly quiet time on Saturdays.
3. At least once this year, I want to learn how to post a picture on my blog-post. I’ve tried this in the past, but it hasn’t worked for me! When I wrote about Jamey Sheridan from the Stand appearing on Picket Fences, I really wanted to use a wikipedia image of Jamey as Randall Flagg, and I flopped at it! This year, I learned how to use Microsoft Power-Point. Now, I want to learn how to post pictures on my blog!
4. I want to read more blogs. I’m not sure if I want to dive into debates, since those are tiresome and can get pretty bitter. Granted, my participation in those may attract more people to my blog, but I’m too tired to dive into debates right now. But I want to read more blogs–to get outside of my own little universe. This is easy for some. Others take more discipline for me to read, but they are still worth it.
Thank you all for making this a good year, and I’m looking forward to year three of “James’ Thoughts and Musings,” or (for my WordPress readers) “James’ Ramblings”!