One Month of Blogging Down-10 Things I’ve Learned so Far

  1. The people who read your material matter. You might read that and say “Uh obviously,” but think about it when you’re like me and you decided to write a blog for partly selfish reasons (for me I began wanting to force myself to think thoughtfully and rationally on world-wide subjects and issues daily) then the people who read your blog begin in your peripheral vision. What has happened in my writing over the course of the last month is I’ve realized I am writing for very real people with very real issues who can be both helped or hurt by what I write. Thinkchristiandaily has received 1,100 views in its first month from 315 unique visitors! There are people who read this blog in India and Ireland on a regular basis and that is amazing! I’m realizing that as you write and people read your writing you just can’t help but have those people in your direct vision as you write, and it really isn’t possible for me to have you all in my peripheral. You who read this blog matter and as I write I want to write with each of your unique situations in mind.
  2. God can use media for His glory. In my first month of Thinkchristiandaily I have received a number of Instagram messages from people writing to tell me what they think of certain stories. People have encouraged me and even extended the thoughts of my blog posts beyond what I had written. God can and does use technical skills such as writing, film, television, music, etc…. ALL FOR HIS GLORY! It’s like I knew that in theory going into the beginning of this blog, but now a month in my eyes have actually seen how God can use our individual skills, and even my individual writing skills to cause people to look to Jesus and consider His beauty and to respond! If you have a gift in the arts don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to pursue using your gift not to glorify yourself, but to glorify God.
  3. You have a voice that can be heard far and wide. It is 2019, so when you write something and publish it online you should know there are people all over the world who can literally hear your voice. Whatever experience or opinion you share will be perceived through the worldview of all kinds of people. Some people will share your worldview and will agree with basically everything you say, but others will disagree entirely with you, and that’s OK. When you speak or when you write you don’t need to try and please everyone with everything you say or write, however, don’t be naïve to the effects, both positive and negative, that your words and writing can have. Just remember James 2:5b-6, “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by Hell.” Words can have a very powerful effect for the sake of the Gospel, but on the flipside, your words can also do a whole lot of harm, so you need to know that and I need to know that before I publish a blog post. As a matter of fact it was Eminem who once said, “words can be great, or they can degrade, or even worse they can teach hate.”
  4. Millennials don’t read books very often. I always sort of knew this, but now I really know it to be true. Out of all my blog posts from January the two posts which received the least amount of views were the only two book reviews I did in January—one for “That’s So Money” by Farnoosh Torabi, and the other for “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance. It is mostly millennials who read my blog, and both of these books were NYT best-sellers, so I’m led to believe the millennials who read my blog don’t read NYT best sellers! I’m beginning to believe that most millennials read articles, news stories, and even blogs, but for whatever reason we don’t commit ourselves to reading a lot of books. If you’re not a reader then I challenge you to go to my blog post from January 17th called “The 10 Most Helpful Books in my Life (Besides the Bible),” and choose one of those books and read it. If you read it then let me know and I WILL dialogue with you and even write a review about the book, or I might even ask you to guest write a book review for publish on Thinkchristiandaily.
  5. People ARE interested in my tattoos or tattoos in general. When I wrote my blog post on January 11th titled, “So, like, what’s the deal with all your tattoos?” I did anticipate a relatively high viewership on that article; however, I didn’t expect it to be as high as it was. I’ve never gone viral with anything in my online life, but this article would be up there for the most viral moment of my life. A ton of people have read this article. For some reason people seem to just be either very interested in the idea of an evangelical pastor with tattoos or just tattoos in general; I’m not really sure which one’s which.
  6. Here might be the biggest lesson I’ve learned in one month of Thinkchristiandaily… “Haters gonna hate, players gonna play, writers gotta write every day.” The old saying is haters gonna hate. Quite honestly, if you a hater, that’s fine go on and hate. Furthermore, you don’t have to tell a basketball player to play basketball, because they just go to the gym and play all the time—it’s just what they do. This same thing holds true for a writer. You don’t have to tell a writer to write, because we just write. If you’re a writer then you will probably know at a young age, because you find yourself in your room with a pen and a pad trying to write something of value, or just writing for yourself in general. In the month of January alone I have written 47,500 words for Thinkchristiandaily. On top of that, I have written another 25,000 words of sermon/teaching notes in January (and that’s a relatively pretty light month for me). This means that out of just what I’ve written that I’ve published on Thinkchristiandaily or actually spoken from in a public setting there have been almost 75,000 words from either my pen or from me typing in a Word Document. The average published book is between 55,000-100,000 words, so I’ve basically written a book in the month of January. Like I said, “writers gotta write every day.”
  7. Social media is powerful. I’ve used social media more in January of 2019 than I probably ever have. Yes, I realize social media has been around a long time, and I’m wayyy late to this party, but I gotta tell ya—social media is powerful. This should be both a warning and an encouragement to us. It is a warning because social media can be dangerous for our own spiritual health. We can become very concerned with what people are thinking about us on social media specifically, and so we become more concerned with the externals than the internals of our lives. We become more concerned with “I hope they think I’m a great Jesus following person,” than, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and the rest will be given to you.” Social media is powerful and that should also be an encouragement to us. This means if we have the message of the Gospel for salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and then to the Greek, and we now have the ability through social media to proclaim that message-then praise the Lord!
  8. Being genuine is a whole lot better than sounding smart. There is something notoriously unattractive about somebody who just wants people to bow to their intellect and honor them because of whatever position they have “earned,” or whatever degrees they’ve received. I’m not knocking hard-work, and I understand there are authorities to be respected; however, pride and egotistical living are just inherently and universally unattractive. People can see right through a person who only wants to be thought highly of. I’ve learned that if you’re going to preach the Bible then you should be yourself when you do so; Alistair often says to me before I preach at Parkside, “Be yourself and forget yourself.” I’ve also learned that if you’re going to play basketball then play according to your role and don’t try to be someone you’re not when you’re on the court. This same wisdom is true of writers; be genuine with what you’re writing about and don’t just heap up empty phrases as the hypocrites do. It’s great to write, but don’t write so people think you’re great.
  9. Blogging on a daily basis is quite the commitment. I’m not positive I understood fully the commitment that I had undertook at the beginning of January. I’m not lamenting it though, I’m actually very thankful for the opportunity to write a blog post every single day. I would only stress that this sort of time commitment is not for everyone! You need to get your work done to the glory of God the Father, and you need to spend your quality time with your family, and then as a side priority commit yourself to writing. This means most people will not actually have the ability to write something meaningful on a daily basis. You don’t want to write just to say you did it, but you actually want to write something meaningful for yourself and your readers, so if you don’t have time for daily blogging then just to every other day, or weekly.
  10. Blogging is fun. This has been a very fun month for me on Thinkchristiandaily. Yes, it is a lot of work, but the benefits outweigh the energy exerted in writing. I’m having a great time with Thinkchristiandaily and I hope readers are as well.

Thanks for reading Thinkchristiandaily and I plan to do monthly check ins on the last day of every month, so I’ll check in on February 28th (It’s not a leap year is it) and we will consider together what I’ve learned after 2 months of daily blogging. I’d love to hear from you all also about what you’ve learned on Thinkchristiandaily so reach out to me on the contact page or email me at thinkchristiandailyblog@gmail.com. Or Bsmithpks on Instagram is another option a lot of you have contacted me on.

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