A One-Year Blogiversary

“Does the world need one more blogger?”  That’s how my first Sabbath Thoughts post began last April.  The answer was probably no, but it got one anyway, and this month I’m celebrating my first blogiversary.  As a sucker for milestones and contemplative reflection, here are some of my thoughts as I look back on the last 12 months.  It’s a post that is more about blogging than it is about what I blog about – if that makes sense.

1)  I like it.  It’s a challenge to take complex thoughts about God and about rest and put them into concise paragraphs that make an impact. As a word guy, I love to figure out which ones work best to convey what is in my head.  I enjoy having an outlet for some of what I’m learning, and I’m glad when others are encouraged by what they read.  I celebrate the scope of the blog’s impact – WordPress tells me that Sabbath Thoughts has been read by people in 37 different countries, which this missionary finds especially encouraging!  Yeah, I enjoy blogging even more than I thought I would.

2)  It’s unpredictable.  Posts that I didn’t expect to make much of a splash seemed to resonate with people more than I expected, and others that I thought would really make an impact seemed to disappear into cyberspace with barely a ripple.  The most-viewed post, “They Bear My Name” from last October, was viewed by almost ten times as many people as the least-viewed post. The same principle applies to sermons, so I guess I should have expected that.  But it still catches me by surprise.

3)  Not everything makes it to the blog.  When I began writing, my brother Jim suggested that I should be careful about turning my intimate walks with God into just another teaching moment.  I had been pursuing Sabbath privately for about six months at the time, and he was concerned that I might diminish the personal power of my worship walks by worrying too much about how to communicate them to others.  This was good advice (thanks, L’il Bro!), and it’s one reason why I have settled into a twice-a-month rhythm.  Not everything that happens between me and God on my hikes is meant for public consumption – I like that.

IMG_9012I hike with an iPod loaded with over 500 worship songs, and a couple of weeks ago I came to the end of the playlist.  With a short prayer of thanks to God for the way these songs had guided my thoughts over several months of worship walks, I smiled, hit “Play” and as I began walking I said, “Lord, let’s start over.”

I’m doing something similar with this blog.  I plan to continue to use it as an outlet for my thoughts about Sabbath, and for the thoughts about God and the Christian life that come from my Sabbath moments.

I ended that first blog post last April by describing my eagerness to explore Sabbath as a new way for me to connect with God, and I invited readers to take the walk with me.

Thanks for walking this far.  Let’s keep going – I can’t wait to see where this path goes!

About Sabbath Thoughts

My name is Mike Gaston. I am a former missionary, a Shepherding Pastor at Heights Church in Prescott, AZ, a happy husband, a spoiled father of two daughters, a proud grandfather, and a recently-convinced pursuer of the benefits of intentional, regular, contemplative, Christ-centered rest. This blog will allow me to share thoughts about Sabbath, as well as thoughts about God and the Christian life that come out of my restful Sabbath moments.
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11 Responses to A One-Year Blogiversary

  1. judyjansen says:

    Does the world need one more blogger? NO, but the world does need what you are writing, Mike. I know I need it, and your blog is one of only a select few on my short list. Besides, it is such a privilege to call you my friend. You inspire me! Happy blogiversary! (I love that word!)

  2. Amy says:

    As one who does live overseas (so shares some of your passions and perspectives!), I look forward to your words. Keep pointing us to Jesus as you journey! Thanks 🙂

  3. Jackie S. says:

    I’m happy the universe made room for your blog! I celebrated 3 years of blogging yesterday, and I hope to reach the level of inspiration and encouragement you reach with each and every blog post. 🙂 Grace to you!

  4. Karen F. says:

    Mike, I love your blog. I follow several blogs, but yours is my favorite. Your words and thoughts always bring encouragement to my heart. Jim was right on. And in a selfish way, I completely agree with him. Selfish, because the way I see it, the deeper you go in your sabbath moments as you continue your journey, the more you will share with us — and the more I will be blessed by it. 🙂

  5. debra petrella says:

    thanks mike for sharing and caring enough to do so. My walks are at 5am daily, with my 3 dogs two on foot and a 16 yr old in a stroller. My deepest thoughts happen then, dark quiet and alone, well John MacArthur comes along via grace2u podcasts.This sets the tone to a busy workday, starting off with a mind and heart captive to our amazing Lord.You are a blessing to us all…

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