Mini Milestone

This day is not only my 41st birthday, but I’ve just realised that I have surpassed more views in 2022 than I had in 2021, and it’s only June!

Given my rather erratic posting habits, this is something of A miracle!

I wanted to take a very brief moment to thank every single one of my readers and followers, as it is truly humbling that you would take the time to digest my words.

It may not be a particularly significant milestone, like a 41st birthday, but I think it is so important to pause and thank God (and all of you) for these little moments.

On this Sunday in June, perhaps like any other Sunday, what can you pause to give thanks for today?

God is indeed good, all of the time! And here’s to the rest of 2022! May you be outrageously blessed!

The Berean Approach – Andy Brown

I don’t want you to just take my word for it… We take a little break from our current series on Psalm 103 to discuss something important. It is an immense privilege to share God’s Word with you through this blog, and I take that responsibility very seriously. But you, the reader, have a responsibility…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2018/04/12/the-berean-approach/

UK Christian Bloggers

Hi! My name is Andy Brown, you may remember me from such blogs as andy-brown.org…!

It has indeed been some time since my last proper post, although I have tried to share some older material and some great posts from friends and fellow bloggers. Life has gotten rather busy and my writing has suffered. I would like to tell you that I’ve been working on book projects or other writing, but alas no! Some days I feel guilty for neglecting the blog, and other days I reflect on my full-time job, wife and four children, church leadership and Christian study course – and realise that I do have a lot on my plate! I’m sure you understand!

Thursday evening I enjoyed a time of fellowship with a group of UK-based Christian bloggers. We have been (trying) to get together every couple of weeks to swap stories, encourage one another and pray for each other. It is a wonderful time and I regret not being able to make all of the sessions so far!

The photo lists some of the members and their sites, so do check out their blogs if you are not already familiar. There are doubtless many more Christian bloggers out there hailing from the UK, so this is by no means an exhaustive list!

I came away from our recent call feeling very much encouraged, and I value the prayers of the group. Having a fellowship of believers is so important, and in our largely disconnected modern world, it is even more so. We often feel alone or isolated, despite the noise of life, and so it is critical we connect with fellow believers in Christ and strengthen one another.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

It is an instruction from the Bible that we do indeed encourage one another. There are times when life is a struggle, and in those days or seasons, we need the comfort of others to help us through. We absolutely rely on the Lord, but a little encouragement from fellow believers is most welcome too!

Encouraging someone costs little more than a small amount of time or effort. A kind word or timely phone call can really make a difference in someone’s life. You have that power today, and don’t let being busy be an excuse not to (talking to myself here…) My guess is that you won’t have to look very hard or travel very far to find someone in need of a boost.

While the gift of encouragement may be a specific spiritual gift (see Romans 12:8), it does not excuse the rest of us from doing it. Some have a special gift for evangelism, yet the call to share our faith is one we all enjoy. Naturally or spiritually gifted or not, we can all improve by practising. See if you can find a way to encourage someone in each of the next seven days, or even see how long you can keep the streak going.

I “encourage” you to check out some of the other writers I mention above, and have no doubt you will come away refreshed and uplifted. I will be sharing some of their posts in the near future, so do look out for them.

If you wish to encourage me, do leave me a comment, share a post or pray for me. I receive your prayers with delight and gratitude. Have a great weekend!


Succeeding at Nothing

I really enjoyed reading this blog, and found it quite a personal challenge too.

When it comes to our motives, we must be honest with ourselves and ask why we are doing certain things.

I thoroughly enjoy writing my blog, and equally enjoy writing books. Do I do it for my own enjoyment though? Or do I do it for the Lord?

These are not always easy questions to answer. if, like me, you find yourself all too often checking your stats… Then you must also check your motivation!

I could say a great deal more about this subject, and find myself examining my own heart. I urge you to do the same as you read the post below. I do hope you enjoy it.

This blog seeks to prevent Christians from thinking of “self” and focusing on God.

Succeeding at Nothing

Lent 2022

The season of Lent is approaching once again, with ash Wednesday next week.

Christians celebrate Lent in many different ways. Some give something up, while others try to pick up a good habit. in a previous church I belonged to, we tried to read a Christian book during Lent and discuss it as a church family.

If you wish to follow this practice, then may I humbly suggest my own book.

As you can see, it is a devotional book which you can read over the 40 days of Lent. it was written with lent in mind, and tries to think about some of the things Jesus would have considered during his time in the wilderness.

It is available to buy on Amazon, in both paperback and kindle formats.

A Journey with Jesus: 40 Day Devotional https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/1798136317/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_GZ8880VGPRE9ZD8KG2CH

If you decide to take the plunge, I do hope you enjoy it and that it challenges you. Please also leave an honest review on the site, as I value your feedback!

Happy reading!


Our First Testimony Tuesday post – My Story in 100 Words, by Jo

If you have not checked out the Berry Bunch Family already, then I strongly encourage you to do so. i’m truly excited to hear more of their testimony and about gods faithfulness in their lives and ministry.

It was something of an honour to be mentioned in this post as well!

Do give it a read, and start following their site. you won’t regret it!

I’ve written, edited, and scheduled our first #TestimonyTuesday post. This is an exciting new, and regular, output for us, and we have Nicola to …

Our First Testimony Tuesday post – My Story in 100 Words, by Jo

Parable Surprises – Wedding Banquet

While the phrase is weeping and gnashing of teeth are not entirely encouraging, they are important biblical concepts. this blog post offers some interesting insights into their meaning, and some more general thoughts on this particular parable which I will encourage you to read.

I do not like to share posts too often, as I do not want to weary my readership! But there are some truly amazing writers on WordPress, so do explore for yourselves and find them!

Weddings are awesome, but sometimes full of tension and surprises. To plan a wedding is one of the more complex projects I have been involved with. …

Parable Surprises – Wedding Banquet

Word Count – Update #1

It has been a productive day! I decided to take the day off of work and spend some dedicated time writing.

If you read my previous post – Word Count – you will recall that I am working on two separate book projects right now, and keen to get them done! I said I would keep you posted on my progress, not because you find it all that interesting, but rather to ensure I am accountable. It may only be a personal goal to progress these projects, but it is one I want to stay on course for.

Well, I started the day with a word count of around 17,000 and pleased to report I have been able to add another 4,000 to the total! As I said before, word count is no indicator of quality, but at this phase in the project, I just want to get the words down.

I am hugely encouraged by this, especially as writing does not always come easy on some days. The blog is up to a healthy 18,000 words for the year to date, so I feel that completing these projects is achievable.

Keep me honest, please!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Sharing Sunday – Sunday Suggestion

For this week’s Sunday Suggestion, I want to encourage you to share.

Paul writes in Galatians:

But let him who is taught in the word share all good things with him who teaches.

Galatians 6:6 (WEB)

In particular, I want to encourage you to share a blog post which has uplifted or informed you in some way. Here on WordPress, there are many wonderful blogs offering Christian exhortation and teaching, and so do share them on so others can reap the benefit.

I am not sure if it is common on all blogs, but my own tends to have slightly less traffic on a Sunday., I suppose this is because many Christians are heading to church, spending time with family or just having a well-earned day of rest. If that is true of all Christian bloggers, then sharing one of their posts today would give them a real boost.

There are two major positives about sharing quality Christian blogs. Firstly, it widens the audience of the blog and so more people can enjoy the writer’s words. Secondly, it acts as a real encouragement to the blogger themselves. I’ve written about success before, and page views are by no means the best or only measure, but they are a tangible way for the author to get feedback on their work.

I hesitate to mention some of my favourite blogs here, as there are so many and I am bound to miss one out! I try to share posts from those favoured authors fairly regularly, and do hope it passes on their work to more people.

Don’t forget though that WordPress (and other sites too) offer search facilities to discover new authors and blogs you might not otherwise have heard of.

Today, share one of your favourites. Others will be grateful. Take a few minutes to scan a new blog you’ve not looked at before. You never know what treasure you might uncover!

Have a great Sunday!

Is it worth it?

Blogging is extremely rewarding, but can also be quite frustrating. You pour your heart into a post, and it gets only single-digit views. When you can lean out of your window, shout your words and reach a larger audience, it is natural to ask yourself… is it worth it?

I have mused about the fickleness of blogging in a previous post called – On (Christian) Blogging.

Sometimes a blog post comes together quickly, while other times it is a real effort and takes much time. On those days when it takes extra exertion, it can be disheartening to look at your stats and realise that hardly anyone has read it.

Just prior to the new year, I hit a new record on my site and exceeded the best views I had received in a single day. Such things are really encouraging, and it has pushed me forward to posting daily once again. On the back of that “success” though, it can feel like a great fall to drop down to low views once again.

I am guilty of being a bit stats obsessed, it has to be said. I do like to check on views and the performance of my post, and spend much time figuring out the algorithm and wondering why one post attracts lots of views while another does not. It comes from my day job – did you know I have a day job? In “real life” I am a statistician, and spend a lot of my life reviewing data and drawing conclusions. It is therefore hardly surprising that I start to do the same thing on my blog.

Taking an interest in your stats is not wrong, but too much can be unhealthy.

So, on the days where a post gets only a few views (or none at all!) – is it worth it?

If the Lord has called you to write, then do it faithfully. It matters not how many people read it, although of course that helps, but the important thing is to do what Jesus has instructed you. I feel led to write, and so I am going to keep doing it. If even one person reads it, then it is worth it.

If the Lord has called you to write, then do it faithfully #Bible #Writing #Blog #Christianity

I recall hearing a preacher once giving their testimony. They felt as though God was calling them to speak, and that the message would reach people all over the world. Naturally, they were extremely excited by this notion. Too soon though, they became obsessed with the idea and tried and tried again to make their ministry grow. It only did when they finally laid it down before the Lord. God asked them if He called them to speak to a handful of people in a small church for the rest of their life, would they do it? Only when they could said yes, and mean it, did their ministry start to increase.

I have no lofty ambition for my words to be read by thousands across the globe – although I would not turn it down you understand! But I also know that the bigger my audience, the bigger my responsibility.

The bigger your audience, the bigger your responsibility #Bible #Ministry #Blog #Christianity

What is God calling you to do? If it is to teach a half dozen children in a Sunday School for forty years, do it gladly. If it is to write a blog and have it read by ten people a day, then do that. Nearly everyone I know has a blog or a website or some form of content, but we can’t all be creators or there would be no one left to consume!

I will leave you with this thought. Every time you write a Christian blog post, it is there for people to find when they are ready. Maybe no one will read it today or tomorrow, but perhaps next year when the time is right, they will click that link and give their lives to Jesus. On that day, you will be able to say – it was  worth it!

We may never know on this side of heaven what our faithfulness to God will achieve. Imagine someone swinging past your place in heaven and saying thank you! Perhaps God used your words, actions or ministry to reach them, and you will be glad you did it.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 #Bible #faith #Christianity

Word Count

WordPress helpfully keeps a total of the words you have written on your blog each year. Although we are only about a week into 2022, I am reliably informed that I have written nearly 4500 words so far.

This is good for me to know, because I really do want to make good progress on some unfinished books I am writing this year.

One project has around 10,000 words written, and another approximately 17,000 words completed.

Knowing that I’ve already written 4500 words on the blog this year, helps me to believe that it may even be possible to complete both projects in the coming 12 months!

why am I telling you this? Simply for accountability!

I want to try to post regular updates on how the books are progressing, as a way of keeping myself honest! Do pull me up dear reader, if I do not do this!

I also ask for your prayers, and that my writing would be fruitful. Please ask the Lord to help me complete these projects this year, but more importantly that they will be a vehicle for him to bless those who read them.

Word count is not the best way to measure the quality of a book… But in this stage of the project, it sure does help me keep track!

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers!

On (Christian) Blogging – Andy Brown (repost)

I remember writing this post from a few years ago, and the algorithms which drive traffic to one’s blog still baffle me today!

For me, what remains true, is that even if one person read my blog and is blessed by it, it was all worthwhile.

I hope you enjoy this repost

-

This post lands on Tuesday 31st March, and I think is the 15th day in a row where I have posted. That is a pretty good run, and although I did not start this because of COVID-19, I am carrying on because of it. There is so much negative news going around, and I just…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2020/03/31/on-christian-blogging/