Happy Anniversary to…me

One year ago today I sent out an email to a few hundred of my closest friends announcing a new blog. The most common response?

What’s a blog?

In that initial missive I said this…

I will be posting often about issues that affect the body of Christ. The topics will range from politics to embarrassing Christians. We will discuss faith in our culture and what it means to be an authentic follower of Christ. It will be honest, edgy, and it should be fun.

Now 232 posts later I hope I have hit that target a few times. Often the embarrassing Christian has been me. Regular readers know my oft stated spiritual goal.

Making other Christians feel superior since 1969 (my Spiritual birthday).

The feedback from readers has been amazing. I have been deeply touched by your love and prayers as Joni and I have shared our journey through her breast cancer battle.

And I have been very pleased that, for the most part, we have been able to create a little cyber oasis of civil and graceful discourse. Thanks for joining me in that goal. Out of the 200 plus efforts (Some good, some bad, some really ugly) the following are the blogs that generated the most views and responses. Here are the Bad Christian Baker’s Dozen for the inaugural year of these humble ramblings. I have included a little snippet from each article.

13)  What Would Jesus Say?  – So what would Jesus say to me? I think He would say something very simple and yet profound enough to challenge me for the rest of my days. Here is a little medley of the message I think He would have for me (and you).

12) It’s Not Easy Being Green and Evangelical – It is okay to disagree about issues like global warming. Really. Global warning is not a part of the Apostolic Creed. I applaud the men and women who took the initiative to produce this document….My first reaction to the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) yesterday was to start brainstorming ideas to help. For example, if Christian television preachers and hosts/hostesses voluntarily switched from hairspray to gel I think that would make a big difference in the size of the ozone hole.

11) How to be a Good Buddy for Cancer Patients – Don’t say that you could not deal with adversity as well as your friend is handling it. You could. Part of being a follower of Christ is knowing He is with you in times like this. You are given strength and comfort that is supernatural. It is there when you need it. You can’t store it for future trouble or put it in a to go box for later. God apportions that strength and comfort out as needed. The peace that surpasses all understanding is real.

10) Confessing my Agenda to Rosie O’Donnell – I am praying to be a “troublesome” Christian. It is easy to dismiss the hypocrite. No problem to ignore the angry and judgmental religious types. But I was troubled when I saw some Christians who displayed something different in their lives. I could not dismiss so readily the joy, peace, strength, courage, and love they modeled. They were “troublesome” Christians to me.  I could not ignore them because their lives were authentic and different (different good, not weird). I want to be that kind of Christian.

9)  You Have Been Warned – I think I am going to start posting a warning label so the Spiritual Hall Monitors will be alerted to the fact that my blog may contain humor or, according to some, attempted humor. With this warning they can avoid encountering humor, satire, and sarcasm that might trigger an allergic reaction for the sullen saints….I think that singer Chris Rice may understand my plan to post the humor/satire warning.

8)  Is Manliness Endangered? – Jesus was not like the hippie peace loving character from the TV show “The Book of Daniel”. That type of benign character won’t get you killed on a cross. And Jesus realized the importance of investing His life into the life of flawed men who, despite their weaknesses, understood the concept of manliness. And those twelve men changed the world. Send out twelve emasculated men with that mission and see what happens.

7)  Forgive…I Don’t Wanna! –  One of the joys of writing these daily ramblings is hearing from readers who are blessed or challenged by something I have written. Occasionally someone takes time out of their busy schedule to tell me I am an idiot. Isn’t it a waste of time to tell an idiot that he is an idiot? How can an idiot comprehend that? But I digress. The communications that are really hard for me are the ones from people who have been wounded by other people in the church or by church leaders. Those break my heart and such messages arrive far too often. Today was such a day.

6)  Won the Battle. Losing the War? – What is wrong with having a movie that you can take a unchurched friend to and then discuss the supernatural response from the people that this story portrays? Evangelism is planting a seed and then watering that seed. There is plenty in this movie to accomplish that task. A heavy handed gospel message would have made it much more difficult to get unchurched friends to the movie. If you can’t find enough in End of the Spear to generate a wonderful discussion of the power of the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross then you are just not trying.

5). Hi, My Name is Dave and I am Stupid. – If you have been breathlessly following this daily blog you know that we have been addressing Pat Robertson and the whole Intelligent Design debate. The controversy has inflamed the bloggers (that sounds painful) to a category 4 or maybe 5 fury.

4)  Enroll now in the Canine School of Evangelism – Those illustrations were the inspiration for the Canine School of Evangelism idea. Think about it. If Christians could learn from dogs how to express our Christian beliefs we could probably ignite a revival. The CSE (Canine School of Evangelism) curriculum would include a catalog of courses like these. I have included a sample quote and verse from the syllabus.

3)  A Gentle Proposal to deal with Chad Allen, End of the Spear, Every Tribe Entertainment and One Another – I have been reading with my usual mix of amusement, sadness, and disbelief the growing debate over the movie End of the Spear. Some in the Christian community have decided to grab the pitchforks, light the torches, and storm the gates of Every Tribe Entertainment, the production company behind the movie.

2)  Sentences that change your life. – Most of life’s sentences are blissfully mundane. I can’t find my keys. Take out the garbage. Please feed the dog. I can’t find my keys. ADD readers will relate to that string of comments. But sometimes a single sentence will change your life. My bride of nearly thirty years dropped one of those sentences on me earlier this week.

“My spot was cancerous.”

1)  Time to Post and Run –  I am going to violate the principle espoused by humorist Will Rogers who said that “when you are in a hole, quit digging.” Today I am going to suggest that we all need to examine ourselves to see if we are getting trapped in victimhood. Some of the following thoughts were also explored in my book Bring’em Back Alive (look for it in fine bargain bins everywhere).

So there you have it. The baker’s dozen of articles that resonated with you. And I know what is going through your mind right now. What do you give a blogger for his anniversary? Sending this link (Confessions of a Bad Christian) to a few hundred of your closest friends would be a thoughtful gift.

I hope you have found something that has made you laugh or think in this year of ramblings.  I hope you have been challenged at times. And I pray that somehow you have stumbled onto something that has helped you in your personal journey with Jesus.