After years of writing, I still can’t predict how readers will received what I write. I published nearly fifty Brain Bubbles last year. Some were extremely popular, with hundreds of views, discussion and re-shares. This includes praise and pushbacks, comments from folks who liked what I said and those who didn’t.
Other posts were...well, not so much.
As always, my topics weren’t limited to a single topic or even a couple of key subjects. That’s because when I began my blog, I wanted to write about whatever is “bubbling up” in my brain at the moment.
- I wrote about matters close to my faith, including issues surrounding the church and church leaders, as well as responses to religious abuses. I drew a analogy about what the church could learn from a Dog Park. I highlighted my serious concerns about people like Kim Davis, who obviously can’t distinguish the difference in civil law and personal beliefs. I answered those who ask if I still identify as a Christian. I did a couple of posts about Christmas.
- Of course, I wrote about important issues surround the LGBT community. I continue to try and expose the dangerous, deceptive practices of “ex-gay” programs or so-called Conversion Therapy. When I learned about a young boy who learned his parents and pastor wanted to send him to an “ex-gay” camp; he was worried about what might happen to him. I did two posts outlining what he could expect. I rejoiced with the recent Supreme Court ruling, granting marriage equality.
- I did my first “series” last year, as I chronicled our extensive (and exhausting) search for a new church home, which I compared to online dating. I detailed why we were looking for in a church, and what we were looking for. I shared our criteria in the search—some are secondary, but a few are essential. (We’re still searching, and I’m probably going to add to this series soon.)
- Some posts were very personal, and a few were difficult to write. I talked honestly about my lifelong struggle with my weight, looked back on past regrets, and shared about growing up with an abusive father. When I got three emails in a short time, all with the same complaint about what I write, I answered. With the upcoming election, I offered my own campaign promises to help bring peace to my Facebook pages.
- Not all my Bubbles were about current social or cultural issues. I wrote about movies, television and books. Because I love to advance the craft of writing, I also wrote about writing.
So, as we move into this new year, I’m pausing to look back at the 2015 posts, highlighting the Top Five. It’s not a scientific list; I’m basing the ranks on web hits, comments, Facebook discussion, re-shares and “Likes” for each post. Some of MY personal favorites did not make the list.
The number of people who read (or at least viewed the posts) last year was higher, which it’s exciting for any writer.
All Five dealt with faith and religion, which I found interesting. (I'm including "ex-gay" practices, since they grow from a foundation of conservative religion.)
This year, none of the Top Five were political. (Surely that will change this year!)
The Top Post was overwhelmingly evident.
5. Your BELIEFS are Not the Problem (March). I was asked why I’m hard on those who disagree with me, politically or theologically. But that’s not completely precise. For me, it’s not about differing beliefs.
4. Losing My Religion (February). My grandmother had a saying when she’d get really upset with a bad situation: “It’s enough to make me lose my religion.” After an intense online confrontation, I ask myself the question: what would make me lose my religion?
3. “Ex-Gays” and the Munchhausen Parallels (October). While researching the symptoms and characteristics of a specific type of mental illness, it occurred to me that it also sounded a lot like those who lead “ex-gay” groups. It's disturbing!
2. You Can’t Be a Christian! (September). I’ve heard this declaration tossed around for various reasons, toward many individuals, and for a variety of “theological,” political or behavioral infractions. And I’ve had it thrown at me. Often! So, I confronted the judgmental statement.
1. An Open Appeal to God’s Shepherds (March). Pastors have many duties and tasks. But as God’s Shepherds, we are entrusted with the responsibility to protect those put into our care. I appealed to my fellow Pastors not to hurt (or allow to be hurt) the precious LGBT lambs.
Thank you for reading, commenting, asking questions and sharing.
I look forward to all that we'll explore together in 2016.
And if there’s a topic you would like me to address, or a question you’d like me to answer, I will gladly try and comply. Just let me know.
Happy New Year!