Intentional spiritual growth. That’s what lights my fire. I love the idea that we can learn and grow, and that it can happen without fear, or condemnation. We aren’t striving to prove anything or earn anything or impress God or anyone. We are receiving our life as a gift, and out of gratitude, learning how to turn our hearts more and more Godward.
In the course of my ministry, this interest has led me to explore so many different topics of life and spirituality. Identity. Emotional wellness. Inner Healing. How we read and relate to scripture. How we can turn our attention toward God. How we apply all of this in our daily lives.
Those varied interests have all shown up here on the blog in one way or another, and it’s fascinating to me to see what resonates with people. I’ve been writing online since 2008, and writing here at this blog since March of 2010. Since I started this blog, I’ve written 322 posts — more than 200,000 words! Wow.
I’m stunned just thinking about that. (Quite a testament to what you can do, if you keep plugging away, just a little at a time.)
Well, in all that time I’ve had a lot of ideas. Some of them turned out to be good and helpful. Some of them? Not so much.
Today, I wanted to share with you the current “Top Ten” of my archive of posts. These are the posts that Google Analytics says get the most traffic today. Some of these are recent. Some of them are quite old. But for whatever reason, people seem to resonate with them, and they keep sharing them out there in the internet universe.
So, here are ten ideas that connected, with a little thought about each.
10. You are God’s Poem – The essential struggle of humanity is about identity. Who are we? Do we matter? The way we answer that story determines so much of how we show up in the world, and how we relate to others. The best answer I’ve ever come across is in Ephesians 2:10. We are God’s poem, a unique creative expression of the Artist who made us.
9. When the Bible’s been Used to Bash, Clobber or Hurt You – One of the biggest problems the Christian church faces today is the unnumbered crowd of victims we have created by our arrogant and self-righteous use of scripture as a weapon. If someone used the Bible to clobber you, you need to know the truth. The Bible does not belong to them.
8. Why reading the Bible Straight Through is Usually a Bad Idea – Many Christians read the Bible without really knowing how to read it. That’s why most attempts to read the Bible from start to finish fail. The Bible isn’t a novel. It’s not like most books you come across. It’s actually a library. Knowing that is the key to enjoying it and finding it useful.
7. 5 Things You Learned About Emotion In Church That Aren’t True – This is the post that morphed into a blog series, and then a sermon series, and ultimately grew up to become The Wisdom of Your Heart. Understanding how emotional health and spiritual health connect is one of the important issues of our time. This post is where that started for me.
6. How to Journal for Spiritual Growth – How can we practically connect with God more? How can we be present in our lives and grow? People are desperately hungry for that. My post on journaling for Spiritual Growth (and the free ebook that I wrote on the subject) generate more email than anything else I’ve written.
5. I Will Make You Fishers of Men. Really? – Evangelism is so important to Christianity that it forms the name of the largest tribe in the US, “Evangelical Christianity,” and yet it is so misunderstood and often abused. I have a different take on evangelism than many, and this post digs into that a bit.
4. The Wisdom of Your Heart – This is the landing page for my book, and it’s still one of the most visited pages on my website. I am so humbled and honored and grateful that this book is proving helpful to people. It’s a topic I’m passionate about, and I’m so glad others are too.
3. Negative Core Values and How to Change Them – Core values is one of the most searched topics on the internet. That’s one of the reasons I wrote a little book on the subject. But the core values most people talk about are next to useless. They are “aspirational core values,” carefully worded phrases identifying ideas I wish I lived up to. The core values that have real power in our lives are the one we already have–especially the negative ones.
2. Write Your Own Psalm – This post is in the same vein as my post on journaling, a simple practical thing you can do to grow spiritually. It is surprising to me that this post showing you how to personalize a Psalm as a part of your own prayer, is still one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written. People really want to connect more deeply with God, and to do it in a personal way.
1. 2 Reasons Using the Bible to Prove Your Point is Often Wrong – Drumroll, please… The number one post presently read on my blog, our of 322 posts is this one. I’m not surprised, considering how the Bible is so abused in our culture, so often used as a tool of manipulation and abusive authority. In this post I cut to the heart of the matter with two reasons why, if you’re trying to prove your point by quoting scripture, you’re probably wrong.
Well, that’s the list. Which of these ideas connected the most with you?