Well, it's that time when we look back and reflect on the kind of year it's been. In that spirit of reflection, here are the top three-- as in most read and most shared-- posts from my blog this year.The truth is, I didn't blog much in the second half of 2013, due to travel and begining a doctoral program.
So, I'm thankful that when I did sit to write, you took the time to read. I blog as a way of discovering what I think...and your reading and interacting with me here is a very helpful part of that discovery!
Most surprising is that my most read blog of 2013-- in fact, it's the most read blog I've ever written, by far!-- is a personal tribute to an old friend who died suddenly this year. What this says to me is that we're all dealing with pain in some way. Grief touches everyone. And perhaps my little piece about a friend most none of my American friends know was so widely read because it helps to know that even pastors are not immune to the sadness that befalls us in life. There is hope even in the grieving...but the sorrow is all too real.
Anyway...here they are, the top three posts of 2013 from my blog-- one a personal reflection, another an idealogical response, and the final one a resource:
1. In Memory of a Friend Who Taught Me Courage (Nov. 3, 2013)
A personal tribute written for a dear friend from my youth group in Malaysia who passed away suddenly this year. This piece was read at his memorial services. Continue to keep his dear wife and children in your prayers, even as you read this.
2. A Response to Pastor Mark on Pacifism (Oct. 22, 2013)
I'm not fond of responding to others on the internet. I have made too many errors of tone and tact in the past and have tried to avoid disputes in public with people I don't know. I wrote this piece not in the attempt to "correct" Pastor Mark Driscoll. That is not my place. I wrote it in the hopes that it would help others process what Christians who adhere to a view of non-violence mean when they do so, and how this is different that the label or category of "pacificism."
3. Introducing... "The Mystery of Faith" Project: New Book, New CD (Feb. 19, 2013)
I released a project that is very special to me: a short new book and new CD that helps capture and explain the journey that I've been on over the past several years. It's a journey of discovery, a journey of deepening my understanding of faith and worship and how the two things go together.
For decades, church leaders have told us that how we worship--what we do when we gather-- is just an expression of our faith, so adjust it according to the people you want to "reach." But for centuries, the Church Fathers have told us that how we worship actually shapes our faith, so choose wisely. This project is about the difference between those two approaches and the consequences they have on our faith, not only as individuals but as the community of believers worldwide.