Welcome to From Law to Grace. After much thought about entering the world of blogging, I have finally decided to begin this blog. With my background in political science, law, and religion, this blog will give me an opportunity to comment on issues where law and religion (and to a certain extent, politics) intersect. Not only within our culture at large, but within the Southern Baptist Convention, the intersection of these issues happens on a daily basis. “Welcome to From Law to Grace.”
And so began From Law to Grace and my blogging journey on July 1, 2010. At just 187 words, my first post is also my shortest post to date. I would not at all be surprised if that record stands for as long as I blog!
Today’s post becomes the 100th published at From Law to Grace. When I began this journey in the summer of 2010, the thought of writing that many posts seemed to be a daunting task. However, after 4 1/2 months, I have arrived at this milestone in my blogging journey. In some ways, that seems like a short period of time to publish 100 posts. In other ways, it seems much longer.
In my first 100 posts — including today’s — I have had the incredible opportunity to share with those who have taken the time to read what I have written. In posts about Southern Baptists, Muslims, Hollywood, Immigration, Freedoms, and so much more, I have tried, with varying levels of success, to express my thoughts, opinions, and feelings in clear, forceful, passionate, and interesting (to the reader) ways. Some posts have been duds, while others have taken off. To date, my top three posts are:
- Heroes and Villains in the SBC
- The Slow Death of the Cooperative Program
- I Love NYC, But Hate Idea of Mosque at Ground Zero
Looking back over these last few months, I have learned some valuable lessons on my blogging journey. These may or may not be unique to me, but I have a hunch that at least some of these lessons are applicable to any blogger.
Good Blogs Requires Time and Energy. I suppose that anyone can start a blog (we’ve probably all come across blogs that seem to have gotten their start that way), but just because someone starts writing a blog does not mean that it will be any good. Before starting From Law to Grace, I was an avid reader of many other blogs. I also took the time to read many, many posts on the topic of blogging — Quantity of blog posts vs. Quality; Ideal length of posts (which I routinely violate); Frequency of posts; Best time of day to publish posts; Finding your niche; Writing for a blog; etc.
Lastly, I devote time to actually writing my blog. I am a night owl who has a wife and three active boys. I find that the most productive time for me to write posts is between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., after everyone else is asleep. I shoot for about 4-5 posts per week. Sometimes I hit that goal and sometimes I miss it. If you do not have the time and energy to devote to writing and maintaining your blog, then why do it in the first place?
Blogs Are Meant to Be Read. That seems like such a basic statement, but I have been surprised by the number of “bloggers” who I have seen write something like, “I don’t know how many people read my blog,” or “I don’t really care if I have a lot of readers.” Numbers are not the be all and end all of blogging (or of pastoring), but they are pretty important. If you are not writing for others to read, then why are you wasting your time writing? I guess you could be blogging for purely cathartic reasons, but if you are serious about your blog, you will want to attract and build an audience for your blog.
Blogging Touches People You Might Never Expect. Early on, I began to use Site Meter to track who was visiting my blog. This handy stats tracker shows my visitors’ location, time of visit, length of visit, and pages viewed. Over the last 4 1/2 months, I have had visitors from six out of seven continents (still waiting on Antarctica) and from nearly every state in the union. A few of the people who read my blog are personal friends, but most are folks I do not know. There are Southern Baptists and non-Southern Baptists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Conservatives, Liberals, and Moderates who I know read From Law to Grace. I have a diverse readership and for that I am most appreciative.
I have also had several visitors who have written personal emails and have even had telephone conversations with two people as a direct result of them reading my blog. Additionally, I have developed relationships with other bloggers, none of whom I had known prior to beginning my blogging journey. I was even asked to write for SBCVoices, a website for Southern Baptists to “voice” their opinions on pressing matters of the day, for which I have already contributed several articles. You truly do not know who your blogging might touch!
I hope that I have been able to touch both your heart and your mind with my posts. While you may not always agree with what I write, I want to thank you for taking the time to read. I truly appreciate the opportunity that you give me to share my thoughts on important issues intersecting law, religion, and politics. As I end the 100th post in my blogging journey, I leave you with the final words from my very first post:
Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to the opportunity to dialogue with those who take the time to read and comment. God bless.