Monday, May 3, 2010

It's a Wrap!

First, let me say how much I enjoyed participating in this challenge. It turned out to be more fun for me than I had even anticipated. It gave me the opportunity to provide insight into some subjects or topics that I might not have thought of outside of needing to match a topic to a letter.

Second, what attracted me was first, the challenge itself, could I blog on every letter in the alphabet without merely, “phoning it in?” The second thing that attracted me was the organized discipline. My personality traits and my spiritual gift drive me to organization. I might not realize the ball needs to be retrieved, but if you assign me the job of retrieving the ball, guess what? It will be retrieved. If you assign me a letter and say blog about it, that is music to my ear.

This is why when I teach regularly, I teach through a book of the bible, verse by verse. Every week I know right where I will be. I don’t have to run around in a panic wondering what the heck I am going to teach come Sunday, and then be forced to throw something together Saturday night while Cops is being re-run for the 100th time. Every Monday, I get up and know that this week I am teaching the gospel of John and this coming week I need to work on such and such passage.

Third, I never felt intimidated by the challenge. I never thought it was too hard, or it was impossible to find a good blog for each letter. It was a game to me. Even though at the end of March I had each letter assigned a topic, I only blogged that assigned topic 50%. When that week came to put three or more blogs in queue I found more interesting or challenging topics and wrote on the new choices.

Fourth, I never once felt like quitting. It was too fun. In addition I wasn’t going to let a letter kick by backside. I wondered what I would get to share next. What kept me going? Well, the fun, the challenge, and the joy I experienced by teaching subjects dear to my heart in order to be a blessing to you.

Fifth, I think my biggest contribution to this challenge was my research and presentation of material that some of my readers might never come across in their daily lives. I kept getting comments like, “I never knew that;” or “that was very interesting, thank you for sharing that;” or “that was such a blessing to me;” or “now that makes sense to me.” I think I gave a small segment of my readers something to chew on, some new insights, and some new nourishment for spiritual growth. I know my blog was not for everyone and I am ok with that.

Yes, I would participate in more challenges. I don’t know what NaNoWriMo is. I have discovered that 98% of the bloggers in the challenge are aspiring authors wanting to publish the great American novel. It was hard sometimes to make real meaningful comments because I didn’t have a clue what was going on or what they were talking about. I doubt “writer” or “author” type of challenges would interest me. However, I will try and keep my eyes opened for some challenges that I could find interesting and fun.

Sixth, yes I believe I did my best. I consciously guarded myself against the danger and temptation to simply “phone it in.” I wanted to write a meaningful blog that whether you like it or not, agreed with it or not, or had something in common or not, you were edified rather than bored or insulted. I think I could have done better with proof-reading. I hope I didn’t turn anyone off because of a dangling participle, split infinitive, or grammatical errors.

Seventh, what did I learn from the challenge? There are a whole bunch of people who want to write a book. I learned I like to blog or write. I learned I liked meaningful comments rather than unrelated rubber stamped comments and solicitations to read someone else’s blog who didn’t care anything about mine.

Eighth, will I be blogging any more now than I used to. No. I tried to blog everyday before the challenge and will probably continue to try and blog each day after the challenge is over.

Now, as far as your other ideas about increased followers, how it affected comments, etc. First, I have revised my thoughts on followers. It took a long time to get my first one; I didn’t think I would ever get a follower. Then I got stuck around 22 followers and it began to creep up a little. The challenge definitely increased my followers.

I am not trying to live in a naïve world but I am not interested in the quantity if they never come back and read again or they simply signed on to get me to sign on. I really want people who are blessed and moved to follow. I dare say the amount of followers and comments will decrease now that the challenge is over. I have already seen it in my comments. Prior to the challenge the most comments I had received on a blog was about 10. I received up to about 15 during the challenge. I have noticed the last several days the comments are dropping to around 5 or 7. So I suspect that will happen.

I don’t know if the challenge helped by writing. I have to say it did. I wanted to be interesting, refreshing, informative, biblical, and beneficial so I tried to write well. Only you can be the judge.

Thank you all to joined by site during the challenge. I hope that you will continue to drop by and inspire me. Thank you for all the wonderful comments, everyone of them was read and evaluated to see what I could do better. Thank you each and every one of you.

The best part of the challenge; it renuinted me with a family I met in 1978 and sadly lost track of in the early nineties. I love this family and am so glad to be back in contact with them. Praise God for that!

So, thank you for suggesting the challenge. Thank you for putting the bloggers and supporters on your sight. Thank you for the encouraging words you shares all the way through the challenge. Thank you for the hard work you put into keeping up with all the participants, your encouragement, your own blog and the rest of your daily life. Thank you!

I know you became a follower. I hope you truly drop by The Gospel Driven Disciples from time to time. I hope to continue to be a blessing to you. I truly hope you take that coastal drive and detour off I-5 some 7 or 8 miles and stop long enough for a dinner at the Masthead Family Steakhouse on Ocean Beach Highway. It has been voted the number one family steak house in Cowlitz County a number of times.



Thank YOU Gregg for so many uplifting blogs, I have and will continue to read them for my own personal reasons,

Take care and happy blogging.

Lloyd said...

God's blessings to you Gregg. Lloyd

Linda said...

Gregg: I cannot begin to recount the things I learned from your blog. It is amazing. The number of comments may have dropped off in the last couple of days cause we were all tired! As far as other challenges, could you develop and Bible based blog challenge? To read a book? To study something? That would be awesome!


Good Morning Brother Gregg

I did not participate in the A to Z challenge but i did visit a few of the blogs that did and I especially looked forward to reading your daily Bible study. Great job Gregg!


Lisa said...

Gregg, you are an excellent teacher and I'm glad to have found you before the challenge. Needless to say, I ain't going anywhere! :)

Loren said...


I love your organization :) and thought process. My personality is Sanguine and while I am not naturally organized I find that IF I have a plan I am far more successful!

I am happy to have signed on and look forward to whatever you teach.

Shannon said...

Gregg, so honored to be "the family" you reunited with, or at least part of it! You are certainly going to have me coming back again, you are very knowledgeable about the Bible and since it is the Book I am most interested in, I will be back often...I look to you as a teacher of God's word and will be wanting to learn are now a friend and a brother to me and I think that is one of the best things to have happened in this challenge...can't wait to see you this summer, it is nice getting to know you now that I am an adult...very nice indeed! Bless you brother!

Raquel Byrnes said...

I really did learn a lot about Biblical principals I didn't know that I didn't know're a wonderful teacher. It was heartwarming to hear that you made some personal reconnections with friends and family through this...what a blessing!

Beth said...

Excellent wrap up Brother Gregg! Thank you for the insights from your posts and for your comments! I assure you that my Sunday naps are always in the afternoon AFTER the assembly of the saints! :)

arlee bird said...

Gregg, one thing I can say is that during the Challenge you consistently contributed quality content. It was pretty obvious how much you put into each post and the meticulousness of the writing itself. You approached the Challenge with dedication and heart. I think you probably gained some followers who will remain with you. The numbers are just part of the game. It's like witnessing or getting people to come to church-- the more you reach the greater the odds of successfully gaining people who stay even after the initial fire has cooled down some.

Thank you for your wonderful teachings and the way you supported others with fine comments. You were a real asset to the success of the A to Z Challenge.

I'll keep reading and hope I can go to that steakhouse someday.

Tossing It Out

Gregg said...

Yvonne - you are very welcome. I am humbled and pleased that first, you found them uplifting and seconde that you will continue to stop by. Thank you!

Lloyd - thanks for the blessings. God has been good and is good irregardless of the circustances. I don't know why I haven't found a job yet, but I keep praying. That one blessing I need!

Linda - thank you also for your kind comments. I will think about sometime type of study or challenge. Be sure to read my Wednesday post - I have already thought a little on this.

Old Geezer - what can I say? Thanks isn't enough!! You are a real blessing to me brother.

Lisa - thank you! I am glad I can share something that can bless you. Thanks for staying around now that the challange is over.

Loren - organization can be a gift and a curse. But thanks, without it I would probably pull my hair out. I hope God uses something in this blog to be a blessing to you.

Shannon - what can I say? Thanks for stopping by and you can ask anything. I will look forward to teaching and sharing His Word with you. Will be down in June, Lord willing.

Raquel - thank you for being a reader and commenter. You have been a real blessing to me.

Beth - you are too funny! I would nap sometimes when the sermon just jumped the track but I snore way to loud. So I wait till later also. Thank you for being a reader.

Arelee Bird - Lee, thanks so much for those kind words. I left my feelings on both the wrap up and your sight. Thanks for reading! I count it an honor.

IanH said...

Greg, I read most of them and found them very fascinating. I am glad that you are continuing to blog, albeit at a slower pace. Great postings!

Wanda said...

Greg, I enjoyed reading your posts. The dept of your Bible definitely shows. I'll be visiting you again. I've gleaned so much here. God bless you.

Gregg said...

Ian - thanks for stopping by and reading. I wished you had left a comment so I knew you had stopped by. I hope you were blessed by your visits. I really appreciate you and your blog.

Wanda - I am glad and I thank you for enjoying my posts. I give the glory to God that you have gleaned some beneficial biblical knowledge, praise God!