WordPress.com users published more than 595 million posts in 2016. That’s slightly more than I managed to publish, but I do love the way much of my older content continues to be useful and encouraging to people all over the globe. Here are my top 5 most viewed posts this year. If you have only just followed me, you might like to check out why they are still popular.
5. How to Encourage your music team even when you’re not the leader
How great would it be if every single player and singer and sound technician took up the opportunity to positively influence the way their team functions. Consider the following list, 10 ways team players can be more encouraging members of their music team. . .
4. All of Creation Sing with me now, the veil is torn
Without being zapped or burnt to a crisp we sinful humans can now see the “glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). Mercy Me’s song All of Creation gets quite a mention as well.
3. The Conundrum of Keys, Capos and Congregational Singing
This post contains four rules of thumb that I find work well when selecting singable and playable keys for church singing.
2. The Cross Has Made You Flawless
This post generated quite a lot of discussion – around the song Flawless. See what you think. In Christ we stand before our heavenly Father as perfect, flawless people. We are wrapped up in Christ’s righteousness.
1. Never Alone
This most viewed post shares a congregational song, Never Alone. It has a simple melody (great for church singing) and the lyrics bring such comfort. Christ is with us! We are not alone . . . no matter how alone we may feel.
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
(NLT Matthew 28:20)
Thanks for reading in 2016! Merry Christmas!
One thing I love about the blog writing process, and the whole community of world-wide blogging, is that it helps writers develop backbone. Once you share a few posts, and experience the joy of interaction, you learn that it is okay, applauded even, if you are willing to construct and share your opinion, no matter how controversial it may be. Though it is pretty scary to put your ideas up for the scrutiny of an unknown audience, once you see how your thoughts can create a stir, there is a great reward! I suppose it is akin to the ‘butterfly effect’, where a small action or even just a word can create significant ripples in our global village.
The writing process also helps us get over that great concern we humans share for ‘what other people will think’. I see this fear at work in many places in life, in church, in music, in families, and in school. In fact, this fear of condemnation in others’ thinking is a huge burden for teenagers in the education process. I have seen so many students hold back their ideas, their creativity and enthusiasm for the fear of being judged.
“If we’re constantly dependent on the approval of other people we’ll always be afraid of failure. If we’re constantly needing the affirmation and praise of those around us then we’ll never take any creative risks. We’ll never have the guts to stick our necks out and possibly look silly. Because other people might disapprove of us. They might think that our painting or speech or novel or spreadsheet or organizational blog or hand sewn shirt is pretty lame. And that would sting. We would feel bad about ourselves, which would then lead to us eating a complete bag of Oreos in one sitting.”
from Stephen Altrogge: How to overcome the fear of doing creative work
This is largely why I’m encouraging my English students to start up their own blog this year . . . and simply get writing! Some students are really getting into the swing of things, writing several posts a week – and for others, they are a little slower on the uptake. One thing is for sure, if they catch the blogging bug they will quickly develop into very skilled proof-readers, and ultimately very fearless writers. The world certainly needs more writers like this. Write on!
I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by one of my blog followers: http://savurbks.wordpress.com/ (Check out their About to understand their intriguing title!) I am honored to accept as well as humbled to have been nominated. (The Liebster Award is an award designed to help bloggers enter the blogging community.) I’ve just reached 10000 views on my blog this weekend and I’m really enjoying sharing with people all over the globe.
Here are the questions I was posed and my answers:
1. If you could meet any author, whom would you like to meet?
Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird
2. What is your favorite childhood book?
My Little Dinosaur – a Little Golden Book!
3. If you could watch a movie adaptation of any book, which book would you choose?
Markus Zusak’s THE MESSENGER. His other most famous book, THE BOOK THIEF, will be released as a film later this year.
4. What is your favorite genre of books?
Historical fiction – though I do read heaps of non-fiction books, in the realms of psychology and relationships.
5. What is the next book on your “must read” list?
Eric Metaxas’ biography on Bonhoeffer.
6. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?
The National parks in the USA and Canada would be awesome. But I live so far away! New Zealand might have to do.
7. Who is your role model?
As a Christian I obviously follow Jesus and want to have his ‘mind’ in my living, in my attitude to the things of this world, and to others. But there are plenty of wise older Christian women I attempt to emulate in their attitude to their husbands, children and living in general – probably not one particular person.
8. If you wrote a book, what would the title be?
“In Pitch Silence” (I’ve even described the basic plot to my daughter but just haven’t made a start!)
9. What book has inspired you through use of a Bible verse?
THINK by John Piper – which encourages us to think on God’s word and be changed: “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” (2 Timothy 2:7) (You can find a good review here.)
10. Why or how did you start bogging?
Having a journalism degree and many years working as a high school English/History/Media teacher, I thought it would be fun to start writing and sharing some ideas with people out there – particularly on my two favourite topics, music and God’s grace. That is simply how sevennotesofgrace was born. (But it was tricky to devise the blog title I must say). It is fun to see your words ‘published’ and shared, so they can be an encouragement or challenge to others.
Though extremely hard to choose, I am limited to only ten blog nominees, so here are my choices:
A Journey of faith (http://daughterbydesign.wordpress.com/about/)
An Imperfect Life made perfect by grace (http://sheensteve.wordpress.com/about/)
Sermons and Soda Water (http://sermonsandsodawater.wordpress.com/about/)
Revelling in the Overflowing Grace of God (http://bickleyhouse.wordpress.com/about/)
Proverbs Way (http://proverbsway.com/about-2/)
Chong’s Worship (http://www.chongsworship.com/about/)
Singing in Babylon (http://singinginbabylon.wordpress.com/about/)
Journey of Joy (http://greatjourneyofjoy.com/about/)
One Passion One Devotion (http://onepassiononedevotion.wordpress.com/about/)
And I will also mention this favourite blog (though her blog is declared ‘award free’ – so I’m not really giving her an award :))
Lessons by Heart (http://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/about/)
Here are a few procedures to forward this Award on (if you so desire):
– Link back the blogger that tagged you
– Nominate ten others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you
– Ask ten questions for the bloggers you nominate
– Let your nominees know of their award
(Please let me know when you answer the questions as I would like to check back and read through your answers.)
And here are your questions, my dear nominated blogs!
1. What do you remember about your favourite teacher?
2. What was your favourite childhood book?
3. Which fictional book would you like to live in?
4. What is your favourite bible book – why?
5. What is your favourite Christian band/artist?
6. Where do you do your best thinking?
7. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
8. What is the next book on your to read list?
9. Why/how did you start blogging?
10. What is the most burning question you have – to ask God?
Again, thank-you to http://savurbks.wordpress.com/. Have fun and enjoy the Award!