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Today is my first “blogiversary.” I’ve been blogging a whole year now. And recently, an older gentleman challenged me as to why I blog—well, he didn’t put it in those terms, because he thought he knew why I “ought to” blog. But you know me. 🙂 Well, I decided to take stock once again. Doing so is a good idea, even when externally motivated.

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I find my primary reason for blogging still unchanged: My blog is a place where I can showcase my poetry, when and how I want it shown. Everything else is an extra. The internet provides a means to network with other writers. Here I have met and—combining my blog with e-mail—conversed with several writers that Valerie MacEwan and the rest of the staff will be publishing in April in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. And there are the other bloggers. We chat in the comment sections of one another’s blogs, and occasionally we send e-mail.

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Then there’s Shirley, one of the first bloggers I met. Shirley and I have “purchased a house” on the internet, invited all we know, and laughed ourselves silly. We have also exchanged and read each others books, although mine is chapbook without a spine and hers has one. Shirley just started a devotional site. I love the idea that our silliness is not taken there.

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There’s Carol and her daughter Jen. Carol sent me a CD for Christmas. She’s also read Paper Snowflakes (to find it scroll down). There’s Jack and the Bereans, whose devotions inspire and challenge me to live the Christian life I proclaim. I love it that Jack will say “I love you” on a blog!

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There are many more: Daniel, Larry, and Tomas, whose beautiful art work was featured a few days ago. There’s Winsome from “down under.” There’s Holly, Miss Lionheart, and some new friends, some I just “met.”

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A number of the Christians I blog with are from the same denomination, but they haven’t treated me as an outsider. And now a number of Catholic bloggers have joined my “world.” (Not that I don’t know Catholics in everyday life.) AutumnRose is in a painful situation and needs prayer. Maria has visited most days for a while. Why even Father Joe has stopped by a time or two.

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While I have never pretended to be anything other than what I am: A Christian saved by faith—and faith alone—in the Lord Jesus Christ and His payment for the sin of mankind at Calvary for all who will receive, I have never claimed that evangelism is the purpose of my blog. I have regular visitors to my blog who are Muslim, Jewish, or agnostic. There are alcoholics and homosexuals. I think, perhaps, they might be more comfortable if I don’t name them, so I won’t.

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One of the other reasons I blog is to reconcile people, one to another. I blog to educate ignorance and to create community. This is the ministry to which God has called me. Fear and ignorance are powerful emotions. They often lead to hatred. Hatred of groups (racism and all the other –isms) is based on ignorance.

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I blog to share that which I learned while earning my MALS at Wake Forest, that I learned while studying Martin Luther King Jr., that is, Unmerited suffering is redemptive and to fight the triple evils that endanger our nation far more than any terrorist can, to remind people that we live in God’s world. I blog to fight racism, poverty, and war, because I hope to play a small part in making this world more nearly the way God intends it to be.

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I blog that somehow enemies might become friends, that we might lay our weapons down and learn to live in “peace on earth,” just as the angels who heralded the birth of Jesus sang.

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I blog to touch Christians who ought to be leaders in this struggle but often lag behind the rest of the world.

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And I blog for comic relief—as an outlet from a life devoted to reconciliation among people who don’t understand it and don’t want it. I blog to declare that Tony Stewart is the best NASCAR driver. Go Tony!! And in doing so, I met Clance. I blog mainly because I enjoy it. And if the day ever comes when I don’t, I know I can hit “delete.”

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I blog to create a community where everyone is welcome. And if I didn’t call your name, leave a comment, and I’ll add you right away. Or if—like Diane—you want me to just “leave you alone,” okay. But I never agreed not to pray for any of you, like it or not. Thanks for being a part of my “world” in the big blogosphere.

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NOTE: For links to the sites of bloggers named here whose blogs you haven’t visited but are interested in visiting, check comments, even going back a few pages. There are too many of you list and certainly too many to make links.

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EDIT: There’s Earthpal to add, right off the bat.

—for Tony Stewart

Almost weekly I am goggled, when fans—
well, I presume they are fans—
look for you in a poem, Smoke.

You two time NASCAR champion
with a two-day beard, a crooked grin.  You,
the climber of fences despite self-proclaimed
“fatness,” you Chili Bowl flipper.  You “Papa to

Mojo.”  Last year Ryan Smithson
implied that Katie wished Mojo had a Mama,
(so the women could spar).
I thought you’d be all right.  But then came
Charlotte, where you broke your shoulder.

Now I’ll just say what I think
(because it’s my poem).

You should re-model something big, Dude,
locate a peaceful woman for your pit box:
One whose hot red lips will feel your prickly kiss,
(slimmer or not).

She’ll give her body for yours,
sweet comfort for you soul, and you’ll win
the Cup again
in a harvest of purest of gold.

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