Giving thanks for 2013

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2013 was quite a ride. It was the year I signed my first book deal. It was also a year of firsts for this blog. In 2012, it had just over 40,000 hits. Last year, it reached more than 10 times that number, even though I wasn’t nearly as consistent about blogging throughout the year as I had hoped.

This year, my goal is to be more consistent, writing something new at least once a week. Partly because the sheer act of writing sharpens me. It helps me to clarify what I think and feel. It motivates me to read more, to interact with others more.

It’s that last part I appreciate more than anything. Writing has brought me into contact with some amazing new people. People who take the time to interact, push back, give encouragement, and just converse. If you’re one of those people who’ve interacted with something I posted here, if we connected on Facebook or Twitter over the last year, or if you shared something I wrote with your friends, I just wanted to say… thank you. I can’t wait to share even more of the journey with you in 2014.

Also…I’d like to fess up and say I totally fell asleep on the couch before midnight last night.

—//—

My top posts of 2013 

5. John Piper’s mythical research debunking orientation
Whatever you believe about homosexuality and the Bible or the moral legitimacy of same-sex relationships, there’s no use pretending sexual orientation isn’t real. Not when people have been ostracized and stigmatized for their identity — yet it remains part of who they are. Not when people have survived parents who literally tried to “beat the gay out of their children.”

4. How I won’t be getting a shotgun when my daughter starts dating, after all
Of course I want to protect my daughter from those who would treat her like an object… Of course I want her to know that her worth does not depend on her willingness to flaunt her body like an Abercrombie & Fitch model. But I also want her to know that her body isn’t something dirty or shameful. I want her to know she isn’t the property of any man — including me.

3. Poverty is more than a matter of poor decision-making
How is it that we can see the systemic causes of poverty elsewhere, but not in our own country? Do we think because our ancestors got rid of institutional slavery and child labor that there are no more structural injustices to be rooted out? Or are we so beholden to a capitalist, materialist ideology that we can’t even entertain the possibility of any flaws in our economic system?

2. The patriarch and the pope: the real difference between Phil Robertson and Pope Francis
The difference between Pope Francis and Phil Robertson comes down to this. When the pope looks at a gay person, he sees a human being. Phil’s comments in GQ suggest that when he looks at a gay person, the first thing he sees are reproductive organs being put where he thinks they shouldn’t. And that’s a problem.

1. 20 things the poor really do every day
Poverty in America may not be as dire as poverty in other parts of the world, but many working poor families are nonetheless preoccupied with day-to-day survival. For them, life is not something to be enjoyed so much as endured. These are the real habits of the poor, those with whom Jesus identifies most closely.

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