A peep into life in Africa, through the eyes of an African Reformed Baptist pastor.

Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist, and I live in the land of the mighty Victoria Falls!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Review—Six months of blogging

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name” (Malachi 3:16).

I was introduced to blogging during my last visit to the USA in July 2008 by a friend who pastors a church there. I must admit that I really resisted the idea because I did not realise its value and how easy it is to use. I already have three newspaper articles per week, apart from the regular preaching I have to do. The thought of adding yet another piece of writing was not appealing. Finally, I was prevailed upon and started “blogging”. However, I soon discovered its value because there were issues, especially related to my itinerant preaching ministry, that I had no appropriate forum on which to share with my church members and those who are interested in my ministry. Also, in the context of the church I limit myself to preaching the Word in a consecutive expository fashion. I rarely share my thoughts about what is happening in our country or what I think ought to happen. The blog has become a perfect vehicle for this.
In the West, it has become the main channel for the exchange of information and ideas because it is not censored by an editor.
Blogging simply means “web logging”. In other words, it is a log book on the internet. Individuals write their thoughts and share them with others through this avenue. In the West, it has become the main channel for the exchange of information and ideas because it is not censored by an editor. Anyone can say what they want and those who are interested are able to access the information and even respond to it the way in which you respond to newspaper articles through “Letters to the Editor”. Unlike e-mails that come to your in-box, blogs remain in cyberspace and so they do not clog the hard-drive space on your computer. They do not take up a lot of time downloading. That means I can even include a lot of photos, which make reading very interesting, without you worrying about the space and time the photos will take when being downloaded.

I have also been pleasantly surprised by the number of visits my blog has been attracting, as can be seen from the site-metre on the bottom right of the blog (see the visits in terms of statistics, in terms of a graph over the last one month, and in terms of the last one hundred visits from different parts of the globe). What is even more interesting has been the visits from virtually every part of the globe. I am grateful to God that I can write about something that is close to my heart and someone in India, or China or New Zealand, or Italy, or Sweden, or Nigeria, or the UK, or Brazil, and indeed even the USA or Canada, will log in and read it. What a privileged day we live in. I still make the members of my church the primary target of my writings on the blog; but what a bonus to know that others around Zambia and the world can access the information as well—and even respond to it.

A number of people, especially in Zambia, have e-mailed me to let me know that they have failed to post their comments on my blog or asking me how they can do it. Unfortunately, it is not simply an issue of writing what you want and it finds its way onto the blog. You have to open an account, just the way in which you open an e-mail address—only it is much, much easier. Below is how to do it.

1. Type your comments in the space provided at the bottom of the posting you want to comment on.

2. Then choose which “profile” you want to use. For the purpose of this tutorial, choose “Google Account”.

3. It will give you a “Word Verification” page. Just type what you are seeing on the screen in the space where the cursor is. This simple process ensures that the input is from a real human being and not another computer program.

4. On the next page, click on “Create an account now” (If you already have a Google account, then just type in your e-mail address and password, and you will be ready to go to your next page).

5. On the next page, you must type in your existing e-mail address twice (it does NOT need to be a Google address) and your password twice. (As usual, use a password that you will not easily forget, or keep your password in a safe place where you can easily retrieve it). Also type in what name you would like to appear each time you post a comment. I would suggest you use either your first name or both your first and second name. Again, you will be subjected to a Word Verification process, and just do what you did earlier. After that click on the box that says you accept the terms of service and click on continue.

6. That is all! Your comment will go to a place where it remains until I approve it. This is to just make sure that I do not have nasty comments from mad people being posted on my blog. So far I have only rejected one because it just did not make sense and the person who posted it simply wanted to advertise his own site.

So, now that you know how to post your comments on my blog..., you have no excuse for remaining silent.
So, now that you know how to post your comments on my blog (and any other blog in cyberspace), you have no excuse for remaining silent. I hope that many of you will open such accounts and begin to send in your comments. Come on, don’t be shy. Let us hear your views. Remember the prophecy of Malachi that heads this posting. While the world is getting more and more wicked, those of us who fear the Lord should be talking to one another about the things that really matter. We should not just be listening, but also talking. God will be paying attention to this discourse in cyberspace. The people of this world will also be eavesdropping and realising that there are a people of God in this world, yea even in Zambia, who take the things of God seriously and hence see things differently from them. If this blog begins to be used this way, that will be an important stage in its development in 2009. So, what are you waiting for? I wait to hear from you!

7 comments:

  1. Pastor Bayly blogged about your visit, and said that you had a blog. Since then I haven't missed a single one. I appreciate your thoughts and your devotion to the body of Christ.

    Alex Costa
    Columbus, OH, USA

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  2. Thanks for the tutorial. I was one of the people who wanted to post comments.
    Your blog has become one of my family's subject. Whenever we have a big event my sister says she cannot wait to see what you write on the blog.
    Kakonde

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  3. Hi Pastor. Congratulations!! Praise the Lord for six months of blogging the truth! I was particularly challenged by the one intitled, "Reformed brethren where are you?". God surely did not reveal his word to us for the benefit of our families only. My desire and prayer is to affect my community positively and that we will all rise up to the challenge. I appreciate your writing.

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  4. Thanks Alex, it is encouraging to know that there are some ardent followers of this blog from across the Atlantic!

    I am also glad to note that the tutorial above is simple enough for people to follow. Just hang on to those passwords because I want to hear from you again. As I said in a previous blog, I am not lazy with my pen!

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  5. Hi Conrad,
    I had no clue that you had started bloging six months ago!!! Wow!! congratulations! I came in contact with your blog when you sent me the link which asked where we Reformed Christians were. You know about my participation in the social economic space while I was in Zambia and now on the continental level and so I was deeply impressed and very happy about the challenge you put out that we surely need to be the light and salt of the world within our communities. May God Himself bless this means of communication so that through it as well, the gospel may be shared and as you have rightly said those of us who fear the Lord may be talking to one another. Yes indeed let us keep talking about news which will spur us on unto good works for the glory of His Kingdom. Rev Dr Japhet Ndhlovu - Nairobi - Kenya

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  6. Hi Pastor,
    Contratulations on your six months of blogging! I remember the time you took me through the blogging process and how excited you were about this blogging business.
    May God himself give you the grace to continue with the work he has given you - to preach his word to the rest of the globe; and to encourage the saints through the thoughts you blog about. Ruth Jalira

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  7. Hi Pastor,
    Thank you for the tutorial and congratulations on your six months of blogging! i was very much challeged by the one tittled 'Reformed Brethrens where are you". its my prayer that all of us might rise to the challege and share this truth that we have come to know to our communities that we leave in. The Lord has placed us in different locations so that we could share this true religion. Thank you so much and may God continue to grant you the grace.
    Phyllis Kabamba

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