I almost missed it! This month celebrates one year of existence of this blog site: “Clear the Murk” (clearthemurk.com)! I started the blog a year ago on July 18, 2020. Since then, I have posted 73 times, with almost all of them being in-depth Bible studies. And I wrote every single one with quotes from other sources properly attributed. I started this blog because I enjoy teaching, and I wanted to share an approach to Bible study that speaks to people in their daily lives and not be so “churchy.” Also, I am not writing to make myself feel good. Instead, I desire to help the reader with whatever they are encountering in their lives – or just be encouraged.
APPROACH. I try to use fairly simple American English so that readers from all over the world, including those with English as a second language, are able to understand what is being written. I try my best to use proper grammar to help those readers learn the English language if that is their desire. It is noted, though, that the commas may not be used correctly every time. It seems the English language has changed some rules about the “comma.” What I learned from my English classes 50 years ago are not always applicable today.
The blogs are unapologetically Christian in their approach even while recognizing that the reader may come from a different faith – or no faith at all. To this end, I sometimes mention the application of teachings that could apply to those who attend synagogues, temples, mosques or just worship within themselves, if at all.
CHANGES OVER TIME. When I began, I really didn’t know what I was doing. Therefore, I wrote a little blog about the first baptism I performed in the mountains of Oregon in the United States. After that, though, I was quite wordy. My instruction for that was a 400-page(!) book about blogging! I tried to write 2,000 words or more! Well, that’s what the author who wrote a 400-page book said to do! Since then, I’ve learned that people don’t have that kind of patience to read such lengthy treatises. Now I try not to go over about 1,000 to 1,200 words in my blogs.
Also, I learned how to enlarge the font size. Now, when I finish the blog, I highlight the document and change the font size from a tiny “Default” to “Medium.” If you go back to my earlier blogs, you’ll see what I mean. I hope to figure out how to make my default a medium font size soon and save myself a step.
Finally, when I began I didn’t write out the Bible verse. I figured at the time that a reader would have access to a Bible. However, that may not be the case for people living in politically oppressive countries. Also, it’s much easier to casually read my blog while sitting at home or on the train or something if the Bible passage that is being used is printed right in the blog itself. Yes, I type every single word of the Bible passage and check my accuracy at least once or twice when I’m done.
INFORMATION. Clearthemurk.com is free to the reader, and I expect it to continue to be so. While the site is ad-free, I may decide to include ads at some future date to generate a little income to pay for my costs. I have no plans to change in the near future, however. My costs from WordPress as the host and through whom I reserve the Domain name are considered the price for an inexpensive hobby. It’s not like I race cars, sailboats or airplanes or anything. At least, that’s what I tell my wife.
Each blog takes many hours. It really does. Perhaps about 70 of those 73 blogs took about 5-6 hours to write. Then when I’m done writing the blog on a word processor, I must still prepare the blog for posting on WordPress in my clearthemurk.com site. That’s why my writing has been sparse the last few months as I find other matters of life distracting me from blogging.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU AS A READER. I am not able to see who checks out my blog site. When I look at the statistics for my blog site, my site tracks how many came to my site that day and how many blogs they read. For instance, one day I may have three visitors. However, only one looked at a blog other than just the Home Page. That comes out as three visitors and four views on my statistics. WordPress also tells me what country they are from. This is important to me as viewers from other countries are what spur me to keep writing. Sadly, I haven’t seen my visitors from China for several months. I pray that they are well. I receive no identifying information when you check out my blog.
MY REQUESTS FOR YOU. If you get any enjoyment, assistance, or helpful knowledge from a blog that I wrote, please mark the “Like” button at the bottom of it. The “Like” button is below the final picture, or after the final paragraph if there is no picture. This isn’t for my ego, but it does encourage me to keep on writing these blogs that take hours to prepare. Also, please feel free to “Comment” if you have a thought to add, a disagreement, an anecdote of how the blog has helped you, or a note of encouragement. And if you choose to “Follow” my blog, you will receive a notice in your email whenever I post a new blog.
The following is something I’m still learning, but I did check on my site just now: If you press “Like” and you are a blogger, your site will appear at the bottom of that entry alongside the “Like” button. If you press “Like” and you are not a blogger, then I don’t know what happens other than I get a notice in my email at “firstname.lastname@example.org”. If you press “Comment”, you can leave a comment that will be seen by other readers. It also gives me a chance to respond to you. If you “Follow” my blog, I receive a notice that you decided to follow my blog. I do not see anywhere on the blog site that the public is able to see who is following the blog. I can certainly tell you that those who are following my blog live all over the world.
Thank you for spending this time with me. I told my wife that I was going to type a SHORT blog for the blog’s birthmonth celebration. She said, “Yeah. Right.” Well, she was correct. It isn’t short. 73 blogs. Average five hours each. Totals 365 hours at a minimum. I hope clearthemurk.com has been helpful to you. And to be clear, my wife is very supportive and encouraging. If I am not sure I am communicating very well, I’ll give her a copy along with a red pen for corrections and suggestions. Forty-nine interesting years . . . .
Have a great day and weekend whenever you read this. I’m going to sign this “officially”:
John Myklebust, M.Div., Major in Religious Education; M.S.W.