Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

To God Be The Glory

         I have always enjoyed writing.  I may not have ever been very good at doing it, but I've always enjoyed it.  For over six decades I have had many opportunities to do so, mostly for newspapers such as the Lititz Record Express, the Sunbury Daily Item, the Lancaster Sunday News and the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.  And for years I wrote promotional pieces for the Penn Manor School District.
         I've also always wanted to write a book, but never have found a good topic.  However, I once did have a chance to be a consultant for a Geometry textbook published by Addison Wesley.  I also did editing work for Books in Print and I spent many years writing math questions for various state and national testing organizations.
          So a few years into retirement I decided to try writing a blog for the internet.  In September of 2008 I launched Barry's Blog, this weekly posting on all sorts of stupid topics.  I still do this each Saturday but it has never grown.  Over the years I have only had about 25,000 hits, usually about 40 a week.  It has never been too exciting to others - just like this one - and I am considering giving it up.
          However, in October of 2008, I decided to combine my desire to write with my interest in music and I began a weekly hymn blog.  Never did I anticipate how this would be received.  It quickly turned into a real ministry. I am surpassing 200,000 hits.  While I generally now have abut 700 hits a week, a few weeks ago I actually had over 1,000 in one week.  I am amazed and humbled.
          While the majority of my readers are from all over the United States, they have come from all over the world.  The second biggest total - 24,948 hits - have come from Russia. Other countries in descending order are the United Kingdom, Canada, the Philippines, Australia, France, Germany, Ukraine, South Korea and, are you ready for this?  The United Arab Emirates!    Others have come from Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Brazil, South Korea and Spain.  And their could be others.
          Some of the readers leave comments. Ones like this make me rejoice that the blessings are spreading beyond the blog. "We sing hymns at the retirement home where I minister. The stories behind the hymns are sermon enough, and lead to teaching and resulting prayer. The Holy Spirit is using your hymn stories to minister to the elderly residents, that they may finish their race STRONG! Thank you! on O THAT WILL BE GLORY FOR ME" 
          And some readers have even shown a personal interest in me, even more than most folks that I come into contact with in my daily activities.  "Thank you for sharing one more! I check your blog every Sunday, and since you never missed the weekly hymn, I became a little worried about last Sunday missing and prayed for you during the week!Wishing you the best, A reader from Brazil." (Note, that week I was in the hospital and in need of prayer.)
          Then this past week I received a telephone call from one of my readers in the state of Washington.  He called to tell me that Paul White, composer of Jesus, Wonderful Lord, was his uncle.  He told me all about his uncle's life as well as many of his relatives, some of which are actually attending college a few blocks from my home.  It was a very interesting surprise call and a nice connection with a brother in the Lord on the opposite coast. 

          To date I have written about almost 450 different Gospel songs.  Now I don't have a good way to accurately know which have had the biggest impact on my readers, but their are some statistics which indicate that the following have received greater interest than others.  "I Shall Know Him", "What a Day That Will Be", "Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace",  "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus", "Until Then", "He Giveth More Grace", "Holy Spirit Breathe On Me", "Master The Tempest Is Raging", "All That Thrills My Soul Is Jesus", and very surprisingly, "In This Very Room".  Incidentally, if you'd like to read any of these, they can probably be found by doing a google search.  I've had enough hits now that they generally show up when doing such a search.
          Lord willing, I will try to continue this ministry as long as I am able.  It has become much more difficult since it is becoming harder to find Gospel songs that are correct theologically that haven't already been written about in my blog.  It is also very hard to find videos of many of these, especially the old ones.
         The other challenge is that so many of the very best hymns were covered in the early years and, as my readership has grown, these newer folks have never seen them.  So I've started a new feature once a month called Timeless Hymns where I feature again one of those hymns that are extra special.
          Now, like many of my blogs, I have probably bored you with all these details about what I have done. I didn't want to draw attention to what I have done but to enlist you as a partner in this ministry. My hope is that you will recognize what God has been doing with my hymn blog and that you will pray for me and join me in praying for this outreach and the hundreds who are reached each week.  To God be the glory!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading both of your blogs, mr. Kauffman. The "Hymns With A Message" is indeed a very special ministry! But you have many good writings on this blog as well. Good job!