Category Archives for "fire"

December 2011 Top Posts

We’ve reached the end of another month.  December was the BEST month so far at Jon Stolpe Stretched.  Traffic on the blog increased slightly by over 500 page views since November and by almost 300 page views since the previous record month (September 2011)!  Comments continued to roll-in.  And new people joined in the conversation and community.  The blog added TWELVE new subscribers, and the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook Page attracted a couple of new followers in its fourth month.  Here are the top 10 posts and top 3 commentors for the month:

Top 10 Posts

1.  On Fire

2.  Ice Breaker – Christmas Movies (the new #1 Ice Breaker question)

3.  Ice Breaker – Christmas Songs and Carols

4.  Surprise!!!

5.  Our Christmas Ornament Tradition

6.  Ice Breaker – On The 13th Day Of Christmas What Gift Are You Hoping to Get

7.  Ten Things Every Small Group Leader Should Know (originally posted on October 24, 2011)

8.  Ice Breaker – Favorite Toy

9.  Leaders Are Readers – Creating My Reading List For 2012

10.  It’s 40!

Top 3 Commentors (We blew by the 1,500th comment mark this month!)

1.  Larry Carter (for the 2nd month in a row!)

2.  Brandon Gilliland

3.  Bill Grandi

I now have 32 regular subscribers.  If you’d like to become a subscriber, see the “Join the Stretched Community” window on your right.  It’s great to see this starting to take off.

Thank you to all of you for reading and contributing to the blog and to the reader community.  I continue to grow a lot through this experience.  *** This month, the top commentor will receive a copy of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  Get your comments in for an opportunity to win!!! ***

As always, I love to share your “stretching” stories on my blog, so leave me a comment if you’re interested in being a guest blogger on Jon Stolpe Stretched.  As a side note, I’d love to see guest bloggers in the monthly top 10 list!

Finally, if you’re a blogger, how did your blog to this month?  What was your top post?  What was your favorite post?

December 17th, 2011 Week In Review…

Another week has come and gone.  It was a busy week in real life and here on the Stretched Blog.  The blog is trending towards similar traffic patterns to last week – maybe even stronger this week.  This week saw the second best day ever on The Stretched Blog.  And I’m excited about what’s coming up in the week ahead.  Here’s a recap of the week.

Monday, I kicked off the week with a post which indicated that the Stretched Blog was visiting The Handwritten.  If you haven’t read it yet, please head over to Michael Perkin’s blog to read my guest post titled Stop & Start.  On Tuesday, I shared about my surprise party and I threw out a question about the cake.  We learned some interesting things about some of those in The Stretched Community.  Wednesday, The Stretched Blog paid a visit to Deuceology for a guest post titled I’m Dreaming Of A Stretched ChristmasLarry “The Deuce” Carter mentioned that the post has been running strong over on his blog.  Please head over and check it out, and read the other stuff that Larry’s writing about.  My Thursday post was an introspective post about what it means and looks like to be on fire with our faith.  I’m still wrestling through this one, and I appreciated the comments that contributed to the conversation and my thought process.  And finally on Friday, we finished the week off with another fun holiday Ice Breaker where we learned about what gift everyone would like to receive on the 13th day of Christmas.  You should check it out if you’re trying to figure out what to get The Stretched Blogger for Christmas!

I am so thankful for your contribution to the blog through comments.  Your comments are what makes this Stretched Community!  Please remember to take the time to Subscribe to the blog, so you can have Stretched delivered daily to your e-mail inbox.  Also, don’t forget to stop by the Jon Stolpe Stretched Facebook fan page.  Become a fan to keep up with some additional Stretched stuff.  Thanks!

A few of my favorite posts from the rest of the blogging community this week:

I’m really excited about this upcoming week as I’ll be sharing a guest post by Jonathan Pearson along with some other great ideas brewing as we head into the Christmas weekend.  I can’t wait!

How about you?  How was your week?  If you’re a blogger what happened over your way this week?  Did you read any great blog posts this week?  Share with the rest of us!

On Fire

Last night, I was challenged with a question about my faith.  The question went something like this:  What does it take to live our lives fully on fire for God?  What does that look like?  I’m not 100% on where the question was coming from, but it left me to ponder my own walk and my typical desire to find a formula for everything.  After all, I’m an engineer!

When I briefly searched the Bible this morning, I could find very few references to our passion for following God and the term fire.  Most of the fire references talk about God’s wrath towards people who stray from Him.  There are also a few references proclaiming that God is a consuming fire.

So maybe the question should have been “What does it look like when we are living our lives fully passionate for God?”  Or simply, “What does it really look like to be a fully devoted follower of Christ?”

I can name a few things that seem to make sense like reading the Bible, serving others, going to church, tithing, and sharing my faith, but it seems like I’m trying to follow a formula.

I shared with my friends that I don’t feel like the intensity of my fire for God is constant.  There are times when it burns brightly and more intense, and there are times when it appears to be a small candle.  I feel like life circumstances can sometimes diminish our flames as we struggle to find hope for the day ahead.  On the other hand, there are clearly times when I feel a burning passion and connection with God.

What this leads me to believe is that our faith cannot simply be about our feelings.  Our feelings and passions will go up and down.  We’re like that.  We need to be doing the necessary things to feed our minds, so that when our feelings leave us in the dumps we will still know that God is God.

And so, I’m still pondering these questions from last night.  Thank you for letting me wrestle and stretch out loud.

What do you think?  What do you do with these questions?