Today is a big day for Darkened Glass Reflections. It is the blog’s tenth anniversary. Its first article appeared on January 15, 2012.
Darkened Glass Reflections replaced my earlier blog, “Mike’s Blog,” which first appeared on WordPress on December 27, 2009. Admittedly, that was a quickly chosen and bland name. It did not tell you anything about the topic or focus of the articles, and let’s face it, there are many people named “Mike” out there. (A running joke in my family is that, at Lynch family gatherings, one of the women can yell “Hey Mike!” and all of the men turn around.)
Plans to replace or rename the blog began on August 9, 2010, when I published “Through a Glass Darkly,” a reflection on 1 Corinthians 13:12:
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12, NASB).
I thought this would be a clever title for the blog. Unfortunately, a quick search revealed that there was already a WordPress blog entitled “Through a Glass Darkly.” So, plans for a new name were shelved, but I wanted to use that phrase somehow.
A little over a year later, a spark of inspiration ignited a name change. While referring to an article as a “reflection” on a Bible passage, I realized several recurring themes suggested a new title. The message of 1 Corinthians 13:12 resonated in my soul and shaped much of what I was writing. Christians now know in part, our vision is dim and distorted, but eventually, we will know God fully in eternity. We are looking ahead; the committed disciple of Christ is living today with an eye on eternity (that became the new blog’s tag line). Most articles studied the Scriptures with a devotional, meditative perspective, making it easy to think of them as “reflections.” Also, Christians are called to be the light of the world as our lives reflect the ultimate true Light of the World, Jesus. From all of this, the title “Darkened Glass Reflections” popped into my head. I was thrilled when I saw that there was no other WordPress blog with that name, nor could I find anything else online with that title.
On January 15, 2012, I published the 42nd and final post on Mike’s Blog (announcing the birth of the new blog) and the first article on Darkened Glass Reflections. After posting consistently on Mike’s Blog, though, my output declined in the next few years. After publishing 19 articles in 2012, Darkened Glass Reflections featured only two new articles in 2013, one in 2014 (reacting to comedian Robin Williams’ suicide), and five in 2015. To be honest, discouragement was one reason for the declining output. I did not think anybody was reading and figured my time would be more wisely spent elsewhere.
However, in December 2015, WordPress sent an email summarizing the blog’s activity, and one article’s popularity encouraged me to keep going. Although readership was still small, it was growing: 319 hits in 2012, 505 in 2013, 1161 in 2014, and 1310 in 2015.
One article, in particular, was sparking growth. At some point, Google searches for the phrase “training in righteousness” had started directing readers to a post I wrote in December 2012, “Teaching, Reproof, Correction, and Training in Righteousness” (a devotion on 2 Timothy 3:16-17). A few friends confirmed that we were all seeing the same thing online: a Google query for “training in righteousness” provided a link to the Darkened Glass Reflections article near the top of its list, even appearing over an article from Christianity Today magazine. Sometime around September 2014, this article had started drawing readership. In 2014 and 2015, approximately 70% of the site’s readership was for that article.
So, maybe my writing efforts were not in vain. If people were reading one article, perhaps more would come. In January 2016, I signed up for an online blogging course and attempted to publish at least one post per week, preferably on Sunday. Although I fell short, I did post 50 articles that year, after publishing 51 posts over the previous five years.
Gradually, readership grew. “Teaching, Reproof, Correction, and Training in Righteousness” remained the most-read article on Darkened Glass Reflections until 2019, although other articles started drawing more readers. In 2020, “Understanding the Deep Waters of the Heart,” a meditation on Proverbs 20:5 published in December 2017, took first place. Other articles were drawing readership as well.
By 2021, the weekly readership of Darkened Glass Reflections was often comparable to the entire year of 2012, and monthly readership occasionally exceeded the total for 2015.
Do not despise the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10). I hope that Darkened Glass Reflections continues to grow in readership in 2022 and that it may be used to bless people and draw them closer to Jesus. As with everything else we do for the Lord, my responsibility is to remain faithful and consistent in my writing and leave the results in God’s hands.
Finally, thank you to everybody who has followed Darkened Glass Reflections since it began. I hope you will keep reading and share it with your friends. God bless you always!
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