I am writing this note about 4:20 PM on Sunday afternoon. In about an hour Marlene and I will be drive to Parkway Baptist Church in Tupelo for the final service of the Summer Harvest Revival. Last night and this morning Pastor Paul Brashier told the congregation that I am a "writer, speaker and blogger." He said that when he put that in the church newsletter, someone called the office asking what a blogger was. When I got up to preach last night, I meant to explain blogging, but I started talking about something else and forgot. During the morning service Paul said that someone had even asked if being a blogger was something bad.

The answer is no, but I suppose the word does sound a bit mysterious. The word blogger describes someone who writes a weblog, a kind of online personal journal. A website called Technorati currently tracks 51 million weblogs, with 75,000 new weblogs being created every day. At the moment, the "blogosphere," a term for the all the weblogs on the Internet, is doubling every six months. On average, a new weblog is created every second of the day. The blogosphere is now 60 times bigger than it was three years ago. There are blogs on every conceivable subject, including business, sports, religion, politics, music, and every hobby or diversion you've ever heard of. Some blogs are nothing more that online diaries, while others discuss issues of wider interest. More and more businesses are discovering that weblogs allow them to reach new customers and to better service the ones they have.

My weblog combines several features. It contains news about what I'm doing, where I'm preaching, comments on interesting articles I've read, personal and family news, updates on Dudley (our nine-month-old basset hound), commentary on issues of biblical concern, travelogue and biking updates. My weblog also serves as a platform for the newly-formed Keep Believing Ministries.

In my mind, a good weblog is as varied as life itself. It's a little of this, a little of that, whatever happens to be on my mind, a question someone asked me, an announcement about upcoming events, a comment on current events, or perhaps something as simple as this recipe for scalloped sweet Vidalia onions. I love writing my weblog because it's a way of staying in touch with friends who are literally around the world. Anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world can read this weblog. I know because we have readers in Scotland, China, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Bolivia, Uganda and even the United Arab Emirates. Some people check the blog every day, most check it at least once a week. You will notice that there is a place for comments at the bottom of each entry. That's a way readers can either say hello or join the ongoing conversation or ask a question or just post their own opinion.

I try to make an entry on this weblog at least once a day. That way people have to keep coming back to see what's new. Writing a weblog makes me a blogger, which isn't bad even if the word sounds a little strange.

Welcome to all our new friends from Parkway Baptist Church. I hope you'll come back and visit the Keep Believing weblog often.

You can reach the author at  ray@keepbelieving.com. Click  here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.