My 20 Best Posts of 2017

As 2017 quickly winds to a close, I thought it would be interesting to look back and make a list of what I consider to be my 20 best posts of the year.

When a blogger posts daily, that means there are 365 posts to go through to come up with 20 best posts, which, naturally takes a lot of time. But here, in no particular order at all, are my picks for my best 20 of 2017. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane!

1. ‘If I’m No Pastor, Why Listen to My Faith Opinions?’

Because I write about issues of faith regularly, I felt it was important to remind those who might be new that I’m not a pastor, but to not let that automatically discount what I have to say.

The post was prompted by someone who asked me that question. Surely, the person disagreed with me on one faith issue or another and suggested I’m not qualified to talk about faith if the sole measure of qualification is possessing a theological degree. But, I wrote, that’s a double-edged sword.

2. ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time to Retire the Title ‘Grammar Nazi’?’

Even though I tend to be a stickler for grammar, I’ve not tried to use the term Grammar Nazi, because it’s definitely offensive to some. But recent events at the time this post went up reopened the discussion on whether it was time to do away with the term once and for all.

3. ‘AP to Allow ‘Singular They’ in Certain Cases’

Speaking of grammar sticklers, this story was enough to aggravate. But the Associated Press came up with a reason for allowing the singular they, a controversial use of a plural pronoun to describe a single person.

4. ‘Why I Have Mixed Feelings About Saying Grace in Restaurants’

This post arose out of a comment that screamed of religious intimidation, so I turned to a Bible verse to justify my hesitation in making a “show” out of prayer.

5. ’13 Blogging Suggestions I’d Offer a Newbie’

In honor of this blog’s 13th anniversary last year, I came up with a list of 13 pieces of advice I would offer someone who is new to blogging. Among them, forget that you ever heard, “Write every day, no matter what.”

6. ‘No, in Breaking News, the Media Shouldn’t Wait Until It Has ‘All the Facts’’

Those of us who work in journalism hear this complaint every time during a breaking story when some piece of information changes. But the mandate that we should wait until we have “all the facts” isn’t really what anyone who makes that proclamation actually believes. And it certainly isn’t what they actually want.

7. ‘School Dress Code Hair Color Limitations Could Be a Good Thing’

A post I wrote way back in 2013 about a student battling a school dress code policy still gets occasional comments from people who invariably defend the student and the right to freedom of expression. I believe now as I believe then: outlawing certain unnatural hair colors shouldn’t be a problem because a child is in school to learn, not find creative ways to express themselves. But research might just support the idea that there’s a benefit to limiting creativity.

8. ‘Let’s Be Honest About the Blog Comment Problem’

We have a commenting problem in the blogosphere. We want more of them. Readers are leaving fewer of them. And too many bloggers, in a panic about how to get them back, are making decisions that may discourage would-be commenters from tossing in their two cents.

9. ‘Continually or Continuously? They’re Always Getting Confused!’

Once in a while, I’ll write a grammar piece that I have to keep referring back to myself to make sure I’m doing it correctly. This was such an example.

10. ‘Have You Seen Common Core Multiplication?’

I found a video that purported to be the Common Core method of learning multiplication, and though I’m no math major, I found it to be a ridiculous way to solve a math problem that actually takes longer than the way we were taught in school. Is this an efficient way of learning?

11. ‘Why Saying ‘Mr. President’ is Not Disrespectful’

Every time a new president is elected, those on the side of the party elected starts complaining about the use of “Mr. President” as disrespectful. It isn’t.

12. ‘The Blogging Ideas Myth You Should Ditch’

There’s an assumption I think a lot of newbie bloggers make about coming up with blogging ideas that I think it’s important to dispel.

13. ‘The Problem with Kneeling Through the National Anthem’

The main issue I have with people kneeling during the National Anthem as a form of protest isn’t the issues they are protesting but the fact that too much of that message is being lost in the action itself.

14. ‘Why Don’t More Pastors Tackle Obesity?’

Pastors seem to spend a lot of time talking about sins they would likely say the people actually in their churches on any given Sunday probably aren’t committing. An example is homosexuality, which some pastors talk about incessantly, while assuming that gay people don’t come to church. But these days, if you take a look at a typical congregation, there might just be a different sin that applies to many in regular attendance…but it never seems to be discussed.

15. ‘Should Christians Really Celebrate Someone Going to Hell?’

When Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away, I saw far too many Christians acting in an unchristian manner by “celebrating” that Hefner was surely in Hell. Here’s my take on that.

16. ‘When Did the Eye Doctor Become Scarier Than the Dentist?’

I have a severe dental phobia. I always have and I still do. But in the past couple of years, I’ve noticed the eye doctor seems to be in a competition with dentists to create the most terrifying experience for patients with technology.

17. ‘Everyone Can’t Have Grown Up with a Rough Collie!’

There’s a special place in my heart for the Rough Collie, otherwise known as the “Lassie dog” in honor of the star of the Lassie TV and movie franchise. But when I take my dog out in public to the vet or a pet store, someone will invariably come up to me claiming they grew up with a Collie and always loved them.

18. ‘If Jesus Returned Today, Would We Know Him?’

If it really was Christ, and we saw Him make a dramatic, miraculous entrance, such as materializing out of thin air or descending from the clouds, that’d be one thing. But if He suddenly walked up to us and introduced Himself as the Messiah, would we accept His story as truth, or would we dismiss him as a crazy person out for attention?

19. ‘Why Battling Believers Should Ask, ‘What If I’m Wrong?’’

A post from a pastor prompted this post about conflicts on religious topics. He asked the basic question of the holier-than-thou group: “What if You’re Wrong?” It’s a very healthy question that I wish more folks were willing to ask themselves.

20. ‘Worship Pastors Need to Reconsider Church Music Volume’

One of the most controversial topics I’ve written about in the past few years has been the ever-increasing volume level of worship music in contemporary churches. I’ve received comment after comment from people who’ve felt they needed to change churches because the music was dangerously loud or who have complained to pastors only to be ridiculed for not “respecting” the musicians. It’s time worship pastors do better.

That’s my list. I hope you find something enjoyable here and I look forward to welcoming you back here in 2018!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.