2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

LifeinMordor.com Going Away

No, not the blog, just the domain name. I still has aspirations of posting here every once in a while, but I’m tired of paying for the domain name and domain mapping. So, after 1 March LifeinMordor.com will be no more.

The archives will still be available @ lifeinmordor.wordpress.com and your RSS reader should be fine*, but any links will be dead.

Update: It happened sooner than I had anticipated.

Update 2: If you want to get new posts via RSS, you must resubscribe. Otherwise, you won’t get any more posts.

*I just made that up, I really don’t know.

Life in Mordor on Facebook

For a while now, Life in Mordor has had a Facebook page, but I haven’t done much with it except put links to all the new posts. If you are on Facebook and would like a little reminder of when we put up a post, by all means follow us. I also just put up a “like” button, but because WP.com won’t let us install plugins or run code, it’s kind of a kludgy implementation. Don’t worry though, clicking on the link won’t do anything harmful, it’s just an extra step we have go through in order to get it working.

Beyond just putting up posts, I would like to use Facebook a little more effectively. At the fan page, we have an option to post photos, which I think would be quite useful for submitting funny church signs. Basically, if you find a funny sign, upload it to our page, and if it gets a few likes, we’ll post it over here. So, if you’re interested in Life in Mordor and Facebook (which, admittedly, is a very small number), follow us and become part of the community.

It’s About Time

It’s been one year since my friend Gary got sick with what turned out to be leukemia.  The day of Gary’s funeral last December, Michael Spencer was diagnosed with cancer as well.  This was the beginning of a bad year for our ministry as a whole and myself in particular.  At the same time my dad was diagnosed with melanoma.  The days, weeks, months were stressful, but I had no time for asking God all my questions.  The workload doubled up for many of us, and I was well beyond “burnt out” by the end of the school year.  I had to deal with all of these issues and work more hours doing a bigger job than ever before.  Okay, enough pity party.

Spencer pass away in April, my dad followed in June.  I’m just now getting back into a good place.  My job responsibilities have normalized, and I again enjoy attending our chapel services.  I’m writing blog posts again with some regularity, although not as often as before.  So, it’s about time that I started reading all the blogs I recommend on my blogroll, and leaving comments so that people know I’m still with them.  It’s about time that I submitted to Life in Mordor like I said I would when Mike took me on.  There is a time to morn, a time to heal, and now I feel it’s time to get back to the people and blogs that used to consume my time (in a good way).

I guess what I’m trying to say, when you boil it all down, is this: I’m back.  I used to post 3 or more times a week on The Master’s Table.  I used to read about a dozen blogs and comment on each one.  I had a regular following, and was a regular follower of several blog friends, people that I only knew online.  I had a tough few months there, and was surprised at how long it took me to recover after I thought it was over.  Thank you God for healing mercies, and you know what?  It’s about time.

Who is Joe Derbes?

Hello Life in Mordor readers,

My name is Joe Derbes, and I am new around these parts.  Allow me to share a little about myself and how I came to find this place.

Last weekend I attended the memorial service for Michael Spencer–first, because he meant a lot to me as a Christian writer and blogger; second, because I am in a season of life where I can take off on a road trip to eastern Kentucky at a moment’s notice if I wish to.  While there, I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Clark Bunch.  In perusing his blog I found out about Life in Mordor, saw the “Help Wanted” sign, and decided to drop in and apply.  So here I am.

And now for a little about myself:

My name, as I have previously mentioned, is Joe Derbes.  I currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia.  I am not a native ATL-ien, but I guess I’ve lived here long enough to count as one.  I am the worst kind of Georgia fan there is.  Lewis Grizzard always used to say, “I’m Bulldog born, Bulldog bred, and when I die I’ll be by God, Bulldog dead.”  But I’ve got him beat cold.  I’m a Dawg fan by choice.  I am a very fair-weather fan of the Atlanta professional sports franchises.  I love to sing along with Milli Vanilli–all I have to do is mouth the words and I sound just like them.  My idea of aromatherapy is to stand in the kitchen or out by the grill and smell a nice, juicy steak cooking.

I am currently in school at Kennesaw State University in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta.  This is not my first tour of duty as a college student.  I attended college at the University of Georgia back in the early 90’s, and after graduating, moved back to Atlanta where I worked for several years at a small document management company.  After being laid off, I decided to re-embrace the role of college student.  Initially I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, and so I studied education.  However, there are certain issues in my life (which you can read about here on my blog, if you are interested), and these issues led to a crazy chain of events which ultimately forced me to give up on my desire to be a teacher.  I am now studying accounting.

I have a blog, called “Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion“.  Feel free to stop by and check it out if you wish to get an idea of the sort of things which catch my fancy.  I blog about pretty much anything and everything, because it is a big, wide world out there, and there is nothing which deserves to go unblogged.  Here, however, my posts will be strictly of Christian interest, and perhaps some reviews of books that I find interesting.

I look forward to interacting with all of you out there, and I am grateful to Mike Frizzell for giving me the opportunity.

I Just Work Here

“Welcome to Life in Mordor.  My name is Clark, and I will be your blogger today.”

Mike was looking for a little help.  This blog, in his own words, had been languishing for a while and he just couldn’t let it die.  I came inside with the help wanted sign, told him I spoke English and owned a computer, and boom!  I’m the new guy.  Perhaps he could use another hand or two; send him a message if you want on board.  (I don’t know anything, I just work here.)

In all seriousness I would like to introduce myself and share just a bit on who I am and what I believe.  My name is Clark Bunch and I also author a blog entitled The Master’s Table.  I will not be putting up the same posts here and over there (cross posting) but a quick look at my blog should make a few things clear real quick.  I have a sense of humor, but take the Bible very seriously.  I believe every sermon should in some way at some point share the Gospel.  You can be a lunatic that enjoys every minute of life, but everything about a Christian’s life should be God honoring and Christ centered.  I have another blog (called My Other Blog) where I rant, blog the news, weather and sports, put up funny pics and jokes, etc.  The Master’s Table is about Christianity and theology, My Other Blog is about everything else cause it’s a big world that just can’t go unblogged.

I usually don’t talk about me.  The next time I post the topic will be Holy Week, or comparing Jesus to Melchizadek, or Biblical exposition or some such as that.  And if you want in on this gig, drop Mike a line; you know you can’t simply blog into Mordor.

Halloween Week

Next week I am going to devote this blog to Halloween. Barring any unforeseen problems (like death, the robot revolt, apathy, and the like) I will post every day on my love for Halloween and why you should love it too.

Also, I know that I said I’m going to quit blogging, but sometimes you have to stand up for what’s right. Which apparently includes rebelling against my fundamentalist upbringing and spitting in Jack Chick’s face.

Meanwhile, enjoy this, my all-time favorite thing in the world:

Beware Pumpkin Head Satan

Beware Pumpkin Head Satan

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Update 2: Never mind, I take it back.

Update: you may see some posts here from time to time that were originally posted at my posterous site. I really like posting over there, and if it’s pertinent, I’ll put it up here, too.

This is an announcement a long time in the coming: Life in Mordor is going to die. This summer taught me a few things, the gist of which is that I have to quit blogging here. First, it’s becoming increasingly clear that I just don’t care about this stuff anymore. I care more about fiddling with the template and doing minor PHP stuff that no one will ever notice than blogging about Christianity in this world. I started this blog (way back in the Blogger days) in order to sort out my Christian journey, but I just don’t have the passion I once did. I’ll never write posts like this again.

Second, while I write this blog mainly for myself, it’s very clear that no one is actually reading this. I spend more time here fighting spam than conversing with other people. Why not just write in a journal and be done with it? As I said, my audience is me, but it is nice knowing that people like your work and are edified/inspired by it or are angered by it.

I don’t want to say that I’m completely giving up on Life in Mordor, I still might post some funny church signs, but for the foreseeable future I’m not going to post. I reserve the right to come back, but don’t count on it.

In the meantime, I do spend some time Twittering, I put up links over here, and I do some history blogging over here.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Comment Ratings

commentratingI just added a new feature on the blog: comment ratings. Basically, at the end of every comment, you will see little thumbs up or thumbs down icons. If you like the comment and you feel it contributes to the conversation, then click thumbs up; if you think the comment is in poor taste, is off topic, or for any reason just don’t like the comment, then give it a thumbs down.

When a comment has two or more negative ratings, it will be hidden, although you can click on it and read it. (Similar to Digg’s commenting system.) I’m putting this in, not because I want to censor legitimate conversations, but because I think the crowd can do a good job of policing what is helpful and what is not.

Of course, we haven’t had many good conversations here lately, so this might all be a moot post.