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Reflections over the past year...

Updated on November 6, 2010

It seems that I have been writing here on HubPages for one whole year, which surprised me, especially as I cannot even remember how I started here or who told me about it.

So what started out as a personal account of my early life, which I never realised could or would be read by so many folk, has progressed into a rough hotchpotch of articles (118 at the last count, not including this one) which mainly have spiritual themes, and which have been read by over 20,000 people I never knew a year ago.

My religious writing started out as a way to express the things I would preach if anybody allowed me to do so... but most churches I have frequented always refrained form lending me their congregation, assessing that I just may stir things up with my quirky (but scriptural) opinions, and the fact that once I start preaching I relinquish control to the Holy Spirit, and then who knows what will come out!

No matter that I spent hours compiling notes and researching verses to use in the message, it all goes out the window when the preach starts, and that's a fact.

So welcome to my pulpit!

During this year I have made some good cyber friends and a few enemies, been banned from the forums twice, for perfectly good reasons and to my own benefit, and learned a whole lot of things from following other hubbers and being exposed to diverse thinking and explanation.

I like it here!

One thing I have not been is commercial, and I can see the difference in reads and income from the one hub I have that regularly gets searched for and read, so maybe I should start putting some commercial hubs up, but then I have been thinking of that for a while and frankly the concept of writing only to be read by morons in order to get a few bucks is just not for me.

I have also picked up some followers (readers) and as I write I am one body short of the 300 followers needed to get another 'gong'.

I almost topped it a couple of days ago, but somebody stopped following me and my score dropped, guess I upset someone in the forums.

Hopefully this hub may tip me over the top, so if you are not following me get to it now, I need YOUR vote.

On the other hand if you want to frustrate me, quit me!

Overall I have been amazed at the power that the Internet, and writing on HubPages gives one, and would never have believed that people would read, comment and interact with me in such large numbers.

Over the year a small 'band of brothers' have entered my life, as I found and was found by like minded believers, and commended, corrected, edified and exalted by those new friends.

I'm not going to start making a list, because I will surely forget someone and then others will be offended. 

But having said that, there are some writers that I follow avidly, not just as a friend but as a true follower who wants to see what they produce next.

It seems that about one in six followers actually read me, this may differ for other hubbers, but on an average I can reckon on about 50 reads before I start, and then it seems to depend on whether what I write is controversial or not.

Definitely more comments leads to more readers, as the Feed seems to function as a magnet for passer by to pick up on your hubs.

Equally the forums will normally add readers to me, if they agree with my comments, and this is a one way street normally, as my opponents will not join my ranks, whereas those who read the forums but do not post to them tend to follow those they like.

Do I have tips for hubbers?

Well, yes, but then they are already out there in my hubs so why repeat them!

One thing that has become apparent is the growing move amongst believers to openly challenge the tenets of Churchianity.

It seems that there is a widespread moving away from 'organised ' religion towards a desire to have a closer, more personal relationship with Christ.

Another aspect of the Internet has been the explosion of networking, global communications and spread of thoughts and knowledge.

Of course one of the marks of the end times will be an increase in knowledge, but a lack of understanding.... so at times it is difficult to see where the line between Gods remnant speaking out...... is separated from the apostasy that we are told will happen at this time, and indeed is clearly taking place.

When does one cross the line from a serious Berean searching for the true scriptures of Christ into a heretic chasing a new (or old) heresy?

My 'line' is drawn against pantheism, which is a classic new age, old Satanic trick to herald in the Universal Church that both the bible and Alice Bailey tell us must come about.

Most of current churchianity will fall in line with this under the flimsy description of ecumenism, which they all want, rather than unity of belief, which they cannot achieve.

I do not see that ALL roads lead to God, but equally I do not see that anyone need comply with every aspect of what our church fathers set out as official doctrine in order to be acceptable to God.

But I am sure that Christ is an essential element in being made acceptable to God.

Fifty years ago such thinking out load would have been frowned upon, five hundred years ago I could have expected to have a lingering slow death after a fast but public trial.

Fortunately our eternal future depends more on what happened two thousand years ago, and how our hearts stand today, than upon what has taken place between times.

God has always hidden His remnant inside man's churches, and for good reason they have mostly stayed hidden, carrying the torch of the testimony from one generation to the next, and being martyred whenever they spoke out against the errors and excesses of the traditional church.

Again the Internet has changed that, and nowadays it would be impossible to silence the voices of open debate and challenge that rise against churchianity.

This too seems to be part of Gods plan, that in these dark end times, when secular humanity and false religion are both heading for the inevitable showdown depicted in scripture, God has empowered His people to speak freely and cause others to think for themselves, to be able to break free from the blind acceptance of religiosity to find a way for themselves, that will bring them to hear the words "Well done my true and faithful servant".... rather than "recant or die".

No, we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater, any more than we must unthinkingly sit at the feet of our 'leaders ' and accept whatever version of the scriptures they seek to impart to us.

The day of the priest being the sole mediator between God and ourselves has long past, for we are a holy priesthood of believers, but with that freedom has also come the responsibility to study to be approved, to pick up our cross daily, to obey our Lord and Master, to show that we love Him.

So my first year on the Hub has taught me to look more closely at my beliefs, and examine the beliefs of others.... to be more certain of what I do believe, and more prepared to challenge what I see as error, be it from a brother or sister or from a pastor or cleric, and most of all to be prepared to be corrected where I am in the wrong.

Transparency is paramount in not being deceived, and I have no doubt about my sinfulness, for the evidence is shown me daily.

I sin less than I did before I came to faith, but like Paul, I still do what I do not wish to do, and fail to do what I do wish to do.

My guideline for acceptable practise has long been to examine whether whatever I am feeling convicted about would be acceptable behaviour or conduct if I did it in front of the congregation one Sunday.

That may not be totally scriptural, but it's a sure fire way to see for yourself where you are drifting towards, if you can ignore the inner doubts about how they would react!

So gentle reader, thank you if you have stayed with me this far, I hope to produce some interesting hubs that you can enjoy or take something away from in the next year, God willing.

And thank you for your inspiration, education, edification and conviction as I have read your hubs, long may we continue fellowshipping together, in unity and truth.


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    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Well thanks again DJ, and you are right, it is humbling to know that you are being read worldwide, and a call to accountability as well.

      Like I said, the churches I have belonged to would never let me preach (or not often, too disruptive to their comfort zones) whereas since joining the Hub, I have reached more folk than I ever could from a pulpit!

      God surely does move in mysterious ways!

      Thanks again.


    • aka-dj profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      A bit late for me to congratulate you, but I just wanted to leave a comment so you'd k now I read this hub.

      I don't know about you, but I personally cherish all comments. It humbles me sometimes to think people from all over the world actually read stuff I write. Amazing.

      U gather, you feel a little likewise.

      Enjoyed it. Wish you well for the future.

    • UlrikeGrace profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      AS ever your hubs challenge me and encourage me to think for myself and read for myself what the word does say! Thank wasn't till just a few years ago that I learned that God did not ask me to park my brain when I got saved, but it has taken me awhile to relearn how to use it! Blessings to you my brother, I always enjoy (?smile) your insights and fresh perspectives. Ulrike Grace

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks James, glad the stats work the same for both of us, but you have many more followers!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      I loved reading this story, your story, John. I especially liked this bit of wisdom:

      "My guideline for acceptable practise has long been to examine whether whatever I am feeling convicted about would be acceptable behaviour or conduct if I did it in front of the congregation one Sunday."

      That ought to keep you straight! :-)

      It is great that you have grown in your faith during this past year, and made so many new friends.

      I think only about one out of six "followers" read my Hubs, generally.

      God Bless You Brother!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks DH, I follow you with avid interest as well!

    • Disappearinghead profile image


      10 years ago from Wales, UK

      Congrats John for collecting so many gongs in just one year. I find many of your hubs inspiring and full of original thought. You were one of my first followers and definately have been an encouragement.

      In hubpages I have found a wonderful community of believers in Christ who do not conform to the expect norms of church. I've been here for nearly a year myself and can quite honestly say I've learnt more here than sitting in church after 25years.

      I'm unable to spend as much time here as I would like or to read all the hubs of all the people follow.

      Keep up the good work John. I look forward to another year of your hubs.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks WoC, you too are an inspiration in the forums!

    • Woman Of Courage profile image

      Woman Of Courage 

      10 years ago

      Comgratulations Brother on your one year success as a Hubwriter. Your hubs are a inspiration to me. God bless you!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks Dusty, your appreciation means a lot to me, as I count you to be a new found friend and brother.

      Not seen much of you recently, to busy securing the compound I guess!

      You are always welcome here if things get too controlled over there...


    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      10 years ago from Arizona

      Hi John,

      I'm sneaking up on my 23rd month and it has been interesting to say the least. I'm glad you are here and we've crossed paths, you've set some good examples. So hang around I'm looking for your second year hub, God willing. Much Peace and Love and many Blessings, dusty

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks Dave,

      It's a joy to dwell amongst brothers and sisters in unity.


    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      10 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      AguaSilver,John my brother: Congratulations on achieving a whole year as a Hub writer. I wish you many more. As a Christian Hub writer I see everyday as both a learning and a growing experience both personally and spiritually, although my persona growth seems to regress at times, my spiritual growth is in leaps and bounds.

      A lot of this growth is from you John, and your keeping me in check with my hubs. Thank you Bro.

      Brother Dave.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      10 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Congratulations on your success ere at HubPages even though it's all for the glory of God. I also see you're up to 303 followers. Great work!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thank heart... next stop 500!

    • heart4theword profile image


      10 years ago from hub

      Congratulations! I have enjoyed reading many of your hubpages:) So glad you are here and express your voice! Love the cake:) Great job, You already gained the few followers you needed, to take you over the top!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Ah the wonders of Photoshop!

      Thanks, we all 'evolve', when you stop 'evolving' you start dying!


    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image


      10 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      hey AS...congrats!...i'm hoping my writing evolves too...not sure where, but i'll evolve as I go...

      I love the birthday cake with your eye in it! :)

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain


      As ever sparkling and succinct, and mostly correct!

      I had considered another 'commercial' account, but I'm not sure I can 'do' commercial what with all the back linking and stuff that you need to do, besides my Father owns cattle on a thousand hillsides!

      My 'preaching' is strictly limited to an audience who can leave my 'church' with one click of the mouse, and is in effect a place for me to vent my frustrations and establish my thoughts.

      My thoughts have changed over the year I have been here, and (yes I admit) you have been instrumental in getting me to think more about issues and beliefs, for when you are not simply being acerbic, you offer much valued food for though.

      Thanks for the congratulations, and no, we will not argue today!


      ...and no I would never hold a matchbox!

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 

      10 years ago

      Hey John,

      Congratulations on 301 fans and a year here. Couple of things:

      If you lose a fan what is more likely than they quit your fan club is they got banned, left the site for whatever reason - but they will automatically be removed if their account is deleted. Most people are lazy and would probably not go to the trouble of quitting a fan club.

      If you are wanting to make some money (I know money is tight everywhere unless you own a bank or a church or work for the Government Inc)- and I think I suggested this to UG when he wrote asking me about this - you could always set up another account and not have any association with your "personal" account - I have several. That way you can preach to your heart's content without being seen to sell out?

      And as far as your "preaching" goes - and please do not feel you have to answer this question - I don't want to cause a fight - I did want to congratulate you - but perhaps it would be worth a few moments consideration.

      Does it not bother you how divisive and confrontational your beliefs are? you talk of "drawing lines" and "not ALL roads being acceptable to god" and "martyrs" "dark end times".

      Don't you see you are holding yourself up as the priest - and in fact - rather than being burned 500 years ago - this is the sort of thinking that would have made you the one with the match box?

      Just a thought.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Good policy....

      Luke 21:36

      Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things [taken together] that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.

      In fact actual instructions for escaping ALL these things!

      Thanks for reading...


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      10 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I enjoyed reading your hub. I find the more i read, the more i learn. I don,t belong to any mega church, but i believe in God and pray to go to heaven.

      Love and Peace

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      I think we should just allow the Holy Spirit to lead us.

      I’m studying Matthews and the other gospels written by the disciples once again thoroughly, for throughout the years it has been interpret by others just the way they wanted to interpret it. Paul was actually the first culprit, ignoring many of Jesus’s action and deeds, or presented it in a way that could clearly be understood by the Corinths and those other pagan nations.

      Anyway, we always found ourselves in one of the many grades in the School of God, better known as Life. Some of us found ourselves in Grade five while others are in Grade nine, etc. Therefore it is pointless to argue with each other. We never know what others know what we still have to learn. We can only trust God, and truly demonstrate to others what we have learned – to make it easier for them to understand whenever they reach the stage where they have to learn what we know.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      But that is just the point, the more believers writing the more the unsaved will be chanced to read the truth, and those who are trapped in false religion released.

      By all means make money, nothing wrong in that, but maybe 'donate' a few hubs that the Holy Spirit has given you to write.

      God pays better than adsense anyhow!

      Thanks for commenting...


    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      10 years ago from USA

      This was an excellent hub and you voiced many things I believe. I started here to write Christian hubs and have ended up making several money making ones. I need to get back to writing the Christian ones, but feel like their are so many Christian writers here that I don't have anything new of value to add.

    • DavePrice profile image


      10 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      Dang it, you took the words right outta my mouth, and now I have nothing to say; my career at the Hub is over. Wait, no, I still have all those New Age, agnostic, athiests following me, maybe I still have a future. Between you and Unchained Grace I can't get an original thought into the mix. So I guess I'll just sit here in the pew and continue to be properly preached to. You're a good one, despite all attempts to disquise it, and I for one am proud to call myself a fan.

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Like you, I've been a member of HP for almost a year, though in my case, I joined up and then a month or two went by before I actually came back to write something.

      For a short bit, I tacked on some Amazon Ads and then looked back and figured it looked like I was selling out God's Word (which I wasn't) so I quit doing it. Anyway, I also quit caring about Hub Score after a while and focused instead on waiting on the Lord for a message He wanted me to write.

      So, like you, here I am after about a year or so. I have only 47 or so Hubs and I don't even deal with Romper Room in the Forums. I did for a minute, but I figured it may be more productive for me to stand in front of the Primate Cage at the zoo and watch the monkeys sling crap at each other. While the entertainment value might be about even, it might be fun at least.

      So, John, here we is. Clowns to the left of us. Jokers to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the middle with who?

      Nice Hub.


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