Well, I made it! My first year with my own blog. I can’t tell you all how grateful I am for your readership, your interest, and your comments. Over the past year, I’ve invited various people to check out what I write, but every now and again I ask myself “Why?” Well truthfully, I want to encourage people, and I particularly want to encourage artists whose music I enjoy. But there’s a punchier (and not necessarily untrue) answer as well, which is that I’ve got a lot to say about a lot of stuff, and I want the rest of the world to know it! But then you wonder, “Am I just talking to myself? Is there anyone out there who actually gives a hoot what I think about anything?”
That’s where you come in. Every bit of positive feedback I get means something to me. It tells me I’m doing something right. It tells me someone’s reading and enjoying what he reads. And it tells me someone would be genuinely disappointed if I shut everything down. (On the other hand, constructive criticism is welcome too, with an emphasis on the constructive part. Later some time this week or next week I’ll open up a thread where you can offer comments on what you like/dislike about the blog and where you might like to see it go.)
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some special people who have graciously given of their time and support to me over this past year. They deserve to be acknowledged by name. So, in no particular order, I would like to thank…
Terry Franklin: For being, quite simply, one of the best men I know. I can’t thank you enough for your readership, your encouragement of me in my singing and writing, your time, and your friendship. I am deeply humbled and deeply grateful.
Dianne Wilkinson: For being my sweet, honorary Southern grandma. Thank you for reading, for telling me I can write songs, and for sharing your wisdom with me.
Michael Booth: For telling me that I have a purpose and that I’m fulfilling it well. And for singing a duet with me.
Kevin Williams: For being as sweet as you are hilarious. I can’t believe you actually remembered who I was and handed me free music at the Christmas Homecoming. Thanks for being my fan. I assure you the feeling is mutual.
Buddy Greene: For giving me free music, for reading, and for being the means of Steve Green leaving a comment on my blog. To know that you’re reading makes me slightly nervous but very honored as well!
Ernie Haase: For your readership and continued support. And for singing a duet with me.
The Other Signature Sound Guys: For being sweet and supportive and letting me interview you. Y’all rock.
Wendy Wills and Lyn Rowell: For being willing to go behind one of the best songs of 2011 with me. Thanks to Wendy in particular for your continued correspondence and friendship.
Jim Stover: For your enthusiastic support and encouragement. We are kindred spirits.
I also want to thank the other southern gospel bloggers who’ve allowed me to fit right in—DBM, Swain, Burke, all you guys. You make me feel cool. Special shout-out to me Irish matey across the sea, Phil. It was fun to get know you this year.
Also, a shout-out to all the artists who have sent me their music for review. Because after all, without southern gospel music, there are no southern gospel bloggers.