I’ve Missed You

missing-youI was looking through this blog today.  I know it’s a bit narcissistic since I write it, but it was more like a trip down memory lane.  Every once and while something will pop up in the most unexpected place linking back to an article from this site that I wrote years ago.  As I reread those article, I begin to reminisce about the “glory days” of Dad in the Middle.  There was a time when I was publishing six to seven posts a week here on the site – articles about children’s ministry and being a dad and things I was learning about God.  I have made life long friendships through this blog and other online activity.  I’ve launched, and shut down, a collaborative blog which fed a need for a short time and has sparked relationships that I rely on weekly (if not daily) for advice and encouragement.  The audience that started here at Dad in the Middle has afforded me the opportunity to follow God’s call into a whole new area of ministry – ministering to children of divorce.  These days Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and I Am A Child of Divorce take up the bulk of my writing time as that is where God has led me.

As I scanned through Dad in the Middle this morning, I realized that new visitors would be more likely to think this is a site about Biblical Prophecy than family life and children’s ministry – the result of a series I wrote years ago whose final installment (#116) will be published next Monday.  That article will represent the 915th article published on this site.  And, I realized something about myself.  I miss this site.  I miss sharing what I am learning about God, about being a Dad about teaching kids about God.  I miss the community and interaction that grew out of it.  But, things have changed too.  I don’t have the time I had when I first started Dad in the Middle in Summer of 2008.  In fact, the pace I had myself on eventually led to burn out and an intentionally scaled back scheduled when it comes to blogging and online activity.  So, I can’t go back there.  That wasn’t a healthy place.  So, wherein do I find the balance.

Here’s the plan!  Dad in the Middle will be back, and it will be back as I had originally intended it.  I will talk about the things that are most important to me.  Some of those may be of interest to other people – some will not, and that’s ok.  I will not, by the grace of God, allow it to become a chore again where I strive to meet some sort of posting schedule or perceived need.  That is a recipe for disaster.  And, I will not let it interfere with what I believe to be the ministry given to me by God – to minister to children of divorce and their families.  Instead, I intend to take Dad in the Middle back to it’s roots – a place for me to write about the things that are most important to me – God, my family and ministry.  That might mean one post a week, or it might mean one post per month.  I leave all of that up to God.

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And the Winner of the Free Orange Ticket is…

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Wow! 57 entries.  That officially makes this the biggest giveaway I’ve ever done.  After spending hours entering everyone’s name into a random list generator, the winner of the free ticket to the 2012 Orange conference is:

Jennifer Bunker

Congratulations Jennifer, please e-mail me your e-mail address and mailing address to wayne@kidmin1124.com, and I will make sure that the fine folks at Orange get you hooked up. 

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Dad in the Middle Makes the Top 100

Browse the top 100 children's ministry blogs below...Tony Kummer over at Ministry-to-Children.com has once again compiled his listing of the Top 100 children’s ministry blogs on the internet.  Last year, it was exciting when Dad in the Middle came in 13th.  I’ve always said that Dad in the Middle wasn’t about numbers, and I would be happy if one person was blessed by what I put out there.  The inclusion in the Top 100 was edifying in knowing that God was working through the blog to reach other people.  Frankly, there are lots of great kidmin blogs out there, and it was an honor to be listed among them.  A portion of last year’s ranking was based on frequency of posts, and I was churning them out at Dad in the Middle with posts roughly six days a week (excluding Twitter digests and automatic posts). 

This year, on January 18, I announced that I would be taking a break from regular blogging on the site in an article titled A Sabbath Rest and A Spiritual Battlefield (My Plans for the Future).  At the time, I wasn’t sure how long that sabbatical would be, but I knew that I would not get back to a six post per week schedule anytime soon.  Since January 18, I have published a grand total 36 posts (approximately 6 of which were related to Kidmin March madness, and four of which were for last week’s Orange Week).  That’s less than 1 article per week, and frankly there were times where I published nothing for months at a time.

So, when Tony released the new list this year, I expected Dad in the Middle to drop significantly (perhaps even fall off the list).  Instead, much to my surprise, Dad in the Middle was actually ranked:

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Help Me Win This

imageSo, last week I spent a lot of time asking for your vote to get through the first round of Kidmin Blog March Madness, and you guys made it happen.  For that, I want to say thank you.  We’re now in the second round with the top four blogs from each region.  There are some real heavy hitters and networkers included in the field, so I need all the help I can get.  It also turns out that the winner gets a new Ipad 2.  There were clues and hints about it, but I wasn’t bright enough to figure it out myself.  I was just shamelessly promoting the blog for the fun of it, but now it’s gotten serious.

Here is what I need from you.  Round 2 runs all this week.  Go right now to http://ministry-to-children.com/kids-ministry-bm2011-second/ and

Vote for Dad in the Middle (in the East) and Kidmin1124 (in the West).

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Have You Voted for Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124 yet (aka More Shameless Self-Promotion)

Well, I spent a good portion of yesterday trying to encourage people to visit Kids Ministry Blog Madness 2011 over on Ministry-to-Children.com and vote for:

  • Dad in the Middle (3rd Seed in the East); and
  • Kidmin1124 (7th Seed in the West).

I’ve posted on facebook.  I’ve written articles.  I’ve commented on other people’s articles.  I piggybacked on other people’s facebook posts.  Then I learned something I wasn’t aware of.  There is apparently a prize for this things, and it MIGHT be something nice.  So, I feel the need to…..ramp up the shameless promotion (did you think I was going somewhere else with that?).  I thought to myself, “Self, what would be so shameless yet so irresistible that people couldn’t help but vote for Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124.  So, I recorded Nathan (my three year old):

If you can resist that, you are clearly cold and heartless.  You don’t want to be that, so go vote today! Smile Love you guys!  Thanks for the help!

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Vote Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124 (aka It’s On Like Donkey Kong)!

imageIt is that time again!  Ministry-to-Children.com is running their annual children’s ministry March Madness competition!  Last year, Dad in the Middle made it through the first round and actually finished second in our division in the sweet sixteen.  It took a lot of shameless self-promotion, but I was pretty excited about it.  So, the time has come again, and despite my sabbatical for the last couple of month, Dad in the Middle is part of the competition once again.  This year we have some pretty steep competition.  We are in the Third seed in the East Regional up against such great competition as Sam Luce, Matt McKee, Jamie Doyle, and many others.  We’re also in the same division at huge publishers like Group’s Children’s Ministry Magazine and Lifeway.  So, we’re going to need all the help we can get.

Go HERE and vote for Dad in the Middle (3rd Seed, Eastern Regional) NOW!

You won’t regret it.  Oh, and since I won’t interrupt the mission of Kidmin1124.com to promote their inaugural appearance in the competition, make sure to vote for them too (7th Seed, Western Region).  Let’s set up a showdown between Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124 in the finals!

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