Today I am celebrating my ninth year blogging. On Tuesday, August 16, 2005, I posted the following post:
Today ClaudeMariottini.com took another step toward being fully functional with the addition of my blog.
Look for my posts very soon!
Later, on the same day, I wrote:
Today is my first entry. Wait for some more later.
Such a humble beginning! The first actual post, “Reaping Fruits of Joy,” was not published until August 30, 2005. That post is republished below.
Today I look back and praise the Lord for everything he has allowed me to accomplish. I also praise the Lord for you the reader, who has read my posts and offered a lot of encouragement, suggestions, best wishes, and, I have to say, a few (very few) words of criticism. I accept your words of encouragement as well as your words of disagreement. I consider these comments to be an opportunity for learning, both for me and for you.
Today, nine years later, I have published 2221 posts. My posts have been read by almost 2,000,000 people in 184 different countries. These are amazing numbers. I see these numbers as a blessing from God.
As a minister and as a professor, I doubt that I could visit all these countries and talk to all these people and share with them my love for the Old Testament. Yet, through the blessing of the Internet and by means of my blog, I am able to extend my ministry to almost all the nations of the world. Through my blog, I am fulfilling Jesus’ words to go to all nations and teach them (Matthew 28:19).
I want to thank my son JR who encouraged me to begin blogging and who served as my webmaster for a few years. Several years ago I wrote a post about JR, describing how he encouraged me with his support and his ideas. Thank you JR.
I want to express my gratitude to readers of my blog in all the 184 different countries where my blog is read. Thank you for all your support and for all your words of encouragement. If I have been able to continue blogging for nine years, it is because you have told me through your comments, your private emails, through Facebook and Twitter how much you have appreciated reading my posts.
Once again, thank you very much for visiting my blog.
And now, out of pure nostalgia, here is my first post. It is dated, I know. I am republishing my first post just out of nostalgia and for you to get an ideal of how it all began.
Reaping Fruits of Joy
(Posted August 30, 2005)
I am back! Today I returned from Louisville, Kentucky where I spent several days visiting old friends. The last time I visited Louisville was in 1983, the year I graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I spent five years at Southern Seminary working on my Ph.D. in Old Testament. While in seminary, I majored in three areas: Old Testament History, Biblical Archaeology, and Hebrew. My major professor was Dr. Joseph A. Callaway. Dr. Callaway was a great archaeologist. He spent many years digging in the ruins of the biblical city of Ai. In a future blog, I will give you a brief description of the work of my beloved professor.
During my visit to Louisville, I visited with Dr. Marvin E. Tate, a retired professor who taught Wisdom Literature at Southern. Dr. Tate is a scholar and a gentleman. When I arrived at his office at Southern Seminary, Dr. Tate was deeply involved in studying Psalm 68. Dr. Tate wrote the commentary on Psalms 51-100 in The Word Biblical Commentary series. At the present, he is revising his work in preparation for the publication of the second edition of his commentary.
Dr. Tate also wrote a supplement to the second edition of Psalms 1-50, a commentary written by Peter C. Craigie and published in the same series. Dr. Tate graciously gave me a copy of this revised commentary. I am planning to write a review of the commentary and of Dr. Tate’s supplement in October. I hope you will visit us again and read my review of Craigie’s commentary. I recommend these commentaries for your library. You can buy this book at amazon.com.
On Sunday, August 21 my wife and I worshiped at St. Matthews Baptist Church, our home church during the time we lived in Louisville. In 1978 Kentucky Baptist Convention asked me to begin a Spanish church in Louisville. St. Matthews became the sponsoring church of this new work. I began a Spanish church at St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville and another at Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff. Both churches are still active today. On Wednesday, August 24, my wife and I visited the Spanish Church and marveled at their new facilities. I was invited to teach the Bible study on the book of Nahum. I discovered that most people present that night had never read the book of Nahum.
As I think about my years as a student at Southern Seminary, I remember the words of the Psalmist: “Those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy” (Psalm 126:5). My professors sowed precious seeds in my heart and as a result, my love for the Old Testament grew. I sowed the seeds of the good news of Jesus Christ, and as a result, two churches were born. Paul said: “If you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:8-9).
So, let us sow for the glory of God.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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