Blog Month: Who’s In Your Reader?

October 15, 2010

Today on Blog Month, I don’t want to talk about my blog.

Look, I know this isn’t the only blog you read.  My blog is the required curriculum, but there’s a lot of extra-curricular enrichment to be found.  The fact is, I’m able to keep blogging because of all the other blogs I read.  Other blogs are like blogging steroids.

So today’s lesson is: if you want to be a better blogger, read more blogs.  And don’t just read the big blogs.  Read the little guys too.  Just because someone doesn’t have any readers, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a secret diamond.  Two years ago, a few people took a chance on me even though no one was reading, and I’d like to think it paid off for them and me.

Here’s a few people who are in my blog reader, both big and small, Christian and non-Christian.  Go get yourself some new blogs, and tell us what you are reading! 

The Christian Blogs

The Humor Blogs: Jon Acuff at Stuff Christians Like is pretty much the original Christian humor blogger, and he was kind enough to let me guest post for him several times when I was just starting out.  It’s been about a year since my last guest post, but I’m hoping to change that soon.  If you like SCL, make sure you’re following Bryan Allain, who always makes me laugh.  Plus, he’s just down to earth and a nice guy in person.  His card says he’s the Michael Jordan of humor blogging…baseball Michael Jordan.

The Doubting Blogs: Rachel Held Evans is bold and fearless, and I love her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town.  Plus, she’s just announced a new book that she’s writing.  Much like The Year of Living Biblically, she’ll be attempting to follow the Bible’s commandments for women down to the letter for a year.  Good luck with all that.  And if you enjoy reading Rachel’s thoughts on doubt, Jason Boyett recently moved blog platforms and is now with Belief Net, but he’s talking more than ever about doubting instead of belief on his blog, O Me of Little Faith.  He is the one reason I would ever move to Texas.

The Sarcastic Blogs: Matthew Paul Turner has only gotten better the longer I read his blog, Jesus Needs New PR.  He’s a former fundie kid crying out for reason in the church.  Plus, I don’t know where he finds some of the stories and Jesus pictures he features, but they will make you cringe at what Christian culture is truly capable of.  If you like MPT, check out the guys at American Jesus.

The Culture and Media Blogs: Brad Ruggles always has some interesting story to share, and he’s the one who organizes the Bloggers Meetup at Catalyst each year.  If you like Brad, check out Justin Wise at Be Deviant.  Not only is he in Des Moines, making him probably my closest blogging neighbor, but he writes a good blog about Christian culture and social media.

The Lady Blogs: Anne Jackson’s blog is inspiring, even when she’s not updating it.  I know I cannot say that about my blog.  Because I cannot write like a lady.  If you like Flower Dust, check out Alece Ronzino at Grit and Glory and Lindsey Nobles.

The Current Events Blog: Todd Rhoades at Monday Morning Insight has kept this blog afloat a number of times.  There have been days where I just don’t know what to write.  A quick visit to MMI, and I have a selection of controversial Christian current events to choose from.  Subscribe to that blog, but beware, you may be able to start predicting what I’m going to write about once in a while.

The Hilarious Non-Christian Blogs

Not Always Right is a blog about idiotic customers.  The customer is always wrong, and this blog always makes me laugh.

And just because I’m a huge nerd, I love The “Blog” of “Unneccesary” Quotation Marks.  It’s full of photos hilariously misused quotation marks.  It makes me wonder if half the people out there failed third grade English.  Here’s a note, if you’re confused.  They should not be used in place of underlining, italicizing, parentheses, exclamation marks, or anything other than a “quotation.”  Hence the name “quotation marks.”

Oddly Specific is basically full of pictures of inadvertantly hilarious signage.  If you like that, Friends of Irony is also good.  Because the internet was always meant to broadcast everyone’s failures.

And I’m sad to say that one of my favorite funny blogs just ended its run, but it’s still worth a read.  Check out The Problem with Young People if you want to get into the mind of curmudgeony eighty-nine year old Donald Mills.  Disclaimer if you are easily offended, or at work: the language is PG-13.

The Bandwagon

Besides that, I’m surrounded by a bunch of blog friends who’ve been reading, encouraging, sometimes helping me out when I get in a bind, many of them for two years now.  They’ve all got blogs of their own.  Seriously, if you are short on blog friends, connect with these people, and you will be in good company.  They are all cool people who I drop in on regularly.

Kathy, Shark Bait, Helen, Stephanie, Candy, Sherri, Joanna, Jason, not to be confused with this Jason, John, Kyle, Jonathan, Loren, David, Annie, Brian, Billy, Glenn, TonyPeter, and Paul.

I’ve got a bunch of other blogs in my reader, but it’s time to hear from you.  What does your blog reading routine consist of?

47 responses to Blog Month: Who’s In Your Reader?

  1. Webcomics: xkcd and doghouse diaries

    Christian big ones: 22 Words, CJ Mahaney, Cross-eyed, Christ is Deeper Still, Desiring God, DeYoung, Donald Miller, Noel Piper, On Earth as it is in Heaven, Parchment and Pen, The Pipers (I basically stalk their entire family through their blogs…), The Resurgence, CCEF

    Christian people I know: Soma, Sycamore, The Strasbourg Inn, and family members’ blogs

  2. Well, Matt, I scanned your lists and posting here twice, three times, and still I don’t see my name in blue highlight!

    Ok, be that way.

    My blog does not qualify as a Lady Blog (although I once knew a lady), nor as a humor blog (although some people laugh at me), nor as a Doubting blog (although I doubt all the time)… Where does my blog fit on your list?

    I feel left out.

    Maybe you need another category…. Maybe, Blogs In Poor Taste… I’d head the blue-highlighted list in that one.

    But, though I feel neglected at not being included as one of your Blogs Worth Reading, I’m accustomed to typing on air. Why should you read my blog? Millions and millions of people don’t. Why, even my beautiful wife of 44 years does not read my blog postings; she says she’s heard me ramble on long enough in real life. But she encourages me to keep writing; she says at least it keeps me off the streets.

    I almost always enjoy your postings and check for updates each morning. You make me think. You make me laugh. You let me have fun. You’re on my list.


  3. Dear Mr. Matt Appling.

    Thank you for the linkage, and even more for the kind words.

    I agree, it’s great having funny blog friends who are easy to talk to and challenge you to do your stuff well. thanks for doing that.

    Bryan Richard Allain I

  4. I like Glynn Young’s blog ( He does a little of everything…book reviews…personal stories…but what I really enjoy is his poetry.

    I every one that you listed I read, so…yeah…I guess I kinda have good taste…

  5. I read most of the big blogs you linked above, but will be checking out your friends’ blogs also.

    I adore Jamie Wright’s blog: She is hilarious and honest and just delightful. Anyone who is’t reading her is missing out big time.

    My friend Billy Williams works for Nuru International ( and his blog is really great. You can find it at

    Because my husband is an atheist, I do read a couple of atheist blogs. My favorite is Hemant Mehta’s blog. While I (obviously) have some differences of opinion with Hemant, we’ve had some nice conversations and his blog has challenged me more than once to BE Jesus, not just talk about Him.

    And for sheer hilarity, nothing beats for me. I get my daily dose of happy from them.

    Thanks for doing this. I love, love, love finding new things to read!

    • I love her blog too. And how did I not know your husband is an atheist? I think we need to start communicating via email or smoke signals or something. :) Too bad we aren’t in the same city. We would be dangerous together.

  6. Okay, here goes:

    O Me of Little Faith
    Jesus Needs New PR

    Coffee with Games – – This is my friend’s blog who does Nintendo stats and other various video game news. – Blog by Hugh McLeod about creativity. – Seth Godin’s blog about work as an art. – A super talented illustrator, check out his latest stuff that he did for an Alice in Wonderland book. He also does Mario and Zelda pieces every Friday. – Blog about winning with money and living a frugal life so you can retire with 5 million. – Blog by writers digest to help with writing, writer’s block, etc.

    And of course,!

    Here’s my shameless plug. My blog is

  7. Well, you’re in my reader, does that count? Plus, we’re almost neighbors, too. You’re one of my favorites because your blog is like blog salad and I like salad. We share a lot of the same favorites, including BeDeviant. God put Justin in the right place in the right time and he has a special place in my heart that I’ll bet he doesn’t even recall because it was several years ago. He played an important part in my life when it comes to softening hearts for Jesus and I will be forever grateful.

    Sarah, aka Gitzengirl ( is one I never miss. Choosing joy, writing beautifully, and yes, Riley her blog dog.

  8. I know that you think that ALL I do is blog and comment – you said so yourself. 😉

    Here is my list of most frequented blogs – I never miss reading a post.

    Though I find them offensive most of the time – I make a weekly visit to these to see how team Jesus is doing.

    Good luck to Rachel – I hope she doesn’t pick and choose the commandments as the author of The Year of Living Biblically did. I found that a little disappointing because the book sounded interesting I went and purchased it.

    And thanks for the link, and one of my most favorite blogs!

  9. I don’t want to list specific blogs because I’m afraid it would be like the time Jennifer Aniston accepted a Golden Globe award and all anybody remembered was that she thanked everyone in the world except Brad. That’s when we all first suspected it was over for them. I don’t want to leave a glaring omission.

    I do read a variety though – young bloggers, middle-aged bloggers, married bloggers, single bloggers, in-the-midst-of-a-divorce bloggers, Christian bloggers, agnostic bloggers, political bloggers, apolitical bloggers, liberal bloggers, conservative bloggers, topical bloggers, and random stream-of-consciousness bloggers.

    I don’t necessarily agree with all of the writers whose blogs I read, but each helps me to gain a better understanding of how other people feel, and how they have reached their own conclusions.

  10. Sweet Annie’s Kitchen

    She combines life and cooking. She’s sweet and the pictures are mouth watering.


    This blog is hilarious!!! One of the best, funny, real and authentic Christian blogs I read.

  12. My picks of great blogs –

    I love Bianca Juarez’s blog over at

    I’m loving what TentBlogger is turning out to be

    And I can’t believe no one has mentioned Don Miller’s blog – he posts some really thought-provoking stuff on there

    They are all the ones I would utterly recommend without question – there is some great stuff out there though.

    Thanks for this series – I’m really enjoying it

    • I didn’t get to say hi to Bianca at the Bloggers Meetup last week, but I did catch sight of her from across the room. Don Miller is good. And holy cow, Tent Blogger is another John Saddington project I didn’t know about. That guy is running approximately 27 sites and blogs at the moment I think.

  13. Thanks so much for the shout-out, Matt.

    This is a good list! I’m happy to have added some new blogs to my Reader.

    Some others that come to mind: Jesus Creed (Scot McKnight), The Very Worst Missionary (Jamie Wright), The Church of No People (YOU!

    I’ve recently added some homemaking blogs to my reader. :-)

  14. I so love this types of posts because they open a newish blogger like me to a world of new insights!! Thanks for posting!!

  15. If you have a well-developed sense of humor, Go to Hyperbole and a Half at
    I laughed so hard I cried.

    Come visit me at

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Grace and Peace


  16. in the realm of youth ministry, which is where I currently find myself – tim schmoyer (lifeinstudentministry) and wesley (marathonyouthministry) are both good, quality reads.

  17. Have you ever checked out

    It’s totally AWESOME!
    (btw, it’s not my blog, I just like it and want to rep’ it).

  18. Great timing… I had just asked a bunch of my friends to send me their best blog recommendations, for exactly the reason you give here.

    I started reading “I am Lazarus… and Others” ( because he posted a comment on TCONP. Apparently, I was the only person besides his friend Joe who had ever commented on his blog, because the next post was all about my comment! We now read one another’s blogs regularly, and I love his insights. I hope he gets a lot more comments now!

    I must say I scanned your lists for my name, but I’ll cope with being left out. Eventually. Sniff sniff. sniff…

  19. dude, thanks for the link.
    it was so great meeting you finally!

  20. Ashamed to admit that I don’t really have a blog reader. My blog reading is more or less seasonal. I bounce around a lot of different blogs, depending on my mood and maybe the direction of the wind. Here are a few that I’m enjoying lately: (of course) (Full disclosure: I edit and contribute to this site, but I still love reading it.)

    Shameless plug:

  21. In addition to MANY of the above-mentioned blogs (from Christian to webcomic), I’d toss a few science/non-fiction blogs:

    Science and the Sacred:
    Information is beautiful:
    The News in (Big) Photographs:
    Visual Science:

    And, winner of the 2010 National Academies Communication Award, and the blogger I would most like to emulate (sorry Matt ;)– Not Exactly Rocket Science:

    Partly by your Blog Month, I’ve been inspired to start up my own blog for science/faith ruminations. Thanks for your ever-entertaining posts! :)

  22. Matt:

    See – posts like this are a mixed blessing. On the one had, I discover new blogs to write which encourage me as a person, and may even make me laugh a little.

    On the other hand, they (of course) make me compare and contrast what *I* put out on my blog to what others have written, and I’m left at times with a desire to just delete my blog, throw my laptop under an electromagnet, and take a job with the power company cutting down trees or something…

    Two blogs of note: – a site any parent can sympathize with. It also make me appreciate just having ONE kid. – run by my friend Bryan, where he debriefs and processes through the enjoyment of having a mobile, multi-site church.

    Perpetually crossing the line between humility and insecurity

    • I so completely agree with you! I see all of these blogs and then want to give it up when I go back to mine! I try to focus on the inspiration factor…I see what others have built and hope for the same for me. It’s a bit overwhelming, regardless. Glad I’m not the only one that feels this way!

    • I totally agree. The way I have to look at other blogs is that they make me want to be a better blogger. :)

  23. I am currently blogging through my blog roll, but my favorite all time blog is View from the Basement, which closed down about 2 years ago.

  24. These are on my favorites list!

    Holly Furtick
    Steven Furtick
    Los Whit (Ragamuffin Soul)
    Whittaker Woman
    Mark Batterson
    Perry Noble
    Godly Sheep
    Bryan Allain
    billy coffey

    And I follow links to no telling how many others. If they have posted on SCL, I have probably visited their blog at least once!

    I just started blogging and it is therapeutic. Reading others thoughts is challenging, fun, and sometimes enlightening…Keep doing what you are doing!

  25. Wow, thanks Matt. I appreciate the mention. Glad to be along for the ride. I have my reader into categories of friends, funny, leadership, ones about blogging or writing, and about 3-4 other categories. It helps when I don’t have time to read or sort through everything so I can still find what I’m looking for.

  26. Who’s in my reader? Too many people.

    Technology blogs, News blogs, TV blogs, Christian blogs, Comics. If I don’t at least try to keep up, I’ll end up with over 1000 unread posts. Recommendations posts like this only make it worse. I’d be better off downsizing to the absolute must read instead, rather than adding more and more and more…

    Oh well. :)

  27. I don’t use a reader, mostly because it stresses me out to have so many unread posts just staring at me. I have my regulars on my blogroll page (including you, of course), but there are some really great ones that haven’t made their way on there yet.

    My go-to funny website is Holy cow. Hararious.

    And thanks for the shout-out. Much appreciated.

  28. I enjoy reading all kinds of blogs and various opinions, esp snarky funny ones. Somehow, many of the ones you mentioned are new to me but I have added some to my reader – thanks.

    I think you should check out – because she is giving away a mission trip to Ethiopia! So go check her out, after you look at my blog that is…

  29. Thank you so much for the mention!

    My reader got so full of blogs that I should be reading that I ignore it and just go to a few must reads (Pete Wilson, Sarah Markley, Brad Lomenick, Michael Hyatt, Bianca Juarez, etc.) each morning then click on twitter links that peek my curiosity.

  30. Dropping by from my husband (Jason … Snippets of Jason blog) blog post about your blog.

    I’ve got 16 blogs that I follow regularly, but of those 16 I absolutely love these ones:

    My husbands, of course

    We are THAT Family

    Generation Cedar

    10 Million Miles

    Daily Pleasures

    O My Family

    Raising Homemakers

    Kelly’s Korner

  31. Thanks for the mention!


    These folks are usually too busy ministering to keep up their blog…but we are always blessed at their insight. They left their staff position at a ‘big’ church and now have church under a tree in their front yard in the projects of WF, NC.

  33. Even though Michael Spencer is gone, this is still a great blog

    Always a very thought provoking blog about the church

    Humor and commentary that is outside the box

  34. Excellent weblog here! Also your web site quite a bit up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink for your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol