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The 500th Post

Posted: September 17, 2011 in Community, Faith, Lutheran Grilled Cheese

The 500th post
In the world of the blogger there are certain milestones..500th post, 100th comment, 1,000,000 views just to name a few.  Out of all the milestones a blogger wants their 500th post to be special, to hold some meaning.   We want to be able to take the time and look back and talk about all the things that we have learned and then look forward to another 500 posts.
With this 500th post I would like to tell you one very important lesson I have learned and I would like to tell you the future of blogging for me.
First the one thing that I have learned is as much as I enjoy blogging, what I enjoy even more is the idea of community.  I want Lutheran Grilled Cheese to be more than just me sharing about my life, I want others to share, to be active and to engage on this blog.  I want other voices besides my sharing stories about how God is creating wonderful life-giving moments and how peoples  faith does not only happen on a Sunday morning but how everyday we are making life connections.
With that being said I am in the process of recruiting some new writers and contributors on Lutheran Grilled Cheese.  If you read this regularly and would like to contribute then let me know and I will let you know how.  I have some great ideas about some blog series and I am brainstorming ways to create a fantastic, meaningful Grilled Cheese Community.
I have learned so much about myself and about blogging over the years.  Much of that has come from other bloggers and I thank you for your advice, and companionship.  Some of the celebrity bloggers that I have learned from and been inspired by are TentBlogger, Ragamuffin Soul,  Without Wax and Michael Hyatt who are maters at their craft.  They have wonderful advice about blogging, life and leadership.  There are also some wonderful people who I have met who have encouraged and inspired me over the years.  Their blogs have kept me going when I have lost motivation and I would not be doing what I am doing if it was not for them.  These are, Soul Munchies, Sarcastic Lutheran , The Lutheran Zephyr , Adventures of the Called , and Pastor Keith Anderson just to name a few.
The Future
The future looks bright for Lutheran Grilled Cheese.  There are some great people who will be joining the leadership of the community and I am excited about that.  I know that God has created in me a need to be a part of something that is bigger than me and for that to be in the form of a community.  So as much as I have enjoyed Lutheran Grilled Cheese to be about me and what I am doing, I am excited to have others join me on this adventure.
Therefore, I have split my blogging up a bit.  I have taken my oldest posts and I have moved them over to a new site.  I have left the newer posts over at LGC.  The new site that I created is called Pastor Joe McGarry.  It is at this site where I will focus the majority of content on my life and share more of my personal thoughts, I will also post my sermons on as well as share a funny video now and then.  That way I can focus LGC  more on what I created it for, God Moments and Life Connections.
For the next several months I will be posting content on both sites, but moving into the future I will be separating the content.  So if you have not already I ask that you subscribe to both feeds:  Lutheran Grilled Cheese and Pastor Joe McGarry.
Thank you for your support during my time blogging and I look forward to interacting with you more on a deeper level.
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Recently I was able to spend a week at my favorite place on Earth, Camp Calumet.
My time there was at the end of our family vacation and I was able to relax and enjoy the experience completely.
I realized a few things while I was on the trip.  First , I need to take a vacation more often.  For the first time in my pastoral ministry I was able to take a real vacation.  I was away from the church long enough to clear my head and focus on my family and friends.
Second, I love my friends.  I have been blessed with so many great friends and they are there to love and nurture me both personally and professionally.  During my time away I was able to talk about all the things that I have been thinking about for awhile and I was able to get advice and comfort.
Third,  I realized how Camp Calumet has changed for me over the years
When I was eight
Calumet was about meeting new friends, it was about camp-wide games, it was about the dance, it was about staying up late and sleeping in my sleeping bag.
When I was sixteen.
Calumet was about spending my summers at camp, it was about meeting up with my friends every summer, it was about the Boys Junior end, it was about pranks, it was about girls, it was about the campers, it was about days off, it was about mandatory fun, it was about arts and crafts.

When I was twenty-two
Calumet was about PUDDLE, it was about double days off, it was about friends, it was about girls, it was about the campers, it was about being on the year round staff, it was about Calumet in the Winter, it was about Campfires on the beach, it was about the quietness of camp,  it was about the guests, it was about hanging out with my friends all weekend, it was about the Whitter House, it was about Rosies.
When I was twenty-eight
Calumet was about the value of all I have experienced, it was about memories and good times, it was about the friendships I developed, it was about the occasional visits with my family, it was about Rosies, it was about visiting North Conway, it was about introducing Calumet to anyone and everyone.

Now that I am thirty-three..
Calumet is about occasionally being the Chaplain, it is about Indian Food, it is about Summer Finale Week, it is about my kids having fun, it is about Rosies, it is about the Staff House, it is about Lake Ossipee, it is about spending time with my best friends, it is about deeply connecting with a God who is always with me but most present when I am connecting all aspects of Calumet for me.
I have enjoyed all aspects of Calumet for me and I know that as I continue in my Relationship with this wonderful place its meaning will continue to evolve.
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