*Swordsman Library is under construction again

Hello friends. I just want to share some of my present works. I know that I’ve not been posting in my blogs for nearly two weeks now, and I just want to explain and show you why.

In my last announcement, I said that I’ve been working on my Google Sites, on my new blog, The Pastor Swordsman, and other related stuffs. That is true, but my work has expanded still, or rather, something that I’ve already been considering of doing is now sure.

About a year ago, I started a “fun project” here in WordPress.com — Swordsman Library — a blog/website where you can read the Bible and some Christian classics. However, for me, it was a serious project, because I’ve always wanted an online library of my own. I think that, for someone who loves books and who loves to read, having that kind of desire is only natural. Long story short, interruptions happened, and I set aside that project, but I’d done some significant work on its foundations.

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*New Blog: The Pastor Swordsman™

Hello friends. I’ve got a new major blog. But… it’s in Blogger :)

With me already so busy and barely able to write, what am I doing with yet another blog? Yeah, I share exactly your sentiment. But this is the last puzzle piece (for now?) to fall into place regarding Swordsman of the Word, and so I’m not ignoring it.

As you know, I’m still establishing this ministry — and I’m in the very middle of writing my new foundation documents — and so the things I’m doing now are setting things in stone and will have far-reaching consequences. I do have doubts about this new blog, especially about my readiness to launch it, but the occasion demands that I announce it now, and so I have.

My new blog is called The Pastor Swordsman, and you can visit it here: [pastor.swordsmanoftheword.com]. There’s no content yet except for the About page.

Anyway, I’ll be sharing my posts there here in WordPress.com, in Swordsman Community, and so you’ll be updated.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*New Auxiliary Site: World English Bible

Hello friends. Just a quick announcement. Swordsman of the Word now has three auxiliary Google Sites. This is the first one: World English Bible. I’ll share the other two when I finish setting them up.

These sites have naturally grown from my works in Swordsman Community, where I feature Christian resources. I simply recognized my need for them, and so I acted. Also, I’ve been wanting for a long time to have an online library of my own (remember my fun project a year ago?), but the time is not yet right to pursue that, and so these auxiliary sites are the compromise.

Anyway, in my last announcement, I said that I’ll try to finish my third and last essay before the first half of October ends… but that is not possible now. I just have so many other things to do besides writing. And so my new deadline is the end of this month.

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A Vocation That Is Like No Other

Creative Commons License I am an outsider. That’s how I’ve felt — in regards to my relation to the Church — most of my Christian life. Rejected by the world but loved by Jesus, I thought that my only chance of finding a place where I could truly belong is within the community of believers. After all, that’s how it’s supposed to be — an upside-down Kingdom, where the poor, the weak, the broken-hearted, the outcasts, the slaves, and the nobodies are given priority. But guess what? I’ve been rejected in the Church too. Many times.

Is it me? Am I just too different? Too weird? Too deep? Or maybe I’m just too talented. Too gifted. Do I arouse intense feelings of envy in others? Or maybe I’m just too committed to God. Too passionate. Too honest. And too unpredictable. Do I convict them of their lukewarmness? Of their sins?

God knows how long I’ve waited to find the right people… and God knows how much I’ve tried to belong. But it’s clear to me now that, no matter what I do, and no matter how much love I give, I might never be truly accepted in the Church. And that is because of my vocation itself, my calling. You see, my friends, God has ordained it that I, Arjay, would not stand among them — other believers — but to stand a bit separated from them. On the boundaries. At the gates.

I am a Swordsman of the Word, and I stand at the gates — between the Church and the world, and between them and God.

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*Community Blog: Tumblr Version

Hello friends. Just letting you know. I went ahead and built another version of my Community Blog in Tumblr :)

And so I have now three places for the community: One here in WordPress.com, which I consider as the base camp, and one each in Facebook and Tumblr, which I consider only as outposts. You see, once I’ve made my post here in WordPress.com, it’s only a simple matter of reproducing them in Facebook and Tumblr, and so… why not? I only hope that I won’t be penalized (much) by search engines for this, but hey, I never cared about SEO anyway. What is important to me is having those community places where people can gather and learn….

You can visit the very fresh and shining Tumblr blog here: Swordsman Community

Note: There’s no new content yet, only the new blog.

Anyway, because it looked like I won’t be needing it anymore, I closed down my previous Tumblr, Arjay B. Araña. All my efforts in this platform will now be focused on this new blog.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.

*Community Blog, Schedule Update

Hello friends. As you’ve seen, I’ve been distracted again from my work in this main blog. I wasn’t able to write what I planned to write, and I also wasn’t able to finish updating my blog posts and pages.

True, as I have announced, I do struggle writing my second essay (and I will probably struggle too with my third one), but it’s also true that my work in my Facebook Page, Swordsman (of the Word) Community, has stolen much of my time and energy — a work that I have had serious doubts about even from the beginning. The fact is, and I’ve known this early on, Facebook is not a good place to build a community. Part of the problem is the platform itself, with its news distribution algorithm. (Unless my content is viral-material, which is impossible for the true gospel message, and unless I’m already popular to begin with, with lots of contacts and fans, I have no chance for a real audience.) Another problem is the ephemeral nature of posts made in social media in general. With all the effort and hours I’ve spent working, I didn’t feel that it was truly worth it, because my posts on the Page were not “tangible” enough.

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*[Patrons] Climbing High in Mt. Blessedness

This devotional reading, in a nutshell, talks about pursuing a much better life in Christ: To leave our present and unsatisfactory lives behind, and to start climbing — and to climb high — in God’s mountain of blessedness. In other words, it tries to convey hope and reassurance that tomorrow can be better for us. That is, if we get on our feet and begin climbing.

And the Word of God does confirm this, that through Jesus Christ we can have a much better life — a much blessed life. We can overcome our problems that would otherwise drive us to despair….

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A Hard-Won Triumph of My Faith

Creative Commons License Last month, July 12, 2020, marked the second-year anniversary of Swordsman of the Word. When I made my first post in this blog two years ago, I was full of hope and expectation about the blessings the future might bring. Well, I never thought that the next two years would turn out to be such a struggle getting this ministry off the ground, and that they would bring me — in addition to the blessings — much pain, hardships, and regrets. And that is because, in the final analysis, Swordsman of the Word had seemed to others to be much too radical and much too ambitious to be attempted by someone like me. A nobody. Gifted, maybe. But still, a nobody.

What I’ve been reminded of recently, however, is that this ministry is ultimately only between me and God. I’m the one whose faith in him is being tested. And I’m the one who is accountable. I’m the one who is standing before him in judgment and giving account of the things I’ve done in regard to it. (As I have declared in Running this Blogging Race Once Again, the only authority I recognize now for this ministry is the Bible, God’s Word.) Therefore, as long as I’m in line with the things God has said, and as long as I have his approval for this work, what others think of Swordsman of the Word doesn’t really matter. People’s opinions (and people’s obstructions) don’t affect its legitimacy, nor will they overcome its power and continuity.

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*Community Page Reopened

Hello friends. It’s a new beginning for my Facebook page, Swordsman of the Word Community. Come and check it out :)

Like in this blog, our focus there is serving you, and it can be a good springboard for your spiritual journey. We offer a weekly sermon and daily devotions from Charles Spurgeon (a great 19th century preacher), daily readings from the World English Bible (downloadable as PDFs), and links to other Christian resources and stuffs. (Of course, I also post there the links to my blog posts here.)

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*Collections Pages Updated

Hello friends. I’ve updated my Collections pages. You might want to check them out, for they reflect my future plans and the present status of Swordsman of the Word.

Also, I’ve been busy the past several days, not writing, but dealing with odds and ends — so that I can finally return to blogging as painless as possible. I’m nearly finished now, but I need some time off to recharge.

Expect my new essay on the last week of July.

Notice: This post is not included in the CC license.