What We Can Do For You, What You Can Do For Us

How can we improve this blog in 2010?

Longer posts? Shorter posts? More posts in series?

Should we post more times during the week? Less?

More posts about The Snuggie?

What would you like to see on this blog in 2k10?

Now, one thing you can do for us: add your voice

We love it when readers comment. You may feel like, “I’ve got nothing to say!” That’s okay. Even if you just let us know that you enjoyed a post, that’s fantastic.

Or you can leave other, smart, intelligent comments like:

  • I like salami
  • I like The Snuggie
  • You guys are morons

To make commenting more fun, we added a new comment system to the blog. You can leave a comment with your name and email, just like before.

OR…you can log in with Facebook or Twitter, and then you won’t have to log in every time you leave a comment.

If someone leaves a comment you like, you can give it a thumbs up, and the system keeps track of how many thumbs up a person has.

So give a shout out. We read every comment, and try to respond as much as we can.

Here’s to the New Year…


  • I'm just demonstrating the general awesomeness of leaving a comment. I might give myself a thumbs up…

  • Oh, I'll give you a thumbs up for you Stephen. Great job you blogging muppet!

  • Rod says:

    i always enjoy your blog!

  • Blogging muppet! That's brutal, and brilliant. Thumbs up.

  • Jen says:

    This comment is smart and intelligent even though its author is not. Whatever you do, I'll love your blog.

  • Katherine says:

    I always enjoy your posts Blazing Center, especially when you encourage me to trust in God… and remind me he is for me not against me… :)

  • Katherine says:

    Also I'm taking up guitar and the song "Whatever my God Ordains is Right" by Mark is the first song I've learnt! :) It is so encouraging to be able to use the free sheet music on the sovgrace website to worship God and I hope God will bless you guys to glorify him faithfully and joyfully :)

  • Since I know that both you and your dad blog on here it would be really nice if on the main page it will show the author of the post. It seems like I have to open the post to see who authored it. Otherwise keep up the wonderful blogging and tweets and all the other things you do. I appreciate it always!!

  • Love the blog – I love the laughs, love the insights, love the goofy comments :-D

  • Erik says:

    You've change your site design and I love it, however, I echo Todd's comment above; I miss who wrote the post. Adjust that minor and you'll be all set.

    Otherwise, keep 'as is.'

    You and your Dad are a breath of fresh air here in the blogosphere.

  • I don't like salami – I like pepperoni… but enough about me.

    So far, like the new comments through IntenseDebate. I might be copying you on this one. I remember using it for the first time at ChurchCrunch. Thanks for giving it a shot.

    I like the post frequency and length of each post. I'd suggest maybe breaking up the posts more (like you did in this one) with more headers and formatting. It's just a small thing, but for me it goes a long way… usually more so than a picture unless the picture really drives home a point.

    Speaking of pictures (and I think I mentioned this before), I'd love to see more video of you guys… even if they're just of you chatting or playing some songs. I know that's a goal for me at my blog in the new year because it's something I've seen really add a new dynamic to other blogs I read. Something to think about.

    Overall, though, thank you for continuing to post. I enjoy it daily.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  • Jim Hogue says:

    Definetly add some tid bits about sumo wrestling and how to train to become the worlds fastest pumpkin pie eater. Anyone who doesn't think stuff like that is quality, edifying stuff worthy of being in next year's Blazing Center blog posts needs shot in the face with a silly putty dispenser.

  • That's really helpful Todd. I'll make sure to add the author to each post.

  • You're right Marshall, I think we do need to add more headers, and we'll definitely keep trying to use video. Any suggestions for how we could use video more effective?

  • That's what I like about you Jim…always able to add a bit of nonsense!

  • Tim says:

    Date & time for posts?

  • Isn't the Sovereign Grace website great? All that free sheet music!

  • Thanks Lorraine. Glad you get some laughs!

  • Thanks for your consistent encouragement Erik!

  • I'm glad I'm not the only one that get's confused. :D

  • I like the blog and the new look! I have found your posts about trusting God and casting your cares upon Him VERY helpful. Thanks!

  • That is a smart and intelligent comment! Thanks Jen.

  • Tom says:

    Liking the new look and love the blog!

    Always lots of apt and helpful posts both of you! Thank you!

  • Chris says:

    I am potato soup.

  • Isaac M says:

    I love reading your blog. Except that you and your dad are always so serious. You should lighten up once in a while and post something funny. O:) No, in all seriousness, I appreciate how you can be light and humorous but then tie back into a serious biblical concept.

  • carmen says:

    I second Isaac M! Also just watched the video clip of Mark's "new song"… it was so neat to see the beginnings of this new worship song in written form on moleskine pages. I had a definite hunch that John Philip Sousa used moleskines too, just like the best of them… and now my hunch is confirmed.
    "Give me one pure and holy passion" is a song God used to spur me onto making life-changing choices some years back, the results of which have not always been enjoyable, but definitely joy-inducing. Thanks especially for that one! I've also shared it in quite a few places around China and Taiwan. Some of the words require glossing (magnificent, ambition..!) but they love that. And anyway, the language is direct enough that most EFL students grasp the message right away, and find it very meaningful.
    So, thank you both for what you have already so faithfully been doing … and may this continue increasingly in the days to come!
    You can try composing more marches too, I really like those.

  • Thanks for the encouragement Jessica. So glad you enjoy the blog!

  • Thanks for your encouragement Tom!

  • I'm glad you enjoy the mix of serious and funny. We try to incorporate humor because we see it as a gift from God!

  • That's really cool that you're sharing the song in other countries. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • mvaltrogge says:

    Hi Carmen

    Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! Thank you for translating the song…that must be challenging to do. I'll keep trying to compose some more marches. It's a little tough to do without a Sousaphone, but I'll give it my best shot.

  • Matt Blick says:

    As you are both songwriting Jedis

    how about more stuff about songwriting?

  • I think you've really summed it up well Chris.

  • Gary Boal says:

    Thanks for your posts over 2009. i’m looking forward to reading more from you both in 2010.

  • mvaltrogge says:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Matt – I'll try to keep it in mind.

  • Jessica says:

    i love this blog. I found it a couple weeks ago. I appreciate the jokes and causes for laughter. I appreciate efforts to take deep truths and intense things in scriptural and making them accessible… I would appreciate seeing the posts paint a full picture of God…one where he's our AWESOME king to be revered, obeyed, and not messed with, as well as where he is our servant king who enables us to soar on wings like eagles, make our joy complete, act as our advocate and help us walk victoriously to trials and fire.

  • Dustin B. says:

    I think this blog has amazing balance…although what i love most is the gospel centered, christ exalting posts from both mark and stephen…if anything, i would want more of that…maybe some more real world expereinces and “how tos” from both of you…i love to read the different habits or disciplines you might have when it comes to serving.

  • mvaltrogge says:

    Thanks Jessica! Great suggestions!

  • Thanks for your thoughts Jen. I'm grateful that we made your top five list!

  • Jen R says:

    I think the post frequency and lengths are good. There are a lot of artful touches in the storytelling and with the choices of less common and more varied types of photographs paired with the longer contemplative posts. They're evocative, but not attempting to be overly profound or limited to still-lifes or strictly natural subjects, like the trillions of beautiful landscape pictures I often see (not that I don't like these, too!). I really enjoyed the posts on perseverance Mark did in early November. So, I suppose I like short, themed series. I second the notion that posts about songwriting and whatever other artful pursuits you continue in would be neat. I know a song doesn't come out of nowhere, but from personal reflection on experience of the world and of revealed truth. I am not a blogger, but of the 30 or so blogs I've thought were fun to read, I picked this one as one of the 5 I have on my regular feed. Thanks. I really enjoy everything.

  • Cathy says:

    I've been reading your blog for about a year or so and really enjoy it! I find ithe practical applications you describe very useful and helpful. Eg. you don't just write "get close to God" you explain how to get closer. You explain what a spiritual concept looks like on earth when it is appliced by a human.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to blog!

  • mvaltrogge says:


    Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!

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