199. TMTF’s Top Ten TMTF Posts

We are now a few days away from whatever sinister surprise my typewriter monkeys have planned for this blog’s two hundredth post. They keep telling me I’m going to get “creamed.” I’m worried, guys.

I’ve written a lot of blog posts. I love making top ten lists. Need I say more?

Each of the following posts has been chosen for one of two reasons: it is either a significant contribution to this blog or a meaningful post to me personally.

With that, ladies and gentlemen, TMTF proudly and shamelessly presents…

The TMTF List of Top Ten TMTF Posts!

10. Gangster Pastors

This post about reformed criminals tells stories that seem almost too incredible to be true, but to the best of my knowledge—and I was very thorough in checking my facts—every incident, however strange, happened exactly as described.

I find some of these stories absolutely hilarious, and I consider the lives of these “gangster pastors” some of the most compelling evidence I’ve seen to support the existence of a loving God. These men have seen miracles. These men are miracles.

9. Of Coffee and Castaways: Five Poems

I’ve tried for years to write poetry. Most of my attempts were rubbish, but a few turned out not completely awful. (One is, of course, a poem about my lousy poetry.) While I appreciate poetry in the same abstract way I value things like economics and trigonometry, I don’t know much about it.

This make me all the more proud of the few poems I’ve written that succeed in being almost mediocre. I think these five were a refreshing change of pace from my blog’s usual ramblings.

8. Magical Rainbow Ponies?

About a year ago, I struggled through one of the most difficult transitions of my life. I had to switch countries, earn a driver’s license, get a credit card, find a job and publish a novel. I was finally becoming an adult, and I didn’t like it.

During those dark days, I decided on a whim to investigate an inexplicably popular pony cartoon sweeping across the Internet. My study of the pony phenomenon, chronicled on my blog, brought me many laughs at a time when I really needed them. For me, this post represents every time this blog has set aside serious reflections and rambled about something ridiculous.

7. A Conversation with Myself

When I construct stories, dialogue is absolutely my favorite thing to write. It was great fun to write a post consisting of nothing but dialogue. This post, the first of several “conversations,” was a fun change from my ordinary prose.

I tend to be an insecure person. As I wrote this post, I enjoyed poking fun at my insecurities about things like quoting people frequently, watching cartoons and using dated British idioms in everyday conversation.

6. When I Have No Words

When I was in high school, one of my teachers introduced me to the problem of religious persecution. I was skeptical at first. “Yeah, Christians were thrown to lions, like, eighteen centuries ago.” However, every week—every freaking week—he had a new stack of reports about religious persecution. I became more and more shocked. How was this stuff not noticed by mainstream media? Why did only a few people seem to care?

Religious persecution upsets me. A lot. It’s hard for me, as I live my cozy little American life, even to come close to caring as much as I should. But I do care. And that’s why this post matters.

5. A Portrait of the Artist as a Performing Monkey

This is perhaps the best short story I’ve written, and yet another change from my blog’s usual format. The story, whose title is a play on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, depicts the struggles of a young author to overcome writer’s block and pen the opening chapter of a novel.

I put quite a lot of myself into the protagonist. Gabriel’s battle against writer’s block reflects my own. We both love coffee, detest vampire stories and dislike the baffling complexities of the publishing industry. I can’t pretend any of my stories are great, but I’m rather pleased with how this one turned out.

4. TMTF’s Top Ten Manly Men in Literature

To paraphrase Strong Bad, “My top ten lists are like my childrens. I love them all!” My favorite list is usually my most recent one.

I’ve chosen this list because it was the first time I took this blog’s visuals seriously. I formatted the pictures in this post for consistency, experimented with captions and tried other things I’d never tried before. My posts from this point onward looked nicer and neater. I also like this post because, you know, manly men are awesome.

3. Jerks, Trolls and Other Hazards of the Internet

I’m not sure where the idea for Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day came from, but I think it’s a good one. The Internet can be a scary place; wise old Obi-Wan may have been thinking of the World Wide Web when he said, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Since so many insults and arguments are exchanged online, defying the trolls and setting aside a day to be nice to someone on the Internet seemed like the best kind of irony.

With the generous support of several fellow bloggers, to whom I remain very grateful, Be Nice to Someone on the Internet Day happened on March 4 this year. I hope it will happen again next year!

2. My Battle with Depression

I read several blogs by people who are incredibly honest and vulnerable about their struggles. Their openness amazes me. It is so dashed hard for me to write about my mistakes and faults. It’s embarrassing. I prefer to pontificate about storytelling, write about Doctor Who or try in some other way to give the impression of being a cheerful, bookish eccentric.

Depression is an awkward thing to write about. It’s an admission of helplessness, a confession that I don’t have it all together. That’s why posts like these are important: I don’t have it all together. Admitting it openly is a good thing.

1. God’s Fool

I generally reach my conclusions before writing about them. This all-important post was different. It shaped my beliefs by answering a question that had nagged at me for months: Why in blazes do I believe what I believe?

To be honest, I have great sympathy for atheists, agnostics and humanists. For all my studies and musings, I have absolutely no answer to many questions about faith and God. I believe because my evidence for God outweighs my evidence against him. There are things I don’t understand, things that trouble me greatly, but I believe anyway. If that makes me a fool, at least I’m God’s fool.

What are your all-time favorite blog posts? (They don’t have to be from this blog.) If you have a blog, what’s your favorite post you’ve written? Let us know in the comments!

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