The Best of 2017 From April Yamasaki

Merry Christmas, and God’s rich blessing for the coming new year to all of my dear readers! May the many glittering lights of this season remind you of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, the Light of the World today and every day.

If you ever experience FOMO–the Fear Of Missing Out–today’s article is for you. Now in case you missed any of these, you can catch up on my top posts for 2017 [as measured by page views] with the links below.

A quick look shows that the “how-to’s” predominate this year with seven of the top ten spots, and the other three titles are numbered lists. Savvy bloggers know that those two title types are among the most popular, and that’s definitely the case on my site this year. Four of the top articles for 2017 were published in previous years, which demonstrates another powerful blogging principle of “evergreen” content that remains engaging over time.

Thank you for reading and sharing, and may all your “how-tos” be merry and bright!


#10 – 6 Reasons Why We Need Lament

I love reading and reviewing books, but in the last few years, this is the first time that a book review has made it into my annual top ten articles. Thank you to Soong-Chan Rah for your important work on Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times (InterVarsity Press, 2015).

#9 – How to Make Your Marriage Beautiful

Not one, but two book review articles appear in this annual list. Thank you to Dorothy Greco for your beautiful and helpful book, Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start With You (David C Cook, 2017).

#8 – How to Prepare for a Spiritually Enriching Lent

This year saw the publication of Christ Is For Us: A Lenten Study Based on the Revised Common Lectionary (Abingdon Press, 2017). I was so blessed to work on this project, and it led to this article on preparing for Lent.

#7 – How to Pray Powerfully for Peace

I published this article in February 2017, and since then the need for peace and the need for prayer continues to be critical in our world today.

#6 – Three Views of the Atonement and Why They Matter

This article grew out of a seminar I led in July 2012, and is the oldest entry in this annual top ten list. This year I started regularly sharing some of the older “evergreen” content on my site which meant that this and other previously published articles gained new readers.

#5 – My 22 Best Practices in 22 Years of Pastoral Ministry

Since publishing this article in 2015, I’ve added two additional best practices: take regular sabbaticals and get a good night’s sleep. Next year, I aim to make it 25 best practices in 25 years of pastoral ministry.

#4 – How to Pray Against Racial Hostility

The blatant public display of racial hostility in Charlottesville, Virginia and elsewhere this last year inspired this article. Just as we pray about the things that grieve us and that grieve the heart of God, we also need to speak up and speak out, to reach out to others and take action.

#3 – How to Pray for Your Enemies Even When You Don’t Want To

I can’t claim any expertise in praying for my enemies – after all that’s why spiritual practice is called practice, for we are all beginners and still learning. This article is at least a start.

#2 – How to Pray About Mental Illness When You Can’t Find the Words

First published in 2016, this article in my “how to pray” series claims the second spot for the second year in a row.

#1 – How to Pray for a Wedding Dinner

First published in 2016, this article on praying for a wedding dinner remains in the top spot this year, and is my all-time most popular article.

Writing/Reflection Prompt: What are your highlights for 2017?


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3 thoughts on “The Best of 2017 From April Yamasaki

    1. Hi Elfrieda – I use the number of views per post which is tracked automatically by WordPress both for the current year and for all-time. Comments are not tracked automatically in the same way, but even if they were, I would still choose to use views per post. Many bloggers have observed that while content continues to be shared through blog posts, blog comments in general have decreased in favour of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. I find that as well, where a post might have few comments on my website, but many more on my Facebook timeline. I also know that there are many more reading who don’t comment at all, so the number of views seems to be a more accurate measure of the reach of my articles.

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