So Disciplehood is one of the Top Twelve Religious Blogs in Canada this year. Oh yeah!

I’m one of 12 bloggers nominated for a Canadian Weblog Award in the Religion, Spiritual & Philosophy category. And ironically, one of my competitors is called Canadian Atheist. If they win, I’m sure that blogger will call it evidence that there’s no God. (I’ll say it’s proof that God has a sense of humor.)

Wait a minute, Baldy. Are you sure you deserve this? There are a lot of religious bloggers out there – some of whom have been doing this a lot longer than you; many of them have a lot more initials behind their names; their blogs feature more and fancier bells and whistles than yours; and painful as it is to admit, many of them have a whole lot more readers than you do. And none of them are nominated, but you are?!?

Quite true, readers. But so what?

And who gave this clever, Regina-based, husband and wife-owned company (Ninjamatics) the authority to bestow national awards for blogging, anyway? Is this a real award, or just a marketing tool for this little, obscure firm?

You may have a point, there, readers. A quick Google search reveals the existence of the parallel, unaffiliated Canadian Blog Awards (perhaps these two organizations operate kinda like the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea in Monty Python’s Life of Brian). The Blog Awards have been around longer, but the Weblog Awards will be judged by a jury of blogxperts and blogthusiasts, rather than popular vote, so perhaps they both have a credible, legitimate role to play.

As far as being a ‘real’ award goes, I think the blogosphere exists to provide a voice to the unqualified – I have absolutely no authority to write a blog about Jesus and I do it anyway, for instance. The normal rules and conventions for publishing don’t apply to blogging, so I think it’s appropriate and quite awesome if blog awards are based on the same kind of grassroots-driven bold audacity as the blogs they celebrate.

And in my day job I do internal communications for a major corporation, so I made my peace a long time ago with being a marketing tool.

Fair enough. So how many hoops did your blog have to jump through to get to the Final 12?

Right around zero, as far as I can tell. Other categories contain many more nominees, which leads me to believe there is no scrutiny required to get to this level. That means that a grand total of 12 religious/spiritual/philosophical blogs were put forward (the deadline was Oct. 31, so assuming that Ninjamatics has finished combing through all the submissions, 12 is the number). Given that ‘avalanche’ of nominations, one could credibly suggest that this category is to the Canadian Weblog Awards what the Spoken Word category is to the Grammys.

But in any case, the nominees will be shortlisted on Dec. 1. The (slightly) short(er) list will contain five blogs, so if no more nominations come in before All Saints Day, only seven bloggers will fail to make the cut. I like those odds!

Still, as they say, it’s an honor just to be nominated, right? Who nominated you for this, anyway?

My wife, Karen. She looked at Disciplehood, found its quality quite out of proportion to its readership and decided to take action. She did some research, came upon the Canadian Weblog Awards and put my name forward. All the other religious bloggers in Canada clearly have some work to do in the Supportive Spouse Department. Thanks, Karen!

In spite of all that, you bragged about the nomination on Facebook, on your home church’s website and now you’re putting the Nominee logo in all of your blogs? Do you really think you deserve to call Disciplehood one of Canada’s Top 12 Religious Blogs?

Well, of course not, readers. But what’s ‘deserve’ got to do with it? I don’t deserve to have the best wife, the best kids, the best small group, the best worship band, best pastor, best church and the best co-workers in Canada, either. I don’t deserve to live in a rich, prosperous, safe, democratic country, or to have been born in the 20th Century to decent, hard-working parents who raised me right. And most of all, I don’t deserve God’s amazing Grace. But I have all of that anyway. An arbitrary, somewhat inflated and arguably dubious award nomination is pretty small potatoes in comparison with all that!

I’ve been given a gift. And the worst thing you can do with a gift is fret about how you don’t deserve it – the best thing is to put aside your discomfort, enjoy it to the full and share it with as many people and in as many ways as you can think of.

I intend to do just that. And not just with this award nomination.

Peace be with you.


About robpetkau

Communications professional by day, amateur musician by night, worship leader (at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Calgary) on weekends and aspiring Bible teacher in my dreams. Grateful husband to the woman who completes me. Doing-the-best-I-can dad to the son and daughter who keep me on my toes. Striving disciple of the GodMan who came, taught and died for me. Thanks for stopping by!
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