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Category: Blog News

Blog News: “Like” Function Added to Site

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Many of you have asked me to add a LIKE button to posts and comments. Late yesterday, I added this function. I see that a few of you have already availed yourself to clicking the button. Want to show your appreciation or agreement with a post or comment? Click the LIKE button. Want to show your dislike or disagreement? Go into a nearby room and scream. I’m sure I will hear you.  🙂

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Check Out Randy Withers’ Review of The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

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Randy Withers, a licensed professional counselor and clinical addictions specialist, recently wrote a review of The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser. Randy wrote:

Bruce Gerencser is an avid and prolific blogger who lives in rural Ohio with his wife of more than four decades. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for 25 years in three different states but left the ministry in 2005. In 2008 he left Christianity as well. He now considers himself a humanist and an atheist.

His blog is about that journey, and why and how he chose the path he did. His blog, by the way, is enormous. He’s got something like 3,000 separate entries. I mean, good lord.

Bruce Gerencser is my hero. For one thing, he’s got a huge readership, many of whom are pissed off Evangelicals who seem to believe that Bruce just needs a stern talking to about his errant ways.

Bruce does a great job of interacting with his readers in the comment section of his blog, which he both reads and moderates. I’m impressed by this, given the sheer vitriol that many of his Christian readers express towards some of his life decisions. He has the patience of Job (sorry for the reference, Bruce), and a matter-of-fact wit that is straight-up hysterical.

You can read the rest of the review here.

I appreciate Randy’s kind and thoughtful words. Finally, someone who appreciates my sense of humor.  As far as his critique of this site’s ancient theme, he is right. Readers can expect a new theme and design in the near future — that is, if the rapture doesn’t take place first. Well, come to think of it, I will be left behind when Jesus comes to gather up his chosen ones, so I’ll have plenty of time to work on a new theme.

Please check out Randy’s website, especially 10 of the Absolute Best Mental Health Blogs You Need to Start Reading in 2020.

Here’s to a mentally healthy 2020.

2020: My Plans for this Blog in the Year Ahead

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Thank you for reading The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser in 2019. Readership numbers were up over last year, and I hope this will continue in 2020.

Over the coming months, I hope to:

  1. Change and update the site theme
  2. Update broken links
  3. Update and refresh Facebook page and Twitter
  4. Finish off orphan series
  5. Start podcasting
  6. Update and expands and repost some of the posts from 2015
  7. Continue to write about Evangelicalism, the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement, and clergy crime (Black Collar Crime series)

Sometime, sooner than later, I must make a decision about what to do with the daily digest mailing list. Over the past two years, MailChimp has increased the cost of its service by 40% (25% rate increase last month) over the past two years. While the raw subscriber numbers show 931 subscribers, the metrics show that less than 10% of subscribers read one or more posts on any given day. It is likely that I will move the mailing list to Automattic’s Mailing list service via Jetpack. Readers may have to re-subscribe, and I am sure that a few readers will be pissed off by the move. Sorry about that . . .

Health willing, I hope 2020 is the best year ever for this blog. Your kindness and support are appreciated.

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2019: By the Numbers

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What follows are the traffic statistics for 2019.

Statistics

Page Views: 851,666
Mailing List Subscribers: 931
Posts Written: 661
Posts from December 2014 to Date: 4,174
Comments from December 2014 to Date: 24,781

Top Twenty Commenters

  1. ObstacleChick
  2. Brian
  3. Brunetto Latini
  4. GeoffT
  5. Karen the Rock Whisperer
  6. Caroline
  7. Becky
  8. Mary G
  9. Matilda
  10. Hugh Young
  11. Melissa Montana
  12. Zoe
  13. Troy
  14. Kris
  15. CarolK
  16. Angiep
  17. Ami
  18. That Other Jean
  19. John Arthur
  20. Dave

Top Ten Incoming Links

  1. facebook.com
  2. infidel753.blogspot.com
  3. pathos.com
  4. reddit.com
  5. google.com
  6. secularwings.wordpress.com
  7. crooksandliars.com
  8. twitter.com
  9. freejinger.org
  10. instagram.com

Top Ten Locales

  1. Chicago, Illinois
  2. Dallas, Texas
  3. Houston, Texas
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  6. New York, New York
  7. Charlotte, North Carolina
  8. Los Angeles, California
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. Washington, District of Columbia

Top Fifty Pages

  1. brucegerencser.net
  2. Bethel Redding: A Dangerous Evangelical Cult
  3. Sexual Abuse in the Name of God: New Bethany Home for Girls
  4. Evangelical Pastor Dean Curry Starts New Church After Being Fired Over Sexual Misconduct
  5. About page
  6. Why I Hate Jesus
  7. Beware of Christian Counselors
  8. Cindy Schaap, Daughter of Jack Hyles, Divorces Convicted Felon Jack Schaap
  9. The Scandalous Life of Jack Hyles and Why it Still Matters
  10. “Why Do Liberals Think Trump Supporters Are Stupid?” by Adam-Troy Castro
  11. Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Jon Jenkins Moves to New Church After Decades of Controversy
  12. Evangelicals and the Gay Closet: Is Ray Boltz Still a Christian?
  13. Dear Evangelical
  14. Why
  15. UPDATED: Serial Adulterer David Hyles Has Been Restored
  16. Quote of the Day: Why Atheists Refuse to Respect Christian Beliefs
  17. Southern Gospel Singer Kenny Bishop is Now a Gay United Church of Christ Pastor
  18. Disgraced IFB Preacher David Hyles Helping “Fallen” Pastors Get Back on Their Horses
  19. Black Collar Crime: Independent Baptist Worship Pastor Kurt Stephens Busted in Prostitution Sting
  20. Black Collar Crime: Pastor Cameron Giovanelli Resurrects From the Dead, Found in Florida
  21. Emotionally Manipulating IFB Church Members through Music and Preaching Styles
  22. Black Collar Crime: IFB School Teacher Shannon Griffin Charged with Sexual Assault
  23. Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Cameron Giovanelli Accused of Sexual Assault
  24. Black Collar Crime Series
  25. Pastor Perry Porter Outraged Over Gay Man Giving A Presentation at Local Library
  26. Breaking News: IFB Preacher Bob Gray, Sr. Admits to Driving Church Members
  27. Black Collar Crime: Hyles-Anderson College Teacher Joe Combs Sentenced for Raping His Daughter
  28. Black Collar Crime: Mother of Alleged Victim of Evangelical Children’s Pastor Matt Tonne Speaks Out
  29. Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Benjamin “Gus” Harter Accused of Molesting Girl
  30. Steven Anderson’s “New” IFB Movement Erupts Into a Food Fight Over Donnie Romero
  31. Contact (Over eighty percent of people who click on the contact link do not follow through and hit send.)
  32. Abby Johnson is a Hypocrite When it Comes to Abortion
  33. Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Rick Iglesias Accused of Sexual Assault
  34. The Official Independent Baptist Rulebook
  35. From Evangelicalism to Atheism Series
  36. Why Evangelical Christianity is Dying
  37. Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Eric Garland Charged with Prescription Fraud
  38. The David Hyles Saga
  39. Black Collar Crime: Mennonite Aid Worker Jeriah Mast Accused of Sex Crimes
  40. IFB Pastor Bob Gray Sr. Shows His True Colors
  41. Good Baptist Boys Don’t Masturbate: Oh Yes, They Do!
  42. Samantha Bee Shows Evangelical Trump Advisor Paula White is a Con-Artist
  43. Ohio Baptist Megachurch Pastor Victor Couzens Admits Having Multiple Affairs
  44. Fundamentalist Pastor Greg Locke Justifies Divorce From His Wife
  45. IFB Preacher Donnie Romero Caught Cavorting With Prostitutes, Smoking Weed, and Gambling
  46. IFB Church Member Takes Issue With a Post I Wrote about Tony Hutson and Middle Tennessee Baptist Church
  47. Comment Policy
  48. Understanding Steven Anderson, Pastor Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, Arizona
  49. What One IFB Apologist Thinks of People Who Claim They Were Abused
  50. Why Pentecostals Speak in Tongues and Baptists Don’t

Top Twenty-Five Searches

  1. Secure search (199,028)
  2. Bruce Gerencser (and variations)
  3. David Lynn Preacher Arrested (and variations)
  4. Bethel Church Redding California (and variations)
  5. Jack Schaap (and variations)
  6. Bruce Gerencser Blog
  7. Jack  Hyles (and variations)
  8. Ray Boltz
  9. Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
  10. Cameron Giovanelli (and variations)
  11. Abby Johnson
  12. Dean Curry
  13. Matthew Tonne
  14. Why are Evangelicals so Mean
  15. Donnie Romero
  16. David Hyles (and variations)
  17. Devil Worshipers
  18. Tullian Tchividjian Scandal
  19. Gus Harter
  20. Phillip Buckson
  21. Shane Idleman (and variations)
  22. Roy McClendon Thompson
  23. Christian Swear Words
  24. John McFarland Pastor
  25. Kenny Bishop

Search Engines Used

  1. Google (81%)
  2. Bing (9%)
  3. Yahoo (6%)
  4. Duck Duck Go (3%)
  5. Everyone Else (1%)

Operating Systems

  1. iPhone (38%)
  2. Android (27%)
  3. Windows (25%)
  4. Mac OS (8%)
  5. Everyone Else (2%)

Over 65% of visitors use a smartphone or tablet.

Here’s to a numerically successful 2020.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Are you on Social Media? Follow Bruce on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

2019: A Year of Trial and Adversity

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2019 proved to be quite a year for Bruce and Polly Gerencser. In January, Polly spent almost a week in the hospital due to complications from what would be diagnosed as ulcerative colitis. In July, doctors found a fistula between Polly’s colon and bladder. This caused fecal matter to enter the bladder. In August, the fistula led to life-threatening problems for Polly. She was hospitalized for almost three weeks at Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne. She had major abdominal surgery, and part of her colon and bladder were removed. The colorectal surgeon performed a colectomy. Polly currently has a colostomy bag. Hopefully, the colectomy will be reversed in late March 2020.

In a post titled, An Example of Our Broken, Costly Healthcare System, I detailed the horrific medical costs we’ve had this year:

Late on August 6, Polly was transferred by Williams County EMS — the only ambulance service in the county —  to Parkview. Polly would later have successful bladder and colon surgery. All told, she spent eighteen days in the hospital. Total cost for the January and August hospitalizations? $250,000. And that’s what our insurance paid, not what the various service providers billed. The sheer amount of the billings and various providers is mind-boggling, even to a man who spent most of his adult life handling church and secular business finances.

Our annual insurance deductible is $3,400. Our maximum out of pocket is $6,750. On top of that, we pay $84 a week for family medical coverage. Polly’s employer pays another $19,000 a year to provide our family insurance.  This means that we personally paid $11,118 this year for medical expenses. Add what Polly’s employer pays to this amount, and our total medical costs exceed $30,000. And, all praise be to the God of American Capitalism, this starts all over again come January 1. Well, with one change: our insurance premiums go up again, as they have most years over the past two decades! (Some years, premiums remained the same, and deductible and out of pocket maximums were increased. Over the past two decades, our deductible has increased 1,000% and our family maximum out of pocket has increased over 500%)

Polly’s March 2020 surgery will quickly escalate our total medical debt. Yes, we have insurance, but that doesn’t change the fact that the out-of-pocket expenses continue to accumulate. So far, we have been able to make payment arrangements. Depending on who gets paid first for Polly’s upcoming surgery, 2020 could be a challenging year. Parkview takes your balance and divides it by 12 — that’s your monthly payment. They refuse to extend payments beyond 12 months, threatening collection action if we don’t pay their demand. So, we shall see what 2020 brings — hopefully a loaded Brink’s truck.

My health remains the same — not good, but better than Polly’s. Woo hoo! Several weeks ago, I had a huge cyst drained. This cyst covered the area above my breast to under my arm, and from my sternum to my collarbone. The cyst is already returning, so I will likely have to have it surgically removed in 2020. Maybe not, if it doesn’t get any larger, but I suspect it will. The radiologist who drained the cyst warned me that it was pressing on an artery that could cause blood clots/stroke. Just one more problem to worry about, right?

Polly’s Fundamentalist Baptist parents are in failing health. I fear that one or both of them will die in 2020. I hope not, but it seems, from my observations, that they are just hanging on, waiting for the end. We will travel to Newark to visit them on Christmas Day. Polly’s aunt has terminal bone cancer. She’s on borrowed time. 2020 could be one of those years. Such is life when you reach our age.

I “retired” and started drawing Social Security in August. The added income has been a big help financially. We continue to have concerns over Polly’s job. The company she works for has been outsourcing parts of her department for the past two years. Oh, they call it strategic realignment, but the bottom line is that the outsourcing company pays its employees less and doesn’t provide insurance. This allows them to do the work Polly and her employees do at a cheaper cost. We would not be surprised if eventually her entire department is outsourced. If I had my way, Polly would retire. However, neither of us is old enough to receive Medicare, so attempting to live without insurance would likely be financial ruin for us. Income-wise, we would be fine; it’s just the damn insurance that’s the problem. It’s ALWAYS the insurance. I am 30 months away from being able to sign up for Medicare. Polly is three and a half years away.

I closed my photography business in 2019. I was operating at a loss, and I saw no way to turn it around, so I closed the business. Sadly, smartphones, Mommys with cheap DSLR cameras, and photographers who will work for next to nothing have pretty well ruined the photography business here in rural northwest Ohio. I continue to do paid work for family and friends. I also continue to do sports photography work for the local school district. This work gets me out of the house several times a week. Getting to watch high school sporting events is an added bonus.

This past year, two regular blog readers died: Steve Gupton and Pat Fields. Steve died suddenly at age 51 from a massive coronary. Pat died from kidney failure. She had been on dialysis for a number of years. Pat commented infrequently. Steve, however, was a frequent commenter. Rarely, did a week go by that I didn’t talk to him. I still have a selfie of Steve on my computer. I see it almost every day. I can’t bring myself to file it away.

There were good things that happened in 2019 too. I just hope in 2020, that on balance, the good things outweigh the trials and adversities. Yesterday, our family celebrated Christmas. Now, if every day could be like that . . .

Have a blessed 2020. May the God of reason smile upon you and your family.

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About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Are you on Social Media? Follow Bruce on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you are a first-time commenter, please read the commenting policy before wowing readers with your words. All first-time comments are moderated. If you would like to contact Bruce directly, please use the contact form to do so.

Donations are always appreciated. Donations on a monthly basis can be made through Patreon. One-time donations can be made through PayPal.

Bruce Gerencser