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A Note From Bruce

note from bruce

I have received a number of emails and messages of late from people wondering if I am okay. They have noticed my writing volume has reduced, and this is usually a sign that something’s up in my life. 

Polly had major abdominal surgery on June 30. This surgery, five hours in length, reconnected her bowel to her rectum. You may remember that in January 2019, Polly landed in the hospital with ulcerative colitis. In August of that year, she had to have emergency surgery to fix a fistula that developed between her colon and bladder. This left her with a colostomy bag. The latest surgery reconnected her plumbing. To put it bluntly, she’s back to shitting normally now.

Polly is doing well, and after six weeks off of work, she will return to her job on August 11.

I am scheduled to have surgery on August 10. Yes, boys and girls, it never seems to end at our house. I will have my gallbladder removed. I have had a gallbladder problem for years, but the pain would wax and wane. A few months ago, the pain moved in and decided to stay. Just what I needed, more pain, right? My primary care doctor warned me that I had reached a point where I had to have my gallbladder removed. Not doing so could cause serious, life-threatening problems. So, surgery it is.

Late last year, I had to have a large cyst in my chest aspirated (drained). Three months later, I had the have the cyst aspirated again. And . . . you guessed it, my third breast cyst has returned. Getting someone to drain the cyst has proved problematic. Thanks, COVID-19. (The last time it was aspirated, the radiologist removed 360cc – about 12 ounces — of fluid.) I have yet another ultrasound scheduled for this week. Hopefully, this will jump-start the process. The cyst is in a place where, as it grows, it pushes on a nerve bundle that affects the functionality of my right arm. This is not something I can ignore.  That is if I want to continue to use my right arm.

Finally, I am in the throws of a bout of depression — deep, dark depression. Driven by my health problems (and Polly’s), the non-stop bullshit emanating from the White House, and COVID-19, I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay on top of my to-do list, including writing for this blog. This, of course, as a Type A workaholic, only makes my depression worse. 

All of this shall pass, or I will. 🙂 Now you know the rest of the story. I appreciate your concerns. Better days lie ahead, just not today. I will continue to foist my writing on the world, but it may not be in the volume readers have become accustomed to. I hope you will understand.

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Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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.

Are You Interested in Writing a Guest Post?

guest post

I am always interested in having people write guest posts for this site. If you are interested in writing a guest post, please use the contact form to email me. You can choose any subject. If you are a Christian, you can even write a post telling me how wrong I am about God, Christianity, and the Bible.

Have a story to tell about your life as Christian and subsequent deconversion? Testimonies are always welcome. I have found that readers really appreciate and enjoy reading posts about the journey of others away from Evangelicalism. Perhaps you are someone who has left Evangelicalism, but still believes in the existence of a deity/energy/higher power. Your story is welcome too.

If you worried about grammar or spelling, don’t be. Carolyn, my ever-watchful editor, edits every guest post before it is published. If she can turn my writing into coherent prose, trust me, she can do the same for yours.

Anonymous posts are okay.

Several readers have emailed me in the past about writing guest posts. I am w-a-i-t-i-n-g. 🙂 Seriously, if you have something you would like to say, I am more than happy to post it here. The ball is in your court.

Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome 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.

Blog News: You Can Now Use Markdown with Comments

simplified blogging
Cartoon by John Atkinson

Want to add HTML links or graphics or format your comments? Now you can with markdown. Readers familiar with using markdown are jumping up and down with joy!  Don’t know what markdown is or how to use it? Please check out the following articles:

Some of you might find these pages overwhelming, I encourage you to dip your toe in the water by trying some of the basic markdown functions. I love the fact that I can now add graphics to my comments. Sometimes, a graphic speaks louder and more effectively than words — you know, like the shit emoji for certain Fundamentalist commenters. 🙂 Just remember, if you want to add a graphic, you have to have a link to where the graphic is located. I hope to have, in the future, localized icon/emoji graphics that commenters will be able to quickly and easily access.

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Blog News: Changes to Email Subscriptions for Posts and Comments

blogging

As I previously mentioned, I am moving the email subscription service from Mailchimp to WordPress Jetpack. Some of you have already noticed the change and acted accordingly. Here’s what you need to know:

Daily Posts

  • Previously, posts were received in a digest form. I will leave this service operational for a week or so until everyone who wants to switches to the new service. Going forward, subscribers will receive an email every time a new post is published.
  • You can either subscribe by clicking the box the says Notify me of new posts via email. at the bottom of the comment section, or imputing your email address on the subscription form on the right side of the front page.
  • You can also read new posts via RSS feed (link requires feed reader). You will need a feed reader to read the comments. Feedly is a good option. If you are an iPad/iPhone user, Newsify is an excellent RSS feed reader.
  • Every new post will have links at the bottom you can click to either manage your subscription or unsubscribe. If you have any questions or have trouble subscribing/unsubscribing, please let me know.

Comments

  • Previously, readers could subscribe to comments without commenting. Going forward, that will no longer be the case.
  • When leaving a comment, you may receive notification of new comments by clicking the box that says, Notify me of new comments via email.
  • You can also read new comments via RSS feed (link requires feed reader). You will need a feed reader to read the comments. Feedly is a good option. If you are an iPad/iPhone user, Newsify is an excellent RSS feed reader.
  • The comment editing function will remain the same.
  • Every new comment email will have links at the bottom you can click to either manage your subscription or unsubscribe. If you have any questions or have trouble subscribing/unsubscribing, please let me know.

Email Post Subscriptions

Enter Your Email Address to Subscribe to All Blog Posts

Blog News: “Like” Function Added to Site

worst blog

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.  🙂

Email Post Subscriptions

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

worst blog

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

worst blog

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

blogging

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: Thank You for Your Financial Support

pile of money
Here’s a picture of all the money I have made off of this blog.

Every year, a handful of people financially support the work I do. In 2019, the following people supported this site through Patreon, PayPal, or Facebook:

Monthly Patreon Donations

  1. Carolyn
  2. Marja
  3. Linda
  4. Karen
  5. Sally
  6. Brian
  7. Kerri
  8. Marc
  9. Steve
  10. Darcy
  11. Stephen
  12. Thomas
  13. August
  14. Michael

Total Patreon Contributions for 2019: $1,457

PayPal Donations (One on More Donations)

  1. Michelle
  2. Darcy
  3. Sally
  4. Diana
  5. David
  6. Robert
  7. Angela
  8. Geoff
  9. Randy
  10. Robert D
  11. Mary
  12. Sheila
  13. Lois
  14. Christine
  15. Heather
  16. Dean
  17. Randolph
  18. George
  19. Sonya
  20. Troy
  21. Joanna
  22. Janet
  23. William
  24. Larry
  25. Rosemary
  26. Olusiji

Total PayPal Donations for 2019: $1809

Facebook Donations

  1. Jo

Total Facebook Donations for 2019: $50

Website Costs for 2019

  • Web hosting (Flywheel) $980
  • Google (email hosting) $72
  • Yoast (SEO) $62
  • Name Cheap (domain registration) $10
  • Jetpack (site functionality) $108
  • Grammarly (writing aid) $70
  • Clicky (web stats) $120
  • WP Touch (mobile theme) $52

Total Website Costs for 2019: $1,474

Profit or Loss 2019

  • Total Income: $3,316
  • Total Expenses: $1,474
  • Income Before Taxes: $1,842
  • Federal/State/Local Taxes (Estimated): $360
  • Net Income: $1,482

Your ongoing monthly support is greatly appreciated.

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.

I Do Not Accept Phone Calls from People I Do Not Know

talking on the telephone

I don’t like talking on the telephone. My dislike for phone conversation stems from my days as a pastor. I would receive numerous calls from congregants who “urgently” needed my counsel or advice or needed someone to talk to. Never mind the fact that I had already worked a twelve-hour day, or that I had Fibromyalgia and just wanted to call it a day and crawl into bed. For whatever reason, I never developed ways to cut phone calls short. So, I would listen and listen and listen as people droned on about this or that problem, concern, or objection. Answering machines and voice mail finally allowed me to distance myself from callers, but by then I had developed a psychological aversion to talking on the phone. Today, I rarely talk on the telephone. Call me and you will get my voice mail. I make no apology for walling off my life from unsolicited, unwanted calls.

Every few weeks, a blog reader will try to reach me via telephone, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or Google Voice. After trying several times to reach me, these frustrated callers will email me and ask WHEN I plan on calling them back or WHEN is the best time to call me. The answer to both questions is NEVER. Want to contact me? Email me. I will do my best to respond to you in a timely manner. Yes, I am currently weeks behind with answering emails. If you need immediate help — most often counseling or advice — I suggest you contact a mental health professional. I will do what I can to help you, but I am not a counselor. My first priorities are self and family. (And I rarely talk to family on the phone. They know to text me if they want/need an immediate response.) “Bruce, you are selfish, thinking of only yourself!” Yep, and I make no apology for it. I spent most of my adult life helping others. I sacrificed my health and family for the sake of congregants and strangers. I don’t regret doing so, but I hope you will understand when I say that I have nothing left to give.

This blog is my offering to you; my way of helping people who are struggling with doubts about Christianity or who are trying to carve out a new life post-Jesus. Want me to address a particular issue? Please ask. Want to contact me? Please email me. I promise that I will, in time, answer your question or respond to your email. But, if you are waiting for me to return your phone call, you are going to be waiting for a long, long time. I hope you will understand. If not, or you are o-f-f-e-n-d-e-d, I don’t know what to tell you. I spent most of life living according to the J-O-Y acronym: Jesus first, others second, yourself last. I came to understand the acronym went something like this: Jesus first, others second, you don’t matter. Now that I am a humanist, I have learned that I must take care of myself first; then my spouse; then my children and grandchildren. And what I have left, I offer it to others. The best way to get a piece of what I have left is to email me.

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.