Sunday, February 24, 2013

On Maintaining a Blog

I read a blog post from a friend recently about finding your voice when writing. I have had a blog since 2003 (Xanga in those days). Back then I had many fresh new ideas and I viewed the internet as a place where I could explore themes and thoughts with a measure of distance. It was a sort of laboratory for thoughts and ideas that had been rattling though my head.

Back then, I felt like my life was always on display - my blog was just another way others could view and understand me. When I became a Youth Pastor, I got in the habit of airing my thoughts and feelings publicly to groups of people. As I had time, I maintained my blog as my laboratory.

As my time as a youth pastor started winding to a close, I found myself becoming more reclusive with my inner workings. I had learned that what I said online could impact my everyday life. Heaven forbid someone read my thoughts and base their entire perceptions of who I am on that blog post! I was worried. Worried that my faith journey would frustrate or confuse friends and family. That sharing my private thoughts online could lead to people I cared about misunderstanding me. Maybe it could even hurt future chances of getting another ministry job. So I stopped posting my thoughts online. The internet makes a pretty crappy journal.

I still read many, many blogs. I enjoy reading the musings of others now. These blog posts have the power to inspire me, challenge me, force me to look at perspectives different than my own. The best bloggers I know seem to have found a way to share the private thoughts of their hearts in a way that is true to who they are as people and the gifts and callings they have been given.

Sometimes when you're on an inner journey, it helps to write things out. To interact with those you know and those you don't know about your ideas. For me, I have been learning the beauty and sacredness of keeping my mouth shut and listening (for the most part). Its been refreshing not to have to share, defend, explain, or fight for my thoughts and opinions with anyone other than my wife and close friends. I'm no longer preaching. I'm no longer teaching. No one hangs (or pretends to hang) on my words any longer. Its been freeing.

But I love to think. I love to interact. I love to grow and learn from others. I value the gifts and insights that God has given me. And sometimes, I have something to say. Recently I have been thinking a lot about blogging again. To put myself back out there. I have things to say, and lessons to learn.

Next month, my journey takes another turn with the birth of my first child. I'm going to be a daddy. This thrills me and terrifies me at the exact same time. I look forward to sharing my continued journey with all of those who would listen. It's going to be an exhilarating year, that's for sure!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year

I hope you had a great holiday and New Year season. I had a refreshing time with friends and family so much so that I'm back here on my blog writing something again.

Seriously, I have been very bad about writing this last year and I hope to change that. As I was perusing my rss feeds this morning I was reminded at how formative and helpful these voices have been to me the last few years. Hearing other people's stories and experiences and learning from what they are learning have nudged me along in my own journey.

With that in mind, I would like to be more intentional about writing this year. I don't love writing, at least not at first. Not only does it take time (even more so when I have to type on my iPhone), but it makes me vulnerable and forces me to process my thoughts. All of these things I see as a positive, so I shall press on this year and continue to share snippets of my life with you. You can encourage me in this by interacting with my posts, and of you have your own blog - I would love to hear about it and maybe add you to my blogroll.

So here's to 2012. May it be a year full of wonder, joy, and discovery for me and for you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Follow me on Delicious

For those of my friends (in RL or otherwise) who had enjoyed following my shared items in Google Reader you might have noticed that the big G has decided to take away their sharing feature. There are plans to roll sharing into Google+ but many of you don't use G+ so I have an alternative you can use.

If you would like to continue to follow what I'm sharing please add this feed to your RSS reader of choice:

Anytime I share a blog post it will show up in this feed. Thanks for following.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Reformation Day!

This day in 1517 Martin Luther posted 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door in Germany sparking the Protestant Reformation.

As I reflect on this day in history, I wonder if I had the chance to nail some of my own grievances to the "door" if the church in America, what would they be. Here are three off the top of my head:

• Unity in Christ - The Church on America is full of bickering. Popular theological debates Divide denominations and Christians. We need to do a better job of encouraging believers to be united in Christ instead of divided over differences that are not central to the Gospel of Jesus.

• Cultural/Political Syncretism - many churches in America today mix politics of the empire with what it means to be a Christian. A Christian must put God over country in every issue. Christ was not a Republican or a Democrat.

• Mission - is the Church being Jesus' hands and feet to the world, or is it a private religious country club? I believe that the Church needs to return to its roots making disciples and caring or those that Jesus spent time with.

What about you? What thoughts would you nail to the door of the Church today? What pressing issues do you think are vital to the continuation of Jesus' Church in the world today? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Hello September has a spiffy new clean interface for writers. It was pretty enough to get me on here to make a quick update. See?

Life has been good these summer months. It's been really oppressively hot, but that's Alabama. Some of my favorite summer activities have been

  • staying cool indoors as much as possible. A/C is a modern miracle
  • visiting our local farmers market on Saturdays at Pepper Place. Local honey and produce is always awesome.
  • hanging out with friends, babysitting our nephew and our friends children. They say we will benefit from the practice. I can change poopy diapers now.
  • reading through the entire Harry Potter series for the first time at work (yes I can read at work, it's not as exciting as it sounds)
  • and visiting the family lake-house at lake Martin!
Marie and I are looking forward to the cooler fall weather. Being Alabama, that could be another month or so. It would be nice to live somewhere where there was a fall before winter that lasted more than a few weeks.

As for spiritual matters, we have been praying for God's guidance as I seek another full time youth ministry position. It's been very difficult to wait on God's timing but we know that that is the very best for us. Please pray for guidance with us. In the meantime we have a very awesome church family here in Birmingham that we are enjoying serving with. Even while we wait, God provides!

Well this short missive is turning into a long one so I'll sign off here. Take care friends.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Doing the Father's Work

Don't believe me unless I carry out my Father's work. But
if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I
have done, even if you don't believe me. Then you will know and
understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father." (John
10:37, 38 NLT)

There are many today professing to be Christian leaders. Some
Christian leaders entangle themselves in the politics of the day.
Others write books. Others still are pastors of very large churches.
Some have their own television or radio programs.

But how are we to know whether they are worth believing and listening
to? Jesus told the people that his works were proof that he was doing
his Father's work.

Do the Christian leaders we follow carry out the Father's work? Do
they care about the people Jesus cared about? Do they love like Jesus?
Do they stand up to the Pharisees of our day?

I know I want to live the kind of life as a Christ follower that is
without a doubt doing the Father's work. It means I have to involve
myself in the issues and with the people that matter to God. It also
means I need to discern what those things are. Not an easy challenge
in our world today.