Reorienting things

I’ve finally decided to end my blogging hiatus.  I’ve been blogging off and on now for about six years.  For me, blogging is probably the epitome of narcissism (second only to Facebook) as it provides a space for individuals to spout out how smart they are and how invaluable their opinions on things are .  It’s this space where we can pretend that the whole world cares about my opinions and wants to know what I have to say on matters.  Certainly not all bloggers should be viewed with such cynicism, but when you stop and think about it – that’s really what drives all of us who write, to write.  We all keep statistics and the vast majority of us who blog know that only one or two visitors grace our online space a day, but somehow that doesn’t deter us.  We have something to say – and you need to hear it!

I suppose this prideful persuasion has led me away from the blogosphere for awhile.  I still check my google reader daily and frequently find articles, videos, and things shared that have been of great benefit.  I still believe blogs have a great value and are some of the most formational spaces out there.  I have just felt, while reflecting on my experience the past few months, that my directives in blogging had gotten kind of skewed, and I had lost perspective a bit, and eventually had lost my voice.  I just wasn’t sure what my purpose was here.  So, I took about three months and didn’t contribute anything – no posts, no comments anywhere, I just took in what was out there.

I feel as though my time of reflection is over.  I’ve reoriented things a bit.  I’m starting from scratch a bit, and I’m ready to begin a more regular commitment to blogging (how often has a blogger made that commitment?)

In the coming weeks, I’ll attempt to reflect more specifically on things that I have been consuming that have been shaping me – people, books, movies, experiences, ministry seasons, etc.  Blogging is at its best when it is dialogical.  There are plenty of millions of blogs out there, and each of those millions who consume blogs all have 24 hours in their day, so those who grace the presence to experience anything I bring, is quite humbling.

A few fleeting thoughts on some recent experiences to help set the tone for what may be coming in the coming weeks:

* My recent reading log has been focused on a lot of missional philosophy.  That word has come to mean alot of different things, but for me, the heart of it represents a shift to putting our faith into action, making our faith into a living active reality, rather than a passive commodity.  While that’s not the focus of each of these, here are six of the most recent books I’ve worked through.  I’ve read most of Hirsch and Frost’s stuff.  None of their subsequent works equals the impact made by The Shaping of Things to Come, but they are still working forward and I enjoy the breadth of experiences and culture from which they draw.  Anything N. T. Wright and Gregory Boyd write is worth reading.  The Myth of a Christian Religion wasn’t what I thought it would be – but I really liked it.  Peter Rollins challenges me beyond what most do.  He has a knack for thinking way outside the box and makes me uncomfortable in a good way.  And Red Moon Rising has challenged me to infuse my ministry and life with prayer – it’s a kind nudge forward reminding me how far I have to come.  All of these works are preparing me for class at Fuller in November where I’ll be studying with Alan Hirsch.  Super excited about that.

* I don’t typically watch a ton of movies, but the winter makes my movie count go up a bit.  With three little kids we almost never go to the theater, so the movies I see are always quite a variety.  A few that I have watched that have had a little “staying power” (My feeling is that when you leave a movie and find yourself thinking about it the next days – it’s a good film).

I just saw Milk last night.  Really powerful movie, and I’m still processing a bit.  Not sure what all it has said to me, but I know that it said alot.  I watched Reign Over Me Sunday night when our teens were over at our house.  Wasn’t the greatest movie ever, but it did say alot about friendship and sacrifice.  I love horror movies, and have been watching some classics as I can get them DVR’ed.  The original Night of the Living Dead was really, really good.  I liked it even more than I thought I would.  I watched New Moon with my wife.  All that stays with me after those movies is, “Why are these so incredibly popular?”  I don’t get it – but . . . whatever.  Finally, my wife and I saw Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson on Broadway back before Christmas.  It was fantastic and provocative in addressing many current political discussions about populism and elitism in the political landscape.  Definitely made me think.

* I’ve rambled plenty, but a few other things that have influenced me over the past few months: my wife and I shared our eleventh wedding anniversary in December – the years of marriage are adding up and there’s plenty (almost all good!) to reflect on, we spent five days in December in New York City for our anniversary, plenty of experiences there, our oldest child, Clark, turned six two weeks ago, our church is studying “Mustard Seed Spirituality” this year and becoming more missional,in addition we are tackling the topic of church leadership as we address some in-house matters at our church.

The problem with taking a blogging hiatus is that upon ending it, I typically ramble on forever.  I’ll work through some of this again in coming days.  If you make it here on occasion, I hope you’ll find it helpful, encouraging, challenging, and worth coming back for again.

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