I was out running the other day and thinking of a great many things. First among them was the reality that I haven’t posted a blog of substance in quite some time. Beyond that, I haven’t consistently posted anything since May.
As evidence, the pane on the right of my Facebook feed has informed me that my blog’s Facebook page has reached and engaged zero people in the last week. Because of some residual guilt leftover from my upbringing as a conservative Evangelical, it is tempting to read that as zero people engaged and reached for Jesus, which further would mean people are going to hell because I am not a good enough blogger. . .or Christian.
Of course none of that is true and I only point it out for humor’s sake. However, my Timehop App is also reminding me that it has been one full year since I moved this blog over from Blogspot, chose the wonderfully simple palate from the free themes menu and decided to double down on being a blogger.
When I made that move last summer my working thesis was simple and open ended, I wanted this page to be a window into my grace filled life as a small church pastor. Because this thesis was incredibly broad so to have been my topics.
I have written movie, song, TV show and book reviews, all with the hope of illustrating how God speaks grace to me through the various media I engage.
I have written several devotionals meant to provide a lens through which I see God and God’s creation.
I have engaged somewhat academically with various facets from my everyday ministry experience, writing about video games, fundamentalism, a preacher’s commitments and more.
I have also written a few posts on particular facets from ministry, like pastoral counseling, putting together sermons, choosing books to read and the like.
Then last Spring I became involved with a major debate in my denomination, hoping to provide wisdom and insight from my perspective and all with the hopes of helping God’s church become better. In the end, I am not sure we solved the world’s problems but, man, we complained about them a lot.
And finally I have written humorous notes that are just as much about grace as they are about nothing, as sometimes God’s grace comes to us through the ability to laugh at things like towns named “Paradise” that are the ugliest place you ever saw and signs on the interstate that are either bragging or warning about road fatalities. I am still not sure which.
Some of my posts have been read by 5 people. Others have been read by hundreds. One or two hit the thousands. And some have only been read by mom and one other person whose identity I do not know but who has clicked “like” on almost every post. Thank you, random person, by the way. Some of my posts I have wanted anybody and everybody to read, some have been limited to my own congregation with the rest of you eavesdropping. Still others, I have written and hoped no one from my church read it. In that vein, I have posted some of the links to several Facebook groups and Twitter handles. Others I have not advertised at all and been relieved when only my mom read them.
Some people have followed me on Twitter due to this blog and others have even followed it at wordpress.com. Some have shared the link on their social media pages. Others have stumbled on this due to random google searches. Many have given great compliments, and some have added helpful corrections.
Where do I possibly go next?
Well, as I said, last week I was out running and thinking about all of this. At the same time I was thinking about my sermon for Sunday and how this sermon was unique in that I had over researched it and had so much to say that the sermon could have lasted an hour. The painful part of this preparation, but a needed step, was the huge amount of cropping I did to get the sermon at a manageable length and with a coherent structure. There is a blog post in there that I will someday write.
Then I was thinking about some minor conflicts that have happened in my ministry and family over the last few weeks. Like most conflicts, these were wonderfully entertaining and quite funny and also full of grace. I would chronicle them here, except for my huge doubts that the other members also saw these conflicts as entertaining, funny and full of grace. So I refrain.
Then I thought about bigger topics that I really want to spend time writing about. Since Easter I have been putting together a post about “Feasting and Fasting” and how there are times for both. But that is an Easter post and Pentecost came and went and now it is untimely. So tune in next April for that instant classic!
I was also thinking about the major amount of hospital visits I made in June and how that helped me reconnect with a core value of my ministry. I hate hospitals and yet when I am there on mission, they are buildings full of grace. There is a wonderful blog there.
Then I started thinking about how I plan to put together a six week Bible study on evangelism in September. I was thinking about how I would structure this study, what books I would use and what real life examples I would insist we engage. Then I started thinking about my own half thought out philosophy of evangelism and how passionate I am about it. And how I should start by writing a blog about it, just to help satiate my passion so I didn’t overwhelm my poor students in the Fall.
Then I remembered that a friend had forwarded me a copy of his new book, a wonderful little theology primer entitled, “Theology of Luck” and how he gave it to me under the promise that I would write a post about it to get all of you to buy it. But I haven’t decided what I want to write about it yet, so I am stalling.
Then there are a few massive political battles being waged right now that everybody else is blogging about. It feels like I should be too except for that age old question about whether or not I would jump off a bridge if all my friends were. Still, Romans 1 has been a great source of consternation in a few of these debates. I, of course, am convinced everybody is reading it wrong. Wouldn’t it be nice to put together a post about how everybody is wrong and convince them I am right. I may or may not do that.
There is also the temptation to write a post about what I really think about SuperPacs in relationship to God’s command to refrain from gossip and slander. That one is more likely because nobody is really all that passionate about SuperPacs and I could get away with it.
Then I thought about grocery shopping and how I get so lost and overwhelmed every time I enter a grocery store and how my wife gives me these long, unorganized lists that make me run laps around the store until I ask for help. There has to be a sermon in there somewhere (and a blog post!)
Then there is that new video game I am playing that is not only fun but full of moments of challenge and grace. I should review it when I get to the end of it.
Then I thought about how much I just thought about. I was only twenty minutes into my run and I had that much on my mind. That helped me remember a post I have wanted to write for some time about how God gives me grace through running and how running is an indispensable ministry practice. That would be a good post.
Regardless of all of that, if you think my personality is exhausting, just try being me. Rumor has it some people just have one voice inside their heads while others have two voices in perpetual dialog. I have 40, 40 wonderful and necessary voices all singing a gorgeous harmony about video games, music, grocery stores, politics, theology, ministry and above all, grace.
Most people would go insane thinking as fast as I do but God keeps me sane. God keeps me humble. God keeps my feet planted to the ground and my heart and soul on mission. It is true, that I am passionate about a great many things and I express that passion in a great many ways. Yet as this blog begins year 2, I find I am still the most passionate about this incredible God who is faithful and just and who always gives to all of us overwhelming measures of abounding, awesome and amazing grace.
Somebody should write a song about that. I don’t know anything about music but if you stay tuned until next summer, I will keep telling you all about this grace that goes before.
See y’all next time!