Blogging Resumes

For a number of reasons I have decided to start blogging again.  It’s something I do with a little bit of fear.  I know what I am an attention whore and I don’t want to fall back into my old patterns of seeking a bigger audience constantly.   Fortunately, I think the blogging world has grown to the point where it will be almost impossible to be a “famous blogger,” again, and blogging is also passe in light of some of the newer social media technologies.

Secondly, let me apologize in advance for pulling a Brett Favre here – I wrote those dramatic posts a while back about how I was hanging up my blogging cleats, and oh, well looks like I must have been kidding.  Actually, when I hung up the old typepad blog I did leave room for a return and that is why I opened up here at WordPress.  I also hope I am in the process of dealing sufficiently with the things I had mentioned before that I will be able to blog for better reasons.

Also, and this will move me into a bit more of an explanation of why I am blogging again, I am doing so at least in part for the therapeutic value. My buddy Dan Phillips mentioned that as one of the reasons he blogs and I had a conversation today that got me thinking it could help me.

I went to see my shrink today and we talked a bit about goals.  I didn’t say this to my shrink, but I despise the very idea of goal-setting, but that’s a personal thing for me.  I’ve always been so-so at best in setting and seeing goals through, but several years ago I went through what I am confident was the best goal setting process of my life as we sought to “vision-cast” (a rotten phrase that is now banished to my own personal hall of loathsome shame) our plan for the church.  Seriously, we did a great job.  We had an executive coach, who is a guy I would recommend to anyone here in the Anne Arundel County Area, the plan was well thought out from beginning to end and unlike most of my plans we had clear and achievable implementation goals and plans complete with people to work them.  In all seriousness I had a great deal of confidence because this was a plan where we had lots of people doing the work, though I was the leader I was not alone and we had plenty of things built in to make it work.

Then on the weekend we rolled out the plan I found out I had cancer.  That was like a domino which started knocking down all the pieces of “the plan.”  It has been a bitter pill to swallow.  I still believe that God is good but I am having a hard time coping with His providence.  Part of that difficulty is that I am afraid to make plans and set goals.

Still, I have a great relationship with my shrink and he is right on the value of having some goals to make my remaining days on earth productive and vibrant.  Most of these have to do with preparing my family to cope with the difficult days ahead, but writing may be of some benefit also.

I don’t know if I want to write a book.  For one thing I may not be able to.  Writing a book takes sustained time and concentration and my energy is so up and down I hate to commit to long term projects.  Still, I may be able to scratch out an outline and tackle it the way you eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

I also question the value of writing books.  I’ve taken a curmudgeonly turn over the last couple of years and I really have gotten to where I really love older books, or newer books by more seasoned Christians.  I remember when I was a kid I read a bio of Josh McDowell.  He said he had heard of some saying in Japan that you shouldn’t write a book until you are over 50 because no one is wise enough to write a book until they get that old.  He went on to explain why he was making an exception at the time and it was actually fine, I remember the book being a great thing for me as a new Christian.

Still, I think the advice is pretty good and it wouldn’t hurt any of us Christians to not write or read books by people under 50 years old.  Of course I am going to get in trouble with that immediately – I’ve read good things about the book by Trevin Wax, I enjoy Jared Wilson and am chomping at the bit to read Matt Anderson’s new book, so maybe we give special dispensations to certain folks.

But this is why I want to be careful about writing a book.  There’s just too many books being published these days for any single book to make much of an impact.  And sadly, a lot of those books are being written by younger people who have had flashes of success but haven’t yet become seasoned Christians. I’m only 47 now – close enough I suppose to 50.  Plus, I hope my soul has aged in the last couple of years.  Still, in some ways I still don’t believe I’ve experienced enough of life to write wisely.  While I may blog here for therapeutic purposes my intent to write a book will only be if I believe I can cobble something together sufficiently coherent on the theology of the cross to be of use to the church, if I have been seasoned sufficiently and I do believe the cancer itself has finally put me into the school of suffering which seasons a Christian (though I’m a sophomore at best) and if I believe I’ve dealt sufficiently with my own bitterness in my reaction to this most recent frowning providence.

I don’t consider myself bitter, yet at times I think I am.  So much has gone so wrong over these last couple of years that my head still spins.  At times I have joys I had never known and I see clearly that I have been uniquely blessed by God in my life.  Other times I moan and mourn saying “why me God!!!”  So, I don’t know what I’ll do – on the bad days it is only the theology of the cross that keeps me going and I commend it to you – read Carl Trueman’s article on it, then read any good Lutheran you can get your hands on about it.

As for blogging – it may simply give me something to do with down time. I don’t have as much anxiety about blogging as writing a book.  Blogging is a conversation and is not generally thought of as a final product or an author’s last word on a subject.  I don’t want it to take away from my family and church the way I used to with it.  I also don’t expect my kids to want to read my blog but I do expect to be gone before too long and I am hoping that days may come when they will want to acquaint their kids with the grandfather they never knew, and if there is a way to preserve some thoughts through blogging that would be great.

So, please do pray for me.  I don’t expect anyone to feel obligated to read, but if you do please leave comments.  Pray for a few things.  Pray for my health – it continues to rise and fall, but the long term pattern is one of decline so pray that God may give me more years with my family and church.  Pray that I would resist the urge to get back into the blogging mainstream – that if I have this burning post that I just have to go write, right now – that I will first go spend some time with the family or call up someone from the church to check on how they are doing.  Then, if there is time left, pray that I’ll write a post which will edify as many as possible. But then pray that, where blogging can serve as a good creative and therapeutic outlet I would use it as such.

Thank you, as always for the generosity of your time.

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19 Responses to Blogging Resumes

  1. Bob says:

    Well I for one am glad at the prospect of reading your posts again. To express oneself with care, that’s always a good thing.

  2. cavman says:

    It is good to have an outlet for all that is going on inside- to think things thru in the presence of God. That, intellectually, is part of why I blog- to think thru what I’m reading. Glad you’ve got a little more energy. See you in September!

  3. Barb says:

    Glad your back. Look forward to reading your post.

  4. Tara Barthel says:

    Reading and praying, Pastor Wayne!

    With gratitude,
    Tara B.

  5. Chris in NM says:

    Praying for you, David, and glad to listen as you blog!

  6. Admin says:

    Glad to see you back. Looking forward to your future posts!

  7. Ellen Jervis says:

    I have missed you and I will be reading like am one of your kids. Praying to. Always. – EAJ

  8. Just found your blog and while it appears you have been away from it a bit, glad to see you are back. Will read your blog with interest and keep you in our prayers. My own thoughts on blogging is that it is good for a the soul. It is like keeping a handwritten journal of our thoughts. Before the internet, it was recommended that you write, but now with the internet it is so easy to share our thoughts. It is better because it is a community, with the good majority of people being caring and thoughtful. Keep your blogging in balance, but keep blogging. As you can see their are people who are reading!!

    To quote Vita Sackville-West:
    “It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.”

  9. Hugh says:

    Glad to see you’re back in the saddle. Some things you wrote last year about being “fully present” have been very sticky in my mind. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Rong says:

    David,
    Firstly, it’s great to read that you’re stepping back into the great blogshpere. I’ve always enjoyed your writing and I’ve been stalking your site(s) over the past couple of years checking up on you to see how you’ve been holding up. I’ll be honest, I’ve also been checking to see if you’re still ‘with us’ as morbid as that sounds. I’m also in full agreement with what Inspirational Quotes said.
    On the book writing thing… IMHO don’t put that as a goal. It doesn’t really sound like you want to set yourself up for possible failure or to feel like you HAVE TO do it. I would suggest simply writing about you, how you’re doing dealing with your health and anything else that you feel like “journaling”. I’m at an age and spiritual maturity level where I find myself wanting to read from “real” Christians sharing about “real” suffering. I don’t want to read some contrived 40 day lesson on how to get thru the “x,y,z” of my life. I want to hear from the real life soldier in the trenches. I want to read about the seemingly trivial things that can make one laugh in the hard times and I want to read about the numbing frustration when you wonder why God would make you go thru one more day. I want to weep reading about the brief but radiant moment when God’s grace is illuminated in the midst of all of this.
    I don’t know of a better example of what I’m trying to say than Angie Smith’s story about her daughter Audrey. Long before her story became a book I was reading as she blogged her way thru what is one of the most amazing stories of faith I’ve ever read. If you get a chance I highly recommend checking out the blog that she has kept online: http://angiesmithonline.com/2008/01/the-beginning-of-the-story/

    God’s grace be with you David. I look forward to reading your next post, what ever the topic may be.

  11. bibchr says:

    Yay! More David Wayne!

    “Writing a book takes sustained time and concentration.” Brother, you’ve got that one right!

    “…tackle it the way you eat an elephant – one bite at a time.” I am definitely stealing that.

    “I also question the value of writing books.” What??!

    “…you shouldn’t write a book until you are over 50 because no one is wise enough to write a book until they get that old.” In my case, I’m pretty sure that’s true. I couldn’t have written these books much before 50, not as they are now.

    God bless, sustain, and be with you.

  12. Craig says:

    Welcome Back! Wishing you good health as the days come and go. Love that advice; and as someone the same age as you, who became a Xian in the midst of a particularly zealous group 20 years ago (and has since “aged”, let’s say), I’d add this: don’t read books by anyone under 50 either.

    – Craig

  13. Jeri Tanner says:

    I’m glad you’re writing some more, David, and look forward to reading. At 54, I think you may be on to something with 50 being a sort of benchmark age. If one attains to that age with enough energy and presence of mind left to write a book, good for them! Me, I’m kind of tired. 🙂 I can relate to so much of what you’ve said about your personal struggles with blogging, the liimelight and desire for a bigger audience, etc. And I also appreciate the advice to read Lutherans about the theology of the cross. I was just thinking today how I need a dose of Luther. Many blessings to you.

  14. Thanks, David, for your honest and wise posts…

  15. Lisa Viaros Hoffman says:

    Dear David, I am so glad you still Jollyblogging! I pray for healing and strength as you continue through cancer treatments and gaining strength one day at a time. God is with you and will bring you through this challenge.

    I have seen, first hand, how God takes care of His own. I just returned from a great trip overseas to France and Greece and I was amazed how He led me through as I ministered and gave the gospel to those I met along the way. I don’t have a large family anymore, only 3 of us are left, but God promised to be our friend and to hear our prayers. He is my father and family. I know He sees you and and hears the prayers of you, your family and your friends.

    I pray for peace for you that passes all understanding. Take care and thank you for your blog, who encourages us – we pray that it encourages you!

  16. Glad to hear from you again. I’ll be praying for the requests you mentioned. Peace.

  17. Bonnie says:

    Continued prayers here. You are very much appreciated, and your thoughts on blogging and book-writing sound very wise. I look forward to whatever you will write.

  18. I’m so glad to see that you’ve decided to begin blogging again! I blog off and on, particularly for therapeutic reasons. I’ve always kept a journal, and blogging gives me the same sort of release that journaling always did. I’m sorry that you’re going through a rough time but hope that writing will help you get through it all. God bless!

  19. Lisa Hoffman says:

    Just thinking and praying for you – hope that you are regaining strength – and wanted to let you know many are here for you…..we appreciate your blog and comments. Blessings and peace, Lisa

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