It seems after you have been blogging a year, it is obligatory to commemorate the event with an official post. So this is mine with a few musings about this journey, a journey I have enjoyed immensely. Today marks the anniversary of my first post. Its not a big deal to most and I will forgo reposting some of my old posts as commemoration. Its like the audio visual guy once said about four years ago; "Hey, Tony, I've got some old tapes of your sermons I am planning on throwing out. Do you want them?" Are you kidding me? Why would I want to listen to those? No way!!!
My first muse: don't expect everyone wants to read what you have to say. I expected the blog to blossom into some kind of ministry though not sure what that would look like at all. (My first post detailed that aspiration.) I don't post thematically enough, nor frequently or consistently enough really to warrant that. Plus, expecting certain posts to resonate with others is often too high an expectation. Just because something interests me doesn't mean others will be. The posts I thought would have received several comments usually molded; the ones I asked, "Why am I posting this?" generated a heavy response. Go figure. So, the blog is more of an outlet for me and a chance to make friends, grow a little, and be challenged.
Secondly: grow a thick skin. Blogging is not for the over-sensitive. I learned that quickly. There ought to be understood in good-natured debate an anticipation of passion and heated discourse without having to say over and over, "I apologize for x, y, and z." I learned to make my case, say it pointedly, not to expect the bloghost or fellow commenters to agree, and say it mannerly and courteously. Then move on.
Third: sometimes its best to say, "This isn't for me." This goes for my blog, too. I've gotten into my share of firefights. There are a plethora of opinions and I certainly have had to learn that it is better to exercise a bit of discernment and say, "This isn't for me" and move on.
Fourth: get to know bloggers before engaging them regularly. Drive-by commenters and the occasional blast from anonymous really annoy me. I think its best to try and get to know somebody first; drop a few positive comments before saying that what you think they wrote is the stupidest thing you have ever read.
Fifth: since I have been away from regular posting for a few weeks now since my son (!!!) was born, it has given me some much-needed time to think about blogging and the format I have grown accustomed to. I enjoy writing about ministry, theology, homeschooling, society and culture, contemporary Christianity, and faith and politics; a bit broad. Well, too broad. I have tried to cram too much into one blog and many of my regular readers and friends just do not know what to expect when they drop in. One of my goals for the blog has been that whenever someone drops in, that they know what they are here for. One blog has been too constricting to share all my thoughts. Some who expect theological ruminations show up on a day I have posted on faith's intersection with politics and it has hindered some from participating regularly. I don't want that!
I enjoy interacting with news articles, political machinations, and culture; basically where faith and society coincide. Plus, those comment threads tend to be pretty lively and I greatly enjoy the discussions (though some don't). So, whenever I post a response to a news article, a response to another blog post about faith and politics, or culture in general, I will use my new blog, ingeniously titled The Rambling Prophet 2. I am going to give it a try and see how it works. Perhaps this will help in expressing myself and I can write some quality stuff regarding theology and ministry here at The RP. Like a good friend from college used to say, "If the shoe fits, wear it. If it don't, kick it off and keep on goin'." I hope that you will update your blogrolls with this new blog, put it in your feeds as well as my old blog, and please, read and respond regularly.
I will continue to talk theology, ministry, church issues, and the occasional homeschooling post here at the Rambling Prophet (1?). My prayer is that both blogs will be challenging and prompt us to think more coherently about what it means to serve Him, in church and out. Moreover, both blogs will give me a better way to express myself, I think. I hope you will drop in!
To all you readers out there, thanks for a grand year.