Saturday, September 06, 2008

For Better, For Worse: 5 Ways Blogging Changed My Life

L.L. Barkat tagged me with a meme she invented herself. Here are the rules which she herself cheerfully broke:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post (L.L. Barkat is not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so she can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.)
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

How blogging has changed me:
1. Through Scot McKnight's blog, Jesus Creed, I have been challenged theologically both in mind and life. I found his blog and found some friends through it. But especially his writing and my participation on that blog were teeth cutting for me in learning the art of blogging. Allan R. Bevere, himself a pastor, professor and writer, has been a big encouragement to me, and his blog is a great one, as well.

2. Rusty Peterman urged me to consider starting my own blog. I pondered that and then I think to my surprise, began.

3. I can't recall exactly how I met everyone in the blogging world, but it was primarily through connections. So I can't recall how I met L.L. Barkat, except my guess is that she found me over at Jesus Creed, came over to my blog, and began dropping comments there, especially it seems (according to my memory) when no one else was at least on that particular post. So I began going to her blog and found it intriguing- she is quite creative and good with words, but oddly enough, for the longest time, I thought she was a man! I think it was something of a shock when I learned that that is not the case! I've been blogging through her book- ponderously in the eyes of readers, I'm afraid, but I do think through that, the book has gained at least a couple of readers. It has been a great book for me to work through- wonderful writing and challenging in its application to life, L.L. sharing continually from her own story and life.

4. By and by, and maybe through L.L., I met Halfmom, AKA, Susan. I found her blog intriguing, and good in exalting the sovereignty of God in our lives and how we can trust him. And she, being a scientist wrote in an intriguing way. She also was painfully vulnerable in being open about her life both on her blog, and as I recall on other blogs. What she said connected well with me and my own struggle ongoing for years. And finding out she is a counselor I believe beforehand, I emailed her and shared my own story. She has helped me immensely through her gift, and God has done and is doing a work which only God can do. So this has certainly been a life-changer for me. And Deb and I are now friends with her, though we haven't yet met in person.

5. I've made other new friends, and continue to do so. I like the balance between fellowship and learning. I'm not only into thinking through God's truth in Jesus for life, but wanting to do so with others, and getting to know others. Generally, I think guys seem to be more into sharing truth as they see it, while gals seem to be more into sharing relationship- with truth in that. Not to say I blog with Christian bloggers only, because not all the blogs on my sidelinks belong to Christians. I like a balance between sharing our lives and truth in Jesus with each other and the world. And simply getting to know others through their blogs.

6. Okay, especially early on I spent too much time blogging. But that was better than the one NFL football season I spent playing fantasy football, and I put alot of effort in that and made it to the championship game which I lost (my recollection is that it was the final championship game, though it may have been the championship game in my league; my memory sometime flatters me, unfortunately). But still, though more to my liking (though fantasy football is amazingly fun, at least it was for me that one season), I've learned to cut back. Reading and thinking through words is a big part of who I am, and in a pastoral way trying to be responsible theologically. Now Deb is reading my blog and likes what I do, and is helping me towards better balance in it, and in life, I think. :)

7. I have to end on a good note. Lately I've thought about pulling the plug on my blog, or curtailing it. I tend to do only what I do most everyday, barring Sundays. But it occurred to me, especially through this post over at Not Ashamed, that this is kind of a spiritual discipline for me. I have thought of that before, but being reminded of Bonhoeffer's thoughts on prayer in private and in community in a disciplined manner, helped me see that this is the closest I come to that kind of experience, at least for the most part.

Now I will tag some friends, and this won't be easy because I could tag alot more. But here goes, in alphabetical order:
Allan R. Bevere
Andrew Hall
Bill Williams
Every Square Inch
Halfmom, AKA, Susan


L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, very good! You felt free to break the rules. :) Now, that's partly what makes for a good writer, you know?

It was fun to hear about all the connections you've made and the people who have influenced you. I never realized you met Susan through blogging!

And nice that Deb reads your blog. It's a fun way to connect and discover things.

Diane said...

Hi Ted,

Wonderful blog entry. I've been so glad to get to know you through blogging, and I too (as you know!) have been profoundly influenced by Scot's Jesus Creed blog.

It scares me when people like you who I like so much say they might discontinue their blogs! I understand how time-consuming blogging can be, but anything that reaches out to other people and builds caring community is a good use of time, imho, and is building the kingdom. However, I also hear you on needing to make sure blogging doesn't get all consuming!

Take care!

Anonymous said...

i have actually been thinking on this subject lately. and i am glad to take part...however, it will not be in the next few days, as i am visiting and traveling.

but, it will be on my mind, no doubt.

ya'll take care
hi deb!

Spherical said...

1. It makes be type a lot more.
2. It expands my horizons. There are a lot more viewpoints out there than I ever thought possible.
3. It scares me! (See #2)
4. It encourages me. Sometimes I run across something that says what I was thinking. Maybe I am not alone!
5. It makes me think and grow.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. Well if rule breaking is a part of creative writing, or good writing, than I fear I'm in trouble. Because I'm just, for the life of me, trying to write correctly. Though probably I'm blissfully unaware of the rules I'm breaking!

Yes, it's interesting the friends and contacts you meet. So many come and go, but even in those situations there can be some good.

It is nice to have Deb reading my blog, and I hope she gets on and does some blogging herself, but that's up to her, of course.

Thanks again for sharing the meme with me. It was fun!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks so much. I value your word of encouragement here. To occasional or regular readings, my words on pulling the plug are probably "old hat" to them, and they're use to the cry of "wolf, wolf," when they think I'm just fooling. But really, I'm joking there.

I always value all your postings I've read on your blog, which actually is just fairly recent for me- as well as all your comments over at "Jesus Creed." Of course it's impossible to keep up with all of that, at least for me. Alot goes on there, for sure, alot of good.


Ted M. Gossard said...

I look forward to your entry in this. Thanks, and hope you and yours are enjoying your trip and time away immensely.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for coming on and commenting.

Yes, for me it's most certainly been a stretching experience, all the way around. Even if a little breaking as well at times.

Lanny said...

Ahh, very nice. Very nice indeed.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Lanny. I liked your recent similar post.

-bill said...

Just wanted to pop by and let you know I finally got it done. Thanks for inviting me to the party.