Wednesday, July 01, 2009

blogging and community

A good post on blogging. Definitely worth your read, and see the comments.

Blogging has me in a kind of quandary. I like it, and I dislike it (love and hate, too strong).

Real community is both what we all need in Jesus, and what the world needs to see from us. It's to be a community not turned in on itself, a missional community, like Jesus welcoming all the outsiders in. Allowing for the fact that conversion normally (and probably always, even if we can't see it) involves a process.

Back to blogging. I guess I'm in kind of a mini-identity crisis, and naturally that involves everything, including my blogging. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do, or how it matters. Having my own blog benefits me in thinking through some thoughts, sharing with others from what God is teaching me, and in having an outlet for writing. If there are any readers, and among them some commenters, that's a bonus. I am thankful for each of you. I do have at least a couple commitments, so I will fulfill them through this blog.

But I'm wondering if I haven't been too taken up with friendships online, to the neglect of friendships in my face to face, everyday world.

But go to the link, above. A most interesting read.


The Wingnut said...

It's tough!

That's part of the reason for my slow down in posting. Schedule changes and family demands come first, though not without conflict in my mind. I would love it if I could spend a few hours each day writing insightful things for total strangers to read.

But I don't want to sacrifice my time with family and friends in order to do so.

There are days when I have something I think is really neat that I want to share with my blog readers (all three of them!), but Eli needs a play partner, or wifey needs dinner made. I can't neglect that!

One of the other blogs I frequent had a similar discussion, about online churches.

There can real, honest community in online churches, or blogs, and in some ways those communities might be better. But it does not, and never should, replace real, actual, face to face community found off line in the real world.


Dave J. said...

I too say I write 'for myself' but also thrive on the blogosphere community, seems like a contradiction, but I think its better to say they are symbiotic.

The online world can be a bit one-dimensional, and so too friendships there. Maybe its time to join Facebook--I'd say its at least two-dimensional.

Anonymous said...

this is the real world, and what you see and hear around you is all the real world.

God is first, of course you know that, for that relationship directs us. we need God all the time.

i would think that those that depend on you, such as children of physical age, or children of spiritual age, that have been given to you.

i honestly believe that you know who you are and who you belong to. it is just that we are allowed to have our doubts, about our self, and about what we do.

yet, it is not so much about what we do, as it is about who we are, when it comes to our identity.

God will lead you in what you do.
You belong to Him.

none of us knows what we will be doing in the next minute. but, we are in the hands of God.

you are a child of God and God works through you...God does the work and you can rest in His Love and Grace.

you know who you are, and God has a special name for you.

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Wingnut,

Excellent points, and relevant at every stage of life. I think especially so in the earlier years, when children are growing up. But it's never good to neglect one's family or those in our midst.

I will say that blogging serves different purposes for different people, and all the variables considered, in the end are weighed by God, and we need to weigh them as best we can in this life.

For me reading and writing are both important- the writing part I've discovered late in life, and at age 53 I'm doing more of both now, than before. Deb thinks I'm doing well, and at least definitely better, when it comes to being online and blogging.

But it's not like we can think we've arrived on this, or that at certain points we should not change gears or even vehicles.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Dave J.,

I'm quite intrigued by Facebook, and I think I'd "meet" again some old friends and acquaintances, so I'm sorely tempted.

But I'm also afraid of it, because I'm afraid I'd spend too much time on it. But I likely will give it a try, soon.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your thoughts, and I say, "Amen."

Yes, this is part of the real world, but for many it can take up most all their time. It took up too much of my time, and I still have to watch it, but on balance it's a blessing to me, and actually I don't take long to post at all. I can do a post in around 15 minutes, or longer (maybe more of them like around a half hour early morning- a few of the challenging ones- longer)- depending.

Just kind of sharing, and thinking, but sometimes wonder just what the worth of it is.


Andrew said...

This is something I need to hear, too. Of course we can all impact and benefit each other in the virtual Areopagus of the blogosphere. But you're right: it's easy to get caught up in virtual relationships when there are real people in flesh and blood next door. The apostle John urges us to love not with mere words and in theory, but with action and in truth (1 John 3:17ish).

Ted M. Gossard said...

Great and excellent point, quite apt! I'm glad you made that connection and shared it with us.

Yes, and I just dived into Facebook today, I hope not face first! I don't see that as a great danger, as I think I much perfer blogging. But the best is when we're entirely present for each other.

I will say though that I do think I've gotten to know you to some significant degree through this venue.

Anonymous said...

do you remember what life was like before computer communication?

i wonder if people had these quesions about the telephone?

i think you are right to question the balance and importance of the things in our lives. perhaps if one thing takes on too much importance over another, then there is a risk of it becoming an idol of sorts.

maybe that is why balance is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

i wonder if spending time in prayer and in the word
helps us to have a balance in our life, in so that we are
not left so open to make an idol of something else ?

Ted M. Gossard said...


Good thoughts. I like what you're saying about time spent in the word and prayer.

Marcus Goodyear said...

Ted,thanks for the link to my article for Catapult.

I go back and forth on all of this. At home, our computer is in a roll-top desk. Often I will turn it off and roll down the desk to hide it. (Our tv is in a cabinet with doors for the same reason.)

I think the biggest challenge facing online community is the newness of it all. We don't really know how to use it yet.

Unfortunately, the only way to learn is to dive in--hopefully with good boundaries as you say.