Here is the Friday Five writing prompt from over at RevGals.
1. When did you start blogging? What/who prompted you?
I first blogged back in 2006 when I went to the Middle East for a month. My mom was convinced I was going to die far away from home. And so pictures and updates that she (and everyone else) could check at their leisure was easier than figuring out an international long distance plan. That blog is still up, even though I haven’t added to it in 6 years. You can read it here.
This blog began in 2008 when I became the pastor of Southminster Church in Boise.
2. How often do you post? How often do you visit blogging friends and/or other blogs?
I post all of my sermons, which is an exercise in faith and trust for me. Because I don’t like all of my sermons. But it has been my experience that the sermons I hate the most and are the most difficult to write are the ones that seem to speak to people. So I trust God enough not to trust my own judgment about my sermons. That’s faith, right?
I have been trying to post more non-sermon writing, but that is still in process. I need to be better disciplined in my time, and need to trust my voice. Blogging sometimes feels to me like an act of narcissism. But I remind myself that nobody is forced to read my blog, so I can let that fear go a little.
I read someone or other’s blog every day. I’m not terribly disciplined about whose blog I check. But if I see something on Facebook or Twitter that looks interesting, I’ll journey down that rabbit hole and see where it takes me. I go to RevGals almost every day, and that usually takes me to other blogs too.
3. Why do you keep on blogging?
I keep blogging my sermons for a number of reasons. It allows the congregation I serve to have access to sermons from weeks they miss worship. It also keeps my sermons “safe” on the cloud, so I have a back up that is searchable. I have also discovered that people who have “left” the church (or perhaps we should say the church left them–but that’s a discussion for another day) have become readers. So the sermons end up speaking to people outside of Sunday morning worship. And I am very thankful for the interactions I have with those readers.
I also blog about other things because I love the connectivity of it all. I have “met” some great people online through this and other blogs and have actually met many of them in real life because of the blog. So I am thankful for those new friendships and the stronger connections I have with my other friendships.
4. What do you like to write about?
Other than sermons, I like to write about adoption. You can read all about it here. I have a particular perspective about adoption that I don’t feel is heard enough in the national discourse about sex, abortion, teen pregnancy, and adoption. So I am thankful if this blog allows that voice to be heard.
I also like to write about Jesus. Specifically, where I think our faith in Jesus calls us to speak out in our society on behalf of people whose voices are not heard.
I will soon be occasionally blogging at Political Theology. Much thought provoking writing there. Check it out.
5. Have your blogging habits changed–or are they changing?
As I already mentioned, I am trying to post more non-sermon writings. And am thankful for friends who send writing assignments my way.
I also think I am more confident in putting my voice out there on the interwebs. I am less concerned about what people will think of me. I don’t wish to offend for the sake of offending, but I also recognize some people will be offended by what I write. And I’m okay with that. I would rather be in dialogue with people who are troubled by my theology, politics, or views than not say what I think and have them just assume I agree with them because that is what all Christians must surely believe…
Bonus: Recommend a blog or two.
Where to begin….
My friend Ashley-Anne Masters always says something worth hearing. My friend Kate blogged about her recovery with her eating disorder and her blog is beautiful. She just had a baby, so apparently she is too busy to blog or whatever, but her blog is still worth reading.
In terms of current issues and interesting ideas, Andrew Sullivan is both informative and challenging.
If I ever want to laugh, even though her writing also makes me sometimes cry, I go see what the Bloggess has written. Her writing is irreverent, funny as anything, and poignant.
There are a number of other blogs I read, but that list is too long to name. I am thankful for people who share their brilliance with the rest of us, and am honored to know so many of those brilliant people.
What other blogs should we all be reading? Feel free to leave your ideas below in the comments!
And thank you to the people who stop by to read what I post. It means a great deal to me that you would take the time to read my sermons and other writing. Thank you.