A few weeks ago I celebrated my Blogday and now I’ve got to my 100th blog entry. That feels like another mile stone and an opertunity to look back at what its been like to blog for a while.
Recently a friend showed me a copy of “Bible Study Magazine “. It’s brilliantly laid out with catchy titles like “Galatians : Taking a stand” and “Smack down – Peter vs Paul”. In it there is an article by a man called Swindoll (ages 75), founder and senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. He writes:
“I learned years ago that thoughts disentangle themselves over the lips and through the fingertips, and I want to disentangle my thoughts by writing them down”
I have certainly found that to be true. Taking the time to write ideas down forces me to organizes my thoughts in such a way that faulty thinking is shown up and deeper insights are mined out.
Swindoll goes on to says that the difference between reading the bible and studying the bible is
“a piece of paper and a pencil…you begin to study when you start writing things down”.
I think blogging counts too!
Interestingly enough, he ties his bible study in with his Sunday preaching. I do the opposite. Maybe that’s why I seem to have so little time! I find the discipline of studying the bible primarily for myself such a joy. Of course when I prepare to preach, I preach to myself first, but it’s still the case that I am studying first and foremost because I have a preach to deliver. The challenge is then to press into the word and immerse yourself in it to such an extent that you emerge, not preaching because you have to say something but preaching because you have something to say (Think I got that way of putting it from Rob Bell).
Maybe it does work the other way round when you get older and wiser and less driven and can preach out of your personal bible study. Right now I find the task of preaching so all consuming and overpowering that it’s easier to carve out some time to refresh myself in the word without thoughts of communicating to hundreds of people. Blogging seems far less overpowering and is definitely a secondary, submitted, concern as I think about stuff for myself.
Having said all that I can feel the dynamic changing slightly. The more personal bible study I do the easier preparing a preach is becoming. Springs of truth discovered in the secret place flow out in public declaration.
One final gem gleaned from this article. He mentions a time when he preached a Christmas message from the point of view of Joseph. He says Joseph often gets overlooked.
“Here Joseph is engaged to this young woman whom he loves. Both are teenagers, and she whispers to him “I’m pregnant”. How would you handle that? To most of us, he is a figurine in the Nativity scene with his hands behind his back. But, he is one remarkable man. He was willing to take on the gossips of the Nazarene neighborhood. He was willing to stand loyally by his wife. He was willing to go to Egypt for two years to protect his wife and child. And he was willing to teach his son the carpentry trade. He is one great guy, but most people have no idea. His story is about being a man of God, a protector of his family, and standing his ground.”
I will store that away for some future Christmas talk.
The 100th blog is a good time to think about some blog highlights. I have really enjoyed blogging through Hawking’s new book “The grand design”. I have now finished the blogs and set them to come up over the next few weeks. I have also enjoyed following Christopher Hitchens, re-reading my notes from Bill Johnson (I have some more conferences coming up so will blog my notes on them if I make any), and engaging with some provoking news paper articles. I am currently doing far too many series at the moment which is getting a bit much in terms of work but I’m sure I am getting more out of the books and seminars because of it. I’m trying to finish a few now so I have more time to blog about other things plus get on with my bible blog.
Every day we brush our daughters hair so it doesn’t get too tangled. Blogging is a bit like that – A regular disentangling of ideas. Nothing fancy, like an essay or book or article, just an attempt to look reasonably presentable. One day I might attempt a French plat but for now here’s to another 100 blogs and more shiny bouncy “just stepped out of a salon” thinking!