Isn’t writing fun? What a great way to get your thoughts worked out. Or just a darn good way to express where your mind is at currently. Super fun.
From 2003-2006 I had a period were I was writing almost everyday about God stuff. During this time I filled up notebook upon notebook, filled every inch of dozens of index cards, jotted on strips of paper, and annotated the white space margins in my bible. Around 2005 I got the idea in my head that I was going to start my own ministry, a traveling teaching ministry going into the churches, and everything I was writing was going to be the foundation of my teaching materials and web content.
My writing style was different back then. Everything was being written from a teaching approach with the intention to instruct. Lots of my topics started out like, “How to”, “Did you know?”, and my favorite, “Most churches got it wrong about _____”…..Ok, I’m exaggerating a wee bit there but you get the point. My writing style was basically that of, “You are going to learn from me.”
In March 2006 I had a what seemed to be divine inspired change of heart to NOT go into traditional ministry or even to align myself with traditional churches but to instead seek out home churches and more of a everyday way of life ministry. When this event happened I set down the pen. I don’t remember making a conscience effort to quell my quill, it just happened. When we moved to Minnesota in the Spring of 2006 I packed up all of my writings, stuck them in a box, and moved them into my new basement in Mounds View. That was summer 2007.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2018 (you can listen to my testimony to hear about what awesome God stuff, and some pretty crappy life stuff too, was going on during those in between years). For the last year God has been rekindling my desire to talk to others about God and faith, especially with non-believers. I’ve been talking briefly about God stuff to servers, drive through window employees, cashiers and and so on, but always felt at a loss as to how to encourage them in their exploration of faith or how to invite them to continue the conversation with me. I’ve had past Bible teaching C.D.’s that were given to me, and knew of online ministries I could point them too, but I didn’t feel any draw to refer them on to those resources.
One late night I went through a Taco Bell drive-thru and really got into some good God stuff with the young gal to the point of her tearing up. But then I had to dart out of there because the line was building up behind me. I left feeling kinda sad cause we had just shared a God moment but I didn’t provide a way for a future relationship to develop between us. Shorty after that I had a similar moment at the liquor store with a different gal. Again I felt like I had more to offer but didn’t know how to go about it – now I was getting frustrated.
Most of the bible stuff I would have recommended to people to check out a decade ago wouldn’t be a fit for most people today. It’s WAY to preachy, assumes a level of bible familiarity that most millennial’s don’t have, isn’t sensitive to today’s issues, and is filled with too much christian-eese language that is so annoying. Plus I really want to get my own thoughts out in a way that I felt comfortable with.
As my urge to reach out to folks increased I also felt compelled to write again. Exciting! That desire to write again, and my desire to love and encourage people who may not necessarily have a whole lot of bible background, led me to start this blog but ALSO to take a completely different approach to writing.
In my new writing now I’m trying to just be myself. I’ve found I enjoy writing in a conversational style. It’s not natural for me to be formal or technical anyways so why bother. So when you read a blog post from me hopefully it will sound just the same as it would if you were talking to me in person. Also, please pardon my grammatical errors or whatever else that seems off or informal. I also like to start sentences with “I” and “And” when I write. It’s intentional.
I’ve also come to realize a few other things that have impacted my new writing style:
- I’m not nearly as book smart as I used to think I was. Not even close. So I’m not going to try to write like I am.
- I also hope to build new relationships with folks that may not be believers and with those that may not be familiar with certain Christian terms that you only pick up with after sitting in evangelical pews for a decade. I’m not watering anything down but rather trying to work from a terminology that doesn’t require a great deal of Bible knowledge or familiarity with Christian nomenclature (like regeneration, eschatology, sanctification).
- You won’t find me making statements like, “Christians today are failing at _____”, or “”The church is not _____”, or “God isn’t doing ______ today”. These are some of my pet peeves with other Christian writers. For me that style is grossly arrogant. I don’t know why folks think they can make such broad judgmental statements about a group of people, that are potentially billions in numbers, whose depths of Christian community and interaction go far deeper than what could ever be seen or assumed by a human being. Especially when most are viewing and commenting on it from a white male, american privileged perspective.
- I enjoy referencing bible verses but I like to limit how much I do unless I’m really getting into something specific.
- I am passionate to hear what experiences other people have had and a blog is a great format for folks to be able to contribute and share.
- Lastly, It’s fun sharing my journey and all the things the Lord and I have gone through together. But I really want to help direct people to seek things out for themselves with God. So instead of trying to convince you of some truth I’ve come to know, or that I’ve got it all figured out, I’m rather going to just share my thoughts/thinking on my experiences and talk about how I’ve come to understand them in context of my own relationship with Jesus.
I’ve experienced a whole new set of adventures and gathered different perspectives in the past 12 years since I’ve written. It’s time to see where my writing takes me in 2018 and beyond. Lets learn and share about God together. Thanks for going along with me in the journey!
p.s., I ended up throwing out ALL of the past writings I did. All that remains is that picture of some of the notebooks. There was great stuff in there, but it wasn’t in the right heart. It was time to start fresh!
*As always, I’d love to hear what’s on your mind so please drop your thoughts in the comments section below!