About three months ago I decided to step back from writing and just focus purely on some immediate things in my life and simply take some time for personal growth. No writing, no blogging, no speaking, and no serious reading! I just worked, loved my kids, read some good fiction, did laundry, cooked, listened to music, watched football, exercised, talked to God, and–of course–enjoyed some good quality Kentucky bourbon!
It was the best thing for me. And when I say the best, I mean that! God has been telling me for years to slow down and focus on what really matters, not to always try and do to more than I can handle, and to spend some time in serious reflection. You can’t grow when you’re parched dry. Naturally, I tend to screw that up, but this time in a near burnout phase, I listened. And it has done absolute wonders for my soul.
Coming back to the blog, there are some changes that will become very obvious to readers. I hope they’ll be received.
- Simplicity – I tend to write lengthy, in depth, footnoted, well-researched blog posts. Not always, but often enough I’ll spend three or four hours crafting a post. Of course, this leads to some minor dismay when nobody reads a piece or interacts with it and it leads to some disruptions in other areas of my life. But of course, while there’s a use to lengthy, in-depth pieces, it doesn’t fit well for the blogging arm…and it creates a good deal of discontinuity. I will continue to write those lengthy pieces, but more so with a focus on outside publication or guest postings. Posts here will now be, on average, shorter and simpler!
- Less Critical – More positivity, less criticism. More unity, less diversity. There are times and issues to be critical and even damning about ideas and situations. But some people are addicted to criticism, addicted to negativity, and addicted to judgment. I don’t want those things to characterize this blog, even if they might potentially bring some more traffic. I am a critic and so there will be posts where I want to challenge a prevailing idea, but I also want to focus more and more on the beautiful things.
- Physical “Soul Care” – This tends to be a theological/culture blog. But one of the areas in which has been most instrumental in my soul care has been physical care. Despite popular misunderstandings, the “soul” is not a disembodied part of you. The body is–as Dallas Willard points out routinely–part of what we mean when we speak of “the soul.” For too long, the Church has practiced discipleship without giving any care at all to the physical health of its people and physical care has been demonized as a worldly concern (with some legitimacy, of course!) I’ll write more on this later, but I want part of this blog to be dedicated towards caring not just for the mind and the heart, but also for the physical body. Expect more thoughtful interaction on this. I’ve seen the importance of this personally and I think it offers something that few are really talking about. In case you’re wondering whether I’ll be posting tutorials on how to bench press, rest assured that’s not the sort of stuff I’m talking about.
- Guest Posting, Interviews, and Other Social Media – There will be more exchanges, guest posts, and interviews on this blog than before. And when I say “more”, I mean a lot more! I intend to open this up to be a place not just for my own personal thoughts but for honest, respectful, and thoughtful interaction with others. I will also be more active on the Facebook page and Twitter (so, LIKE and Follow me on those!).