Seems hard to believe, like it’s been forever but also like it was only a year or two ago at most. Yet six years ago today was my first post here at Subversive Influence. It’s not the six years of blogging that seems so unbelievable (particularly given my lack of consistency over the past year), but the events that precipitated it and the changes in our lives since that time. It was just over six years ago when the pastor I’d been working with for ten years on a in the church I’d been part of for sixteen showed up on my doorstep shortly after I’d gotten home from church one Sunday morning and gotten my kids some lunch. I stepped out onto my driveway to speak with him while he had his wife and kids sitting in the van, and he proceeded to blow a gasket, not only yelling at me and telling me my contributions were no longer welcome, but throwing some of my own vulnerabilities in my face and asking how I dared critique anything they were doing when they were serving? I’d say it was the beginning of the end, except the beginning had really come some years before that, creeping up on us unawares. Instead, this was the proverbial straw that did the camel in.
I know, it’s overdue. Long overdue. This blog seems to have disintegrated into one of those that has an irregular stream of posts saying, “Sorry I haven’t posted more, but I will soon, I promise.” But I don’t believe in those posts – and maybe I don’t really believe in apologies for not blogging. Sorry to disappoint you. ;^)
The Biblical Learning Blog Has complied a list of the Top 50 Ecumenical Blogs, and for some reason they stuck me on it in the “Emergence Outreach” category. My crony Bill Kinnon, who slotted in under the “Reaching Out” category. Meanwhile, I’m reading Sarah Bessey’s excellent post In which [she has] discovered that [she doesn't] care about the emerging church anymore and wondering if they might take away the latest designation for my wall if I’m not as emerging as I once was.
It’s become tradition for me to end the year with a look back at some favorite posts from the preceding year, and the end of 2009 should be no exception. Not only does it allow me to highlight some good content that others may have missed, it lets me reflect on the year just passed to outline some of the pertinent topics of conversation and what may (or may not) have changed over the last twelve months.
There’s a growing list of blogging cessationists whose voices are bing missed these days, and a list of notables it is, too:
- Andrew Jones
- Rob Mcalpine
- Mark Oestreicher
- Brant Hansen (sorta)
- yours truly. Kind of.
But not really.
And hey, Mr. TSK-Jones is kinda back from his blog-fast, too. So now that I’ve debagged the cat and confessed that I’m Not a Monk, But I Play One on the Internet, I feel in a way as though I’ve stopped blogging, when I really haven’t. I’ve not been as active on these pages lately as I once was, and I wrote about my blogging malaise a while back. It hasn’t changed a lot, but perhaps I can shed some more light. And no, it’s not going to be a blogosphere departure, just a… a… pseudo-hiatus.
When I began this blog, I assumed that if any number of people read this blog, my actual identity would eventually come out publicly. Of course, I’ve been blogging all along — some 4½ years and almost 3,000 posts ago — under the pseudonym of “Brother Maynard.” When I began blogging here, I said that “the names are being withheld to protect the innocent and show grace toward the guilty.” I thought after the first year that I would announce myself, but on the advice of a few friends, I never have. But maybe I’m no longer feeling gracious.
I think my blogging mojo must have got up and went. Like I said, my blogging frequency has dropped a bit over the past several weeks so that I’m no longer hitting my daily quota. I realized this morning that I only had one post separating my weekend posts, and yesterday I fizzled on my regular hymn series. I started writing the post this morning, but partway through I decided to hold it for next Sunday rather than publish it right away. It’s part of my Sunday series after all, and this isn’t Sunday. Saturday’s linkage was a bit lighter than usual as well, as I headed outdoors to get some work done in the yard. The new fence looks great by the way — thanks for asking.
There’s been something of a general malaise going around lately… people tired with blogging, tired with the emerging church, tired with missional, or tired with “the conversation.” People accuse these conversations of being the “same old, same old” or a number of other things, including being exclusive or exclusionary or being made up of people who only talk and don’t ever do the things they talk about. Perhaps you can call to mind a recent post or two or five that runs along these lines — I know I can. I’m not linking them because I’m not specifically responding to them… I’ve had similar conversations and emails and read comments along these lines as well. And of the posts we can both call to mind, there are some folk who I highly respect and who (ironically?) are an important part of the conversation… even if they tire of it at times. And some of what they say in these posts is correct. On the other hand, one reply in a group email thread this past week discussing this phenomenon said simply:
In case you’re wondering, I’m tinkering my way toward a new theme design. For something different, I thought I’d do the development live, which means that as I start out there is very little here for styles. This approach lets you watch it evolve over time, and should help me catch any trouble areas as they occur. One oddity that I’ve found already is an inordinately high number of database queries occurring — in the hundreds, in fact, when there should be something in the low double-digits. Normally this is caused by plugins, but disabling plugins and changing over to an effectively blank theme hasn’t eliminated that problem, which is the reason the blog loads much more slowly than it should.
I seem to be in the midst of a technology update. It started with replacing my Treo 650 with a shiny new HTC Touch Diamond. I have to say I like the calendar and the email app on the Treo better than the HTC, but the Treo lacks about 83 of the features on the HTC even though it has a much more functional keypad. Or it could be 84 features. Anyway, now I have the task of transferring everything over. I hate the transition where I have half my data in each place and have to carry two devices as a result.
Over the past 4+ years, I think only two or three days have gone by where I haven’t posted. That’s a pretty good record — but not perfect. When that much time passes and I haven’t posted, I feel I’m neglecting the blog, and if I let one or two days go by, it’d be easy to let a week go by without posting. On the other hand, I’m trying to say things actually worth reading rather than posting just for the sake of typing practice.