Motivations

I was moved a few days ago to begin this blog process but seriously questioned my own motivations for doing so. I don’t think my writing is something everyone should read; to the contrary, English and literature were my worst subjects in school.

I wish, however, to engage in a dialogue of the sort that I see in other religion blogs – a place to develop my views in a solid form and see views of others on the matters discussed. I also realize this does not come overnight and may take a long time to form.

After contemplating my motivations, several things came forth in bible study to make me feel this is the place I am supposed to be, for now, and I wanted to share two of these.

First, I have been doing a personal study of Acts using the book Meditative Commentary – Acts of the Apostles: Jesus Alive in His Church  - a book which does not really “comment” on the meaning of scripture as much as it asks detailed questions to cause deep self-examination of the scripture passages. The questions for a given section of a chapter or less is usually around 15, followed by a brief 2 page reflection by the author. So, most of what I draw from this study is purely my own interpretation not necessarily flavored by anyone else’s.

Earlier this week I read a question from this book regarding Acts 11:1-5:

“Can you think of a time when you felt led by the Lord to do something that produced criticism? What can we learn from Peter on how to confront such a situation?”

And in reply I realized I had actually insulated myself, as much as possible since my conversion, from critique by Christians.

I know I am under constant critique, whether vocalized or not, from those in my life who are not Christian, and that is something I saw before my conversion and anticipated.

I believe my fear of rejection led me to withdraw from situations where I might receive criticism, and this is restricting my ability to grow. Something in this question nearly compelled me to start writing in a public forum.

Then, yesterday, because my church hosted an event, I attended Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live Simulcast. I had never read any of her books or listened to her although I had heard of her.

Some big points I pulled out of the first speech section of the day, the first bullet being a direct quote from Beth Moore:

  • “An individual calling can only be fulfilled in a ‘we’ context.”
  • The book of Acts – always a group context, never alone
  • “They” becomes “We” – Luke never shows his entrance into the book with an “I” statement.

And, it hit me, that this was part of my struggle. I was worried blogging would be an “I” thing, as if I were trying to be more than I am. But it is what allows me to turn my “I” thoughts into the possibility of “we” – thoughts framed for a larger audience, possibly to have a larger audience, and hopefully to have engaging readers and commenters over time. I have plenty to share and I hope you will join me, whoever you are, reading this, and engage with me along the way.

Have you felt led by the Lord to do something that produced criticism?

Starting to Write

This blog and this post are my first step into the world of writing about religion and faith. I’ve managed websites for years (mostly genealogical) and designed a cooking blog but I have never considered writing about my beliefs.

For the last few months I have been nearly daily journaling about my bible studies, and have certainly had some huge *moments* to shake my faith that have made me reexamine my self, my motivations, and my relationship with God, in a way that has made me a much stronger person.

Then, the creation of this blog was sparked by a few different things coming together all at once. First, I read the Slate article about Rachel Held Evans, and through that visited her blog for the first time. Reading back in it, I was blown away by the critical thought which I have been seeking in my religious growth. Secondly, my personal bible study has been leading me to deeper introspection, and has been teaching me things that I feel are worth sharing on a public level. Also, I have been reading more blogs since discovering Rachel’s, which have made me appreciate the level of discourse that can occur through use of blogs and comments. I hope this will be a useful tool in my spiritual growth and that others may find it useful as well.