Monday, April 09, 2007

A return to the blogosphere . . .

40 days ago I committed to give up my blog reading and personal blogging. I did it to celebrate the Christian season known as Lent. Instead of soaking an hour plus each day reading creative thinkers, godly people, and emergent leaders, I spent more time reading, praying and investing time with people.

I was 20 times more efficient in office work, allowing me to spend time studying some things I haven't studied in a long time. I also was able to clean up my office, give away a bunch of books, and donate others to the circular file. If it weren't for March Madness, I probably would have taken a near hiatus from the computer altogether.

In the past 40 days I've also increased my reading intake -
1. I finished the three opening books of the Shannara series by Terry Brooks and am on to the 4th.
2. I read through Angels and Demons by Dan Brown with my wife (severe let down BTW)
3. Started and finished a personal leadership study by Dan Webster called the Raw Deal.
4. Finished Paul, the Spirit and the People of God by Gordon Fee
5. Started the autobiography of Mark Twain
6. Started a great book on preaching called "Spirit-empowered Preaching" by Azurdia
7. Done some preparation reading for my upcoming ordination council

It was a rich time with some practical responses: First, I am removing 16 items off of my Google Reader, and instead of reading the near 1,000 articles I missed the past several weeks, I will only catch up on my good friends' lives and leave the rest. It feels good to be free.

I also had a delightful 1 week tropical vacation with my wife in Puerto Vallarta. Maybe I'll blog about it sometime . . . but it was real good. Do you like the sunset picture over the Pacific Ocean?

Several people have asked if I was tempted to cheat. I was at first. Every now and again something powerful would happen in my life or God would teach me something, and I've usually been one to barf up my life for the world wide web. But over time I enjoyed keeping those things to myself. I think it's Henri Nouwen who encouraged religious people to keep the sauna door closed. That is, sometimes the things God is teaching you are best implemented when we keep our mouths shut and let God keep working . . . rather than verbalizing things that God is doing but are still in process.

Overall I think my blogging will be a bit different, but only time will tell.

Thank you to those who said a special word of prayer during my 40 day fast. It was a special, soul-refreshing time to wait on the Lord and prepare my heart for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.

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