Those who visit here semi-regularly (and you know who you are!) may have noticed a change in the blog’s design and content this summer. Let me explain a part of what is going on.
For a number of months, I’ve been praying through the overall shape of my life and ministry. Not unusual for a 40-something guy. Also not unusual for one wired as an introspective and contemplative by nature. But I have also been seeking a sharper focus and simplicity to life that will contribute to deeper joy in my walk with Jesus. Hopefully, that joy will then spill over and influence people in my world towards life with Jesus at the center.
Simplicity means that more pieces of my life need to flow in the same direction. My life is rooted in helping people come to know Jesus and then live as disciples or apprentices to Him—increasingly resembling Jesus in thought, character and behavior. The key to that is to notice Jesus–His glory, gospel and grace—in His Word and in the sometimes hidden, ordinary moments of everyday life. To notice and then point it out to somebody else so we can explore and celebrate it together.
In some sense, that is both a very broad and very specific goal. But it’s true to who God has made me to be. So here’s the biggest shift: Ponder Anew is going to be more focused on noticing and sharing those realities of Jesus that show up in His Word, as well as in odd moments, easily missed things and artistic expressions of faith. In a book manuscript (hey, publishers—call me!) I talk about standing “backstage at grace theatre”—and noticing what goes on just behind the scenes. The new subtitle of the blog gets at that: “standing at the corner of grace and now.” I think that’s what God has made me able to do best.
So, I will not be commenting nearly as much about politics, Southern Baptist denominational issues, the evangelical circus, weird religion, theological wranglings, etc. Some of those things I’m just plain tired of, and while others are still interesting to me, other bloggers out there do that sort of commentary and do it a lot better than me. I end up sounding pompous or shrill or derivative or uninteresting or uncreative. No joy in that!
I want to sharpen focus and carve out my own blogging niche in a way that’s most true to who I am in this season—and most faithful to Jesus. I hope you’ll continue to join me and the conversation.