Life is on the hectic side right now. It's a good hectic, but hectic nonetheless. Personal time for reading and studying the Bible are very important to me. Family time is also very important. I feel that everyday Cait and I watch Leah learn something new. Even today, she just started "drinking" out of adult cups. (AKA trying to drink water from a cup and then spilling it all over the floor. But she is so excited to try! It's so cute to watch! Haha.) Also, we hope to "press play" on our adoption process in 2018. Serving at my church/work, diving into seminary and caring for my neighbors are also high up on the list. With all this going on, why blog? Here are some reasons why...
For those of you new to the blog, Cait and I used to be professional wedding photographers. I was able to work full-time as a photographer while Cait worked as a pediatric nurse. Part of the business was blogging as often as we could. If I'm honest, I miss photo-blogging! It was rewarding to work hard on a wedding and then create a blog post that summed it all up. It was especially rewarding to work as a creative professional. You never really know how a project will turn out until it's done. As you can tell from our copyright statement at the bottom of this page, we create everything we can. There's something that drives us to be creative. To write. To photograph. I think being creative is part of being human. Humans after all are the only animals who can be creative. (I am talking about more than just shoving a stick down a hole to catch ants.)
It's important to practice writing.
As I understand it, it is important for pastors to be able to effectively speak, teach, preach and write. Essentially, it's important for a pastor to be able to communicate to the people that are in his church. (Kinda obvious.) If a skill is important, it needs to be fine tuned and perfected. Writing for me has always been lots of (enjoyable) work, requiring lots of energy and practice.
It helps solidify ideas in my mind. The topics covered in seminary are complex. They require me to be constantly thinking about them. I suspect that I will never be finished processing these ideas, even when I arrive in heaven. (That topic deserves a separate blog post. But in short, some things only God understands. Because we will never be God, we will never fully understand everything.) I feel that I am just starting to get a grasp on the concepts covered last semester as I use them to process the topics covered this semester. For example, I was taking a shower this morning, and this blog post came to mind, along with two or three others, while thinking about this week's assignment. Blogging is a great way for me to process ideas without running out of hot water.
Putting it out there for public scrutiny ensures that I've done my homework.
I doubt that any of my blog posts will ever be cited by anyone, but I try and do my best research on a certain topic before posting it. In today's culture you have to explain what you believe and why you believe it. I am assuming a certain level of scrutiny for everything I write. This is a good thing. Using Paul (who wrote a good chunk of the Bible) as an example, you have persuade and convince others of your ideas. As people think about your ideas, they will have questions and critiques. If you have done your homework, your ideas will stand up.
Nowadays, it's important for the Christian ambassador to embrace the information age we find ourselves in. We need to well prepared and be able to give a reason for what we believe. It was never enough to simple to bash the Bible over someone's head, or use the government to enforce Christian theology. It's important to engage with the culture, and go the extra mile in preparation to try to convince everyone of your idea.
I need to practice communicating like a normal person.
This reason is what spurred me to write this blog post. Before I worked for my church, and before I was a photographer, I was a paramedic. During my schooling, I had to spend several months rotating through all the different departments of the hospital. During my ER rotation, I had an interaction with a patient I'll never forget.
This was an usual situation, but an elderly woman "presented" to the ER after a cancer screening earlier that day. Because her visit to the ER was related to her cancer screening results, the ER doctor decided to tell her she had aggressive and widespread colon cancer. She had a bad prognosis. The nurse and I were in the room when she was told she will most likely die, even if she decided to go through with the surgery and cancer treatments.
Maybe because the ER doctor was not used to breaking bad news to cancer patients, or maybe because the news was so surprising, or maybe due to a combination of the two, the patient did not understand what the doctor was saying. The doctor was calm and professional. But because he was so relaxed, and he was using such complex language, she thought the results of her screening were no big deal. She thought she was going to be alright.
After the doctor left the room, the nurse and I re-told her the bad news. We told her using plain and simple language. We told her with some emotion in our voices. It was sad news. We should be upset. We talked to her like she was a member of our family. We talked to her like a normal person. After our conversation, she was upset too, but at least she understood the news. She understood that she needed to contact her family. She understood that she needed to be with her family because she might not have much time left.
Like paramedic school, with seminary it's so easy to get caught up in the jargon. (As a reminder of this truth, I posted one of my seminary assignments.) The jargon is important, but the goal is nottoimpress those around you with complex terminology. The goal is to understand the topics in order tohelp and love those around you. What good is it for someone if they hear the gospel in language they don't understand? Or in an unloving way? I'm not sure. I am sure about this: all Christians have a calling to communicate the good news about God in a way that is understandable. All Christians are called to love everyone around them.
People might end up reading this!
As I write this, I am assuming that hardly anyone will ever read it. (Hi Mom and Dad!) I am mostly likely being overly pessimistic so I am not disappointed. But when I allow myself to dream, sometimes I get excited that someone out there will read this and be helped by it. You never know.
It helps me.
Even if no one reads this, blogging helps me. Blogging is an extension of my journaling. As I read and study the Bible, these thoughts are put together in my mind. It's helpful for me to jot them down on my computer, and then press "publish".
Did you actually read this post? Do you have any questions or feedback? We would love to hear from you!