Definition: A blog (short for weblog) is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption.
I first heard of blogging when a number of my friends started doing it – quite a few years ago now. I really couldn’t understand why anyone would want to share personal perspectives on the internet where anyone could read them! It seemed far too reckless and vulnerable to me… especially when some of those friends were men who didn’t share much personal information even on a one-to-one and face-to face basis! Of course it has become a great way of sharing opinions widely, dissecting news stories, disseminating information… most blogs seem to be focussed on that aspect: a great place for grassroots, online discussion.
I have obviously changed my opinion now! Over the last 2 months this blog has been an amazing creative release for me and a way of sharing my journey that seems to add to its weight and purpose. Yes, it is vulnerable, especially with the things I choose to share, but that feels right – and prophetic. I am just one of many who are beginning to find their voice and tell their story: it is true that ‘we overcome by the word of our testimony’ (Revelation 12v11).
Funnily enough most of my old friends seem to have stopped blogging now… but there are millions of others out there in the blogosphere, expressing themselves! Some news blogs in the US have a million readers a day! There is a huge shift continuing to carry us all into cyberspace: some resist it, but it is irresistible. This massive, worldwide web of information and communication can and must be a tool for the kingdom.
I was encouraged to see something recently that Martin Scott wrote: “The day of the smaller, hidden, story-telling era is here. Mutual influencing of the few seems to be one of the themes”: this is that. I try not to write for an audience, but it is always humbling to discover that 40 odd people have read my posts – and I don’t even know who they are! Undoubtedly everyone has a story (I have been listening, Steve!) and this is simply mine. As we joke in our family, “That’s enough about me, now let’s talk about me!” Perhaps a better definition of blog would be ‘blah+log’! Yakety-yak, yakety-yak! But I do want to say a big thank you if you are interested enough to keep reading, because it is all I have to give away – my five loaves and two fishes.
I read an article in the Times in September that quoted Robert McKee’s book ‘Story’, apparently widely regarded as the bible of screenwriting. This master of narrative asserts that character “is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature. To understand how much pressure there is, you have to understand how much risk there is… What’s the worst thing that will happen to the protagonist if he does not achieve his desire? If this cannot be answered in a compelling way the story is misconceived at its core.”
This story is no fiction! My life has not been ‘misconceived at its core’ 🙂 But there is no doubt that the pressure we face is revealing our true character. As Paul puts it, “Suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance character, and character – hope” Romans 5v3-4. So it is not true that suffering produces… despair then? As the people of God, persevering through His grace, we are called to demonstrate the opposite, as Jesus’ character is revealed in us. That is an overcoming testimony!
I will be back online in November with more of my story and photos. Brittany is beckoning for the next week and our house there is an internet-free zone!