Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Someday You'll be a Blogger

Back in the 70s and early 80s, I taught English and journalism in a public school. Posed with the typical question from a reluctant student "Why do we have to learn this stuff? I'll never use it," just imagine if I'd answered, "Because someday you'll be blogging on your iPad or laptop, dude, and keeping up with all of these classmates here on your home page or texting your old girlfriends. Without this study of the king's English, your emails will be atrocious, and ur spelling will b bad."

Coming out of a period of "experimental, self-guided" education, it's a wonder anyone from that era ever learned to write at all. But many did, even some of my students. A number are now friends on Facebook and it's a pleasure to witness their various artistic endeavors from writing science fiction novels (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Troy_Denning) to photographing pets and turning them into portraits (http://www.ravaysnow.com).

But, here, right now, I'd like to thank God for two writers who are very close to me--my daughter and my wife. Both have embarked as serious bloggers and each has a unique and singularly characteristic voice, both led by their Creator into their craft of weaving words. Please check them out:

Dear Owl by Paula Lowther http://dearowl.wordpress.com/
Telling a Good Story by Sarah Henderson http://tellingagoodstory.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hi, my name is Todd and I'm a blogaholic

I think I need to join Blogaholics Anonymous. I don't mean I'm addicted to blogging; I'm not and that's the problem. After four months of pretty consistent writing (as I had vowed to myself to do), I stopped. Instead of forcing myself to succumb to self-discipline as a writer, I conveniently placed the topical prayer journal on the shelf pretty much out of view where other books started being piled on top of it. The guilt, strong at first, began to subside after a few days but not the doubts. They remained.

Who's reading my blog anyway? Does anybody care? Aren't there millions of people out there in the blogosphere trying to satisfy their creative urges? I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said a thousand times or more. What a dolt I am!

You know the drill.

I do the same thing with my music. I'll write a song and the first day I say, "That's not half bad." By the third or fourth day, it begins to sound like all the other songs I've ever written and I say, "Who are you kiddin'? You trying to be Bob Dylan?" A few days later if I haven't written it down or done a crude recording, I've already forgotten the words, the chords or the tune...or all three.

I do the same thing with my family. I'll handle one crisis like an episode of "Father Knows Best." I'll think, wow, after some 40 years of parenting, I'm finally getting this down. Then I handle the next one like Archie Bunker. "Ah, gees Edith!"

So a month ago I hit the wall writing about prayer. What can I say that has not been said about it? Sermons have been preached about it, books, tapes, study guides, text books too. Heck! (when was the last time you saw the word heck?) There are whole seminary courses about prayer.

Sometimes I hit the wall praying too. I give up. I shut down. I stop trying. I start talking to myself. I'm not very positive. I go on and on, thought after thought, sigh upon sigh. Then I wonder if God is listening. Then I ask Him if He is listening? God, can you hear me now?

Is He smart or what?