No dear ones. I’m not trying to slip you a sneaky message about my marital status.
This was originally a very different blog post, with a very different name. I was cranky. I had read something on social media that made me roll my eyes and I banged out a blog post entitled ‘Those pearls don’t make you classy’. And then I reflected on it for a couple of days and hit the delete button because it was kind of mean.
It’s presumptuous of me to think that anybody cares to read my reflections but I don’t play an instrument, recite slam poetry or do interpretive dance – so obscure blogging is my choice of creative outlet.
I’ve decided to blog with more regularity and if I’m going to blog often, I want to perhaps provide some guidelines to my rambles, if you will. Guidelines that will help you understand what kind of blog you’re (maybe, sometimes) reading. A set of pledges to you and to myself so that I don’t do the unfathomable and use this platform to respond to idiotic click bait.
So here we go. (I’ve run out of ways to segue into this, though I do recommend you digest this post with a cup of tea in hand. Or maybe even a glass of wine if you’re feeling foot loose and fancy free.)
Pledge One: This blog will probably mention my love of tea on a disturbingly regular basis. I do not apologise for this. One cannot help what they are passionate about.
Pledge Two: This blog will not always be preachy, though this post may be a little…. I also enjoy corn chips and any theatrical performance starring Anthony Warlow, including the 1998 ‘Main Event’ tour with John Farnham and Olivia Newton John.
Pledge Three: This blog is not, and will never be, a ‘tell all’ autobiography. The written word is powerful. Words in general are powerful. Having followed a plethora of other blogs with similar tags to mine for some time now, I often find myself wide eyed in wonder at what people are willing to share, not just about themselves, but about other people. Nothing and nobody appear to be off limits. Stories and experiences laid bare, seemingly harmless ‘personal anecdotes’ made public that deeply wound in private. I’m not talking about the broader narrative, you can’t tell a story about life without mentioning other people, unless you’re Tom Hanks clinging to a basketball or Sandra Bullock floating around space for a solid 91 minutes. I’m talking about my nearest and dearest. I’m talking about the people I have walked through life with, whom have wandered in and out of my life over the past 37 years or even those I once had relationship with that I no longer do.
Here’s my theory. The day I lay bare somebody else’s shortcomings for the world to judge is the day I slam the door shut on that relationship & declare it dead in the water. It’s the day I decide they are beyond hope, beyond rehabilitation, beyond restoration and beyond my forgiveness. If social media and the way of the world has taught us anything, it is that public condemnation and humiliation, no matter how great my personal pain, is never the key to someone else’s repentance. It just isn’t how Jesus works! Think of the woman caught sleeping with the fella that wasn’t her hubby in John 8. She was either cheating on her man or cheating with somebody else’s man and they dragged her out into the middle of a crowd and demanded Jesus deal with her. Put that in today’s context. Let’s throw her up on my social media wall, make it public, invite the world to hurl verbal rocks at her and then demand Jesus condemn her publicly. He didn’t then and He won’t now. No matter how deep my hurt, that decision will never be justified. Never. Jesus said to her “I do not condemn you. Go. From now on sin no more.” (Can I just sidetrack for like, a nanosecond. Notice He did not say “I do not condemn you. Go. Live YOUR truth because I am not judging you.” He did not condemn her in public, nor did He condemn her in private BUT He did empower her to make a choice to no longer sin. Do you get it? Think about it a moment. And…..moving on.)
The point of this second pledge my dear friends, family, loved ones, not so loved ones, horrendous past colleagues, future hindrances to my joy and well-being…..this blog will never be about publicly exposing you. It may occasionally be about publicly adoring you, but never exposing you. You’re welcome.
Pledge Four: This pledge may seem left field but I’ve been researching blogs and reading. Reading and shaking my head in some disbelief. So here goes – this blog will never speak negatively about another Christ centered church, denomination or movement. Ever. Period. Full stop. And I will no longer read blogs about it either. It is not a case of ‘sticking my head in the sand’. It’s a conscious choice. My opinions on such matters are a drop in the ocean. Of course I have opinions. We ALL have opinions. But God is bigger than personal belief systems formed over time. He is bigger than churches, movements and denominations. Romans 2. Read it. It’s super confronting but here is the bottom line (I’ll make it personal so you don’t think I’m talking about you).
When I judge others, I bring judgement on myself. I know this to be true. There are times I have cast that first stone, only for the inaccuracies in my own life to be revealed. Second of all, It’s Gods loving kindness that leads me to repentance. Not a 3000 word essay condemning the beliefs of a people that I actually do not have to be in relationship with. And if there is no relationship, then why make public comment? Not my circus, not my monkey. Move on. It comes down to restraint and the power of choice. But we don’t know much about personal responsibility and restraint in today’s day and age when it really is a marvelous thing! Perhaps most importantly & above all else is this truth in Rom 2:11 – There is no partiality with God.Just because I think I’m right, even if I am right, it does not make me more beloved by our Creator. Think about that. His heart is and always will be about leaving the ninety-nine to go after the one. When I screw up, He loves me. Even when that screw up causes another person hurt, He may not approve of my behaviour but He still loves me. And when I have been wounded, His heart is not only for my healing & restoration but also for the person responsible for the hurt. He is judge and jury. He will hold people to account. I am mistaken if I think my little blog that less than 1,600 people have read in the space of three years is the platform He will use to deliver truth and condemnation to nations. Bottom line. Do not ask me to make comment on such matters nor eagerly wait for me to build up to a glorious expose. It will never happen.
Pledge Five: I will strive to bring something to the table that is life giving and I don’t just mean in the form of tea recommendations but if I can digress for just a moment…tea really is life. It will also be fun. Fun, ridiculous and probably a little bit batty.
There you have it. The crux of what this blog will not be, leaving so much more room for what it CAN be! If my posts begin to contradict the above pledges, assume I’ve been kidnapped, that I’m writing against my will and send help immediately. And donuts.
To the faithful few friends still reading – love you and like you. A lot. To any new readers wanting to join this jolly band of misfits – welcome aboard. It’s a very very small band and though the role of obscure blogger is taken, feel free to throw your hat in the ring for the position of interpretive back up dancer. We are sadly lacking in the free movement department.