Monday, July 25, 2011

What's the point here?

Well this isn't the first post on this new blog of mine, that much is obvious.  The motion of present circumstance has seen fit to rob me of the usual blogging conventions - like a well-and-proper introductory post.

Not to be totally undone, I think I will take a few minutes today and share with you readers (real or theoretical as you may be) what the point is with this blog, what I hope to talk about, and what I hope to accomplish.

What's in a Name?
Everything, at least in my opinion.  I called this little space "I'm just saying that."  Ok, it's a little awkward.  I'm reasonably sure "I'm just sayin'" was taken, but the general idea is for this to be a space for thoughts of all colors on many areas of my life, and in particular, this season of my life.  I used to blog a few years ago, but found that the format I had created was too limited in its subject, to narrow in focus, and all that I might have thought about saying was being covered by people with more money, more time, and more readers than I could ever hope (or would attempt) to have.

Let me tell you a secret about me, and if you know me perhaps it will explain a lot of my reactions to things along with setting the stage for this blog.  Cloaked beneath the smoky veil of shifting cynicism and speculation is the bright, beating heart of an idealist.  Even in the most negative comment I can make - and trust me, I am capable of making them - lies some kind of unshakable hope. 

This everlasting tension often puts me between two worlds of opinion, and between two kinds of people.  On one hand, I am bothersome to the unbridled optimist, who despite all evidence to the contrary often doesn't want to hear opinions bathed in a heavy demur.  On the other, I find that I am also often quite displeasing to those who always assume the worst, trust the least, or comfort themselves is a fully matured cynicism.

Unable to ever fully please these two worlds, I have found that whenever I issue an opinion in a forum where people can disagree, they do.  By the negative I am called naive and by the optimists I am called critical.  I've found myself on many an occasion on the defensive, simply calling both parties to a fairer, clearer view.  I've found myself inserting the over-used phrase, "I'm just saying that..."

So consider this yet another forum where I will, eventually say things that seem totally uncontroversial to me - obvious, even.  And with that, I fully anticipate there will be those who stumble across this space or land here because they've crossed paths with me in the past and will want to object.  That's fine, but you should know I'm not the fan of arguing over the Internet that I used to be.  I've learned that convincing people in the comfort of their living rooms armed only with the written word in a format where instantaneous response is possible is a difficult road indeed.  So, I'm just saying that this is my space, my thoughts, and not particularly binding to you if you disagree.  I'm not going to get entrenched into debates here, and will only respond to a certain point. If and when it ever gets to the point that you aren't responding to the issue anymore, aren't listening, or are five new questions for every one answered (and not acknowledging the one that was answered), I'll be done.  You're entitled to think you've "won" if you so desire, but I've no desire to spend hours doing research for you and crafting carefully worded responses to keep you on that high.  For what it's worth, I'll add that if you fit into that pattern of behaviour, it probably bears some examination.  I know it did for me a few years ago.

What's in a Subtitle?
Life, art, call, gaming, and all things post seminary.  If you ask me at any given moment, that's what's usually on my mind.  Some of those are more obscure than others, so let me give a little primer for them.

Life.  80% of what I am thinking is the result of observation.  Usually, it's the things people say, do, and the like.  Sometimes it will be something that happened to me or a friend. Sometimes it's just something I found amusing. Sometimes it's something a politician said.  Sometimes it's a serious point.  Sometimes not.  The result of the my deep-dark-secret, that I am always caught between the competing worlds  I mentioned earlier, is that much of the world doesn't make a lot of sense for me.  I've lived long enough to discover it, and to learn to reflect upon it rather than just getting irritated by it as I might have in my early twenties.  I used to be given to rants in those days.  Now, I am more given to reflection.

Call.  At the time of this posting, I'm a 30 year old seminary grad.  I've pursued theological education and training for ministry since I was 20.  I'm presently in a season of searching for "the next step," like the rest of my fellow late gen-x, early gen-y'ers (millennials).  I'll most-definitely recall my journey in pursuit of my call into ministry here.

Gaming?  Ah, this one will need a post of its own.  Short version: my social hobby, for an ever expanding number of reasons, is not golf, not fishing, not boating, not gun-collecting, not ultimate frisbee, but gaming.  It's different, and maybe it doesn't "fit the mold" given what you may already know about me, but I'm a gamer.

All things post-seminary.  The life of a seminarian (or bible-college student, for that matter) is a bubble.  Many don't that.  Many won't admit it.  Many get offended when I say it - but it is true none-the-less.  It would be true of any specialized field, and it is especially true of a specialized field which resides inside the already idiosyncratic world of American Christianity.  It's a bubble, inside a sub-culture, which often prides itself on separating itself entirely from elements of the culture at large - even in areas where there's no moral reason for such separation.  It has its own verbiage, nomenclature, trends and internal mores.  Some of that experience inside the bubble is great and something to be thankful for.  Some of it isn't, and when continued to long (IMO) becomes distracting and destructive. When you begin to leave it (which, by the way, you're supposed to do eventually when you go off to do what you went to seminary to prepare for) you find out just how much of a bubble you were in - even if you were keenly aware of it to begin with. Being from the deep heart of Texas for half of that journey, now residing in the Midwest, it has been doubly so for me.  You can expect a post or twenty on that subject too.

So, in short, what's the point here?  It's to give some space to myself just to occasionally share some things with you - my hypothetical reader and dear friends.  That's all I'm saying for now.


  1. I have a question for you. Is this blog purely a place for you to put forth ideas, or do you seek dialogue? I assume that you do, but from this post its not clear to me. One reason it's not clear is not you don't explicitly invite comments. I'm just sayin. ;)

  2. I am always open to dialogue. Maybe I should have been more clear. What I was trying to convey was that don't have any desire to argue, particularly with people I don't know or haven't really known in a few years. I haven't found in my own internet experiences that when things get into the realm of argument that things can be dealt with beyond a certain point. Anonymity and distance have a strange way of affecting debates where the primary means of communication is necessarily written. In more than a few cases, "reply" is simply too easy to press and the space too "safe" for people to misbehave. Even very clever people can grow abusive given the right setting.

    So in short, I didn't want my blog to become an avenue of abuse to or for anyone, but dialogue is fine and welcome. I am simply reserving the right to not proceed beyond a certain point of impasse and informing the potential reader at the outset that I have no intention of this space turning into the kind of place so many other blogs can be. Even well-intentioned ones.