Friday, November 05, 2010

Not as amazing as I thought I was

Since January 2005 I've been posting at Transforming Sermons. I've taken great pride, quietly, in being steadfast at keeping on, two posts per day, five days per week. During those five years many fellow bloggers have given up blogging for other priorities. But not me. Thirty-five hundred posts, brother. Eventually, I whispered to myself, more and more people would notice the excellence of my work, and one day something substantial (money, fame, maybe a staff writing gig) might come of it. Whenever events--job losses, moves, my father's death--challenged me to lay the blog aside for a time, I reminded myself that when it comes to blogging I'm The Man, the guy who doesn't seek fame or glory for himself, just shares the riches with others.

Not anymore. Yes, I still want to share the treasures I find online with preachers and other Christians. But these days I'm just not up to reading dozens of blogs every week, and so I don't have much to share. What's more, I'm tired of the vain undercurrent of ambition inherent in hoping for something bigger.

So I'm going to take the advice I've given more than one brother in blogdom: it's your blog, not your livelihood, and you never need to feel obligated to keep posting. So I quit, at least for regular blogging, at least for now. I hope to be back at it one day soon, but right now it's simply too much of an emotional burden. A voice in my heart says I might be shucking the blog one moment before some great opportunity was about to fall into my lap as a result of keeping it going. Another voice one tells me this confessional post might actually help get more attention for the blog. But the one I'm listening to says, "Who cares; it's time for a break."

Why now? Several reasons, I suspect. Tops among them is my father's death back in July. I guess I had always taken comfort in knowing--even as his own body and mind declined and I began to be the one taking care of him--that whatever came my way, my Daddy was still around to help. Walking the tightrope without that safety net takes some emotional adjustment.

After five years of sharing almost no personal information online, why am I now pouring out my heart for Google and the Wayback Machine and the whole world to access? Because even though my struggles are here exposed for malevolents and emotional voyeurs to delight in, I've learned something priceless in five years of blogging: Some of you reading this post are men and women of faith and prayer, and I am confident that the prayers you lift up on my behalf are far stronger than any shame or loss I experience from admitting my weakness. Thank you.

And to Christ alone be the glory. Amen.


Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I lost my dad almost exactly one month after my wife and I adopted our first child, a son. Dad was a genealogy geek, and had researched and discovered that he was the first Brenton in 200 years to live long enough to see his firstborn son's firstborn son.

That was almost eighteen years ago. Dad still haunts my dreams, in a friendly and smiling - but always silent - way. I think it's my way of dealing with his profound absence in my life and presence in my memory.

God bless you and your journey. You have pointed me to great treasures with unflagging grace when I had no time nor energy to seek them out myself.

I hope your journey brings you back in the blogging direction some day! (I hope mine leads to more time and energy to spend that way, too.)

6:07 PM, November 05, 2010  
Blogger The Seeking Disciple said...

I for one do enjoy your blog and I do hope you will continue to post from time to time.

7:23 PM, November 05, 2010  
Blogger Debra said...

Milton... I've been reading your blog off and on since the beginning and you know? This was my very favorite post of yours.

Why? Because of your honesty and the 'personalness' of your words. You tend to share what other people are thinking and voicing but really, this post was refreshing because we heard from deep inside of *you*. The real you. (And he was great.)

My very favorite bloggers write from their deepest parts where they meet and hang-out with God and what they learn and feel and experience there with Him. And that's why your post here felt so different than your others--and why I so enjoyed it and felt it.

I'm so sorry about the loss of your dad. My own dad passed away three years ago last month and it did take time to work through that. At least a year, actually, and here he and I were never all that close. So please do take some time to walk with God through those feelings, ok? And give yourself plenty of time and permission to do it.

I hope you will return here someday and write many posts such as this last one. I believe it would transform your Transforming Sermons blog and make it a whole new blog for us, your readers. And we would be enormously blessed. My best wishes for you, Debra

6:03 AM, November 06, 2010  
Blogger Bob Spencer said...

Milton, this sounds like a very sound decision. Although I will miss your blog, which I have always checked in on, just about every day, it will be good for you to lay it down for a while.

I lost my Dad nineteen years ago, and though I was not nearly as close to him as you were to your dad, I still think about him every day and there are events in my life I so would have wanted to share with him (such as my son's recent marriage). But the bottom line is, I have shared it with him and will share it in the kingdom, where I will see him again. That's a solid comfort to me.

Friend, I love you and wish the best for you. I hope you blog again,but perhaps in a different way. For me, ambition has always had a very negative impact on my writing. Sometimes it pokes up its head still, but to write freely without ambition or legalistic zeal is a great blessing. I hope (perhaps selfishly) that some day soon you come back to the blogging world with this kind of freedom.

With great respect for you and yours, Bob

6:30 AM, November 06, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

Milton, my brother, you are a true gift from God to our little congregation. However you use your time for our Lord will be fine with me, since I know your good intentions. That and I know I am blessed to hear God's word every week from your preaching.

My mom passed on 3 years ago today and you know that my brother has been gone a little over a year. I know your pain and share in it with you.

I just want you to know, that you are very loved. God bless you and your family.

8:44 AM, November 06, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, i sure picked a dandy time to come over for a visit!

God made each of us to be unique. No one else can share part of you, except you. Let your little light shine.
yeah, i know it's hard for us humans to be humble, as well as hard to understand what the Spirit is teaching us. yet, i think that what you have to give is unique.

it does not have to all be passing along something that someone else has written and given.

it can be all sorts of things that you see and think.

and get up from the computer more often between posts.

2 Corinthians 12:9


10:57 PM, November 16, 2010  
Anonymous John Dobbs said...

Milton, I've checked in on your blog here and there throughout the years and always been impressed. I think you were the one who did the Church of Christ Blog Aggregator or something like that, and that was really cool. Appreciate your honesty here. And I know that as long as you are this 'in touch' with your own heart, you are heading in the right direction. Bless you in your walk.

2:56 PM, November 22, 2010  
Anonymous Royce Ogle said...

Milton, You are a talented, good man. You follow your heart my friend. Not that long ago there was no blog on the planet and people did just fine anyway. Imagine that!

I love you and admire you. Please stay in touch.

Your brother,

5:02 PM, November 22, 2010  
Blogger AK Pastor Blog said...

thanks for the honest Bog. It is refreshing to hear an honest and vulnerable blog about ones own frailties. Too often the bloggers of note I follow seem too good to be true - emotionally invincible with minds like a steel trap. At times I find myself wondering if I am the only who struggles to persevere in ministry.

5:43 PM, December 07, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Milton,
I have never met you but I look forward to doing so one day, for I trust that if we do not meet here that heaven will afford some "time" for such things. You have blessed me as follower of Jesus and as a proclaimer of his good news and I thank you for your sacrifice and for the excellence of your work. I appreciate also the God-affirming insight of your last post. It was genuine blessing. Please know that you have at least one reader's permission to put it all away for the duration, but I hope the Lord might convince you to reconsider or if necessary reconfigure your forum in the future. Grace and peace brother M.
John W Moore

9:44 PM, December 08, 2010  
Blogger Spherical said...

Just wanted to say thank you for sharing, both through the years and today.

Life goes on. Perhaps your blog will continue to be a resource for many.

There is one who sees all, and his is the only accolades we need.

7:36 PM, December 11, 2010  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

You know, back in 2010 I must have been too worn out to reply to the outpouring of kindness you folks showed me when I took a break from blogging. In case you should come across this comment now, thank you so much for your kind words.

7:48 AM, May 16, 2014  

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