Category Archives: Writing

Are Blogs Disposable Media?

I first began blogging with Myspace, then migrated to Google Blogger, and eventually here at WordPress. I’ve always enjoyed this medium, and have been blessed by power bloggers such as Tim Challies and Justin Taylor. I’ve also had some great conversations with friends right here on this blog. But I think my greatest roadblock to blogging more frequently is that I’m afraid it might not be polished enough.

I wonder if this fear runs against the very purpose of a blog (web log), which according to Google, is “A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”

My creative side wants to blog more, but my perfectionist side wants to polish a post so much that, frankly, I don’t end up blogging very often. Would I write more if I was less concerned about polish?

Last October, I attended a technology seminar by Carlos Whittaker at the CSBC who described social media phenomena such as Instagram and Snapchat as “disposable media.” They are like styrofoam cups, which were never intended to be kept, but rather were designed to be consumed, then thrown away.

Instagram and Snapchat are certainly different media than a blog, which is a more permanent record stored somewhere out there in the world wide web. Nevertheless, a blog is still meant to be different from a book or periodical. Now, some bloggers are professional writers and their blogs are full blown websites. But for most of us, blogs are meant to be just plain, ordinary journals, with nothing particularly power or profound. If I’m not mistaken, they are supposed to be instant and disposable. Or as Google says in the definition above, “informal or conversational.”

And I think that’s where I’ve gone wrong. I’ve treated a blog too much like a formal publication, rather than disposable media. In today’s post, I limited myself to writing this post in just ten minutes, then going back and editing it for another ten minutes.

I wonder, is it better to write better, content-rich posts less frequently (more like an article)? Or rougher, stream-of-consciousness style posts more frequently (more like a journal)? I suppose it depends on the author and his or her industry or platform. But for most of us, blogging should represent quick thoughts from the heart. I’ll see if I can do a better job in the year ahead.

So now, even though I could no doubt do more to editing, expanding, and refining, I’m going to click “publish” on this post. Let’s take this thing live…

Pinch of Clay

Here I am pouring dirt into a sieve during a one-day archaeology dig in Maresha, Israel. Spring 2000.

Clay. The land of Israel is littered with it. Millions of shards of pottery that whisper of ancient people and their everyday lives. Could there be any better metaphor for something brief and ordinary?

Yesterday, as I was preparing for Wednesday Night Bible Study,  I came across a verse in the Book of Job I’d never seen before. Elihu says, Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay” (Job 33:6).

You and I are nothing but clay. Humble, fragile, and quickly forgotten. But in the hands of a Perfect Potter, we become useful, dignified, even priceless.

I’d already been thinking of changing things up on my blog, and when I saw this verse, I knew it was time.  My heart still beats for church revitalization and leadership development. But looking at my schedule, I can see God has not called me (at this stage anyway) to spend a lot of time blogging about ministry training and leadership development. There are other sites such as 9marks.org and practicalshepherding.com that tackle the subject far better than I could.

So I’m closing up shop at my old blog, “Pass the Cloak.” All those articles have been copied over to this site and are still available to view. This blog, however, returns to the original meaning of a “blog.” It is a “web log.” A journal, of sorts. Simple thoughts from an ordinary pastor, serving the Great Potter. Nothing too polished or refined here. Just the sort of thing you’d expect from a pinch of clay.