Now that I've got the new look, I thought I'd step back for a moment and take stock. In fact, there are many things I'd like to comment on--more on PDL (yes, I know I should just let it go, but hey, I'm a blogger, and real bloggers never never never "let it go"), more Scripture meditations, even more poems! Just in case you're having trouble dropping off to sleep, these poems of mine work better than a mallet to the head.
But what I really want to do just now is review the blogroll. These Bloggers are actually very important to me. Some, like Mike at Blogging Teen and Susan at What a Beautiful Day, have been with me since the beginning. I have a soft spot in my heart for both of them, and visit them frequently.
Other favorites are Jollyblogger and Rebecca Writes, both of whom manage to be good-humored Calvinists, which I used to think was an oxymoron! [:=) But these two have set me straight!
I don't often read Real Live Preacher, only when I'm in the mood for something startling, insightful, and status-quo challenging. RLP does not talk the talk, nothing about him is quite "by the book," but he is simply a very fine creative writer (who also happens to get the liveliest feedback around, every bit as good reading as the blog itself).
If you've been paying attention (but why would you be?), you may have noticed that blogs sometimes drop off my list. Sometimes a particular post will really grab my attention, and I'll add the blog to my roll, only to discover later that the blogger is an infrequent poster, or (worse) a political junkie, or (even worse) an "emerging church" guru. These blogs tend to get the ax after a while.
But in the meantime I'm always looking for interesting blogs to add to my list. Here are a few recent arrivals that show much promise:
harmless thoughts is the blog of Matt & Charity Harmless. I mean, they just make the roll because, hey, in this world it's really good to be harmless.
A couple of new pastor-bloggers have recently joined us, both Southern California dudes. They are Steve at Porch Pondering and Craig at tabletalk.
Mark D. Roberts is, well, brilliant. So is, as a matter of fact, Peter Leithart. Justin at Radical Congruency is always worth a visit.
Ultimately, the blogroll is a source of inspiration and encouragement for me. One final mention should go to a new guy on the list, Matt Sturges of correction, who recently offered up this little parable about surrender:
But you don't have to hit bottom befure you reach for the lifeline of surrender. All it takes is a willingness to recognize and release the stones that are pulling you down. Those enormous rocks that you cling to because they have your name on them and for no other reason. The ones you grip so tightly out of spite and anger and fear and greed. Sins are stones that drag you under, nothing more, nothing less. Holding onto them is vastly stupid and yet so common that it has become an integral part of the way we live our lives.
Part of the religious dialogue between God and humans is God saying, "I'll take those stones from you now," and the person saying, "No thanks. Not today. I'm holding onto these; they're all mine. They're keeping me stable."
And God sighs and says, "But they're also dragging you down and drowning you." and the person says, "Oh, I know. But I've still got a little air left. I'm cool."
Oftentimes the moment of transcendental epiphany comes when your head says, "Why am I holding these giant rocks?" and your heart says, "Help me please, I'm drowning!" All of a sudden, these precious stones become lead weights; you look down and you see the abyss beneath you, growing and growing, you struggle for air and realize that your head is under water. And then, as if it were the simplest thing in the world, you
And as you rise joyfully to the surface, you look down at those stones, sinking to a vanishing point and realize how small and worthless they were. You rejoice! Your head clears the surface and you take a deep breath. The sky is so blue, the sun so bright and clear! You've never felt so weightless, so free.
And then, the next day, or the day after, you're walking along the beach and something catches your eye. You look down at it, and almost without thinking, you turn to the person next to you and say, "Hey, look! A rock!" And you snatch it up, and off you go.