A quick check of the dates on this blog will reveal that I've been inactive for slightly more than three months. The casual observer would probably assume that this is just another sad case of blog fading, that bane of all internet authors where the energy level decreases, other activities of life crowd in, and the blog quietly disappears. While I confess I'm not immune to such temptations, this isn't the case here.
In a previous post, I detailed my reasons for beginning this blog and podcast. Be assured my fanatical interest in applied Christianity hasn't changed. I am still as passionate as before regarding the practical application of biblical truth. But unforeseen circumstances brought considerable pressure upon my web site activities. These circumstances didn't distract me from my responsibilities here. No, I wasn't merely neglectful—
I stopped blogging on purpose.
When I started this blog, I made a conscious choice that my first responsibility would be to the local congregation I served as Senior Pastor. This commitment on my part didn't stop some, however, from concluding that my blogging and podcasting activities (along with my writing of Spiritual Maturity) were incompatible with my duties as Pastor. Endeavoring to keep peace, I ceased updating this site and stopped recording the podcast. Predictably, my curtailing of such activities did little to smooth over the discontent that began smoldering under the surface. One thing led to another (as they always do), resulting in my dismissal as Senior Pastor of Jenison Bible Church on April 12, 2010.
Grief is a non-logical process. I've always counseled people after the loss of a loved one to not make any important decisions for a while. Grief causes our thinking to become muddled, confused, skewed. In the same way, the resulting grief from this action (for both Bonnie and I) has been nearly overwhelming. When it came to this blog and podcast, I knew I wasn't thinking correctly. So I remained silent. I knew I was in no condition to begin commenting on this world or the believer's response to it.
God, however, is above our circumstances. While he is not he author of sin, he is not surprised by it. He continues to work all things together for the good "of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom 8:28 NIV 84) Because God remains "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…" (Ps 103:8 NIV 84) he has been patient with me, comforting me, helping me regain my footing. He is the "Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Cor 1:3-4 NIV 84)
With this in mind, therefore, I have chosen to start blogging again. I realize that there are certain topics I should shy away from for the time being. Hopefully, as our gracious God continues to work in my life, I'll be better equipped latter on to discuss some of these things. Still, while I realize my deficiencies in some areas, there are other realities that I may comment upon now with relative certainty.
So you may consider this blog operational again. I've spoken with Joel and the podcast will be going again in a few weeks, God willing. If nothing else, perhaps I can comfort others with the comfort I have received.