I think this is the fourth blog I have “started,” and I believe my grand total of posts is somewhere shy of 7.
I had a blog when I started my MDiv at Fuller and I posted once… about something;
Then I started a football (soccer) blog, which was actually a lot of fun – ask the three people who commented;
Then Beth (my wife) and I started a blog that we blogged on twice;
Then my buddies Tom, Matt, and I started a blog called Recontextualize. We forgot to renew it – it expired (Did you know that if you let a blog expire on WordPress it costs $106 to renew it?! There is an $80 late fee. WordPress should open a credit card, or a library with those rates). It was fun, but the three of us were/are crazy busy (if I can speak for “us”).
So, how will this be different? Well, it probably won’t. Real-Time-Bloggers have serious commitment and something interesting to write about (As I look above I really just want a place to write two sentence paragraphs a la Rob Bell.).
In all seriousness, I need to force myself to step out and write and process and reflect what I am thinking on a daily basis. I do not gravitate to Blogging or having a “public profile” (although I do love a good humble brag or employing some FOMO envy on Instagram), but it is something that Dr. Monica Coleman is challenging her students to do in her public activism and scholarship course. I am fascinated by the course because I am in roles in which I need to speak up. I am a chaplain in both the healthcare and military contexts. I need to advocate for my patients at the hospital and for my Soldiers. I hope to research and write my dissertation about a chaplain’s role in PTSD or moral injury. The suicide rate among veterans is staggering, and I hope to stand up and address this with something new or add to the existing conversation.
How can I integrate my passions publicly. In other words, I am hoping to unite the via activa and the via contemplativa
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the focus of the blog will be on theology. I am especially interested in practical theology. How is theology actually lived out in communities. In my work as a chaplain I am constantly amazed at how patients make meaning out of the gravest circumstances. My main focus as a hospital chaplain is with our pediatric population. I constantly wonder how parents make meaning out of their children’s suffering. How do I provide an extra layer of support in these situations? I don’t ask the theodicy question that much anymore, but I am still challenged daily to deepen my faith and understanding of God in the midst of such pain, suffering, and death. These are some of my questions and “learning goals” for my doctoral program.