Writing has always been a way for me to process my thoughts. It helps me filter out the things rumbling through my mind. It's an outlet. I pass these things through my writing and then they don't keep me up at night.
This blog started as a way to keep in touch with friends all over the world. In a time before Facebook I began "My Jarrol Spot" when I returned home from the mission field to have a good way of communicating with the people I met on the field in The Gambia, some still there and many who had returned home to the USA, England, Finland, South Africa and Canada. 'Jarrol' was the name of the village I lived in while in The Gambia and this blog was my little spot on the net where all my networks of friends intertwined.
Very quickly though I found myself writing about what God was saying to me in my daily life. In some sense I journalled here, writing as a process of understanding what God was saying in my life, and then sharing it with others. I don't mind sharing personal things, I think what God does in my journey can be an example (both good and bad) for others, and a teaching tool on maybe how to listen to God.
In 2012 when I began my pastoral role at Deception Bay Baptist I felt the whole 'catching up with friends' thing was facilitated by Facebook and so redesigned the blog into what it is today. As a pastor I felt a real call to work on the mission God had given the church, namely the Great Commission to go into all the world making disciples, baptising them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus said. Totally getting that Jesus said He would build His church, but as He does that He calls us to go and do this for Him.
So I began pastorally writing what I felt God was saying to me about Working On The Mission, and sharing it so others in my church and around the place might find some insight and inspiration to follow Jesus even more.
I've slowed down lately though. Personally I'll admit that over the past 6 months or so things have felt pretty dry - it's funny when you're in a good place in ministry you take for granted the seeking God you did when times were tough, and though things are good, you're personal passion dwindles eventually. That probably effected my passion to write here. Also I think blogging is a bit old fashioned these days, and across the board it's something that just doesn't happen as much.
Recently though I've rekindled that passion in my faith. I've recognised again the importance of writing as a process for me, but I have been writing in a journal, for me, for God, and not to share with the world. I don't know where this leaves this blog or if I even have the passion to write anymore. I think things will come up, but it won't be as frequent - I think people still read this blog, though there has never really been any kind of comment discussions or even communication from people who read. I use to write here for me and then to share, but these days I write for me in my journal, if other's communicated through comments, or even Facebook I might feel more inclined to write - as it is I was feeling I was talking more at people with my blog, than with people. That doesn't really appeal to me.
There are 12 years of reflections, thoughts and writing here for me. It's a well of information about what goes on inside my head, what God has said to me, and most importantly what God has done in my life. It's my 35th birthday today, and I've just been reflecting on things in my life. One of the things I did was hang the oil paintings I received as a farewell gift from The Gambia in my office, which made me think about Africa, then Jarrol and then this blog. I've felt I've neglected this blog - but in my ponderings I've come to feel that doesn't really matter, but at the same time I still feel a connection to it, and the 12 years of history it represents.
So we'll see where it goes next...