Don’t Go Fishing…

All,

I must tell you that I have needed and enjoyed the dialogue of writers that has continued on this blog the last couple of days. I have to thank @Phillip for that. His opening post stirred something inside of me, made me feel vulnerable, but open, and that is exactly what I needed. 

Since then, we have engaged, the writers of this blog and I, in great conversation, which I now know the Lord intended. I no longer feel so alone in my writing, but full of hope and life. Your comments and words shared have helped me dig deeper, engaged me, and made me feel that is was ok to feel what I was feeling. To question everything. I have in fact become one of the disciples, and so have you.

Without noticing, we embarked on the same journey as they have. Questions, doubts, and fears. Where are you God? What are you doing? I can tell you that for me, I haven’t written in several days and do not feel compelled to do so, or at least to return to what I was doing in autopilot. But I have also been stimulated to realize that God is doing a new thing. Would you expect anything less from Him? Just look at the gospel reading for today.

What does Simon Peter do? Returns to what he knows- fishing. He goes back to his old career, his old life, his old way of doing things, even after the Resurrection. Then he invites his friends to do the same- return to their old ways. Do you see the irony in all of this? The thread of our discussions? We are an Easter people, but 2000 plus years later we are saying the same, let us return to our old ways….

One thing is clear, we cannot do that, we cannot return to our old ways. God is doing something new. And although we do not know what it is yet, have faith my friends, He will reveal it to us. And in the midst of not knowing, we must be still. But being still and waiting does not mean that we do not engage with one another, in fact quite the opposite! Let’s continue to publicly engage in this conversation like the disciples did, becoming vulnerable like they were. Showing the world our flaws, faults, and everything in between. This is what makes us human. This is our story. This my friends is the dialogue that God is asking us to have right now.

So let’s write posts to one another on this platform, sharing our hearts, our minds and our honesty. Right now none of us should be writing to write, we should be writing to and for one another. Just the thought of that makes me excited! I want to write for you because the Lord has asked me. To share my heart with you and the whole world.

To my fellow writers on this page, do not go fishing. Do not return to how you were, but be open to what the Holy Spirit is asking us to do right now. Do not return to your old ways, but let us send letters of encouragement and heart matters to one another as we allow the Lord to reveal to us what His plan is for this blog, for our writing  and for our world.

Looking forward to the new way of doing business with you all-

Melissa

11 thoughts on “Don’t Go Fishing…

  1. Melissa, I think you have made.a very relevant point. Most of us have come from an old blog that itself was started by the outcasts from Telegraph when they finally morphed into a place of great in-fighting and filled with trolls and sock puppets.

    Perhaps we are pining for the ‘good ol’ days of a bygone era and maybe we should be a bit more personal in our conversations with one another and simply see where God leads us. It is not a bad plan as we all seem to be looking back to a future instead of looking forward.

    Thanks for your input on this. It is grist for the mill of thought which each of us has to mull over in our minds and ultimately decide about for ourselves.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I like it as well. And Scoop makes a good point. The old place was started because of a troll infestation and brutal unkindness at the DT, back when it had a supposedly Christian column, but was not willing to police the comments at all.

      We from that place came here for much the same reason. In many ways, we are still finding our footing here, but you are correct, we need to try something new, but bring the best of the old, and part of that was that we commenters and contributors became a family in the comment streams, and friends in real life, as well. That’s not something we should forget, but the tone here, and what we write probably will be and should be different, not necessarily better or worse, just different.

      Or at least, that’s what I’m thinking at the moment.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Scoop, Melissa – as someone who used to enjoy Telegraph, and then AATW, can I make some remarks?

    Firstly – I think you’re on to a loser if the blog host thinks that there is something wiggy about socialising using the internet and feels that the internet should only be used for work, school and essential tasks. If using the internet as a method of socialising is a problem for him, then it isn’t really a good basis for the blog to work.

    Secondly – you may be overestimating influence from The Telegraph? My favourite blog on The Telegraph was Stephen Hough’s music blog – and I looked in on the Damian Thompson religion blog from time to time. But I got the impression that not many of the AATW contributors actually came from there.

    Actually – the only reason I started looking at the Telegraph blogs was that I was writing a technical book, got bored from time to time and turned to something on the internet in the background as a distraction. It actually helped (I could stick at the word processor for longer) – provided I kept discipline and kept it in moderation.

    Thirdly – Scoop – as you pointed out – it actually needs some sort of discussion. There was much that was weird about AATW, but it worked because there were discussions both above the line (posts in response to other posts) as well as the discussions below the line.

    This doesn’t seem to be happening here.

    I gave up on OTPR, precisely because of this – no discussion – so I’m not sure I want to comment under posts here any more and I definitely don’t want to write posts here.

    (Besides – we now have more work to do rather than less as a result of the Corona. The job can be done remotely and in addition to this the nursery closed – so – horror of horrors – we have to look after our own son).

    Melissa – I like your posts – so please keep writing – it looks like a good outreach. But there is a problem with interaction both above and below the line.

    Like

    1. @jockmcs666 forgive me naivete but what is Telegraph?

      I vaguely remember AATW and its discussions. What was the format? I think the average blog is dead. I can’t seem to figure out what it is that audiences want to hear.

      I appreciate your kind words. I am going to keep writing but something new is definitely happening, something out of the box. I am questioning everything. I do not write for myself, I write to induce human interaction. Not for popularity, but for the trading and engaging of ideas.

      Thoughts?

      Like

      1. AATW had some very good and serious discussion, it also had some silliness amongst friends. It was pretty unstructured, especially at its best. One of the things Jock is peaking of is that posts would grow from other posts by other authors, sometimes even across to other blogs. Probably of the ones I read now, the British The Conservative Woman, and here Ace’s are the closest to the ethos, although AATW was explicitly Christian/ with an Anglican bent. 200 comments weren’t unheard of. The format was quite simple, Christianity, ecumenical but not irenic.

        The Telegraph was the Daily Telegraph comment streams, in particular Damiien’s back in the early teens. It was an unholy mixture of combative traditionalists and aggressive atheists. Jock is right, while some of the DT people came to AATW (and I’m pretty sure more read it) they fell away fairly quickly.

        I like your point about not writing for yourself – I pretty much always have a person in mind when I’m writing, if I don’t I seem to lose focus.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jock McSporran

        Melissa – In the UK, there is a newspaper known as `The Daily Telegraph’, of which it used to be said, `On every page you get a laugh, In the Daily Telegraph’.

        At some point they introduced an internet version. Then they invited readers to comment under the articles (and I ignored this). Then they introduced a section known as blogs. At some stage, a concert pianist, Stephen Hough joined their team as bloggers and I took an interest in it and started participating. He wrote about Christianity (he is a Catholic) and also about music, hats, puddings, etc … . The discussions were often quite nice. It was on his recommendation that I bought my current piano (a Yamaha Gran-touch – I needed something electronic – where I could turn the volume down – which looked, and felt, like a real piano, because I was living in an apartment back then). He also gave occasional piano lessons (he wrote a blog where he said that he didn’t use the middle pedal and recommended people to avoid it. I put in a comment `so how on earth do you finger bars 139/140 of Berg’s piano sonata if you don’t use a middle pedal? And I got a good answer).

        His theological posts were also very good, but it was a mixed bag – theology, music and just about everything else. You’ll find his web site here

        http://www.stephenhough.com/

        and you’ll see that he still writes for `The Tablet’ (a Catholic newspaper), there is a link to a recent article, which appears in the first entry under `What’s New’.

        So that – in short – is an answer to your question what is `The Telegraph’ and what it has to do with blogging.

        I think that AATW arose out of another blog on `The Telegraph’ which NEO mentions, run by Damian Thompson. That one that appeared to attract head bangers and I looked in on it occasionally (but not too often). The style there was more argumentative and contentious and not particularly congenial.

        Liked by 1 person

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