Blogging About Why I Blog

penpaper1No one, except maybe my wife, is laughing more than me that I am being asked by http://www.preachersinstitute.com to blog about why I blog! I would have never thought that I would become a “blogger.” In seminary my wife had to fiercely and radically edit all my papers. Writing seemed to be a skill I would never have. But, I have always enjoyed creative writing and the creative crafting of sermons and talks. Blogging, it turns out, is just a good fit.

But the rumors are not true. My parishioners were never begging me to blog. I would be surprised if even half of them have ever URLed their way to my site. Ultimately, and this is the secret you have been waiting for, I blog because I enjoy it.  It is a spiritual discipline akin to journaling. But I had grown to hate my journal entries. My journals always began great. But then they would slide into one long complaint about my life. It was like I was constantly rehearsing problems and frustrations. I had to kill that sick discipline and begin a new work.

And while blogging promises to make one a better writer, I really have no idea if I am better writer because of my blog, Scholé. I am confident that the discipline of blogging has made me a better preacher. Why? Blogging forces one to coherently organize and communicate what is going on in the mind and heart. Blogging is way more of an extension of myself, my faith and my ministry than I ever thought it would be.

I blog because with all the preaching, teaching, public speaking, reading, writing, playing and praying there is always something bubbling to the surface. Putting fingers to keys is inspirational. Thoughts line up and the Lord shows up. And, I feel compelled by God to put it out there.

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13 Comments

Filed under A Good Life

13 responses to “Blogging About Why I Blog

  1. Tami Heim

    I stand among your tribe, grateful we can feel God breathe when your fingers touch the keys. Bless you for putting it out there!

  2. s-p

    I blog, therefore I am. Its the new Descarte.
    Actually I blog because it seems like the only place I get to NOT talk about “Orthodoxy”. 🙂 …but yes, it does force a certain discipline of thought and communication, but it is hard to keep up for the long haul. Hang in there.

  3. Karen

    I have to admit I am a bit surprised that it doesn’t need more editing.:) It comes from the heart and the Spirit and I am grateful to read it. “Keepin’ it real” is a popular expression these days but I truly think you do this with grace and humor. Thanks.

  4. I liked the idea of the Presvytera editing your seminary essays. I always ask my wife to check my spiritual writings before publication – it’s amazing how many terrible things she finds – and she is an Anglican!
    Love and Thanks for all the blogs.

  5. Jim Truscott

    Excellent post! I liked the phrase: “It is a spiritual discipline akin to journaling. But I had grown to hate my journal entries. My journals always began great. But then they would slide into one long complaint about my life. It was like I was constantly rehearsing problems and frustrations. I had to kill that sick discipline and begin a new work.” –and then to note that it helps you organize your ideas AND be a better preacher.
    Please continue! Your blog helps me to think and pray EVERY day.

  6. “But the rumors are not true. My parishioners were never begging me to blog. I would be surprised if even half of them have ever URLed their way to my site.”

    When I read this assertion in an earlier article, I wondered, what in the world am I doing wrong? Nobody begged me to blog, although a *small* group of parishioners are very appreciative and responsive. For the most part, I wonder if I am shouting into the wind.

    I blog because I must teach. We are a liturgically and scripturally and spiritually illiterate people, so I concentrate on those subjects. As a man, I want more responses to my posts, but as a priest I must blog because something will benefit somebody, somewhere.

    I have a parish email list; everyone in the parish (and more, since it is open) is on it. I send all blog posts to it, so at least my dear flock will get the email, even if they rarely read it. Maybe you want to do this.

    You have some good stuff. I subscribed via email.

    May God help you in all things.

    Priest Seraphim Holland St Nicholas, McKinney, Texas.
    “Redeeming the Time” – http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

  7. Lenore Wilkison

    Three things:
    1. I (one of Fr. James’ parishioners) really enjoy the blog AND the comments!
    2. When your blog anticipates the homily, I find I’m more conscious during the homily and get more out of it.
    3. This is yet another vehicle to deliver vital information and people will “stumble upon it” as needed.

  8. You write a great Blog.
    Being a blogger for Christ also, I do wonder at times if this is only for my own ego gratification. My reasoning is like yours, “Putting fingers to keys is inspirational. Thoughts line up and the Lord shows up. And, I feel compelled by God to put it out there.” It also helps me understand what others have written by formulating my own thoughts around it. It also fulfills a void of important dialogue in life so it is always gratifying to get that challenge or thought of appreciation. But the thought still lingers, is this my will being done or is it God’s. Hopefully, He will help me overcome that part which is my own will and let His will flow.
    Congratulations and keep it up! The Lord does speak through you!

  9. April

    It makes me think….about life, relationships and mostly our precious Jesus….that is enough for me….I am a faithful reader….Please keep blogging….
    ps-please say hello to Karen from April, “remember me, guitar class dropout-UA” :o)

  10. I blog–rather I read other’s blogs and comment frequently–because no such community life is available to me in meat-space. I have had to stick to posting poetry on my own space. I can just manage to stay spiritually beneficial if I’m posting comments to someone else’s space, in my own space I would become a monster.

  11. Fr. James Coles

    Thank you all. I am humbled by your comments.
    Love in Christ,
    Fr. James

  12. Cate Burns

    I bet you didn’t know that I visit, but never leave a comment. This time I am going to let you know I enjoy your blog. Writing is good for the soul!

  13. Reader John Herman

    Writing can be a great spiritual discipline; and, as you said, “Blogging forces one to coherently organize and communicate what is going on in the mind and heart.” Sharing this inner work is a blessing! Thank you.

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