5 Ways Blogging has Changed My Life Meme

Allan R. Bevere has tagged me from a meme created by L.L. Barkat. Here are the rules should you decide to keep them:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
3. Link back to this parent post (L.L. Barkat is not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so she can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.)
4. Tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. Post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

How blogging has changed me:
1. Blogging has been a great outlet both for fun and for thinking in general. There are often times in my life and ministry that questions/situations pop up and I wonder how others would answer them or deal with them. Blogging has been a great tool to ask and look for answers. It is also a place I can be transparent. I get more out of this process the more open, honest and transparent I am. It has been challenging but also immensely freeing.
2. The fellow bloggers I have met and interacted with and would call friends have been amazing. Never could I imagine that a sermon I posted would get a reaction from someone in Europe. Nor would I imagine that a person I met via blogging (Gavin) would actually be friends with another person who I went through ordination with (Mark). Blogging has brought forth a sense of connectionalism that I don’t think Wesley could ever imagine. Although I have never met Reverend Mommy, Allan, John the Methodist or John Meunier, I feel I know them well through their “blog life.”
3. I started to blog during Lent as a Spiritual Discipline, online journaling. But soon it morphed into something new and continues to do so. When I look back on my posts I think it reflects greatly what goes on inside my head. There might be a serious post on poverty or healthcare but then a game or a fun video. I have gotten in touch and comfortable with my own thoughts and self through this medium.
4. The truth is I do more reading of blogs than I do posting. I still call that blogging though. It is through reading others that I have gotten a little bad taste in my mouth. I have cut some bloggers out of my Reader because I realized that the author was way too rude, closed minded and argumentative. I don’t have much room for that stuff in life in general and without the filters of reality, the internet makes people even more opinionated, blunt, and rude. I have learned that when I surround my thoughts and eyes with those kinds of post I go to a dark place. I want to stretch my mind and soul but never move towards hate.
5. The most important way blogging has changed me is that I have more confidence in myself. Growing up I was shy and quiet. Now I am an adult and in certain settings I am the same way (it’s my ‘I’ I have learned from Myers Briggs). Yet being quiet, in my head, and reflective I never really thought my voice mattered much. Even when I started to blog I was still shy to really give my opinion or thoughts. I knew there were other people out there that knew the issue/situation better than me. There were people who could form the argument or pose the question in a better manner, and so I would let them. However, since blogging I have given myself a voice and apparently there are people who actually do like what I say. That has lead to more confidence within myself, in my preaching, and in my leadership abilities. Who would have thunk it? Not me!

I now tag the following individuals:
John Meunier
Jonathan Marlow
Gavin Richardson
Reverend Mommy

Adam Hamilton
Bishop Will Willimon

(Sure like the last two guys reads my blog, and or do memes, but I would love to know their answers!)

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