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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, March 13, 2006

One Year and 444 Posts Later

It was late in the evening that I came across my good friend Zach Mabry in the Boyce Centennial Library and asked him what he was working on. He told me that he was writing on his blog - something which I practically new nothing about. Shortly thereafter, I registered Provocations & Pantings having no idea what I was doing . . . and no idea what I was getting myself into. 365 days, 444 posts, and 25,000 hits later P&P has marked its first birthday. I remember recalling the impact blogs had on the recent elections, and in particular the vetting out of Dan Rather. One of my first posts was called "Would You Rather Blog?" in which I shared some of my ideas about blogging and its impact. Within less than a month, I had ticked off most people that knew me from back at home with a post I called "Via Negativa: The Way of Progress." After taking two weeks off to consider whether or not to continue this thing, I am glad I did. Over the past year, there have been many highlights and some lowlights. For instance, I had no idea that an old post "Levitas: The Weightlessness of God" would become such well-visited post (which continued throughout the year). Of course, P&P did not come without its own share of controversy as I wrote about Jack Graham coming to seminary (part two), the downfall of Discerning Reader, Biblezines, the church growth movement, Johnny Hunt's anti-Reformed rants, Emergent and S3K meeting, various Dateline and Nightline specials, the culture war on Christmas, the End of the Spear, IMB and Wade Burleson, and the Caner's on Founders. Other highlights were the interest in some of the bibliographic work on decisional regeneration, election, bible translation, and the EC movement. There have several things I wish I had posted that I didn't, and there are several posts I thought I should delete. I chose not to as it reminds me of the lessons I have learned and brokenness I experienced during those times. I would like to share with you some of my reflections and some of my regrets over the past year if you would allow me: ************************************** Reflections (benefits): 1. Blogging made me grow up spiritually and conversationally. I learned to harness my rhetoric and write in a more mature manner. Also, it taught me the discipline of writing regularly (I think P&P content for this past year amounts to over 600 pages single-spaced in a Word document!). 2. Blogging gave me an outlet to share my heart, and do so with others who could relate to what I was saying. Intelligent and passionate conversation seems to be hard to come by these days, and I am glad to have found some great folks in the blogosphere to share ideas and passions with. 3. Blogging has taught me to be more culturally discerning and engaging. 4. Blogging has made me realize that some people will never like me. 5. Blogging has taught me to handle criticism, accusations, and lies - some which have been personal, others public. There is no such thing as an insulated blogger. People who know me know that I am a sensitive, passionate, and gentle little guy. However, here I have learned to get some thick skin and have a restrained tongue. 6. Blogging has taught me that quick and easy publishing can be costly and consequential. I have learned not to publish in haste or out of impulse. There have been several posts which never made it out of draft mode as I realized that what I said was inappropriate and immature. 7. Blogging has been a schoolhouse of sorts as I have learned from many about issues or doctrines I knew little to nothing about. ************************************** Regrets: 1. Blogging off of a sense of urgency rather than priority. Other things and people should always come before this thing, and I have failed to reflect that with those whom I truly love. I am sorry. 2. Reviewing my stat counter like it really matters. 3. Figuring out how to hyperlink. This is a bad habit of mine. 4. Not having had a game plan before starting this thing. I have been forced to learn as I go, and had I known what I knew now, I would have done things a lot differently. 5. Worrying too much about what people think about me and more importantly what I write. Too often my audience rivals my conscience as I fear man more than I do God. This ought not be. ************************************** I have several things I would like to do to P&P in the future, not the least of which is putting a new template together. This is a challenge for me, given that I known practically NOTHING about HTML code and really don't have the time right now. I also have several folks working on some posts, even series of posts who are looking to write here at P&P in the future. A couple of themes I will be writing about in the next couple of months is the providence of God, evangelism/conversion among the Reformed community, and the doctrine of repentance (probably near summer time). As I have been studying the Puritans this semester, one of the things which caused reformation to take place in the Church of England came through conventicles and daily lectures which were paid for by lay people in the community. It was here where many of the Divines preached their sermons and the people heard the Word of God which transformed their culture. I can't help but think what church history might say about blogging. Could we be on the brink of a new reformation? Will blogs have anything to do with that? I believe they are and will continue to be a change agent for the glory of God. Lastly, I want to say a special thanks to you. For those of you who have in the past year blogrolled me or linked me on a post, thank you. To you who have commented on my posts, I truly appreciate you input. To those who have disagreed with me, please know that you are welcome here as are your comments. I have much to learn, and learn I do from many of you. Finally, I want to thank my wonderful wife who has patiently supported me during this past year, especially when I my character was attacked. To Him who is worthy of every excellent undertaking be my heart and the fruit of its offerings. May they be purged by Your Spirit and acceptable in Your sight. - timmy brister provocations & pantings


Blogger joe kennedy said...


i'm somewhere in the mid to late 300s, and i've been blogging since august 2004.

i guess i should catch up. i have down times when i don't have much to say. spent a lot of time on the road too, especially in the last 9 months. good job.

3/15/2006 12:12:00 AM

Blogger Nathan said...

Yeah, what happened to Zach Mabry's blog. He gets you started and then he falls off the map. It would help if he weren't so lazy.

Actually, it was my brother (by blood and spirit), Zach, who pointed me to your blog as a decent resource. If you see him again around the campus, tell him to call his brother.

Congrats on the 1-year mark, you manage to put out quite a bit of content. Thanks.

3/21/2006 02:30:00 PM


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