Sunday, January 09, 2011

vtmbottomline UPDATE

I'm sitting here on this Lord's day [Jan 9th 2011] with my arm surgically repaired and in a sling wondering about blogging. The break has been long, associated with a great deal of physical pain, and has left me wondering whether I should, in fact, begin again or not.

On the one hand I personally needed the rest and not just from writing but from an atmosphere of vitriol that had generally developed among several blogs I follow and that with regularity. That atmosphere had NOT, gratefully, attached itself to this blog but had certainly done so in so many that my mind began to reflect a desire to disassociate entirely from ALL blog reading. I did just that.

On the other hand, I REALLY do enjoy putting my thoughts down in blog form and getting feedback on the issues that mean enough to me that I write about them. That said, I'm not sure of any recoverability that might be possible from such a long break. I never did have a large reading audience, not that it mattered to me at the time, but now think that the small one I did have may not be around any longer. I'm not sure honestly but what this whole attempt today MAY be an effort to see if it is still there. I'm not convinced whether or not I should or will begin again. This may be part of my attempt to find out.

So...I'll just ask you..What do you think?

Paul B.


Anonymous said...

Hello PAUL,
I hope you are feeling better. Your post has always been a haven for Christian people of good will from the 'vitriol'. I have found here a place to learn 'of Christ' as others have experienced Him, and I will always, always be grateful for that gift.
I miss Wade's blog, and Debbie's, and I missed yours, too. I would love to read more of your posts, and learn from the commentators who come here to visit: people like 'Aussie John', and Bob Cleveland, and Debbie, and Wade, and Chris Ryan, and so many others.

May your blog be a haven once more from some of that vitriol out there that we know comes from people who are in pain themselves, and who must be forgiven.

God Bless You, Paul. And feel better. I will pray for your full recovery.

Gem said...

I'm not a big commenter, but I am a subscriber and was happy to see a "NEW POST"!

If we get to vote, I vote you keep sharing your insights with us.

Godspeed your recovery!

Gem said...


PS. Not all blogs are vitriolic. Some I find uplifting are Dust: and

Anonymous said...

How about sharing your rehab "momments" and God's sense of humor in healing our physical being? Hopefully there would not be much criticsim in this topic.


Paul Burleson said...


As are a breath of fresh air.


Thanks for the input. By the way...some blogs worth reading were lost to me because of a general tiredness generated by the loud, angry few. Overreaction perhaps, but all were laid aside for the while.

Mart Dehaan is one of the very best. Still is as you point out.

Paul Burleson said...


Excellent idea and I very well make that my first post eventually. Thanks.

Bob Cleveland said...

Unless I'm mistaken, you had no audience at all when you started, and now you have one.

Also, this current break is a piker compared to the break (like from your birth..) to the date you first started blogging, so that's sure not an excuse, either.

So do like I do. Write when you want to. Don't when you don't. You'll always be on my feed reader so I'm going to pick up anything you write, whenever that may be.

Here's to complete healing from your surgery. Pray for mine from my appendectomy, which is coming up one of these days. And whatever they determine might need to be done about the thing that seems to be growing on the end of the appendix itself. And that I will have the surgery despite being on Plavix.


Clif Cummings said...

Blogs like your's are needed - at least by this reader. I have missed and would continue to miss the wisdom that comes from your years of practical ministry experience but even more so the grace in your writing which flows from what you have experienced.
Blog on my friend - with or without comments! Though your following may be small - your thoughts are grace full!


Becky Dietz said...

Ok...first of all, I had to look up vitriol to see what it meant. So now we're on the same page. ha!

Paul, I've entered into my blog with the idea of leaving a legacy for my children. When they wonder, "What would mom have thought about that?"...they can go to my blog and know. (ASSUMING they ever would wonder...) Plus it leaves some of my personality--sarcasm, humor, and deep love for them--that might give them a lift one day.

So consider your blog a legacy for those left behind you. And I'm with Christiane---I love reading those responding to what you have to say. I say, "KEEP DOING IT!!!"

Denise said...

I would hate to se you stop blogging just as I've hated it when Debbie and Wade dont blog. I met you all through Wade's blog and am more than blessed by your sharing....please keep it up.
Denise in houston (but from Enid :)

Thy Peace said...

As a counterpoint to the loss of civility mainly in our political discourse around the country.

Paul Burleson said...


Your gift of logical thinking is unparalleled and your gift of a friendship is unbelievable. I WILL be praying.


I say the same to you as to Bob on the friendship thing. I'm praying for you guys for the reasons you and I know.


Thoughts well worth receiving. Thanks.


Your thoughts are appreciated also. Frankly, I'm a little north of overwhelmed by such a quick response by so many. Thanks.

Paul Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

A valid and possible motive for doing so. A further motive for me would be that you're a voice I wish all to hear and if a blog I would do would assist that end, motive enough.

Alyce Faulkner said...

I've been out of the blog loop too, glad you posted on FB. I, for one, am interested in your thoughts and perspectives.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Christiane graciously let me know that you had posted.I am a reader of your blog Paul even though I myself have stopped mainly due to the reasons you have given above, but what I wrote about I guess that was to be expected. :) It is your blog that is a calm in the storm, plus I happen to know and occasionally talk to the owner of this blog and his wife. :) I am glad that you are done with the surgery, but know that after is worse, especially the shoulder.

Bob: I am praying. Sincerely.

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks and good to hear from you. Give my regards to your pastor.

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for the gracious words. You are so right about the shoulder. Therapy is surgery all over again. When I started I asked my therapist "Do I start now hating you or does that come later?" She said "You might as well go will later anyway." [Smile]

Donna said...

I mainly blog for my own purposes and growth. If someone reads it and benefits, that's great; if not, I've still had the benefit of refining my thought processes because I wrote them and edited them until they reflected what I wanted to say. I always read your blog when you mention it on FB - I don't receive automatic notices of them - and I always benefit from reading them.

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for commenting. If I do blog.. your insights in the comment section would be appreciated.

Strider said...

I keep thinking that I too should quit the blogging world. There is too much bitterness. But I keep writing now and again to record my own journey. If you write again I will read again and be grateful.

Paul Burleson said...


Interestingly, it was your post on the young fanatical Muslim sitting across from you where the conversation was offensive to him when there was no desire to offend or antagonize on your part at all and you closed with the statement of going out to be offensive, that was the spark I needed to even consider writing again.

[For'd have to read the excellent post to get what I meant by the previous statement.]

I kid you not, I just read that a few minutes before posting my thoughts about possibly starting again. I was, obviously, reminded anew why we did it in the first place. Good stuff Strider.

boogieman said...


I hope you make it back to blogging, at your own pace and time. Your words never fail to challenge me in thinking through what I believe, and why I believe it.

Praying for a great healing for you, brother!



Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for the kind words....EXCEPT for the benediction to your comment..."ho-- 'em. This IS after all Sooner country [Even my blog] and our standards do NOT permit words that are profane. Otherwise comment anytime and thanks. ;0

Anonymous said...

Evidently you shared on FB that you were considering blogging again. I'm not on FB, no one told me that you had blogged yesterday, but here I am reading your blog!!! Does that tell you that I've been checking often because I love reading your blog??!!! Keep plugging and give us something of your wisdom and humor to read!! Love it!

Paul Burleson said...


I'm glad for both the checking/reading and encouragement. I'll try to put my humor down in words occasionally, but I'm smart enough to know I'm not very wise. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, please begin blogging when possible. Your posts are always well thought out, clearly written and just plain fun to read.
Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts. Get better soon.
Ken Colson

Chris Ryan said...


Personally, I've always enjoyed your musings. And our interactions are always challenging and enlightening. I've certainly missed those conversations (while understanding, of course, why they couldn't occur). But, being a selfish person, every time that I prayed for your health I threw in a plug that you become healthy enough and inspired enough for a few more blog posts, too. As others have said you have created a zone that encourages dialogue without all the vitriol, and I for one appreciate it.

Paul Burleson said...

Ken & Chris,

Thanks guys. I've decided I will blog again and I hope to get a post up at least twice a week. Right now, with only one arm useable, that may be difficult even delayed, but I'm going to try to start soon.


I asked for your thoughts never dreaming so many would respond so quickly. I've REALLY been inspired by what all of you have said and can feel an excitement growing already.

I've never really thought that much about who was or was not reading my blog and certainly how MANY read. That's like my not being concerned with how MANY attend Church services. That's seldom been a measurement of things for me. I always saw ANY who DID attend as a gift and tried to minister accordingly. Blog readership is the same thing for me.

That said, I do have to admit that the NUMBER of you who wrote has surprised me greatly. I'm not sure but what I've drawn some personal encouragement from that. But I'll now lay the numbers game aside and say what I believe needs to be said and hope it elicits a healthy sharing of thoughts and ideas for whomever chooses to join in.

I'm not sure yet about the control of comments. I know I want them but will continue to allow only respectful words from all even when we disagree on some issue. That is no problem from most who comment here. But it can be violated by a person or two on occasion.

I've believed for a while now that a safe dialogue environment can only be created where there is a no shaming, no condemning and a no disrespectful exchange of words and ideas commitment on the part of all who participate. That is the standard I will continue to insist upon.

I just reread my words and laughed at how I sound like the world is waiting with abated breath at what I might say. Oh brother. The truth is.. I'll write a little, you read and comment a little, and by pooling our "little" maybe it can be fun. Again, THANKS.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

Pleased to see you back on the blog. You are an encouragement to me.