Monday, January 31, 2011

FUNCTION AND FORM

Mary and I just finished a weekend family life conference at the First Baptist Church of Tahlequah Oklahoma. Buddy Hunt is the pastor serving with a great staff and many volunteers who made for a great time. I concluded my part of the conference by preaching the Sunday morning message entitled "The Family--Function & Form."

My purpose here is not to regurgitate a message onto the blogging community, but to emphasize one point that was presented. The title makes that point. Function and Form are, in fact, two different ideas that, when understood, will help clarify anything being discussed. So the purpose of this present writing is to try to briefly explain the two and draw some biblical implications as a result.

Take function first. By definition function is, as Webster's New American Dictionary says, "The particular purpose for which a thing exits. In other words, what or why something is and has to do with "being" instead of "doing." To bottomline the point being made, function addresses the reason a thing is instead of how a thing is done.

As an illustration, take my hand. My hand exists for the purpose of doing WHATEVER my brain says is to be done. If I have an itch on my arm my brain tells my hand to scratch it, and it does. That's fulfilling function or the reason for which the hand exits.

The second word is form. By definition form is, as Webster's New American Dictionary says, "The established manner of doing something." This is the method followed or the way something is done. It has to do with "doing" instead of "being." To bottomline this point, form addresses the action done rather than why something needs to be done.

To go back to my illustration, my hand, being told to scratch an itch, could do it with the fingers OR rub it with the palm. That would be choosing a form with which to accomplish a need. The form can alter or change as the circumstances dictate. [A deep itch requires a deep long rub.]

My personal perspective is that the Bible is a guidebook for function rather than a handbook on forms. This is important because the implication would be that functions are, therefore, sacred but forms are not. So the form something takes to fulfill a function is not an issue of sacredness or "Because the bible said so." It doesn't address forms. I'll give a few illustrations of this for clarification.

The function of prayer is that we might, in our spirit, commune with God who is Spirit. That is the purpose of prayer. From this purpose can come wisdom, [If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God...] direction, understanding, and a host of things, but it is the function the bible speaks about.

How prayer is done is another thing. Someone might suggest that one can bow the head and close the eyes to effectively shut out everything. Good idea. Unless or until someone says you have to bow your head and close your eyes for it to be REAL prayer. Some say to pray early in the morning is the best. Nothing wrong with that. The Psalmist did. But there is no command that such a form is to be the practice of EVERY Christian. The form prayer takes is NOT sacred and to make it so is to go beyond the scriptures.

The hook and eye Dutch of Pennsylvania read where the bible says "Come out from among them and be ye separate..." So they make their clothes with hooks and eyes instead of buttons. Nothing wrong with having hooks & eyes, unless you make it a sacred thing that one MUST do to fulfill that verse. That moves from function to form and makes the form a biblical mandate which is clearly reading something into scripture.

Now apply this to the family. A man is to "BE" to the family..a woman is to "BE" to the family..children are to "BE" to the family. There are functions clearly involved scripturally in making a family or home godly in nature. Being built on the foundation of Christ, then functioning by serving, breadwinning, nurturing, teaching, training, housework, cooking, and a lot more that could be listed.

The one thing we do know for certain is that the birthing will be done by the woman. But the form or shape that comes about for all those other functions to be fulfilled, including teaching and nurturing of the children birthed, are NOT stated and can take a variety of shapes or forms to be accomplished.

I'm convinced that too much of what is reflected in family life today is more cultural than Christian and I'm not speaking of our society here but of our churches. Defined roles and responsibilities have taken on a sacred tone that is far beyond the scripture and what is masculine or feminine can get bent way out of shape scripturally.

To be candid with you, I've had to go through the text and language of every one of the three or four passages [Eph.5/Col.3/1Tim.2:12] that seem, to some at least, to establish the man as the one who does certain things a certain way. I can honestly say that my attempt to correctly translating the language of those passages in context has ONLY re-enforced the perspective I'm sharing here.

This is the essence of what was shared and illustrated over the weekend. What do you think?


Paul B.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

HOW FAMILY LEADERSHIP WORKS

Essentials for family leadership---Giftedness
Abilities
Likes/dislikes
Responsibilities
Assignments
Deference
Respect

Non-essentials for family leadership---Gender
Age
Position

Unacceptable in family leadership---Ruling
Demanding
Control

How family leadership works is a matter of genuinely relating to each other on the basis of things other than gender, age, or position. It is the ability to share life built on respect, deference, and responsibility. It is a willingness to exclude things such as ruling, controlling or demanding.

All of what follows presupposes an understanding of an equality in Christ and a commitment to His Lordship over each one involved in the family unit. There is only ONE Lord for ANY believer.

Ideally, this kind of sharing should begin when the couple is first married and is then passed on to the children. Unfortunately, as was in Mary and my case, it may be learned later rather than sooner, but, better late than never I guess.

The old idea of the Man [And no one else.] being the leader, by virtue of his gender, is neither reality nor scripture as I've tried to show in previous posts. The Old Covenant was found to reflect race, gender, and age as elements in it, to be sure. But the New Covenant is not to recognize such elements at all. Sons and daughters, old men young men, male and female [Acts 2:17-18] all were gifted and functioning in it and that is to be true in the home as well, as it [The home] is to reflect that New Covenant where Jesus is Lord, in my opinion.

With that understanding, how does a New Covenant home function? Who is its' leader? The answer is the same as the Church. Whoever is gifted and set apart mutually for an assignment or responsibility performs it with serving the whole family in mind. Let me show you in a practical way.

Let's assume for this writing that Mary and I brought to our "we" [See previous post] a healthy "I" and a healthy "you." [We didn't. We spent years developing it and sometimes wish we could go back and redo the early years. Can't be done. The kids have had to suffer as a result and have had to be forgiving and willing to learn this later in life. They have been. Whew. Thank the Lord.]

But in the best of worlds, it would be that from the beginning of a marriage, were something an "I" thing or a "you" thing, there would be automatic recognition of greater responsibility and a mutually agreed assignment of leadership for decision making with deference on the part of the other. This, remember, would not allow for demanding or ruling as that would be a denial of a relationship. Then the marriage is at issue whatever the presenting problem.

When issues arose that demanded action, say for example, one with the family of origin, the one whose family it was, [The "I" or the "You."] shouldered the assignment of greater responsibility and led the way through it. Talking, openness, and respect for the opinions of both were always in play. But the crunch was in the court of the one whose family of origin it was. We found that there was a far greater involvement of emotions, energy, even spiritual battle in that person. Thus greater responsibility was assigned and seen by the other in the "we."

Some things ARE a "we" thing by their very nature. The discipline [training] of children for example. Keeping the house, yard, garage, and a host of other things. Not the least of which is writing the bills. Here the "I" and "You" are not in play so much. It truly is a "we" thing. The assignments were made/accepted with the gifts, abilities, likes/dislikes, of the "I" and "You" all coming into play here. But it was always a mutually agreed thing. This is certainly more difficult to achieve than the old "He's the boss" system of family life. but the relational growth is vivid not to mention reflecting New Covenant living.

I could write a multitude of posts illustrating this from my own experience with Mary and the kids as we learned. But suffice it to say, the essentials are perennially in play, the non-essentials recognized for what they are, with the unacceptables never allowed to be in play.

This takes patience, practice, flexibility, and a willingness to be honest with each other and learn together. The assignments alter and change from year to year and person to person as children come and go and lifestyles change as the seasons do. [I could testify to my assignment for much of the housework now that my traveling is less and Mary's work in her office is greater.] I'm learning to cook which, thank the Lord, the kids never had to endure what I do cook.

This is certainly more difficult to achieve than the old "He's the boss" system but We have found that this DOES become second nature and DOES begin to be as natural as breathing. Failure happens. But maturity doesn't allow for being obstinate and dogmatic about an opinion as to what is best. Sometimes you have to rethink the essentials and see where you've missed things. That's called relational growth. [Another name for it is spiritual maturity.]

Now...I believe the local Church Body could function the same way and Kingdom living would be able to follow the leadership of the Spirit as the will of our Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, was accomplished. And, when people viewed from the outside, they would be saying .."My, see how they love one another."

Paul B.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PERVERTED AUTHORITY

Mark 10:42-45 is a remarkable passage of scripture largely ignored by the Christian community, in practice if not in words. In other words, we talk a good game at serving and practice a better game at ruling, thus, being in our behavior, more like unbelievers, than we are like a biblical believing body.

Remember that the verses referred to in Mark are spoken by the Lord in the context of some of His disciples seeking a better position. [verse 37] Jesus didn't deny the reality of positions [verse 40] but explained the way to be elevated to a position of leadership is NOT by appointment. [verse 42] THAT'S the way of the Gentiles [unbelievers] and NOT the way of disciples. It is this fact..."the way to be elevated to a position of leadership is NOT by appointment" that seems to be totally forgotten by the Church and, as a result, the family.

Someone will, I'm sure, want to remind me that the scripture says Paul "appointed" elders in churches as he planted them on his missionary journeys. I would remind those reminders that the word "appointed" means to "ordain" or "set aside" and had to do with discovering those who were gifted, having a serving heart, who were then RECOGNIZED by the laying on of hands [ordained] to minister in that capacity.

This means that they were viewed to be gifted leaders by others and were thus appointed by the Holy Spirit and then recognized by the people. So that, even when the writer of Hebrews admonishes believers to follow the leadership of elders, it uses the Greek language that according to W.E. Vine, means [peitho] "to persuade, to win over, in the Passive and Middle Voices which indicates one voluntarily does so with an eye on their [The elders] character and life. [Hebrews 13:17]

There is no authoritarianism in Heb 13:17. In fact, the correct interpretation of the language in the first part of that verse is..."Be disposed to be persuaded by these elders to follow them as.." or.."The obedience stipulated is not by submission to an authority, but results from persuation." It's within the power of the body to examine and say 'NO." [See Heb 13:7]

As I read the whole of the New Testament epistles, it is also interesting to me that church leaders were not addressed separately, as if they had some special decision-making authority residing in them, when problems were addressed by the human authors of those epistles. Instead, Paul, for instance, directed his writings to the ENTIRE ASSEMBLY. He did not rebuke the ELDERS at Corinth for failing to deal with the immoral person or for not resolving the disputes among the brethren, as if they [elders] possessed some special ruling right over the body. As Jon Zens says, "He puts the nexus of responsibility on the whole congregation to carry out Christ’s revealed will."

There is a big difference between genuine behind-the-scenes loving elders [plural] who stand firmly for sound doctrine and admonish the Body of Christ to obey scripture and an authoritarian ONE-MAN show who teaches his own agenda and draws people away from the scripture and to himself. The latter MUST not be found in the Church. [Or in the family either for that matter.]

Someone asks, "I thought we were talking about marriage and authority?" We are!! Unfortunately there is a "kissing cousin" kind of relationship that exists between authoritarianism in the home and in the church. This since so many attempt to establish authoritarianism based on certain scriptures falsely interpreted and then applied to ALL men in ALL leadership positions.

So it seems to me that while the Bible DOES makes it clear that we are to submit to governmental authorities such as to the police and we are to obey the laws of our land (pay taxes, obey traffic laws, live peaceably, etc.), it also clearly commands us to NOT set up authoritarian systems or regimes within the Church and, properly interpreted, this prohibition would flow naturally into the home.

One man I read who obviously suffers from an authority complex stated "Every church must have one man who has the final authority and decision making power in the church, or else chaos would reign." I'm sure that man would also falsely pronounce, "Every home must have one man who has the final authority and decision making power in the home." This flies in the face of the servanthood of every believer to others and the truth that Christ IS the ONE MAN who has authority over all the churches AND homes and directs uniquely gifted people [Never one individual] to assist in the growth of all involved in that church or home.

It might help to indicate what an authoritarian individual in a Church or home might look like. I have a friend [Jon Zens] who gave some indicators that I've slightly adapted and will now use here.

1---They make a claim of direct authority from God which attempts to bypass the need to test all things such as character and scripture.

2---Their command to “submit to me” replaces the commitment of “I will serve you”;

3---Their method of leadership is to “order” people around instead of talking, listening, and desiring the right thing.

4---There is a dominating, “pushy” spirit in them instead of a loving appealing spirit.

5---They live in an atmosphere of control instead of an atmosphere of support.

6---They are unapproachable, intimidating and argumentative instead of loving, respectful and conciliatory toward others.

7---They offer an inflexible statement.."do what I say!", instead of a soft question.. "What do you think?"

8---They are more concerned with maintaining an authoritarian structure than they are for caring about the people and where they truly are personally.

May it not be so in our churches and homes is my desire and prayer.

Now we've established from this and the last post that, from my perspective at least, marriage involves more than one person, even in authority/leadership, and that such leadership is never automatic or is never demanded. And the same is true in the church. The next post will address specifically how this can be effectively worked in a marriage and family so that each person can reach their full Christian potential and be uniquely themselves in a family context where there is only One Lord.

Paul B.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I-YOU-WE

If..as my previous post indicates I believe..there is no biblical basis for the "The man has the final word in all things" marriage..how does a couple attempt to come to a final decision in issues where there is a difference of opinion? Does someone need to have a final word for there to be resolution?

There are ample examples of issues that would present such a dilemma. Where to spend holidays as a newly married couple or where to go on vacation or whether to take a vacation or not for that matter. Whether to buy a car or furniture or clothes might be another. What ground rules should there be for the kids keeping a clean room or having a time to get in from a date or whether to date at all are further issues where differing opinions may be held by a mother and father. [Not to mention the teenager involved in the problem.] Some couples might say they have NEVER argued/disagreed over things like that. I would have to say in fifty-one year of marriage we've argued/disagreed over every single one of them.

But certainly all the above issues are minor compared to things like whether or not to change jobs. [Either spouse] Maybe even whether a woman COULD/SHOULD have a job outside the home. Whether to move to a new pastorate or change churches or to buy a house or how to handle the money/income as bills are being paid. If someone doesn't have the final say, how can you EVER make a decision in matters like these? It's funny few people ever seem to say the woman SHOULD be the one with final say but the man SHOULD and that BECAUSE the scripture says so. NOW I've said the scripture doesn't support that position. Boy have I placed couples in a terrible predicament. I agree. I have. One in which it will take the Holy Spirit to work everything out. What a terrible position for us to be in. Right?

I'm going to approach this from an unusual perspective and one that is somewhat difficult to explain. But it is one that I teach in marriage seminars having hammered things out over fifty-one years of marriage to the same person. In this post I'm only going to set the stage for a couple of upcoming posts that will clarify. So bear with me in this introduction if you will.

I think it helps to remember that in every marriage you have three elements. I call them the "I" "You" and "We" factors. For the sake of this post I'm going to call the male the "I" [The first element] and the female the "You." [The second element] If Mary were writing this she could and would, I'm sure, reverse it for the sake of making sense from her perspective. But I'm writing so I'll do it this way.

The third element is the "We." So every marriage has an I/You/We to it. Each of the two individuals helping create a "we." It is also true that no marriage will have any healthier "we" than it does a healthy "I" and You." In other words, there can be no healthy "we" to any marriage without there being a healthy "I" and "You."

With that in mind let's suppose the "You" [female] is absorbed by the "I"[male] so that she looses her individuality or identity and the male dominates. [Having the final say automatically IS domination.] This guarantees that the "we" will suffer. I'll show how later but one thing is, were that partner to die or leave, [divorce..it does happen.] the "You" would have little sense of who she is as her identity would have been lost in a marriage.

I've seen this happen over the years, unfortunately, as I've pastored widows who were at a loss about decision making in life because "he always made the decisions." This is one of the reasons I'm convinced God never intended for any Christian's decision making identity to be lost in a marriage.

Likewise, if the "I" [male] is absorbed by the "You" [female] so that he looses his individuality or identity and the female dominates, [Having the final say automatically IS domination.] the "we" suffers with the same result as the above. In our culture the first is far more likely to happen than the second.

There can be a third kind of marriage of course, where the "I" and the "You are ONLY individuals and NEVER really build a "We" at all and the only thing they have between them are the children. The problem is when the children leave the nest, and they do, THERE IS NO "WE" that remains having never been built. They wind up as strangers sitting across the breakfast table from each other. That would get old quick it seems to me. Reports do say, by the way, that the fastest growing group getting divorced in our day is that group married 30 years or longer. I think I know why!!

But there is a biblical model for marriage. It is where a serving "I" and a serving "You" are always committed to building a serving "We" together. But always with a mutual respect for each other where neither has an automatic right to the final answer on any issue. They then raise children who grow up watching two mature, healthy adults live together under the Lordship of Christ discovering answers to difficult issues so they [The children] can grow up having an example of respect, get married, have kids, and reproduce after that kind. THAT is a long sentence AND a biblical definition for marriage in my estimation.

I would suggest you read this over again to have a grasp for the next installment. I also hope you will bear with me as I go into a teaching mode these next couple of posts. So next time I will add a few ingredients, stir the pot a bit, and try to cook up a serving of biblical and logical ways of sharing the marriage leadership where neither person is lost to the uniqueness and giftedness they bring to it. All of this under the Lordship of Christ and the power of His Spirit.

Paul B.

Friday, January 14, 2011

WHO'S THE BOSS?

It is interesting that the ONLY place in the New Testament where the word "authority" (Gr. exousia) is used with reference to marriage is in a verse found in 1 Corinthians 7 [verse 25] where Paul is addressing the abstaining from sex between a married couple. There he says such a decision is to be a mutually agreed thing and one made in "symphony" with each other. [In other words, the man's not the boss here.]

Passages like Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Colossians 3:18-18, and 1 Peter 3:1-7 certainly all speak to several aspects of men and women relationships, in marriage and in the Church to mention a couple, but the Greek word for "authority" in never used BECAUSE AUTHORITY IS NEVER ADDRESSED in these verses. Terms such as "head" may be interpreted to mean "authority" but that is reading into the text rather than interpreting from the text. I repeat...The ONLY text in the Bible that actually uses the word "authority" (Gr. exousia) in the context of MARRIAGE is, in fact, 1 Corinthians 7:25.

This ought, it seems to me, to give pause to anyone holding to the commonly held position that "the husband has authority and the wife is to submit to it because the man has the final say or word in any decision." [The man's the boss.] Is that biblical? Is that actually found IN THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE?

Not according to my good friend Jon Zens who has done a remarkable study on ALL the texts about men and women to be found in scripture. let me give you just a bit of what he says about it all.

Jon says it this way...

"First, 1 Cor.7:1-5 is the only place in the NT where the word “authority” (Greek, exousia) is used with reference to marriage. But it is neither the authority of the husband over the wife, nor vice versa, that is in view, but rather a mutual authority over each other’s body. 1 Corinthians 7:4 states that the wife has authority over her husband’s body. One would think that this would be a hard pill to swallow for those who see “authority” as resting only in the husband’s headship.

Second, Paul states that a couple cannot separate from one another physically unless there is mutual consent (Greek, symphonou). Both parties must agree to the separation or it doesn’t happen. The husband cannot override the wife’s differing viewpoint."


Jon Zens goes on to address this statement by John Piper who is a great preacher [IMHO] and has quite a following among those who hold to the "The man's the boss" mentality.

"John Piper suggests that “mature masculinity accepts the burden of the final say in disagreements between husband and wife, but does not presume to use it in every instance” (p.32). But 1 Corinthians 7:5 contradicts Piper’s maxim. If the wife disagrees with a physical separation, the husband cannot overrule his wife with the “final choice” (p.33). Such separation can occur only if both husband and wife are in “symphony” (unity) about such an action."

Jon Zens then has a personal conclusion he makes...

"Now, if mutual consent applies in an important issue like physical separation [sexually] from one another for a period of time, wouldn’t it seem proper that coming to one-mindedness would be the broad model for decision-making in a healthy marriage? In light of 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 I would suggest that decision-making should focus on finding the Lord’s mind together. Over the years good ideas, solutions to problems and answers to dilemmas will flow from both husband and the wife together as they seek the Lord in “symphony” (unity)" as a couple."

Mary and I have for several years now lived with the understanding Jon Zens is articulating here about decision making as a couple. Paul teaches that unless the couple can agree on a course of action, it cannot be executed. So our goal has been to come to some agreed course of action as a couple. How is that done? That will take another post. But that it CAN be done and SHOULD be done according to scripture is the point of this post. I'm convinced that from the bible TEXTUALLY one CANNOT support a "The man is the boss" mentality in marriage. It seems to me that is decidedly more cultic than Christian at it's heart

Paul B.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WHooopEEEEEEEE

Most of you know that I've just concluded a sixth surgery in three years. Surgery has become my middle name it seems. Many of you have called or written to encourage and tell of praying for me. Appreciated is the word from me to you.

I will admit that along the way the comments about it all have proven interesting. Among all the very caring and concerned comments there were a few, only a few, that gave me pause. It seems there are those out there who seem to assume that healing is our divine right if we'll just trust more or get more people praying. It's almost as if the NUMBER praying adds weight to an assurance that God will do so...heal that is. [I guess if I had, in fact, died on the operating table it would have been a testament to a total lack of faith or prayer.]

It is a given that so long as we're here bound to our "earth-suit" as Bill Gillham calls our body, there will be pain. The presence of sin is the basic reason for the presence of pain for sure, but, there could be other reasons for pain that we'll miss if we're not careful with our Western mindset as Christians.

In one of my blog post of long ago I wrote these words.."Someone has said that christians are the living stones of the true Temple God is preparing for eternity. That preparation, while for eternity, is done here during our sojourn on this earth. Rugged and shapeless the stones are at the beginning. But the hammer and chisel do their work. And, because these stones are living, there is always pain associated with the process." The end result is a life that fulfills His purpose NOT in spite of the presence of pain but BECAUSE of the presence of pain.

When I write this way I'm always aware that too much of the time, people have assumed that since Jesus came to give us" life and life abundantly" the presence of any pain is indication we're missing out on life. This, of course, is both sad and unscriptural. Jesus said "I've come that you might have life and life abundantly." But that "life" is not "bios" [life] but "Zoe." [Life] The difference is, one [bios] is simply the cataloging of events, [biography] while the other is an inner quality of life independent of ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. The failure to recognize this may be the reason the Church of the third world may well know more of the power of God in their lives than does the western Church. It takes God's power to live life to it's fullest when the things around you are so painful and there is little worth celebrating. But it may be that such a painful backdrop is what will reveal whether it is "Zoe" one is living, as opposed to "Bios," which doesn't take Jesus to live at all.

Pleasure and comfort in life are not sinful. Don't hear me saying that at all. Do hear me say they may be the enemy of the best in life if we define life in their terms instead of the biblical terms of suffering. It is there [in suffering] His power is made perfect and true life can be lived beyond the circumstances that confound and confuse so many in these violent and hurtful times.

So, we can rest in His providence. If His providence brings pleasure....we shall enjoy it. If His providence brings pain....we shall embrace it. But He does not work without pattern or design. That whether pain or pleasure or a mixture of the two.

My good friend Bob Cleveland wrote me this yesterday and has become my closing illustration of it all.......Bob said..

"Had to see my family doc for followup on the liver enzymes, this past Tuesday. He said maybe we should repeat the CAT scan they did 12/2, just to see how all those enlarged lymph nodes and that shadow by the appendix are doing. Yesterday he calls and says the shadow looks like an "appendiceal mucousele" and I need to see a surgeon. And oh, by the way, you have a small abdominal aorta aneurysm; normal is 2cm, you're 3cm, we start talking surgery at 5cm so not to worry. He did concede, however, that the fact that my mother died of a ruptured abdominal aneurysm migh be somewhat disquieting for me.

Surgeon calls and says we had a cancellation so I saw him yesterday afternoon. He says yep, the appendix thing isn't dangerous but could be if we leave it there so let's get on with surgery. Well, that's fine but I'm on Plavix for the stent they put in last April so I need to be off that for 5 days before they'll carve on the body, so need clearance from the cardiologist for that.

They called him right then and guess what .. he had a cancellation .. so I see him at 11:45 this morning."

WhoopEEEEEEEE!

It is that final "WhoopEEEEEEEEE" that I'm talking about.


Paul B.

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.