I had a colossal post about “a personal Jesus” slated for today, but instead want to comment on what is a growing trend: Christian bloggers signing off for good.
Cerulean Sanctum is NOT going away, I’ll say that right off. However, this last week Matt Self of The Gad(d)about and Marla Swoffer of Just Marla said adios to blogging. There have been about a dozen others in the last month or so, a trend I did not see at all in 2005. As a joke, Rebecca of Rebecca Writes posted a link to an April Fools post claiming that Tim Challies was hanging it up. As much as that might seem impossible to believe that Tim would quit, when I first read the link to that post, I was not surprised that it might be true.
For many, the costs are too high. For Matt, it distracted him from his work in a job that often has one working sixteen hour days seven days a week. For Marla, it took her away from family. Both of those are legitimate reasons to quit. I suspect that Matt and Marla aren’t the only Christians who’ve found that they were losing more in “real life” than they were gaining from blogging. Knowing when to say goodbye takes guts. Saying goodbye to a blog is a little death.
I’ve flirted with shutting down Cerulean Sanctum at least a half dozen times in the last year. Even this last Friday I considered pulling the plug. I started the blog as a ministry at a time when I had no ministry options at my old church. When I saw some other Christian blogs, I realized the need to write on American Church issues no one else addressed. Even today, not many Godblogs exist that talk about the issues I try to tackle here. That’s one reason this blog keeps going.
Some of the e-mailed responses I’ve received from readers to the questions I asked last Thursday are heartbreaking. Many people are stuck in a downward slide and cannot find help from their churches. That kills me. It’s one of the reasons why this blog exists, though, an it’s why I’m staying on. Earlier this year I posted that we Godbloggers were too trapped in petty centuries-old bickerings over doctrine to see the great potential to use blogs to tie people together for practical ministry. Even now, I’m working to see that reality come to fruition.
In hopes that Cerulean Sanctum can grow and be a nexus for helping people all over the country, I took a small step and registered the domain name ceruleansanctum.com. You can access the blog that way. If you have Cerulean Sanctum blogrolled, please change your pointers to http://ceruleansanctum.com—it redirects to the longtime URL for this blog (http://www.dedelen.com/cerulean.html), but expect that to change in the future, too.
For all those Godbloggers who have gone on to better things, I understand. Thank you for blessing us with your blog presence.
And stay tuned here for more to come….
20 thoughts on “When Other Godbloggers Say Goodbye…”
I don’t know how I found your blog, but when I saw your list of essential reading I couldn’t help but got amazed to see the books that have influenced me the most on top of the list. Since that I became regular reader and yes thanks for sharing your time with us. I really appreciate your talent as writer and I tell you this: I never bought christian fiction but once your novel makes it to amazon, I am very confident I’d buy it.
Keep up the good work bro!
I did find another blog that does tackle issues, though: jesuscreed.org. I was rather surprised by it.
I do see many of Marla’s points. We all need to keep Real Life in perspective and make sure that we are spending time in God’s Word and sitting in churches that teach from the Bible and pursuing REAL relationships with people who know the ugly and not-so-ugly side of ourselves.
Yet blogging can serve an important function in connecting people. For me I hope that my blogging pursuits can be used by God to connect me with other Real Life Friends that I don’t see due to geographical distances.
It is a relatively new medium, and it is still in the stages of finding it’s way or place in the Christian life…but it is here to stay as long as the power grid is up and running!
Thanks for sticking around, I’ve been lurking for a few months now. Glad you got the new domain!
Dan, thanks for your support, and most of all, thanks for sticking around. I agree that your blog is a unique and needed voice. Bloggers like you are one of the reasons I feel the grace to hang up my blogging hat for a season. One of the hardest parts of saying goodbye is feeling like I’m somehow leaving a void, but the truth is that God doesn’t need me, or any of us, to accomplish his purposes. It’s very humbling but also liberating.
I got referred to your blog to read the article about Leonard Ravenhill. I’ve found myself stopping by ever since.
I am a “Godblogger”, though not in the sense you’re talking about. In fact it’s odd that you brought the topic up because I just ran into a similar vein on a writer’s forum I belong to. A woman complained that she had tried to join a Christian writer’s group and they had excluded her. Their reason? Her writing wasn’t “Christian enough”.
Now I haven’t read her writing, though from some of her forum entries I might guess that they had some other reasons for rejecting her membership (not all that glitters is gold!). In my case, I AM a firm believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my life and He is my Lord and He is my salvation. Nonetheless, I don’t write exclusively about Him or about church issues or doctrine, though I do write on these topics occasionally. I write about my life. I write poems. I write skits. I write essays. Once in a while I write foolishness (OK, maybe more than once in a while!). I write about issues in our community and cute things my kiddos have done. Yet the sense of Christ pervades all that I write.
Because of this, I have had several opportunities to share Scripture, to witness, and to give Godly counsel to folks that I would have never met in “Real” life – or who would have never opened up to me face to face. Blogging, like every other aspect of our lives, needs to be constantly re-evaluated in the light of God’s Word. Even if He’s not our exclusive topic, are we honoring Him? IS blogging taking us away from other duties He has called us to? Is blggong drawing us to themes and thoughts that lead to sin?
There is a young man in Miami who blogs regularly. He claims to be a believer, but one wouldn’t even guess at that from his blog! His main mentions of God include using His Name as an expletive. He delves into sensual and caustically insulting raves. There is no feel or taste of God in anything he writes. When I gently (and yes, I do mena gently – he was my daughter’s boyfriend at the time) asked where God was in his blog he turned unbelievable hostile at my judgementalism. So I went back and read every entry he had ever made up to that point. There was not one whiff of God anywhere. I am praying for his salvation!
Ok. I guess I’m rambling now. The main point is, if we are followers of Christ, then EVERYTHING we write, be it doctrinal essays or fiction or silly skits for children should point to the True and Living God in some way – even if it only bears His scent and not His face.
I haven’t logged off completely BUT…I have stepped back.
I personnally have not found much time to blog. Blogging effected my prayer life (negatively) and I decided to wake up and think about pryaer and not a post.
Also, I think for many of us blogging has to be about writing and not ministry. It is just too much work with to little bang from a ministry perspective. I needto re-double my efforts as I need to write.
God bless all the hard working bloggers out there.
I’m so glad to hear you aren’t quitting! You are a blessing.
Dan, I’ve just started reading your blog, but it’s already on my list of favorites. PLEASE don’t stop writing. I find your writing insightful and inspirational.
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For the record, I wasn’t working 7 days a week, but I am logging quite a few hours on days not named Sunday. The hours itself aren’t keeping me from blogging, but I felt my focus was not sufficient enough for a professional. Thinking about future blog posts was something I started thinking about when I woke up and probably the last thing I did before sleeping. My hope is to put that mental energy into work, where I need to establish myself so my wife and I can achieve our modest financial goals.
I think there are a lot of bloggers out there stealing time from their employers. There are people like you, Dan, who work from home and have strong time management skills (not to mention a superior conscience) that regulates (most of the time) when and what they post. But for the desk jockeys, I think there are millions who are not just being unproductive, they are robbing their employer blind while they waste hours each day trying to become the next Instapundit. I love blogging, but I can’t, in good conscience, steal from my employer … who just happens to be my father.
Dan, I’m glad you’re not quitting your blog. Your blog gives me a lot to think about even on those rare occasions when I disagree with you. You also express your opinions in a civil manner, which is a lot more than I can say for some blogs, even some of the Christian blogs.
Interesting post. I have been thinking the last couple of days about giving up blogging too…in favor of being more involved in my “real” life.
You better not shut your blog down or I will be soooo MAD at you…:)
This blog is v-e-r-y important!
Hey, I said I was staying! Even secured a domain name for the blog.
I think about these things all the time anyway, so putting them into words is no biggie for me. My mental energy goes in about a hundred directions at once. If anything, the blog keeps me from settling into that sort of blind to-do list mentality.
Still, it takes a lot of time. Costs me money, too. But again, I see it as a ministry.
Thank you for your support. I plan on keeping on keeping on.
I don’t advertise here, nor do I ever plan to. This site will be free of ads, banners, and whatever.
If you want to support me, prayer is the best way to do so. My writing biz needs to pick up more clients, so if you would pray in that direction, I would appreciate it!
Dan, I’m glad you’re sticking around.
But please do something to make your blog load faster in the browser. There’s something really weighing it down. Not all of us have high speed Internet connections.
By the way, I recommend Robeck’s recent book about Azusa Street.
The the blog is created by Blogger, I don’t host on Blogspot, but on my own ISP’s servers.
The Blogrolling.com Blogroll and Amazon.com book thumbnails load the slowest, especially the former. I moved away from hardwired links once, but maybe I’ll have to go back.
I’m glad for Marla. I’m sure that was very difficult for her to do,with the level of success she had achieved. I’m glad she was able to summon the moral courage to put her family first.
We all play our roles a best we understand them, and God loves us all.
I feel no obligation beyond keeping the prime message posted on the website. That sums it up for me, and it makes me feel good knowing it is posted there. Some day I’d like to add some images, but I’d have to get a camera first !
The blog (linked at the website) is just an occasional scratchpad, and nobody reads us johnny-come-latelys anyway.