Thursday, June 7, 2018

An Unexpected Turn

Sometimes life takes us in a direction we didn't expect. It's not always dramatic; sometimes it's only a subtle shift, but significant nonetheless.

Over the last couple of months, my wife and I have been re-evaluating our priorities in the context of our family and our community. We took a hard look at our plans to launch a business and/or a ministry and to find a way to work from home. What we realized is that these things are not a priority in this season of our life. Rather, our focus needs to be on building up our community and establishing a foundation for our young, growing children.

I tried to extend Parashah Messiah too long -- past its purpose. Keeping up with it has been a challenge, much less trying to build up FBTL as a whole. That's why I've decided to let both of these go for now. I thought I could work on establishing traditions for my own family and share/promote those formally through the FBTL page simultaneously. It proved to be too much. So, I'm cutting the latter in order to better focus on the former.

I've learned a few things over the last two years. For one, engaging an audience (and especially recruiting writers) is just as hard as it ever was. I remember this difficulty back from my days of publishing the Midrash Newsletter; I just thought that I could put in the effort necessary to overcome it this time. And, I did, for a time. Until I started running out of people to ask to write.

I also have another point of experience in my continuing inner struggle between the structured/formal and the messy/informal. Both have a place in this world, but finding what works best for me in engaging others has been a back and forth tug of war. What I've learned here is though I think I would love to work in the formal (I had such a blast working with the HarvestMag team), I'm not sure I'm cut out to lead such a venture. For now, I fall back on my informal, but honest blog.

Which brings me to the future. Building a foundation for my family is my priority right now, so I don't know that I'll necessarily have the time to pick this blog back up in the way that I used to write (though, when I do have the time and have thoughts to share, the Hopeful Heretic will be here for that purpose). Most of my focus is going to be on a renewed effort in my own education (working on some Greek, early church history, and basic philosophy) and building traditions and practices for my family.

I'll leave the FBTL website up for now, though I imagine I'll probably take it down toward the end of the year (hosting a website isn't quite free). I'll keep a backup of all the wonderful Parashah Messiah articles. A big thank you to everyone who participated in this project. It's impact may have been small, but it was there. Especially early on, I received several messages from folks talking about how the Parashah Messiah posts encouraged them in their faith. More importantly, I have seen God moving throughout other teachers and parts of the Messianic movement to bring a restoration of the Gospel to this corner of the church.

I'm not sure where the future will take me, whether I'll eventually take up FBTL up again or join someone else in their work or just keep quietly working in my own family and community (with the occasional blog post, of course). But, for now, this is where I'm at. Thank you to all who have been with my on this journey thus far. I look forward to the years ahead.