Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Some Things I Learned in 2005

I think 2005 was a year of learning for me, and I am very thankful for that.

I met a lot of people on-line that I had not known before. I value each and every one of them, whether I always agree with them or not.

Maybe this entry is for me (aren't they all?) more than for any potential readers of JackeHammer. I wish I could list everything I've learned this year but that would be a book rather than a blog entry and I'd run off every reader, the few, who check in here. :0

Momma Twoop and I decided to start this blog back in February of 2005, so it has been nearly a year. We knew that no one would read it at first and we didn't know if our thoughts would warrant any attention at all. As you can see, I use the standard format of blogspot, I don't know html well and so what you see here is just a basic anyone can do it format. I know it isn't a particularly nice to look at blog but it's where we can write. I keep thinking I'll do some study and change that a bit, but it just isn't really where my interest lies. I also find myself hoping that someone will come along and offer me some insight...you know like "Running a Blog for Dummies," or something like that. I also know that we don't have a large number of readers, but I'm very thankful for the readers we do have, it's always like receiving a gift from someone when we get a reply, regardless of the content of that reply. It is a small thrill, but that small readership we have drives me somewhat, causes me to want to continue...if after nearly a year no one was reading it at all, I'd probably just chuck the whole thing. It is an honor to think that anyone would be interested in anything any of us have to say, it humbles me, to say the least.

If anyone is reading this, particularly "Progressive" Christians, I did not start this blog with the intention of starting a Christian blog. Twoop and I started it to be a political blog but not strictly. It wasn't until I attended church one day and my Pastor discussed briefly, really he just cited it as much as anything, an article which had run in my local paper in Missouri. The article was discussing the plight of Progressive Christians who feel that the "Conservative" Christian had stolen their voice, had defined their Christianity, in short, they seemed to feel that "Conservatives" had stolen their religion. It seemed quite the oxymoron to me, at the time, to claim to be politically progressive and a "good" Christian. At any rate, I disagree that one's faith can be stolen, that's one of the things I learned this year, that no one can "steal" anyone's religion, no one has the power to steal my faith, my beliefs, others may challenge that religion and those beliefs but no one can steal it.

I would like Progressives to know that at first I viewed you as an enemy, as a hypocrite, as one who for the sake of your progressive politics was willing to sell out your "God." I still belief there is a basis for believing that to be true about some Progressive Christians, but now I know that not all Progressive Christians are in it for the politics, some are in it for something deeper and I have learned this year, more than any other, to respect the individual. I thank God for your existence, for your challenge to my own faith and for helping me to grow in my own faith and beliefs. Each of you is a special person worthy of love. I could count on one hand the Progressive Christians I have come across who I feel are disingenuous and intellectually dishonest, that, my friends, is a compliment and evidence that the majority of you are Christians first who are merely interested in politics, in other words, you're just like me, eeeeeek! I have always believed that each person in this world, whether a Christian or not, has something special inside, something loveable inside. If one takes the time to get to know people, one can always find something to love in every person on this earth. Progressive Christians have further strengthened that belief.

In 2006 my goal will be to continue being a listener as well as a communicator. My goal will be to continue to be open minded, teachable, but to also retain the values and beliefs which make me who I am. I don't know the direction this blog will take, I have no way of even knowing if it will continue to be primarily on the subject of Christianity or not, I want to let it lead us wherever it will, or wherever God would have each of us go. I appreciate any and all who go on the "ride" with us. It's been fun, it's been a blessing.

One request I have for Progressive Christians. I have been willing to accept your primary agendas as valuable while not embracing the methods by which you seek to meet success in that agenda. Would it be too much to expect that same respect from you toward the Conservative Christian who seeks to follow his convictions? It should not be.

I am getting really anxious for PJ to share with us here, and I would like to see Twoop's name on more posts in the future. These are both brilliant, articulate women who have much to share. I'm trying to put the pressure on PJ, not too much though, and TWOOPSIE! It's time. Maybe you could share with us some information about that new project you are working on? I'm honored to know you both!

God bless all who read our blog.


PJ said...

Jacke, as someone who has grown to know you over the past year, I have felt privilaged to catch glimpses into journey of spiritual growth. It's been an inspiration to me and graced me on my own journey.

These days it's rare that people really take the time to try and understand what makes others come to the beliefs they have when it comes to Christianity. Especially when politics becomes part of the mix. I respect how you have stuck with your goal of finding the common ground that politically active Christians have. I know it has been frustrating for you at times. Though, through God's grace, you usually "seem" to find hope even in the frustration. :)

I have been mulling over things I could post about. Hopefully, this weekend I will get it worked out.

Thanks again for inviting me.

Your fan and friend, PJ

Angel said...

Jacke, I am quite adept at coding so if you would like to spice up your sidebar of have a premade template for blogger you would like to use, just let me know. I can help you with that. :)

Jacke M. said...

Angel, that's so sweet of you to offer! Yes, I'd be interested, however, with PJ on board she's doing a little nesting :) and doing quite well with it.

Angel said...

Good to hear! :) The offer still stands if you need me. I used to make my living doing such things and even dream in code at times (scary!) ... so I don't mind giving a hand if needed.