Back when I was in college, I used to write a regular mass email to friends and family. It even had a name–“Der Brief” (German for “the letter”). Some of you may remember that. It was an easy way to keep in touch with my family back home and let them know what I was up to. It was also a way for me to share with them my experiences as I was beginning my studies for the ministry, and it gave me a way to practice my writing. Sometimes the letters were purely information. It was a summary of the month’s happenings. Other times the letter took on a more devotional character as I shared with the people I loved the reason I was where I was.
Well, I believe that it was not long after I started Seminary that I stopped writing those letters. I’m not exactly sure why. In the meantime, we communicated through Christmas letters, pictures, and other emails. And, sure, I was busy during these years. We had four children. I finished Seminary and now serve as a pastor in a busy congregation. But I still consider it important to share with others the things I am doing and experience.
And now more than ever. Not only am I further away from most of my family, but I am also away from those friends with whom I went to school. I also have a new audience now. I have a congregation of people who do get to see me on a regular basis. But sometimes our contact is limited to more formal settings, like worship services and Bible classes. Sometimes there are things I would like to share with them that don’t really have any other forum. I don’t like to share all kinds of details about my life and family life from the pulpit, but I love to talk about my kids. So for those who are interested, this is for them.
I have experimented with blogging a few times in the past. I have tried different tools and have had different ideas about what it could be or should be. I prefer blogs to email because 1) I don’t have to maintain an email list, 2) if people don’t want to read it, they don’t have to, 3) you can have the technology notify you whenever there is a new post (in a newsreader or by email), and 4) you don’t have to worry about saving emails, because they are all archived on the web site.
So this is a new start. I call it (for now) A Shepherd’s Story. It’s intended to give you a glimpse into the life of this Lutheran pastor. I probably won’t recount day-to-day experiences, but a few that are significant in the life of our family or our congregation. I’ll try not to write long theological treatises, but I will share some observations from Scripture occasionally.
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