24 October, 2008

Missing in Action

Well, by now (if you're still even reading this blog) you're probably beginning to wonder where I (Tom) have been. It's now been several weeks since I've posted. On several occasions I've said to myself "I need to post something today," only to let the day slip away and not post anything.

To be honest I've been giving this blog a lot of thought lately. When I started here I was filled with ideas and eager to get them out. I lived in America and was daily amused and disgusted by things such as the shallowness of much of Evangelicalism, the liberalness of mainline Protestantism, and the ridiculousness of everything in between. I needed an outlet for my thoughts, and since I'm not much of a sit-down-and-write-a-treatise kind of guy, I found satire, humor and parody worked well for me. At that time ideas came easily. All I had to do was turn on the television, read the paper or simply draw from my own personal experience.

But things change. I must admit that for the past few months I've found blogging here to be more tedious than enjoyable. While many many things still strike me as funny, and while I still have regular ideas for stories, on the whole my interests in writing here have waned. One of the main reasons for this, I believe, is that for almost the last 1 1/2 years now I have not lived in the United States. For those of you who don't know, my family and I live in St. Petersburg, Russia. I'm now outside of the circle of events going on in religious America, and thus my ability to address various fads and trends that happen there is significantly diminished. At the same time, my attention has turned to dealing with living in a foreign culture, learning a foreign language and trying to guide my family through the whole process. Oh how easy it would be for me right now to write satirical articles each day about the goings on in Russia, but I fear they would only be enjoyed by English-speaking foreigners who have lived and worked in Russia over the past 10 years while trying to learn the language, which, as you can imagine, severely limits my audience. Let's be fair, not many of you, even if you did find them mildly amusing, would get the full impact of stories like "Medvedev Promises to Reduce Loogies by 20% Next Year" or "Foreigner Unable to Figure out Verbs of Motion; Decides Never to Leave Home." See...I told you.

In addition to this there is also the issue of my priorities. Right now this blog has fallen way down on the list of things that are important. With both me and my wife studying Russian intensely, a young son who needs love, discipline, physical therapy and other special care each day, helping to coordinate Russian pastor's conferences, a large Bible distribution project and preaching here and there, I have found little to no energy left to devote to blogging here.

So what does this all mean practically. The end of TBNN? Well, no, not necessarily. Don't worry, I'm not about to delete the blog, nor am I about to shut it down. What it does mean though is that I'm going on hiatus and for exactly how long I can't say. It is my hope that Elder Eric and Brother Slawson will continue regularly posting on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I also have some prospects for other regular contributers who I hope will pick up some of the days here. And no doubt you will probably see me popping in from time to time. But for now I'm moving out of the blogosphere. It's been fun, and I hope to perhaps move back in again sometime in the near future.



TD said...

If this is satire, its not funny. It's just sad! Thanks for the laughs and the thought provoking satire. Come back anytime!

The Troxels in Nenana said...


How wonderful to see your priorities are following God's call in ministry and God's gift of your family.

I see nothing for you to feel sorry about or ever to apologize for.

I have enjoyed TBNN for a long time now, but if you were to place this blog over your call as a missionary or over your family to satisfy someone's reading - you would be accountable before God for such.

As a father and missionary - I am encouraged and blessed by your decision.

God bless you, your family, and your ministry.



Peter Kirk said...

You have at least one reader who would appreciate some stories about language learning in St P, although it's 15 years now since I did that.

Robin Harris (ICE Coordinator) said...

I'm with Peter -- I'd love satire on Russian life and language learning, but of course, no one will blame you for needing to focus on other things. I always found it amazing that you somehow found the energy to do that your whole first year in Russia. May God richly bless you guys as you lean on Him for the strength to handle all that is on your plates.

Jim Pemberton said...

Ok, the linguistics thing for missionaries is funny stuff.

I understand and agree, Tom. You have a job to do that God has called you to. Do you blog some of your mission activities elsewhere or have a newsletter? I do summer missions and am often involved in preparations throughout the year. However, I have a list of full-time missionaries I pray for and would love to add you to the list. It helps to have current info for more focused petitions.

Darrin said...