It’s All in a Name

June 30, 2010 — 6 Comments

It has taken me a long, long time to begin writing in this blog – over half a year, in fact. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for quite some time, but for whatever reason I just have not been able to get myself to actually write anything. There are many weeks where I’ve made a deadline for myself, hoping that this week will be the time that I finally begin writing. As these weeks have turned into months, I’ve begun to ponder why it has been so difficult for me to start this thing. A few reasons come to mind.

There are a million blogs out there. My wife, Sara, enjoys reading blogs and she makes bookmarks of her favorites. She probably has about 20 blogs that she reads on a somewhat regular basis. These are mainly blogs written by friends and family while a few are more broad in scope, written by people she’s never met. I, on the other hand, very rarely read blogs because I find that they can function as a black hole with my free time. As I think about all these bloggers and the wealth of comments they make, I often wonder, “Does the world need one more blogger?” What could I even say that hasn’t already been said in a more clever, humorous, or thoughtful manner?

I have finally come to peace on this issue. This answer might not satisfy you enough to make you an avid reader of my blog, but at the very least it has allowed me to jump this first hurdle that prevents me from writing. I’ve realized that yes, there are a million blogs out there written by people from all sorts of backgrounds, but there are none written by me. Before you consider me an arrogant jerk, let me clarify. Nobody has the same experiences, passions, or interests that I do. As a firm believer of the Bible, I believe that we are all created in God’s image and because of that, we all have something valuable to contribute to others. So yes, there is probably a Spaceballs blog out there, probably a youth ministry blog, probably a motorcycling in Iowa blog, probably an Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii blog, probably a punk rock and emo music blog, probably a marriage blog, probably a science fiction blog, and probably a Christianity blog out there. In fact, I know there are hundreds of blogs about all of those things. However, I doubt there is a blog about all of these things combined… If there is, then I want to meet this blogger because we’d have a lot to talk about!

After I overcame this obstacle of authorial self-esteem, I realized I still faced one more challenge. What would I even call my blog? Everyone knows that if you write a blog, it’s gotta look cool and have a catchy, thought-provoking name. I struggled with this for quite a while until one late night (I have many of them) when I was listening to my favorite playlist on iTunes, contemplating life. I looked at the first song on my playlist, which has more plays than any other song on my computer, and it hit me.

In 2004, Further Seems Forever released their final full-length CD, Hide Nothing. I was a decent FSF fan at the time so I bought the CD and thought it was pretty good, but not life changing (I still hadn’t fully embraced my non-punk music side yet).

 

Further Seems Forever's Hide Nothing

 

Then I went to Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.

The three years I spent at PTS were the hardest of my life. I won’t go into all of the details here because I probably will devote a whole blog post to it at some point in time. I will just mention that while in New Jersey, I acquainted myself with a previously unknown level of brokenness. I discovered true despair, frustration, anger, hatred, doubt, and depression. Needless to say, there were many days where I felt like throwing in the towel and quitting school.

However, let me make myself clear! I also experienced numerous joys and blessings during those 3 years. I met Sara and married her, I cultivated some of the closest friendships I have, and I learned a ton. 2006-2009 just happened to contain the perfect storm of events in my life that really made me depend upon God.

Thus enters Further Seems Forever.  Their first track, Light Up Ahead,  became a mantra for me. I began to think of this song as a promise from God that there was, in fact, a light up ahead in my life. Even though I was experiencing such hard times, I took this song to be a promise to me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, whether in this life or the next. In the 8th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus says that he is the light of the world. Christ is the light of my life and he will continually give me hope no matter what I face. Whether or not the vocalist, John Bunch, meant his song to mean this, I interpreted the song this way. So since 2006 I have continually reminded myself of this truth when facing difficult circumstances.

So my hope for this blog is that I might point other people to this same Light that I strive to see. I cannot guarantee that this blog will always be profound, humorous, or about cool, edgy topics (though I’ll try!). More than likely blog posts will mention the latest video game I’ve beaten, movie I’ve seen, book I’ve read, or experience I’ve had.  But I can say that I will seek to honestly write about subjects of interest to me in my life and how they point us to the light of Christ.

With that said, I invite you to leave comments, suggestions, questions, concerns, etc. I would love to hear from you about your experiences as they relate to what I write about while we discover the light of Christ together.

Austin

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I'm a pastor, writer, speaker, husband, father, and follower of Christ, to name a few titles. You can find my contact information in my About page.
  • Found this via your brother Dave’s tweet.

    Well, I am just like you. I don’t read blogs much but have been meaning to write one forever now. This sounds like a good read. I’m into all those same things except for video games.

    And fyi, I know all the Further Seems Forever guys (at least the original ones.) We all used to hang out in Ft. Lauderdale and I led them in bible studies. I was in the band Ikthus which became Strongarm, then morphed into FSF.

    Also, my step-dad went to Princeton Seminary and he says it almost ruined his faith. I remember living there years ago. Mu Wife’s cousin also taught there for a time and tried to bring the truth to a dark place.

    I’ll bookmark this and be back.

  • Logan Prescott

    Nice first blog! So much to talk about yet so little time. When ever I write be it school or…well just school, I find it hard to get motivated then to find where to start. Well now that you’ve started I expect more from you.

  • Hey Teen. FINALLY! I’m so glad you have started writing. I bet if you burned Red Dead Redemption you will easily do one blog post a week! Keep it coming!
    dave

  • deeds

    I look forward to reading what you put on there. Nice writing style.

  • Cornish Meemo

    I give you a hearty “thumbs up” on your first blogging attempt! “A Light Up Ahead” will now be my new mantra, too. I like it, and don’t worry. If I start blogging, even though I love your title, I will choose one of my own. Keep blogging, Aust!

  • Jacob S. Heiss

    I’d certainly concur with your analysis of PTS (and Further Seems Forever). Glad to have known you then and praying for God’s continual blessings thereafter.

    peace from a fellow pastor,
    JSH