I‘d been thinking about revamping my blog for quite some time. It’s been part of a larger plan to hopefully build a community of readers who will engage regularly in some of the topics that I desire to discuss here. However, my biggest challenge was this whole idea of “mixed company.” Of course the antiquated meaning of this is “in the presence of both men and women.” However, I think nowadays it’s often used when referencing any diverse group. How many of you had mothers that shushed you when you started to talk about something in “mixed company?” What she meant was there were things that could be discussed around family that was not appropriate to talk about around friends or strangers (and vice versa). You…and I…learned early on that our topics of discussion (jokes, commentaries, etc.) should vary greatly depending on who might be listening.
And so here I am. Knowing full well that there are friends, family, co-workers, clients, men, women, black people, white people, church people, believers (not the same as church people necessarily), non-believers, academics, professional people, artistic people, and so on…all visiting this blog. All bringing their beliefs and biases as well as their perceptions of me and my beliefs and biases to the page.
This used to worry me. I didn’t want my white friends to be offended if I talked about issues of race. I didn’t want my black friends to feel like I wasn’t exploring my blackness or championing the causes of our community hard enough. I didn’t want my academic, professor-ish friends to feel like I was too sophomoric or too religious and I didn’t want my non-academic friends to think I was being too “siddity” or out of touch. I didn’t want my believer friends to feel like I wasn’t scriptural enough or Holy Spirit-led enough and I didn’t want non-believers to feel like I was too judgmental. I didn’t want my clients…who only know me as a professional consultant or businessperson but with a simple google search could land here…to see the more personal sides of me. I didn’t want my students to get too “comfortable” with me because of something they read on my blog. Bottom line? There was always this feeling of being in mixed company and never really being quite sure what I should or should not say.
Thank God THAT is over. 🙂
In launching this new version of the site, I have finally decided to release my self from the pressure to please the various factions in my life. The fact of the matter is…I am enough.
I am many things. I play many roles. I am complex. And therefore the things/issues/ideas that move me to write here are just as varied, just as complex as I am. As the name of this blog implies, I am forever seeking the face of God in my life. Not just his word, promise or guidance. But his very presence. And that journey is one that covers a diversity of ground; some practical, some spiritual, some political/social, some humorous, and some heartbreaking. So in order to remain authentic to that process, I too must cover a diversity of ground as it relates to the topics of this blog. My prayer is that no matter who you are, some nugget of truth will be revealed. And if that doesn’t happen, at the very least, I hope you have good time while you’re here. LOL!
**clears throat** So this is my personal declaration:
I am a masterpiece. Because only the Master could put the pieces of me—what may look like contradictions to anyone else—together. I’m an intellectual/academic who lives by faith. My ministry is Christ-centered but not religious. I’m both a self and traditionally published writer who understands the need for genres even if I can’t be bound by it. I’m an artist and a businessperson. I celebrate the history and culture of “my people” and yet strongly stand on a multicultural, reconciliatory platform. I challenge traditions even as I honor them. I love hard and question harder.
Yet within all of this, my Faith (capital F) is still the centerpiece. In fact, there is this wonderful place—my personal sweet spot– that exists at the intersection of faith (lower-case), intellect, and creativity where I looooove to dwell. It’s what I call Faithtastic or Faithtastical! (Yep, I made them up.)This place/space not only fuels my social and political perspectives as it relates to life, relationships and ministry but it is where I feel the most me. I’ve come to realize that my faith is strong enough to be intellectually and/or creatively engaged. Following Christ is not a lifestyle that excludes this. I can live with intellectual integrity and curiosity. I can ask questions of myself, you, and God without feeling like I’m on some slippery slope into the pit of hell.
Here’s something for my church folks: Neither I nor my writing can be put in a box. My view on humanity’s relationship with itself and God and Jesus and faith and cultural identity (all things that find their way in my work) is informed by what I call a Baptist, Pentecostal, Jesuit-Ignation, Black Lib, Multicultural, Calvinistic, denominationally skeptical perspective. 🙂 LOL! I’m not confused by this and neither should you be.
Enjoy my new [online] crib!
3 Replies to “My (Re)Branding Challenge”
I love it! Great minds think alike. I am unveiling newness on July 1. I am so excited for you! Love transformations and growth and it looks Faith-tastic on you!
Thanks, Neysa. And I'm super-excited for YOU!. Can't wait for your "unveiling!" TMLG
Good stuff!Keep Writing.- PJ