Where To?


Dear Russell & Friends,

I’ve been up for a while now.  Reading, thinking, and writing at the table in a warm quiet house on a cold day is contentedness.  I never want to take this quiet house for granted and never want to forget others who have either no shelter or no peace.  There is a sense of stewardship for both – – those blessed with shelter should not forget the poor, those who have found peace should not forget the turmoil that led them there.  What exactly does this blog mean?  As Russell and I meet in person to reflect it is apparent that it means something different, but special to both of us.  When the détente group meets at this very table we multiply those interpretations.

Earlier this week I saw Russell exercise his craft.  He knows how to code.  He made several adjustments to the blog format that would make the experience more pleasant for us and our readers and allow room to grow.  It was a pleasure to sit next to my friend and watch how he could execute our ideas.  I’m an idea person.  I’ve always partnered well with implementers.  In marriage, in profession, in friendship – – the yin of ideas craves the yang of execution.  It is rare to find both in one person.  That used to bother me. I would try and try to be a better implementer.  Then I noticed that the implementers were looking for me too.  Neither has imminence.  Neither stands alone.  How rich life looks when lived in partnership.

We passed 1,000 readers yesterday.  What did you come here expecting to find?  How can we serve you well?  I’ve been meditating on those questions.  I made a mistake at the last détente, using one precious hour of shared time to show a video that we all could have watched alone before or after.  Thankfully, the group is gracious and offered feedback.  People who care will correct you in love.  That friend who discretely tells you that there is spinach in your teeth is a keeper.  We learn from those friends.  We learn dental salad awareness and learn that time together wants to be spent completely present.  For our next détente I’m asking the participants to come with a question for the group.  We’ll write them down and draw them from a hat.  Then where will the conversation lead?

I have the same question for you.  Where do we go?  Where would you like to see this conversation lead? Where to?

Pascal – – 1:16


photo credit:  by Jorge de Aguiar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Where to? I would like to see you and Russell converse. You tend to post monologues, and starting them off with “Dear Russell” or “Dear Pascal” does not make them dialogues. I think it’s hard to respond thoroughly to one of Russell’s 5000+ word posts, but if he could take smaller bites, it might work. Why do his 43 reasons not stop you in your tracks? Why do your powerful reasons for belief not move him? A journey through Romans is great and you are skilled at leading it, but what does that do for the atheist or skeptic you welcome here? Talk with us—not to us, not about us.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I do want to add that you’re my hero for hosting détente, and I love the way you do it—ask thoughtful questions and listen intently to the answers. I think everyone there feels heard and cared about. I want to see more of that here. A back-and-forth, like a dinner-table conversation. That would require more frequent posting from Russell, but I could try to convince him that 500 words twice a week is easier than 5000 words once a month.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, dear wife.

      Pascal, I think this would help me decrease the time between my posts. As you both know, I rarely feel the urge to write. To play with my girls, learn something new, or workout, yes! Write, no. But what I do tend to do well is respond to questions. I can do my best to keep my responses short (and I’m sure the beautiful CC will hold me to that) if we can get back to a direct question and answer, claim and response, etc., type of interaction. What are you thoughts about that, my friend?

      Gentleness and respect,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just putting my two cents worth…i agree with CC. I first came here expecting a dialogue between the two of you, the kind of dialogues I expect the two of you have had in person. I think it would be so helpful for many of us to see what a loving dialogue between two opposing viewpoints looks like.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Russell and Pascal: my first inclination is to say that it’s your blog so you should do with it as you see fit, and that’s really how I feel about it, but you asked your readers what they came here expecting to find so I’ll share.

    I was hoping to find a place where ultimate questions are discussed in a calm and respectful manner, and happily I’ve already seen some of that here. I’ve been involved in a lot of blogs of this genre and so many of them get so nasty. Even the ones which start out wanting respectful dialogue end up going south most of the time. (Given the subject matter as well as the nature of the medium I think that is understandable.)

    Maybe you could use this site as a way of coming up with topics for discussion: http://achristianandanatheist.com/ Obviously there are plenty of other places to find ideas, but the owners of that site tried to keep a calm dialogue like you. And CC mentioned the 43 reasons – each of those could maybe be a separate topic to discuss.

    Since everyone gets busy with real life I think the 2 of you should agree together on a maximum time between posts. I try a once a month cadence on my own blog (and have fallen short of that even) and I’ve seen that work on other blogs as well. Any more than that can end up having reader interest wane from what I’ve seen (although there are exceptions to even that).

    Like CC I understand the issue with length of posts and comments. It’s something I struggle with as well. There is the desire to be thorough and catch everything. There are times when I have a discussion online with someone that they throw everything but the kitchen sink at me. I find it hard but I end up telling them that I’m only picking one main point of their comment to respond to and can talk about the others after that. Whenever I’ve tried that it’s worked well.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Greetings friends – –

    I’m so thankful for your feedback and I’ve been thinking about it for days. Russell – – you and I are so very different in the way that we think and communicate. I treasure that difference. I’m realizing more and more that writing is a sacrifice for you. One on one time is a sacrifice for me. You the quiet extrovert, me the loquacious introvert – – a smashing pair.

    So, where to? I think I’ll start responding to your reasons – – why you are not a Christian reasons. Howie’s point about post frequency is well taken. I don’t think we need to have the same frequency, but it is probably better to be regular. In addition, most of your comments are longer than my posts!

    I’m going to start with reason 1 tomorrow and try to maintain one reason a week, likely posted on the weekend. I can continue the Romans series once a week, perhaps on Wednesday, and allow another day for miscellanea. Thrice a week is about right for me. This is pleasure, not pain.

    Russell – – could you target twice a month? That and shorter replies to me and our readers might be a good rhythm. Then again, you sir are master of the long form and I don’t want to cramp your style.

    Blessings until tomorrow – – Replying to Russell’s Reasons – – 1



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