The Southern American writer Flannery O’Connor once had this to say about writing:

Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

The Internet makes self-publication even easier. So much for stifling. Dear Flannery would be appalled, and probably have something very funny to say about it.

Why, then, should I contribute to the noise? Why start this blog?

Simply put, I have found that I am not sure what I think until I’ve been able to write about it. Just as thought is essential to writing, so too is writing essential for thinking. At least, that is how it is for me.

And yeah, sure, I start this blog out of the confidence (I trust it is not false) that my interests are shared by others. I intend to publish these reflections so others may read them, for ends as plain as instruction, advocacy, invitation, confession, and celebration.

It will be a mixed bag, because that is what my interests are: mixed, varied, a combination — much like the title of this blog. So I will be writing about ministry and theology, as I am the pastor of a protestant church. I will write about music, as I am a violist, guitarist, bass-baritone, and former choir director. I will write about computers and software, because I have been involved with these for over 30 years (for a few years professionally), and am passionate about GNU-Linux, Emacs, and other software in the Free/Libre “Open Source” realm.

Starting the end of April, my posts will concern my three-month sabbatical, made possible because of the graciousness of my congregation and the generosity of the Louisville Institute, which awarded me a 2012 Sabbatical Grant for Pastoral Leaders. But I will compose some posts before then to describe what I will be doing so that during the sabbatical I can reflect what is going on at that time rather than giving a bunch of background.

This overture is now concluded. I am eager to continue the music-making.

Thanks for listening, and I welcome your contributions.