One week from today I will be archiving this blog, i.e., no more posts, no more commenting, but the content will remain available. I began blogging in late 2004, but it wasn’t until I morphed my personal blog into a “biblioblog” on April 9th, 2009, and added JohnDave Medina as a co-blogger on September 22nd, 2009, that anyone read what I wrote (other than some family and friends). I don’t have much of a pedigree, but this blog provided an alternate route to a variety of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Blogging allowed me to develop my own voice. It created within me the discipline of writing. It taught me—often the hard way—how to receive criticism, how to engage in debate, and how to learn from others. Through this blog I met people I would have never met otherwise. I was able to discuss ideas that those closest to me did not find interesting, but that did intrigue readers and fellow bloggers. I was challenged to think critically and expand my worldview by people who were outside my immediate circles. It is because of this that I must say thank you to all those who read what I’ve wrote, commented, debated, and especially those who weathered my immature rants and online squabbles.

That being said, as it has been sung, “every new beginning comes with some other beginning’s end”, and it is time to end this project so that the next stage—whatever it is—can begin. Last year about this time I sensed that I was “burnt out” on blogging. I did a “blogging sabbatical” for a month or so. It helped a bit, but it was obvious that something had changed. It took several months, but eventually it was apparent that I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, at least not as I’ve been doing it. As I wrote when I announced that this blog would close about a month ago now:

I told myself long ago that it is a hobby (I’ve never made a profit off it) and a tool to supplement my studies. If the day came that I stopped having fun with it, or if I realized that biblioblogging was hindering me from using my time wisely, then I would stop. That time has come.

So, it is here and now that I say “farewell” to the blog formerly known as Near Emmaus. It has been a outlet for me for five years. I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve learned so much from my interactions with so many of you. I’m glad I chose to blog and that when I thought of quitting altogether in 2009 my wife convinced me to keep doing it. It was immediately after that that a whole new world of learning and friendships became available to me. Again, thank you for reading and giving me a voice in this great choir known as the biblioblogosphere.

*I say “kinda, sorta” because I will be occasionally blogging at along with contributions to Bible Study and the Christian Life and sometimes Seedbed. Whereas this blog demanded something like five to seven entries a week, these three combined will be like five to seven a month, if that. So, I’ll be present in the blogosphere, just not nearly as active. Also, to see where this blog’s former contributors are now writing go here.