April 25, 2007 — 3 Comments


I was very excited to hear the news that the great blog Rhetorical Response has returned to the Internet and has once again begun to inspire us through her work.

So, I’m back to blogging. I’m really excited, too, because I’ve missed the joy of thinking and writing about what is beautiful and important. Rhetorical Response is going to look different this time around. I’m about to graduate high school, and I have no British literature course to guide my writing. Also, I’m juggling travel (frequent trips to Tennessee to visit my employer), impending Advanced Placement and SAT II tests, and college applications. In July, I leave home for four months to pursue an internship as Teresa Moon’s personal assistant.

Being busy, though, is what motivates me to blog again. “Skimming the surface” is all too frightening a possibility, and I think, and hope, and pray Rhetorical Response will help me evade the trap.

Besides all that, God speaks to me when I write and when I read the thoughts of others. It’s so much fun to encourage and be encouraged by like minded writers and thinkers. Discussion in the blogosphere is a joy, and I can’t wait to take part in it again.

Here’s to the examined life.

I found the following thoughts from Karen very insightful and telling:

My busy schedule is making it challenging for me to find time for meditation and reflection. More and more often, I settle for merely thinking my thoughts, or for occasionally dialoguing with a friend or two, rather than analyzing and organizing my ideas into essays and blog posts. This tendency makes me nervous, for a couple of reasons.

First, I grow intellectually when I write. The discipline of transferring personal ideas into coherent written communication is very good for me, and unless I have an incentive (such as other people reading and commenting), this is a discipline I neglect. I need to be more proactive about my participation in “the great conversation.”

I could not have said it better myself. So many of my recent posts have not made it to this blog because they have stayed on my computer, on my notepad, or most-likely locked within my own mind. I have avoided growth through the sometimes painful discipline of writing down my thoughts, ideas, responses, and then responding to others thoughts, ideas, and responses. Sadly, as many have noticed, this discipline has been severely neglected unless something of global importance occurs. For the longest time I have loathed blogs that go through this phase, many times never returning. Yet the fear that if I force myself to post each day will bring out low-quality work is more of an excuse to not write anything at all. I hope that you will pray that I can avoid this temptation.

Karen continues:

Second, I live more fully when I evaluate my experiences through writing. When I force myself to think like a writer, every experience has the potential to provide me with insights, ideas, and thoughts. When I don’t function in this mindset, I let experiences pass by, rather than grappling with them until they reveal lessons. Writing lets me accost the events in my life. Carpe diem!

This is so true for both writers and speakers who are looking for insights into life, ideas for their material, and thoughts about the issues that come before us each and every day. It forces us to look at our world through a whole new perspective. God has blessed me by allowing me to continue doing these things even when I am not writing, but sometimes I feel that I must share something and I do not. I feel that you are not at a loss, but rather I am at a loss. I pray that I can continue through the easy times and the hard times. Perhaps we could call it growing pains on the blog — they are at times uncomfortable, hard, and sporadic. Yet in the end, the maturity that is gained through the growing process will be invaluable, and the pain will push both myself and hopefully any readers to grow in their faith as they learn to evaluate the culture in light of God’s word, to embrace the Truth, and to live like Christ.

Tim Sweetman


Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

3 responses to Return.

  1. It seems like wring — or rather blogging — is most commonly viewed as an opportunity to jut down a few of the details of our lives so we’re able to remember them at a later date, or it’s viewed as a way to relay those same general details of life to friends and family in the style of a year-round Christmas newsletter.

    But when blogging is at it’s best it’s not the day-to-day facts of life that are communicated, but what goes deeper than the mundane. It hopefully encourages the reader to think and evaluate life at a different level, but even more so, it forces the writer to walk through even the most common aspects of life with their mind and senses fully engaged.


  2. I think when you force yourself to write down your thought and convitions, it help you. You can better view your passions, insperations and priorities. Even better, it could impacte a like for Christ.

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