I've decided to shut down the blog, though the words will remain up. I should say that this has nothing to do with anyone other than myself; no authority figure in the Church has discouraged or prohibited me in any way from blogging. Rather, it just comes from an honest realization that I am most likely going to be extremely busy learning the nuts and bolts of being a priest, and the blog would, for me, simply be a distraction of something I could be doing, maybe should be doing...and if it's simply no longer an option, so much the better. My FB time is going to be severely curtailed, as well. I do plan on still reading friends' blogs, though, and commenting as able. Friends I've met in real life after meeting through blogs remain good and close ones.
I also suppose the close comes with the close of a phase in my life, which friends of mine and I have spoken about, regarding new converts' tendency to pontificate via blogs during their initial years of being Orthodox. While this can be helpful--I think this blog and my testimony blog actually served me quite well in articulating what I believed and have also led to several emails thanking me for help in coming into the Orthodox Church--I think there comes a time when converts in general have less to say and more to live. There are exceptions--Fr. Stephen Freeman and Steve Robinson both put out very regular, though very different, blogs that continue to challenge and inspire--but I think that, in my case, my move to seminary signaled a time when what was needed was less output and more input. Specifically, regular and personal prayer, study of spiritual and pastoral issues, and learning from experienced pastors about personal weakness and development as a man, a Christian, and a priest. Such exploration might make good blog posts, but when much of it is personal, and all of it is time-consuming, blogspot tends to go on the backburner.
I may start a new blog someday, once a "stride" is hit in the pastoral life. If so, I'll link to it here.
Thanks to all who've read over the past seven years. May God bless and keep you in your dedication to His Christ and His Church.